Role-playing games offer something that very few other games can, immersion and emotional investment, and the best ones make you care about the story, the characters and most importantly the world and lore.

Those are the games we are looking at today. The very best the role-playing genre has to offer in 2018.

In some cases we will include the entire series or trilogies, provided all of the games hold up today.

From dungeon crawlers to classic action RPGs and everything in between, these are the best modern role-playing games on the market,

Note: This list will not contain MMORPGs as that deserves its own list.


18. Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Screenshot from Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an incredibly ambitious role-playing game with a focus on medieval realism from Warhorse Studios. Published in early 2018 and came out to praise for its bold and realistic take on a modern RPG but also received an equal amount of critique for bugs and glitches. However, since its release, most of the issues have been fixed and the engaging story and challenging gameplay remain.

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What really makes Kingdom Come stand out is the devotion to realism and historical accuracy, they even hired a historian to make sure it was as true to the real medieval kingdom of Bohemia where the game takes place. The focus on realism shows itself throughout the game, whether it be the need for sleep if you want to save, the way you load your bow and arrow or the way you fight with your sword. It makes the game a bit slower than your regular RPG and fighting more than one enemy can be very challenging.

The historically accurate scenery of medieval Bohemia and the story is the big selling points of Kingdom Come: Deliverance. While the realism can be both a pro or a con, depending on who you ask. If you don’t mind slow and challenging gameplay with quite punishing save mechanics, then this game might be perfect for you but if not then you should probably think twice about buying it.


17. Fallout 4

Screenshot from Fallout 4 rpg

Fallout is one of the most iconic RPG franchises of all time, and while the fourth installment isn’t quite as good as the third, it is still one of the best RPGs currently on the market, which speaks to the quality of the franchise. Fallout provides the player with almost limitless freedom of choice and actions, a fantastic crafting and progression system and one of the most addictive base-building systems on par with the best survival games.

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It might not have the best graphics or the most interesting main story, but the world of Fallout, known as the Commonwealth is so full of events, characters and stories to explore that is doesn’t matter.

Fallout 4 is all about player choice, progression and the overall fantasy of role-playing games. You can do more or less anything you want, you choose the direction in which you want to take the story, and the skill tree and progression system has never been better. So if you want a game that gives you the freedom to play how you like then this post-apocalyptic first-person shooter is the RPG for you.


Related: RPGs deserve the kind of immersion that only the best PC monitors can give.


16. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Promo image of Dragon age Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition is everything you might expect from a triple-A RPG fantasy game with a bit of sprinkle on the top. Dragon Age: Inquisition is the perfect role-playing game for gamers that love an epic fantasy story that lets you play as the hero at the center of it all.

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While you do customize and name your character, the default starting point is the same. You are the sole survivor of a huge magical explosion that has ripped open the veil that separates the physical world and the spirit world. Not only did you survive the blast but you also come out with a mark on your hand which turns out to be the only thing capable of closing down these rifts between the worlds.

The main story is great and serves as a good motivator for progressing your character and get invested in the world. However, Dragon Age: Inquisitions real strength lies with its characters and your interactions with them. During your playthrough, you will come across a ton of interesting characters, each with their own unique set of skills and powers. Choose who you want to fight by your side, who you want to romance and perhaps even who you want to kill. Dragon Age: Inquisition is an excellent RPG with a fun group based tactical combat system and most importantly a good story.


15. South Park: The Stick of Truth & The Fractured But Whole

Screenshot from South Park the Stick of Truth

When the creators of this controversial satirical cartoon first announced they would be making their own South Park role-playing games I don’t think people were expecting them to be quite this good. While they are not your typical RPGs, both The Stick of Truth and the Fractured But Whole are excellent games in their own right, and if you are a fan of the South Park series, then you will absolutely love the games.

