IxrecMediaVideo games

Ranking Title Difficulty Explanation Description Picture
Very Easy Famicom Detective Club Easy Japanese with furigana. Both games revolve around a young detective trying to solve a murder case. In one game you investigate the death of a wealthy and influential local and in the other game you investigate the murder of a school student and it's a murder mystery/ghost story kind of thing.
Very Easy 妖怪ウォッチ Uses both beginner RPG speak and everyday language with NPCs. Has furigana on all kanji. Charming, cozy RPG series with a bunch of different spin-offs. The main series is a pokemon-like in a mid-size, modern day japanese town. All the games are dirt easy, but have some fun exploration and end-game bosses.
Very Easy あつまれどうぶつの森 Has a lot of everyday language and is easy overall, making it great for beginners. More commonly known in the West as Animal Crossing. Extremely wholesome series where you build your house and in some case village with other animal friends.
Very Easy-Easy ファーランドストーリー遠い国の物語 Simple fantasy vocab and not very much of it. As an SRPG, there’s some exposition and speech at the beginning and end of each level but very easy overall. Text can be parsed easily with texthooking (see Neko Project II). Farland Story is the first in the row of successful Japanese strategy RPG games. The main hero of the game is a knight named Arc, who is in love with the beautiful priestess Ferio. One day, when Arc and his best friend Randia are out of town, a hostile army under the command of a mysterious Black Knight invades the town and kidnaps Ferio. Thus begins Arc's quest to defeat the enemies and to rescue his beloved one from their clutches.
Easy ドラゴンクエストXオフライン Overall very beginner friendly and has an option to turn on furigana. The main difficulty comes from the various puns and language quirks that some characters have. Other than that should be doable but be careful as stuff like the quest log doesn't have furigana. Dragon Quest X Offline (not to be confused with the online version) is a remake of the Dragon Quest X online MMO but meant to be played offline as a single player campaign. The story and world is the same as the MMO version, however the gameplay is slightly different.
Easy 逆転裁判 Mostly everyday language with the exception of some court speak. Lines of text need to be short enough for the tiny GBA screen for the first game. Can easily find japanese scripts of this game online which helps tremendously. Known in the West as Ace Attorney. The player takes the roles of various defense attorneys, including Phoenix Wright, his mentor Mia Fey, and his understudies Apollo Justice and Athena Cykes, who investigate cases and defend their clients in court; they find the truth by cross-examining witnesses and finding inconsistencies between the testimonies and the evidence they have collected.
Easy 王デュエルモンスターズGX タッグフォース Furigana on every kanji, sentences limited to two lines at most (except on the cards). The cards aren't too difficult either since they're written for kids. The player enrolls at Duel Academy as a transfer student. The main focus of the game is a Tag Force tournament that will take place on the island. Players must find a partner to compete in the tournament alongside.
Easy スナックワールドトレジャラーズゴールド The grammar is relatively simple and it’s all with furigana so kanji shouldn’t be an issue. There are a lot of puns about food (mostly) with character and enemy names. The mechanics are very simple in general and if you like dungeon crawling light-hearted action RPGs, I think you will enjoy this. Let the dungeon crawl...begin!
After your village is invaded, become a heroic adventurer and seek revenge against the villainous Sultan Vinegar! In this RPG, crawl through randomly generated dungeons in your search for rare treasure, and team up with up to three other players in local or online multiplayer to take down tenacious tyrants!
Easy 十三機兵防衛圏 Lots of plot devices, but the story is told from 13 perspectives often revolving around the same events, so the same events are discussed several times with similar vocabulary, which makes it easier. The game tells 13 distinct stories - one for each of it's 13 characters. However the fate of the 13 characters intersects at many points making up an overarching storyline about saving the world spanning over many centuries.
Easy ペーパーマリオ オリガミキング The game has full furigana support and is relatively easy to follow. There’s a few instances of weird speech (either archaic or some other speech quirks) but for the most part it shouldn’t be too hard. There are a few word puzzles and trivia with wordplays that might get tricky but it’s a good test of understanding. The Switch entry in the Paper Mario series which blends RPG, puzzle and action-adventure elements with the traditional Mario cast.
Easy ポケモン不思議のダンジョン救助隊DX Has a lot of standard JRPG terminology but dialogue and such is easy. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games are based in dungeons (“mystery dungeons”) where a floor map is randomly generated. In the dungeons, players fight other Pokémon while obtaining items and finding stairs to the next floor, exiting the dungeon after a fixed number of floors.
