[Top 25] Best Turn-Based RPGs for PC (Ranked Fun To Most Fun)

Roll for initiative!

Most people don't picture themselves spending hours browsing video game articles and strategically planning out the short and long-term plans of a ragtag band of heroes in a chess-like fantasy game when they think of spending the weekend relaxing and playing some fun video games.

However, there exists a subculture within the gaming industry that has quietly obtained a cult following for itself : turn-based role-playing games. What sets this genre apart from traditional RPGs or Real-Time Strategy games is having slower gameplay, thus giving greater control in the combat sections, and a longer story where the developers have finer control due to the text-based nature. This combination has led to a dedicated fan base ranging from old-school dungeons and dragons players to newer players looking for a movie or book-like experience in video games.

The turn-based RPG industry quietly made a comeback in the early 2010s, around the time Divinity: Original Sin, Wasteland 2, and Fire Emblem: Awakening were released. Those blockbuster releases reignited the interest in playing, and by extension, the production of turn-based RPGs. Coupled with the genuine passion and talent of development studios such as Larian Studios and Owlcat Games, fans of the genre enjoyed a plentiful number of games, with more to come, such as the full release of Baldur’s Gate 3.

Below is a list of 25 turn-based RPGs that I have personally played and poured thousands of hours into, and ranked based on my enjoyment of the game from character creation, from the to the call to adventure, to the supernatural aid, various plot twists, and the final quest.


25: Wildermyth

Wildermyth gameplay: 


The game's art style is reminiscent of paper miniatures on top of a cardboard cutout battlefield, which takes some time to get used to. Once you overcome the unique art style, the game has plenty to offer.

Wildermyth leans towards what a traditional tabletop RPG is supposed to be in its storytelling: a static fantasy campaign with some big bad evil villain or scenario to solve, with a special focus on the lives of the band of heroes that the player controls. Throughout the campaign, your PCs(Playable Characters) will be faced with plenty of impactful events, ranging from ethical choices to risk-reward choices that may change the PCs for the rest of their lives . 

For example, in one campaign, my favorite warrior got cursed when his dominant hand turned into a rock-hard crystal. Losing the ability to wield any weapon, but in exchange, he obtains a makeshift weapon from his crystal club arm and a bonus to HP and defense. I was particularly surprised when the offspring of the hero had the same exact crystallization but applied to the entire body, making the child a living crystal in a humanoid shape. .

The combat mechanics follow standard grid-based combat with a gimmick in which characters who like or are rivals to one another have varying bonuses and weaknesses in combat, such as dealing more damage to the enemy who hurts a hero’s spouse or having a higher critical hit chance when your rival scores a critical hit.


24. Wargroove

Wargroove gameplay: 


Taking inspiration from the Advanced Wars series, Wargroove puts the player in the shoes of a tactician in command of a fantasy army alongside dragons, ballistas, amphibious soldiers, harpies, and cat ladies. Wargroove was released in February of 2019 with great hype and an active player base, but due to the lack of content and multiplayer optimizations, the player base, and by extension the multiplayer aspect, has fizzled out. Despite this, the single-player campaign and free DLC expansion have plenty to offer.

The base vanilla campaign has 33 missions, while the DLC contains 10 missions that can be co-oped with a friend. In both campaigns, the story is goofy and lighthearted, not intended to have any huge stakes or nuance. In my opinion, the focus of the game is the combat section, which was done well. It’s an advanced form of rock-scissors-paper combat done with infantry, cavalry, artillery, and more unit types over a dynamic battlefield to take control over key structures such as recruitment buildings and villages that provide income.

If you're looking for a casual, beautiful pixel art game while waiting for Nintendo to release Advance Wars 1 + 2 in Feb 2023, give Wargroove a shot!


23. Neo Scavenger

Neo Scavenger gameplay: 


Neo Scavenger is a cross between the setting of a Stalker and Metro game, combined with the open-world survival aspect of Project Zomboid. A post-apocalyptic survival game set in a hex grid overworld with text-based combat, crafting, looting, and many more. You'll be scavenging in crumbling buildings and foraging for food and water on lake cells, gathering lumber and setting traps for small game in the forests, and scavenging in the crumbling buildings.

