As I count the hours till Phantasy Star Online 2’s beta opens up on Xbox later today, I couldn’t help but think of all the great JRPGs throughout the years we’ve played that I would love to see get the MMO treatment. While games like Final Fantasy have brought the series to the MMO world with two separate numbered entries in the genre, but there are some legendary worlds out there that would make for great games if just opened up and shed its single-player shell. Here are a few JRPGs I’d love to see make the jump to MMO.
Look, if you follow me on Twitter, have had a 5 minute conversation with me at the grocery store or just were within earshot, you know I love Persona 5. I might be obsessed with this game, so let’s just jump right into it.
When I played Persona 5 last year, the journey was one I still think about daily. I fell in love with the story, the characters and the struggle each one goes through. I’d love to see the type of gameplay we see in Persona – the part school/teenage life sim mixed with the incredible turn-based combat and see how that would work if we threw a couple of other real people into the mix.
This would be an MMO I think that would work best instanced - but can you imagine combing the Metaverse with 3-6 of your best mates, each commanding the awesome powers of Persona to help rid the world of adults that take advantage of everything and everyone around them? Can you imagine working alongside your friends in a flower shop to raise your kindness, or studying for that upcoming final exam?
The acid jazz soundtrack and the bold, stylish colors that have defined the game since its launch a few years ago would translate well into an MMO – the hardest part would be retaining the storytelling and character development that has defined the series since its inception over a decade ago. But I would play the living daylights out of it if Atlus were to ever get the wild idea to bring a fully fledged Persona MMORPG to the market, and then take it that step further and localize it or the Western audience.
I know Baten Kaitos was based around card mechanics - this entry is less so the gameplay of Baten Kaitos but rather more of the world of the game. If you’re unaware, Baten Kaitos was a JRPG that came out on the Gamecube in North America back in 2004 and I remember being distinctly blown away by the artwork.
I would love to explore the planet in Baten Kaitos before the evil god Malpercio sucks up all the world’s water which forces the inhabitants during the first Baten Kaitos game to live among the clouds on floating continents. While we wouldn’t be able to soar around the world with the wings that inevitably evolved on humans before Kalas’ life time, it would be cool for an MMO to be set as a prequel of sorts to what was at the time a critically acclaimed JRPG. The hand drawn artwork was stunning and I’d love to see a similar style grace the screen of our imaginary MMO.
Oh, and maybe there could be card mechanics if done well?
Alright, Kingdom Hearts is confusing. It’s convoluted. It’s long-winded and cheesy at times. But damn if it isn’t one of the best game series out there. And we have sort of already seen it as a multiplayer game, thanks to the browser game and now mobile game Union X [Cross]. I’d love to see the story told during the Great Keyblade war being something my friends and I can take part in and truly relive some of the important points of the backstory that, to be frank, isn’t as explored as the story during Sora’s timeline.
This would be ripe for PvP too, as the different factions vied for power during the Keyblade war, as you would need to choose which of the Foretellers you aligned with. It would be cool to grow as an early keyblade warrior and see the events that play such a pivotal role later on in the more than decade long story of the mainline Kingdom Hearts series play out in front of you.
Look, we all know Chrono Trigger is the best JRPG of all time, right? Now with that out of the way, who wouldn’t want to explore more of the world of Chrono and see how the team behind the iconic masterpiece could take the time-bending elements of the JRPG and use them in an MMO setting? We’ve seen other MMOs flash back to previous ages of the world, most recently with The Lord of the Rings Online taking players back to the Second Age, but how cool would it be to see some of the iconic moments you touch on in Chrono Trigger, such as the founding of Guardia, which is what the fair at the beginning of the game is all about?
I’ll admit - this one might be harder to create a full MMO of - but if we can get an excuse to listen to some amazing music and see artwork by Akira Toriyama again, why not take it, right?
What JRPGs would you want to see reimagined as an MMO? Let us know in the comments!