[Top 15] Best Turn-Based RPGs for PC

Baldur's Gate 3 is already up there amongst all-time greats

Turn-based role-playing games have always been one of the most robust genres in gaming. It used to thrive more in consoles very early on, but as PC gaming has grown bigger and wider over the decades, the popularity of the turn-based rpg genre has found itself a very welcome environment in PC gaming as well. So here are 15 of the best turn-based games to ever release on the PC.

15. Yakuza: Like a Dragon (PC, Xbox One, Xbox X/S, PS4 – 2020/ PS5, Luna – 2021)

Yakuza: Like a Dragon - Launch Trailer

Like all previous games in the Yakuza series, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is set in modern-day Japan. This time around, it eschews the series’ usual setting of Tokyo, and takes place instead in Yokohama city, featuring a brand-new protagonist. It follows Ichiban Kasuga, an ex-con who is also a low-level member of the Arakawa family as he tries to navigate Yokohama’s complicated criminal underground.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is full of gorgeous, stylized, martial-arts sequences. It reminds me a lot of Japanese martial-arts action crime films like Hatsuoi and Ichi the Killer, thrilling tales set in a modern city’s sordid underbelly, where justice is best served with bullets, knives, and one’s own fists.

Choose the game if you like:

  • RPGs with a modern setting
  • Martial arts action flicks
  • Dark humor

Fighting topless is cool, ya’ll!


14. Wartales (PC – 2023)

Wartales - Announcement Trailer

Wartales is a tactical rpg set in a medieval low fantasy world that was recently ravaged by a plague of magical origins, causing the land’s ruling power, the Edoran Empire’s fall. It features no main quest, but each region you visit has a storyline that players can partake in. The game follows the player-established mercenary company as they travel the world, trying to keep the growing company afloat while warding-off hunger, bandits, hostile factions, and outright bankruptcy.

You rarely get to play the hero in Wartales—what matters is coin and prosperity, and more times than not, this requires your unscrupulous band of mercenaries to commit questionable acts. Your recruits will grow tired, hungry, and dissatisfied as you traverse the game world. You’d need to hunt, take on jobs for coin, and craft goods in order to survive and flourish in this harsh environment.

Choose the game if you like:

  • Realistic survival mechanics
  • Medieval low-fantasy worlds
  • Sandbox games
  • Mature, gritty stories

We’re fighting bears now?! Well, at least it’ll taste great in a stew afterwards!


13. ATOM RPG: Post-apocalyptic indie game (PS4, Switch, PC, Android, macOS, Linux, iOS, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S – 2018)

ATOM RPG - Release Trailer

Set in an alternate timeline after a nuclear war, the game takes place in the USSR. In this timeline, both the Soviets and the Western Bloc were destroyed in a nuclear holocaust that occurred in 1986. The game follows the journey of an agent of ATOM, a semi-legitimate scientific and military organization, 19 years after the nuclear apocalypse as he embarks on his mission to find clues on the whereabouts of a special squad tasked to investigate the events that occurred in the highly mysterious bunker #371.

Clearly inspired by Fallout 1 and 2, Atom RPG is a modern take on these two timeless classics. It borrows its core gameplay experience from the two aforementioned games, like fighting ragged survivors, and grotesque, mutated creatures, but with a setting that is rarely explored in video games even today—the vast territory of the USSR. It also has a more grounded, and realistic atmosphere, a stark contrast to the pulpier take on the apocalypse by the Fallout series.

Choose the game if you like:

  • Modern post-apocalyptic setting 
  • Cold War history
  • Fallout series

Cool murals are always appreciated


12. Triangle Strategy (Switch - 2022/ PC - 2022)

Triangle Strategy Launch Trailer

Triangle Strategy takes place in the continent of Norzelia 30 years after a war between the continent’s three powers of Glenbrook, Aesfrost, and Hyzante. Dubbed as the Saltiron War, the fighting started over the struggle for control of the continent’s two most important resources—salt and iron. The story follows Serenoa, heir to house Wolffort, a vassal of the Kingdom of Glenbrook, as he tries to restore the fragile peace that was broken by Aesfrost’s ruthless ruler, Archduke Gustadolph Aesfrost.