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The same hilarious comedic style drives the games as the series and manages to be just as entertaining as some of the best episodes throughout the years. In both games, you play as the ”new kid” as play through the story that includes all your favorite characters such as Cartman, Butters, and Stan’s dad.

The South Park games are surprisingly good games and fully fleshed RPGs that let you create your character, choose a class, make choices and progress as you level up. If you are a fan of South Park the TV show then these two RPGs is a must play.[/expand


14. Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls

Screenshot from Diablo 3

  • Release Date: 2014
  • Platform: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
  • Type: Online action role-playing game
  • Steam Rating: N/A
  • Link: Official Site / Buy From amazon

Diablo 3, one of the best selling PC games of all time and the successor to one of the best RPG’s ever made had a lot to live up to when it released back in 2012. While it did come off to a rocky start due to some problems it had early on it later grew into a game worthy of the Diablo name and especially with the Reaper of Souls expansion it became one of the best hack-and-slash role-playing games of all time.

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The story and world of the Diablo universe are beloved by millions, and it’s not hard to see why. The dark and gritty world of Sanctuary is filled with memorable characters and some incredible villains. Diablo 3 does not have dialogue options and side quests but what it does have is silky smooth gameplay and excellent character progression through itemization, spells and traditional leveling.

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls is one of the best online role-playing games of all time, and if this type of hack-and-slash game is your thing then you have to try it out. However, if you are looking for dialogue options and a storied singleplayer game then Diablo 3 is probably not for you, although it can be played solo I do not recommend it.


13. Final Fantasy 15

Screenshot from Final Fantasy 15 game

Final Fantasy is one of the best selling game franchises of all time, and the 15th installment shows why it has remained so incredibly popular for so long. This is a masterly crafted RPG and I’d argue it is one of the very best in the entire franchise, which is really saying something.

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Final Fantasy 15 has one of the most beautiful world of any game in the franchise yet, and it has never been easier to immerse yourself into the world of Eos. The world and story of Final Fantasy 15 is excellent and paired with its innovative real-time action battle combat system makes the game a one of a kind experience.


12. Path of Exile

Screenshot from Path of Exile

On the surface, Path of Exile might look like just another Diablo 3 clone, and while it obviously takes heavy inspiration from the classic dungeon crawler, it is far too good a game to be labeled a clone.

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Path of Exile and Diablo has a lot in common, but on top of being a fully free-to-play game, Path of Exile manages to surpass Diablo on a few fronts. Its strength lies with its talent and progression system and the talent tree itself, and character ability customization is simply unparalleled. It is such a joy to try out different setups and builds in this game as the options are almost endless and it really lets your fantasy run wild.

Any fan of the Diablo franchise should try out Path of Exile, and any fan of Path of Exile should try out Diablo 3. Both games are great and good enough to stand on their own and which is better will, in the end, come down to personal preferences. It is important to note that Path of Exile is free-to-play, which makes it the perfect place to start if you want to get into a hack-and-slash dungeon crawler RPG to see if the genre is for you.


11. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

Assassins creed odyssey Alexios wallpaper

Yes, it is official, Assassins Creed is now a fully fleshed action role-playing game full of choices, consequences and other classic RPG elements. While a lot of fans have complained about the major change in the series I for one am excited about the change and last years Assassins Creed: Origins was my favorite since Black Flag and this year’s Odyssey is even better.

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Assassins Creed: Odyssey takes place in ancient Greece, AC: Origins and is in many ways the most ambitious AC game to date concerning its sheer scope and vision, an ambition that has paid off. Unlike its predecessor, Odyssey is not a hybrid action adventure game with some RPG elements. Instead, Ubisoft has gone all in on making it a dense and deep role-playing experience that offers excellent progression as well as a thrilling story full of choices and consequences.

While most aspects of the game feel very similar to Origins, it is a whole lot better due to the added depth in storytelling, choice mechanics and much-improved side quests that actually have interesting stories this time around. Assassins Creed: Odyssey is not only a great role-playing game, but it is also the best Assassins Creed game since Brotherhood.


