If you’ve somehow managed to snag a Nintendo Switch recently, there’s a chance you grabbed Disgaea 5 Complete. Seeing as how the system is still slowly building up its library, now’s as good a time as any to finally jump into the Disgaea franchise. Not only are they quality strategy RPGs, they’re pretty well-regarded for being great time-killer games. With an insanely high max level for characters capping at 9999, the ability to level up your own weapons by going inside and playing on endless maps, and a wealth of side content, Disgaea is a grinding-fan’s dream. You could easily spend over 1000 hours playing a single entry of the franchise.
But maybe you’ve had your fill of Disgaea for now. Maybe you still like the strategy gameplay, or the quirky cast and writing, but want something just a bit different. Well, we’ve got some suggestions for you! Any of these should be sure to scratch that strategy itch left by Disgaea!
Similar Games to Disgaea
1. Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions
- System: Playstation Portable, iOS, Android
- Publisher: Square-Enix
- Developer: TOSE, Square-Enix
- Release Date: May 10, 2007 (US)
Conflict has torn apart the kingdom of Ivalice. And the once considered endless strife with neighboring nations has finally come to an end and is regarded now as the Fifty Years War. As Ivalice is struggling to rebuild, their king dies suddenly and his only heir is a baby who, of course, is unfit to rule. Factions are forming within Ivalice for who they believe is most fit to become regent. You’ll play as Ramza Beoulve, the bastard son of a high-ranking nobleman who has been tasked with protecting Princess Ophelia: a popular candidate for the regency. Meanwhile, in the shadows, your best friend Delita has something else up his sleeve…
Considered to be the first major spinoff of the Final Fantasy franchise, Final Fantasy Tactics has spun off into its own franchise. However, the original game is still the most beloved for its more realistic depiction of medieval politicking and no-nonsense gameplay. Plus, it dusted off the fan favorite Job Class system and evolved it in unique ways. By leveling up certain classes, you’ll unlock new classes, as well as become able to carry over different skills from other classes. While Final Fantasy Tactics came out on the original Playstation first, we’re recommending the PSP version due to the extra content, such as characters and classes. It served as something of a blueprint for the entire Disgaea franchise, so it’s absolutely worth your time if you want a strategy RPG with a bit more of an adult tone.
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (for iPhone) Launch Trailer:
2. Fire Emblem Fates
- System: 3DS
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Intelligent Systems, Nintendo SPD
- Release Date: February 19, 2016 (US)
Tensions are mounting between the nations of Hoshido and Nohr. King Garron, the ruler of Nohr, is frequently attacking Hoshidan cities and Hoshido is doing what they can to retaliate and end this senseless destruction. Corrin, the main character, has lived their whole life believing themselves to be Nohr nobility, being raised by the Nohrian royal family. One day, however, a mission goes awry and Corrin is captured by Hoshidan nobility. There, they find out that they actually are blood relatives of the Hoshido royal line and were kidnapped by the Nohrian at an early age. Corrin will have to make a choice: will they choose to fight with their biological siblings or the only family they’ve ever known?
You want extensive content? Fire Emblem Fates has it by the barrel full. Fates is in effect 3 games in one: Birthright is the story if you choose to side with Hoshido, Conquest to side with Nohr, and Revelations if you want to set off on your own and end the war yourself. You’ll have to pay extra for each version of the game and will come out to a whopping $80 in total, but you’re getting your money’s worth. Each game has its own unique campaign, story, and characters; and to go along with that, you have the ability to pair up characters with each other. After that, they can have children and then you can pair THEM up with one another. This all combined with several different difficulties and styles of play (such as turning on permadeath) gives you countless hours of replayability.
Fire Emblem Fates Choose Your Path Trailer:
3. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker
- System: 3DS
- Developer: Atlus
- Release Date: May 5, 2015 (US)
Japan is in trouble. Beings called the Septentriones are invading the country and destroying cities one by one. The only line of defense is a private military organization called JP, led by a calm, imposing figurehead named Yamamoto Hotsuin. Supposedly, the Septentriones are being sent to Earth to wipe out civilization, but it’s said that if humanity were to overcome this invasion, the divine being Polaris will reveal itself to humanity and listen to the will of the strongest leader and rebuild the world in their image. You’ll play as an ordinary guy who will fight to influence this battle, and along the way you’ll work with who you want to rebuild the world.
