This year we were treated to the release of some of the best Japanese online games, especially online multiplayer games. Here's a look at the year's best releases to help you decide which games to purchase next.

1. Nioh Remastered – The Complete Edition​

Nioh Remastered – The Complete Edition Learn about the story of Nioh as you engage in fights with warlords and demons during the Sengoku-era. Photo: Store.PlayStation.com

The original Nioh game was released in February 2017 for the PS4. Following its tremendous success, a remastered version was released on February 5, 2021. This version stayed true to the elements that made the first release famous. The gameplay follows the story of William Adams, an Irish sailor inspired by the only known Western Samurai. Set in the 1600s, during the Sengoku period which is known for civil conflicts.  This fictional timeline features William's adventures in finding sorcerer Edward Kelley during Tokugawa Ieyasu's goal of unifying Japan. 

The game has a series of tasks where players need to clear out many missions and defeat monsters called "yōkai" that has infested the nation. What makes this game fun to play is its true-to-life sword movements. The different sword techniques can strengthen or weaken an attack depending on the enemy plus the ability to build your weaponry or armor through the blacksmith. It is an immersive and adventure-filled game set in a thrilling time.

2. Bravely Default™ II

Bravely Default II Meet the Heroes of Light as they explore a brand new world. Photo: Nintendo.com

Developed by gaming icons Claytechworks and published by Square Enix, Bravely Default II was released for the Nintendo Switch on February 26, 2021. Since then, a Microsoft Windows compatible version of the game has been released to cater to more audiences. While this game is the third installment of the Bravely series, it has a unique storyline, setting and characters.

The game centers on the continent, Excillant that is divided into five main kingdoms. The game follows the story of the four main characters Adelle, Seth, Gloria and Elvis as they travel around the continent to retrieve the crystals of the four elements to defeat Gloria and seal the Night's Nexus away. As the four heroes gear up for an adventure, enjoy the jaw-dropping visuals the game has to offer.

3. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV The final chapter is finally here. Photo: Store.SteamPowered.com

The Trails of Cold Steel follows the story of the Erebonian Empire that has the most powerful military ever assembled and is poised to rule the entire continent through  Operation Jormungandr. As the rest of the world rallies to defend themselves, a secret society called Ouroboros tries to fulfill its leader's long-time plans. The final chapter of the game follows the surviving members of Class VII escaping the secret villages of witches and trying to rescue Rean while trying to prevent the world from possible war.

This role-playing game concludes The Legend of Heroes series that features giant mechs, devastating attacks, rediscovering the Lost Arts and learning the most powerful Orbal Arts that can immediately turn the battle in your favor. 

4. No More Heroes 3

No More Heroes 3 Fight until you reach the pinnacle of the Galactic Superhero Rankings. Photo: Nintendo.com

Now is the perfect time to conquer and fight your way to the top of the Galactic Superhero Ranking. The No More Heroes 3 game is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch system and is developed and published by Grasshopper Manufacture. After an 11-year hiatus since the second installment, the game features Travis Touchdown as he returns to the city of Santa Destroy to defend it from a powerful army of alien invaders headed by Prince Fu. Armed with his Beam Katana and awesome fighting moves, help Travis overpower invaders by fighting and ranking up in the Galactic Superhero Ranking. 

Aside from combat gameplay, you can also enjoy some real-life tasks such as lawn mowing and suplexing giant gators as part of a day's work. This punk-rock combat adventure gives a thrilling combat experience.

5. Yakuza: Like A Dragon

Yakuza: Like a Dragon Take a crack at the underworld in this dynamic RPG combat game. Photo: Store.SteamPowered.com

Yakuza: Like A Dragon is the eighth installment in the Yakuza series that was internationally released on March 2, 2021, for the Playstation 5. The role-playing video game was developed and published by Sega. While the earlier Yakuza games featured  Kazuma Kiryu, the latest installment introduces gamers to Ichiban Kasuga, who was betrayed by his most trusted ally and boss before ending up in prison. After his release, Ichiban embarks on a personal quest to become the people's hero as he tries to discover the reason behind the betrayal.

Like the previous Yakuza series, there is plenty of side quests that can be done to gain additional rewards and player bonuses. There are also numerous hidden gems in the game such as enjoying karaoke. The latest game introduces the Dragon Kart game which allows players to race with other characters. The game has become RPG-type combat with a four-person battle team for the ultimate battle. 

Check out more online Japnese game such as Mystino and more.