Easy ポケットモンスター ソードシールド Excellent and very easy to follow for the most part. Despite being RPGs, the story is very linear and even if you end up not understanding some plot points, you will almost never be “stuck” on a puzzle or not knowing where to go. The first real mainline Pokémon game on Switch, not much to say. Play it if you like Pokémon.
Easy ポケットモンスター スカーレットバイオレット Average pokémon game with the usual RPG terminology but no really difficult vocab. Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, standard pokémon gameplay.
Easy ぼくの夏休み Main character is a child and everyone talks to him accordingly, very rarely going into more complex sentences and with reasonable speaking pace (game is fully voiced). That being said, the dialogue advances automatically and there's no furigana. Boku's parents take him to spend his summer vacation with at his aunt and uncle's house. You have complete freedom as the player to choose how he'll spend it. Probably one of the most relaxing and immersive games you'll ever play.
Easy ときめきメモリアル Everyday slice of life dialogue, conversations are mostly short and easy to follow, game is fully voiced, no furigana. The dating sim to end all dating sims. Relive highschool all over again all over again in a game that objectifies love in the best possible way.
Easy ときめきメモリアル2 Similar to the first game above. It has more features such as honorifics being used to address certain girls, a weather system, more events and QoL features. Recommended to play this one over the other one if you want to get into this series. See above.
Easy Filsnown ~光と刻 Vocab is primarily easy fantasy JRPG fare with some brief spikes in difficulty when talking to gods. Both menu and dialogue text can be parsed easily with texthooking (see Neko Project II). Long time ago, seven gods who were guarding the Earth defeated the evil god Gadim. But time has passed, and the seven benevolent gods have vanished one by one. Evil has awaken from its slumber. It's time for somebody else - a human - to become a hero and to defeat it once and for all. This chosen one is a young girl named Thiria Fray. She must find other girls with supernatural powers to aid her on her quest to defeat the evil.
Easy Tail Concerto It has simple everyday language with adventure bits. It mostly consists of dialogues between characters. Dialogues progress only after a button press, so there is almost always plenty of time to read it. It doesn't have furigana, but all the main story dialogues are voiced. The only difficult part is the animated cutscenes which lack subtitles. It is an adventure platformer about anthropomorphic cats and dogs for PS1. The game looks like a shonen anime with a kind dog-policeman as a protagonist and a trio of cat-girls as baddies. The player must take control of a police robo and stop the mischievous Black Cats Gang. The game itself is short and can be completed in 4-6 hours.
Easy-Medium Final Fantasy VII Some special words here and there, but total amount of unique words is no more than 5000ish, so it's very doable for someone who knows a fraction of that. The game's story follows Cloud Strife, a mercenary who joins an eco-terrorist organization to stop a world-controlling megacorporation from using the planet's life essence as an energy source. Events send Cloud and his allies in pursuit of Sephiroth, a former member of the corporation who seeks to destroy the planet.
Easy-Medium KIGEN 輝きの覇者 Vocab primarily focuses on jrpg fantasy terms with some sci-fi terminology. Battles are real time with a variety of different skills (so a little tricky to read if you’re a slow reader) but nothing too difficult. Some uncommon vocabulary but can be quickly parsed via texthooking (see Neko Project II). Shizuni is a planet in the solar system of the star Vanas. The humans have built a civilization there, similar to medieval Europe of our Earth. Whenever forces of darkness threaten the planet, it releases three shining orbs. These orbs choose their heroes, who would then join forces and defeat the evil. This time around, one of such heroes is Kanan, a young knight who has swore to serve his king. He must find the other heroes and save the planet, before it is once again controlled by the dark forces.
Easy-Medium エストポリス伝記II Standard fantasy JRPG vocabulary but because it’s on the SNES not as much kanji usage as you’d hope and some things are very pixelated making it more difficult than it really is. Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals is a prequel to Lufia & the Fortress of Doom. Its events take place ninety-nine years prior to it, and it explains the origin of the series' antagonists, the group of super-humans known as the Sinistrals. The player controls the ancestor of the first game's protagonist, the swordsman Maxim. After having encountered a mysterious woman named Iris, Maxim goes on a journey to find other heroes who would help him to stop the Sinistrals from destroying the world.
