New Release: Pillars of Eternity, a new RPG perfect for fans of Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale!

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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Fracas Apple II Front Cover

Apple II (1980)

Fracas is Stuart Smith's very first game, using the game system which would later develop into Ali Baba and the...

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon Wii Front Cover

Wii (2010)

Fragile Dreams takes place after an apocalyptic event that wiped out most of mankind. Young Seto finds a note from...

Freedom Force Windows Front Cover

Windows (2002) and Macintosh (2002)

Freedom Force is a real-time tactical role-playing game which allows you to create and customize your own superheroes.Along with the...

Freedom Force vs The 3rd Reich Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

Freedom Force return in this sequel to 2002’s original superhero strategy game. Fighting Nuclear Winter’s menace in *snowy* Cuba, Freedom...

Windows (2011)

A technologically superior and futuristic universe is populated by robots and men in harmony until the succession of an event...

Free Realms PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Windows (2009), Macintosh (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2011)

Free Realms is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in a fantasy world known as the Sacred Grove. It...

PC-98 (1992) and FM Towns (1992)

The hero of the game is an apprentice swordsman who lives in a secluded tower, studying martial arts with the...

From the Abyss Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2008)

From the Abyss is a dungeon crawling RPG where the player takes command of a custom created character. The story...

Front Mission SNES Front Cover

SNES (1995) and WonderSwan Color (2002)

In the future, many military forces are dependent on huge mech robots, called Wanzers (Walking Panzers) for combat. At Huffman...

Front Mission 1st PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation (2003), PSP (2008), PlayStation 3 (2008) and PS Vita (2012)

Front Mission is a strategy RPG set in a futuristic world. This is a remake of Front Mission. Various organizations...

Front Mission 2 PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1997), PSP (2008), PlayStation 3 (2008) and PS Vita (2012)

The player assumes the role of an OCU Wanzer squad in 22nd century Aroldesh. One night while on routine patrol,...

Front Mission 3 PlayStation Front Cover

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

Yokosuka, Japan, 2112 AD. The young student Kazuki Takemura works as a test pilot with Kirishima Industries, a production company...

PlayStation (2000)

This Japan only re-release of Front Mission 3 was part of the Square Millennium Collection, a collection of Square games...

Front Mission 4 PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2003)

In the year 2096, the Wanzer ("Walking Tanks" mecha) form the backbone of many military forces. The European Community is...

PlayStation 2 (2005)

Front Mission 5: Scars of the War is the fifth in Square's Front Mission tactical RPG series. It brings the...

Front Mission Alternative PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation (1997), PSP (2010), PlayStation 3 (2010) and PS Vita (2012)

The first game in the Front Mission series to take you to the African Continent. The year is 2034 and...

Front Mission: Gun Hazard SNES Front Cover

SNES (1996) and Wii (2008)

The year is 2064, when the great solar power satellite, ATLAS is overshadowed by the invention of fusion power. The...

PC-98 (1992)

A female demon has attacked Ayano, a student of the Asticaya High School, and killed her in a brutal way:...

Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005)

Based on the anime and manga of the same name, Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir follows the...

Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005)

Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel is a game based on the manga and anime series Fullmetal Alchemist, which follows...

Windows (1996), iPhone (2010) and iPad (2010)

This fantasy MMO is set in The Dragonlands and features furry characters role-playing and socializing in an environment featuring user-created...

Fury Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Fury was a game billed as an Arena-based PvP MMO without PvE content. Players engaged in combat as groups or...

NES (1991)

The game is based on the anime Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. It features 50 different battle fields in...

Fusion: Genesis Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2011)

Fusion: Genesis is a futuristic 3D twin-stick shooter with MMORPG elements, featuring an "always connected" game world with players populating...

Arcade (1993)

Gaiapolis is 2D top-down arcade game mix beat'em up and light RPG elements, with the action set in the world...

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