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Role-Playing (RPG)

Description

Role-playing video games are descendants of pen-and-paper RPGs. In those games character development is the main driving gameplay mechanic. Typically one or more characters are created and shaped by the player, then embark on a series of encounters that increase the inventory, wealth, or combat statistics of said character(s).

A role-playing game is not just any game in which the player "plays a role", i.e. controls a character and participates in exploration and narrative. Rather, the defining characteristic of role-playing games is player-dependent character growth. A role-playing game can be seen as such when player-controlled characters become stronger ("levels up") because of the player's actions (usually depending on experience points received for vanquishing enemies), rather than being upgraded automatically as dictated by the storyline. The degree of the player's involvement in shaping the characters may vary considerably: some RPGs offer vast customization possibilities, while others tend to simplify and even nearly automatize the process.

Traditional RPGs have turn-based combat and a fantasy setting (Wizardry series, Ultima series, Roguelikes, etc.). Later, other settings were introduced, and many RPGs - such as Diablo - began favoring action-based combat. In these games, Action is used as a modifier to the RPG genre.

By the late 1980's, the genre has been distinctly split into two main sub-genres: Western and Japanese (sometimes called console-style) RPG. Western RPGs typically favored free exploration and player-made decisions, while Japanese RPGs focused on following a linear story line. Japanese RPGs also tended to retain simple turn-based combat mechanics, and in many cases also random enemy encounters.

In many early Western RPGs the player was given the option to create an entire party of characters (usually up to six). Ultima games introduced the possibility of recruiting initially non-playable characters (NPCs) with their own personalities from the game world into the party. Beginning with Phantasy Star, Japanese RPGs followed this template and even elevated it to their cornerstone mechanic.

Late 1990's saw a "RPG revival" in the West. Fallout greatly expanded the usage of non-combat statistics and moral decisions during gameplay, while Baldur's Gate popularized real-time party-based combat.
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sorted in descending orderGame Title
Anarchy Online (Special Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002)

The Special Edition of Anarchy Online features the following content: The fully patched game A 12"x12" map of Rubi-ka An...

Anarchy Online: The Notum Wars Windows Front Cover

Windows (2001)

Land control is the main feature of this Anarchy Online expansion, along with additional graphic updates and new sounds. Vital...

Linux (1994), DOS (1996), Windows (1996) and Amiga (1995)

In Ancient Domains of Mystery, the player character is an adventurer who has traveled to a remote mountain range to...

Windows (1998) and Windows Mobile (2005)

In Ancient Evil a master magician named Alaric constructed a big crypt of 24 levels. Everyone who dares to enter...

Windows (2001)

A cult of snake worshippers, the Ophilia Sect, is responsible for the murder of the rightful King of Olyndsia. Play...

DOS (1991)

Ancients 1: Death Watch is a mystical fantasy role-playing game, bringing players deep in the underground to do battle with...

Ancients II: Approaching Evil DOS Front Cover

DOS (1994)

Ancients 2: Approaching Evil is the sequel to Ancients 1: Death Watch with a new story not directly connected to...

Sharp X68000 (1991)

Ancient Ys Vanished is a remake of Ys: The Vanished Omens. Story-wise, it is identical to the original version. However,...

Windows (2007)

ANDI-Land is a computer adventure game where the player solves simple puzzles through conversation with artificially intelligent characters.Players use the...

SEGA Saturn (1997)

This is a remake of the PC Engine (TurboGrafx) CD role-playing game Seiya Monogatari. The differences between this release and...

An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire DOS Front Cover

DOS (1997)

An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire is a spin-off to the main Elder Scrolls series and offers a more linear and...

Angband Android Front Cover

Linux (1992), DOS (1992), Windows (2005), Amiga (2003), Windows Mobile (2001), Macintosh (2004), Android (2009), Acorn 32-bit (1995), GP2X (2011), GP2X Wiz (2011) and OS/2 (2001)

Angband is an updated version of the game Moria, adding more monsters, character races and classes; deepening the dungeon from...

PC-88 (1989) and PC-98 (1989)

In a certain girls' high school, students have begun to mysteriously disappear. Authorities suggest that a secret society is at...

Angelique: Tenkū no Requiem PC-FX Front Cover

PlayStation (1999) and PC-FX (1998)

The first RPG entry in Angelique universe, adventure/dating simulation games specifically created for female players and revolving around young girls...

Angry Birds Epic iPad Front Cover

iPhone (2014), Android (2014), iPad (2014) and Windows Phone (2014)

A curious mash-up, this game is what you get when you take Angry Birds' cartoony cast and feature them in...

Game Boy Color (2000)

Based on Scholastic's popular books and television series, Animorphs is a 2D action / RPG hybrid. The evil Yeerks are...

Anito: Defend a Land Enraged Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

Anito: Defend A Land Enraged is an RPG set in the fictional 16th century Asian land of Maroka. It has...

Game Boy (1995)

Once upon a time, there was a huge war between the humans and the demons. After prolonged battles, both sides...

PC-98 (1990)

The young Jin has grown up in a quiet secluded hut in a peaceful family, thinking it was his own....

Another War Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002) and Macintosh (2003)

Another War is a RPG created by Polish developers. It takes place during World War II, the protagonist being a...

Anrufen Online iPhone Front Cover

Symbian (2009) and iPhone (2010)

Anrufen Online is a traditional Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) for mobile platforms.In the game the player controls...

Amiga (1991)

Antaris is a classic role-playing game of the Bard's Tale variety set in a science-fiction scenario. After the radio contact...

DOS (1992)

Revisiting the abstract origami wireframe 3D first-person perspective of Bob's Dragon Hunt for the second game using the homely but...

Antologia Ex Machina Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

This compilations includes all three games from Ex Machina series by Targem Games (with last patches): Hard Truck: Apocalypse Hard...

Anvil of Dawn DOS Front Cover

DOS (1995) and Windows (2013)

Anvil of Dawn is a role-playing game featuring pseudo-3D dungeons similar to those of Eye of the Beholder, but with...

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