Last Updated on March 20, 2023 by Zachary Brictson

The JRPG genre can be a difficult one to fully enjoy when you’re strapped for time, as many are notoriously long.

If I’m being honest, I feel like most JRPGs could benefit from being at least 10 hours shorter.

In any case, I’ve put together a list of JRPGs I truly consider to be short (approximately 15 hours or less for a typical playthrough) and definitely worth playing.

I’m fairly strict on this. For example, Chrono Trigger is often recommended as a short JRPG, but realistically it’s closer to a 20 hour playthrough, which in my opinion enters medium length territory. Perhaps I’ll make a future list for 20-25, we’ll see!

Additionally, I’ve also included several JRPG inspired indie games, as I think many fans of the genre would enjoy these.

Great JRPGs that are Short (15 hours or less)

Below is a list of high quality JRPGs that are short in length, in this case 15 hours or less for a typical playthrough.

Going for 100% completion might extend a few of these past 15 hours, of course.

Ys: The Oath in Felghana

screenshot of Ys oath in felghana.

Ys: The Oath in Felghana is a fantastic little action JRPG with combat that is simple to learn but difficult to master, with a heavy focus on dodging and counter attacking. There’s plenty of skills and weapons to unlock and utilize, and the upgrade system for weapons and armor allow for decent customization to fit your preferred playstyle.

Like most Ys games, the music goes hard with a rock-inspired score that perfectly complements the game’s high-speed action.

How long to beat: 11 hours

Ys: The Oath in Felghana is available on Nintendo Switch, PC, and PSP, and can be emulated via PPSSPP.


screenshot of suikoden hd remaster

For a 15 hour game, Suikoden is pretty epic in scale.  The game features great world-building with a rich and detailed setting inspired by medieval Europe and Asia, and tells a story of revolution as players must recruit and build up an army of up to 108 unique characters.

You get a variety of possible combo skills between characters in the 6 party member, turn based battle system, and also some fun opportunities to command full scale armies, as well as take part in 1 on 1 duels to death.

Playing the original Suikoden also sets you up for the sequel, perhaps the highest regarded title in the series.

How long to beat: 15 hours

Suikoden can be played on the original PlayStation, or emulated via DuckStation. Also consider waiting for the HD remaster.

Parasite Eve

screenshots from parasite eve series.

Parasite Eve is a very special game with its  blend of survival horror and RPG elements. It features a real-time combat system which allows players to move around the field and dodge enemy attacks between pauses to select commands. Parasite Eve also has a gun customization system, where players can make some pretty OP weapons.

The premise is probably the coolest aspect of Parasite Eve —  tracking down an experimental monster in an evacuated New York City on Christmas Eve. Spooky!

How long to beat: 10 hours

Parasite Eve can be played on the original PlayStation, or emulated via DuckStation, as well as its sequel, which is also quite short.


screenshot of omori game.

Omori is a unique and surreal JRPG inspired indie game that tells a dark and emotional story with an engaging turn-based combat system. Players must use the “Emotion” mechanic to affect the outcome of battles. For example, using anger can increase damage dealt, while using happiness can heal your party.

The game also features a super sweet art style, with characters being depicted as black and white sketches in a colorful and dreamlike world, with a great soundtrack to boot. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a thought-provoking and emotionally impactful gaming experience.

This one can actually go over 15 hours by a bit, but I thought it was close enough!

How long to beat: 15-18 hours

Omori can be played on the Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars

screenshot of voice of cards jrpg.

Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars presents the entire game as if it were a tabletop RPG adventure. The uses cards to represent characters, enemies, and items, which adds an interesting twist to an otherwise traditional turn-based battle system. The game also features a branching narrative with multiple endings, adding a layer of replayability to the experience.

The presentation is top-notch, especially if you’re fond of the beautiful card art, or like trading card games in general.

How long to beat: 12 hours

Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars can be played on Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC.

Cosmic Star Heroine

screenshot from cosmic star heroine.

Cosmic Star Heroine is JRPG  inspired  indie with a fun and engaging story, memorable characters, and a unique turn-based battle system.

Character abilities operate under a cooldown system, which adds a fun rhythm to the combat as each party member’s hyper move become available at different moments.

How long to beat: 12 hours

Cosmic Star Heroine can be played on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Vagrant Story

box art of vagrant story, a shorter jrpg of hiqh quality.

Definitely use a guide for this game. While it’s short in length, Vagrant Story features a complex weapon crafting system that’s critical to your enjoyment of the game, and it’s not the easiest thing to grasp at first.

Beyond that, this has some of the best storytelling JRPGs have to offer, an incredible OST, and an unforgettable style to its cutscenes that still hold up today.

How long to beat: 15 hours

Vagrant story can be played on the original PlayStation, or emulated via DuckStation.

Mario Tennis (GBC)

logo and screenshot from mario tennis on gameboy color.

Mario Tennis clocks in as a short and enjoyable JRPG on the Gameboy Color. That’s right, a sports RPG! This gem of a game features fast-paced tennis gameplay that becomes strategic with use of power-ups and special shots.

There’s a variety of game modes, but the highlight is the RPG-like “Power Tour” mode, where players can create their own custom character and level them up by winning matches and completing challenges.

How long to beat: 7 hours

Mario Tennis can be played on the original Gameboy Color, or emulated via mGBA.

Jack Move

screenshot of jack move battle system.

Jack Move is  stylish cyberpunk indie RPG that features a JRPG inspired pixel-art aesthetic and battle system. The game revolves around a  “memory deck” system, where the player must strategically manage a deck of cards that represent the protagonist’s memories and abilities.

The game also features a robust skill tree system, where the player can customize the protagonist’s abilities to suit their playstyle.

How long to beat: 8 hours

Jack Move is available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Mac, and PC.

Panzer Dragoon Saga

model art from panzer dragoon saga game.

Panzer Dragoon Saga is a fascinating and tight play from the Sega Saturn days, and has honestly aged really well. It features rail shooter mechanics inside of turn-based battles, which creates a fast-paced and dynamic combat system.

The game also features a deep and rewarding upgrade system for the player’s dragon, with various abilities and forms to unlock, on top of a soundtrack that is a fantastic mix of orchestral and electronic elements.

How long to beat: 15 hours

Panzer Dragoon Saga can be played on the original Sega Saturn, or emulated via SSF.

Child of Light

screenshot of child of light jrpg battle system.

Child of Light is like a water color painting come to life. This JRPG inspired indie game features an engaging turn-based combat system with a focus on strategic planning and exploiting elemental weaknesses.

The story is both whimsical fairy tale and melancholic with decidedly dark moments. Also, all the dialogue rhymes, which really lends to the enchantment of it all. Child of Light is an excellent choice for a short play, and also a great pick to introduce newcomers to the genre.

How long to beat: 12 hours

Child of Light is available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth

screenshot from Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth.

Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth is a fun little Metroidvania-style JRPG that features beautiful hand-drawn graphics and fast-paced action platformer gameplay. Similar to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Record of Lodoss War has an emphasis on exploration, with hidden secrets and pathways scattered throughout the labyrinth.

The game features a unique magic system, where players can collect different types of magic crystals and combine them to create new spells to take on a variety of fairly challenging enemies, all with different weaknesses.

How long to beat: 7 hours

Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth can be played on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Recommend a Short JRPG

Any other good JRPGs come to mind that can be beaten in roughly 15 hours or less? Leave a suggestion in the comments below, and I’ll have it added!