Top 5 Worst JRPGs According to Metacritic

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JRPGs generally have a lot to offer. From great stories to deep battle systems, JRPGs offer some of the best gameplay. However, some of them can drop the ball and leave a player feeling like there isn’t much of a reason to play them. This week, we look at the five worst JRPGs according to their Metacritic score.

Final Fantasy: All The Bravest – Metascore 25

Final Fantasy: All The Bravest isn’t even much of a game, let alone a JRPG. Don’t let the Final Fantasy title fool you, because this mobile game will disappoint. If you are looking for a good mobile JRPG, this certainly is not the one.

All The Bravest does just about everything wrong. It is a game that will pit the players party against famous Final Fantasy enemies and bosses, but it doesn’t require or even allow for strategy. Instead, players just need to tab or drag their finger across a party member to get them to attack.

That’s all there is to it. You can unlock more party members and classes at random, but they all only have one attack, even the White Mages. There isn’t even an option to target specific enemies either, just drag your finger and hope for the best.

All The Bravest knows that nostalgia can go a long way though, especially in video games. Because of this, it offers a way to purchase iconic Final Fantasy heroes and add them to your party. Unfortunately it is a random purchase and you won’t know who you are getting until the transaction is done.

All in all, this isn’t going to scratch any JRPG itch you have. It is just a mobile game with a greedy business model hoping to take advantage of the nostalgia that comes with Final Fantasy. There are better mobile games for that, and there are better ways to dive into the Final Fantasy franchise as well.

Chronus Arc – Metascore 40

Chronus Arc for the Nintendo 3DS sets out to act as a love letter to the classic JRPGs of the early ’90s. Unfortunately it doesn’t end up holding a candle to any of those classics and instead ends up being its own worst enemy.

The main problem with this title is the length of the campaign. It is rather short for a JRPG and therefore, ends up demanding the player to grind to keep up with the changing difficulty. Now, any JRPG fan is no stranger to grinding levels, but Chronus Arc requires too much of it for its campaign.

Generally, a JRPG is paced a bit more steady, leaving the true grinding moments towards the end and endgame content. Here though, it’s almost just present to stretch out the short story of this game.

While Chronus Arc does get some aspects of the JRPG genre right, like its combat system and character progression, it is bogged down by its incessant need to stop and level up your characters. Difficulty spikes randomly, forcing more grinding and less enjoyment of the game.

Mana Khemia: Student Alliance – Metascore 41

Mana Khemia: Student Alliance is a perfect example of why, sometimes, porting a game is a bad idea. Originally called Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis and released on the PlayStation 2, Student Alliance is a PlayStation Portable port, and a disaster of one at that.

The most frustrating thing about this game is that the PlayStation 2 original was a decent game on its own, therefore this port isn’t really necessary. On top of that, if they wanted it to be on the PSP, they should’ve at least done a better job with it. Metacritic gave the PlayStation 2 game a score of 69, rather then the 41 that this port received.

Mana Khemia: Student Alliance on the PSP
Just do yourself a favor and play Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis instead.

The load times were one of the biggest issues, lagging even when you opened menus or switched tabs within those menus. The framerate was another thing hindering this game’s success, sometime dropping into the single digits. It was an unfortunate thing to see, given the PSP was able to handle games like Disgaea just fine.

Digimon World 2 – Metascore 42

Digimon games have the tendency to fall a little bit behind other monster capturing titles like Pokémon. However, the fanbase is very much alive, and Digimon World 2 certainly isn’t without its love from players.

Digimon World 2 for the PlayStation varies a lot from the original Digimon World game. Instead of focusing your time and energy on monster raising, Digimon World 2 decided to focus more on dungeon crawling and combat.

While that certainly isn’t a bad thing, it definitely is different enough to be confusing as a sequel to Digimon World. It is also unfortunate that while this game’s focus was the dungeon crawling aspect, it left much to be desired.

Digimon World 2’s dungeon design is bland and dull, and its 3V3 combat approach, while certainly different, could drag out battles longer than they should be. There just didn’t end up being enough to offer within this title for critics.

Digimon World 2 for the PlayStation JRPG
Exciting and unique 3v3 battles couldn’t make up for an otherwise bland experience.

However, Digimon fans responded well it this game. Its user score on Metacritic is all the way up at 8.0 so someone out there definitely enjoyed this game. It just didn’t impress the majority of critics.

One Piece: Romance Dawn – Metascore 42

Where One Piece: Romance Dawn goes wrong is in its storytelling. The game attempts to cover 500 episodes of the highly successful anime in just 20 hours. This just leaves newcomers to the anime with a watered down experience, not leaving them with a good first impression. This also leaves fans of the series disappointed, knowing that a video game about this anime could be so much better.

This game also suffers from some performance and presentation issues that can’t be blamed on the hardware it is running on. Both the 3DS and the PSP have a library of games that look better than this title.

One Piece Romance Dawn for PSP and 3DS JRPG
Graphics and performance issues make this game difficult to enjoy.

Combat can be challenging and exciting though, making this game somewhat of a mixed bag. However, level designs and gameplay just don’t cut it. While the game seemed to please some people, the vast majority of critics saw it as a flop. It is a good example of trying to make an anime adaptation but falling short.

Previously, we also ranked the Top Five Best JRPGs according to Metacritc.

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By Dakota Deitsch

I love all video games but primarily enjoy RPGs. Pokémon is my favorite franchise, but I’ll play any game really. I tend to game on PlayStation and on my Switch the most.