There's no doubt that role-playing games (RPGs) are some of the best video games around, but with so much choice, which ones should you be playing? We’ve rounded up the 26 best RPG games.
9: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
It was more than just the advent of 3D technology that took Mario, Link and Samus out of the 2D realm. All three starred in titles that were the very definition of 2D perfection during the SNES era. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was far more epic than the two previous 8-bit iterations, in both size and story.
No longer limited in speaking to shopkeepers, old men, and hungry monsters, A Link to the Past featured an amazing cast of characters and an engaging story to complement the refined fighting and exploration style of the first.
It's a testament to the game's perfection that Nintendo has by and large kept 2D Zelda titles away from consoles since A Link to the Past perfected it. Unless you count Four Swords, but really, who does that?
With giant robots, kung fu fighting and a religiously charged plot backed by some impressive 3D sequences, Xenogears quickly went from sleeper hit RPG to an international bestseller on the PlayStation.
Even if you didn't fully comprehend the complex story's several philosophical references, being able to shift from your 2D sprite to a fully 3D Gear was exciting in its own right. So deep was the customisation and maintenance required for your Gear, and so rewarding were the results of adding parts and upgrades, the combat of Xenogears was almost another game within a game.
7: The Ultima Series
The brainchild of Richard 'Lord British' Garriott back before computer graphics had more then two colours to work with, the Ultima series defined party based PC RPGs in their early formative years.
As each subsequent title came out, the series constantly reinvented itself to make use of the latest gaming technology available. The series tells an over arching story: Ultima 1-3 establish the enchanted world of Britannia, and introduced the tenants of heroic Virtue. Ultima 4-6 thrust players into the role of The Avatar, a human from Earth that becomes the embodiment of those eight Virtues. Ultima 7-9 tell of the fall of the Avatar, as a mysterious entity calling itself The Guardian comes to Britannia to defame everything the Avatar represents.
The final game in the series, Ultima X, was canceled part way in to development, so ironically enough, there is no ultimate Ultima to tell the final chapter of the series.
NEXT PAGE: Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and Fallout 3
- The must-have games for any role play fan
- Skies of Arcadia and Planetscape Torment
- Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness and Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn
- Pokemon Diamond and Pearl
- Final Fantasy XII and Earthbound
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Xenogears
- Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and Fallout 3
- Our top three role playing games
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