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Octopath Traveler 2: Games To Play After You've Beaten Every Ending

After nearly a five-year wait, "Octopath Traveler 2" brought fans a familiar experience that captures what made its predecessor so successful. Rather than continuing the story of the original, the sequel presents its own world and narrative. Eight new playable characters deliver on the core premise, each with their own history and goals. The stakes vary in scope, ranging from country-wide to deeply personal. The result? A nostalgic JRPG that players can spend over 100 hours exploring.


Seeing all of the endings in "Octopath Traveler 2" requires a significant time investment. Players must first complete every party member's four-chapter plotline before moving on to the two-part Crossed Paths. Even with these accomplishments checked off their to-do list, gamers still aren't done. To reach the most brutal boss of "Octopath Traveler 2" and the true ending, players must also make their way through the lineup of Extra Stories quests. Just surviving the final encounter is no easy feat, and can demand hours of preparation and strategizing on its own.

After sinking so much time into "Octopath Traveler 2," gamers may find they have a notable hole to fill in their schedules. Thankfully, a wealth of other titles exist that offer the same kind of magic as the JRPG through similar combat systems, party dynamics, or overall game design.


Live A Live

Another JRPG from Square Enix, "Live A Live" released in 1994 on the Super Famicom. Almost three decades later, a remake for the Nintendo Switch brought the game to countries outside of Japan for the first time. Similar to "Octopath Traveler 2," "Live A Live" boasts eight playable protagonists. Rather than exploring a single period, each chapter delves into a different point in time that places one of the main cast members at the center of the narrative. Settings range from Imperial China to the Distant Future. Players can unlock multiple endings, and completionists may log more than 30 hours uncovering all of the title's secrets.


The "Live A Live" remake impressed critics overall. Much like in "Octopath Traveler 2," the main cast and their stories provide different levels of nuance and impact, with some leaving a stronger impression than others. Chris Carter of Destructoid, who awarded the title an 8/10, felt the unconventional approach functions as both a strength and a weakness. "The micro-story strategy ... has the unintended outcome of seeing strong narratives cut short, as there isn't enough time to sink your teeth into them," wrote Carter. "Conversely, a few overstay their welcome. It's the cost of the format."

Overall, "Live A Live" sets forth a memorable, story-driven experience with a bit less content than fans may expect from a JRPG. While they'll have to decide if this merits the $50 price tag, "Live A Live" stands out thanks to its unusual take on game design. It also offers many of the more familiar features players have come to love about "Octopath Traveler 2."

  • Release date: July 22, 2022

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch

  • Genre: RPG, strategy, turn-based, tactics

  • Game modes: Single-player only

  • Metacritic score: 81 (Switch)

Bravely Default 2

"Bravely Default 2" employs the same tactic as "Octopath Traveler 2," abandoning the narrative of its predecessor for a fresh setting and roster of heroes. The main party consists of four people – a sailor, princess, scholar, and mercenary – and the title follows a more traditional storyline. The protagonists must save the world from an ancient antagonistic force by collecting elemental crystals, continuing the cycle of good versus evil. "Bravely Default 2" features more than one ending and exhaustive playthroughs may exceed 100 hours.


Despite its rather traditional narrative structure, critics had a mostly positive response to "Bravely Default 2." Thanks to polarizing character models and punishing boss fights, the title doesn't quite stick the landing. However, it oozes nostalgia for long-time JRPG lovers. Due to its unrelated world and plot points, players don't have to worry about making their way through the other entries in the franchise to get the most out of "Bravely Default 2." This works to the entry's advantage since the original "Bravely Default" only released for the Nintendo 3DS.

Michael Sollosi of RPGFan described "Bravely Default 2" as "a tightly-designed and well-written Japanese RPG with gameplay ideas rooted in the 1990s." However, he also pointed out that it "lacks the polish and amenities expected of a Square Enix RPG of the 2020s." Still, he felt the title has enough high points, including its combat system and music, to merit a score of 86/100.

  • Release date: February 26, 2021

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC

  • Genre: RPG

  • Game modes: Single-player only

  • Metacritic score: 76 (Switch), 83 (PC)

Secret of Mana

Alongside titles like "Chrono Trigger," "Secret of Mana" has long been regarded as one of the great JRPG classics that emerged for the Super Nintendo in the '90s. In fact, "Secret of Mana" and "Chrono Trigger" share some of the same roots, with both using features originally intended for a "Final Fantasy" sequel. "Secret of Mana" follows three playable characters that fulfill different roles in the party. The hero excels with weapons, the girl focuses on healing and support magic, and the sprite masters offensive casting.


The narrative in "Secret of Mana" centers on the perils and corrupting influence of pursuing power. Players must power up a magical sword by traveling to multiple locations before heading to a final showdown with the big bad. The core trio uncovers long-forgotten details about the world's history and have to make a number of personal sacrifices along the way. The title's graphics, score, and multiplayer elements drew significant praise, and its defining mechanics influenced the development of several games that came after it.

Those looking for the ideal "Secret of Mana" experience would do well to avoid the 3D remake launched for PlayStation 4 and PC in 2018. Unfortunately, poor visuals and voice acting coupled with negative changes to the mechanics strip away much of what made the original "Secret of Mana" so revolutionary. It's best to stick with the classic here.

  • Release date: August 6, 1993

  • Platforms: Super NES, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch (as part of "Collection of Mana")

  • Genre: Action RPG

  • Game modes: Single-player, local co-op (up to 3)

  • Metacritic score: 80 (iOS), 83 (Switch)

Illusion of Gaia

Another great JRPG from the mid-1990s, "Illusion of Gaia" has flown under the radar for many, likely due to the fact that it never received a port for modern gaming systems. While it didn't reach the same heights of popularity as "Secret of Mana" or "Chrono Trigger," the title boasts a lot to love. Set in an alternate Earth, dark fantasy setting, "Illusion of Gaia" incorporates a robust cast of core characters alongside a number of locations drawn from ancient history and mythology.


Players make their way through the game as Will, a young student with some missing memories who fits squarely into the "chosen one" archetype. He eventually unlocks the ability to transform into two additional forms, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. Though these three comprise the full list of playable characters, Will assembles a full team of travel companions along the way, many of whom serve crucial roles in the story. You might even find yourself shedding a tear or two at pivotal moments.

Potentially one of the biggest drawbacks of "Illusion of Gaia" is its linear progression. Players won't find a wealth of side quests here. However, the stellar soundtrack, darker atmosphere, rich cast, and intriguing designs more than make up for the lack of player agency. You'll need a Super Nintendo to play it, but you might just find that this gem merits the investment.

  • Release date: September 1, 1994

  • Platform: Super NES

  • Genre: Action RPG

  • Game modes: Single-player only

  • Metacritic score: N/A