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.
PlayStation 2 (2005)
The world of Neverland was once in balance, ruled by three deities. But soon kingdoms appeared that wanted to control...
Nintendo DS (2010)
Spectral Force Genesis is a combination of war simulator, real time strategy and role playing game. The game gives you...
Nintendo DS (2008)
Rallen and Jeena may have managed to stop the Krawl invasion of the Nanairo Star System and forced them to...
The magic portals, which allow the people of Eo to travel between the shattered islands, are about to fail. As...
Faith in Destiny is the successor to SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars. The campaign takes place four years after the sinking...
SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars is the sequel to SpellForce: The Order of Dawn. In Order of the Dawn, the player...
The Collector's Edition includes: SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars Exclusive in-game weapons and items SpellForce²: Sounds of Shadows (official SpellForce² soundtrack)...
One of the Circle mages has risen from the dead with the help of a strange mask. He is now...
The great ice dragon Aryn, the Frostweaver who once almost froze the world is awakened by a Fial Darg (prince...
EO, the world in which the game takes place was torn apart by a ritual called the Convocation. The ritual...
Based on the 2nd Edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) Spelljammer rulebook, Spelljammer: Pirates of Realmspace leads the player...
An interesting combination of an RPG with a trading game, this game puts you in a setting where the class...
Nintendo DS (2008)
Play as Jared, Simon, and Mallory Grace as they explore the fantastical world around them with the help of a...
The Spirit Engine II is the sequel to The Spirit Engine. Like its predecessor, it's a side-scrolling RPG with tactical...
The Spirit Engine follows 3 travelers (of your choosing) who run into each other by very uncommon means. Their goal...
Spore Hero is the first appearance of the Spore franchise on the Nintendo Wii platform. This title merges both simulation...
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)
- 4.06 Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (2012)
Games must have at least 1 votes and a MobyScore of 4.0 to be considered.