Devil Survivor 2 actually came out on the DS originally, but we’re recommending the 3DS version over it because it comes with its own entirely unique campaign. This makes it 2 games for the price of 1, with branching story paths for each game. You’ll find yourself replaying over and over again just to see how the story plays out differently each time. But be aware: whereas in something like in Disgaea, you can get by by grinding, Devil Survivor 2 is going to push you to your limits. It’s kill or be killed in this game, with a battle system that heavily emphasizes getting the jump on your enemies and wiping them out as quickly as possible. If you were left wanting a more tactical strategy RPG from Disgaea, Devil Survivor 2 is the right pick.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Break Record – Japanese Trailer:
Any Games Like Disgaea ?
4. La Pucelle: Tactics
- System: Playstation 2, Playstation Portable (Japan only)
- Publisher: Mastiff
- Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
- Release Date: May 4, 2004
In the city of Pot a Feu resides a church. This is the Church of the Holy Maiden, a small but up-and-coming church that doubles as both a normal sanctuary and a training ground for demon hunters. One such member would be Prier, a girl who has big dreams. See, in this world, it is said that one day, the Dark Prince will rise again, and can only be brought back down by the Maiden of Light. Prier hopes to become said Maiden, and works diligently towards her goal of becoming worthy of such a title.
Keen-eyed fans of Disgaea may recognize Prier as a hidden boss from the first two Disgaea games. This is because, in spite of coming out overseas long after the original Disgaea, La Pucelle was actually its predecessor! NIS seems to have a bit of a soft spot for the game, Prier has continued to show up through the entirety of the Disgaea franchise as a DLC character. If you want to see where Disgaea got its roots, check out La Pucelle.
5. Megadimension Neptunia VII
- System: Playstation 4, PC
- Publisher: Idea Factory International
- Developer: Compile Heart, Idea Factory
- Release Date: February 2, 2016 (US)
There is a plot to Megadimension Neptunia, but let’s be real: it doesn’t matter. This is part of the long-running Hyperdimension Neptunia series, an irreverent comedy franchise where you’ll see many of your favorite gaming companies and consoles brought to life as cute anime girls. The story is so actively convoluted and nonsensical that it’s done with a point, making fun of how such bizarre and pointless stories are told within the medium that are presented with such a straight face. Megadimension Neptunia is so intentionally overblown that it has 3 different story chapters spread across so many in-game universes that it’s nearly impossible to follow.
So, naturally, if you love the goofy, self-aware nature of Disgaea, you’ll feel right at home with Megadimension Neptunia. However, you might be concerned that most of the other Neptunia games have a more traditional turn-based RPG system. Don’t worry! Megadimension Neptunia enhances the game to have some light strategy elements where you’re able to take control of your characters and position them on the map.
Megadimension Neptunia VII – Official Trailer:
6. Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
- System: Super Famicom (Japan only), Sega Saturn (Japan only), Playstation, Playstation Portable
- Publisher: Square-Enix
- Developer: Quest, Square-Enix
- Release Date: February 15, 2011 (US, PSP version)
Valeria has finally found peace after 80 years of war. Three different factions had been fighting over who ruled over the kingdom until Dorgalua was finally able to quell the conflict and take his place in the throne. Just as things were looking up, however, King Dorgalua dies without a living heir, causing the three factions to fight again. One such faction, the Wallister, resorts to unscrupulous means for victory by receiving aid from the Dark Knights Loslorien of the Holy Lodis Empire in retaliation to the Galgastani begining an ethnic cleansing policy. You’ll play as Denam Pavel seeking vengeance against the Dark Knights who ravaged his hometown.
If that story sounds deliciously yet eerily similar in tone to the previously mentioned Final Fantasy Tactics, there’s a reason for that. Tactics Ogre serves as something of a predecessor to that game, and was both Squaresoft’s and famed director Yasumi Matsuno’s first foray into grid-based strategy after finding Japanese audiences were struggling with adapting to the real time system of Ogre Battle. It’s the granddaddy of all modern strategy RPGs, and is an interesting history lesson if you can track down a copy for the PSP or the even rarer PlayStation release.
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together – Launch Trailer:
This should be enough to get you started. The world of strategy RPGs, after all, is wide and vast, with countless entries into the canon. What did we miss that you might recommend? Please, let us know in the comments below!