Ever since version 1.0 on December 15, 2014, Neo Scavenger has obtained a small cult following due to the unique niche that the game fulfills and with the help of dedicated modders who periodically add content to the game. The story comes from random bits of knowledge that the player collects from the people they meet, in the environmental storytelling such as encountering supernatural creatures and decrepit buildings contrasted by the megacity to the east, and the quests that are given to the player by various NPCs.

The fun in the game is in the stories that the PC goes through from random encounters and quests. If you’re looking for a survival game that tests your skills in surviving in a semi-urban environment with plenty of content in the lore and surviving day-to-day, then I strongly recommend Neo Scavenger.


22. The Battle for Wesnoth

The Battle for Wesnoth gameplay: 


A classic old-school high fantasy game, first released in 2003. The Battle for Wesnoth has seen a dedicated fanbase over the 2 decades since its release, as seen in the community-made mods and having anywhere between 200-500 players in-game at any given time. The art direction and animation have not aged well and could turn off some players, but the portraits and loading screen artworks are striking. Plus, the game is free-to-play and open source!

There are 18 canonical mainline campaigns that span over hundreds of years with different characters, kingdoms, and their descendants, all with unique starting scenarios and conflicts. The community has created over 100+ add-ons with some campaigns that rival, if not more engaging, than the vanilla story. I'd recommend starting by playing through the tutorial, then The South Guard campaign intended for new players.

The combat mechanics are a mix between Advance Wars in the unit creation and economy and Fire Emblem in the hexagonal grid-based combat system with the occasional raid boss or elite enemy. As with any RNG-based game, every attack has a percentage chance to hit, which may cause extremely close fights that don't work in your favor. At the very least, reloading an earlier save file is an option rather than restarting the whole level.

Wesnoth is a complex yet rewarding strategy game with a ton of variety. I highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys classic turn-based strategy. Despite its age, the storylines and the gameplay are fantastic. A must-play for anyone who enjoys well-designed games!


21: Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark

Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark gameplay: 

I found the story to be average but serviceable: a young arbiter looking to uncover corruption and injustice in the justice system, all while needing to visit five  temples to unlock her true power. The story captivated me much more at the start, then gradually became a bit over the top by the last 10% of the game. Overall, a standard JRPG plot.

What I found lackluster were the  portrait art and storytelling. Other aspects of the game made up for it, especially the combat and the importance of positioning. The wide array of classes, likable characters, unique encounters, and satisfying character progression, all contributed to enjoying the combat mechanics the most. I especially liked how items that were historically consumables, such as health potions, were refilled after each fight to deter the mentality of hoarding.

Overall, it’s a charming tactical RPG that fans of FF Tactics would enjoy for nostalgia and the gameplay. I am looking forward to what future projects the developer has in store.


20: Knights of Pen and Paper +1

Knights of Pen and Paper +1 gameplay: 


Knights of Pen and Paper is an enjoyable throwback for fans of tabletop RPGs. The game doesn’t take itself too seriously with the story or gameplay but was able to make me smile and laugh out loud during my playtime due to the well-written comedy and many nerdy references. If you have any experience playing a lighthearted D&D game with friends on the weekend, coupled with laughs and snacks, then this game is a great fit for you.

The combat and story elements are basic but have a charm to them. Don’t expect a grand narrative or plot twists in the story, as the primary focus is parodying a DM and player relationship. The game was originally a mobile game ported to the PC. I strongly recommend playing the mobile version and playing on the train or while waiting for friends.


19: The Last Spell (Early access)

The Last Spell gameplay:


An early access indie game developed by Ishtar Games that punches well above its weight with incredible depth, progression, balance, and replayability. The gameplay can be summarized as a lovechild between “They Are Billions'' but more ''X-COM”. You oversee a town’s defenses over a series of nights, with each successive night escalating in threat. During the daytime, you’ll be developing the base in its defense, economy, buildings, and more features, which I will not spoil.

