11 RPG Games Every PC Gamer Needs to Try

The beautiful art of The Banner Saga
The RPG genre's "required reading"

With thousands of RPG games in the market, which are worthy of your time?

RPG games are my favorite genre. They always have been, since the very first time I was allowed to name the main character in Legend of Zelda, customize how I played in Fallout, and watch my decisions impacting the world in Chrono Trigger. I loved the worlds that games brought me into, and being able to be a part of that by stepping into the shoes of a legendary hero is what gaming is all about to me. RPG games, to me, represent a true interactive narrative, where my game experience is different from yours. There are hundreds and hundreds of amazing RPGs out there, but here's a list of 11 that I feel are must-play (in no particular order or ranking).

Many games have RPG elements in them, even mainstream titles like Call of Duty allow you to shape your character stats and make decisions, but we're focusing on “pure” RPGs here, if there is such a thing. While the settings, graphics, and gameplay may be different across the board, these RPGs have a few things in common: great storytelling that draws you into the world, respect for your decisions, and control over who your character is. You can't go wrong with any of these games, and many hours later, you'll find yourself still thinking about that world you were a part of for a little while.

 

11. The Baldur's Gate series (1998-2016)

Baldur's Gate
The Baldur's Gate series is renowed for its story and characters, with tons of options for interacting.

Many RPGs have been set in the D&D world called The Forgotten Realms, but this epic fantasy setting has never been better presented than it was in Baldur's Gate. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the series, and which a half-dozen games to choose from, there's plenty to discover and enjoy.

Baldur's Gate is a top-down classic PC RPG, where you gather characters in your party, learn skills, make decisions, and save the world. Every character has goals and a purpose, and everyone from your closest companions to that random shopkeeper has a personality. Meeting these characters and getting to know them is at the core of the game. Combat, items, and character leveling are all heavy on stats and dice rolls, so if you a more technical game with challenging choices to be made in all aspects, Baldur's Gate is the way to go.

My favorite game in the series is Baldur's Gate 2, which expanded the story, improved on the gameplay, and offered arguably the best D&D RPG experience to date.

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Teacher, writer and story-gamer in Japan
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Overwatch
Top 3 Favorite Games:Mass Effect 2, Portal 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
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