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.
Game Boy (1992)
A spin-off from the successful Dragon Slayer series by Falcom, Dragon Slayer Gaiden casts you once again as the nameless...
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Atari 2600 (1982)
Dragonstomper is notable for being the first role-playing game (RPG) released for a home console.Long ago, a Druid magician created...
A band of fearless dungeon crawlers must seek out The Dragon Sword and confront the dragon Oijngate. The Dragon Sword...
Many years ago, four brave warriors have reclaimed the magical Drakkhen tears for humanity, liberating it from the yoke of...
Game Boy Color (1999)
Dragon Warrior I & II contains Game Boy versions of Dragon Warrior and Dragon Warrior II. This is the third...
Dragon Warrior IV is the fourth game in the Dragon Quest series. The game utilizes a chapter system, where each...
Game Boy Color (1998)
In Dragon Warrior Monsters you enter Terry's Wonderland, a magical place of kings, monsters and magic spells. Make monsters your...
Game Boy Color (2001)
Like the original Dragon Warrior Monsters for the Game Boy Color, Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Cobi's Journey combines themes and...
Game Boy Color (2001)
Like the original Dragon Warrior Monsters for the Game Boy Color, Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Tara's Adventure combines themes and...
In "Dragon Warrior VII", you are a 16 year old son of a fisherman living on a small island called...
PlayStation 2 (2002)
After the dragon rider Rynn returns to her home village, she finds it destroyed, and all its inhabitants massacred. Her...
PlayStation 2 (2003)
Drakengard follows the story of a kingdomless prince named Caim who fights for the Union against the Empire. Under the...
PlayStation 2 (2006)
Because of the events of the first game the world was broken, requiring the Red Dragon, Angelus, to restore the...
The Collector's Edition of Drakensang comes in a golden book-style package and contains the following items: Drakensang: The River of...
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Games must have at least a Critic Score 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 User Score of 4.0 to be considered.