There are trade-offs in which aspect of the daytime mechanics you prioritize: sacrificing short-term power for gold mines that generate gold, investing in a tavern early on for an extra hero, or maxing out the armorer to produce more and higher quality gear for your heroes to equip. The balancing of each aspect is phenomenal, which allows players to develop many strategic layers. The perma-death and randomness of the available heroes and upgrades give the game a delightful rogue-lite feel.

Although a story exists, playing through the introduction cutscene and dialogues does not give any overarching plot, and the story will be on the back burner until the full release of the game. On top of that, the developers seem very active and are constantly working to make this the best experience they can. The soundtrack is phenomenal as well. The Last Spell is in a fantastic state right now, and it will only get better.


18. Into the Breach

Into the Breach gameplay: 

Unlike other games that rely on dealing the most amount of damage to a damage sponge, enemies in this game have their actions broadcast 1 turn ahead, and you  must utilize your mech team's abilities to minimize the incoming damage by pushing enemies to attack each other, pushing enemies underwater, destroying a frozen ice tile that an enemy is on, and an infinitely greater amount of strategies that the player can pull off. Executing a plan that requires using 110% of your entire brain muscles is the core appeal of Into the Breach.

Story-wise the plot reminds me of Edge of Tomorrow, where the player commands powerful mechs from the future to hold off an alien threat. Each victory and defeat further reveals the story and details about the world. The art style and music are passable, but I was expecting more as FTL’s music is an industry classic.

Subset Games has made two incredible and creative games on a minuscule budget. They then released free updates loaded with content. In an industry where the goal of the many is to suck the customers dry before spitting out the newest timesink, Into the Breach and FTL shine.


17. Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon gameplay:


Darkest Dungeon has taken a minimalist, turn-based, four-man combat system and imbued it with massive potential for tactical thought and personal flair. Do not expect to always win, unlike in other RPGs. Eventually, some heroes die, some go insane, and some are more trouble than they're worth. This game throws everything it can to make you lose, and even if you win against the biggest of bosses, some victories come at a heavy cost. . That is  because this game takes thinking ahead to the extreme, and it will trick you into overextending in some way just so that you will die. Personally,  I think this game is a great change of pace.

“Remind Yourself That Overconfidence Is A Slow And Insidious Killer."

Arriving at the dilapidated hamlet that serves as your base, you are greeted with the grimdark, depressing faces of the NPCs, heroes, and The Narrator, all of which will be your companions throughout the game. 

The story is rather simple: you are an heir to an estate where underground excavation efforts were stopped due to unspeakable monstrosities and horrors emerging. As the heir, you have to venture forth to cleanse the place and seek the center with the aid of mercenaries. Though the premise is simple, the execution is arguably the best that gaming has to offer. Red Hook studios hired famous Lovecraftian audiobook narrator Wayne June to play as The Narrator, and the art direction of the game has won several awards for its depiction of eldritch horror.

Darkest Dungeon is an emotional game. You invest time, money, and develop bonds with your group of heroes. The odds are massively stacked against your favor. All of your heroes will come out scarred, broken, or dysfunctional, and you are going to face serious setbacks.  For the faint of heart or easily frustrated, Darkest Dungeon may not be for you, but I recommend it nonetheless for its execution of mechanics and otherworldly horror.


16. Valkyria Chronicles

Valkyria Chronicles gameplay: 

If I were to describe Valkyria Chronicles in a single phrase, it would be “If WWII was an anime with cute girls, PTSD, and war crimes”. The game pulls no punches in showing the discrimination and unethical tactics of both sides in the conflict, adding in plot twists and unexpected character death. Valkyria Chronicles is not your typical good versus evil story. The game was originally an exclusive for the PlayStation 3 back in 2008 and was well received by fans and critics. The cell-shaded graphics and sound design made the game age wonderfully. The only criticism I have is that certain dialogue feels like filler, whereas other lines are painfully cliche.

The story is based on an alternate history of 1930's Europe where a power-hungry superpower invades the player’s home country for a mineral called ragnite. Ragnite is a powerful mineral used to power vehicles and other high-tech contraptions. Both VC 1 and 4 begin with members of the militia of a small, neutral country named Gallia, which is rich with ragnite and located between 2 superpowers.

