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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 ascending orderGame Title
Leithian: In the Abyss Windows Front Cover

Windows (1999)

Ellen grew up in a quiet village together with her father and brother. One night, she had a strange dream....

DOS (1987) and Amstrad CPC (1987)

Le Maître des Âmes is a fantasy role-playing game. The game will lead you through dungeons, secret chambers, tunnels... It...

Lennus II: Fūin no Shito SNES Front Cover

SNES (1996)

This is a follow-up to the game "Lennus", which is known outside of Japan as Paladin's Quest. The game is...

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

Many years ago, two dragons - red and blue - emerged as the first, primordial creatures of the world. As...

DOS (1986)

Leygref's Castle is a remake of Wizard's Castle.The gameplay is very similar to the original: Explore a castle (represented as...

Linux (2004) and Windows (2004)

In this satire of American political strife, the player is cast as a revolutionary liberal operating out of one city,...

Liberation: Captive II Amiga Front Cover

Amiga (1994) and Amiga CD32 (1993)

Liberation is the sequel to Captive, where the main character from the original is now a free man. However, your...

PC-98 (1992)

Chilam Balam is a collection of Mayan books, containing scientific information as well as prophecies and esoteric lore. The story...

Life of a Wizard Android Front Cover

Browser (2013), iPhone (2013), Android (2013) and iPad (2013)

Seemingly torn from the pages of Choice of the Dragon, this game also inserts players into a medieval fantasy kingdom,...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is the third episode in the Final Fantasy XIII saga. It follows the story of...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Art of War PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema Art of War, the Cruel Grace,...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Collector's Edition) Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Collector's Edition is a Square Enix Online Store exclusive that contains the following: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII DLC...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Dark Samurai PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Dark Samurai, the Cloud Veil,...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Divine Wear PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Cosmocrator, Crocea Mors, Abyss Gate,...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - FF LEGENDS Collection PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

The FF LEGENDS Collection is a compilation of three Final Fantasy series inspired add-ons for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII:...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - FFVII Aerith PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Midgar's Flower Girl, Guard Stick...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - FFVII Cloud PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema SOLDIER 1st Class, the Buster Sword...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - FFX-2 Yuna PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Sphere Hunter (Yuna's Gunner Garb...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - FFX Yuna PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Spira's Summoner, the Summoner's Staff...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Flower of Battle PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema Flower of Battle, the Jikishinkage, and...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Includes Bonus Cloud Strife's Uniform and Buster Sword DLC) Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This edition of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII includes the following: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII FFVII Cloud DLC Voucher...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Moogle Lover PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2013) and PlayStation 3 (2013)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Moogle Queen, Mog's Staff, Mog's...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Shining Prince PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Shining Prince, the Rising Sun...

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Shogun PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Shogun, Thirteen Nights, and Thunderstruck....

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - Sohei Saviori PlayStation 3 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2014) and PlayStation 3 (2014)

This Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII add-on allows the player to obtain the Schema of Sohei Savior, the Treasure Hold,...

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