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IGN's Top 100 RPGS of All Time (2017)

Game list created by shotswerefired Avatar

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People who added this item 19 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Everquest - PC Games

It wasn’t the first MMO, but EverQuest was the first to bring the genre to widespread popularity and become a household name. Featuring a gorgeous open world, populated with fantasy creatures and real-life players alike, it gave gamers an expansive chunk of real estate to explore for days, months, and years on end. And once you reached the level cap, you could roll a new kind of character with a different play style to tide yourself over until the next expansion arrived. The MMO genre eventually evolved and branched off in many directions, leaving EverQuest feeling rooted in the past. But that doesn’t take away from the memories EverQuest created, or the impact it had on the industry.
People who added this item 31 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Wizardry 8 - PC Games

RPG franchises don’t get much older than Wizardry, a series that kicked off back in 1981. The final game, Wizardry 8, launched 20 years later. It mixes sci-fi trappings with traditional fantasy fare, so you have a smattering of guns and aliens alongside swords and spells. One of the best things about Wizardry 8 is its robust character creation tools. You can choose among 11 different races, ranging from Humans and Elves to Faeries, Mooks, and Hobbits. Layer on a choice of 15 classes, and you end up with a stunning number of combinations to try in your party. Unlike The Elder Scrolls, which offers similar character options, Wizardry 8 lets you customize six party members instead of just one.
People who added this item 131 Average listal rating (70 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Titan Quest - PC Games

Titan Quest is often shrugged off as just another Diablo clone. And while there’s something to that argument, it also ignores the interesting things Titan Quest adds to the formula to create a wholly enjoyable action RPG. Instead of a well-trodden fantasy setting, Titan Quest looks to myths for inspiration. To that end, it has you travel across China, Egypt, and Greece, slaying beasts likes centaurs and gorgons, while collecting ever more powerful gear. The gameplay is highly customizable, thanks to its deep class and mastering systems, which provide plenty of replay value for anyone looking to try different combat styles. And when you finish the game, you can make your very own campaign, thanks to a robust level editor.
People who added this item 475 Average listal rating (248 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Fable II - Xbox 360

It’s safe to say Peter Molyneux’s games often fail to live up to the hype he sparks for them. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case with Fable II, a delightful action RPG that offers players a bit of nearly everything. The game weaves an epic story that spans your character’s life from childhood on. Combat feels like a fluid dance, thanks to the melee, magic, and ranged attacks you can string together with ease. To top it off, the whole thing is rife with humor and charm. So whether you want to amass a real estate empire or simply woo a spouse, you can. And let’s not forget the real star of the show: your lovable canine companion.
People who added this item 91 Average listal rating (40 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Torchlight II - PC Games

When done right, dungeon crawlers create a sense of momentum as you hack through monsters, pick up the loot they drop, equip any high-level gear, and move on to do it again. This is a gameplay loop Torchlight II completely nails. Story and character tend to fall to the wayside here, but you’re too busy wreaking ultra-violence and collecting shiny new things to care. The four character classes are stocked with skills that are satisfying to use, the environments pulse with color, and playing co-op with friends makes it even more of a chaotic joy to play. The craving for loot is real, and Torchlight II delivers it in the best way.
People who added this item 40 Average listal rating (28 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Pillars of Eternity - PC Games

Pillars of Eternity excels on any number of fronts, but its dialog and vocal performances are among its strongest suits. That’s a good thing, too, because one adventure through this Baldur’s Gate-like RPG spans dozens of hours. And many of those hours are spent chatting with a variety of compelling characters. Making things even more interesting is that your dialog options depend on your character’s stats. If you’ve pumped points into Might, for instance, you may be able to get vital information by using aggressive posturing. Then again, it could backfire, leaving you worse off than before. Throw in an deep tactical battle system, and you’re looking at a game that satisfies on multiple levels.
People who added this item 118 Average listal rating (55 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Front Mission 3 - PlayStation

If you’re in the mood for a strategy RPG about giant mechs, Front Mission 3 has you covered — twice. That’s because there are basically two games on the disc. Your path is determined early on by a seemingly innocuous decision. Help a friend with a delivery, and you’ll go down the “Emma” path. Stay behind, and you’ll see the “Alisa” side of the game. Which path you choose determines which faction you’re fighting for, so choosing the other path on a second play-through means you’ll have to fight against characters you’ve come to know and appreciate. But what really sets Front Mission 3 apart is its mech-building mechanic. Every enemy mech you take down goes into your inventory, and you can swap parts around to create the patchwork mech of your dreams.

