The Most Popular JRPG: Uncovering the Beloved Games of the Genre

Choose the JRPG you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Oct 4, 2023 08:22
Welcome to StrawPoll's ultimate ranking of the most popular JRPGs of all time! Dive into a world of enchanting stories, unforgettable characters, and thrilling gameplay as we embark on an epic quest to discover the ultimate fan-favorite JRPG. Thousands of passionate gamers have already cast their votes, but the adventure has just begun. Will your beloved title emerge as the champion or will a hidden gem rise to the top? Your voice matters, so make your choice and join the ranks of fellow JRPG enthusiasts in this exhilarating, nostalgia-fueled journey. And if you don't see your top pick on our list, don't fret—simply suggest a missing option and rally the support of like-minded gamers. The fate of the most popular JRPG lies in your hands; let the battle commence!

What Is the Most Popular JRPG? (October 2023)

  1. 1

    Final Fantasy

    Hironobu Sakaguchi
    It has been one of the most popular JRPG franchises since its release in 1987. Its unique blend of storytelling, memorable characters, and strategic gameplay has kept fans coming back for more.
    Final Fantasy is a popular video game franchise developed and published by Square Enix. Created by Hironobu Sakaguchi in 1987, it has become one of the most iconic and influential role-playing game series in the world. The game features a mix of fantasy and science fiction elements, with each installment introducing a unique world and narrative.
    • Main Characters: Characters like Cloud Strife, Tidus, and Lightning are widely recognized and cosplayed.
    • Distinct Aesthetics: Each game in the series has its own distinct art style and character designs, providing a diverse range of cosplaying options.
    • Extensive Lore: The franchise boasts a rich and extensive lore, with detailed backstories and world-building that fans enjoy exploring through cosplay.
    • Weapon Replicas: Cosplayers often recreate the iconic weapons seen in Final Fantasy, such as Cloud's Buster Sword or Squall's Gunblade.
    • Elaborate Costumes: Final Fantasy characters are known for their intricate and detailed costumes, making them a favorite choice for skilled cosplayers.
    Final Fantasy in other rankings
  2. 2

    Dragon Quest

    Yuji Horii
    Another long-running JRPG franchise, Dragon Quest has been popular in Japan since its debut in 1986. It is known for its colorful graphics, traditional RPG gameplay, and charming characters.
    Dragon Quest is a highly popular Japanese role-playing video game series. It is known for its captivating storylines, turn-based battles, and charming characters, capturing the hearts of millions of players. The series takes place in a fantasy world where players embark on epic quests to defeat evil forces and save the realm.
    • Genre: Role-playing
    • Platform: Various consoles and handhelds
    • First Release: May 27, 1986
    • Latest Release: December 4, 2020
    • Number of Main Games: 11
    Dragon Quest in other rankings
  3. 3


    Katsura Hashino
    Developed by Atlus, Persona has gained a massive following for its unique blend of social simulation and dungeon crawling gameplay. Its compelling storytelling, relatable characters, and stylish visuals have made it one of the most popular JRPGs of recent years.
    Persona is a popular Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) franchise that blends elements of traditional turn-based combat with dungeon exploration and social simulation gameplay. The series is known for its unique blend of high school drama, supernatural themes, and deep character development.
    • Platform: PlayStation
    • Genre: JRPG/Social simulation
    • First Release: Revelations: Persona (1996)
    • Latest Release: Persona 5 Strikers (2020)
    • Number of Mainline Games: 6
    Persona in other rankings
  4. 4

