Updated December 30, 2020: New entries added
The role playing game (RPG) is one of the foundational genres of the video game medium. But there's a particular offshoot that has grown its own distinctive sub-culture.
Originating from Japan (hence the 'J'), the JRPG lends that wonderful country's very particular sensibility to the usual virtual tales of swords and sorcery that sprung from the West. Think expressive anime-inspired art styles, spiky-haired characters with outlandish outfits, enormous bladed weapons, and melodramatic storylines involving amnesiac teens.
The bedrock of the JRPG genre involves popular franchises like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, but a whole bunch of new and interesting games have sprung up in their wake.
Indeed, so distinctive and established is this sub-genre, that you can now encounter JRPGs that don't even originate from Japan. It's become a matter of style rather than a strict geographical indicator.
That's reflected in the following list, which runs through classic ports and original mobile-focused compositions alike.