The game’s plot is pretty similar to Game of Thrones but told with a more JRPG sensibility. It’s full of betrayal, morally ambiguous dilemmas, and lost and broken characters desperately trying to hold on to their ideals in the midst of a raging conflict that can never result in any true winners. Choices matter in this game, but each choice has its own set of dire consequences that comes along with it.

Choose the game if you like:

  • Classic pixel-anime graphics
  • Choice-driven plot
  • Stories like Game of Thrones and Suikoden 2

We take this to a vote, like civilized people!


11. Wildermyth (PC, Linux, macOS – 2021)

Wildermyth Launch Trailer

Wildermyth is a tactical RPG inspired by tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder. You lead a random band of characters that start out as lowly novice adventurers. Watch them grow, and feel their ups and downs, as they journey across a procedurally-generated land, battling a deep and diverse pool of enemies along the way, while seeking to unravel the mysteries of the world you find yourselves in.

The procedurally-generated nature of Wildermyth is its core drawing element. Even the story of each playthrough is procedurally generated! Because of this, the game offers tons of replay value, rendered in gorgeous, cartoon graphics. Wildermyth is a truly unique game that really gets you your money’s worth.

Choose the game if you like:

  • High replay value
  • Tabletop RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, Vampire the Masquerade, and Pathfinder
  • Humor and wit in your stories
  • Beautiful hand-crafted graphics

A centipede with horns?! This doesn’t bode well…


10. Heroes of Might and Magic III (PC, Linux, Mac – 1999/ HD Edition – 2015)

Launch Trailer - Might & Magic Heroes III HD Edition

Heroes of Might and Magic III is arguably the most lauded entry in the Heroes of Might and Magic series. The story is set in the continent of Antagarich, told through a series of seven playable campaigns that follows the point of view of each of the game’s three town alignments. Each aligned town has several different types of strongholds, each offering varying troop types drawn from various myths and legends like Griffons, Dragons, and Lichs.

Heroes of Might and Magic is one of the earliest games to fuse 4X gameplay with the tactical rpg experience. It has long since been copied by games like Age of Wonders and Warlock - Master of the Arcane.

Choose the game if you like:

  • 4X games
  • High-fantasy stories
  • Myths and legends

A manticore and a black dragon?! We all know who’s winning this one then…


9. Tyranny (PC, Linux, macOS – 2016)

Tyranny - Launch Trailer

Set in the world of Terratus, the story takes place during the tail-end of a 400-year campaign of conquest by the mysterious and powerful god-like being, Kyros. Kyros launched his campaign with the aim to subjugate the land through terror, warfare, and intimidation. By the start of the game, their forces have already conquered most of Terratus. 

You play the role of one of Kyros’ top servants, the Fatebinder. The Fatebinder is tasked to quell a brewing rebellion in the region of the Tiers, the final area in Terratus that Kyros has conquered. Here, in-fighting amongst Kyros’ forces has sparked a resistance that threatens their fragile hold over the region. 

Tyranny is one of the most underrated games to come out in recent years. The most unique aspect of the game is that the player is actually serving the setting’s big bad instead of the hero trying to stop it—a clever twist that so few RPGs have ever explored before. The only other game I can think of readily with a similar take is Tales of Berseria.

Choose the game if you like:

  • Fighting for the bad guys
  • Choosing between dilemmas that will cause grief and misery no matter what action you take
  • Dark, mature stories

Well that’s one way to open a gate, I guess…


8. Darkest Dungeon (PC, OS X, Linux, PS4 – 2016/ iPadOS – 2017/ Switch, Xbox One – 2018)

Darkest Dungeon - Release Trailer

Darkest Dungeon is a roguelike dungeon-crawler rpg that puts the player in the shoes of an inheritor of a mysterious mansion. Due to the player’s ancestor’s previous excavations of the mansion’s dungeons and catacombs, an ancient monstrosity was uncovered, releasing an untold number of horrific creatures and evils onto the land. 

