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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 descending orderGame Title
Neverwinter Nights: Gold Windows Front Cover

Windows (2003)

As one would expect from a gold re-release, this package contains the original award winning Neverwinter Nights, with the latest...

Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark Linux Front Cover

Linux (2003), Windows (2003) and Macintosh (2004)

The second expansion to Neverwinter Nights, Hordes of the Underdark takes you beneath Waterdeep into Undermountain. Undermountain has been contained...

Neverwinter Nights: Kingmaker Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

This package contains three premium modules for Neverwinter Nights:KingmakerYou travel in a group with a Wererat, a Dryad, a Rakshasa...

Neverwinter Nights Legends Windows Front Cover

Windows (2008)

This compilation of Neverwinter Nights includes Neverwinter Nights Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark Neverwinter...

Linux (2005) and Windows (2005)

Neverwinter Nights: Pirates of the Sword Coast is an add-on module for Neverwinter Nights. It features a new storyline to...

Neverwinter Nights: Platinum Windows Front Cover

Windows (2004)

A compilation of Neverwinter Nights material which includes the following: Neverwinter Nights, along with its complete, spiral-bound manual Shadows of...

Neverwinter Nights: Shadows of Undrentide Windows Front Cover

Linux (2003), Windows (2003) and Macintosh (2004)

Shadows of the Undrentide is the first official expansion pack for the original Neverwinter Nights game, which must be installed....

Newcomer Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1994)

Newcomer is a 3D adventure/RPG hybrid. The protagonist finds himself having been teleported to a jail island. He is accused...

SEGA Saturn (1997)

In a country named Herb Land, several princes are preparing to the great competition, in the end of which one...

Windows (1998)

This pay to play MMORPG was one of the first to be popular in Korea in 1996 then it was...

NieR Xbox 360 Front Cover

Xbox 360 (2010) and PlayStation 3 (2010)

NieR is an action RPG with a touch of Japanese influenced gameplay. The story takes place around 1,000 years ahead...

Nightcaster: Defeat the Darkness Xbox Front Cover

Xbox (2001)

Nightcaster: Defeat the Darkness is a third-person, single-player, action-adventure game featuring spell combat and exploration. Players take the role of...

The Nightmare of Druaga: Fushigino dungeon PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2004)

In this turn-based dungeon crawler you play as Gil, whose beloved fiancee has been kidnapped by a sorceress and taken...

NightStone Windows Front Cover

Windows (2001)

In NightStone you get the chance to play a Barbarian, Sorceress and Amazon, joining forces to wade your way through...

Night Watch Windows Front Cover

Windows (2005)

Night Watch is an RPG developed as a tie-in with the first part of the movie trilogy of the same...

NES (1991)

The game is set in the Middle Ages, all around the famous Silk Road, which connected China and the Middle...

Nimble Quest iPhone Front Cover

iPhone (2013), Android (2013), Ouya (2013) and GameStick (2013)

Nimble Quest is an action RPG with the game mechanics of the classic game Snake. The tutorial level even shows...

DOS (1991)

The Nine Lives of Secret Agent Katt is a role playing game with adventure and action elements mixed in. Your...

J2ME (2010)

Ninja Prophecy is a traditional RPG game, taking place in a fictionalized version of Japan. The player controls a party...

Ninja Saga iPad Front Cover

Browser (2009), iPhone (2014), Android (2013) and iPad (2014)

Ninja Saga is a ninja-themed game originally dedicated as a Facebook application game.The player takes on the role of a...

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation 3 (2011)

Oliver was alone after his mother died trying to save him from drowning. When he sheds tears over a doll...

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (Wizard's Edition) PlayStation 3 Front Cover

PlayStation 3 (2013)

The Wizard's Edition of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch contains: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White...

Nippon Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1988)

Nippon is a German role-playing game with similarities to the Ultima games of the same time period. After reading a...

3DO (1995)

Captured by a corrupt organization, the player has been subjected to tests which mutated them into a ghastly new form....

Browser (2005)

Nowhere Else and Beyond is a web based multiplayer RPG and PBBG which allows players to explore exotic locations in...

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