DescriptionRole-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.
There is trouble in the land of Gipath. Legends tell of the Chosen One that will come and save its...
Evolution 2 is a direct sequel to World of Sacred Device. The events of the game take place six months...
Neo Geo Pocket Color (2000)
A portable version of Evolution: The World of Sacred Device. Eternal Dungeon tells the story of the young explorer Mag...
Mag Launcher is the only child in a legendary family of adventurers. Several years ago, a cute little girl showed...
Evolution Worlds is a re-release of two games: Evolution: The World of Sacred Device Evolution 2: Far off Promise The...
The storyline of E.V.O.: Search for Eden follows the same patterns as modern Evolution theories. The players first controls a...
ExcaliBug is a mixture between Commandos and RPG. The first noteworthy aspect of the game is its unusual scenario: It...
Excelsior Phase Two is a tile-based RPG (in the vein of Ultima 4-7). Sent as a "fixer" to the world...
TurboGrafx CD (1992)
Exile: Wicked Phenomenon is a sequel to Exile, following once again the adventures of the series' protagonist, the Middle Eastern...
In 1960s, a crashed scout space ship of the n'eri race was found by the USA in the desert near...
DOS (1985), Windows (2014), Amiga (1986), NES (1987), Atari ST (1986), Commodore 64 (1983), Apple II (1983), Atari 8-bit (1983), MSX (1988), Macintosh (1986), PC-88 (1985), PC-98 (1985), Sharp X1 (1989) and FM-7 (1986)
After the defeat of the evil wizard Mondain and his mistress Minax in the previous two Ultimas, peace has returned...
By the year 2765 Earth has become nearly uninhabitable due to heavy pollution. Humans make a contract with a race...
This unofficial add-on disc for Diablo contains maps, editors, cheats and hints.
E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy is a first-person shooter which is defined by its RPG elements and its openness in character development...
Top games by as rated by the press:
- 99 Chrono Trigger
- 94 Mass Effect 2
- 94 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- 93 Vagrant Story
- 93 Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
- 93 Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
- 93 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- 93 Panzer Dragoon Saga
- 93 Mass Effect 2
- 93 Final Fantasy VII
Games must have at least a MobyRank of 80 to be considered.
Top games by as rated by our users:
- 3.67 Angry Birds Epic (2014)
- 3.67 Angry Birds Epic (2014)
- 4.03 Anvil of Dawn (2013)
- 5.00 Avadon: The Black Fortress (2011)
- 5.00 Black Isle Compilation (2002)
- 5.00 Black Isle Compilation Part Two (2004)
- 5.00 Borderlands 2 (Deluxe Vault Hunter's Collectors Edition) (2012)
- 4.79 Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep (2013)
- 3.70 Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition (2010)
- 4.06 Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (2012)
Games must have at least 1 votes and a MobyScore of 4.0 to be considered.