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.
Nintendo DS (2008)
In the Japanese town of Namimori, seemingly random attacks are occurring in the night. Tsunayoshi Sawada, middle school student and...
Nintendo 3DS (2014)
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The character used to spell the title of this game means destruction. Indeed, destruction is part of young Vossgen's life....
The wandering sexually obsessed knight Rance is leading a group of bandits in the rural nation of Helman, raiding cities...
Kidō Keisatsu Patlabor is one of the several games based on the anime and manga Patlabor. In this role-playing game...
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Neo Geo Pocket Color (2000)
Kikou Seiki Unitron is the sequel to Biomotor Unitron. It was only released in Japan.It continues the gameplay of Biomotor...
As the age of exploration dawned upon mankind, the borders of the world became more and more visible. It is...
King Arthur II: The Role-Playing Wargame ties directly to the end of its predecessor: after King Arthur managed to reunite...
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PlayStation 3 (2014)
Kingdom Heart HD II.5 ReMIX is a compilation of the remastered versions of Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts:...
PlayStation 2 (2007)
This limited edition of Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ includes: Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ game Kingdom Heart - Another...
PlayStation 2 (2002)
Sora's world is shattered when a violent storm hits his home, and he is separated from his two closest friends....
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 Critic Score of 80 to be considered.
Top games by as rated by our users:
- 3.67 Angry Birds Epic (2014)
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- 4.03 Anvil of Dawn (2013)
- 5.00 Avadon: The Black Fortress (2011)
- 5.00 Battle of the Youstrass (2000)
- 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)
Games must have at least 1 votes and a User Score of 4.0 to be considered.