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The Absolute Top 5 JRPGs of 2014 You Owe Yourself to Play


The Absolute Top 5 JRPGs of 2014 You Owe Yourself to Play

JRPGs did extremely well in 2014. While other gamers lament their “disappointing releases,” rejoice in these top 5 games that will knock your socks off.

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment

sword art online hollow fragment dodging

This game isn’t on this list because of a lack of applicants. Despite a touchy translation, Hollow Fragment is one of the greatest JRPGs of 2014 and also one of the best games to hit the PSVita to date. Based on the hit anime series based on the hit light novel, Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment is a stand-out action-RPG.

With an already established world, this game might not be the easiest to get into as a new player. Yet the game goes to great lengths to welcome newcomers. Detailed intros. A whole new story. Fans and acolytes alike could easily enjoy the fast-paced mix of action combat and somewhat-mature story. And with an enormous quantity of skills and content to work through, Hollow Fragment is the game that kept on giving.

Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars

conception 2 battle

Conception II is a hilarious game. Does it have raising elements found in Persona and Pokemon? Yes. Does it have story and dating sim elements also found in Persona? Yes. Does it have bizarrely erotic “classmating” rituals, excellent combat and dungeon crawling, and a pretty good story?

Conception II is a pretty hardcore JRPG. It has elements of gameplay that fans of the genre will willingly enjoy or overlook, but make it a hard entry game for newcomers to the crazier parts of JRPGs. Yet as an example of the genre from 2014 Conception II is a top-notch game with great characters, a fun story, and addicting gameplay.

Fairy Fencer F

fairy fencer f combat

Here is a game that the West never thought it’d see. And as a full localization? Psh. Such are the fantasies of the JRPG fan. Yet here it was, announced and delivered as promised: Fairy Fencer F, a game that featured the orchestral musings of Nobuo Uematsu (of Final Fantasy fame) and gameplay from Compile Heart, a staunch and solid development shop of JRPGs.

Fairy Fencer F is another game that did a lot of tried-and-true things well. Characters that were funny and well-written, a story that was complex enough to catch the interest, and a combat system that smacked both of Persona and of Hyperdimension Neptunia mixed with Star Ocean…in other words, fairly unique. A memorable title from 2014, and well worth the time to play.

Bravely Default

Bravely Default Party

Any JRPG that can make a multi-bajillion-dollar company scratch its head and say, “we basically want to go back to their roots and focus on the core audience,” is a game worthy to be in a Top Anything list. And Bravely Default, with its stellar performance in early 2014, is just such a game.

Yes, this is the game that made Square Enix reevaluate the importance of creating excellent JRPGs. Because a game that has excellent story sells. A game with well-designed characters sells. Games that have traditional turn-based combat systems implemented in new ways make gamers happy, especially when they have the aforementioned elements as well. Bravely Default was created by a cast of all-stars, and the final product showed it. With a sequel ready and waiting, Bravely Default will easily be remembered as a classic JRPG that hit hard and surprised many with its quality.

Ar Nosurge

ar nosurge, JRPG

This is the easy number 1. The cream of the crop. The banana of the bunch. This is a game that got everything right. Literally every element that matters in a JRPG was perfectly presented in Ar Nosurge.

Excellent combat that keeps the turn-based nature of JRPGs while mixing in an action element. Well-designed characters that were dubbed magnificently. An epic story that includes the player in a massve twisting of the ‘fourth wall’ element. And don’t forget the incredible soundtrack. Ar Nosurge, as both the spiritual successor to the Ar Tonelico franchise and as a standalone game, was easily the number one JRPG of 2014. If you haven’t given it a shot yet, you owe it to yourself to indulge in its greatness.

About the author

Yamilia Avendano

Founder of Twinfinite, playing games since 1991, especially in the simulation and action genres.
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