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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 ascending orderGame Title
Soccer Star Commodore 64 Front Cover

Commodore 64 (1989), ZX Spectrum (1989) and Amstrad CPC (1989)

In Soccer Star you are trying to be the best football manager with the best team. At the beginning you...

Solatorobo: Red the Hunter Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2010)

In a world filled with robots, giant hermit crabs, and kitten pirates, everyone has jobs they need done. That is...

Sol Bianca TurboGrafx CD Front Cover

TurboGrafx CD (1990)

The game is based on the anime movie of the same name. In 24th century, piracy is still an issue,...

SNES (1997)

In the far future Solid City is overrun by mecha-related crime, and few dare face the underworld mafias and street...

TurboGrafx CD (1994)

As earthquakes occurred in the kingdom of Itchy, and demons began roaming freely through the wilderness, the king realized that...

Nintendo DS (2008)

In a world where a magic energy called Soma is a part of everyday life, seven characters part of a...

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood Nintendo DS Front Cover

Nintendo DS (2008)

In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, a mysterious force has begun to tear apart the world and Sonic and his...

Windows (2006)

Leila, the maid of the Imperial House of Altacruz, and the white tiger warrior Sigma have explored a large part...

Windows (2005)

After Leila Reifido managed to defeat the machines, the inhabitants of the underground city of Ge-Pang finally obtained the much-needed...

Sorcerer's Kingdom Genesis Front Cover

Genesis (1992)

Sorcerer's Kingdom is a mix of RPG and strategy game. You play a young adventurer, who is sent out by...

Sorcerian DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990), Genesis (1990), TurboGrafx CD (1992), MSX (1991), Wii (2008), PC-88 (1987), PC-98 (1988) and Sharp X1 (1988)

Sorcerian is the fifth game in the Dragon Slayer series. It is set in the fantasy land known as Pentawa,...

Windows (1997)

Ten years after the release of the original, a next-generation sequel to the classic RPG Sorcerian is released. As in...

Windows (2000)

A remake of the classic RPG Sorcerian for Windows PCs. In Sorcerian you created a party of four adventurers and...

Dreamcast (2000)

Another remake of the classic RPG Sorcerian this time exclusive to the SEGA Dreamcast. Once again you must take control...

Sorcery! Android Front Cover

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

While the previous game adaptation of The Shamutanti Hills, the first quarter of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! gamebook series, was a...

Sorority Life Browser Front Cover

Browser (2008)

Sorority Life is a game very similar to Mafia Wars but tailored to a female audience. Like Mafia Wars the...

Soul Blazer SNES Front Cover

SNES (1992)

You have been called by the Master to restore life to the Friel empire. The ruler, King Magridd, struck a...

Soulbringer Windows Front Cover

Windows (2000)

After the death of your father, you are sent to live with your uncle, Andrus outside the snowy town of...

PlayStation 2 (2007)

This Japanese-only limited edition includes: Soul Cradle: Sekai o Kurausha Soul Cradle: The Master Guide art book 2-disc soundtrack by...

Soul Nomad & the World Eaters PlayStation 2 Front Cover

PlayStation 2 (2007)

Soul Nomad & the World Eaters is a strategy/RPG hybrid and takes place in Prodesta, a place where war has...

South Park: The Stick of Truth Windows Front Cover

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

South Park: The Stick of Truth is an RPG based off the South Park franchise. You play as a new...

Apple II (1978)

Space I is a futuristic role-playing game unofficially based upon Game Designer Workshop’s "Traveller" pen and paper game. Players build...

Space 1889 DOS Front Cover

DOS (1990), Amiga (1991) and Atari ST (1990)

A role-playing adventure set in the "future" as seen by Victorian era science fiction writers. Players explore the far corners...

Spaceforce: Captains Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Spaceforce: Captains, the sequel to Spaceforce: Rogue Universe, is a classic turn-based strategy game set in the future, but it...

Spaceforce: Rogue Universe Windows Front Cover

Windows (2007)

Spaceforce: Rogue Universe is space simulation in which the player has to make a living in space. Like other games...

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