The 7 Best JRPG Games for PlayStation 3, Ranked

These excellent JRPGs first came out on the PlayStation 3 and paved the way for some of gaming's finest video games ever made.
The 7 Best JRPG Games for PlayStation 3, Ranked

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Each generation of the PlayStation gaming console has had plenty of great Japanese RPGs to dive into, but some of the all-time best JRPGs landed during the PlayStation 3 era.

From first entries that birthed entire franchises to comeback titles that took advantage of the console's power to revive stale series, it's an undeniable fact that JRPGs flourished on the PS3 in ways unlike ever before.

Picking the best of the bunch is a tall order, but we've sifted through and found them. Here are the absolute best JRPGs on the PlayStation 3 that are still worth playing today if you haven't yet.

7. Final Fantasy XIII

It might be strange to see a Final Fantasy title so low on this list, but there are plenty who would prefer not to see this one on a list at all.

Final Fantasy XIII is one of the most divisive games in the entire Final Fantasy franchise, with a combat system that took far too long to get the most out of and a sluggish narrative that took too long to give players the freedom to explore the world.

However, the summons in the game are spectacular and the characters are charming and fun across the board. It might not be the best Final Fantasy game, but as a JRPG, it's still one of the best on the PS3.

6. Eternal Sonata

Many JRPGs come with a gimmicky framing device and Eternal Sonata is no exception. This JRPG is set completely within the mind of Frédéric Chopin as he lies on his deathbed.

It creates a unique setting where music plays a key role in everything, from the combat to the story. Characters represent parts of the composer's psyche or people from his past, and the world runs on the power of melody.

Eternal Sonata doesn't always deliver on its ambition, and the plot does drag a bit in the middle, but overall it manages to be a lengthy JRPG experience that delights fans of classical music with nods to the composer's life.

5. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Everyone loves Studio Ghibli films, right? That's why fans were ecstatic when it was announced that Studio Ghibli would lend their unique brand of animated whimsy to the JRPG genre.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is bright, colorful, and full of childlike wonder, while still capturing the looming darkness that makes Studio Ghibli films so remarkable.

The entire story is filled with memorable characters, impressive set pieces, and beautiful animation that translates the world of anime into a video game environment. Despite a flawed combat system, it's otherwise a stellar JRPG for the PlayStation 3 console.

4. Valkyria Chronicles

In a world that's locked in a war between the looming empire of the east and the allied nations of the west, one tiny nation is caught in the middle. Valkyria Chronicles is the story of Gallia and its attempts to remain an independent nation while surrounded by powerful foes.

The gameplay mixes elements of turn-based strategy, action-oriented combat, and third-person shooters. It shouldn't work, but it does. The gameplay mechanics combine with brilliant characters and a wonderful setting for a result that's more than the sum of its parts.

There are ridiculous plot twists, budding romance, and a cast of characters that you'll root for up until the bitter end. The Valkyria Chronicles series has never been better than it was in this first entry.

3. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel was originally developed for the PlayStation Vita and it doesn't take advantage of the graphical upgrade possibilities of the PlayStation 3, but it's still a winner.

Set in a military academy for a nation that's constantly on the brink of war, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel combines the social link system of the Persona series, the combat of the best Final Fantasy games, and complex characters that'll draw you in and hook you.

Both games—the original and the sequel—are closely entwined and it's hard to play one without the other. Completing both will take well over 120 hours, but the story they tell is one of the best in JRPG history.

2. Persona 5

While Persona 5 is best known for being a PlayStation 4 game, it was also released on the PlayStation 3—and that version is just as good.

The turn-based mechanics hold up remarkably well on the console, which can handle all the style and substance that Persona 5 is known for. The load times are a bit longer, of course, and the resolution is a bit worse, but none of that should be dealbreakers here.

The PlayStation 3 version of Persona 5 is still, at its core, the same game and it can easily be considered the greatest JRPG of all time.

1. NieR

No one does weird better than Yoko Taro, and NieR is where you can feel his brilliance really shine through.

NieR is a play on perspective and point of view, with a story that gets darker as you put more hours into it. It introduced all the elements that would eventually show up in NieR: Automata, but this one has a more traditional JRPG format—with a twist you won't see coming.

NieR isn't just our pick for the best JRPG on the PlayStation 3, but it's a real contender for best JRPG of any console generation. If you love this genre, you need to give this game a proper playthrough!