Most people will say Beyond the Beyond, released in November 1995, was the first JRPG for Sony’s Playstation. However, there other contenders for the title, depending on what definition is used for JRPG.
The first PS1 RPGs
In December 1994, two quick-off-the-mark Japanese developers released Crime Crackers (from Media.Vision), and, about two weeks later, King’s Field (from Fromsoft).
Both developers would become well known for their RPGs: Media.Vision for Wild Arms, and Fromsoft for Dark Souls.
However, both of their early PS1 releases were dungeon-crawling RPGs, and not the story-driven, adventure-style game most people think of when we say JRPG. You can see this from a video of Crime Crackers:
The first PS1 traditional JRPG
It was almost a full year later we would see the first typical JRPG on the PS1, with Beyond the Beyond from Camelot released November 1995. Historical but not historic, words like “formulaic” are used to describe its mechanics and generic fantasy world.
Beyond the Beyond may not have left a strong imprint on the collective memory of gamers, but it’s developer would go on to create the much loved Golden Sun series.
Other early PS1 JRPGs
Beyond the Beyond was followed very shortly by Suikoden from Konami, released in December 1995. Some other early PS1 JRPGs include Persona and Wild ARMs (link: my review), both released in 1996.
We can see that though the first years of the Playstation were somewhat slow for JRPG releases, some of the franchises introduced at this time would go on to have strong legacies and a lasting impact.
Here is a video walkthrough of Beyond the Beyond:
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