You’d better have graph paper on hand before you dive into this dungeon crawler, because it offers no map of the intricate mazes you’ll find inside. To begin, you can customize up to six adventurers, with professions like warrior, rogue, hunter, and magician. True to the title, the bard is probably the most useful, because his songs cast spells that help out your entire party. The game lets you explore towns and dungeons one grid square at a time, with turn-based combat that uses a loose version of Dungeon & Dragons’ die rolls. In the mid-‘80s, gamers were hungry for this kind of adventure. That’s probably why The Bard’s Tale showed up on tons of computer platforms, as well as the NES.
People who added this item 28 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
Betrayal At Krondor - PC Games

Set in the world of the Riftwar novels by Raymond E. Feist, Betrayal at Krondor is a first-person RPG that’s surprisingly open-world for a game of its vintage. You control three adventurers as you make your way through nine chapters of a fantasy story, fighting enemies, picking locks, maintaining degradable gear, and solving riddles to open Moredhel wordlock chests. Combat plays out like a turn-based strategy game, with combatants moving around on a grid to deliver strategic strikes. Make sure you bring your reading glasses, because Krondor is dense with text, which should come as no surprise considering its literary origins.
People who added this item 74 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Freedom Force - PC Games

Most RPGs center around adventurers in a fantasy world. Freedom Force, on the other hand, is about superheroes in a modern setting. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this game is the combat. Each of your four heroes has unique moves, but they can also interact with the urban environment. Parked cars can be hoisted and hurled at enemies. Light posts can be pulled out of the ground and swung like baseball bats. And while the combat takes place in real time by default, you can pause at any time to issue instructions to your party. Freedom Force is a stylish game that oozes charm and originality at every turn.
People who added this item 30 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0

At a glance, Divinity: Original Sin looks like an old-fashioned CRPG with a fresh coat of paint. And it is, but Larian Studios has modernized more than just the graphics. For instance, the NPCs often react in realistic ways to your actions, ways other games don’t bother including. Most RPGs let you barge into people’s homes and take their things without a word of complaint. Try that in Divinity: Original Sin, and you’re likely to get yelled at or attacked. Every location is brimming with creative ideas and new things to find, making it a real challenge to stop playing. All of this, and it also manages to be funny throughout. That’s quite an achievement.
People who added this item 78 Average listal rating (44 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Age: Inquisition - PlayStation 4

Dragon Age: Inquisition contains a fantasy world so rich and well developed, you might want to go there on vacation if it weren’t for all the monsters. Its story, about closing a breach in the fabric of the world, is about as epic as single-player games get. And its character creation options are nearly limitless. But its most impressive achievement, and the reason players keep coming back to it, is the characters. Inquisition is stocked with sharply written, well acted characters that come to feel like good friends by the time the game is over. Any game that can deliver that kind of experience is worth playing at least once.
People who added this item 49 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Darkest Dungeon - PC Games

Darkest Dungeon wastes no time plunging players into a mood of doom and gloom. But that’s one of the reasons to love it. You control a party of adventurers who trudge into the depths of a dungeon, taking on enemies in turn-based battles as you go. Randomness plays a large role in the game, so you can never settle into a comfortable rhythm. The class system is nicely varied, making it rewarding to try different party combinations. Each character has a unique set of moves, some of which need to be unlocked and all of which can be upgraded. What moves they can use depend on where they’re positioned in the party line. For a game that might look simple on the outside, these overlapping systems add a great deal of complexity. And with the difficulty level so high, winning always feels rewarding.
People who added this item 10 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Ys Book I & II - TurboGrafx CD

One of the lesser known long-running RPG series is Ys (pronounced “ees”). It’s a shame it’s not more popular, because Ys has been offering up enjoyable action RPGs regularly since the 1980s. What you get in this collection, originally released on TurboGrafx-CD but now available more widely, is enhanced remakes of the franchise’s first two installments. The games center around Adol Christin, a redheaded hero on a quest to collect the books of Ys and takes on the evil forces rampaging through the world. With splashy real-time combat and eye-catching anime cut scenes, this collection helped prove that CD was the gaming medium of the future.
People who added this item 984 Average listal rating (719 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Kingdom Hearts II - PlayStation 2

