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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

NES (1990)

Merlwood was once a land of peace and prosperity. The people lived in harmony with one another and with their...

Amiga (1995) and Amiga CD32 (1995)

Classical dungeon RPG with step-by-step movement from Czech Arda Team. You are playing the son of an old warrior, who...

PC-98 (1992) and Sharp X68000 (1993)

The heroine of Magic Knight is called Diamond Annabel Blackdiamond (sic). She is a very... erm... well-endowed young woman who...

Magic Knight Rayearth Game Gear Front Cover

SNES (1995) and Game Gear (1994)

This game is based on the anime and manga by manga artist CLAMP.In the land of Cephiro, the world was...

Magic & Mayhem Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998)

Magic & Mayhem is a real-time strategy game. You're an aspiring sorcerer on a quest to find your missing uncle,...

Magic & Mayhem: The Art of Magic Windows Front Cover

Windows (2001)

The Art of Magic is a 3D role-playing / strategy hybrid.Apprentice wizard designs spells, summons creatures – if this sounds...

The Magic of Scheherazade NES Front Cover

NES (1987)

The evil wizard Sabaron summoned a horde of demons to invade Arabia. One brave magician tried to fight Sabaron, but...

Magic Pengel: The Quest for Color PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2002)

In a magical land, creatures known as Pengel are living fairy paintbrushes, who can draw and bring to life other...

MAGI: Magical Strategy Game Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

MAGI is a cross between strategy and RPG. It's centered around the duels of powerful wizards.Player takes the role of...

Magi Nation Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (2001)

In Magi-Nation, the player takes control of a boy named Tony Jones who is dared by his friends to enter...

Windows (2006)

Magiya krovi: Mnogopol'zovatel'skoe dopolnenie is a multiplayer add-on for Dawn of Magic, which is required for installation. It adds five...

Windows (2008)

Magiya krovi. Zolotoe izdanie is a gold edition of Dawn of Magic, with multiplayer add-on Magiya krovi: Mnogopol'zovatel'skoe dopolnenie and...

SNES (1994)

The Demon King and his monster armies have been attacking the human kingdoms in an effort to exterminate them all....

MagnaCarta 2 Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2009)

MagnaCarta 2 is a role-playing game that mixes real-time elements during exploration with turn-based combat. The game stars Juto as...

Magna Carta: Tears of Blood PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004)

The land of Efferia is a huge continent, where five different races co-exist - alas, not always peacefully. At present,...

Windows (2001)

Calintz is the adopted son of King Helios and a famous hero known as "The Phantom of Avalanche" due to...

Linux (2004), DOS (2004), Windows (2004), Amiga (2004) and Atari ST (2004)

The heirless King Ardashir I of the Magocratic Kingdom of Persis is falling ill, and before dying intends to name...

DOS (1995)

Magus is a Korean-made hybrid of a role-playing and a real-time strategy game. The game is set in the medieval...

PC-98 (1994)

As gods created the Earth, a divine woman, blessed with three powers, descended upon it. These three powers were: the...

Mahōjin GuruGuru 2 SNES Front Cover

SNES (1996)

Mahōjin GuruGuru 2 is an action-RPG from Enix that stars two children, Kukuri and Nike, a brother and sister. It...

MSX (1991) and PC-98 (1991)

Mai is a little girl with cat ears who studies the art of magic. Unfortunately, she doesn't always do her...

Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim Windows Front Cover

Windows (2000) and Macintosh (2000)

Majesty is a fantasy real-time strategy game. You have just been crowned King of Ardania, the land is in chaos,...

Majesty: The Northern Expansion Windows Front Cover

Windows (2001)

Expansion pack to Majesty, with New Epic Quests, New Kingdom Buildings, New Monsters, New Lairs, New Player Cast Spells, Freestyle...

Majin Tensei SNES Front Cover

SNES (1994) and Wii (2011)

Majin Tensei is a tactical role-playing game that incorporates many elements of other Megami Tensei games into a different genre....

Majin Tensei II: Spiral Nemesis SNES Front Cover

SNES (1995) and Wii (2011)

The sequel to "Majin Tensei" is a strategy RPG that takes place in an alternate Tokyo of 1996. You control...

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