The game presents a unique mix of tactical strategy and third-person action that is very rare in the strategy game genre. You have a set number of action points per round, and 1 AP can control a soldier or tank to move and shoot. The premise sounds simple, but each map has its own gimmick that the players need to adapt to in order to win efficiently.

For fans of alternate history WWII with a well-written plot and an anime aesthetic, each Valkyria Chronicles entry has 40 hours of content and does not disappoint.


15. Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven gameplay: 


A faithful adaptation of the highest-rated board game on BoardGameGeek, Gloomhaven is a party-based dungeon crawling tactical RPG with several campaigns and DLCs that the player can sink hundreds of hours into, either solo or with up to four  friends.

The difference between Gloomhaven and other dungeon crawlers is that players choose from their limited deck of cards to guide their character through a series of dungeons and rooms. Time is not on the player’s side as cards are discarded and burned (taken out of the playable pile). There are a variety of enemies, each with different abilities, requiring different strategies to overcome. The rules are of low-to-medium complexity, which takes some getting used to. Thankfully  there is a helpful in-game rulebook. There is character progression via purchasing gear, obtaining new cards to add to your deck, and card modification.

The storyline has depth to it after the starting quests, which have branching paths and present the party with challenging dilemmas. Not to mention the polish that the developers have put in as the narration is awesome, the character and monster models and animations are great, the environments are beautiful, and the visual effects are satisfying to watch. There's nothing not to love about this game.


14. Battle Brothers

Battle Brothers gameplay: 

Endlessly replayable, incredibly engaging combat, satisfying sound effects , and a banger soundtrack. Add to that the excellent, excellent writing (the writer of Battle Brothers went on to publish several novels) and visuals that really flesh out the world and make it stand far apart from other games in the genre, and you have a masterpiece in your hands.

Battle Brothers combines top-notch mercenary company management with the best tactical turn-based combat I’ve ever played. The low fantasy setting dances on the border somewhere between real-life medieval times, A Song of Ice and Fire, and The Lord of the Rings. With no story/plot to speak of, the difficulty and company progression are the primary motives to play. The attachment you feel when you recruit a lowly refugee mercenary from spare change from a hunting quest, only to find out he is extremely proficient in melee attack, defense, and endurance, where in a hundred days' time he has slayed more than his fair share of enemies and earning thousands of gold for the company, is a story in and of itself.

What made this game stand out was the core gameplay: hex-based cell combat with an extreme focus on the armaments, gear, and skills of each mercenary. For example, the spear gives a bonus to attack but has the lowest damage to armor and HP, making it great for early levels or tanky brothers with no investment in melee attack. With over 30 unique weapons, flexibility to create specialized brothers such as a greatsword killing machine, a lone wolf backline killer, or rabble whose job is to die to protect an expensive sellsword. If you can take the reins of a far from a noteworthy band of men, set your own goals, and make the most out of a bad situation, then the life of a mercenary captain might be right for you.

Sidenote: After playing through the vanilla game and DLC, the community-made Legends mod adds more depth, armor customization, and magic!


13. Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2 gameplay: 

It was hard to choose between the 2nd and 3rd games in the Wasteland series for this spot, as both are great entries, but I believe that the 2nd game provides a more enjoyable experience. Wasteland 2 has been marketed as a “modern spiritual successor to Fallout 2,” and the game delivers on that premise. The atmosphere and the writing are absolutely wonderful, and every quest has an interesting, meaningful story behind it.

Wasteland 2's story takes place in a post-apocalyptic Arizona. The player commands a squad of four fresh recruits from  the desert rangers. The game starts off in the Arizona desert wastes as you attend the funeral of Ace, a desert ranger who was recently killed. As the funeral concludes, General Vargas, the desert ranger leader, throws you into the deep end and dispatches you to find Ace's killer, where your party becomes intertwined with a larger global scheme. 

Those familiar with X-COM  or Divinity: Original Sin’s combat will be right at home with Wasteland 2's tactical turn-based system. Combat works by using an action point system, and depending on the attributes of your characters, the amount of AP you have at the start of each turn. The main actions you will be using are moving, shooting, throwing grenades, flanking, staying in cover, and crouching. You will need to utilize all these mechanics as combat quickly becomes challenging after the first few quests. As you go through the game, you gain unique followers for your squad. These followers, if you don't have adequate leadership skills, have a chance to lose control and do as they will in combat. Your weapons may jam, plus you will have to regularly reload your mags and watch your available ammo.

