Top 10 JRPGs of the Current Generation

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Ranking the best selling Japanese RPGs of the current generation of consoles provides evidence of some less than inspiring trends in gameplay and production values, amongst what is often considered the Japanese gaming industry’s flagship genre.

The ranking (strictly per-platform, barbarian sales not included):

1. Final Fantasy XIII (PS3) – 1,904,313

2. Monster Hunter 3 (Wii) – 1,041,174

3. Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen (Wii) – 489,112

4. Tales of Vesperia (PS3) – 362,359

5. White Knight Chronicles (PS3) – 339,690

6. Tales of Graces F (PS3) – 313,215

7. White Knight Chronicles 2 (PS3) – 249,350

8. Demon’s Souls (PS3) – 218,546

9. Star Ocean 4 (PS3) – 208,521

10. Tales of Vesperia β (360) – 204,305

Another Namco beta almost manages to appear in the list, with 203,770 sales for the Wii’s all but unplayably buggy Tales of Graces β – having people pay to beta test their games appears to be a depressingly effective business model.

Final Fantasy XIII, though by far the best seller and the shiniest of the lot, is also the worst selling Final Fantasy title since FFIV, dimming its lustre rather substantially.

Some of the recently hyped Wii RPGs do even worse – Last Story managed only a pathetic 114,722, and Xenoblade a slightly more respectable 141,059, barely equal to the likes of Disgaea despite mainstream design and the huge install-base of the Wii.


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    Avatar of Gekokujou
    Comment by Gekokujou
    22:30 12/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    As far as I'm concerned, this generation of JRPGs is most disappointing overall. Quality has taken a nosedive.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:40 12/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Atelier Totori and Disgaea 4 coming soon, though. I think it will get better.

    Avatar of Gekokujou
    Comment by Gekokujou
    22:50 12/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    You have a point, but they removed the wooden horse in Disgaea 4:(

    Avatar of Gekokujou
    Comment by Gekokujou
    13:40 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I hope you're right Anon.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:32 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Gekokujou

    "You have a point, but they removed the wooden horse in Disgaea 4:(

    Hopefully we can get it as DLC...

    *gets on knees and prays to NIS*

    -Azure Xuchilbara
    (account suspended)

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:50 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    They didn't remove it, there are multiple upgradeable torture devices.

    Avatar of Knets
    Comment by Knets
    00:33 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Atelier Totori eh... I don't know if I want to categorize it with these games cause it totally isn't the same genre of game. You can practically finish the game without fighting, for instance.

    If you played Atelier Rorona, you'll find it hard to adapt to how every action out of town consumes so much (ingame) time, and that's quite annoying... but it gets better :D

    I do not recommend it for anyone seeking a battle-oriented RPG.

    Avatar of Knets
    Comment by Knets
    14:58 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well, it has more of a plot, no doubt, yet still cannot say it is completely different. You still have to meet deadlines, although unlike in Rorona with one deadline per season for 3 years, you gotta do random quests and stuff within 4 years and get to rank 8 adventurer. After that it is a different story.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:06 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Atelier Totori is completely different from Atelier Rorona, as it's a more traditional RPG as opposed to Rorona's "meet the deadline" gameplay. Besides, there are plenty of unavoidable fights in Rorona.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:11 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Atelier probably wont be anything too special. Its just that here on sankaku it have kinda been hyped up. If you ever played Atelier rorona you would know its quite a mediocre game (sorry fanboys).

    There is no denying that the Jrpg genre is dying Its less than a handful good jrpg games for this generation of tv consoles. I would go as far as to say its only two great ones, Eternal Sonata being the best full fledged Jrpg.

    Avatar of Knets
    Comment by Knets
    02:17 14/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Totori does fix a lot of flaws. I don't know if you're speaking out of experiences, but its great fun. The beginning is even more stale than Rorona's due to the complete lack of objective other than make a bit of money to start off when the story kicks in.