10. Persona 5

In-game screenshot from Persona 5

  • Release Date: 2016
  • Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3
  • Type: Japanese role-playing game
  • Steam Rating: N/A
  • Link: Official Site / Buy From Amazon

This unique PlayStation exclusive Japanese role-playing game offers a very different experience from most games out there, and you will either love it or hate it. Persona 5 has a lot of character, and almost all aspects of the game are very stylized, everything from gameplay, graphics, story, to overall feel of the game.

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Persona 5 is not for everyone, but if you like this kind of thing, then it is among the best games on the market. Persona 5 is more or less an Anime RPG that have you playing as a teenage boy that has to attend a new high school in Tokyo. Where you have to manage everything from your regular High school stuff like classes, relationships, etc. all the while managing your free time where you are battling in the so-called ”Shadowlands” with your friends. If this sounds a bit odd, it is because it is, but trust me when I say it does make a lot more sense when you get into it.

If you are a fan of Japanese RPGs in general or perhaps really enjoy Anime then Persona 5 is an excellent game. It is very much dancing to its own tune, and it is hard to mention any other game like it. Persona 5 also tell a really excellent and surprisingly mature story once you get into it and it has a wonderful cast of interesting characters to keep you engaged.

Note: You do not need to have played any prior Persona games to understand and enjoy Persona 5.


9. Pillars of Eternity 1 & 2

In-game screenshot from Pillars of Eternity 2

Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2 are both very classic role-playing games in the truest sense of the word. These games are all about exploring a vast world, going on epic quests and above all, character choice and customization.

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While the role of the main character is set in advance, what you do with it and how you choose to progress that character is completely up to you. You can choose to focus on whatever playstyle you prefer and the skills you choose and the items you equip have a huge impact on how the game plays. Dialogue options differentiate depending on your character and his actions and attributes. So not only does your action matter a lot but your attributes also open up new dialogue options, which makes your character progress and choices feel meaningful.

Both Pillars of Eternity games are extremely well-crafted RPGs that stay very true to the genre, and even bring back some classic role-playing elements that we rarely see today. Even if you are not familiar with the world, the lore quickly becomes very interesting, and the world feels very immersive and deep. All and all, Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2 are some of the best RPG games out there.


8. Dark Souls TrilogyDark souls 3

Dark Souls is a relatively new franchise but has quickly become a household name in the gaming industry and has become synonymous with challenge and difficulty due to its unforgiving nature. Dark Souls has also managed to make an almost perfect trilogy with all three games being near masterpieces.

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The Dark Souls games thrive on the satisfaction you get from overcoming a difficult and challenging foe, and it is refreshing to see a modern game value skill and challenge this highly. These games have incredibly polished combat, and well-crafted boss encounters as well as some of the deepest itemization systems of any game.

The Dark Souls games are dark, gritty and not for the faint-hearted. If you tend to rage quit or throw your controller around in the face of challenging content, then the Dark Souls games are not your cup of tea. However, if you love perfecting and optimizing your character and figure out ways to defeat incredibly tricky encounters, then this is the perfect trilogy for you.


7. Nier: Automata

Screenshot from Nier Automata

On the surface, this Japanese action adventure RPG might just seem like another hack-and-slash game but trust me when I tell you that it has so much more to it. I am usually not the biggest fan of Japanese role-playing games but Nier: Automata completely blew me away as its story, world building and gameplay is absolutely outstanding.

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In a world where Earth is ruled by machines, you play as an advanced human-like combat android with a mission to reclaim Earth for humankind. Your main weapons are a mixture of martial arts and sword fighting as you use your superhuman abilities to destroy machines and fight epic boss battles. The combat is definitely one of Nier: Automata’s strong points as the base combat are extremely satisfying which combined with a ton of unique and challenging encounters makes fighting a joy in Nier. On top of that, the game also has some very cool seamless transitions over to 2D platforming, all of which helps to keep the game varied and entertaining. Most importantly the combat is challenging and very rewarding once you get it right and it has some of the coolest boss encounters we have seen in recent years.

