Good JRPGs to Try

JRPGs

I really want to get into JRPGs, but I dont know much about the genre and want to avoid games that are overrated and considered “classics” despite being objectively bad games, like New Vegas, Skyrim, or SotN, which are great in all aspects except the gameplay.
I understand that Chrono Trigger, FFVII and Earthbound fit that description and im better off not playing those since I dont care about story at all and only about gameplay, but which are the good ones? Out of the few JRPGs that ive played, FF Tactics is the only one I like. Someone please help me with this, I dont want to feel like im missing out anymore.

If you want a more involved battle system. Super Mario RPG, Legend of Dragoon, Legend of Legaia, Treasure of the Rudras, Paper Mario 64. All of these require more than just menu searching for attacks, and require inputs during battle making them more engaging.

If Tactics is your thing, consider looking at SRPGs or Strategy Games like Fire Emblem, Ogre Battle, Tactics Ogre. Or just straight Strategy like Super Famicom Wars (later ones not retro, but Advance Wars).

If you’re looking for good gameplay you won’t find much going on in turn-based jrpgs. Look at it this way, they take 20-40hours to finish, and 80% of that time is wandering around, reading dialogue, doing inventory management, buying/selling items, backtracking and looking for the next NPC or event trigger to push the story along.

Then 15% is random encounters which you auto-win by mashing (A) strong attack + throwing a heal now and then. Maybe 5% is boss battles which don’t pose much challenge besides asking you to pass a level-and-gear check and knowing the basics of the game. So if you didn’t skip half the random encounters and forget to update your gear you should crush bosses on your first or second attempts easy….

Not to mention these games have very little replay value since they are story driven and don’t ask much of the player, so there’s little incentive to replay unless you are trying to 100% all the items and secrets, which means using a guide to walk around and collect shit in order so you don’t perma-miss stuff.

You might have some fun at the start because of the novelty, but once that wears off (and it wears off fast) you’ll feel the tedium set in as you do random encounter #599 mindlessly, hoping to reach the end of that dungeon so you can smash the boss in one or two attempts.

There’s really two kinds of RPGs, linear and open. Your linear ones are like Chrono Trigger, FFIV, Lunar etc where you’re given a cast of characters and it’s mostly about playing through the story with them. Customization is minimal and it’s more like a story you play through.

The other side is games like SaGa, Persona, Pokemon, FF 3 and 5 etc where you have a lot of options and though the game is still playing through a story it’s more about messing around with the gameplay systems and trying different things.