If you enjoy the Wild West American setting with well-written dialogue and tons of weapon choices, then Wasteland 2 will be an enjoyable experience for you.


12. Xenonauts

Xenonauts gameplay: 

Probably the most controversial topic I will raise on this list is choosing Xenonauts over any of the XCOM games in terms of enjoyment. XCOM is a great game don't get me wrong. What  I didn’t enjoy about XCOM  was the arms race mechanic and how the story did not feel interconnected. Add in the famous “That’s XCOM baby!” RNG, and the fact that the story is hidden behind walls of text, and the limited amount of soldiers and strategies available, lead to burnout by the midway point of the game.

I found Xenonauts to provide a deeper strategical layer due to the increased soldier count and vehicle variety, greater control of the overworld decisions such as multiple bases, aircraft choice and weaponry, and air-to-air combat. Ground combat was solid as well, past the early game.  No XCOM game can replicate the fear and anxiety of commanding a squad of troops drop shipped into foreign territory, not knowing where or who you'll be facing, hearing alien and human gunshots in the distance. 

The story of Xenonauts is a re-imagining of an alien invasion. The game was marketed as a Cold War-era based "planetary defense simulator" where you are the commander in charge of every action, country, and the ground force responsible for Earth’s defense. The majority of the lore is hidden behind a wall of text, which I find better written and contains more depth compared to XCOM’s writing.

Xenonauts is a game made by hard sci-fi nerds, writers, tacticians, and alien and military buffs for other like-minded folks. The gameplay is dire but immensely satisfying. If you're an XCOM fan looking for a more tactical, strategic , and, dare I say, realistic game, then this is it.

Also, I highly recommend playing the game normally and then with the X Division mod, which greatly enhances gameplay and progression.


11. The Banner Saga

The Banner Saga gameplay:

The Banner Saga is an aesthetically pleasing, story-driven tactical RPG lasting about 8-12 hours. The major strengths are the stellar art direction, a nod to classic hand-drawn Disney and Don Bluth films, a great soundtrack, and fairly challenging battles. I’m indifferent to Viking or Norse stories, but other players may find the theme attractive. The sole drawback for me is the method of storytelling, as the story is told in a slightly tiring way with a ton of dialogue that's easy to zone out and miss.

The overarching story and the narrative of the cast of characters were interesting but sometimes felt messy. You find yourself moving from one point of interest to the next, each with exotic Nordic names, but never in one place for too long. An in-game map exists to help piece together each location, but when the purpose of most encampments is a checkpoint to upgrade your units and purchase gear, then be on your way, it doesn’t cement any notable memories during my playtime. The cycle of the story boils down to someone or something declaring that you need to leave place x and head to place y for reason z.

Combat mechanics revolve around reducing either armor or HP. In order to deal a lot of damage to most enemies, you first have to work down their armor instead of outright lowering their health to zero. This is a standard gimmick in the RPG genre but is implemented well enough to have two interesting results. One, it creates real consequential moments where a unit of yours is able to do decent armor damage and you are uncertain on whether you should further strip the armor down or go in for the kill and target the enemy’s health. Secondly, it creates much-needed class specialization where certain units are optimized to damage armor while others are better off finishing low armor but high-HP foes.

Overall, The Banner Saga is an ambitious title with a unique duality in its combat. It is definitely  one of the better strategy games I've played in the last decade, and without a doubt, is the most visually striking.


10. Shadowrun: Dragonfall

Shadowrun: Dragonfall gameplay: 

Of the Shadowrun trilogy, Dragonfall and Hong Kong are my favorites. I chose Dragonfall as I enjoy the story and cast of characters more than Hong Kong, despite many fans and critics praising Hong Kong for having a better story. The Shadowrun video and tabletop games are a great alternative to Dungeons and Dragons, which features cyberpunk elements such as human bionics and big evil corporations, as well as fantasy races and magic in a modern setting.

