JUST over a week ago, the next chapter of the Final Fantasy VII: Remake series of games was shown off. Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth looks like it’s going to deviate from the original story of Final Fantasy VII, and we are going to possible learn more in regards to the timeline shift. Like: “How are there TWO Clouds now?” And a few other spoilers, which if you’ve managed to avoid so far, you are a legend because the Final Fantasy VII fandom kind of blew up with that game’s ending.
Having said all that, Final Fantasy VIII: Rebirth is not due to be released for another year and a half (sometime around Christmas 2023) – so here are my Top 5 recommended JRPGs to play that should tide you over until then.
- Final Fantasy VII: Remake (Playstation 4 & 5, PC)
This one is a bit obvious, I know. But there is no point going into the Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth without having played the first game in the trilogy. Newbies and fans of the OG Final Fantasy VII love this game. It expands on the first part of the original and gives the game a bit more life in my opinion. It is nice to delve into further details about your NPC companions of Avalanche. Even if sometimes Jessie’s thirstiness can be a bit much but the remake has put Jessie in the running for ‘Best Girl’ for some extra added competition for Tifa and Aerith. Just make sure you keep the tissues ready after you hit the Train Ghost Yard chapter though. The feels get really strong from that point onwards.
2. Legend of Dragoon (Playstation 1)
Legend of Dragoon is a turn-based RPG that was released on PlayStation in 1999 in Japan and in 2000 in North America. Based in a high fantasy world, The Legend of Dragoon is about a group of people who set out on an ever-evolving mission but upon their travels learn about legendary Dragons from the past as they come across gems known as Dragon Spirits, which turns your playable characters into warriors called Dragoons. Players go out into the world on what starts as a quest to find the people who burnt a character’s home to the ground twice and learn about the many different races of people in the world and the meaning behind the Dragoons in the process.
3. Shadow Hearts Series (Playstation 2)
Based in an alternative version of Earth, that is a mix of horror and Lovecraftian themes. You follow the main character Yuri Hyuga who saves a young exorcist named Alice. Throughout the game, you come across fellow companions who all have abilities in different elements, with the exception of the lead character, Yuri who is known as a Harmonixer. A person with the ability to absorb the souls of monsters and shift into those beings. Each of the 4 games continues on from the ending of the previous game’s Bad Ending. Yes, that is correct. The Bad Endings in these games are the canon endings. And have a little fun as a characters from previous games make their appearances in the next game.
4. NEO: The World Ends With You (Playstation 4, Switch & PC)
When you and your friend get caught in a Hunger Games-ish style game in the middle of Shibuya, Japan, you realise things aren’t quite what they seem. You fight monsters using certain abilities acquired from pins and take on the daily tasks to stay out of last place by the end of the game week. This game also has one of the most awesome game soundtracks. From monsters to reapers and the end of Shibuya. NEO: The World Ends with You is a gem that everyone should try at least once.
5. Final Fantasy VII (Playstation 1 & 4, Xbox One, Switch, Mobile [Android & iOS] & PC)
It goes without saying, if you haven’t played the original Final Fantasy VII then you should. Though not my personal favourite Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy VII is one of the most loved of the Final Fantasy series and definitely a crucial game to play before Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth. Set out as Cloud and the rest of the Final Fantasy VII characters to find out the truth of what happened in the past and to stop Sepiroth from enacting his plan to rebirth the planet.
If you haven’t played these games before, I would highly recommend them as they all have their own special little flair that will have you hooked for hours. Though some may be a little harder to get your hands on, they are worth it – and even if you have played them before, I think they are worth the dive into again until Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth is released; so why not check them out again?