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 (2010)
In Rune Factory 3 the player, Micah by default, is an amnesiac who wanders into the town of Sharance and...
Nintendo 3DS (2013)
Rune Factory 4 begins with the male or female protagonist on an airship, sent to deliver something important to a...
Nintendo DS (2006)
As a wanderer in a town called Kardia, you are discovered by a mysterious girl named "Mist". She, seeing potential...
Rune Factory Frontier's story begins with the hero Raguna traveling to the village of Trampoli in search of his missing...
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Rune Master is a board game with RPG elements. Up to 4 players compete to reach a magical tower, throwing...
Rune Master 2 is a board game with role-playing game (RPG) elements. Up to 4 players compete to reach the...
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Runes of Magic is an online role-playing game in the tradition of World of Warcraft. It is free to play:...
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Runesword II is an RPG designed to appeal to "pen and paper" role-players. The game comes with two full-length adventures,...
This is an RPG with an alternative plot to the original Rurouni Kenshin series in which the main protagonist isn't...
RYL is an MMORPG based upon player versus player (PVP) combat. Players can assume the role of Humans from the...
PlayStation 3 (2008)
Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan! is a side story within the Yakuza series, this time changing neon-lit Tokyo setting with a...
Silent Storm is a 3D turn-based tactical combat game. Set in 1943 during World War II, Silent Storm plays much...
In the distant future, the powerful Empire tries to hold its ground against the ever-growing Independent Confederation. The two states...
Sacred is an action role-playing game set in the fantasy world of Ancaria. You can choose from six different characters...
Sacred for mobile phones is an action game with RPG elements and a spin-off of the Sacred series. There is...
The gold edition of the Sacred 2 contains: Sacred 2: Fallen Angel Sacred 2: Ice & Blood (Add-On)
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- 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:
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Games must have at least 1 votes and a MobyScore of 4.0 to be considered.