    Though rather than only good changes, they made item synthesis tougher (for better or for worse), and if you care about the amount of days elapsed ingame, you'll find time goes A LOT faster... (i.e in Rorona you find jobs due 1 month from now, in Totori most are 3~4 months away) I didn't like that but, heck, once you get used to it, you'll notice the game gets so much better after. Still not much of a "RPG" like what is listed above. Then again Demon's Souls ain't really like the others either.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:02 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well I've been playing Atelier games since the dial up internet days. Fanboyism or not, I thought Rorona was quite well done, if flawed in some areas. And from what I've read so far, Totori fixes much of these flaws so it is only fair that I expect it to be a great game.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:38 12/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Quality as in length of playability, depth of story, character endearment...? What exactly do you refer to? Surely not the graphics....

    Avatar of Gekokujou
    Comment by Gekokujou
    22:48 12/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    All of the above (besides graphics), most of the games I've come across this generation fail in all of those areas. Gameplay seems to have taken a step back, stories are uninteresting and characters are often forgettable.

    My main beef with them though is the replay value. JRPGs of the last generation made me come back for more and last for months on end, with this generation of JRPGs the games are shelved either once I've played through them once or after a week or two.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:08 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    to the anon above.

    I guess some people feel they can settle for just one good thing in a game. You seperated storyline and gameplay into two seperate sections. When i think if great games, they have both. If i wanted a game for only the storyline i would read a good book.

    Eternal Sonata had a great story, great gameplay and a stunning visual direction. Now that is my personal opinion but an opinon shared by alot of others.

    Star Ocean did improve on its combat system, but fell short in alot of other areas.
    The cast was weaker, voice acting was worse, crafting system fell short, story was weaker.

    Point being: i still await to see a great jrpg.. since ive not seen one since persona 4.

    Avatar of Gekokujou
    Comment by Gekokujou
    13:38 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I guess it's a matter of opinion, but I am willing to admit at least, that Resonance of Fate is a great game and an exception to my general hatred to this current generation of gaming. Tales Of is another exception but Star Ocean IV & Atelier Totori I have mixed opinions about. I make no comment about Ar Tonelico 3 as I have yet to touch it.

    You're right in that some people do focus on the bad stuff, and I try to avoid those opinions. However, when the bad stuff really gets in the way of the overall gaming experience, then it's a problem. Final Fantasy XIII in my opinion is a testament to that statement, it was all about highly repetitive battles as far as I was concerned. Other titles such as Last Rebellion and Cross Edge were also bad in my opinion.

    BTW, Strange Journey is a DS game.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:15 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It REALLY depends on what you'd call gameplay taking a "step back".

    Honestly, most current generation JRPGs have a pretty good gameplay; either real-time battle systems like Tales Of or Star Ocean (and let's admit it, those two games have incredible systems). Another great game with an incredible combat system is Resonance of Fate, mind you.

    About storylines, I've played through Atelier Totori and Ar Tonelico 3 in their respective JP versions, and I can say their storylines were fantastic; Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey also had fantastic characters, and so did Demon's Souls with its Lovecraft-inspired, cosmic horror/medieval fantasy blend and its storytelling by a few words and visual backgrounds alone.

    Let me tell you, the quality hasn't dipped at all. It's just that some people REALLY focus on the bad things of these games.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:06 12/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Have you played Zero no Kiseki?

    Nah, guess not.

    Avatar of Solru
    Comment by Solru

    too bad is on psp not one buy psp game anymore does it...

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    22:24 12/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    FFXIII; highest number of sales, highest number of disappointment feedbacks.

    Mmmm.. Anise...

    Avatar of Tano
    Comment by Tano
    22:31 12/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    DRAGON QUEST SWORDS!?!?

    -_-

    who made this chart?

    Avatar of Kyon Theorist
    Comment by Kyon Theorist
    03:32 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I also don't understand how Monster Hunter 3 is on this list... It's so not RPG it's not even funny.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    05:12 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I've been avoiding Monster Hunter personally, because I demand a plot. If there is no plot, it's essentially a short MMO to me. And even MMO have a plot greater than what I have HEARD Monster Hunter has.

