Last time, we looked at the best premium JRPGs on mobile. As promised, I’m back with another list of great JRPGs to play on your mobile device, this time covering the free-to-play side of things. The rule is the same: each franchise only gets one entry on the list, lest Final Fantasy dominate all thirty spots of this ten-game list or something. I’m also going to be a little loose with that “J” in JRPG. Perhaps it is best to think of these as JRPG-style games? JRPG-ish? Do note that these are simply my favorites, so if you have any that you feel should be on this list please comment below and help others find them. Finally, the list is in no particular order. With all that said, let’s get on with it!
Genshin Impact, Free
Yes, I’m starting the list with Genshin Impact. Let that set the pace for this little endeavor. Is it Japanese? No. Is it a traditional JRPG in style or form? Not really. But if you enjoy JRPGs and don’t mind all of the things that come with a free-to-play model, it’s hard to imagine you won’t find Genshin Impact to be breathtakingly engrossing. It’s ridiculous to believe that this is what you can play for free these days on your phone or tablet. Go out and explore that big world. Come back later and check the rest of the list.
Fate/Grand Order (English), Free
Fate/Grand Order certainly satisfies the story side of the equation. You get some great visual novel-style story scenes to go along with the strategic turn-based combat and team building that are hallmarks of the free-to-play RPG formula on mobile. It’s really the great art and the interesting character interactions that drive this one, but the gameplay isn’t too shabby either. Little wonder it’s one of the highest-grossing mobile games of all time.
ANOTHER EDEN, Free
Time to head into the weeds a little. Readers familiar with our update articles will know I have called Another Eden one of my favorite free-to-play RPGs ever, and I stand by that. It has a great story written by Masato Kato, best known for writing the stories of Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross. And wouldn’t you know it? This game has some serious Chrono vibes to it, to the point that it even had a crossover with Chrono Cross. I find this game goes down really well with people who don’t normally get on with free-to-play games, so if that’s you, give this a go.
FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS, Free
There are so many free-to-play Final Fantasy games to choose from, but I’m going to burn its one slot on this list on Brave Exvius. It offers a nice condensed version of a JRPG, with a little exploration, a lot of combat, and an all-star cast of characters rendered with some amazing sprite work. It’s easy to hop into and enjoy, with so much Final Fantasy fan service that it’s hard to resist if you have any affection for the series.
DRAGON QUEST TACT, Free
Sure, I’ll make a spot on the list for Dragon Quest. How could I not? Elder statesman and all that rot. Dragon Quest Tact doesn’t actually require you to have any tact, but perhaps some tactical prowess might be in order. If you remember the Dragon Quest Monsters games that released on platforms like the Game Boy or Nintendo DS, you’ll likely find enough familiar elements in this game to feel right at home. Collect your favorite monsters, train them up, and send them into battle.
AFK Arena, Free
This one is touted as the best RPG for busy you, which is a cute little bit of awkward English. But you know, it’s not the most outrageous of claims. AFK Arena has a lot of things going for it, with its consistent updates of new heroes, new adventures, and more. This one is better to enjoy casually in my opinion, but if you want to get serious about a free-to-play JRPG it will happily meet you on those terms and give as much as you’re willing to give it.
Fire Emblem Heroes, Free
Playing fast and loose again, but I’m incorrigible that way. Nintendo’s attempts to find mobile success have been hit or miss, but the success of Fire Emblem Heroes certainly cannot be denied. Bite-sized (well, mostly bite-sized) tactical battles are interspersed with some decent storylines, with characters that slowly grow on you as you complete each adventure. The game is able to draw on the rather large cast of Fire Emblem characters the series has amassed over the years to keep things fresh with regular new events and an ever-expanding roster.
Epic Seven, Free
You’re probably noticing a theme by now: good characters, good stories, fun battles equal a compelling free-to-play RPG. Epic Seven may not get much talk around these parts, but it’s an immensely popular game that has been extremely well-received by players over the years. It’s another one that is best enjoyed in a more casual fashion, as once you reach the end game staying competitive gets absurdly expensive in a hurry. Still, it’s one heck of a ride while it lasts.
Honkai Impact 3rd, Free
Is this one cheating? Well, I don’t really care at this point. Honkai Impact 3rd was miHoYo’s big game before Genshin Impact arrived, and while it leans a bit more into the action aspects there are certainly plenty of RPG chops here. Well, there’s a bit of everything in here, but if you enjoy Genshin Impact you will probably like what this one has to offer too. At the same time, it’s different enough to play alongside that game quite nicely.
PokÃ©mon Masters EX, Free
This whole thing has gone completely off the rails now, but the ride is almost over so just hang on to the safety bar and we’ll disembark shortly. Pokemon Masters EX is a dream crossover of sorts for fans of the Pokemon series. Put together a team of all-star trainers, build your squad of Pokemon, and embark on new stories with classic characters. You don’t have to catch ’em all this time, so long as you’ve got the right ones by your side.
And there you go! That got a little off the definition in places in many ways, but these are ten really cool RPGs for you to dig into without spending any cash at all. Just be careful as most of them do get a little hungry for your wallet snacks after a while. Well, that’s why there are ten of them. Do you have any favorites not listed here? Feel free to share them in the comments if so. Thanks for reading!