Best RPG games for the PC

Role Playing Games

Many years ago when a friend of mine introduced me to a paper and pencil role-playing game called Runequest I didn't realize that 30 years later I'd still be playing this type of game. Of course, in this high tech world, the games are all on the PC or video game console and feature realistic graphics and sound.

Over the years I've played most of the RPG games available for the PC and many on the Playstation and XBOX. I am therefore able to highlight some of the best RPGs I've played.

I have concentrated on games I've played in the last year or two (with the exception of a couple) and it really is amazing how far we have come from the games I used to play on the PC over 20 years ago!

There are many games not included in detail; this does not mean that those games aren't as good, it just means I haven't played them for a while!

Upcoming: The Witcher 3

Upcoming: The Witcher 3

The Witcher Wild Hunt is the third in this highly acclaimed series. From initial previews the game is going to be a very rich story oriented game that has the same dark atmosphere prevalent in the first two games. Every action you make in Witcher 3 will effectively change your world create a very varied storyline that can be replayed many times.

The graphics are stunning on both the video console and PC and take RPG gamin into the next generation games. For me this is one of the most anticipated games of the year – and I truly hope that they don’t make it too difficult – some gamers found Witcher 2 very hard to complete.

The game will be available May 19th, but if you pre-order on Amazon now you will receive an exclusive 48 page Witcher comic.

Dragon Age Inquisition

Generally I play all of my RPG games on a high end PC, but for once I decided to invest in the XBOX One version as I had read that there really wasn't much difference graphically between the console versions and the PC version.

Inquisition combines the best of many RPG games producing a great game that has enough scope for beginner and advanced gamers. With varying ranges of difficulty the game allows you to go into strategy mode when in combat allowing for you to plant traps and to overcome many battles through strategic choices.

The game itself features a very good main plot but also has a wide and varied storyline that lets you interact with your main characters - with over 150 hours of game play you won't get overly bored.

Some of the game-play can get repetitive - there are some similar quests in each of the areas you unlock, but generally there is a rich diversity in quests and many of the smaller quests have multiple parts with different endings depending on your choices.

The graphics are excellent - throughout the whole game I experienced on or two combats where things slowed a little - but generally the combat was fast. The landscape and settings are all beautiful and well designed and overall the animations of the characters are good, but even the female characters look a little masculine.

The skill tree system is good and not overly complex allowing most people to quickly build varied characters. Crafting allows you to create weapons and armor that will not only provide more protection and firepower but will also enhance your character.

I found the music to be very atmospheric and generally the voice acting was excellent.

Overall I found the game to be very compelling; with the ability to download a varied history it is also very re-playable. On lower levels it is a little easy though. It is up there as one of the best RPG games of all time.

Elder Scrolls IV & V : Oblivion & Skyrim

Many years ago I came across a game that while similar to many out there at the time, had a few elements that were different; this game was Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall. Over ten years later I had the privelage to play the fourth game in the series and must admit that I was blown away by it.

Oblivion is one of the best RPGs to hit the PC; the graphics are simply amazing, the music is often haunting and beautiful, and the sound effects are incredible. It sets the standard for quality.

More than that though, with it's superb plot, and the freedom you have to perform quests outside of the main plot and simply go where you want, the game really began to set the standard for game playe. With more choice to control your own destiny, the game became an instant classic.

There haven't been many games that I've played that are this good, but this, with their previous game Oblivion is right up there with the best.

Skyrim takes the series one step further with much improved graphics, a huge world and a simplified system (based on the Fallout 3 system) - while it is still a little flawed, it takes everything good about Oblivion and improves on it - the quests are very detailed and often tough, and the overall feel of the game is better.

Dragon Age Origins

Several years after the introduction of Oblivion, you were hard pressed to find any games that topped it - there were a couple that came close, but none had the overall package that Oblivion has.

However, Dragon Age came very close, and many could argue that it was better. While Dragon Age features stunning graphics and sound, and has a vast world in which to play, it's the roleplaying elements that really set it aside.

Oblivion started the ball rolling by making quests more than simple go and fetch exersizes; Dragon Age was one of the first games to make you make choices that influence the rest of the game, and also make you make difficult moralistic choices.

This element alone catapulted it to the top of my 'Best RPG games' list!

Baldur's Gate Series

Baldur's Gate for me was the one series that took the average '3D maze' with monster game and transformed it into a real RPG game. WIth good graphics (that look a little dated now) and the ability yo talk to many characters and create a diverse party, Baldur's gate was one of the first games to transfer some of the 'magic' of the pencil and paper game.

