With PC smash hit Baldur’s Gate 3 set for a PS5 release in the next few days, and Xbox Series X|S not far behind, we’re feeling like a bit of role-playing, losing ourselves in far-flung fantasy lands and bumping into outlandish characters.
Enter our favourite ever RPGs, which span the edges to deliver some of the most diverse gaming experiences ever imagined. And, best of all, you’re always at the heart of the action.
If you had to choose an RPG to fight for, what would it be? Let us know in our Discord.
Dragon Age: Inquisition | James Parry
While Mass Effect trilogy takes the top spot amongst my favourite games of all time, there’s always something a bit special about the more fantasy setting of the Dragon Age series when it comes to a pure RPG experience.
The classes might be archetypes, but they are far from worn out, and the flexibility of the game shows off some impressive opportunities for customisation, depending on what takes your fancy.
Just like in its sci-fi cousin’s universe, it’s the characters which grab you and pull you into the immersion. The inclusion of Dragon Age II’s champion Hawke (spoilers for an almost 10-year-old game) in a minor role was a great touch, but there’s a huge amount of joy in getting to know characters old and new here, and even taking control of them in combat for that extra chance to experiment.
The beauty of the combat system as a whole is that you could play it however you wanted. As a straight action romp, diving into the fray with some handy quick buttons or spells and abilities, or, alternatively, dig into the detail and play almost turn by turn using a series of well thought-out options to micromanage you and your entire team to maximise damage and effectiveness.
Better still, the turn after one of the early acts of the game upends the table and puts you in a totally new status quo, ready to build up your strength and build your world as you see fit.
Move over Skyrim, BioWare is still here, jostling with you for the high fantasy crown – let’s hope Dragon Age: Dreadwolf does eventually come out and we actually get to play it…
Kingdom Come Deliverance | Liam Andrews
The thing I enjoy most about Kingdom Come Deliverance is that you play as a regular person, Henry, rather than some super soldier or famous hero. Henry’s relatively low standing in medieval Bohemia is reflected in KCD’s gameplay and missions.
While you do end up working for/with the land’s nobility, you spend most of the time carrying out lesser tasks or doing smaller missions for them rather than making the big decisions. It’s quite a nice break from the high pressure, all-or-nothing stakes found in other RPGs.
For example, towards the end of the campaign, while higher ranked characters planned a siege, I spent the days leading up to the battle gathering herbs and brewing potions to ensure the garrison fought hangover free. Did it really help the siege? Who’s to say, but it was a nice stress-free mission.
I also enjoy KCD’s big battles, particularly when you’ve got friendly NPCs fighting with you, as it’s easy to bash distracted enemies over the head while they’re busy fighting your mates, or fire arrows at them from behind the cover of your allies. It’s not exactly heroic stuff, but your vulnerability/rubbishness at fighting (particularly in the early game) is in keeping with your character’s average status, and part of the game’s appeal.