Guest character appearances in video games happen relatively frequently, but they are most commonly seen in fighting games and some racing games. Guest appearances in video games aren't limited to only these specific genres, however, and a handful of JRPGs feature guest appearances from characters from other properties.
These guest appearances range from brief cameos by unexpected, out-of-place characters to fully playable appearances, where these characters actually participate in battle. Because of these differences, as well as differences between the games these guest characters make appearances in, only some can truly be considered the best.
11 Taizo Hori – Namco x Capcom
Taizo Hori is the main character of Dig Dug, and is also the father of Mr. Driller. He is also one of the few retro arcade characters to appear in the Japan-exclusive PlayStation 2 title, Namco x Capcom, a predecessor to the Project X Zone Duology. Taizo Hori is notable for being the character to receive the most drastic design change in the game.
Instead of the simple design used for the first game, or the cartoony redesign from the Mr. Driller series, Namco X Capcom used a more realistic-looking design. We should probably be thankful Pac-Man didn't appear in the game with a similar redesign, as it may have been terrifying.
10 Segata Sanshiro – Project X Zone 2
It wasn't easy to choose between Sega icon Segata Sanshiro and the pair of Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima from Yakuza. However, this marks Segata's only playable appearance in a game, while Majima and Kiryu have had playable guest appearances in other titles. Segata Sanshiro was a Sega mascot that appeared in a series of commercials throughout the late 1990s.
In a 2020 commercial, Segata's son, Sega Shiro, made his debut appearance. He was portrayed by Maito Fujioka, the actual son of Segata actor Hiroshi Fujioka — who also played the main character Takeshi Hongo in the original Kamen Rider series from 1971.
9 Gridman – Super Robot Wars 30
While Gridman is one of the best guest character appearances in Super Robot Wars history, he's also one of the best in JRPGs in general. Super Robot Wars 30 marks Gridman's first playable appearance in a game. He is also the first Tsuburaya character to appear in the series, with the second being Ultraman from the manga and anime series of the same name.
While somehow no Transformers have appeared in the Super Robot Wars series, Gridman's MAX form is heavily inspired by Optimus Prime. This may be the closest fans ever get to having the Autobot leader as a playable unit.
8 Jibanyan – Taiko Rhythmic Adventure 1 & Taiko Rhythmic Adventure 2
Taiko Rythmic Adventure Pack, a pair of two JRPG spin-off titles of the Taiko No Tatsujin series, features a guest appearance from the Yo-Kai Watch character and mascot Jibanyan. Not only that, but Jibanyan can join the player's party and help fight against enemies during battle, using his signature Paws Of Fury attack.
There is also a Jibanyan outfit that Don-Chan can wear in each game, once the player has unlocked it by clearing the appropriate songs. Gera Gera Po no Uta and Yo-Kai Watch Exercise No. 1 are the first opening and ending songs of the Yo-Kai Watch anime series.
7 Don-Chan – Yo-Kai Watch 2 & Yo-Kai Watch 3
Don-Chan, one of the mascots of the Taiko no Tatsujin series, also appears as a befriendable Yo-Kai in Yo-Kai Watch 2 and Yok-Kai Watch 3. In both versions of Yo-Kai Watch 2, Don-Chan can either be encountered after the player has completed the Inspirited Away quest, or received from the crank-a-kai machine after traveling back to the past.
In Yo-Kai Watch 3, Don-Chan can be befriended after the player has completed the "You're Invited to DON-CHAN's Bash!" quest. Yo-Kai Watch 3 also has the player fighting against three Don Chan instead of one, increasing the likelihood that the player will befriend him.
6 Rathalos – Final Fantasy XIV
Critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV is no stranger to crossover events. The game features content from Dragon Quest, GARO, Nier Automata, and even Yo-Kai Watch. While usually these events only have minions or mounts that players can unlock, some have boss fights.
The most notable boss fight from crossover content is against the Rathalos from Monster Hunter: World, who has his own unique mechanics that players must be aware of if they want to be victorious. After it has been defeated, there is also a very low chance that the Rathalos will drop a Rathalos Whistle, which lets any player who obtains it use the Rathalos as a mount.
5 Marth – Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE
While many Western Fire Emblem fans first learned of Marth from Super Smash Bros. Melee, he first appeared in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade Of Light, the first game in the Fire Emblem series, which originally launched for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990. Although it wasn't officially localized until it launched on Nintendo Switch 30 years later in 2020.
In Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE and the enhanced version Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore, Marth is a legendary hero who doesn't join until the final battle after his spirit has been freed, temporarily lending his power to the main character Itsuki.
4 Sora – World of Final Fantasy
In World of Final Fantasy, many significant characters from past Final Fantasy games appear as Champions, allies the main characters can summon to assist them in battle. Sora, the main character of the Kingdom Hearts series, was free DLC for the game for a limited time.
When summoned, Sora uses an attack called Ragnarok, which deals light elemental magic damage to one enemy and casts regen on all party members. While Haley Joel Osment doesn't voice Sora in this appearance — since he says nothing in the English version of World of Final Fantasy — the Japanese version has Miyu Irino reprise his role.
3 Vyse Ingelbard – Valkyria Chronicles
Vyse Ingelbard, the captain of the Blue Rogues from Skies of Arcadia, appears as a playable character in Valkyria Chronicles and returns in Valkyria Chronicles 3. Since both the original Skies of Arcadia Dreamcast game and the enhanced Legends GameCube port don't include voice acting, Valkyria Chronicles marks the first time Vyse has had a voice. He is voiced by Roger Craig Smith, the voice of fellow Sega character Sonic The Hedgehog.
Aika Thompson, another character from Skies of Arcadia, also appears as a playable character in Valkyria Chronicles and Valkyria Chronicles 3. She is voiced by Grey Delisle, who also voices Jeanne in Sega's Bayonetta series.
2 Epona – Monster Hunter Stories
The Monster Hunter series is often known for its collaborations, and the JRPG spin-off Monster Hunter Stories is no exception. Link's horse Epona, who first appeared in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, appears as a hatchable monstie exclusively in the Nintendo 3DS version of Monster Hunter Stories.
Although there is some crossover DLC with other video game series in Monster Hunter Stories, Epona is the only monstie to come from these crossovers. Other Legend of Zelda DLC that came with unlocking the Epona monstie included the Hero's Sword sword & shield weapon, Link's traditional green outfit, and Majora's Mask.
1 Dante – Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne
Most people in the video game space know about the meme "featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series" — text originally put on the European cover of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, which at the time was called Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer's Call in Europe.
Although Dante has an entry in the Demonic Compendium and is technically half-demon according to the lore of his series, he cannot be fused with any other demons. Dante cannot be summoned from the Demonic Compendium in New Game Plus mode, either. In the HD remaster, Dante must be purchased as extra DLC, with Raidou Kuzunoha XIV taking his place otherwise.
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