The 10 Best RPGs Ever
Everyday you go to your job, stare at a computer screen, put up some drywall, or flip burgers, and when you come home, you want to escape the mundane and enjoy a bit of adventure. An RPG is synonymous with adventure. Some of the most compelling and epic stories ever told in video games were clad in the cloak of an RPG. They envelop you in entire worlds far flung from your own and let you live out a life you might never have known.
So snatch up a controller and one of these discs that contain a whole world for you to play. Here are the 10 best RPGs to help you escape the daily grind.
10. Persona 4
Atlus has never shied away from releasing some really strange games. Persona 4 and its predecessors were no exception. Part RPG, part simulation, part murder mystery, part anime, and part Cronenberg-esque fantasy, Persona 4 wears many hats. But, it switches between them exceedingly well and provides an always intriguing gaming experience. By day you’re tasked with navigating a suburban mystery, while at night you must fight your way through the TV World. Did we mention that it has a fantastic soundtrack too?
9. Kingdom Hearts
When it was first announced that there would be a J-RPG involving Disney characters, a lot of people probably scratched their heads. What was created was one of the most unique and enjoyable games to ever come out on the PS2. With the help of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and numerous other Disney characters, you get to save multiple world from the onslaught of the Heartless with your mighty keyblade. It sounds a bit hallucinatory and nutty, but that gave it a unique charm.
8. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
If a slim and slick RPG had a baby with a voluptuously excitable shooter, the offspring would undoubtedly be Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Drawing on shooter gameplay to augment the surprisingly beefy RPG elements and outstandingly designed open world, Deus Ex stuck the perfect balance between genres. The story of bio-mechanically enhanced humans and the shady company dealings behind the scenes kept the intrigue high as you wandered cities across the world searching for clues. As with any great RPG, you have choice. You can play it almost any way you wish. Except for the bosses. You had to shoot them in the face.
7. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
It has been said that all the authors of those old “choose your own adventure” novels quit writing books and moved on over to Bioware. This may be true and it really shows in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic’s size and scope. Bioware is the king of the immersive RPG and are old hands at creating worlds. They delved deeper into the Star Wars lore and kept fans entertained while introducing some memorable new characters. We all loved being called “meatbags” by a certain death dealing droid.
6. Pokemon Red & Blue
As much as we hate to admit it, the original games in this behemoth of a franchise were damn good RPG’s. It had all the righ ingredients to make it completely addictive. You had random ecounters teasing at the chance to capture a rare Pokemon. The world was quirky, fun, and huge for a handheld. Of course it got frustrating when you were almost to the next town and were hammered into the ground by an overpowered monster, but that just made it challenging. Be honest with yourself. You wanted to collect them all, you know you did.
5. Chrono Trigger
As always, the world is at stake, but in no other RPG will you find a more entertaining time traveling adventure than Chrono Trigger. In addition to having one of the most engaging story lines in all of video games, the decision to keep the combat in real time and not warp to a battle map kept the action fast and flowing.
4. Final Fantasy 7
Widely hailed as the greatest of the Final Fantasy series, the seventh installment of the franchise is a classic by any definition. The story was grand, sweeping, and strangely personal. It was a game that pushed the boundaries of storytelling and imprinted itself on your brain. The struggle between Cloud and Sephiroth is like that of Link and Gannon, Mario and Bowzer. This game defined the series for many years to come. Even if it did mean that we associate it with ridiculous hair and absurdly large weaponry.
3. Super Mario RPG
The most unexpected RPG to ever be born onto the SNES, Super Mario RPG is a classic game that lets you play a Mario game any way you want. You aren’t simply forced to run from left to right to save a princess. Instead, you’re treated to a complex story featuring an intriguing cast of characters and a battle system that requires more strategy than simply jumping on anything in your way.
2. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda was the father of it all. It was one of the first games to introduce an open world to explore. It was one of the first games to provide you with a bunch of items to aid you on your legendary journey. A Link to the Past is the quintessential Zelda adventure that envelops you with it’s engaging story and endlessly satisfying gameplay.
In terms of scope, ambition, and immersion, Skyrim is second to none. No other game offers you more. You’re treated to a pulse pounding first mission to help create and define your character, then you’re left to fend for yourself. You can follow the main story, explore the gorgeous land you’ve been let loose in, or simple head to the nearest village and set it on fire. Those peasants don’t need their homes. Skyrim gives you complete freedom, which is a beautiful thing.