The game’s character and environment design have similarities with the funky gothic aesthetic of Tim Burton’s films like Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Unlike Burton’s works however, Darkest Dungeon leans more towards the psychological and horror elements, rather than the whimsical and absurd.

Choose the game if you like:

  • Gothic horror stories
  • Beautifully dark art
  • Procedurally-generated gameplay

I guess every dungeon needs some merpeople in it…


7. Chrono Trigger (Super Nes – 1995/ PSX, DS – 1999/ iOS, Android – 2011/ PC – 2018)

CHRONO TRIGGER – Launch Trailer

Chrono Trigger is a JRPG centered around the time travel adventures of a group of people as they stop the otherworldly creature Lavos from destroying the world. The game’s silent protagonist is Crono, a young man from the Kingdom of Guardia in the year 1000 AD. He and his friend Lucca, a female inventor and scientist, kicks-off the entire plot of the game when they try to get back a young volunteer named Marle after an accident with Lucca’s newly created teleporter machine sends her back into the year 600 AD.

What can I say? Chrono Trigger is a classic. When we talk about the best RPGs, it will always be included. Together with Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger was mainly responsible for turning the JRPG genre into a wider, more global phenomenon.

Choose the game if you like:

  • Time travel stories
  • Timeless pixel graphics
  • Shenanigans involving anthropomorphic frogs

That’s one way to bring about the apocalypse!


6. The Banner Saga Series (Year Released: PC, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android - 2014 / PS4, Xbox One – 2016 / Switch – 2018)

The Banner Saga - Launch Trailer

The Banner Saga series is set in a world inspired by Viking legends and myths. The game is told in three parts that makes up the three games in the series. It mainly centers around the plight of Rook, a hunter from the village of Skogr, and his daughter Alette, as they lead a caravan of refugees fleeing from the Dredge, an ancient race of humanoid stone creatures bent on exterminating every living being in their path. 

The Banner Saga is a thing of beauty, particularly its art design. Clearly inspired by classic animated films like Sleeping Beauty and Anastasia, the game’s art features hand-drawn animation sequences, characters, and backgrounds—a somewhat stark contrast to its more mature and grimmer story centered around a war for survival.

Choose the game if you like:

  • Beautifully hand-drawn graphics
  • Norse myth and legends
  • Mature themes and stories about war, politics, and survival
  • Father-daughter protagonists

I think we’re the only ones who can fly here, Juno!


5. Griftlands (PC, Linux, macOS, Switch, PS4, Xbox One – 2021)

Griftlands - Launch Gameplay Trailer

Griftlands is set in a sci-fi fantasy world where humans live alongside anthropomorphic animal races. The game offers 3 playable campaigns each with their own protagonists and settings. 

The first campaign is about Sal, a bounty hunter, and set in the city of Murder Bay. The second campaign features Rook and is set in the remote region of Grout Bog. The third and final campaign is about Smith and his misadventures as he returns to his ancestral home after his parents’ deaths.

The game is a fusion of turn-based rpg and deck-building. The events, missions, and other elements of the game are procedurally generated each playthrough, with only the world’s layout remaining the same. Every time the player dies in combat, the entire game ends and is given a total score for the playthrough that can be used to unlock new cards. The same thing also happens every time the player completes a playthrough, and by unlocking higher difficulties. It’s a very cool mechanic that incentivizes the player to keep playing the game, while its procedurally generated elements keep each playthrough fresh and interesting.

Choose the game if you like:

  • Sci-fi fantasy stories
  • Procedurally generated worlds and missions
  • Anthropomorphic animal characters

Anthropomorphic animal races are always fun!


4. Shadowrun Returns (PS3, PS4, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One – 2014)

Shadowrun Returns trailer

Shadowrun is set in Seattle in the year 2054 where magic has returned to the world along with the awakening of creatures of myths and legends like elves and trolls. The player takes on the role of the Shadowrunner, a fully customizable character who operates as a mercenary in Seattle’s dark, and perilous underbelly. The game kicks-off as the Shadowrunner goes on a quest to hunt the person responsible for the murder of an old associate.

