The history of RPG games began in the early ’70s and the first game of this genre was called Dungeons & Dragons. RPG stands for Role Playing Games and what makes this genre more sophisticated than any other genre is the possibility to put yourself in the role of the game protagonist and being able to determine a further flow of the game. This is done by making decisions or developing your character in a certain way. RPG is now combined with many other genres, so today you can find RPG shooters or action–adventure games with elements of RPG. With all that in mind, let’s check out the top 20 RPG games for PC.
1. The Elder Scrolls V – Skyrim
When we talk about RPG, this game cannot be missed. Skyrim is easily one of the best games ever made and also one of the biggest games in the RPG genre. The World in this game is gothic, non-linear, and full of places and secrets to search for. Skyrim has everything that makes a great RPG game; from crafting, fighting huge dragons, making decisions, engaging in interesting dialogues, upgrading and customizing your character, and the possibility to even change from third/first-person camera. If you don’t like the 2011 version (first version) of this game, there is a Skyrim Remastered or you can download some graphics mods for the game and enjoy it. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is not only for fans of the RPG genre but generally for every PC game enthusiast.
2. The Witcher 3
The Witcher series is famous for its open-world and interesting story throughout the whole franchise. The Witcher 3 isn’t an exception. The game continues where The Witcher 2 left off and further expands into a much bigger and generally better game. You may not know, but The Witcher 3 was the best game of 2016! Graphics, soundtrack, and gameplay are great in this game. The main protagonist Geralt of Rivia is one badass character you’ll surely like and playing with him is fun. Like Skyrim, there is everything you want from one RPG title: upgrading, crafting, making important decisions, etc. With its huge open world, The Witcher 3 guarantees hundreds of hours of gameplay.
3. Mass Effect series
Mass Effect games are a great example of combining the TPS (Third Person Shooter) genre with elements of RPG. You are Commander Shepard and you’re in command of your space ship where you can store your weapons, upgrade them, upgrade your character, and get some sleep. The game is set in space, where you can visit various galaxies in search of rare items or components and visit planets as you go. There is a crew on your ship and you can choose some of them to go with you on your missions. The crew can also be leveled up as you progress, but that doesn’t make the game much easier as there are tons of enemies, from small ones to big, angry reapers who are eager to make you suffer. If you are interested in this game, it’s best to start from the first one, because you can transfer your leveled character to the next game.
4. World of Warcraft
You really can’t go wrong with any of the Blizzard’s games. World of Warcraft represents some of the finest MMORPG games available today. MMO RPGs are all about making your character, choose from various classes, and level it up as much as you can. The same gameplay principle is applied here. What makes this game great is that you can choose how you want to play it. You can play online battles and don’t care about the story or you can read the stories of characters from Warcraft series.
5. The Legend of Zelda series
The Legend of Zelda series is developed and published by Nintendo. In this game, you play as a Link and your mission is to rescue Princess Zelda. It may sound linear but when you try the game, it isn’t exactly like that. This game is interesting from start to finish. It combines fighting elements with RPG and puzzle-solving, making the game very hard to beat. It surely is one of the most authentic RPG series out there and will provide the players with many hours of fun.
6. Fallout 2
Back in 1998, Interplay and Black Isle Studios raised the bar for the RPG games with their Fallout 2. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic Southern California, which at that time was something new and different from medieval locations from most RPG games. The player must wander through the world, complete missions, and interact with various people in order to fulfill his goal. You are accompanied by the Dogmeat, a german shepherd who can help you fight off the enemies and is one of the coolest companions in the history of RPG games. Although it’s a very old game, it still manages to hold it’s own even today and is worth playing.
7. Dark Souls series
Dark Souls games perfectly define the word “hard” when we speak about video games. From the very beginning of the game, Dark Souls throws you at it’s dark, gothic, and brutal world with enemies lurking behind every corner. Boss fights in this game are absolutely ruthless and bosses won’t forgive you for your mistakes, making this game incredibly hard to beat. Although you can upgrade your character, this doesn’t make any noticeable difference when it comes to boss fights. If you plan on starting with playing through this franchise, prepare yourself, because you will die…a lot.
8. Fallout 4
The newest installment in the Fallout franchise. Fallout 4 brings a new and refreshing world of fictional town Commonwealth with many secrets to discover. Graphically, this game isn’t the best ever, but core gameplay and RPG elements make this game very interesting. Like in every Fallout game, there are various factions that you can be part of and Dogmeat makes his return as well as other companions you can choose later in the game. Overall, a very immersive game with a lot of stuff to do, plus there’s no need to play previous parts as this is a standalone game.
9. Final Fantasy series
Final Fantasy series is one of the most successful game series of all time. Currently, there are 15 games in that series and every single game is a masterpiece. First Final Fantasy game was published back in 1987, and when it came out it was way ahead of its time. At the very beginning, it was a pure RPG game, but later on, it expanded much more. Now, these games combine RPG with elements of racing, shooting, action, fighting, and much more. If you like a good story and solid gameplay, be sure to check out these games.
