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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

Windows (2001)

ExcaliBug is a mixture between Commandos and RPG. The first noteworthy aspect of the game is its unusual scenario: It...

DOS (1993) and Windows (2000)

Excelsior is a tile-based RPG (in the vein of the early Ultima games). It places you on the planet of...

Windows (2000)

Excelsior Phase Two is a tile-based RPG (in the vein of Ultima 4-7). Sent as a "fixer" to the world...

Linux (2009), Windows (2009) and Macintosh (2009)

Master Chef Ogro, who is the head Chef of the King of Ograria himself, has been sent on a mission...

Exile Genesis Front Cover

Genesis (1991), TurboGrafx CD (1991), MSX (1988), PC-88 (1988), PC-98 (1988) and Sharp X1 (1989)

After Sadler defeated the Caliph, he returned to his home village, greeted by his fellow assassins. A spy of the...

Windows 3.x (1995) and Macintosh (1995)

A 'classic' RPG, featuring level-based party advancement in various skills that define the character. Features turn-based combat, lots of enemies,...

Windows 3.x (1996) and Macintosh (1995)

Exile 2 plays very similar to the first Exile, featuring skill-based characters and level advancement in a 'classic' RPG system....

Linux (2000), Windows 3.x (1997) and Macintosh (1996)

In Exile, you were cast down into the underworld by the Empire. In Exile II, you claimed the pit as...

TurboGrafx CD (1992)

Exile: Wicked Phenomenon is a sequel to Exile, following once again the adventures of the series' protagonist, the Middle Eastern...

Ex Machina Arcade Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

In 1960s, a crashed scout space ship of the n'eri race was found by the USA in the desert near...

Exodus: Ultima III DOS Front Cover

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...

Expedition Amazon Apple II Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1984), Apple II (1983), PC-88 (1984), PC-98 (1984) and FM-7 (1984)

Expedition Amazon puts you in control of a team of 4 explorers on an expedition to map and study (i.e.:...

Expeditions: Conquistador Linux Front Cover

Linux (2013), Windows (2013) and Macintosh (2013)

Expeditions: Conquistador is a turn-based tactical RPG where players taken on the role of a Spanish explorer arriving at the...

DOS (1996)

By the year 2765 Earth has become nearly uninhabitable due to heavy pollution. Humans make a contract with a race...

E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy Windows Front Cover

Windows (2011)

E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy is a first-person shooter which is defined by its RPG elements and its openness in character development...

Eye of the Beholder DOS Front Cover

DOS (1991), SNES (1994), Amiga (1991), SEGA CD (1994) and PC-98 (1992)

Something evil is lurking below the city of Waterdeep. The Lords of Waterdeep summon a group of heroes to investigate,...

Eye of the Beholder / Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon / Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor DOS Front Cover

DOS (1995)

This box contains all three of the series of AD&D games, all on 1CD: Eye of the BeholderEye of the...

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...

Fable Anniversary Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014) and Xbox 360 (2014)

Fable Anniversary is a re-mastered version of the 2005 game Fable: The Lost Chapters. The game was re-released since a...

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...

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