The story aspect starts very well but nothing too crazy, however, as you get further into your playthrough the story keeps outdoing itself until you get to the point where it is almost impossible to not be completely invested in the world and story. Nier: Automata is unique in how it tells its story as it actually has multiple endings that you playthrough one by one and each playthrough offer a fresh experience and add additional depth to the story.


Related: The best RPGs require the best hardware. Here are our favorite gaming desktops today. 


6. Horizon Zero Dawn

Screenshot from Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn took the gaming world by storm back in early 2017 and released to immense critical and commercial success and quickly became one of the best selling PlayStation games of all time. Which is not hard to understand with a thrilling story, unique world and an incredible cast of characters.

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Horizons Zero Dawn’s success is due to a mixture of well-executed components. First and foremost, the story is excellent, and it manages to grip you early on and just never let go. Secondly, the world is vast, beautiful and filled with interesting creatures and characters to interact with. Last but not least, the gameplay and combat feels great and offer you a couple of different ways to approach the game, such as stealth, tactical, or guns blazing.

Horizon Zero Dawn is an amazing game and would likely rank a little higher if it was more of an RPG. Don’t get me wrong, Zero Dawn offers you with dialogue options, a ton of character customization and progression but it still feels like an action adventure game first and RPG second.


5. Bloodborne

Screenshot from Bloodborne Playstation game

Bloodborne is another PlayStation exclusive that makes you wonder how Sony manages to snatch so many excellent games for themselves. Bloodborne is made by the same people that gave us Dark Souls, and it obvious once you start playing, Bloodborne is the spiritual successor to the Dark Souls games and if you enjoyed those then this game is right up your alley.

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There is not too much to say about Bloodborne that doesn’t apply to the Dark Souls. It is an extremely challenging experience that focuses on combat mechanics and character customization above all else. However, the Gothic and Victorian world of Bloodborne feels a lot more interesting than that of the Dark Souls as well as providing a better overall combat experience due to the incredibly innovative boss fights.

Bloodborne is a must play for any fan of the Dark Souls series and is also highly recommended to any gamer that really enjoys a challenge.


4. Borderlands Trilogy

Image from Borderlands 2

Although the Borderlands trilogy is a bit old compared to the rest of the games on this list it undoubtedly deserves its spot and due to the stylized graphics, they still look great. The Borderlands games is an outstanding achievement in video game making and the trilogy is a true masterpiece.

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It is around 10 years ago that the first Borderlands game came out but luckily that doesn’t matter much when the game is this good and use an art style that ages incredibly well. I would recommend playing all the games on PC as that allows for even the first one to still look great. You can also opt-in for the remastered version for the PS4 or Xbox One but sadly that only holds the two latest games in the trilogy. While I would recommend playing them all I would still say that you should pick up the remastered version of Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre Sequel even if you haven’t played the first game.

Borderlands is one of the best video game trilogies of all time and does everything from weaponry and skill trees to story and dialogue to perfection. The gunplay and world are fantastic but what sucks you in is the very well-written and charming ensemble of characters, this is a trilogy you do not want to miss.


3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

In-game screenshot from Skyrim remastered

Any fan of the role-playing genre should be familiar with the Elder Scrolls series for the simple reason that it is one of the best RPG franchises of all time and the fifth installment Skyrim is one of the best, standing toe-to-toe with 2006’s Oblivion.

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Skyrim is a role-playing game in the truest sense of the world, and if you value freedom and player choice above all else, then this is the best RPG on the market. Right after a short introduction scenario, you are free to do whatever you want and seek out any corner of the world killing or helping whoever you see fit, almost. This is Skyrim’s biggest strength as you are free to become whatever and whoever you so desire. Whether you want to plot to assassinate emperors, become a student of magic at the College of Winterhold or perhaps just wander from town to town and help people you are entirely free to do so.

