Based off the classic tabletop board game Dungeons & Dragons, role-playing games, or RPGs for short, use similar rules to put you in the shoes of a hero and their party. RPGs let you build your own character to varying degrees or pick a class and rework your appearance from scratch. These games also let you set unique attributes of characters like melee, magic skills to navigate through enemy encounters. RPGs traditionally have massive maps to explore with side quests and a sprawling main story. Like a great novel, if you are looking for an experience to lose yourself in, RPGs are the gaming equivalent.
Some of my most unforgettable adventures have come within the RPG genre. Games like Final Fantasy VII, Fallout, Diablo II, Mass Effect, Skyrim, and The Witcher III are some of the best stories and rich sprawling worlds I’ve ever experienced in a video game.
A Role Playing Game for you
The RPG category has many subgenres, with a wide variety of adventures. Whether you are into fast paced action or a more strategic approach a thrilling journey awaits. These deep, multilayered experiences feature some of the most iconic characters that resonate with gamers around the globe. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of each RPG subgenre and some of the most hotly anticipated upcoming role-playing titles.
Although story is still the key focus, action and combat are much more pronounced in these RPG games. Some of the most popular action RPGs are the Diablo, Legend of Zelda, Skyrim, Horizon Forbidden West and Nioh titles. There is a central focus on developing a single character and not an entire party. The controls are more reliant on your realtime-reflexes and less scrolling through menus to decide combat actions. Here are a few great action RPGs out now:
Hailed by many as one of the greatest RPGs of all time, Elden Ring is a quintessential gaming experience. Jump into a world full of mystery, magic and wonder. You’ll explore and battle through the lands in a new fantasy world created by Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R. R. Martin. Unravel the mysteries of the Elden Ring’s power and become an Elden Lord!
Demon’s Souls is a remake of the classic PlayStation 3 game from 2009. Originally developed by FromSoftware, Bluepoint Games has rebuilt the experience from the ground up. Stunning visuals, and difficult challenges await, do you have what it takes?
Pokémon Legends: Arceus
A bold new adventure awaits as players will need to catch, survey, and research wild Pokémon in a bygone era of the Sinnoh region. You can choose Rowlet, Cyndaquil, or Oshawott as your dependable partner to kick off your adventure. Along the way, a mystery surrounding the Pokémon known as Arceus will begin to unfold.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
The classic Wii title is making its return on the Nintendo Switch with enhanced graphics, smoother frame rate and new control options. Step back in time with Link’s earliest adventure in the series as he battles to save his childhood friend Zelda. Experience the legendary adventure in a whole new way!
Upcoming action RPGs
Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2
Enter the secret society of vampire-ruled Seattle and make the right moves to survive the on-going blood war among rivalling factions. Unravel the mysteries of this dark world without revealing your identity.
Starfield is the first new universe in 25 years from Bethesda Game Studios (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4) In this next generation role-playing game set amongst the stars, you can create any character you want and explore with unparalleled freedom as you embark on an epic journey to answer the universes great mysteries. Prepare for launch, Starfield arrives November 11th, 2022.
Roleplaying shooters contain many of the same elements as action RPGs, combining the action genre with character building elements and gunplay. Popular games like Borderlands, Destiny, Fallout and Mass Effect are best in class RPG shooters.
Top RPG Shooters
Explore a futuristic open-world city obsessed with power, glamour, and body mods in Cyberpunk 2077. You play as V, a mercenary outlaw searching for a prototype implant that’s the key to immortality. Customize V’s cybernetic enhancements, skillset, and playing style as you dive into a vast city of the future where your choices shape the story and world around you.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition
One of the greatest space epics of all-time has retuned with Mass Effect Legendary Edition. The comprehensive collection includes Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 remastered in 4K Ultra HD along with all extra promotional items. Get ready to lead an elite squad to save humanity from an alien threat.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands
Explore an unpredictable fantasy world spanning majestic cities, dank mushroom forests, foreboding fortresses, and more while blasting baddies with powerful guns and devastating spells in the battles. Roll your own multi-class hero then shoot, loot, slash, and cast on a quest to stop the Dragon Lord.
