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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PC-98 (1991)

Mercury 2: Tales of the Planet is set in the same universe and time period as The Prime Master, but...

PC-98 (1990) and Sharp X68000 (1991)

When evolution reached its highest stage, the human species have emerged. Eventually, the humans became divided into three races: Fantura,...

Meridian 59 Windows Front Cover

Windows (1996)

Meridian 59 was among the first 3D massively multiplayer online role-playing games. Players create characters, and then advance in power...

Windows (2004)

Meridian 59: Evolution is an expansion/update to Meridian 59: Resurrection, the relaunch of the MMORPG Meridian 59. In this release,...

Windows (1997)

Following the success of Meridian 59, an early massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Meridian 59: Vale of Sorrow is an...

PC-98 (1996)

Many years ago, in imperial Japan, advances in a mysterious science called "meta-topology" have led to the unexpected prosperity of...

Metal Dungeon Xbox Front Cover

Xbox (2002)

In the battle for world domination, the leaders of Giamel have begun producing Weapon Monsters, horrible biomechanical killing machines. The...

PC-98 (1993), FM Towns (1993) and Sharp X68000 (1993)

In Metal Eye, the player takes the role of a young weapons expert named Findhill. His father was apparently involved...

PC-98 (1994) and FM Towns (1994)

Metal Eye 2 is set in the same sci-fi universe and is closely related story-wise to the first game. In...

MetalHeart: Replicants Rampage Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

Captain Lanthan Signey and his first pilot Cheris Sheridan are survivors from a cargo ship that was destroyed by a...

Metal Max Nintendo 3DS Front Cover

NES (1991), Wii (2010) and Nintendo 3DS (2013)

Metal Max is a RPG set in a futuristic world, where monsters and mechanical creatures roam the land and where...

SNES (1993) and Wii (2010)

This is a sequel to Metal Max. The game is set in a futuristic world. An evil organization known as...

SNES (1995) and Wii (2011)

This is a remake of the game Metal Max.The storyline and the gameplay basics remained unchanged. The remake features enhanced...

Metal Saga PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005)

A follow-up to the Metal Max games, Metal Saga is set in the same post-apocalyptic world as its predecessors -...

Game Boy Color (1999)

Metal Walker is a mechanical take on Pokémon, where the story takes place in the future on an island where...

Metaplace Browser Front Cover

Browser (2009)

Metaplace was a massively multi-player online project assembled around one central tool: a quite complex virtual world builder written in...

Metin2 Windows Front Cover Ymir Entertainment release

Windows (2005)

Metin2 is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), set in a eastern and magic environment as a persistent game...

Metropolismania PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2001)

Metropolismania is a city building game with a Japanese anime style. The goal is to grow a town to a...

PlayStation 2 (2006)

Metropolismania 2 is the sequel to Metropolismania and uses the same city-building concept of the original game.The player's job is...

Commodore 64 (1988)

If you've wanted to play the multi user game MUD but didn't have a modem then here is your chance....

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014), Xbox 360 (2014), PlayStation 3 (2014), PlayStation 4 (2014) and Xbox One (2014)

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is an action role-playing game. It takes place between J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord...

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Berserks Warband Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014), PlayStation 4 (2014) and Xbox One (2014)

Berserks Warband is DLC for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. It adds Berserks as an additional warband to fight and an...

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Blood Hunters Warband Windows Front Cover

Windows (2015), PlayStation 3 (2015) and PlayStation 4 (2015)

Blood Hunters Warband is DLC for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. It adds Blood Hunters as an additional warband to fight...

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Deadly Archer Rune Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014), Xbox 360 (2014), PlayStation 3 (2014), PlayStation 4 (2014) and Xbox One (2014)

Deadly Archer Rune is DLC for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. It adds a rune that deals extra damage in ranged...

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Flame of Anor Rune Windows Front Cover

Windows (2014), Xbox 360 (2014), PlayStation 3 (2014), PlayStation 4 (2014) and Xbox One (2014)

Flame of Anor Rune is DLC for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. It adds a rune that makes your blade ignite...

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