The story begins with you being the newest member of an established team of runners in Berlin. Through many events, you will end up becoming the leader of the team and hunting a dragon. I could go into more detail, but the story is extremely well presented and paced. You are far better off experiencing it for yourself.

Dragonfall has a central hub between missions. The hub is not simply a collection of vendors and quest givers, each character has their own personality, needs, and backstory. The only maps in the game are the central hub and the various missions, making exploration vastly different from modern titles such as Wasteland or Divinity. There are a series of missions which advance the plot, but in order to unlock them, you need to earn money from other side missions, which thankfully are not fetch quests and are well-written. .

The combat has taken inspiration from XCOM and Wasteland titles. The only difference is the ability to utilize the environment in interesting ways. Some of my favorite missions in the game involve your computer hacker operating in the Matrix, while simultaneously, the other party members are in a firefight in the real world with the aims of unlocking doors, disabling or turning the security systems, running up to melee against bullets, and flanking with shotgun users. There are certain compelling timed missions in this game that require a change in strategy as well, which creates a ton of suspense.

This is definitely a game for fans of cyberpunk dystopia, human modification, and XCOM-like combat system set in a fleshed-out world brimming with detail and personality.


9. Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children

Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children gameplay: 

The most heartwarming aspect of this game comes from the relationship between the developers and their fanbase. The Korean development team behind the game, Dandylion, is a six-man  team that created a passion project that they wanted to share and grow with the TRPG community from its early access release in 2018 to the game’s full release in 2020 and free DLCs down the road. Plenty of features and systems within the game came into existence due to input from the community. The developers constantly go out of their way to engage with the community despite the language barrier, and the constant communication between the players and the devs has fostered so much good-will that the players have taken it upon themselves to help improve the game through a community discord, an unofficial wiki, numerous community guides, an unofficial translation tool, and many helpful suggestions, such as pushing Dandylion to create a Patreon account so players can support them financially, as the base price of the game is extremely low for the thousands of hours of content in the game.

The gameplay is a mix of XCOM and JRPG plot elements with a focus on characters and masteries to push a certain character or class  to a certain play style. The premise of the world revolves around a law that grants  civilians the right to investigate and arrest criminals in order to lower the crime rate. Ten  years have passed since the law was passed and we follow a group of 20-year-old vigilantes, each with their own motives for entering the vigilante profession.

To any fans of TRPGs, I highly recommend this criminally underrated gem of a game and to check out their steam site. This game is a shining example of passionate developers and their interaction with loyal fans within the TRPG genre.


8. Songs of Conquest

Songs of Conquest gameplay: 

Songs of Conquest is an early access game if a development team took the core appeal of the Heroes of Might and Magic franchise, had a triple-A budget with gorgeous pixel art and animations, and was released in a post-iPhone world. Many fans of the HoMM games have glowing reviews of Songs of Conquest as the development team clearly played their fair share of HoMM and listened to the fans regarding game balance, features to implement, and fixing many weaknesses/exploits that the game contains.

For anyone who doesn’t know the HoMM mechanics, the gameplay loop has you manage and collect resources and build up your towns for unit recruitment. SoC is a military conquest game at heart, and the economy is the engine to acquire better and bigger armies. Hence this game does not play like Civilization. The combat phase sees the player in a conflict that will be resolved in short tactical battles on a hex grid, usually 3-6 turns. For easier battles or for the impatient, the auto-resolved feature can be used, and a real ai-vs-ai battle is fought by the game in the background, then the battle results are given to you at the end.

As of writing this, there are 2 story-driven campaigns taking around 30 hours to complete. Both campaigns have a great story and nuance to them, with the first containing an integrated tutorial. The roadmap for 2022-2023  each has 1 campaign release for the fans to enjoy. Truth be told, the campaign and story is a cherry on top and not the main dish. Due to the challenging gameplay it features, arcade and multiplayer modes are where most players spend their time. 

Turn-based games are a dying breed. However, if you give this game a chance, then you might enjoy it! Moreso if you're already a fan of games like HoMM, King's Bounty , Total War, Disciples, and such. 


