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
RIFT: Storm Legion Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012)

RIFT: Storm Legion is an add-on for RIFT. The story is about the Infinity Gate which can be used to...

PC-88 (1986), PC-98 (1986), Sharp X1 (1986) and FM-7 (1986)

The continent of Riglas is inhabited by two races: Miria and Galt. For years they have been fighting each other...

Riglord Saga 2 SEGA Saturn Front Cover

SEGA Saturn (1996)

The sequel to Blazing Heroes, originally known as Riglord Saga. You play the role of Mieu, the princess of Dragoon...

Ring Cycle DOS Front Cover

DOS (1996)

Ring Cycle is based on Richard Wagner's (1813-1883) "Der Ring des Nibelungen", a cycle of four operas incorporating German and...

PC-98 (1989) and Sharp X68000 (1990)

The sequel to The Shadow of Filias directly continues the story that began in that games. After the small country...

PC-98 (1988) and Sharp X68000 (1989)

In the southern part of the continent Godlanta lies a small country known as Filias Nogis. Following an era of...

Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013)

Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages combines space combat action with RPG elements of skill progression and storytelling. The player...

Rings of Power Genesis Front Cover

Genesis (1991)

For a long time, our world was in darkness. The sun shone as always, but our souls were dark and...

Rings of Zilfin DOS Front Cover

DOS (1987), Atari ST (1987), Commodore 64 (1986) and Apple II (1986)

Rings of Zilfin is an unusual, but relatively unknown early fantasy solo RPG by Ali N. Atabek, who went on...

Risen Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009) and Xbox 360 (2009)

The earth trembled and ancient temples rose from the ground, followed by unknown creatures. Cyclones drive over the sea and...

Risen 2: Dark Waters Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

The town of Caldera is in deep trouble. The Fortress of Crystal, the last haven of the Inquisition and the...

Risen 2: Dark Waters - A Pirate's Clothes Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

A Pirate's Clothes is DLC (downloadable content) for Risen 2: Dark Waters. It consists of a set of clothes, a...

Risen 2: Dark Waters - Gold Edition Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013)

This compilation contains the whole bunch of all previously released games of Risen 2. The games and DLC's in this...

Risen 2: Dark Waters - The Air Temple Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

Air Temple is DLC (downloadable content) for Risen 2: Dark Waters. This DLC brings one familiar character from the original...

Risen 2: Dark Waters - Treasure Isle Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012), Xbox 360 (2012) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

Treasure Isle is a DLC (downloadable content) for Risen 2: Dark Waters. As the title implies, the DLC is devoted...

Risen 2: Erweiterungspack Windows Front Cover

Windows (2012)

This extension pack for Risen 2: Dark Waters contains the DLC Risen 2: Dark Waters - Treasure Isle Risen 2:...

Risen 3: Titan Lords Windows Front Cover

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

Having defeated a fearsome Titan, the brave pirate captain sails together with Patty, the daughter of the famed Steelbeard, in...

Risen (Collector's Edition) Windows Front Cover

Windows (2009)

The Collector's Edition includes: Risen Map of Faranga on high-quality paper Original Soundtrack by Kai Rosenkranz (also included in the...

Risen: Complete Edition Windows Front Cover

Windows (2013)

The complete edition of the Risen games contains all previously released games of the Risen game group. The games within...

Rise of Lost Empires J2ME Front Cover

J2ME (2007) and iPhone (2009)

Rise of Lost Empires is a real-time strategy game in a classic fantasy setting, with controls adapted to mobile ergonomic...

Rival Realms Windows Front Cover

Windows (1998)

Enter a world where RTS requires thinking about strategies. The game takes RTS games to a new level by adding...

River King: A Wonderful Journey PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2005) and PlayStation 3 (2012)

STORYA small family at the village of Water Drop spend they're summer vacation at home, all dreaming of one day...

Riviera: The Promised Land Game Boy Advance Front Cover

Game Boy Advance (2004), PSP (2006) and WonderSwan Color (2002)

During the great Ragnarok war, the gods of Asgard were overrun by demons from Utgard. In order to save the...

Road Trip PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2002)

In this RPG-lite version of ChoroQ, you drive a car to various towns. In each town you can talk to...

Robin Hood Game Boy Color Front Cover

Game Boy Color (2001)

Robin Hood is a action game in the style of The Legend of Zelda. You control Robin Hood from a...

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