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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 ascending orderGame Title
Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor DOS Front Cover

DOS (1993) and PC-98 (1994)

This is the third and the final part of Eye of the Beholder trilogy. While boasting of their exploits in...

Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon DOS Front Cover

DOS (1991), Amiga (1992), PC-98 (1993) and FM Towns (1993)

The Archmage Khelben summons the Heroes of Waterdeep, slayers of the Beholder Xanathar, for another mission. Strange things are happening...

Fable Xbox Front Cover

Xbox (2004) and Xbox 360 (2007)

At the town of Oakvale, in the land of Albion, a boy is sent on an errand by his father...

Fabled Lands II: Gold Edition iPad Front Cover

iPhone (2011) and iPad (2011)

This omnibus bundle folds in the content from the 1995 gamebook Cities of Gold and Glory, integrating it with the...

Fabled Lands: The War Torn Kingdom iPad Front Cover

iPhone (2011) and iPad (2011)

The six published Fabled Lands gamebooks had been compiled and automated in the FLapp program, but arguably the unpolished infodump...

Fable II Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2008)

Fable II takes place 500 years after the events of Fable. The game starts with the player choosing a male...

Fable III Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011) and Xbox 360 (2010)

Fable III is the third title in the Fable series of action role-playing games. Once again, the title takes place...

Fable III (Limited Collector's Edition) Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2010)

This Limited Collector's Edition comes in a leather-bound hollowed-out book with a leather strap to shut the case. Opening the...

Xbox 360 (2009)

Knothole Island is the first downloadable content for Fable II. It opens new quests concerning Knothole Island where people need...

Fable II (Limited Collector's Edition) Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2008)

This limited collector's edition contains: Fable II Making-of bonus disc A token card for downloadable in-game content: The Wreckager legendary...

Xbox 360 (2009)

See the Future is the second downloadable content for Fable II. It opens new quests after talking to Murgo, the...

Fable: The Journey Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2012)

Fable: The Journey is the fourth main game in the series and requires the Kinect peripheral to play. It is...

Fable: The Lost Chapters Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005), Xbox (2005) and Macintosh (2008)

Fable: The Lost Chapters is a version of Lionhead's Xbox-exclusive Fable, featuring enhancements to storyline and gameplay.The game expands the...

Façade Macintosh Front Cover

Windows (2005) and Macintosh (2006)

Grace and Trip are a happy couple. Or so it would seem. One night when you are invited to their...

Face of Mankind Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

Face of Mankind is a futuristic "sandbox" MMO/FPS with a heavy focus on roleplay. The game bills itself as completely...

Faery: Legends of Avalon Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011), Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2011)

Faery: Legends of Avalon is set in a fairy tale world in which fairies used to live with men. But...

The Faery Tale Adventure: Book I DOS Front Cover

DOS (1989), Genesis (1991), Amiga (1987) and Commodore 64 (1988)

Once upon a time, the people of Holm lived happily and peacefully, protected by a powerful talisman. But one day,...

PC-98 (1994)

Faladia is the last in the row of Kinpukurin's experimental RPGs. As in their other games, the story is very...

Fallen Earth Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

Sometime in the 2050s, the crippling "Shiva" virus begins to spread across the globe. With evidence suggesting Shiva has been...

Fallen Enchantress Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012)

A world to build...or to destroy is the motto of Fallen Enchantress, a turn-based fantasy strategy game. Similar to the...

Falling Stars Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007) and PlayStation 2 (2007)

Falling Stars is a role-playing game designed for children. As the player uncovers the mysteries of Dazzleon, they must participate...

The Fall: Last Days of Gaia (Extended Version) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

The Fall: Last Days of Gaia (Extended Version) is the first extended re-release of The Fall: Last Days of Gaia....

The Fall: Last Days of Gaia (Reloaded) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2006)

The Reloaded release is an extended version of The Fall: Last Days of Gaia, including all previously released patches. The...

The Fall: Last Days of Gaia Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

The Fall: Last Days of Gaia is a game set in an apocalyptic future ruled by different gangs that fight...

Fallout DOS Front Cover

DOS (1997), Windows (1997) and Macintosh (1997)

A devastating nuclear war had wiped out almost the entire population of the Earth. The civilization, as we know it,...

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