Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore (Jan. 17)
Tokyo Mirage Sessions was a brilliant JRPG that, sadly, didn’t get the chance it deserved on the Wii U. That’s all about to change when Encore releases on the Switch in January.
Developed by the Persona team, Tokyo Mirage Sessions casts you as a group of aspiring idols in Tokyo, who coincidentally also fight off otherworldly beings by using Mirages, who are the spirits of Fire Emblem characters.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions has a phenomenal sense of style, just like the Persona games, and the bright poppy aesthetic permeates through the entire games.
Combat combines elements of both Persona and Fire Emblem, using the weakness system of the former and the weapon triangle of the latter.
Combine all this with a fantastic soundtrack and strong character development and you have what will undoubtedly be one of the best JRPGs on the Switch yet.
Final Fantasy VII Remake (March 3)
There are few games, if any, that are as anticipated as the Final Fantasy VII Remake, something fans have been wanting for decades.
One of the most ambitious video game remakes in history, Square Enix has top-to-bottom completely re-imagined Final Fantasy VII.
While this is technically the first part of the Remake, the story has been enhanced greatly, adding new elements and even characters. You’ll only be exploring Midgar, but it’s a full-fledged experience.
The Final Fantasy VII Remake implements a brand new action-based combat system, that lets you swap between different party members on the fly. However, there’s also a Classic Mode that lets you slow the action down and play it more like its original turn-based version.
Everything about the Final Fantasy VII Remake has impressed so far, from the utterly gorgeous re-imagining of Midgar, to the updated and enhanced musical score.
This is one game that every JRPG fan should take notice of in 2020.
Persona 5 Royal (March 31)
Persona 5 took the world by storm in 2015, quickly becoming one of the most popular JRPGs of all time. As is tradition with the Persona series, it’s now time for the enhanced and expanded version, and Persona 5 Royal looks even more ambitious than Persona 4 Golden.
Royal adds on an entirely new party member named Kasumi, who’s worked into the entire story. There’s also a new confidant named Takuto Maruki, who’s a school counselor hired at Shujin after the incident with Kamoshida.
There’s much more than just that, however, as Royal also adds on new story elements, cutscenes, new areas to explore, UI changes, gameplay enhancements, and much more.
It feels less like an enhanced edition, and more like an entirely new game. Between the Final Fantasy VII Remake and Persona 5 Royal, March is a massive month for JRPG fans.
Trials of Mana (Apr. 24)
All eyes might be on the Final Fantasy VII Remake, but it’s not the only remake coming from Square Enix in 2020. So enters Trials of Mana, a remake of a game that never made its way west until 2019.
This complete overhaul transforms the original 2D games into a gorgeously stylized 3D title. This, of course, completely changes how you play and approach combat, which has been redesigned accordingly.
The content of the story remains the same, but it’s an integrally different experience, one that looks much more ambitious than the previous Secret of Mana remake.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon (TBA 2020)
The Yakuza series enters new territory in 2020 with the seventh main game, Yakuza: Like a Dragon. This time around things turn into a full-blown turn-based RPG, while also introducing a brand new protagonist and location.
You play as Ichiban Kasuga, a low-level Tojo Clan member that takes the fall for a murder in order to become a hero. 18 years later he finds out things are very different from what he expected.
Like a Dragon still retains all the dramatic storytelling and goofiness as past entries, but this time you’ll be taking a party into combat. A varied job system lets you assign jobs like Host or Dancer to your characters, and there’s even some hilarious over-the-top summons to use.
Of course, you can expect plenty of mini-games and side activities to participate in, with Like a Dragon even boasting a full-fledged kart racing minigame.
It’s a bold new direction for Yakuza to go in, but by all regards it looks incredibly fun.
Tales of Arise (TBA 2020)
The legendary Tales series returns once again in 2020, with one of its most ambitious looking titles yet. Built on Unreal Engine 4, Arise introduces a new world that looks absolutely gorgeous.
The setting of Arise is split into two different worlds, the medieval-inspired Dana and the technologically advanced Rena. The advancements of Rena have led to them enslaving Dana.
You play as Alphen, a native to Dana, and Shionne a girl form Rena who’s on the run.
While we still have a lot to learn about Tales of Arise the setting looks fascinating, and combat looks even more action-packed than ever.
Considering how stellar the last entry, Tales of Berseria, was, you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on Tales of Arise.
Tales of Crestoria (TBA 2020)
2020 is a big year for the Tales series, as it’s not only getting a new flagship title, but an ambitious new mobile game as well. Unlike other Tales mobile games, Crestoria features a fleshed out world with an original story.
The main theme of the game is “crime” and all of the main characters carry a great burden for the crimes they’ve committed. Those that commit crimes, like main character Kanata, are marked as “stains” and hunted down by enforcers.
Interestingly, Crestoria actually features turn-based combat instead of the series’ staple action systems. While there is a cast of main characters, you’ll also be able to meet and recruit legacy characters like Luke from Abyss or Leon from Destiny.
Tales of Crestoria looks like a full-fledged Tales game on mobile, and it could end up being really special if it lives up to all that ambition.
Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition (TBA 2020)
Xenoblade Chronicles has gone down as one of the greatest JRPGs of all time, launching a new Nintendo franchise in the process. Now Monolith Soft is returning to where things began, with a full-blown remake of Xenoblade Chronicles.
Although we don’t currently know a lot about what the remake will change, Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition is at least an utterly gorgeous update for the Nintendo Switch.
The game uses a new art style that closely resembles the aesthetic of Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
If you haven’t played Xenoblade Chronicles it’s a JRPG with an enthralling story where humanity lives on the back of a giant titan called the Bionis, and wages war with a mechanical race called Mechonis.
Monolith Soft hasn’t gone wrong with series yet, and we don’t expect them to do so in 2020 either.
Digimon Survive (TBA 2020)
Digimon Survive looks like an incredibly unique RPG for the series, combining tactical strategy with a heavily decision-based visual novel.
You play as a group of teenagers attending a sports camp who, surprise, find themselves transported to the Digital World. What really looks interesting about Survive, however, is its much darker tone from the usual Digion fare.
The narrative is heavy on choice and depending on the choices you make, main characters can end up dying.
On the other side of things, you’ll trained up your Digimon and use them to fight in tactical grid-based battles as you make your way through the Digital World.
Sadly, Digimon Survive has been delayed multiple times, but when it finally launches in 2020 it could be a sleeper hit.
Bravely Default 2 (TBA 2020)
Hot off the heels of Octopath Traveler, the same team is returning once again with Bravely Default 2 on Nintendo Switch. We haven’t seen anything outside of a reveal trailer, but Bravely Default 2 seems to be retaining the same fantastic art direction as the previous games.
It looks like, once again, we’ll be following a party of four characters, and crystals will play a major role in the story.
Both Bravely games and Octopath have managed to bring something fresh and new to the JRPG genre, so here’s hoping that Bravely Default 2 can do the same thing.