DescriptionRole-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.
Nintendo DS (2008)
An alternative reality dating sim in which the princess of another world switches places with a girl from our times....
"Legend of Another World" one of Gainax' popular "princess-breeding simulation" games, similar to Princess Maker 2, but more medieval and...
Project Entropia is a "semi-free" Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG), set in the far future on the distant...
Nintendo 3DS (2013)
Project X Zone is the successor to Namco x Capcom, including new and returning characters from Namco Bandai Games and...
Prologue is a turn-based fantasy roleplaying game takes place in an old university but the story is in a modern...
In Prom Queen you play a teenage girl who has just moved to Queensport, struggling to become the Queen of...
You have just left the peaceful town of CrissCross to defeat the evil Krellane and his powerful Empire. The residents...
A long foretold prophecy is about to be fulfilled. The Shadow Lords are on the verge of entering our world....
After a long trip you've finally arrived at the Nexus space lab, where curious scientists were to examine your uncanny...
One day in the peaceful village of Puru in the world of Fillip Side, Mui and Popuri were playing in...
Puzzle Hero is a game very similar, and probably inspired by Puzzle Quest, a RPG with match-three mechanics. As in...
Prelude to Darkness is a classic single-player, turn-based RPG with dark overtones. It takes place in a dying River valley...
Top games by as rated by the press:
- 99 Chrono Trigger
- 94 Mass Effect 2
- 94 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- 93 Vagrant Story
- 93 Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
- 93 Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
- 93 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- 93 Panzer Dragoon Saga
- 93 Mass Effect 2
- 93 Final Fantasy VII
Games must have at least a MobyRank of 80 to be considered.
Top games by as rated by our users:
- 3.67 Angry Birds Epic (2014)
- 3.67 Angry Birds Epic (2014)
- 4.03 Anvil of Dawn (2013)
- 5.00 Avadon: The Black Fortress (2011)
- 5.00 Black Isle Compilation (2002)
- 5.00 Black Isle Compilation Part Two (2004)
- 5.00 Borderlands 2 (Deluxe Vault Hunter's Collectors Edition) (2012)
- 4.79 Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep (2013)
- 3.70 Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition (2010)
- 4.26 Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (2008)
Games must have at least 1 votes and a MobyScore of 4.0 to be considered.