7. Fallout 2

Fallout 2 gameplay: 

Fallout 2 is a game built on the Hero's Journey. It's a game with full freedom in who you choose your character to be in a wasteland filled with depravity, but at the same time with effective dark humor. As a person born after the 2000s, I may never appreciate the bizarre dialogue and references, and by extension, large parts of the game. Regardless of those, this game’s primary focus is a wasteland that is progressing with time, where you just so happen to live. This wasteland needs someone or some faction to protect itself from an imminent existential threat. The intricacies brought into this reactive world and its circumstances are one of a kind, which is what makes Fallout 2 a titanic title in the gaming landscape.

The game’s combat is weirdly satisfying, with its gory animations and eerie sounds of limbs flying off bodies. I personally disliked the combat and the overall UI and presentation, but recognized that other players may feel the opposite. Sadly, I dropped the game due to the alien experience and feeling very unnerved throughout. After my few hours of playing the game and watching footage of iconic scenes, I still recommend the game to fans of the Fallout franchise.


6. Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales gameplay: 

A surprising game that I find myself comparing this to is the Telltale Games franchise. The Witcher games are no stranger to actions and consequences, and this is seen perhaps most in Thronebreaker. Allies may leave you due to the hard actions that you take or don’t take and may betray Geralt for all manner of decisions. The decisive factor in whether or not the game is for you is your love or lack thereof of Gwent.

The game’s separated into 2 sections: Gwent and traversing the map/visual novel. Fans of The Witcher games can expect the same level of quality in writing, storytelling, and voice acting in this entry. Paired with beautiful graphic novel-like art direction, you have half of an excellent game on your hands.

The other half depends on your view of Gwent. If you like it, then it’s a cherry on top, and if you don't but are willing to play for the story, the difficulty of the game can be set on the easiest and Gwent can be a nonfactor. I recommend watching gameplay and playing the free game on Steam to see if you’ll enjoy the game.


5.Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=


A game that needs no introduction, Chrono Trigger is one of the best video games ever made. A universally loved role-playing game by fans since its original release for the SNES in 1995 by well-respected developers . Playing and finishing this labor of love is a life goal for many RPG fans .

For the uninitiated, Chrono Trigger plays similarly to the pre-3D Final Fantasy games, namely in traveling around a world map with your party and entering a point of interest, usually with traditional RPG mobs around. The combat follows an Active-Time-Battle (ATB) system, which is like a turn-based game except the game decides which character goes next. Chrono Trigger’s ATB system is fluid, quick, and dynamic in a way that no RPG from this era or even the one after approaches.  

Time travel plays a big role in the plot of the game as well, and is one of the many features that give this game its unique narrative flow from recruiting party members from various eras of this alternative Earth timeline. The idea that the past can influence the future is a core theme in the game, and I will say no more to prevent spoilers.

Graphically, the game stands the test of time despite being created for a 16-bit console. The pixel art utilizes every available pixel on the screen to craft scenes worth being framed or placed in a museum.


4. Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium gameplay: 

Disco Elysium contains one of the best stories I’ve ever experienced in a game. It’s classified as an RPG, but it's a unique gaming experience with no combat and a heavy reliance on skill checks and RNG. It's also a detective story that feels amazing to slowly unravel until the climax of the plot. While Disco Elysium has some replay value in its branching story and how choices and consequences work, it's all about the first playthrough. Please don’t spoil yourself and enjoy the ride.

The level of the narrative in the game is outstanding, I have never before seen a game that rivals the quality of writing of novels. The art style is mesmerizing and has a unique flair to it. The majority of the people you meet will have  an impact on you. These people go beyond tropes and simple conflicts; they have souls, pasts, and internal struggles; and feel way too human. They can make you laugh, cry, and hate them all at the same time.

The plot and the political context contain real-world sensibility and subtle criticism of every ideology or political alignment. The game allows you to choose whichever ideology to subscribe to and even to lie to people. It mocks all the shortcomings of every position in smart ways as well, while not losing seriousness or the deep philosophical questions. It raises a lot of ethical dilemmas, which you can ignore as well. Regardless of your choice, the adventure is unique and will be a different journey. The most important thing to do is to never choose anything that would limit your playstyle.