Massively multiplayer online games
Massively multiplayer online games, or MMORPGs for short, open up the questing experience to other online players. Imagine you are about to face an otherworldly foe in an epic battle but aren’t sure you can do it alone. With MMORPGs you are never alone, joining a massive online community to adventure together. MMORPGs have a long line of legendary games like The Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft.
Roguelike and roguelite RPGs
A roguelike RPG has a long list of qualities, carving themselves out a specialized spot in the subgenre. They usually contain procedurally generated levels, permadeath, turn-based combat in addition to hack n’ slash fighting mechanics. Roguelites use less of these elements, primarily focusing on permadeath and randomly generated maps. Titles like Crypt of the NecroDancer, Dead Cells, and Spelunky are some great roguelites to experience the gameplay loop. Here are some other must play roguelike experiences that offer rewarding but challenging gameplay:
The critically acclaimed Hades is a rogue-like dungeon crawler where you defy the Greek Gods. It’s up to you to discover unique powers and battle your way out of the Underworld. Don’t miss out on one of the most unique titles in the RPG genre.
If you are looking for an easy to pick up and play dungeon crawler Minecraft Dungeons is an experience you’ll enjoy. Gameplay is simple, straight forward and satisfying for players of all ages. The game features roguelike elements with 10 procedurally generated levels, all with adjustable difficulty, and numerous secret stages you can unlock. The replayability factor is extremely high and with a budget price, Minecraft Dungeons is an absolute must play title!
Release Date: Available now on PlayStation 5
Explore an alien planet as a marooned astronaut in the upcoming third-person shooter Returnal. The roguelike will force you to fight for survival as you are stuck in a nightmarish time loop. Every “death” has you restart areas with the enemies and environment transforming each time.
Open world RPGs
If you are looking for massive, expansive worlds with quests to get lost in for hours, open world RPGs are for you. As a result, this style of RPG doesn’t restrict you to a linear path but lets you explore the world’s expansive map. Some stellar open world RPGs that are essential playthroughs are Fallout, Final Fantasy VII, Skyrim and The Witcher III. Here are more recently released open world RPGs to check out:
Release Date: Available Now on PlayStation 5
Face the deadly, unknown supernatural forces in the Ghostwire: Tokyo. You’ll uncover new mysteries around every corner in an ominous city filled with dangers, and wield a combination of elemental powers and ghost-hunting skills to combat the threat. Enjoy next-gen immersion as you explore stunningly rendered, rain-soaked Tokyo with PS5’s ray tracing technology and 3D AudioTech.
Horizon Forbidden West
Delve into an epic adventure with Aloy as she braves the Forbidden West – a majestic but dangerous frontier that conceals mysterious new threats. Explore distant lands, fight bigger and more awe-inspiring machines, and encounter new tribes as you return to the far-future, post-apocalyptic world of Horizon.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
The Yakuza franchise has retuned with an experience unlike anything that has come before it. Yakuza: Like a Dragon sheds the real-time action combat of previous Yakuza games double down on story and adventure.
Upcoming open world RPGs
Experience the wizarding world in the 1800s in Hogwarts Legacy. In this immersive, open-world action RPG set in the world first introduced in the Harry Potter books, you play a student who holds the key to an ancient secret, battling against dark forces threatening the wizarding world. As you explore an open world, create your legacy and make history as it unfolds.
Venture to Santo Ileso, a crime-infested city in the American Southwest, in Saints Row for PlayStation 5. There, you’ll band together with three friends as you launch your own criminal empire. As you explore the vast environment, you’ll face off against enemy factions, armed with an incredible weaponry from standard revolvers to massive rocket launchers.
Get out there and explore!
The vast selection of RPG games always has something new and interesting to offer. Whether on the go with your Nintendo Switch or playing at home on your Xbox, PlayStation or PC there’s always a new adventure waiting. I hope this rundown of RPGs helped you find a new epic quest.
Let us know what your favourite RPG games are in the comments below!