Easy-Medium ファイナルファンタジーX The game itself is not necessarily easy but the language I found surprisingly straightforward. Maybe the easiest FF language wise. The game's story revolves around a group of adventurers and their quest to defeat a rampaging monster known as Sin. The player character is Tidus, a star athlete in the fictional sport of blitzball, who finds himself in Spira after Sin attacked his home city of Zanarkand.
Easy-Medium ラングリッサー ドラマティックエディション The in-game dialogue is easy and voiced but some characters could be be difficult to understand due to Keigo. The pre-mission exposition is full of uncommon war terms and vocab-wise rings pretty close to other fantasy SRPGS like Fire Emblem. Cutscenes are voiced but have no subtitles and would be difficult for an early learner. This is a remake of two games: Langrisser (known as Warsong in the USA) and its sequel, Langrisser II – or, better to say, the enhanced version of this sequel, known as Der Langrisser.
Easy-Medium Chrono Trigger Pretty straightforward plot, general fantasy setting and vocabulary. The dialogues are pretty straightforward with an easy-to-follow story. When a new invention malfunctions, MC and his friends end up in the past and need to find a way back to the present. Epic JRPG stuff ensues.
Easy-Medium Voice of Cards ドラゴンの島 Tabletop- like game which works in a turn-based system making it easier for Japanese learners because they don't have to rush to understand what's going on. It is 100% voiced. It's a series so you can enjoy the other games too. On the Isle of Bliss, a Dragon said to bring catastrophe in its wake arrives. Queen Nilla sends adventurer bands to slay the Dragon and the monsters that emerged in its wake. Adventurer Ash and his monster partner Mar takes on the job for coin, being joined by the witch Melanie as she also seeks the Dragon. They often cross paths and are impeded by Wynifred and Sherwyn of the Ivory Order, a group who control a panacea called Dragontears.
Medium MONSTER HUNTER RISE Has a lot of difficult and made-up words but isn't very dialogue heavy. As with previous Monster Hunter titles, Monster Hunter Rise has the player take the role of a Hunter, tasked with slaying or capturing large monsters using a variety of weapons, tools, and environmental features to damage and weaken them while surviving their attacks.
Medium Persona 4 A lot of everyday language with some non-trivial bits thrown in due to the nature of mystery games. Dialogue is pretty regular overall. The story revolves around Yu Narukami, a young teenager who moves to the town of Inaba, where a mysterious string of murders is taking place. Upon discovering a distorted TV World and acquiring a mysterious power known as "Persona", Yu and his friends decide to investigate the murders and save others from being killed.
Medium Persona 5 Same as above, pretty okay with some mystery game vocabulary. Persona 5 is a game about the internal and external conflicts of a group of troubled high school students – the protagonist and a collection of compatriots he meets in the game's story – who live dual lives as Phantom Thieves.
Medium ASTLIBRA Revision Language used by the main cast is mostly simple, but no voice acting makes it a bit less accessible. Some parts are a big jump in difficulty, especially in the later chapters of the story. 2D action RPG that's incredibly fun, with satisfying gameplay and fun RPG elements. Lots of text. The action and story parts are divided well, so it's a very good mix of reading and gameplay. Early 2000's RPG vibes.
Medium 英雄伝説VI 空の軌跡 Lots of dialogue, lots of NPC, story is not super easy but it's still manageable. The first trilogy in the Trails of series (sixth overall in the Legend of Heroes series.)
The game follows protagonists Estelle Bright and her adopted brother Joshua, who journey through the country of Liberl to train to become senior Bracers, members of a non-government multinational organization that acts to keep the peace and protect civilians.
You should play all three games, this is the description of the first one.
Medium 英雄伝説
More or less the same as sky but it starts getting more complicated topics later on, still relatively manageable though. I recommend playing these after you've played the sky trilogy so you should already be experienced enough (and the story will make sense more sense.) Sequel to the above made in a dual edition.
The protagonist, Lloyd Bannings, is a rookie police detective. At the beginning of Zero, he is assigned to the Special Support Section (SSS), an odd-jobs branch of the city's police department, together with Elie MacDowell, heiress to a political dynasty, Randolph "Randy" Orlando, a laid-back ex-soldier, and Tio Plato, a young girl and electronics genius.
Medium 龍が如く Easier than Yakuza 0 as there's less kansai, although the yakuza slang is still quite present. A lot of the side quests aren't voiced and there's a lot of content to read and go through. I would recommend reading Yakuza 0 first anyway. Remake of the first Yakuza game on PS2.
