The Atelier Series is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Now is an amazing time to get into the series, with a brand new game on the way and a remake of the original game coming out too. 25 years of history is honestly a lot to take in, especially with a ton of ports and editions on top of unreleased games. What are the best versions of the Atelier games?? Let’s explore this topic and figure out a recipe for success!
The Ryza games are the newest and by far the easiest games to get a hold of. They all have decent physical print runs on both Playstation consoles and Nintendo Switch. They are also available digitally on PC and the aforementioned consoles.
PC has the capacity to be the best version of these games (more on that later), though next in line is the PS5 version (for Ryza 2 and 3), the PS4 versions, and then lastly the Switch versions. The Switch version may not be as pretty or performant but it does have the portable factor, which is a comfy little boon for these games! The PS5 versions have amazing load times and run at high resolutions and framerates. PS4 pro does have higher resolutions and more consistent framerates than base PS4, but loading and the max framerate of 30fps are the same.
They even go on sale fairly often, so you can grab them and their respective DLC for great prices. I would even recommend getting them at full price because I think that they’re that good, though saving some bucks could only make them sweeter. That scrimped change could even enable you to buy even more Atelier games.
Recipes for Success for an Aspiring Alchemist
You don’t have to worry about continuity for the most part. The games are divided into sub-series and each sub-series sticks to itself, but even within the sub-series, they can be played independently if you so wish. You may get some characters or lore fleshed out in a more natural way but that’s about it. Feel free to play the games in about any order you want, although playing in release order could also give you a great sense of progression. I say more on this topic here.
IMPORTANT PC VERSIONS NOTE: I have heard rumblings over the years that the PC versions of these games aren’t the best. I haven’t tested these claims myself, so I can’t substantiate said claims. So, I’d avoid meager hardware or crank-down settings just to be safe.
URGENT PLAYSTATION VERSIONS TOME: Let’s just assume that from here on out that we understand that the PS5 versions of games have better loading, framerates, and resolutions. PS4 versions of these games at least target 30fps and are a full 1080HD.
NECESSARY NINTENDO SWITCH VERSIONS INFO: Let’s also assume that from here on out that the Nintendo Switch Versions of these games aren’t as high fidelity as PC or the PS4/5 but instead offers being able to swap between docked and portable play. Which is a distinct trait that some may value over resolution and framerate. The art styles still hold up despite all of this.
OLD CONSOLE VERSIONS INFO: This is the last important notice, I promise! Seriously! Anyway, consoles other than the PS4, PS5, and Switch mentioned later in this article aren’t as capable in many ways as these more modern consoles. Their resolutions won’t be as high or performance as stable. However, I will stick up for the older consoles by saying that there is a certain charm to playing these games on them!
Atelier Sophie 2
Atelier Sophie 2 was released between Ryza 2 and 3. The best version of it, graphically speaking, would be the PS5 version. PS4 of course lags behind. Switch is the bottom rung of course with its own distinct advantage.
Atelier Games With Remastered Collections (DX)
Fortunately, the vast majority of English-released Atelier games have some great collections to snag. The Dusk Trilogy, Arland Trilogy, and Mysterious series all have game bundles on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC. The only barrier of entry that is offputting is the standard $90 price point. These do go on sale, and 3 remastered games in a bundle is nice, but $90 is definitely a steep price that many won’t want to shell out.
All of these games mentioned also have original versions on the PS3 and some ports on PSVita. If you’re interested in nabbing copies of these versions instead, be my guest! I’m not gonna lie, I enjoy playing things on a Vita!
Games Without Remastered Collections
The only two series sets that have not been ported to modern consoles and PC are the two Mana Khemia games and three Atelier Iris games. These games are, as of writing, locked to the PS2.
Mana Khemia 1 does have a PSP version but sadly we did not get the port of the sequel game on PSP. I do hear that the PSP port of Mana Khemia is broken in some ways with some of the post-game content actually crashing the game.
Only two side games have been released outside of Japan; Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island and Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World.
Atelier Annie was a Nintendo DS game and has not received a port, so you’ll have to cartridge hunt (or use some other mysterious means) in order to play this one. This game is fairly similar to the main games but focuses a tad more on the crafting and characters. Battles are still present but not focal.
Nelke is in a completely different genre compared to the rest of the series. Nelke is a fanservice-y Town Building RPG where you get to meet prior protagonists of previous Atelier games.
Games That Didn’t Leave Japan
Luckily, if we’re talking about the main games, we have most of them except for the first two series (Salburg and Grammad). That means that we are technically only missing 5 games in the main series. Not too bad!
Where things get disappointing is that we are missing most of the side games and remakes/ports of games. Most of the DS side games never came over along with a ton of ports missing in our English collections. There are so many conversions and upgraded ports we’re missing. Various Gameboy, PS2, and PSP versions are what we mostly missed out on.
I’m happy to say that soon we’ll only be missing 4 of the main games!
UPCOMING: Atelier Marie Remake
This is the Shining Beacon of the Japan-Only games. The very first Atelier game is being remade, with an included bonus of the original game being fully translated along with the remake. This game is coming to PS4/5, Switch, and PC.
Atelier Games Best Versions Related Links
After reading about the best versions of the Atelier games why not check out some more Atelier stuff?