10. The Elder Scrolls – Morrowind
Morrowind is the third installment in The Elder Scrolls series. It launched back in 2002 and when it launched it was the biggest RPG game at that time. Not only it was the biggest game, but graphically it was way above standard. It has some detailed character customization, character models were great and world design was second to none. However, it had some glitches which were fixed later on. The Elder Scroll: Morrowind is a somewhat degraded version of Skyrim, but still a great even for today’s standards.
11. Dragon Age – Origins
Dragon Age: Origins is developed by Bioware which is a team behind Mass Effect games. This game has approximately the same game mechanics like Mass Effect games but is set in a gothic, dark world, rather than a huge galaxy. Also, it’s played in real-time, although the player is allowed to pause the game at any time. There is a total of nine DLC’s for this game and The Awakening expansion, so completing the whole story is a challenge and satisfaction at the same time.
12. Diablo series
Diablo is a pure old school hack and slash game with RPG elements. In our opinion, it’s one of the darkest, most hardcore RPG games ever made. You are in the role of a lone hero who is fighting against the forces of Diablo- Lord of Terror. If you like dark atmosphere, solid graphics, replayability, and great gameplay, be sure to give Diablo a try. Even if you are not an RPG fan, the Diablo franchise will still give you something to remember.
13. Deus Ex
Deus Ex is another first-person shooter with strong elements of RPG. Actually, they are that strong that this game is considered as one of the best RPG games ever and one of the all-time best. Why? Well, when it came out it was something different than typical RPG games. It combined cyberpunk genre with RPG elements like leveling up, customizing, interactions with NPC, etc. On top of that, the story of the game is pretty complex and has several possible endings. Sure, there are newer Deus Ex games, but this one remains classic and most innovative of them all.
14. The Elder Scrolls IV – Oblivion
This game made a huge impact on the further development of this series, preceding Skyrim. Unlike previous games in this series, this one aimed for a higher focus on story and a little faster pace of gameplay. Also, it has fully voiced NPCs which brought something new and refreshing to the series. Developers did a great job and we’re sure that this game won’t fall into the oblivion anytime soon.
15. Pokemon series
You didn’t think we’ll really miss this classic game, did you? Pokemon games are one of the most interesting RPG games out there and great series for those who watched Pokemon anime on TV. It combines puzzle-solving elements with RPG, making it a challenging and hard-to-beat game. There isn’t much to say about this game, except “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!”
16. Pillars of Eternity
Pillars of Eternity is a successor to the Baldur’s Gate and is developed by Californian developer Obsidian Entertainment. The game is set in a fantasy world called Eora. The protagonist of the game is a “Watcher” which means that he can interact with souls and see past lives. Pillars of Eternity looks and plays excellent! Although it’s a new RPG game, released back in 2015, it’s a great old school RPG with an interesting story. Speaking of 2015, this game won the award for the best RPG game of that year, so it’s worth giving a shot.
17. System Shock 2
With System Shock 2, we’re once again gazing into the “retro” waters. System Shock 2 is another cyberpunk-themed, survival horror game with strong RPG influence set aboard the starship. Although it’s released back in 1999, this game served as inspiration for games like Deus Ex. Graphically, this game is far away from today’s standards but still packs a punch if you have weaker PC or just want to play some old school games. Its perfect combination of survival horror, shooting, RPG elements, and dark atmosphere is amazing even by today’s standards.
18. Neverwinter Nights
If you played Dungeons & Dragons, you know what to expect from Neverwinter Nights. Neverwinter Nights is set in the fantasy world of Forgotten Realms, and Neverwinter city is a goal location for the player. The player is tasked with defeating a powerful cult and stop a plague, before finally striking the Neverwinter. The story is stellar, but what really makes this game great is the gameplay, graphics, and overall replayability. Neverwinter Nights offers players over 60 hours of gameplay which is great for a game that came out 15 years ago! Upon completion, you can check out Neverwinter Nights 2, a pretty solid sequel to this game.
19. Divinity – Original Sin
Divinity: Original Sin started as an indie project on Kickstarter a few years ago, and after funding the project, the full game finally made it on shelves in the summer of 2014. This game is famous for its beautiful graphics, smart AI, and fluid gameplay and was one of the best RPG games of 2014. Divinity: Original Sin II is announced to come out this year.
20. Eve Online
Eve Online is an old school, space-based MMORPG game in which the players can participate in activities such as exploration, trading, and combat. There are more than 7000 star systems that players can explore with their space ships, and while doing that encounter other players and engage in intense battles. Ships can be repaired by docking at stations, where players can rest from battles across the galaxy. Eve Online is a unique type of RPG games and instead of reading this, we suggest you try it out. Get in your space ship, marine!