Final Fantasy X

Square Enix

By the mid-2000s, the classic JRPG formula was giving way to new innovations intended to keep the genre fresh.

The best PlayStation 1-era JRPGs were largely defined by the ways that they built upon the turn-based combat a menu navigation mechanics of their predecessors (with the most famous example being Final Fantasy VII's Active Time Battle system, which put turns on an always-running timer instead of a set order).

PlayStation 2-era JRPGs largely benefitted from the fruits of these labors, keeping the things that worked and playing around with the things that didn't. As such, the PS2 featured a diverse catalogue of JRPGs that ran the gamut from classic throwbacks to entirely new combat systems that seemed to throw the entire playbook out the window. These are the best of the best.

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Culture Feature

The 9 Best JRPGs of the PS1 Era

JRPGs stand the test of time.

Final Fantasy 9 Vivi

Square Enix

The PlayStation 1 era of video games, lasting from 1995 until the PlayStation 2's release in 2000, was defined by its JRPGs.

Unlike most other genres of the era, Japanese role-playing games were largely story-based, weaving epic tales that proved video games could be more than just mindless diversions. Gameplay typically revolved around turn-based combat, relying more on tactics than hand-eye coordination. Due to their reliance on plot and menu-based mechanics, many JRPGs stand the test of time even after decades of graphical improvements. Let's take a look at nine of the best JRPGs that the PS1 had to offer.

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