The game’s lore is a unique combination of cyberpunk and fantasy. Magical beings like Orks and Elves are juxtaposed with computers, megacity high-rises, and corporate debauchery. It makes for a refreshing setting for age-old stories to be told.

Choose the game if you like:

  • Cyberpunk settings
  • Murder-mystery thrillers
  • Detective fiction
  • The Shadowrun tabletop rpg series

Look! Cyberpunk mages!


3. Chained Echoes (PC, OS X, iOS, Android, Linux, Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S – 2022)

Chained Echoes - Trailer

Chained Echoes is a turn-based fantasy rpg set in the continent of Valandis. Beset by a century-long war between the 3 major powers in the continent, a fragile peace is suddenly created after the catastrophic deployment of an unknown weapon of mass destruction killed tens of thousands of people. We follow the adventures of a group of people bound together, both by fate and circumstance, as they try to find the truth behind the origins of the destructive weapon that forever scarred the land of Valandis. 

This game is a true labor of love from German developer Matthias Linda, who created the entire game by himself. At its core, Chained Echoes is a homage to the great JRPGs of the past like Chrono Trigger, Suikoden 2, Xenogears, and Final Fantasy. It borrows and modernizes concepts and mechanics from those games while weaving a captivating and original tale of its own.

Choose the game if you like:

  • Mechas!
  • Classic JRPG titles like Suikoden 2, Breath of Fire, Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Xenogears, etc.
  • A fascinating tale about gods, destruction, and human frailties

Wait, we get to ride mechs in this game?


2. Divinity: Original Sin II (Year Released: PC – 2017 / Playstation 4, Xbox One – 2018 / macOS,  Nintendo Switch – 2019 / iPadOS – 2021)

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Trailer

Divinity: Original Sin II is set in the fantasy land of Rivellon, 1200 years after the events of the first Divinity: Original Sin game. It tells the tale of the Godwoken, a being chosen by the Seven Gods of Rivellon to ascend to Divinity. As the Godwoken and his companions’ journey unfolds, they discover the past machinations of the Seven Gods that has led to the strife-filled present, and the violent incursions of the otherworldly Voidwoken into the lands of Rivellon.

The game is widely considered as one of the very best games ever produced. It uses tried and tested elements seen in games like Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights but integrates them together in clever ways to present a fresh spin to an old, reliable formula. This is one game that rpg fans should never pass on.

Choose the game if you like:

  • Stories involving corrupt deities
  • Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights
  • Grim but humorous and witty stories
  • Memorable side-characters and subplots

What to do when everything’s burning? Blast them with lightning, of course!


1. Baldur’s Gate 3 (PC, macOS, PS5 – 2023)

Baldur's Gate 3: Launch Trailer

Baldur’s Gate 3 takes place in the Dungeons and Dragons setting of Faerun, approximately 120 years after the events of Baldur’s Gate: Shadows of Amn. The game follows the story of a fully-customizable protagonist who gets implanted with a parasite after being captured by a mind flayer at the beginning of the game. This unfortunate circumstance is what prompts the protagonist to go on a journey to find a cure before time runs out—or else they turn into a mind flayer themselves.

Larian Studio’s development of Baldur’s Gate 3 took some time. It spent close to 3 years in early access on Steam. The sheer amount of detail involved in the game world, like spells, lore, and side quests, probably prompted the studio to take a slower, more methodical approach in its development. For all the time they took, I think the wait was very much worth it for what has turned out to be an instant classic in the genre.

Choose the game if you like:

  • The darker Underdark lore of Dungeons and Dragons
  • The DnD 5th Edition ruleset
  • Seeing the iconic 20-sided dice depicted in a video game

Well, they did say this was a Dungeons and Dragons game…

You may also be interested in:

Sometimes mistaken as a sasquatch sprouting random tidbits of lore from Tolkien's legendarium, he's got serious case of ceviche addiction.
Gamer Since: 1991
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: DOTA 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:DOTA 2, XCOM 2, Mount & Blade

More Top Stories