The best RPGs can deliver hundreds of hours of fun, adventure, and a generally good time. Since tabletop RPG’s like Cyberpunk 2020 or D&D came into the scene, the genre has turned into its own and became a genre to be reckoned with.
The RPG genre is hard to nail down since every game now is some kind of an RPG as you can upgrade your skills, earn XP, use perks, and other features that RPG’s used to have and still have so I decided to do a Top 5 Canonical RPGs that you should play. From The Witcher 3 to Fallout: New Vegas, here are the Top 5 RPGs you should play. Let’s begin!
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is probably the greatest RPG of this generation and that alone you should probably try it out.
The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is the final game of the Witcher saga and ties up the story of Geralt and his friends. Many RPGs focus on the tales of the wanderer but few pull it off with great ease like The Witcher 3, The Witcher 3 is the ultimate tale of the lone wanderer and his adventures.
The true strength of The Witcher 3 lays in its world and quest-building, there are hundreds of memorable questlines that help create one of the best RPGs of all time and a game that can dole out hundreds of hours of pure adventure and pure enjoyment. Definitely try this one out, you won’t regret it.
Fallout: New Vegas
While Fallout 3 was successful, it was a different beast from the classic Fallout games developed by Interplay. Obsidian’s follow-up moved the franchise back to the West Coast and reintroduced features and elements that weren’t present within Fallout 3. Obsidian expanded on nearly every aspect of Fallout 3 and made a legendary game that transcended time.
What I love about Fallout: New Vegas is that brought the classic Fallout feeling back into Bethesda’s framework of the Fallout franchise. Definitely try this one out.
Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Origins was a game that brought back the old RPG mechanics and gameplay that were now being thrown out for more simpler mechanics seen in Fallout 3, Skyrim, Fallout 4 and most other games. Capturing that Baldur’s Gate feeling was the most important thing for DAO and it came pretty close.
It’s a shame that BioWare won’t make a game like this ever again. Old BioWare is really BioWare’s peak, it won’t get any better than this and that’s really sad. In many ways, Dragon Age: Origins and what followed after is the last hurrah for BioWare and a fitting end to the studio.
Mass Effect 2
The original Mass Effect came out at a time when things were changing for the gaming industry. 2007 was a year of innovation and invention, it was really the year that developers really came to understand the technological leaps that were inside the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. The original Mass Effect belonged to that era and was one of the games that would forever change gaming but it was horrible to play. There were too many issues that impacted my enjoyment of the original Mass Effect: the shooting was wonky, too many systems and menus to dig through so when Mass Effect 2 came around I was relieved.
Instead of an epic space drama, Mass Effect 2 felt like Ocean’s 11 in space with an emphasis on mechanics. Recruiting a team to take on the Collectors placed an emphasis on the small and interesting stories of the characters you’re trying to recruit. It’s rare that a game focuses so much time on the backstory of characters than the main narrative, but Mass Effect 2 pulled it off and it became one of the best games of the decade. Mass Effect 2 is one of the best games in old BioWare’s history and has one of the best writing I have ever seen.
System Shock 2
Before BioShock, Irrational entered the scene with System Shock 2 and it was a lonely game. Very lonely. That is the emotion you get when playing the game, you won’t meet many people and you’ll only hear the voices of people long gone.
The loneliness is key because System Shock 2 is about taking things away from you including hope which is the last thing the game takes away from you. Much like the twist in BioShock, the twist in System Shock 2 turns your expectations on their head and unlike the twist in BioShock, it left you feeling hopeless.
Much like Rapture after it and how Rapture was character in itself, the Von Braun was the main star of System Shock 2. The RPG system seemed streamlined but it was far from that, there’s a lot of balance to be found on what seems like a very streamlined system. It may be old but it’s the BioShock of the late 90’s and you should definitely give this one a go.
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