    Kingdom Hearts

    Tetsuya Nomura
    A crossover between Square Enix's Final Fantasy and Disney's various properties, Kingdom Hearts has been popular since its initial release in 2002. Its mix of action-RPG gameplay, memorable characters, and beloved franchises has made it a fan favorite.
    Kingdom Hearts is a renowned JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Game) that combines the worlds of Disney and Final Fantasy. The game follows a young boy named Sora, who teams up with various Disney characters and Final Fantasy heroes to battle against darkness and save different worlds. With its unique blend of action, adventure, and fantasy, Kingdom Hearts has gained a dedicated fan base.
    • Release Date: March 28, 2002
    • Platforms: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS
    • Genre: Action RPG
    • Game Modes: Single Player
    • Number of Main Installments: 13
    Kingdom Hearts in other rankings
  5. 5
    The Tales of series has been ongoing since 1995 and is known for its fast-paced, real-time combat and character-driven storytelling. Its anime-inspired visuals and memorable characters have earned it a dedicated fanbase.
    Tales of is a long-standing series of Japanese role-playing games (JRPG) known for its intricate storytelling, engaging characters, and action-based combat system. Each game in the series features a unique setting, storyline, and cast of characters, while often exploring themes of friendship, sacrifice, and the balance of power.
    • Release Date: First game released in 1995
    • Platform: Various platforms, including PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox
    • Number of Games: Numerous games and spin-offs
    • Gameplay Style: Real-time combat system mixed with RPG elements
    • Art Style: Anime-inspired visuals and character design
  6. 6
    Considered a classic of the genre, Chrono Trigger was released in 1995 and is known for its engaging storyline, innovative time-travel mechanics, and memorable characters. It remains a fan favorite to this day.
    Chrono Trigger is a highly acclaimed Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) originally released in 1995. It is considered one of the greatest video games of all time and has gained a massive cult following. The game follows the story of a group of adventurers who travel through time to prevent a global catastrophe. As they explore various eras, they face epic battles, solve puzzles, and make decisions that influence the outcome of the game. The narrative, character development, and gameplay mechanics of Chrono Trigger are widely praised for their innovation and depth.
    • Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
    • Release Year: 1995
    • Genre: Japanese role-playing game (JRPG)
    • Number of Playable Characters: 7
    • Multiple Endings: 13
    Chrono Trigger in other rankings
  7. 7


    Yoshitaka Murayama
    A lesser-known but beloved JRPG franchise, Suikoden is known for its expansive world-building, political intrigue, and unique "recruitment" system that allows players to gather and recruit up to 108 playable characters.
    Suikoden is a highly acclaimed Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) series known for its engaging storytelling, rich world-building, and large cast of characters. The series was created by Yoshitaka Murayama and developed and published by Konami.
    • Genre: JRPG
    • Platform: PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS
    • Release Date: 1995 (Suikoden I) - 2012 (Suikoden: Tierkreis)
    • Number of Games: 5 mainline games and several spin-offs
    • Unique Feature: Recruiting and building an army of 108 characters
  8. 8


    A long-running series that began in 1987, Ys is known for its fast-paced action-RPG gameplay and memorable music. Its main character, Adol Christin, has become a beloved icon of the genre.
    Ys is a popular JRPG series known for its fast-paced action combat, engaging storylines, and memorable characters. It follows the adventures of its protagonist, Adol Christin, as he explores various fantasy worlds. The series combines a unique blend of real-time combat and RPG elements, providing exhilarating gameplay experiences. Ys has gained a passionate fanbase worldwide due to its high-quality gameplay and immersive narratives.
    • Genre: Action RPG
    • Platform: Various (e.g., PC, PlayStation, Nintendo consoles)
    • First Release: Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished (1987)
    • Combat Style: Fast-paced real-time combat
    • Exploration: Open-world exploration
  9. 9
    Developed by Level-5 and featuring art and animation from Studio Ghibli, Ni no Kuni is known for its stunning visuals, charming characters, and unique blend of real-time combat and monster taming. It has gained a dedicated following since its release in 2010.
    Ni no Kuni is a popular JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Game) known for its captivating story and beautiful art style. It combines traditional RPG elements with a unique gameplay mechanic that involves battling with magical creatures called familiars. The game takes place in two parallel worlds, one real and one fantasy, and follows the journey of a young boy named Oliver as he tries to save his mom from a mysterious illness. Along the way, Oliver encounters various characters, explores stunning environments, and battles against formidable enemies.
    • Release Date: December 9, 2010 (Japan)
    • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows
    • Genre: JRPG
    • Rating: E - Everyone
    • Single Player: Yes
  10. 10