Like the original PlayStation 2 game, Yakuza Kiwami explores the life of a man named Kazuma Kiryu who is demoted from his clan after taking the blame for his boss's murder. After a decade in prison, Kiryu searches for his old friends who have gone missing.
Medium 龍が如く 2 See above, it's the sequel and the same difficulty warnings apply. Remake of the second Yakuza game on PS2.
A year after leaving his former life in the Tojo Clan behind, ex-yakuza Kazuma Kiryu (Takaya Kuroda) is called back into action when the clan's Fifth Chairman, Yukio Terada (Kenji Nomura), is murdered by assassins from a rival organization, the Omi Alliance.
Medium コープスパーティ The game is extremely gripping so the difficulty isn't really an issue if you have a basic level of Japanese literacy. The plot of the original Corpse Party game concerns a group of Japanese high school students, celebrating their school's culture festival. The group are telling ghost stories when a sudden earthquake transports them to a dilapidated schoolhouse in an alternate dimension. The school is haunted by the ghosts of people who have been trapped there.
Medium 那由多の軌跡 The name mentions it's a Kiseki/Trails game, however it's more like a spin-off/side story and can be played without having played any other kiseki game. The language is not particularly hard and it's not very text heavy. For most of the game you just have to go through various stages and fight enemies, and there are clear quest markers on the stage selection telling you where to go even if you can't follow the story. The dialogues sometimes throw at you some tricky words, but overall it's pretty average for a JRPG. The Legend of Nayuta is set in two worlds: the main characters' home world, and a mysterious world called Lost Heaven. The main characters' hometown is Remnant Island, located in the center of Ciencia Sea, a vast ocean with countless islands. Shooting stars have been continually falling from the sky for some time, leaving much of these piled up on the island. Stones known as "Star Fragments" have been discovered in these areas. By shining a light on them in a certain way, people can see the phantom world of Lost Heaven.
Medium Judgment Not as hard as an average light novel or visual novel but there will still be some words that are not as common in normal conversation/easier media. The game follows private detective Takayuki Yagami as he investigates a serial murder case in Kamurocho, a fictional district of Tokyo, Japan, previously featured in the Yakuza franchise.
Medium-Hard ファイナルファンタジーXIV Some difficult vocabulary from time to time, very long game with a lot of fantasy elements (duh). There are many different kinds of enemies that speak in different ways so it's medium-hard to hard depending. Three nations try to recover after a world disaster as a foreign power tries to take over by using ancient magic. You are the Warrior of Light, capable of seeing the past in visions. Starting in one of the main nations, you will have to confront the foreign power and try to save the world.
Medium-Hard 天穂のサクナヒメ Action RPG with rice farming as a big gameplay element. It has a lot of rice farming terminology and also some japanese mythology terminology and slight samurai speech and dialects. Players control the goddess Princess Sakuna, who is tasked with exploring the Isle of Demons and clearing it of monsters while also looking after a small group of human characters. The game is split between two separate gameplay styles: side scrolling hack and slash platforming levels that are gradually revealed on a map of the island as players complete objectives, and a farming simulator where the player must grow rice in a small paddy in the hamlet where Sakuna and the humans live.
Medium-Hard 女神転生V Has some challenging dialogue now and then but overall isn't too bad especially considering gameplay is the focus. The protagonist, an ordinary high-school student, and his school friends Yuzuru Atsuta and Ichiro Dazai are caught up in a mysterious earthquake and transported to Da'at; an alternative apocalyptic version of Tokyo amidst an almighty battle between angels and demons. As he travels in this world, he shortly becomes overrun by demons and is nearly killed, only to be saved by a god-like being, Aogami.
Medium-Hard 女神転生III NOCTURNE Some challenging dialogue now and again due to deities being the focus of the game series, but otherwise standard JRPG language. Nocturne follows a high school student in post-apocalyptic Tokyo, who is transformed into the demonic Demi-fiend after the world undergoes Conception, an apocalyptic event triggered by a sinister cult to enable the world's rebirth in a new form.
Medium-Hard Elden Ring Has hard dialogue for a JRPG and a lot of made-up words. You play as the Tarnished, as you journey through The Lands Between, face the demigods, and try to understand the machinations of cosmic forces beyond your control.
Medium-Hard ゼルダの伝説 ブレス オブ ワイルド There is some more complicated vocabulary along with made-up words, but you can still enjoy the story to its fullest by ignoring a good deal of the details. The first entry on the Switch of the world-famous Legend of Zelda entry. Once again you'll need to face Ganondorf to save the princess Zelda.
