OK. You've never played a JRPG before. You have no idea what a chocobo is. You've always thought Final Fantasy was the name of a metal band. This is going to be the place for you.
As Kotaku's JRPG columnist, I get a lot of messages from people who are kind of interested in the genre, but don't quite know where to start. Maybe they didn't grow up with the type of instincts required to really get into a tough turn-based RPG. Or maybe they have had a horrendous experience with one or two bad Final Fantasys and they're just totally turned off from JRPGs forever.
So today we're going to create a killer list of the best Japanese role-playing games for beginners, from the obvious to the obscure. If your nine-year-old niece asked you what new RPG she should play, what would you tell her? What about your friend who only plays shooters? Or your non-gaming boyfriend who wants to start getting into your hobby?
Here's the basic format you should use:
Name: Why it's worth playing: How to play it:
Random Encounters is a weekly column dedicated to all things JRPG.