By Marshall Honorof
After Tales of Arise, check out these 10 similar games
After years of waiting (and months of delays), Tales of Arise is finally here. Like previous entries in the series, it’s a long, satisfying adventure game with a memorable cast of characters and an enthralling battle system.
But, like previous entries in the series, Tales of Arise is also a one-and-done experience for most people. While you can play through a New Game Plus mode and increase the difficulty, you’ll pretty much see everything the game has to offer in a single playthrough. If you’ve plumbed Tales of Arise’s depths, it’s probably time to move onto a different game.
The good news is that there are a ton of games like Tales of Arise, from JRPGs to brawlers and beyond. Whether you want to dive into the rest of the Tales series or simply explore other games with endearing casts and strong battle systems, Tom’s Guide has got you covered. Read on for the 10 best games to play after Tales of Arise.
Tales of Berseria
Let’s start with an easy one. If you liked Tales of Arise, you’ll probably like other games in the Tales series. That’s because the general structure — real-time battle system, charming cast, genre-bending story — hasn’t changed since Tales of Phantasia way back in 1995.
While every Tales game has its charms, Arise fans will probably get the most out of Tales of Berseria. This game casts you as Velvet Crowe, a vengeful young woman who gathers a party of misfits to oust a corrupt leader. It’s available on PS4 and PC, which makes it easy to find. (A different Tales game, Tales of Vesperia, is available on Xbox Game Pass, so that one’s worth checking out as well.)
Dark Souls Remastered
Aside from real-time combat, the Dark Souls and Tales series don’t actually have much in common. Where Tales is bright, cheerful, and noisy, Dark Souls is moody, atmospheric and quiet. But Dark Souls Remastered and Tales of Arise do share one important element: composer Motoi Sakuraba.
In Arise, Sakuraba composed one of the best soundtracks in the whole Tales series. If you want to hear a totally different side of his music, Dark Souls Remastered offers pensive melodies for exploration and terrifying compositions for boss fights. Sakuraba has actually composed a ton of video game music, so if the ultra-difficult Dark Souls isn’t to your taste, there are other options.
Dragon Quest VIII
Tales is an anomaly among Japanese RPG series as every entry is consistently good. Final Fantasy, Persona and Pokémon can’t say that. Dragon Quest can, however. Whereas Tales games tend to start with recognizable fantasy tropes and pick up sci-fi elements as they progress, Dragon Quest is all high fantasy, all the time.
If you like Tales of Arise for its quirky, communicative cast, then you should check out Dragon Quest VIII. While some Dragon Quest games are light on characterization, VIII gives you four (or six, in the remasters) delightful party members who grow and change as the story progresses.
Final Fantasy XV
Like Tales of Arise, Final Fantasy XV is a JRPG with a strong central cast, a thrilling real-time combat system and a story that deftly combines sci-fi and fantasy tropes. You play as Noctis, a young prince, slated to marry the princess of a neighboring kingdom, who sets off on a road trip with his three best friends.
Things go awry along the way, of course, and the four companions find themselves embroiled in a quest to save the world. Ray Chase, who plays Alphen in Tales of Arise, also played Noctis in FFXV, and both performances are instantly endearing.
Mass Effect Legendary Edition
Lovable party members and real-time combat systems aren’t exclusive to JRPGs. Western RPGs have had those elements for a long time. While any BioWare game could fill this slot (and the high fantasy Dragon Age series is a closer thematic match with Tales of Arise), Mass Effect probably has the strongest cast of characters.
In this sci-fi trilogy, you play as customizable protagonist Commander Shepard and recruit a team of experts to help you save the galaxy from the biomechanical Reapers. As in Arise, you can build your relationships with party members over time; unlike Arise, you can actually choose which party members to romance.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
At first blush, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney doesn’t have much to do with Tales of Arise. There’s no combat; you don’t build up a party or level up your skills; the story takes place in the real world with only the slightest hint of magic. But if you play Tales primarily for its cast of quirky characters (and its reams of dialogue), then the Ace Attorney series should fill the same niche.
You play as Phoenix Wright, a budding lawyer who surrounds himself with larger-than-life sidekicks, rivals, clients and enemies. Each murder mystery involves big, dramatic twists and some truly bizarre facial expressions.
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir isn’t a party-based JRPG; it’s a side-scrolling action/RPG where you take control of a single character at a time. But if you liked Tales of Arise for its dark story, its strong central cast and its demanding combat system, then Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is an easy recommendation.
In this game, you play as five different characters who all work with — and against — each other in a dying world inspired by Norse myth. The graphics are simply gorgeous, with watercolor effects for the backgrounds and fluid animations for the characters. The heartfelt story should also stick with you for a long time to come.
A JRPG is often only as good as its central cast, and few series do “memorable party members” as well as Persona.
In Persona 5, you play as Joker, a high school student who has recently transferred to a new school in Tokyo. There, he teams up with an eclectic group of new friends, including the fashionable Ann Takamaki and the introverted Futaba Sakura. As the game progresses, Joker and co. dive into the “Metaverse,” where real-world desires manifest as deadly demons.
In Persona 5, forging bonds with your party members doesn’t happen automatically; you can deepen your relationships through a complex social simulation mechanic.
Star Ocean: The Last Hope
Full disclosure: In terms of quality, the Star Ocean series is not nearly as consistent as the Tales series. Star Ocean has had some serious ups and downs over the years, from the daring Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, to the gimmicky Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness.
But if you like fast-paced real-time battles with customizable parties, then Star Ocean and Tales share a lot of the same DNA. Star Ocean: The Last Hope is probably the easiest game in the series to play, since you can get it on PS4 and Steam. The story is so-so, but if you focus on the combat, you’ll be fine.
Does Yakuza count as a JRPG series? The latest entry, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, is. Before that, though, it’s hard to say. Yakuza has real-time, brawler-style combat, complete with combos and timing-dependent special attacks. You don’t recruit party members or traverse a big, explorable world.
You do build up your skills over time and take on a variety of side quests, though. If Tales of Arise won you over with its big cast, fast battle system and plethora of meaningful side content, Yakuza 0 should scratch all of the same itches. (Technically, any Yakuza game would work, but this one is chronologically the first in the series.)
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Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.
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