3. South Park™: The Stick of Truth™

South Park™: The Stick of Truth™ gameplay: 


On a more lighthearted note , Stick of Truth is hands down one of the most fun I’ve ever had in gaming. This game incorporates so much of what makes South Park a fantastic TV show, from dark humor to monologues about a serious societal problem followed by a funny remark by Cartman, to the many nerdy references. Words cannot describe how extremely fun this game is, and I remember smiling throughout the entire 12 hour campaign.

The RPG combat system is surprisingly well done and exceeded my expectations as an Ubisoft game . This borrows mechanics from Paper Mario and Final Fantasy where the combat is a mix of turn-based action selection while smashing the button to mitigate the amount of damage taken on defense, and increase your damage output on offense. Your character has abilities based on your class, which have specific interactions in order to be the most effective. There are also summons that you can earn from completing side quests.

Overall, a fantastic game for South Park fans and people who can stomach crude jokes. The game is basically an episode of South Park that lasts 12+ hours with you as a character.


2. Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous

Pathfinder Wrath of the Righteous gameplay: 


Following Pathfinder: Kingmaker’s mediocre success, nobody expected Owlcat’s next game to be such a massive blockbuster hit among the TRPG community. Faithfully adapting the Pathfinder 1st edition ruleset and the Wrath of the Righteous tabletop module, Owlcat did a tremendously excellent job of fleshing out the world and giving each act distinct conflicts, resolutions, choices and consequences, and design. My favorite part about the game is the Mythic Path (prestige class) system, wherein the player chooses one of several archetypes in Act 2 that will influence the rest of the game allowing for great replayability and roleplay.

Pathfinder’s story follows the Hero’s Journey archetype-humble beginnings to god slayer-in a well-paced manner. The game is brimming with the main story and side quests; expect to take a six-week leave from work or school to finish a single playthrough. The core story revolves around the fifth crusade between good and evil, and your merry band of unique characters play a key role in the defeat or victory of one side. Each companion comes with their own companion quest to further deepen the friendship, I particularly like Regil’s lack of an ethical compass mixed with his brutal efficiency as a leader.

The core gameplay remains an industry standard. The combat is generally engaging and familiar for veterans of cRPGs. For the percentage who are new to the Pathfinder rule set, do be prepared to spend about an hour learning the intricacies of combat, from how armor class and attacking work, to the dreaded oxymoron “Ranged touch attack”. Both turn-based and real-time combat are present in the game. Newer players are encouraged to play turn-based for the most important fights, whereas real-time is best used for generic mobs.

To fill the void in my soul left by the wait for Baldur's Gate 3, Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous will set you back a few hundred if not a thousand hours. With 3 DLCs and endless replayability, I will bet that Pathfinder will be remembered as dearly as Fallout 2.


1: Divinity Original Sin 2

Divinity Original Sin 2 gameplay: 


From the creators of the classic 90s cRPGs and the team chosen to develop Baldur’s Gate 3. It comes as no surprise that Larian Studios’ magnum opus, Divinity: Original Sin 2, comes as my number one pick for the most enjoyable turn-based RPG of all time.

Divinity 2 strikes a perfect balance between serious storytelling moments in Act 2 and beyond, where the plot begins to unravel and the  down-to-earth struggles of adventurers turned prisoners in the Rivellon equivalent of Guantanamo Bay, such as removing their magic-suppressing shackles. Sprinkle in comedic elements such as the squirrel knight Sir Lora, a funny side quest where the player saves two people who were turned into cows, and the entirety of Fane’s dialogue.

The combat mechanics have a unique twist where opponents have varying levels of physical and magic armor that the player must go through before dealing HP damage and applying status effects like bleed or stun. I enjoyed the change in pace, but certain fans went as far as to create mods to imitate the prequel’s combat system, which I have tried and enjoyed as well. Divinity’s approach to combat has always been quality over quantity, and along with the engaging story and comedic elements, I put Divinity: Original Sin 2 as the most enjoyable game that I have ever played.

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As a travelling writer hailing from the exotic, alien world of Australia, Ralph seeks far and wide hunting for the stories contained within the mystical glass-looking box named the "personal computer"
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous
Top 3 Favorite Games:Divinity II: Ego Draconis, XCOM 2, Metro: Last Light

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