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A major release for Nintendo is coming out next month in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. But for those of you who want to ‘get ready’ for it, or at least get in the mindset of playing it, here are 20 games you might want to try out.
Let’s start with the game that pre-dated Xenoblade by about 20 years. Xenogears came out on the original PlayStation in 1998. This was the game that started the whole Xeno franchise as a whole, you’re welcome.
Furthermore, it set the stage for all that was to come in terms of exploring a vast world, and active turn-based battle system, and more. Xenosaga and Xenoblade came from this, all because this one game got made and had a cult following after a few years.
Funnily enough, this game was first pitched as something that could’ve been either Final Fantasy VII or the sequel to Chrono Trigger. But Square Enix just let them develop it on their own, and here we are nearly 25 years later still talking about the title.
#19 Rogue Lords
Ok, we’ll admit, this one technically doesn’t have too much in common with Xenoblade for one reason…you play as the literal devil here. Yep, you’re the lord of darkness in Rogue Lords, and it’s your job in this roguelike to try and take back what is yours.
You see, in this world, a group of demon hunters was able to beat back the devil once upon a time, and in doing so, he fled to the underworld to recover. He did, but when he did, his enemies became stronger. So now, you must battle run after run and use those who are still loyal to you to fight back, get stronger, and reclaim both the living and dead worlds. Think you can do that?
#18 Atelier Ryza
Atelier Ryza lets you play as a young girl named Ryza, who along with her friends are about to become adults in their village. But as they try and discover what that will be like, they decide to go on a summer adventure. That wouldn’t be so bad…if it wasn’t for the fact that the island they’re going to is forbidden, and will kickstart a quest that will forever change their lives.
This simple yet fun RPG experience will truly let you dive into the lives and personalities of these friends as well as give you intense combat experiences! Plus, there’s a sequel out there if you like this title!
#17 Sword Art Online Hollow Realization
The Sword Art Online franchise is one that would honestly take quite a long time to explain in full so let’s just start with the fact that Sword Art Online Hollow Realization is not the first in the game’s series, so if you’re not caught up on everything…you might want to try some of the other ones first.
Regardless, in this continuation of the story, Kirito finds themselves in a very familiar yet very different version of the Sword Art Online title that they escaped previously. And now, with a mysterious NPC and message to guide him, he must see all that is going on here, and what new challenges await.
#16 Ys 8
Ys 8, also known as Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA, was a title that came out in 2018 after an eight year gap from the previous title. That’s not something you’d usually see from a long-running RPG, but there you have it.
You play as Adol, a young man who finds himself shipwrecked on an island that is full of dangers. At first, he just tries to survive and rescue other people. But then, he starts having these visions of a blue-haired woman named Dana, and must try to find her.
With a deep story and RPG system, you’ll find a lot to enjoy here as you try and piece together the mystery of this world.
#15 Tales of Arise
The Tales franchise of RPGs are actually so grand that we’re going to have three different ones appearing on this list. But we’ll start with the one that came out last year via Tales of Arise.
Here, you’ll be part of the world of Dahna, a place that changes all the time depending on the weather and other circumstances. But that’s just the start, you’ll play as a set of protagonists who are trying to save two very different worlds from destruction.
Use new kinds of attacks and abilities to bring peace to everything and figure out more about what has caused everything to happen like it did.
#14 Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
One of the sometimes forgotten gems of the PS2 era, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is the remastered version of the classic RPG of the Final Fantasy line.
You’ll play as Vaan, a young man who lost his family to a great war and just dreams of flying the skies. Of course, it’s not that easy and he’ll be swept up into a resistance movement spearheaded by a rogue, a princess, a fallen knight, and more.
The game’s mechanics were what set the stage for future Final Fantasy titles, so go and play this game and see where a lot of things started.
#13 Tales of Berseria
Just because Tales of Berseria is at #13 doesn’t mean it’s a bad game, far from it. Tales of Berseria is considered one of the best of the Tales franchise, and its unique storyline helps with that.
You play as Velvet, a young woman who has had a rather sudden personality change, and a hatred that she truly can’t explain. Now, to get answers about herself, the past, and more, she must travel with a group of pirates to seek out and explore many different islands of a kingdom and battle all sorts of threats along the way.
The game both looks and plays very differently than you might expect, so definitely give it a try and see what you think.
#12 Genshin Impact
We have no doubt that many of you are playing Genshin Impact, and in fact, there are a lot of similarities between it and Xenoblade Chronicles. Especially in the 2017 title where there was a major gacha element to the game in regards to the Blades.
In this title though, you’ll play as “The Traveler” a person who has lost their twin while traveling in one of the worlds they’ve been to, and now they must not only search for their twin, but help solve the problems of the various nations that they travel to.
And yes, you can play a gacha system in order to summon other characters to play with…and yes, many of those characters…look a certain way…let’s just move on.
#11 Persona 4 Golden
We’ll be getting to the OTHER Persona title later on, but don’t think that means you shouldn’t get some of the other titles that are available. Such as Persona 4 Golden, which you can get on console and Steam.
In the game, a set of serial murders near a small town will set a group of students on a path of discovery about themselves, their relationships, and yes, their worlds.
Work together with your team in intense turn-based RPG gameplay to overcome the darkness that is all around you, and experience a coming-of-age story that helped build the Persona franchise into a fan and critic favorite.
