The 10 Best JRPGs Set in Schools


Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) are among the most critically and commercially successful game genres. As in most other games, they can take place in a variety of places, from distant galaxies to alien fantasy lands. However, some of the best use a very familiar place as the main setting: the school.

These games make the most of their premises, as the action takes place in a school and places the player in a familiar environment that may even trigger some memories. Role—playing games are engaging, and using school as a setting only increases the feeling of immersion in these JRPGs.

Fire emblem: three houses

The action of the sixteenth part of the Fire Emblem series, Three Houses, takes place on the fictional continent of Fodlan, divided between three ruling forces. Players control Baylet, a former mercenary and a new teacher at a school located in the Garreg March Monastery.

Released in 2019, the game Fire Emblem: Three Houses received positive reviews. Critics praised the school setting, combat mechanics and narration. However, the complexity of the game caused some negativity: critics unfavorably compared it with the previous parts of the revered series.

Person 5

The action of the latest part of the long-running series, Persona 5, takes place in modern Tokyo and tells about the Joker, a high school student who goes to a new school. Over the course of a year, he and other students discover their secret abilities and form a gang of vigilantes, Ghostly Heart Stealers.

Universally acclaimed since its release, Persona 5 is considered one of the JRPGs of all time. Special recognition was given to the characteristic visual style and gameplay of the game, as well as the characteristics of the Joker. The school setting is vital to the game’s narrative, making it an ideal option for players looking to return to high school.

Tokyo Xanadu

Tokyo Xanadu is a spin—off of the 1985 game Dragon Salyer II: Xanadu. The game takes place in an alternate reality and tells about Kou Tokisaka, a student living alone on the outskirts of Tokyo. After meeting a classmate, he unwittingly becomes part of Nemesis, a group that tries to close portals to the nightmarish realm of the Eclipse.

Released in 2015, Tokyo Xanadu received positive reviews from critics who praised the gameplay and narration. The school setting allows Coe to establish connections with other members of Nemesis, enriching the plot and giving the game most of the emotional weight.

Last Fantasy Type-0

Final Fantasy Type-0, part of Fabula Nova Crystallis, is dedicated to Class Zero, a group of students of the magic academy in the Dominion of Rubrum. After the attack, the class enters the battle, revealing the secrets of the war and its existence.

While the game has received acclaim for its storytelling and gameplay, it has been heavily criticized for its camera and artificial intelligence. However, the Type-0 demonstrates best-in-class dynamics and includes one of the best villains in the Final Fantasy series, which makes it worthy of any player’s attention.

The Valkyrie Chronicles 2

Released in 2010, Valkyria Chronicles II is a sequel to Valkyria Chronicles. The narrative focuses on a military academy where cadets are fighting an insurgent group that has unleashed a campaign of ethnic cleansing. The sequel was released the following year, although Valkyria Chronicles III, as is known, was never localized.

Valkyria Chronicles II received very positive reviews, especially for its replayability. The game cleverly combines action and knowledge, without trying to hide or downplay the dangers of war and the participation of young soldiers in the conflict.

Mana Chemia

Series Mana Khemia begins with Alchemists of Al-Revis, a 2007 JRPG that tells the story of Wayne, the son of a famous alchemist invited to the Al-Revis Academy. The sequel, Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy 2008, chronicles the fall of the school (literally) and subsequent efforts to recruit new students and secure funding through sponsors and representatives.

Both games received positive reviews. Although alchemy is the highlight of the series, the daily life of the Academy forms the basis of the story, which makes this JRPG much more school-oriented than most other games.

Blue reflection

Blue Reflection is a 2017 JRPG. The plot centers on Hinako Shirai, a magical girl who gained the power to fight and move freely after she was unable to continue her ballet career due to a knee injury. The narrative in the game follows Hinako’s experiences at school, where she gets closer to her friends and classmates, and her invasions of another world, where she uses her newfound abilities to fight monsters.

The game received average reviews from critics. However, the fans took it, and the game even got an anime adaptation. The Blue Reflection school setting allows Hinako to develop abilities based on her friendship with other classmates, which makes her vital to the narrative.