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 (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...
Drakensang: Am Fluss der Zeit - Gold Edition contains the two following games: Drakensang: The River of Time Drakensang: Phileasson's...
The Personal Edition was only available as a very limited pre-order-offer from Amazon.de, comes in a book-shaped and custom-made box...
Drakensang Online is a free-to-play MMO game that was created by the developers of the classic Drakensang games. It combines...
Drakensang: Phileasson's Secret is the official add-on to Drakensang: The River of Time.The game adds the high elf Globul of...
Drakensang: The River of Time takes place 23 years before The Dark Eye: Drakensang and puts the player on a...
Dreamlords is a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) that combines the accessibility of a web game with RPG character development,...
Dream of Mirror Online is the second online installment in the Xuanyuan Jian series. It is set in a fantasy...
Dreamscape is an RPG that puts the player in the shoes of Erin, a young and beautiful woman who has...
You arrive in the town of Northrop to visit your parents when you suddenly find yourself pushed into a dark...
Long time ago, a flourishing civilization was destroyed by the rage of a mighty dragon. The Earth was set in...
In an alternate reality, in a parallel world, there are humans just like in the universe we dwell in. Those...
Game Boy Advance (2004)
You will start the quest with your brother's deck of cards. Win some shop tournaments and it will be the...
Game Boy Advance (2003)
Kids register as duel masters player, build their deck and manage their cards throughout a huge single-player adventure, or challenge...
Game Boy Advance (2005)
Recent tournament titles have put you at the top of the competitive circuit. Fans want your autograph, your smiling face...
Duels is an online fantasy strategy game that combines the character building and advancement of RPGs and adds the strategic...
Commodore PET/CBM (1979)
Dungeon is a Roguelike game. Like other games in this genre the player explores a dungeon in a top-down view...
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Games must have at least a MobyRank 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 MobyScore of 4.0 to be considered.