Role-Playing (RPG)


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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Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest SNES Front Cover

SNES (1992), Wii (2010) and Wii U (2014)

Focus Tower is the center of the world and balances the forces of the world. However 4 monsters have taken...

Final Fantasy Record Keeper iPhone Front Cover

iPhone (2014) and Android (2014)

Final Fantasy Record Keeper is a turn-based strategy game in which the player, as the young scholar Tyro, has to...

Final Fantasy Tactics PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1997), PSP (2007), PlayStation 3 (2009), iPhone (2011), iPad (2012) and PS Vita (2012)

Final Fantasy Tactics was a big move for the whole Final Fantasy franchise into different fields. Tactics combines traditional elements...

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2007)

Though a sequel to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, the direct story links are few. Luso is a young student ready...

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2003) and Wii U (2016)

Marche and a few friends are out on a usual venture through their local town, St. Ivalice, only to discover...

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (Deluxe Pack) Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2003)

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (Deluxe Pack) contains: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance An original mini booklet FFTA keychains (Moogle and Mewt's...

Final Fantasy Tactics (Square Millennium Collection) PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (2000)

Square Millennium Collection is a re-release of Final Fantasy Tactics for PS1. The game is packaged in a bigger box....

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2009)

Brandt is a fourteen-year-old boy living in the country of Horne. One day, the king summons him, only to send...

PSP (2011)

This collector's bundle was released in Japan in a fancy presentation box, and includes: Final Fantasy Type-0 game UMDs A...

Final Fantasy: Type-0 HD Windows Front Cover

Windows (2015), PSP (2011), PlayStation 4 (2015) and Xbox One (2015)

Final Fantasy: Type-0 is an RPG in the Final Fantasy series. It is part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis project...

Final Fantasy V PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1998), SNES (1992), PSP (2011), PlayStation 3 (2011), Wii (2011), PS Vita (2012) and Wii U (2014)

The Elemental Crystals are the life source of the planet. With them, gentle winds blow, the seas are active, fire...

Final Fantasy V Advance Windows Front Cover

Windows (2015), Game Boy Advance (2006), iPhone (2013), Android (2013) and iPad (2013)

This version of Final Fantasy V for Game Boy Advance, also ported to iOS, has, much like Final Fantasy I...

NES (2005)

This version of Final Fantasy VII is a Chinese-made unlicensed "demake" (a remake of a game that uses inferior technology)...

Final Fantasy VII Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998), PlayStation (1997), PSP (2009), PlayStation 3 (2009), iPhone (2015), iPad (2015), PS Vita (2012) and PlayStation 4 (2015)

The seventh installment of the Final Fantasy series takes place in a post-modern, steampunk, sci-fi world where high technology reigns...

Final Fantasy VIII Windows Front Cover

Windows (2000), PlayStation (1999), PSP (2009), PlayStation 3 (2009) and PS Vita (2012)

Squall Leonhart is a young man in training to become of member of SeeD - a mercenary organization and the...

Final Fantasy VII International PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1997)

Final Fantasy VII International features all the improvements from the North-American version of Final Fantasy VII: full motion videos of...

Final Fantasy X PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2001)

Tidus is a young athlete who lives in a futuristic city of Zanarkand - "the city that never sleeps". He...

Final Fantasy X-2 PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2003)

Final Fantasy X-2 is the first direct sequel in the history of the series. The events of the game take...

Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004) and PS Vita (2012)

Just like Final Fantasy X International, Final Fantasy X-2 was treated to a Japanese-only international version. It includes 2 completely...

Final Fantasy XII PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2006)

Two powerful empires, Archadia and Rozaria, are at war. All they care for is victory over the opponent. In order...

Final Fantasy XII (Collector's Edition) PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2006)

This game is identical to Final Fantasy XII with the following differences: Metal Collector's Case Bonus Disc: Developer Interviews History...

Final Fantasy XIII Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014), Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2009)

The city of Cocoon is a flying utopia, floating high above the skies, separated from the world below which is...

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014)

The PC release of Final Fantasy XIII-2 contains the main game along with a selection of DLC items from the...

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2011) and PlayStation 3 (2011)

Final Fantasy XIII-2 is part of Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy, a series of games set in the same world,...

Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Collector's Edition) Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

This Collector's Edition includes: Final Fantasy XIII-2 An art book containing weapon, area and monster concepts Four-discs original soundtrack The...

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