Medium-Hard ゼルダの伝説 ティアーズ オブ キングダム The sequel of the game above, most things said above apply there too. The second entry on the Switch of Legend of Zelda and the sequel to the game above. The plot is similar once again, with the same freedom to do whatever you want but on steroids.
Medium-Hard ファイアーエムブレム 風花雪月 Lots of medieval vocabulary but the dialogue usually isn't too bad. The story is a bit hard to grasp depending on which route you go through first and you'll need to follow to plot to understand what's going on. Three Houses is set on the continent of Fódlan, divided between three ruling powers currently at peace. These nations are connected through the Garreg Mach Monastery, which houses a church and an officer's school for students from each nation. Taking the role of Byleth, a former mercenary with a mysterious past and the academy's newest professor, the player must choose a class to lead and guide their students through a series of battles.
Medium-Hard 龍が如く0 誓いの場所 The game takes place in showa era with a lot of yakuza speech, and especially if it's the first one in the series for you then you'll not be used to the language. The interface makes use of a lot of kanji (it gives Showa vibes) and also a significant portion of the game takes place in Osaka so you have a lot of kansai slang as one of the main characters speaks kansai. Yakuza 0 takes place in late 1988, during the bubble era of Japan, in which real estate and stock market prices were greatly inflated. The two central protagonists of the game are Kazuma Kiryu, a junior Tojo Clan yakuza in Kamurochō who is forced out of the clan due to a murder accusation, and Goro Majima, a disgraced former Tojo Clan yakuza who works as a cabaret manager in Sotenbori to earn his way back into the clan.
Medium-Hard MOTHER2 ギーグの逆襲 Surreal themes and story with lots of weird use of vocabulary and syntax. It is a bit hard to follow at times with fantasy vocabulary. Sometimes parodies elements of other JRPGs. Mother 2, known as EarthBound in the West takes place in the 1990s, several years after the events of Mother, in the fictional country of Eagleland, a parody of the United States. The player starts as a young boy named Ness as he investigates a nearby meteorite crash with his neighbor, Pokey, to find his neighbor's brother Picky. They find that an alien force, Giygas, has enveloped and consumed the world in hatred and consequently turned animals, humans, and objects into malicious creatures.
Hard ファイナルファンタジーXVI Lack of texthooking, all dialogue is real time (no log, no pausing), the English version of the game is not closely translated from Japanese so you can't easily compare versions, lots of less common kanji and terminology being used all make this game significantly hard. It's probably the hardest FF game language-wise. Final Fantasy XVI is set in the twin continents of Valisthea, currently divided between six nations who hold power through access to magical Crystals and Dominants, humans who act as hosts for each nation's Eikon. Tensions between the nations escalate as a magical drought dubbed the Blight begins consuming the land.
Hard うたわれるもの 散りゆく者への子守唄 The language is full of made up words, often with very long and confusing katakana strings. It uses a lot of non-standard/unusual kanji, it does provide furigana for a lot of those words but often the furigana doesn't match what the word actually is and sometimes uses very archaic language and every character has their own speech quirks and dialectal/slang way of speaking (often very archaic). Utawarerumono is a story centering around the masked protagonist, Hakuowlo, who one day is found by a family of two girls and their grandmother in a nearby forest close to their village. He is badly injured and is soon found to have amnesia, so they take him to their home and treat him until he is well again. Hakuowlo is soon accepted into their village where he stays and lives with them, but before long Hakuowlo finds that life in this village is being oppressed by the greedy ruler of the land their village resides in.
Hard 英雄伝説 閃の軌跡 Cold steel 1 is very straightforward and not too political but Cold Steel 2 starts getting more political later on. These two rank at Medium-Hard. In comparison, Cold Steel 3 and 4 are a bump in difficulty. They contain significantly more dialogue and side content (often unvoiced) and the themes are very political with lots of complex topics. A tetralogy, the sequel to the Trails of Zero/Azure games.
Very Hard 原神 A lot of chinese/rare kanji, dense writing, so much text to read especially in world quests. Lots of rare words, made up words that natives have difficulty reading. Sheer volume of text will make you better at reading. Genshin Impact is a massive game that throws players into a world where the Archons rule over the land, and elemental visions are granted to worthy mortals. The game follows the Traveler as they go on a quest to find their missing sibling with the companion Paimon.
Gacha game.