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
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (2000)

Maya Amano is a young journalist who lives and works in the modern-day Japanese city Sumaru. A series of mysterious...

Persona 2: Innocent Sin PlayStation Front Cover

PlayStation (1999)

A few years after the events described in Persona, a curse has befallen Sumaru City, a town in modern-day Japan....

PlayStation 2 (2007)

Persona 3 FES (Append Edition) is a slightly different version of Persona 3 FES. Unlike the standalone version, the Append...

Persona 4 Golden PS Vita Front Cover

PS Vita (2012)

Persona 4 Golden is an updated version of Persona 4. It has been enhanced with high-resolution visuals, new animation sequences,...

Phage Wars 2 Browser Front Cover

Browser (2009)

In Phage Wars 2, the player is a lab tech whose goal is to create the most powerful virus ever....

Phantasie DOS Front Cover

DOS (1987), Amiga (1987), Atari ST (1986), Commodore 64 (1985), Apple II (1985), Atari 8-bit (1987), MSX (1988), PC-88 (1986), PC-98 (1986), Sharp X1 (1987) and FM-7 (1986)

The island of Gelnor has been taken over by The Black Knights, who demand sacrifices and homage as they travel...

Phantasie II Atari ST Front Cover

Atari ST (1986), Commodore 64 (1986), Apple II (1986), Atari 8-bit (1987), PC-88 (1987), PC-98 (1987), Sharp X1 (1987) and FM-7 (1987)

Phantasie II is the sequel to the role-playing game Phantasie. Nothing has changed substantially: the gameplay and the graphics are...

Phantasie III: The Wrath of Nikademus DOS Front Cover

DOS (1988), Amiga (1987), Atari ST (1987), Commodore 64 (1987), Apple II (1987), PC-88 (1988), PC-98 (1988), Sharp X68000 (1989), Sharp X1 (1988) and FM-7 (1988)

Phantasie III: The Wrath of Nikademus is the third chapter of the Phantasie trilogy. This time, the Dark Lord Nikademus...

MSX (1991), PC-88 (1990), PC-98 (1990) and Sharp X68000 (1991)

After the evil Nikademus was defeated, the land of Scandor enjoyed a time period of peace, which lasted twenty years....

PC-98 (1990)

Trouble is in the kingdom of Stellar. The lovely princess has disappeared, and the king sends his best men to...

PC-98 (1992)

Years have passed since the great hero Liann Fremdes defeated the evil Bosedorf and brought peace to the kingdom of...

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

Amaranth III directly continues the story of the second game. The knight Lyann Fremdes and his lovely companion, the elf...

Phantasmaburbia Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012)

The year is 201X. A small neighborhood in Owl Creek is suddenly filled with ghosts. A bunch of teenagers gather...

Phantasy Star Genesis Front Cover

Genesis (1994), SEGA Master System (1987) and Wii (2009)

Algol is a star system that consists of three planets: the green Palma, the arid Motavia, and the icy Dezolis....

Phantasy Star Collection Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2002) and SEGA Saturn (1998)

This compilation includes the following games: Phantasy Star Phantasy Star II Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom The Saturn version...

Game Gear (1992)

Long ago, the evil Cablon ravaged the Copto planet, a light year away of the Algol system. When he was...

Phantasy Star II Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012), Genesis (1989), Xbox 360 (2009), Wii (2008) and iPhone (2010)

A millennium has passed since Alis defeated the ultimate evil in the first Phantasy Star. The planet Motavia of the...

Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012), Genesis (1990) and Wii (2008)

Long time ago, a great war between Orakio and Laya devastated the planet. A thousand years later, a young Orakian...

Phantasy Star IV Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012), Genesis (1993) and Wii (2008)

The Algol star system is in troubled times. Many thousands of years ago, it was a peaceful world. Three planets...

Phantasy Star Ø Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2009)

Phantasy Star Ø (pronounced Zero) is a Japanese-style RPG that borrows elements from Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe....

Phantasy Star Online Dreamcast Front Cover

Windows (2001) and Dreamcast (2000)

Welcome to the first worldwide console RPG!Features: Up to 1,000 players per server. Real time combat with many weapons from...

Windows (2005)

Phantasy Star Online makes its way to the PC in this download only edition. You play the role of a...

Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II Xbox Front Cover

Xbox (2003) and GameCube (2002)

The epic Phantasy Star Online gets revamped for the Nintendo GameCube. Both the Sega Dreamcast titles, Phantasy Star Online and...

Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution GameCube Front Cover

GameCube (2004)

A new substance has been discovered that can clone any item or creature on the planet. Called C.A.R.D. technology, any...

Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II Plus GameCube Front Cover

GameCube (2004)

A re-release of Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II with two main changes: Items and quests previously available only...

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