RPG Genre BannerBased 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 VIISkyrim, 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.

Action RPGs

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 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:

Role Playing Game DemonSoulsDemon’s Souls

Release Date: Available Now on PlayStation 5
Full Review | Overall Rating: 4.6/5 (92%)

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?

Purchase Demon’s Souls

Role Playing Game Nioh CollectionThe Nioh Collection

Release Date: Available Now on PlayStation 5
Full Review | Overall Rating: 4.4/5 (88%)

The Nioh Collection includes both Nioh and Nioh 2 remastered to take advantage of the PS5 along with every single piece of previously released DLC for both games. You’ll face off against other samurai in epic sword battles and intense multi-target missions.

Buy The Nioh Collection on PlayStation 5

Upcoming action RPGs

Role Playing Game Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

Release Date: Coming Soon – July 16, 2021

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!

Preorder The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

Roleplaying Shooters

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 upcoming RPG Shooters

Role Playing Game Mass EffectMass Effect: Legendary Edition
Release Date: Coming Soon – May 14, 2021

One of the greatest space epics of all-time is returning with Mass Effect Legendary Edition. The comprehensive collection includes Mass EffectMass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3remastered in 4K Ultra HD along with all extra promotional items. Get ready to lead an elite squad to save humanity from an alien threat.

Preorder Mass Effect: Legendary Edition

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:

RPG HadesHades

Release Date: Available Now on Nintendo Switch

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 the Nintendo Switch has to offer!

Purchase Hades

MineCraftDungeonMinecraft Dungeons

Release Date: Available Now on  Xbox OnePlayStation 4Switch and PC
Full Review | Overall Rating: 4.25/5 (85%)

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!

Buy Minecraft Dungeons


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.

Buy Returnal

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:

YakuzaYakuza: Like a Dragon

Release Date: Available Now on Xbox One/Series X/Series S,PS4, PS5 and PC
Full Review | Overall Rating: 4.7/5 (93%)

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.

Purchase Yakuza: Like a Dragon  

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!

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Matthew Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things tech related since the start of the digital era. He shares his passion for technology in his day job as a teacher and via multiple media platforms. As a long-time veteran of the video game and tech industry, he's covered interactive entertainment and esports on the web, in video series, podcasts, and on international television. You can follow Matthew's tech-venture filled lifestyle on twitter and instagram @dapper_tux


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