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is relatively old but with an excellent remastered version for both consoles and PC it really doesn’t matter and the game still looks great. This many years later Skyrim is still one of the best modern RPG games on the market and even one of the best ever made.


2. Divinity: Original Sin 1 & 2

Image from Divinity Original sin 2

This might come as a surprise to many as Divinity: Original Sin is not exactly the two most well-known games but these two games are straight up masterpieces, in particular, Original Sin 2. Divinity is any RPG fans dream with complete freedom of choice, an incredible world to explore, interesting lore, characters and last but not least a lot of complexity in gameplay.

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What Larian studio has managed to create with both Divinity: Original Sin games is nothing short of astounding and serves as a testament to their genuine love for video game making that most other developers today don’t seem to have.

The world and story instantly pull you in, and even the most random of side quests are well-written and fully voice acted stories that you do not want to miss. Your choices as a player also carry more weight than in any other game of its kind as you might indirectly save a characters life that down the line has a special mission for you or perhaps you will end up costing an important character his life so that person cannot give you the quest line he ordinarily would. It is bold and rare to see a studio willing to lock off content and quests like that but it really adds to the player choices and proves that what you do in the world really does matter and a playthrough as a hero will create an entirely different experience than playing as a more morally skewed character. The game also has even more player choices than any other RPG on this list and often gives you up to 8 or so different, fully voice acted dialogue options.

Whether or not you want to fight or talk your way through the game is also generally up to you and luckily the combat system is as good as the dialogue and fighting feels like anything but a chore. Divinity: Original Sin has the most well executed turn-based tactical combat system of any role-playing game ever, and it constantly requires you to be creative and find new ways to overcome your enemies. The environment is incredibly important when fighting in Divinity as objects are flammable, destructible or useable in one way or another, and tactical use of the battlefield is detrimental to your success.

The first Divinity: Original Sin game is an excellent RPG in its own right and could easily make it to the top 10 on this list, but it is the second game that makes it score so highly with us. Original Sin 2 is one of the best RPGs of all time in any regard, it is a true piece of art.


1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Image of in-game monster fight in the witcher

In 2015, CD Projekt Red showed all the major gaming companies how to make a true masterpiece, and it is not through yearly releases or cash shop integration but a true passion for making the best possible video games on the market.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is set in the Slavic inspired fantasy world of Polish Author Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher Universe but is one of the very rare examples of a game that surpasses the source material. While Andrzej Sapkowski’s books are indeed a joy to read and are some of the best, the fantasy genre has to offer the game manages to outdo that and become one of the best pieces of fantasy entertainment ever made.

You play as Geralt the Witcher and what is so refreshing about Geralt is that he is not the knight in shining armor, he is a morally grey character that sets himself apart from the typical hero archetype. A Witcher is a monster hunter and you make your coin by ridding towns and villages of their monster problems. However, the overarching story is much deeper than that, and the main storyline is on par with some of the best movies out there and what is really amazing is that it has equally interesting side stories to find throughout the world. It is not uncommon to spend upwards of 300 hours on a full playthrough and somehow the Witcher 3 manages to have an absurd quantity of content and quests while keeping a ridiculously high quality throughout all of it.

What really sets The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt apart is its world and characters which is truly second to none. The World is not vast and big for the sake of being so, but it is full of side quests, interesting characters and treasures to uncover and taking the path less traveled is almost always an adventure.

I could go on for pages about what makes the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt the best RPG of all time and I did in this article. What you need to know is that it captures the very essence of what makes the role-playing genre so great, it is an adventure that takes a hold of you and never let’s go.

Note: The two pieces of DLC for the Witcher 3, Heart of Stone and Blood & Wine is large enough to be considered its own triple-A game and I recommend picking them up as well.

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