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.
Xbox 360 (2006)
For the past ten years, mysterious purple clouds have been appearing in the sky, bringing destruction with them. On one...
Nintendo DS (2010)
Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow takes place one year after its predecessor Blue Dragon Plus. The protagonist (gender and appearance is...
Nintendo DS (2009)
Blue Dragon Plus is a sequel to Blue Dragon. Join Shu once again as he attempts to save the world....
SEGA Saturn (1995)
Long time ago, at the dawn of Japanese legendary history, the godly princess Kushinada defeated the Aragami, monsters who drew...
WonderSwan Color (2001)
There are six nations living in the world of floating islands. The most powerful one is the Ordia Empire, possessing...
Bob's Dragon Hunt is an exercise in using filled polygons to simulate a three-dimensional dungeon crawl, wading through all variety...
The story of this game is rather simple: the world is in peril, as the evil witch Topaz sends her...
Saul Myers is a veteran of the French Foreign Legion living abroad in Paris. His daughter Lisa is a journalist...
Game Boy Advance (2004)
Django has been stripped of his valuable weapon of choice and now must rid the world of evil with more...
Game Boy Color (1998)
Carrying with him all the monsters he captured on his last mission, Bomberman is headed for his home planet Bomber....
A young man named Shounosuke sees a strange dream: a voice talks about mankind and its sins, and a beautiful...
Bones: The Game of the Haunted Mansion is a member of the pseudo-roguelike Wizard's Castle family. It is one of...
In Bonez Adventures: Tomb of Fulaos the player takes the role of the archaeologist Marc Bonez who finds a mummy...
The Book of Legends is a top-down RPG featuring about 30 characters. The game puts you in the shoes of...
The Book of Three is an RPG based on the first book of the "Chronicles of Prydain", a series of...
Bookworm Adventures follows the tale of a little green worm named Lex (of the original Bookworm game) throughout 3 themed...
Lex the Bookworm is eating his breakfast, a bowl of letters, when suddenly a troubled Mother Goose appears, running and...
Bootleggers is a PHP-coded browser game based on the activities of the Italian mafia in the United States during the...
Top games by as rated by the press:
- 99 Chrono Trigger
- 95 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- 94 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- 94 Mass Effect 2
- 94 The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
- 93 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- 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
Games must have at least a Critic Score 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)
- 4.33 Avadon: The Black Fortress (2011)
- 5.00 Battle of the Youstrass (2000)
- 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)
- 4.76 Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep (2013)
- 3.67 Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition (2010)
Games must have at least 1 votes and a User Score of 4.0 to be considered.