7 best upcoming JRPGs to look forward to in 2023

Tyler Constable
An official image of Final Fantasy XVI artwork, one of the best upcoming JRPGs of 2023.

There have been a lot of amazing JRPGs released in recent times, and 2023 is shaping up to be another great year for the genre. Here’s our curated list of the best upcoming JRPGs to look forward to over the next twelve months.

Japanese role-playing games have only continued to grow in popularity in recent years thanks to the release of titles including Persona 5 Royal, the Final Fantasy 7 remake, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 which have all deservedly received mainstream critical acclaim.

Both diehard players and newcomers to the genre have had a lot of fantastic games to enjoy over the past few years, and there are many more to come in 2023. From Fire Emblem to Sea of Stars, here are seven of the best upcoming JRPGs you should play in 2023.

Persona 4 Golden

Persona 4 Golden official artwork. one of the best upcoming JRPGs in 2023.
Persona 4 Golden is finally coming to modern consoles in 2023.
  • Release Date: January 19, 2023
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox Series X|S

The fourth installment of the Persona franchise is a landmark JRPG, responsible for really putting the life-sim / dungeon-crawler hybrid on the map. Following on from Royal’s 2022 Xbox and Nintendo Switch release, the definitive version of the game, Persona 4 Golden, is finally making its way to modern consoles in 2023.

This entry in the stylish series trades in the bright city lights of past (and future) entries for the rural town of Inaba, where the protagonist settles into the routine of small-town life.

What initially starts as a relaxing experience soon unravels into a dangerous murder mystery that the player and his newfound friends must solve by wielding the powers of their Personas.

P4G was the crown jewel of PlayStation Vita JRPGs, and there’s no better time to experience its masterful story and characters than when it hits modern consoles in early 2023.

Final Fantasy XVI

An image of official Final Fantasy XVI artwork.
Final Fantasy XVI is one of the most highly anticipated upcoming JRPGs of 2023.
  • Release Date: June 22, 2023
  • Platforms: PlayStation 5

We got a new look at Final Fantasy XVI at the recent Game Awards celebration in the form of a gameplay trailer which revealed the game’s release date. Slated for a June release, it’s sure to be a big summer blockbuster.

Set in Valisthea – a world that’s divided across six nations – players will take control of Clive Rosfield, a former bodyguard who sets out on a quest for revenge after witnessing the destruction of his kingdom.

The franchise’s sixteenth installment will feature an action-based combat system, similar to the one in Final Fantasy 15, so you can expect to activate a lot of flashy combos and powerful magic as you battle your enemies.

With a vast new world to explore, a dark and enticing story, and engaging battles, Final Fantasy XVI is bound to be one of the most action-packed upcoming JRPGs of 2023.

Sea of Stars

Sea of Stars official artwork.
Sea of Stars is an upcoming JRPG inspired by classic titles.
  • Release Date: TBA
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, PC

One JRPG that’s been highly anticipated for a while now is Sea of Stars, the latest project from Sabotage Studios – creators of the beloved indie title The Messenger.

Sea of Stars continues the studio’s tradition of paying homage to retro-style gaming as a classic turn-based JRPG. It tells the story of two young Children of the Solstice who must defeat the creations of the evil Fleshmancer by harnessing the combined powers of the sun and moon.

With a gorgeous art style and a promised modernized take on the classic JRPG formula, Sea of Stars is shaping up to be a very special release that fans of the genre will enjoy.

Trials to Azure

An image of official art for Trails to Azure, one of the best upcoming JRPGs in 2023.
Trails to Azure is the second half of the Crossbell saga that fans in the West will finally be able to officially enjoy.
  • Release Date: March 14, 2023
  • Platforms: PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC

Nihon Falcom’s Legends of Heroes franchise is one of the most expansive universes in all of gaming. With a rich interconnected story that currently takes place over fourteen games, the Trails saga can be one of the most intimidating but rewarding JRPG experiences available.

In the middle of the story is the Crossbell saga, which finally made its way outside of Japan in 2022 with the release of Trails from Zero, and will conclude in 2023 with the official localization of Trails to Azure.

Azure picks up a few months after Zero and continues the story of Lloyd Bannings – a young police detective tasked with investigating the schemes of Crossbell city’s various crime syndicates.

If you’re looking for an in-depth story with a lot of dialogue, great characterization, and an interesting spin on turn-based combat, the Crossbell saga is a great adventure that can finally be enjoyed in full when Trails to Azure releases in Spring.

Persona 3 Portable

An image of Persona 3 Portable artwork.
Persona 3 Portable is also coming to modern consoles in 2023.
  • Release Date: January 19, 2023
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox Series X|S

Alongside Persona 4 Golden, Persona 3 Portable is also coming to modern consoles in 2023. Persona 3’s gameplay pioneered what would become the series’ staple social link mechanics, and features a story that is noticeably darker than the rest of the franchise.

Throughout the game, the player must balance their daily school life and build relationships while battling evil entities known as Shadows during the Dark Hour – a mysterious period of time that bends reality and exists between one day and the next.

Persona 3 Portable is the enhanced version of P3, which omits some gameplay elements from the original (navigating the world for example is presented in visual novel format instead of being able to manually control the protagonist on an overworld map), and enhances other aspects of the game. For example, players can directly control all of their party members in combat, and there’s the addition of a second female protagonist.

Octopath Traveller II

An image of Octopath Traveller II artwork.
Octopath Traveler II is the sequel to the 2018 classic-inspired JRPG.
  • Release Date: February 24, 2023
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, PC

Octopath Traveler was a surprise hit for many JRPG players when it launched in the summer of 2018, and fans are now eagerly awaiting the follow-up, Octopath Traveler II, which was revealed in a Nintendo Direct in September 2022.

This sequel maintains the multiple protagonists and story structure of the original game, but introduces an entirely new cast of characters and setting for players to immerse themselves in. The game, like its predecessor, takes inspiration from classic titles such as Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 7.

A traditional turn-based combat system is featured in Octopath Traveler II, as well as the addition of a day and night cycle, which will determine what actions characters can perform depending on the time.

If you enjoyed the original Octopath Traveler, II promises to deliver even more engaging stories with an enhanced gameplay experience.

Fire Emblem Engage

Fire Emblem Engage character artwork.
The latest installment in the Fire Emblem franchise is coming in early 2023.
  • Release Date: January 20, 2023
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Fire Emblem is widely regarded as one of the best tactical role-playing series of all time, and Fire Emblem Engage is the next game in the franchise. One of the biggest aspects of Engage that has fans excited is the inclusion of the new Emblem Rings system, which allows the player to summon protagonists from previous games to aid them in combat – including original protagonist Marth.

Engage will maintain the traditional turn-based combat system the franchise is known for, and the story will take place on the new continent of Elyos where the player sets out to gather the Emblem Rings in order to defeat the Fell Dragon.

If you’re looking for more strategic combat, a vast world to explore, or are simply a longtime fan of Fire Emblem, Engage is a must-play JRPG in 2023.

Those are the best upcoming JRPGs to look forward to in 2023! For more gaming content, check out our lists below:

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