Although tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons and JRPGs have vastly different origins, they share many similarities that allow for greater crossover between audiences who enjoy both.
Some of the best JRPGs are great for inspiration when it comes to creating new D&D campaigns. And for tabletop players looking for a good video game to play that will give them a break from the table, there are a few excellent options in the genre to choose from.
10 Octopath Traveler Puts A Party In The Player’s Hands
Of the new generation of JRPGs to come out in recent times, one of the most well-received is Square Enix’s Octopath Traveler. Featuring eight distinct characters – each with their own unique story – the game immediately brings to mind a classic D&D party aesthetic.
The game also maintains the classic fantasy genre style common in tabletop roleplaying (which games like Final Fantasy often depart from) and has plenty of lore that even the most avid worldbuilders can sink their teeth into.
9 Final Fantasy VI Is The Perfect Mix Of Fantasy And Steampunk
Final Fantasy VI stands apart from its predecessors with its engaging story, compelling characters, and unique world that combines elements of fantasy and steampunk into one of the best games of its genre – and especially at the time it was released.
For D&D fans looking for inspiration for their next character, this game is one of the best options. There is a wide cast of protagonists that each have a well-developed personality and backstory. The game also features one of the most memorable villains of any Final Fantasy game in the form of the maniacal mage, Kefka.
8 Chrono Trigger Does Time Travel Right
Often regarded as one of the best JRPGs of all time, Chrono Trigger has remained in the hearts of fans decades after its release – and for good reason. While the protagonist may be the perfect example of the generic hero, the worldbuilding of the game is some of the most compelling of any video game RPG.
The key to Chrono Trigger is the ability to travel through the different time periods of the world the characters inhabit, from the ancient past to the far future. Recreating this element in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign might be difficult but could be incredibly fun if pulled off.
7 Final Fantasy VII Departs From The Traditional Fantasy Setting
Following on from the success of the previous game, Final Fantasy VII took the series beyond the fantasy genre and into an incredibly detailed cyberpunk world. It followed the story of a band of revolutionaries fighting against corrupt and exploitive corporations, which made for one of the most memorable games in the franchise
While the game may depart from the traditional fantasy aesthetic, fans of D&D will easily get pulled into the story told in this game. The recently released remastered version of the game has also received a strong reception, making it the perfect option for players looking to experience this classic with the advantages of modern graphics and hardware.
6 Fire Emblem: Three Houses Lets Players Build Their Own Team
The Fire Emblem franchise has always been popular among fans of JRPGs, but there is plenty in the series for players of Dungeons and Dragons to get excited about as well. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a great option for those new to the franchise, and features an engaging story and excellent gameplay.
Like other games in the series, Fire Emblem: Three Houses features a large cast of characters for the players to bring into their party, as well as plenty of customization options that should satisfy any TTRPG player who loves to experiment with different character builds.
5 Dragon Quest XI Is Classic Fantasy Done Right
While not quite as well known as the Final Fantasy franchise, the Dragon Quest games have been a staple of the genre since the late 1980s and feature some of the best games in the genre. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is often considered one of the best in the series.
The gameplay falls into what most would consider the classic JRPG style, and the story hearkens back to classic fantasy RPG-style adventures. For anyone looking for a traditional fantasy tale with modern graphics and mechanics, Dragon Quest XI is a perfect choice.
4 Breath Of Fire 2 Feels Like A D&D Campaign
Often overshadowed by some of its more popular contemporaries, the Breath of Fire series was by no means inferior, and the second game in the franchise not only features a fun and colorful cast of characters but a deep and exciting story as well.
Fans of Dungeons and Dragons may have a particular affinity towards this game because, in many ways, it feels like playing through a D&D campaign. It’s full of classic monsters, deep worldbuilding, and even the option to create and customize the player’s very own settlement.
3 Tales of Arise Tells A Great Story And Looks Good Doing It
The Tales franchise was relatively unknown outside of Japan until the release of Tales of Symphonia. Its most recent entry, Tales of Arise, continues to expand on that building popularity, releasing in September of 2021 to strong reviews and receiving the award for Best RPG at The Game Awards 2021.
Fans of D&D won’t have any trouble getting invested in the story. It had the expansive lore JRPGs are known for and plenty of engaging gameplay as well. The game also looks incredible. The anime sequences were done by Ufotable and the score is by the famed composer Motoi Sakuraba.
2 Trails of Cold Steel Breaks From The Classic Tropes Of The Genre
The Trails series has always been known for having a strong focus on developing its characters and deep worldbuilding, and Trails of Cold Steel is no different. While there are several other games in the franchise, Trails of Cold Steel is made up of four individual games released between 2013 and 2018.
These games are some of the best in the franchise and are an excellent choice for someone looking for something a bit less well-known than games like Final Fantasy. Fans of D&D will appreciate that the game goes beyond many of the classic JRPG tropes and creates a strong story that will keep players engaged throughout.
1 Persona 5 Has A Surprising Amount In Common With Dungeons & Dragons
At first glance, a game that begins its setting in a modern-day Tokyo high school might not seem like an obvious choice for fans of Dungeons and Dragons, but Persona 5 is far more than meets the eye. Once players begin to delve into the story and gameplay, it will become clear why this is the perfect option for a D&D player looking for something both different and familiar.
While the story is best experienced spoiler-free, the game features a major dungeon crawling aspect that will be appealing to many fans of TTRPGs. The setting might also be a good source of inspiration for any Dungeon Masters thinking of running a campaign using the recently released Strixhaven books as well, as that setting also features a school of magic.
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