TrustedReviews’ 15 Best RPGs

It’s not an easy task to pick 15 best RPGs. TrustedReviews has attempted to do just that. I’ll be honest with you, RPG veterans may not be particularly fond of such a selection that omits a lot of standout games that came out prior to mid 2000s. But, prefacing the list is a sentence that makes it all better. Paraphrasing, it tells us that these may not be the best RPGs of all time despite what the article may claim, but instead it’s a list of 15 games well deserved of your attention. And that is difficult to argue with. Paired with neat presentation and all 15 items coexisting on a single convenient page, this list just may be worth your time. Here are a few items:

The Dragon Age series has become a highlight for the genre since it launched in 2009, and arguably its greatest entry is the first. Feeling very much like BioWare took the model for KOTOR but applied it to a fantasy setting, the gimmick here was that your origin story would play out differently depending which character you chose.

Not only did this give it tremendous replay ability, but it affected how you were perceived throughout the fantasy world. That kind of approach meant Origins carried tremendous weight. The fact that the developer crafted a story filled with shocks and surprises made it better still.

Furthermore, the cast of characters the original Dragon Age presented were second to none. Judging you constantly as they observed your every move, it was more than possible to downright resent some of them because of their constant nagging. That’s not easy to pull off, but BioWare did it near perfectly.

The much-anticipated sequel to the 1988 original that would go on to inspire the Fallout series, Wasteland 2 was one of Kickstarter’s early crowd-funding successes, raising $2,933,252 in cash. The game that shipped last year was not a disappointment to long-time fans of the original. Set in a post-apocalyptic North America, Wasteland 2 offers turn-based tactical role-playing with a branching storyline that is impacted by the player’s actions.

Like all the best RPGs, the characters in the game drive things forward, with each member of your party having a distinct personality and reason for wanting to remain alive. The combat engine is refined and engaging, while the overhead perspective allows the game to remain faithful to the original – as well as the early Fallout titles.

The fact that subsequent playthroughs can be radically different adds to the already considerable longevity of the title – it’s possible to play it many times over and experience a whole new story each time.

Ubisoft’s side-scrolling platform RPG adventure won the hearts and minds of gamers in 2014 with its unique visuals – powered by the insanely versatile UbiArt Framework engine – and its whimsical fantasy storyline.

Taking inspiration from Japanese anime outfit Studio Ghibli and borrowing turn-based battle mechanics from the likes of Final Fantasy, this downloadable offering provides a very western take on Japanese RPG conventions. The rhyming dialogue is occasionally a little irritating, but this is practically the title’s only serious shortcoming. The combat is appealing, the storyline captivating and the visuals downright alluring.

Child of Light looks like a painting in motion, and despite its lack of super-realistic 3D imagery it remains one of 2014’s most aesthetically powerful video games.

Add in a cooperative multiplayer mode where one player controls a blue orb to aid the heroine and you’ve got an RPG romp that – while a little on the short side – offers staggering value for money and is a must-have for any fan of the genre.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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