    So I guess I should ask straight out here: does Monster Hunter in fact have a story and character development, or is it just a fight-fest? Because I've heard it drifting in both directions, however I do not research games so I don't get other peoples' biased opinions. I buy them if they give off a good feeling and make my own judgments based on my own experiences, and Monster Hunter has always made me wary of it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:57 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    what about ff13 in the list?

    Avatar of ToadnoChikara
    Comment by ToadnoChikara
    04:14 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm sure you mean so not conventional RPG. You still have grind, equipments, usable items, boss battles, steamy costumes, teamwork. What of an RPG is it missing, besides turn/pseudo-real time based combat? Why aren't you complaining about Demon's Souls either?

    Avatar of Zelnick
    Comment by Zelnick
    17:20 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    ToadnoChikara, none of those elements you stated make a role-playing game. A role-playing game is ONLY defined by the ability to change the story in a meaningful way through your actions. An easy way to spot a role-playing game is to check if it has multiple endings (although some do not).

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:10 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    MH player here. I'm not going to deny it: MH has *no* story, and tbh, I wonder what is the definition of "RPG" that MH is categorized into one despite being like what it is. It's not a bad game per se. It's just the genre it's lumped in that makes people frown.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife

    FF13 is on the list because it actually was an exceptionally well made games that peoples' own foolishness and lack of understanding of what an RPG actually is shifted their expectations and made them basically blah, blah, blah. I'm sick of saying the same shit to the same stupid people.

    It deserves to be on the list because it was a good game no matter how much your objective perspective is unable to process that fact.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:13 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lol'd at the inclusion of "Tales of Vesperia BETA" XXDD

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:08 12/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Keep in mind that this is not really the 'Top 10 JRPGs of the Current Generation', as in no one voted for anything, but rather the 'Top 10 SELLING JRPGs of the Current Generation'.

    He's missing a key word in the title as usual.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:38 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think they look at both.

    This game sold a lot, but the people want more of this game.

    Avatar of toyNN
    Comment by toyNN
    04:34 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sales figures...meaningless drivel. We need to know what the minions on 2ch like.

    Avatar of Tano
    Comment by Tano
    23:53 12/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    this makes sense..

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:28 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, but when companies look to make more games, what do you think they are going to look at? Some popularity contest, or sales figures?

    Avatar of King Tiger
    Comment by King Tiger

    here's my listing :3

    1) white knight chronicles 2

    2) white knight chronicles

    3) monster hunter tri (3)

    4) Tales of Vesperia

    5) Tales of Graces F

    my opinion > their opinion

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:25 13/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Keep your opinion to yourself.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:57 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    well, i almost agree with you.

    1) White Knight Chronicles
    2) Tales of Vesperia
    3) Monster Hunter (almost all of them)
    4) everything else.

    haven't played WKC2

    well, i like ff13 too, bit it's not a jrpg imho.

    Avatar of Kirby
    Comment by Kirby
    22:32 12/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    just pathetic... games loved by the world doesn't even appear or are only 8th
    but betacrap and games without any innovations or memorable storyline sell as hell.
    not too much time left until japanese gamingindustry becomes as xenophobic as the people there

    Avatar of NeverSleep
    Comment by NeverSleep
    00:52 13/02/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Agreed, where's my Valkyria Chronicles?

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    02:08 13/02/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Awaken Potential: Gaming industry Hater

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:11 18/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I also lol'd at that.

    Valkyria chronicles for the Win, that games gameplay really captured my attention. kinda reminded me of chess with each piece having its own amount of movement available. Great Game, too bad there are not more for the PS3, oh weel hope they at least bring out 2-3 here in the US for the PSP.

    Avatar of Lannando
    Comment by Lannando
    08:40 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I lol´d at this coment

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:49 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    lol, barbarian games not included XD
    oddly enough the worst game is the best selling... where does that leave us?

    Avatar of Sandalphon
    Comment by Sandalphon
    08:15 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It says "barbarian sales", silly.