    Fire Emblem

    Shouzou Kaga
    Originally released in Japan in 1990, Fire Emblem has become increasingly popular in recent years thanks to the success of its mobile game, Fire Emblem Heroes, and its inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Known for its tactical gameplay and deep character relationships, Fire Emblem has become a beloved franchise in the JRPG world.
    Fire Emblem is a tactical role-playing game (RPG) series that originated in Japan. It focuses on strategic battles between turn-based units on a grid-based battlefield. Each game in the series features a unique story and characters, often set in a medieval fantasy world. Fire Emblem games are known for their challenging gameplay, deep character development, and permadeath feature, where fallen units are permanently lost. The series has gained a dedicated following and has become one of the most popular video game franchises in Japan and worldwide.
    • Genre: Tactical role-playing game
    • Platform: Nintendo consoles (primarily)
    • First Release: April 20, 1990
    • Total Games: Over 16 mainline titles (as of 2021)
    • Main series: Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light
    Fire Emblem in other rankings

Missing your favorite JRPG?


Ranking factors for popular JRPG

  1. Story and narrative
    A strong, engaging, and well-written storyline is essential for a successful JRPG. This includes memorable characters, plot twists, emotional depth, and thematic cohesion.
  2. Gameplay and mechanics
    The gameplay should be smooth, with well-designed combat systems, interesting character progression, and exploration elements that keep players engaged throughout the game.
  3. Visual and audio presentation
    The aesthetics of a JRPG can greatly enhance the player experience, including the art style, character designs, music, and voice acting.
  4. World-building and exploration
    A well-developed game world with rich lore, diverse environments, and intriguing mysteries can make a JRPG more engaging and immersive.
  5. Replayability
    A good JRPG should have enough content and variety to keep players coming back, including side quests, optional dungeons, branching story paths, and character customization options.
  6. Length and pacing
    The length of a JRPG should strike a balance between providing a substantial play experience while maintaining a steady pacing that does not feel too drawn-out or repetitive.
  7. Difficulty and challenge
    A well-balanced difficulty level ensures that both newcomers and seasoned players can enjoy the game without feeling overwhelmed or unchallenged.
  8. Accessibility
    Quality-of-life features and a user-friendly interface can make a JRPG more enjoyable for a wide range of players, regardless of their experience with the genre.
  9. Innovation and originality
    A great JRPG should be able to offer something unique or stand out from other titles in the genre, either with new gameplay mechanics, narrative twists, or artistic choices.
  10. Critical reception and fan appreciation
    A JRPG's popularity can often be gauged by its critical reception and enduring fanbase, reflecting the game's overall quality and impact on the genre.
  11. Taking these factors into account will help in ranking and determining the popularity of various JRPGs.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular JRPG. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite JRPG is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 186 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each JRPG once every 24 hours. The rank of each JRPG is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular jrpg

When it comes to the world of video games, Japanese Role-Playing Games (JRPGs) have always had a strong following. These games are known for their engaging storylines, complex characters, and intricate gameplay mechanics. From the early days of the genre with games like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy to modern classics like Persona and Xenoblade Chronicles, there's no shortage of amazing JRPGs to choose from. But what is the most popular JRPG of all time? That's a tough question to answer, as there are so many amazing games to choose from. Some might argue that Final Fantasy VII is the most popular, thanks to its groundbreaking graphics, incredible soundtrack, and memorable characters like Cloud and Sephiroth. Others might point to Chrono Trigger, a classic time-traveling adventure that remains one of the most beloved JRPGs of all time. Of course, there are many other games that could also claim the title of most popular JRPG. From the sprawling worlds of the Tales series to the beautiful art style of Ni no Kuni, there's something for every fan of the genre. So whether you're a longtime fan or just discovering the world of JRPGs, there's never been a better time to dive in and explore all the amazing games that this genre has to offer.