Kingdom Hearts 2 considerably ups the combat possibilities of its predecessor, introducing new forms — and snazzy new suits — for Sora to wear. The addition of the Reaction Command in combat also spices battles up, making for a combat experience made even more varied by the addition of the new Nobodies enemies. By streamlining some of the first Kingdom Heart's systems, including magic and the awful Gummi Ship levels — not to mention deepening the lore to stranger, more engaging depths — the first numbered sequel in the 15 year old franchise is still one of its strongest and one of the most fun to play.
People who added this item 540 Average listal rating (290 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Chrono Cross - PlayStation

Few RPG fans would deny that Chrono Trigger is a certified masterpiece. So what’s a developer to do when creating a sequel to such a beloved game? Create another classic, of course. Rather than rehashing ideas from Chrono Trigger, Square decided to mix things up quite a bit with the sequel. Chrono Cross takes place in an entirely different world and stars a new set of characters. But what really sets it apart is its unique battle system, which cleverly mixes turn-based tropes with real-time elements. Your characters have stamina meters that fill up between attacks. The longer you wait to make a move, the more powerful the move will be. Throw in a magic system that uses an element grid that ties into the stamina meter, and you’re looking at a mighty deep combat system. The callbacks to Chrono Trigger are just icing on an already impressive cake.
People who added this item 97 Average listal rating (38 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Warrior VII - PlayStation

Some people like short games: get in, have fun, and move on. Dragon Warrior VII is not for those people. This endlessly charming RPG is so packed with quests and breezy conversations that you can play it for well over 100 hours without ever running out of things to do. You don’t even unlock the class system for your party until around 20 hours in. And while the PlayStation version is a great game worthy of this list, the 3DS remake has some added bonuses, including a new translation, visible enemies instead of random encounters, and even more content — as if 100 hours wasn’t enough.
People who added this item 297 Average listal rating (184 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Final Fantasy - Famicom and NES

When it comes to influential JRPG franchises, Final Fantasy sits near the very top of the list. Not only did the first game offer one of the most ambitious adventures available on the NES at the time, but it also spawned a series that now comprises dozens of sequels and spinoffs. With its relatively robust class system, its four-character party, and steady injection of new gameplay ideas throughout the adventure, Final Fantasy helped cement a whole host of RPG tropes that would remain for decades to come. Without this game, many of the RPGs on this list would probably be very different games — if they’d even exist at all.

If you thought Bioshock was the first game set in a failed utopia below water level, you’d be wrong. Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss has it beat by over 20 years. In this pioneering first-person RPG, you explore a sprawling dungeon using free movement rather than the grid-based system that was common at the time. You can gather useful items, pick your responses during conversations, and power up your character in a staggering number of ways. As you explore the ruins, the music shifts on the fly to match whatever tone your adventuring takes on. If you’re looking for a game that was way ahead of its time, you’ve found it.
People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (41 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
EVE Online - PC Games

Calling EVE Online epic doesn’t really do it justice. This long-running MMO contains thousands of star systems you can explore at your leisure (unless space pirates show up and blast you to oblivion). It presents players with a universe to explore and a basic set of gameplay systems. What you do with that is up to you, thanks to open-ended gameplay that rewards creativity and collaboration. You can join up with other players and take part in multi-day space battles, or you can go off and mine resources to sell for a profit at the next space station. If you want to blow tens of thousands of real-life dollars building a city-sized space ship, you can do that too. The universe is your oyster.
People who added this item 371 Average listal rating (222 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga - Game Boy Advance

Mario was no stranger to RPGs, but Superstar Saga brought Luigi into the fold and kicked off a now-classic series of handheld RPGs. Superstar Saga finds the plumber brothers teaming up with Bowser to get Princess Peach’s voice back from the villainous Cackletta. To do so, they engage in some of the most enjoyable action RPG-ing you’ll find in any game, handheld or otherwise. The story is shot through with humor that plays out in the script, but also in the many expressive character animations packed into the game. Even many of the attacks are clever, like when Mario uses a fireball to set Luigi’s rear end on fire, sending him charging into enemies.
People who added this item 209 Average listal rating (104 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0

Though it doesn’t get talked about as much as other RPGs from the early PlayStation era, Star Ocean: The Second Story isn’t one to miss. It tells the story of Claude and Rena, unlikely companions who come from very different backgrounds. Claude is a spacefaring adventurer who accidentally transports himself to Expel, a faraway planet of magic and fantasy, where he meets Rena, who thinks he must be a legendary Hero of Light. On top of that promising setup, the game is rife with intricate systems, all of which offer unique charms. An item creation mode lets you break down collectibles into food and gear. During real-time battles, you can control whichever party member you want, hopping between them to take advantage of their unique abilities. The graphics hold up well, with a dynamic battle camera, pre-rendered backgrounds, and expressive sprite-based characters. Oh, and the soundtrack isn’t too shabby either.
People who added this item 166 Average listal rating (83 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Illusion of Gaia - Super famicom and SNES

