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 ascending orderGame Title
Dragon's Gate Windows Front Cover

Windows (1996)

This long-running online fantasy role-playing game started out in 1990 on GEnie (General Electric Network for Information Exchange) as a...

Game Boy (1990), MSX (1985), PC-88 (1984), Sharp X1 (1985), FM-7 (1984) and Epoch Super Cassette Vision (1986)

Dragon Slayer is commonly considered one of the progenitors of the action RPG genre. The premise is similar to Roguelikes:...

Game Boy (1992)

A spin-off from the successful Dragon Slayer series by Falcom, Dragon Slayer Gaiden casts you once again as the nameless...

Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

SNES (1992), Genesis (1994), TurboGrafx CD (1991), MSX (1990), Wii (2009), PC-88 (1989), PC-98 (1990), FM Towns (1990) and Sharp X68000 (1993)

Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes tells the story of a young prince named Selios. One day his old teacher...

Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes II TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

SNES (1993), Genesis (1995), TurboGrafx CD (1992), Wii (2009), PC-88 (1992), PC-98 (1992) and FM Towns (1993)

Years have passed since prince Selios, the hero of the first game, defeated the demon god Agunija in the ultimate...

Dragons of Flame DOS Front Cover

DOS (1989), Amiga (1989), NES (1992), Atari ST (1989), Commodore 64 (1990), ZX Spectrum (1990), Amstrad CPC (1990), PC-98 (1992) and FM Towns (1992)

Set in between the SSI's AD&D Dragonlance action games Heroes of the Lance and Shadow Sorcerer. This game follows the...

PC-98 (1992)

The setting of Dragon Sōseiki ("Dragon Genesis") is based on true historical evidence of a pre-Inca civilization in South America,...

Dragon's Prophet Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013)

Dragon's Prophet is set in Auratias, a world made by dragons. One of the most important happenings of the world's...

DragonStomper Atari 2600 Front Cover

Atari 2600 (1982)

Dragonstomper is notable for being the first role-playing game (RPG) released for a home console.Long ago, a Druid magician created...

DOS (1990)

A band of fearless dungeon crawlers must seek out The Dragon Sword and confront the dragon Oijngate. The Dragon Sword...

Dragon View SNES Front Cover

SNES (1994)

Many years ago, four brave warriors have reclaimed the magical Drakkhen tears for humanity, liberating it from the yoke of...

Dragon Warrior NES Front Cover

NES (1986) and MSX (1986)

Once upon a time, the Balls of Light illuminated the kingdom of Alefgard, keeping its winters short and sustaining its...

Dragon Warrior II NES Front Cover

NES (1987) and MSX (1988)

Dragon Warrior II is an early top-down RPG that expands and improves on its predecessor, Dragon Warrior. Taking the role...

Dragon Warrior III Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (2000), SNES (1996), NES (1988), iPhone (2014), Android (2014) and iPad (2014)

Dragon Warrior III is the concluding game of the first Dragon Quest/Dragon Warrior trilogy, and its story takes us back...

Dragon Warrior I & II Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (1999)

Dragon Warrior I & II contains Game Boy versions of Dragon Warrior and Dragon Warrior II. This is the third...

Dragon Warrior IV NES Front Cover

NES (1990)

Dragon Warrior IV is the fourth game in the Dragon Quest series. The game utilizes a chapter system, where each...

Dragon Warrior Monsters Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (1998)

In Dragon Warrior Monsters you enter Terry's Wonderland, a magical place of kings, monsters and magic spells. Make monsters your...

Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Cobi's Journey Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (2001)

Like the original Dragon Warrior Monsters for the Game Boy Color, Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Cobi's Journey combines themes and...

Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Tara's Adventure  Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (2001)

Like the original Dragon Warrior Monsters for the Game Boy Color, Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Tara's Adventure combines themes and...

Dragon Warrior VII PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (2000)

In "Dragon Warrior VII", you are a 16 year old son of a fisherman living on a small island called...

Dragon Wars DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990), Amiga (1990), NES (1991), Commodore 64 (1989), Apple II (1989), Apple IIgs (1990), PC-98 (1990) and Sharp X68000 (1991)

Dragon Wars takes place in the magical land of Dilmun, an island of salvation perverted into a world of horror...

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

The lovely princess was abducted by a mysterious giant black bird. The bird carried the prisoner to a tower on...

Drakan: The Ancients' Gates PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2002)

After the dragon rider Rynn returns to her home village, she finds it destroyed, and all its inhabitants massacred. Her...

Drakengard PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2003)

Drakengard follows the story of a kingdomless prince named Caim who fights for the Union against the Empire. Under the...

Drakengard 2 PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2006)

Because of the events of the first game the world was broken, requiring the Red Dragon, Angelus, to restore the...

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