Everything was a little linear, and the isometric style is a little dated, but I played this series for a long time and still have it tucked away in a closet somewhere!

Fallout 3

Usually I wouldn't consider a 3D first person shooter a RPG game. However, having played Fallout 2 many years ago I decided to try this game out.

I am glad I did - Fallout 3, based in a post apocalyptic world not only is an intense 3D first person shooter game, but it's also a very in-depth and complex RPG. With a very intricate plot, in which every choice you make can affect the outcome, you soon find yourself immersed in a world somewhat different to ours.

It truly is an amazing game that oozes atmosphere and playibility.

The games origins come from two excellent games from the early 90s - Fallout 1 and 2 were in their own way brilliant games - while they do not have the graphics of modern RPG games, they have great character systems and an intense game play that really set the standard for games of the time and still stand the test of time today.

The Dark Eye: Drakensang

Drakensang is an excellent party-based RPG game that kind of blends Baldur's Gate with Fable to produce an incredibly detailed game. Based on Germany's most popular paper and pencil RPG, this game elevates detail to the highest level.

The graphics are simply stunning and while the game did lag for me a little at times, overall the experience was inthralling and exciting - the depth of quest and plot isn't quite as varied as others, but the sheer size and fun of the game more than make up for that.

Borderlands

Wow what can you say about this game? It's firstly and foremost a first-person sci-fi shooter; however it does blend in aspects of RPG games. I wouldn't call it a true RPG game in the sense that there is a detailed and varied plot, and indeed it is more 'mission' based than a traditional RPG.

I include it here as there are some RPG elements, but sometimes it's just nice to sit back and play an RPGesque game without thinking too much - just enjoy the graphics, the frantic gameplay and then relax with Dragon Age afterwards!

Divinity II: Ego Draconis

This is the game I am playing currently. Like most of the modern RPG games it features excellent graphics, great sound and a detailed plot that is dependant on your choices. What stands out about Divinity 2 is the ability to change into a Dragon; this is an integral part of the game and you cannot complete the game without it - it adds a different feel to the game, giving you some 'aerial combat' but also allowing you to view the world from a different persepctive.

While the game is mostly a sole-player RPG, you do have the ability to create a Pet who will help you in combat - the pet is very customizable and this is actually a fun part of the game!

While this isn't the best RPG I've ever played it is solid and good and the plot is pretty decent! It's well worth buying when it hits the discount rack.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic Series

I grew up watching the original Star Wars movies and therefore jumped at the chance of playing a RPG game based in the Star Wars world.

I must say that I did enjoy the game; while by today's standards the graphics seem a little dated, it was the gameplay that made it stand out. The 'universe' you play in is huge, and the ability to go to different planets, have plots that are only relevant to the planet, while still pursuing an overall planet makes this game extremely fun to play!

Again it's definitely worth buying from the discount rack!

Fable

I'm in two minds about this game. While the graphics and sound are very good, and the freedom of the game is excellent, it somehow feels a little 'childish' to me, even though there are some very adult themes in it!

Having said that, I did play both games constantly until I completed them, but the elements like collecting hidden gargoyles just seemed to make it less of an RPG than I would like!

I did enjoy the games though, and while it isn't the best RPG ever it is a very good and enjoyable series!

The Witcher

I am not usually a fan of RPG games that only have one character, and do not give you much choice on the type or look of the character. However, from the very first moment I started the game and watched the stunning opening movie I knew this was different; I was instantly immersed in a dark and dank world and could feel the atmopshere oozing out of the game.

The game is intensly dark; this is by design and the feel the game gives is incredible. It is one of the most immersive RPG games I've played and concentrates more on plot and storyline rather than hit points and potions.

This was the first game I played that had a diverse plot that gave you moral choices that changed the plot - not only did that make the game extremely intense, it also made it re-playable!

If you really look at the game you'll see a pretty decent looking game graphically, nothing out of this world - but what makes this game is the way it seeps into you and makes you 'feel' the world.

This game is in my top three along with Oblivion and Dragon Age!

Other RPG Games

South Park: The Stick of Truth: this is a very satirical and often offensive RPG based in the South Park world; it’s perhaps not for everyone, but overall the game is surprisingly good and will definitely appeal to fans of the TV show.

Diablo III: While not a true RPG in my book this is still a great hack and slash game based in a fantasy setting. There are some elements of RPG gaming, but overall it is a dungeon crawler.