    Avatar of Aya Reiko
    Comment by Aya Reiko
    16:05 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    In Japan, the video game market is Bizzaro World.

    Avatar of Xerxes von Orphansmith
    23:45 12/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually, it already is. And pathetic attempts to not be Xenophobic and drive up sales (*cough*Neir*cough*) don't help any. No, Japanese developers need to go the Capcom route and make innovative, fun, challenging games that people ALL AROUND THE WORLD enjoy. But they won't do that.

    Luckily most of those companies will go bankrupt leaving room for the next generation to come in and kick ass once again.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:20 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Protip, my dear Watson:

    "Fun, challenging, innovative" games don't sell.

    Moreover, it's pretty hard to make games that "people ALL AROUND THE WORLD enjoy", considering the markets are pretty damn Xenophobic. "HURR WER R MAI GUNZ U SAID THERED BE GUNS JAPAN JRPGS R DEAD FUCK U"

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:10 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hilariously enough, I believe the Western share of the market is as xenophobic as it gets.

    Moreover, I believe we already knew this? Innovation doesn't sell in any platform, in any region of the world.

    And, by last:

    At least these guys buy enjoyable games.

    Ignoring FFXIII, of course.

    Avatar of dragondarksea
    Comment by dragondarksea
    02:40 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I completely agree with Anonymous here.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:05 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I also agree.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Dude, WRPGS are all white average to musclebound guys and slutty women in some dark bland worlding saving the world from lord of the rings wannabe badguys.

    Jrpgs you do battles with gods, aliens, demons, angels, humans, tentacle beast, outerexistence beings, etc

    The world of Jrpgs is also never bland. western gamers are manipulated into likeing generic boring games with no imagination because your media and culture reflect the dull bland uncultured existence.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:28 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    "Jrpgs you do battles with gods, aliens, demons, angels, humans, tentacle beast, outerexistence beings, etc"

    Off the top of my head-

    Gods: God of War series
    Aliens: Mass Effect, Dead Space
    Demons: Dante's Inferno
    Angels: Apparently not part of "Gods"? Still probably God of War. Although I can't think of any game outside of Disgaea 1 off the top of my head that has you killing angels.
    Humans: Fallout, Borderlands, God- well, actually lets not lie, it's rare to find any RPG that DOESN'T have you killing humans.
    Tentacle Beasts: Borderlands. The Last boss is essentially a tentacle monster.
    Outer-existence creatures: Is this supposed to refer to aliens of some different sort than already mentioned? If so, Dungeons and Dragons, World of Warcraft, both of which have sold tens of millions of copies world wide and, in D&D's case, has been around for, odds are, longer than you have while still going strong.

    Also, I'm amused that you mentioned that Westerners apparently have a Culture of "Uncultuer", whatever the hell that's supposed to mean. Methinks you don't know what "Culture" means, and you just get boners whenever someone mentions a samurai or ninja. Because that's apparently what culture is: Not art, science, religion, societal norms, dialects or any other number of things that separate a group of people.
    The only cultures you seem to care about out there apparently are sorted as "China", "Japan", "Korea" and "Other"

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:22 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Anon 02:28 13/02/2011

    Where's the 'Console RPG' in that list? I'll say 'OK' to Mass Effect and Fallout... Borderlands is a very far stretch, and the rest miss the genre entirely.

    I also laugh at the World of Warcraft and Dungeons & Dragons references. (I don't hate them, far from it... I've played tabletop D&D for over 30 years and WoW since the Beta release.) However... the latest D&D Video Games and WoW as a whole completely ignores all player contributions to any part of the story or overall situation, which as a 'Role Player' immediately makes me turn away from the so-called RPG Game in disgust.

    I do agree with the general consensus that XIII was horrible as well, but not from lack of character development or story involvement. I thought it was horrible because there's no real decisions to be made in XIII... it felt like I was being led around by the nose, which is ALSO a huge red flag to most actual RPGer.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:18 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    i like video games

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:06 14/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Are you retarded? Who, as a whole, announces "We're xenophobic!"?