When the spirit of the earth asks you to do something, you do it. That’s what kicks off this action RPG about a boy on a quest to collect Mystic Statues and bring them to the Tower of Babel to save the world from ultimate destruction. But it’s not just the story that makes Illusion of Gaia one of the best in its genre. It’s the Earth-like setting that features locations both real and mythical. It’s the combat, which starts out simple and becomes much more complex as you learn surprising new abilities. And then there’s the soundtrack, which sticks in your head long after you’ve reached the tower, saved the world, and tried to figure out the ambiguous ending.
People who added this item 249 Average listal rating (97 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Valkyria Chronicles - PlayStation 3

On paper, Valkyria Chronicles doesn’t seem like it should work. For one thing, it shoehorns shooter mechanics into a turn-based strategy game. For another, it uses anime art to depict a setting very much like Europe during World War II. But somehow Sega took these seemingly incongruous ingredients and cooked up a truly impressive game. The battles are tactical but intense, thanks to a perspective that lets you plot your moves from an overhead view of the battlefield before swooping down and giving you direct control of your troops as you put your plan into action. The characters are well written, and the game actually seems to have something to say about war. It’s rare for a game to try to blend this many ideas into a single package. It’s far more rare for the result to be this brilliant.
People who added this item 156 Average listal rating (76 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Icewind Dale II - PC Games

Compared to other games in its genealogy — like Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment — Icewind Dale II is much more focused on action. So while it mostly ditches side quests and puzzles that were common in its predecessors, it zeroes in on deep character creation tools and tons of combat variety. You start out by creating a party of up to six adventurers, selecting their class, gender, and race. Once that’s done, you begin your adventure, customizing your team with an array of weapons, abilities, and spells along the way. Combat mechanics are only useful when you have something to fight, so it’s good Icewind Dale II doesn’t skimp in the enemy department. It presents you with mummies, skeletons, bugbears, orcs, goblins, giants, and a whole mess of other fantasy beasts to slay. In 2002, Icewind Dale II was the perfect chaser to its sprawling, meditative predecessors. It even holds up today.
People who added this item 272 Average listal rating (145 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
The Legend of Dragoon - PlayStation

The Legend of Dragoon follows Dart, a traditional RPG protagonist who just really can’t catch a break. His parents are killed, his hometown is destroyed — twice — and on his way home from a journey to avenge them he’s attacked by a really cool dragon. The graphics at the time were exceptional, and although Dragoon wasn’t the first RPG with turn-based combat to use an action cue system to make battles more engaging, that is one aspect that made the game memorable.
People who added this item 259 Average listal rating (112 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness - PlayStation 2

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness kicked off the popular strategy game series, setting up the franchise’s signature humor and systems with the arrogant Laharl’s quest to reclaim the demon throne and become Overlord of the Netherworld. Hour of Darkness featured several unique systems, like the ability to capture enemies and turn them into allies, though at the risk of killing some of your own units, and a complex “geo panel” system that let skilled players set up gratifying chain reactions during battle. Most of all, it's the game’s irreverant humor that gives it staying power and has earned it a cult following.
People who added this item 228 Average listal rating (107 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0

The first Witcher game, based on Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels, was great in its own right, but the sequel, Assassins of Kings, exploded the series out of its niche and into the mainstream. The game was bigger and better in every way, with improved combat, celebrated graphics, and much more player freedom (though the series hadn’t gone full open world yet, like it would with The Witcher 3). Like the series’ other games, The Witcher 2 is renowned for its fantastic writing and characters, including a narrative fork that can set players on two very different paths, making Geralt one of gaming’s most iconic heroes.
People who added this item 205 Average listal rating (105 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0

Development on the Neverwinter Nights series passed from BioWare to Obsidian for the full-fledged sequel in 2006, but the game didn’t exactly suffer for it. Following an orphaned adventurer investigating relics called Silver Shards, NW2 improved on the first game in marked ways, especially in its narrative. More importantly, it featured online co-op and a development toolset with which players could create their own scenarios for the game, both of which helped ensure Neverwinter Nights 2 would have an avid following to this day.
People who added this item 212 Average listal rating (99 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Jade Empire - Xbox

