RPG or Role-Playing Game is a genre that appeared decades ago, in the golden age of Dungeons & Dragons and other games to gather friends and embody characters, while a master narrated the challenges to face. When migrating to digital, RPG games gained a unique visual appeal, but without losing the essence focused on history, character building and upgrades of skills, equipment, etc.
The idea of this list is to gather some RPG games for PC, Xbox One, Switch and PS4 already released and that have strong appeal in the narrative. As it is a personal selection, it is clear (and more than natural) that you may not agree with everything or feel that something is missing. So I invite you to fill out this list with me in the comments.
Role-playing games with great stories
The list is in alphabetical order. The numbers do not indicate a greater or lesser degree of importance in relation to the other title. It’s just to organize.
1. A Plague Tale: Innocence (PC, PS4 and Xbox One)
The Plague Tale: Innocence clearly alludes to the Middle Ages in Europe, at the height of the Inquisition and devastated by the black plague. In this hostile universe, you will follow the courageous story of the young Amicia de Rune.
From a noble family, she sees her home being invaded by the English army, which kills everyone on the way. When she lost everything she knew, she only had to protect her little brother Hugo, who suffers from a mysterious illness, and try to get help.
2. Divinity: Original Sin 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch)
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a strategic RPG massively based on narrative and choice. In short: the lore is immense and there is much to read and explore. The best part is that all dialogues are also spoken. The wealth of history, options and consequences reminded me a lot of the time of the wonderful Neverwinter Nights (which I also recommend).
The story of this sequence follows the events of the first title. The Deities are dead. Dark beings approach. A huge yet unknown power is beginning to awaken within you. Does the world need a new Divinity? Who should ascend? Can you really trust your companions?
3. Dragon Age: Origins (PC)
Dragon Age: Origins is the first game in the Dragon Age series from BioWare and, honestly, the best of all so far. The great thing about the narrative is that the whole story is shaped according to its origin, that is, with the choice of race and social situation that you choose when assembling your character.
With several captivating NPCs, you are a Gray Warden and are part of an order of warriors with incredible skills who dedicate their lives to fighting the darkspawn, which infest the region of Thedas. Your hero will venture around the world to exterminate Blight, as well as making some unusual alliances along the way.
4. Final Fantasy VII – Remake (PS4)
The original Final Fantasy VII (1997) is considered one of the most memorable games of all time, even though it is not the favorite of all fans of the Square Enix franchise. You are the mercenary Cloud and with the help of friends, who do along the way, you need to prevent Shinra from ending up with all the essence of Gaia.
The Remake, which shows the events of the first part of the story, takes place in the capital city of Midgar. In this location is also the base of operations of Shinra, a gigantic and powerful energy company that uses Lifestream, an ethereal substance responsible for life on the game planet (Gaia), to power its reactors.
5. Kingdom Hearts II (PS4 and Xbox One)
Kingdom Hearts II improved several aspects of the first game, such as the control of the combat camera. The game also has one of the best selections from Disney worlds, including some unusual choices like Pirates of the Caribbean and Tron.
The story features unpublished characters that marked, like Roxas and Namine, in addition to forever changing the world of Kingdom Hearts, deepening the narrative.
6. Mass Effect – Shepard Trilogy (PC, PS4 and Xbox One)
It is difficult to disassociate any game from the Mass Effect Shepard trilogy and choose only one, since the narratives fit together well (even if the ending of Mass Effect 3 did not please everyone).
In the space-themed story in which humanity begins to explore other planets and relate (for better or worse) with alien races, you are Commander Shepard and on board the Normandy spacecraft you will need to prevent various threats end the balance of the universe and destroy the Citadel. The lore of the game is engaging and the charisma of the characters are the highlight of the game to guarantee immersion.
7. Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch (PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch)
The first thing that strikes Ni No Kuni is the beautiful art direction. And not least: the game’s animation scenes were made by Studio Ghibli. The whole style of art is also inspired by the productions of this Japanese studio.
In the story, you control Oliver, a little boy who sets out on a journey (in a mystical land) to save his mother. Oliver finds several allies along the way, as well as powerful enemies, but he never fails to have his faithful advisor and protector at his side: the Drippy fairy (he is, but I do not remember if “fairy” has a male).
8. Tales of Vesperia (PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch)
For some fans, Tales of Vesperia is considered one of the best games in the Bandai Namco series. It is no accident. The protagonist Yuri Lowell helps a lot in this conception of idea, for being a well-built character and that escapes some JRPG style standards.
This combined with good graphics and a story full of surprises with each new scene, which makes the game an excellent option. It has been exclusive to Xbox 360 in the West for many years, and only more recently has it remastered versions on Switch and PS4.
9. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch)
Skyrim, which nowadays is said to even run in a toaster, is certainly a sales and success milestone for Bethesda. When it was launched in 2011, it came with the mission to overcome the built universe of TES IV: Oblivion (which I also recommend playing).
The story of TES V takes place 200 years after the events of Oblivion in the province of Skyrim, which is part of the kingdom of Tamriel. You are a Dovahkiin, or DragonBorn, a hero who appeared in prophecies and is endowed with incredible dragon powers. This hero is the only one capable of stopping Alduin (an ancestral dragon) and saving Tamriel.
10. The Witcher III – Wild Hunt (PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch)
The game The Witcher III – Wild Hunt is inspired by the series of books by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Developed by CD Projekt Red, you take control of Geralt of Rivia – one of the last Witchers (monster hunters) that still exist on the Continent.
In Wild Hunt, you engage in a series of political plots that address conquests from other territories, religious imposition and persecution, prejudice and (of course) hunting many monsters. All this while Geralt searches for Ciri, his “adopted daughter” and who is much more powerful than he appears to be.