Final Fantasy Series: I note that all of the games I have played have been western RPG games –there are a whole host of great anime type RPG games that are very good. Final Fantasy is perhaps the most famous in the US and UK. Over time the FF series has become a very good series with great graphics, a decent plot and a good RPG experience.

Dark Souls: This is a great dark-fantasy action RPG. It has excellent graphics and sound, a great plot – but it is perhaps one of the most difficult to complete.

Neverwinter Nights: Very similar to the Baldur’s gate series, this was a great AD&D based RPG that had a top down perspective. The storyline was great and the game followed AD&D rules very well.

King’s Bounty: This is a large series of games that have a lot of RPG elements, generally very good storylines and decent graphics. I feel they are perhaps aimed more at a younger audience. The games seem to be a bit repetitive at times as you find yourself revisiting the same locations many times – but overall they are pretty satisfying.

Other: I know I have missed a lot of great games – feel free to comment about any that I have missed and if I have played it I will add it!

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Comments 12 comments

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

I only wish I had more time to get hooked on PC games! I used to play Scrabble but even now, not so much...great hub and I'm sure there are a lot of folks out there who do play.


SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 6 years ago from NJ, USA Author

akircher: the RPG market seems to be growing and the days of poor games with poor plots and gameplay is gone - these games are so deep and interactive - you really get engrossed!


Kelvyn Ross 6 years ago

It's great that you remember Runequest from all those years ago - but what about the great figures??

I seem to remembers watching the same set of about 12 being everything from goblins to greater demons as we chased each other around a chalk board :)

Who needs computers eh? Them were the days


SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 6 years ago from NJ, USA Author

Kelvyn: your memory is obviously better than mine LOL! When we played Runscape we did only have a few figures, but as the years went by, we eneded up with hundreds (if not thousands) - I do miss those days when we had a beer, a few dice and our imagination - that's perhaps the only missing element in the computer games!!!


Diogo 5 years ago

Heya! I know this is only a personal list, but you didn't mention Gothic, by Gothic i mean only 1 and 2.

Is it because you haven't played it yet? If not you should try.Best game i have ever played even including all those in your list.

One tip though if you ever decide to try playing gothic, it doesn't hold you hand, no map with pointers, only a type of journal. And most people find hard to play, the controls i mean, just use the keyboard, ignore the mouse.

If you try it i bet it will be on the top of your list after you beat it ^^. Best Regards!


SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 5 years ago from NJ, USA Author

Diogo: I'll go and try them! I got spoiled by Gothic 3 and 4 which were poor - I'll take your advice - I actually love games that don't hold your hands!


Keefy 5 years ago

Hmm. I think my list of best Western-RPGs would look rather different. Still to each there own, and you have most of my favourites...

...I say most, though, because I find it bizarre that you chose to include Fallout 3, and yet not its predecessors, but you included the Baldur's Gate "series".

While BG2 undoubtedly deserves it's place, the original was very much flawed in its content and difficulty curve (Gibberling does 1-6 damage per hit - you have 4hp). In contrast, I would argue that both of the first two Fallout games were fantastic RPGs (personally I would argue that Fallout 2 is a better game, and certainly a much better RPG, than its successor).

Was that inclusion/omission to suggest that Baldurs Gate 1 was better than Fallout 2, in your opinion?


SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 5 years ago from NJ, USA Author

Keefy: Fallout 2 certainly was a great game, and formed the basis of Fallout 3 for character generation and experience etc. I found the game too difficult though , especially as you had a time limit. While I agree that BG1 was very flawed, the quests were (for me) a little better than those in Fallout 2 - and that's probably why I omitted Fallout 2; You are right though - I will amend my article...


nico 4 years ago

Actualy, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was a waaaaay better game than both Oblivion and Skyrim. And where is Deus Ex? Mass Effect? Neverwinter Nights, at last?


SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 4 years ago from NJ, USA Author

Nico: fair point about Neverwinter Nights - I always consider them as part of the Baldur's Gate games - not really true - will add. We'll agree to disagree on Morrowind - I felt very restricted playing that!


nico 4 years ago

Morrowind had a unique world, deep story and memorable characters. It was also more mature than Oblivion and Skyrim. The world of Skyrim is rather impressive, thou. But again, greatly inspiried by Bloodmoon.


SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 4 years ago from NJ, USA Author

Nico: I really can'y argue - Morrowind was pretty decent - I just felt 'penned in a little' - if you notice this is 'part 1' - I'm already researching and writing part 2 - Mass effect 2 will definitely be on there (not sure about ME - gotta buy a copy!) - going to check out Deus Ex although I'm not sure if it is strictly RPG?

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