Fantasy settings, great heroes, tremendous danger, and a whole array of adventures – these are just a few of the reasons why the role-playing genre remains attractive throughout the years and will likely remain as a stable pillar of the gaming industry for a great long while. But when you take in the landscape of the genre right now, there are several RPG video games that are bound to stand out. And in this article, we will lay down the ones we believe are not only worth the attention, but also forever belongs in the RPG hall of fame.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
First on the list is, of course, Skyrim. We could probably include the entirety of the Elder Scrolls series, but this singular title alone is so vast and expansive that it needs a spot all by itself! With hours upon hours of content to explore, an abundance of customization and overall feeling of belonging to an adventure of a lifetime, lovers of RPG video games will find plenty to sink their teeth into, no doubt about it!
Do you enjoy discovering new and unique locales? Skyrim’s landscape has you covered. Are you leaning towards a free combat style? Grab a sword in one hand and a spell in another and run fight those dragons in your preferred way. Or maybe your game should have freedom in every aspect? This Elder Scrolls title will give you just that. Liberty is one of the cornerstones this game stands on, and it’s not just empty talk.
Even years after Skyrim’s release, many new RPG video games tend to be compared to this modern classic. Mostly because of the sheer impact it left on the industry – never before did we have such a marvelous combination of graphics and freedom; and all of a sudden, you are free to ride a dragon, kill giants, learn to summon ethereal beings, create a family and even rule the city. All the possibilities and near-endless game content rightfully carved out a spot for Skyrim among the greatest of greats!
Dragon Age: Origins
Despite not being of freedom-oriented games, Dragon Age franchise has made its own mark on the RPG scene. Among RPG video games, the first part of the series (called Dragon Age: Origins) was probably the most important, and not only because it gave a start to the whole label. When it was released, Dragon Age was meant as a fantasy adventure where you as a hero matter. And it was an astounding success!
The player’s character has been put into a situation where he/she had to prove themselves, grow and become better in order to confront those who wronged them. But with morally ambiguous choices and difficult situations that defined your character’s unique personality, the game presented much more depth than anyone ever expected from any of the typical RPG video games.
While the player is being led by a tightly knit story, there is a good amount of variations along the way. People you save and places you visit can play an important role in the game and its endings… and even sequels too! Bioware has taken a bold step and interconnected the following releases in the franchise with the past titles. This allows you to see beloved characters in newer games, grants you a few Easter eggs, or an inside joke (or two). Such a tactic also encourages replayability, which is very welcomed in each of the best RPG video games.
The Witcher 3
This would be another example of the worthy franchise, but this time we singled out the third and the last part of the series. Witcher 3 rightfully deserves all the accolades it got; with engaging storytelling, compelling characters and challenging combat. By many, the Witcher series is considered as one of the most important RPGs of our age.
The title will not hold your hand; and while tutorials are obviously still available, there are certain things in the game you must discover for yourself. Unlike in many RPG video games, in this one, you will have to maintain your gear at the tip-top condition in order not to die in the middle of a mission. And if you are not invested in technicalities, the plot of the Witcher 3 is bound to amaze.
Based on the books by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, the game has quite deep roots in Slavic folklore. And the title is not afraid to delve right into it, offering up a variety of monsters and beings at every turn. RPG video games often tend to swing from magical fantasy to gritty realism, but Witcher 3 blends the threat of hostile mortals and danger from immortal beings, creating an unforgettable fantasy adventure that is both elating and grounding, rewarding and humbling and just so very fascinating!
Speaking of grounded fantasy, there is nothing quite like Dark Souls franchise. It’s punishingly hard yet greatly rewards the players for their perseverance. Best of all, Dark Souls (the first game that we will talk about here) has begun a whole new sub-genre among the modern RPG video games. Dark Souls is a stamp of approval, both from the gameplay perspective and level of difficulty. After it appeared, it crushed plenty of so-called casual players, but also gave start to a whole new class of thick-skinned gamers that reveled in the challenge they have been given.
This transition was crucial since Dark Souls does its best to grind the players’ expectations to dust. Think you can jump off a ledge as a shortcut? Death screen. Want to take on several guards at once to save yourself some time? Death screen. Think you are smarter than the game’s AI? Death screen. RPG video games of the time didn’t have such a ruthless approach, always offering the player an ability to reduce the difficulty, if it got too hard.
Not with Dark Souls, though. And this high risk, high reward system worked! The game is not driven by the story. Rather, it’s the player’s stubbornness to win that pushed the game forward. This makes every unlocked secret and discovered treasure all the more satisfying. Dark Souls can very well be crowned as the king of RPGs – first of its kind and still appreciated by even today’s standards! What’s even scarier is that the titles in the series are each more difficult than the last, and such fashion goes in a well-rounded circle.
Divinity: Original Sin 2
The last on our list is a true love-letter to the old classical RPG video games, such as Baldur’s Gate or Planetscape, accompanied by the isometric view and rich lore. Honestly, Divinity: Original Sin 2 might not astound with ground-breaking graphics, but the game is beautiful and detailed, vibrant and vivid and full of secrets you can discover. The players can create their own characters, assign skills and pick their gear. This customization influences how you play, with plenty of freedom to experiment and discover new combos. The combat is turn-based, putting emphasis on tactical thinking: you can command your entire part and set up chain-attacks or increase the efficiency of your skills. It’s bound to get you hooked, even if it’s the very first RPG you’ve encountered.
RPG video games will probably never go out of fashion. There’s an entire market of games that allow you to become the hero, the chosen one, and at the same time offer variations of a well-known formula. Whether you like realistic cityscapes or fantasy forests, role-playing games will have something for everyone. After all, there’s always a world out there that needs a good protagonist! So, grab your dagger, axe, or a magic spell and get into the action. Here at Eneba, we offer astounding prices on each of the above-mentioned titles, as well as a whole array of other RPG wonders, who didn’t get their deserved spotlight here but are not the least bit less of a worthy pick.