Chained Echoes is proof positive that all-round excellence is achievable regardless of budget. It’s a game that can be savored by modern players and those pining for the glory days of 16-bit JRPGs alike.
Path of the Midnight Sun, the debut title from Studio Daimon, combines visual novel storytelling with strategic turn-based RPG combat. Although neither element truly shines on its own, the game balances them well to create a satisfying 25-hour experience.
Square Enix has re-released Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, Sam’s all-time favourite RPG. Does the game deserve to keep its top spot or is her experience tinted by nostalgia glasses?
This year starts strong with the release of Persona 3 Portable on multiple platforms. With an amazing story, a superb soundtrack, and a great battle system, this classic RPG is still totally worth playing.
Monster Hunter is a storied series that seeks new ways to innovate to be as accessible to veterans and newcomers alike. One such newcomer looks to see if Monster Hunter Rise has what to takes to find a new fan.
Ubisoft’s second entry in the Mario + Rabbids universe improves upon the formula while retaining everything from the original that players fell in love with. The fusion of two already long-running franchises has the potential to keep going strong.
From giant vegetables to farming in the sky, there’s always fun to be had when Doraemon is around. Doraemon Story of Seasons is back, successfully making new friends in the Great Kingdom.
Sidebar Games went ambitious with its follow-up to Golf Story. Unfortunately, that ambition ultimately sees Sports Story overshooting the green and lying somewhere in the rough.
The Last Oricru is a well-written choice-based action RPG blending sci-fi and medieval fantasy. Unfortunately, unpolished combat and glaring technical issues make this one experiment worth avoiding.
Square Enix and Live Wire took to the fields for Harvestella. An ambitious story sticks the landing with a thoroughly engaging gameplay loop for one of this year’s bigger surprises.
Sword and Fairy: Together Forever steps up to provide a considerably more playable experience than the previous installment of the Taiwanese-developed series. This second localized entry delivers the engrossing storytelling that the series is known for.
Aiming to capture the best of early handheld turn-based RPGs, 90s nostalgia is alive and well with Retreaux Games’ For a Vast Future. The combat system stands up to the test of time, but some aspects didn’t age as well.
Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Reunion brings the Final Fantasy VII prequel to new platforms. Captivating presentation and a reworked battle system ensures the game is flashy and fun.
It’s time to enlist, soldier! Forever Entertainment brings a fresh coat of paint on Square Enix’s long-running Front Mission series. Despite lacking substantial quality of life improvements, Front Mission: 1st Remake is a great re-introduction to the series.
Treasures is the newest spin-off in the long-running Dragon Quest series. Excellent exploration and treasure-hunting await those ready to embark on the adventure.
Pokémon Violet invites newcomers and veterans to explore the open world of the Paldea region. The freedom to choose a path, however, may turn into a deal breaker for those who struggle to find a balanced one.
Romancing SaGa is the remake of the fourth entry in the SaGa franchise. The game introduced the free-form scenario mode, which sacrificed linearity in favor of freedom galore alongside a brutal combat difficulty.
Soccer Story brings its take on a combination of adventure, sports, and RPG. A cute world is unfortunately undermined by both sporting and technical difficulties.
Star Ocean has returned with its latest entry, Star Ocean: The Divine Force. While there are attempts to evolve the series, they bring their own issues that hold back some of its good ideas.
Asymmetric Publications returns to the Loathing universe with Shadows Over Loathing. Its Eldritch version of 1920s America comes with plenty of humour strangeness, but also an appreciable depth of exploration and puzzle-solving.