#10 Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition
Just so you know, this is the final Tales game of this series, but arguably the best one of the recent additions.
The Definitive Edition of this game gives you the best version of this Tales title with updated graphics, new characters to play as, new bosses to fight and mini-games to enjoy, and so on.
All the while delivering into a world where two friends find their fates intertwined when their world suddenly becomes full of conflict via the empire that controls them all.
Will you be able to bring peace back to this world and those who live in it? Jump in and find out.
#9 Dragon Quest XI
Many people forget that the Dragon Quest games were the ones that really predated MANY of the incredible RPG franchises we have right now, including yes, Final Fantasy. But while that franchise has gotten worldwide acclaim for various reasons, titles like Dragon Quest XI show exactly why this series isn’t to be missed.
In the game, you’ll play as a young hero who finds out that he’s actually the descendant of a legend who saved the land he lives in long ago. But after being revealed as the descendant, he’s branded a villain and is now on the run!
Explore the vast world of this game and see where the story will lead you as you try and find the truth and yourself, and the land you live in!
#8 Final Fantasy VII Remake
It’s only poetic that we put this game here not too long after its “next chapter” in Rebirth is announced (for next winter…if there are no delays…).
Final Fantasy VII Remake is of course the top to bottom remake of the original Final Fantasy VII title. Or at least, a top to bottom remake of the first section of it. You’ll play as Cloud Strife, who teams up with the group known as Avalanche to try and stop the Shinra Organization from sucking the planet dry of its resources.
But that’s just the beginning of a long adventure that’ll make you wonder what is real, and who you really are.
#7 Nier Automata
To say that Nier Automata is a deep game would be…underselling things by a whole heck of a lot. Because like the Xenoblade franchise, it has a lot of twists and turns in its main storyline that you have to experience for yourself.
To boil it down, you’ll be playing a group of androids, headed up by the fan-favorite 2B, and you’ll be tasked with fighting a bunch of machines to try and save the human race from their tyranny. But not everything as it seems. So as you go through beautifully done combat and explore the desolate world, you might just find out the true origins of everything and see what your true role is in all that’s happening.
#6 Persona 5
How did Persona 5 end up in the #6 slot? Bad timing, and we guess you didn’t see that coming, right?
Persona 5 is without a doubt the truth masterpiece and breakthrough title of the franchise. Persona had more or less a cult following before Joker and the Phantom Thieves showed up. The game (now in its Royal form which we recommend too) has you playing as a set of students who try and save Tokyo from the corruption that flows within adult hearts (…that’s not an allegory for our world at all…).
Brave the many dungeons of the world and unleash your Personas in order to fight back and win the day.
The only bad part about this game? It’s not on Nintendo Switch despite fans asking for it…
#5 Fire Emblem Three Houses
A much different franchise, but one that does hold an equally high place in RPG-lovers hearts, Fire Emblem Three Houses is arguably one of the best Fire Emblem games ever made, and easily one of the most fan-favorites.
This time around you are put into the realm of Fodlan as a mercenary who becomes a teacher at the Garreg Mach Monastery. You’ll take the lead in teaching one of three different classes and following their events as they try and change the world around them.
The branching storyline is a highlight of the title, as is the building up of your class. If you haven’t tried it out yet, you absolutely should.
#4 Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition
Final Fantasy very much paved the way for everything that was to come for Xenoblade, and you can see all the similarities there if you take a good look. Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition is definitely one that is like Xenoblade Chronicles in a lot of ways though, as you’re traveling with your friends in a bid to save the world (which is punctuated quite a bit in 3).
You’ll play as Noctis in a bid to save the realm of Eos that he’s meant to inherit. Your thrive friends will be by your side as you drive around and fight evil!
The Royal Edition adds new dungeons, gear, a first-person mode, and more! So don’t be afraid to check it out.
#3 The Witcher 3
There are very few games that can truly get you in the feel of Xenoblade like The Witcher franchise, which may seem odd as their “feeling” and even “genre” is kind of different. But the thing to remember here is that Xenoblade is known for its open worlds and its combat system, and The Witcher 3 gives you plenty to do and fight in Wild Hunt.
Become Geralt of Rivia once again, and then go on a large-scale quest with plenty of sidequests and missions for you to do when you feel like doing something different.
And like Xenoblade, it has expansive DLC, so go and enjoy!
2. Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild
As we’ve noted on this list, Xenoblade has a wide open world for you to go and explore, and Breath of the Wild is another game that has that distinction. In fact, while most Zelda games have a big world to explore, it’s not to this scale, or level of freedom. Because in BOTW, you can go and do things at your leisure, at the pace you want, and in the order you want.
If you wanted, you could literally go start the game and beat Ganon in less than an hour (yes, people have done that before). But if you give it the due time it deserves, you’ll see a masterpiece of a game that’ll keep you occupied until XC3 comes out.
1. Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition & Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Surprised? You honestly shouldn’t be. After all, the upcoming game is the 4th title in the franchise (Don’t forget about X on the Wii U!) and so that means there are other games to play. The only reason we didn’t put X here is because…well, it’s on the Wii U and we doubt many of you have that.
Meanwhile, Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition & Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are both on Nintendo Switch and you can get them right now to play if you want to venture over to the Nintendo eShop.
Another thing to note here is that these stories, though all different, do connect to one another in an overarching way. So you might want to play these titles in order to truly “catch up” on things like what the worlds are like, the types of combat systems, and so on.