    Especially when there are places in China that ripped Chinese clothes off a woman for looking Japanese, and you think it's the WESTERN cultures that have issues with foreigners?

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:11 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    America = All bad.
    Asia = All good.

    I think we've found ourselves a true xenophobe. I'm so tempted to just call you a stupid idiot and leave, so that's exactly what I'm gonna do.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:09 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    put in heart and soul? yeah 15 years ago it was like that but today i see nothing like that.
    only a bunch of sequels without any progress
    where is the magic from the old times? something that could actually move ones heart.
    yeah for example demons souls isn't a typical jrpg but music and graphic are just perfect to make you feel the sadness and darkness of the cursed land of boletaria.
    so felt ff X like a true journey...
    and exactly this feeling is lost since moe-fanshit and supid comedy is dominating the market

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:51 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Western games are still boring even when they try to do fantasy.

    The Japanese put heart and soul into their games/anime. The west just put cash into a game and sells it on hype. All basic manipulation because the west NEVER ADMITS THEY ARE ALSO XENOPHOBES.

    Same hyper realistic macho crap in every game and comics.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:54 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Umm really American culture is crap. eat, sleep, poop, beer, football and mindless reality TV and cop shows.

    If anything Americans are bullies. You bash women who aren't skinny, bully thin guys just for not being the ideal retarded American steroid image. Then you hide behind the OMG LOOKS DON'T MATTER BS when you peopl show just how shallow and cruel you are in reality.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:20 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    With your shallowness aside, both east and west are milking their genre to death. The only difference is that the western gaming genre is still fairly new (speaking console wise) so they got more going on atm.

    There's a reason why japanese games sale dropped substantially since Microsoft came around

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:20 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    more on that, that's pretty much the only reason why WRPGs are looking so shiny and good these days.
    it is a genre that all the way through the 90s lived solely in the PC space.
    the XBox introduced them to a younger generation that was raised on Japanese consoles and serious think the Japanese created RPGs (oh, i HAVE heard that claim. a lot.) and that Bioware didn't exist until KOTOR 1.
    to that crowd, everything Bioware and Bethesda do is totally new and innovative. but to the crowd that's been playing their games since the 90s, Bioware is as guilty of high production value visuals syndrome as any JRPG dev, without a whole hell of a lot of advancement or innovation themselves (in fact the general older Bioware fan consensus is their games have gotten more and more stripped down).

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:13 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You've obviously never played Star Ocean 4. It's pure blandness.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:30 12/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Then you're living in strange universe or something .
    For me jrpgs are all the same ... Bunch of metro-kiddos saving the world from a bad lord with traumatic past (the same template is used in almost every jrpg ,even the monsters are almost the same everywhere)... Show me this awesome originality and imagination in todays japanese games ? I'm seeying fan service ,lolis and things mentioned above . Super original ... yeah ...
    Maybe in the past but now its even worse than todays western rpg's .

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:34 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Angels: Apparently not part of "Gods"? Still probably God of War. Although I can't think of any game outside of Disgaea 1 off the top of my head that has you killing angels."

    Bayonetta says hi.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:46 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Evangelion was nothing more than a glorified after school special written by some depressed shumck with daddy issues.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:50 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Evangelion alone kills anything western.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:02 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Which is hysterical because it's main selling point is what most mainstream ppl HATE in Jrpgs to begin with; whiny angst ridden teens. But most importantly, eva's just overhyped, not to mention, just plain boring.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:59 13/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Care to play some JPrg before saying this?
    And well. Final fantasy is not exactly THE BEST example, indeed even if the games are very good they are not original in any way.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:26 12/02/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    And I guess you might be the rager of the yellow race? By the way, i don't think that your history teaches you but your race is malformed because your women were fucked by hot(not) aliens with tentacles and from there you got your alien/tentacle fetish.

    There problem solved. Yellow race was in fact raped by aliens because they seemed to be the inferior race of the planet.







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