If you can push through the tedium of its open world busywork and padded storytelling, there's a great sequel at the heart of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. It retains all of Remake's most important strengths, but builds on an already brilliant combat system, and excels at showcasing an iconic RPG setting. If you enjoyed Remake and you have fond memories of the PS1 original, you'll likely love every minute of Rebirth's memorable, character-focused adventure.
Granblue Fantasy: Relink is one of the PS5's best action RPGs - but you need to know what you're getting into. The story campaign is excellent, but its relatively short length means that most of your time will be spent with the game's optional quests, which rarely reach the same heights. Still, whether you're playing alone or in co-op, there's a real thrill to Relink's combat system, which combines precise hacking and slashing with underlying RPG stats and mechanics. If you can embrace the grind, a fantastic character roster and some amazing boss battles await.
Persona 3 Reload is a brilliant remake. In terms of gameplay, it's easily the best incarnation of a classic RPG, boasting countless quality of life and mechanical adjustments that place it alongside the outstanding Persona 5 Royal. Storytelling enhancements make the plot even more impactful, and the remade visuals are a joy to behold. Reload is borderline essential if you're yet to experience Persona 3, while also providing a near perfect way for existing fans to relive a seminal release.
Tekken 8 is a modern fighting game masterclass. It doesn't skimp on single-player modes, its online offering is robust, and it's a serious visual spectacle. But most importantly, the battles are brilliant; accessible yet deeply technical, and supremely satisfying to be a part of - perhaps more so than ever before. There's no fighting game series quite like Tekken, and Tekken 8 is the franchise at its bombastic best.
Rising is the game that the original Granblue Fantasy Versus should have been, and while it's a bit cheeky that players are being asked to pay for it all over again — with yet more DLC characters incoming — it's hard to argue with the overall package. This is a gorgeous fighter that feels great to play.
All in all, Echoes of Fallen feels like little more than another chapter in Final Fantasy 16's story — but it's a good one, especially in terms of action. Oh, and it might just feature the most insane boss encounter in the entire game, if you can believe it.
Because so much of its content is repurposed from past games, Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections is easier to recommend if you're new to the series. That said, this is still an impressively comprehensive anime fighter; the team-based gameplay holds up, the new modes are solid overall, and sheer size of the character roster is hard to ignore.
UFO Robot Grendizer: The Feast of the Wolves is a heartfelt tribute to the giant robot genre. It's clearly a lower budget title, and technical issues certainly sour the experience somewhat, but there's good, straightforward fun to be found if you're a fan of classic anime.
Beyond the Dawn isn't an especially exciting expansion, but it's still a solid post-game experience for those who enjoyed Tales of Arise. It's guilty of treading overly familiar ground, and the storytelling can feel a bit tedious, but there's fun to be found in exploring all-new dungeons and taking on powerful opponents. The DLC may be dropping too late for many players, but Alphen and the gang's epilogue is worth the return trip if you've got the time.
Like a Dragon Gaiden teeters on the edge of feeling tired and a bit predictable, but in the end, this is another memorable chapter in Kiryu's seemingly endless tale. It adds welcome weight to the events of Yakuza: Like a Dragon while also telling a great individual story, which is stuffed with typically engaging characters. Refined combat carries this 'smaller' title even further, and although its optional excursions can feel a little too grindy for their own good, Gaiden stands as a rock solid instalment, and a potent reminder of why Kiryu's such a beloved protagonist.
Star Ocean The Second Story R is exactly what it needs to be: a faithful remake of a classic PS1 RPG that greatly enhances the experience for both new and returning players. A wonderful visual overhaul combined with numerous quality of life improvements and expanded battle mechanics make this a borderline must-play for anyone who's looking for an old-school adventure. Although the underlying PS1-era design does still have some rough edges - particularly in the storytelling and combat balance - it's hard to knock such a well crafted revival.
Fate/Samurai Remnant really leaves a mark with its character-driven story. The tale of Miyamoto Iori is consistently intriguing, and watching such a grounded protagonist navigate seemingly insurmountable situations is what makes this action RPG so compelling. The uniquely balanced combat system takes a while to get going, and the strategy stuff runs a bit hot and cold, but this is a surprisingly intricate package overall. A surefire win for Fate fans and newcomers alike.
Assassin's Creed Mirage sets off in search of its roots, and it finds them - both for better and worse. Undeniably basic in its approach to stealth and combat, it feels oddly dated in terms of design, but it's also a refreshing reminder of series' original strengths. Ultimately, it's a solid sandbox title, and it successfully scratches the hidden blade itch that was so clearly absent in Odyssey and Valhalla.
Phantom Liberty is often Cyberpunk 2077 at its very best. A gripping narrative complete with great characters adds another dimension to the open world RPG, while the main mission and side quest design remains top notch throughout. It's a tremendous expansion that delivers a truly memorable experience.
The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails is an effortlessly charming action RPG. Even though the story struggles to engage, there's so much to like about the game's hectic mix of hack-and-slash combat and responsive platforming. An easy recommendation for fans of Ys, or fast-paced, skill-based action titles in general.
If you're in the market for a mostly typical JRPG, and you can stomach some low budget presentation along with slightly flawed gameplay, you could do a lot worse than Monochrome Mobius. It's one of those games that feels like a heartfelt effort, and that might be just enough to outweigh its problems.
Trails into Reverie is an all-star excursion that feels like one big franchise festival; your more traditional Trails campaign being the spine of what can be a brilliantly robust RPG, complete with more than enough gameplay depth to keep even the most hardcore players happy. As an epilogue to the Crossbell and Cold Steel games, it can seem a little tired in terms of creativity, but its faults are easily overlooked when you're back in the saddle with all of your favourite heroes.