Before Mass Effect and Dragon Age (although after Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and Knights of the Old Republic, to be fair), there was BioWare’s Jade Empire, an original Xbox game that proved console RPGs could be great. With the traditional story of a martial arts student thrust on a quest to save their master, Jade Empire wowed players with its engrossing world and its surprisingly nuanced dual philosophies, the Way of the Open Palm and the Way of the Closed Fist (mirroring BioWare’s success developing “light” and “dark” paths for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic).
People who added this item 160 Average listal rating (88 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Fire Emblem: Awakening - Nintendo 3DS

Gamers in the Western world had no idea what we were missing out on all the years Nintendo hadn’t started releasing Fire Emblem games here yet. The 3DS’s Fire Emblem Awakening is a great example. It built on everything fans love about the series, from its strategic turn-based battles to its focus on story and characters. It also included the ability to disable the series’ signature “permadeath” mechanic, providing more options for a wider variety of players to appreciate Fire Emblem’s genius.
People who added this item 37 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir - PlayStation 4

Sometimes all a game needs is a second chance, and Odin Sphere got one with Odin Sphere Leifthrasir in 2016. A remake of the 2007 PlayStation 2 original, Leifthrasir improved on it in every way, with better combat and AI, more environments, and many redesigned systems that ironed out the game’s kinks and let its strengths shine through. Those strengths include a dramatic, twist-filled story, a plethora of playable characters, and, perhaps most of all, Vanillaware’s signature hand-drawn art style.
People who added this item 309 Average listal rating (329 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Undertale - PC Games

It’s amazing what one person can accomplish, and Undertale is proof. Toby Fox wrote and designed, developed, composed the music for, and released Undertale solo, his only help from additional artists. And it took the gaming world by storm, largely thanks to its deceptively simple story and combat systems, which worked together to conceal great narrative depth. Undertale turns nearly every RPG trope in existence on its head, while simultaneously feeling good as an RPG — a truly incredible feat.
People who added this item 203 Average listal rating (65 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0

Ni no Kuni: Wratch of the White Witch follows the adventures of Oliver and his companions, who include an oddball fairy named Drippy, as Oliver tries to save his mother. Its unique combat system paired well with a Pokemon-like creature collection element, while its world brimmed with fantastic sights and sounds. Most notably, Ni no Kuni’s visuals were heavily inspired by famed Japanese animators Studio Ghibli — makers of films like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away — and Ghibli provided the game’s gorgeous animated cutscenes.
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Pool of Radiance - Commodore 64

An “official Advanced Dungeons & Dragons computer product,” Pool of Radiance cast you as a band of heroes battling monsters and other enemies in and around the town of Phlan. It was the first adaptation of Advanced D&D, helping set the precedent for western RPGs for the last three decades, from Baldur’s Gate to The Witcher 3. It even let players export their characters into later games in the series, another precursor of things to come.

Dragon Quest VIII is considered by many fans to be among the best entries in the series, which is saying something for a franchise this popular. This was back in the height of cartoonish, cel-shaded graphics, but even then this game stood out for its gorgeously rendered world. It also managed to be less complex than some of its predecessors, eschewing a complicated job system, which many players — weary of convoluted systems in contemporary RPGs — found refreshing.
People who added this item 38 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 9.3 IMDB Rating 0
Lunar: Eternal Blue - Sega Mega cd

As the sequel to Lunar: The Silver Star, Lunar: Eternal Blue improved on its predecessor in almost every way, with better graphics and more of the series’ signature animated custscenes. In an era when many of the most popular games, including all the best Super Nintendo games, were still telling their entire stories through text boxes, Lunar: Eternal Blue was ahead of its time with not just all those cutscenes but over an hour of voiced dialogue, all thanks to the Sega CD format.
People who added this item 80 Average listal rating (46 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Phantasy Star Online - Sega Dreamcast

Phantasy Star Online involved a lot of firsts, not just for the series but for RPGs in general. It eschewed the turn-based combat of the previous games in favor of more action-oriented gameplay, and more importantly its impressive network features let players from all over the world connect and play with each other, with innovative communication options including unique emoji and other symbols. The sci-fi adventure singlehandedly provided a good reason to own a Dreamcast, not to mention many players’ first experience with an online RPG.
People who added this item 196 Average listal rating (96 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Breath of Fire III - PlayStation

Breath of Fire and Breath of Fire II were classics in their own right, but Breath of Fire III goes down in history as the one that brought the series into 3D. It also featured voice acting for the first time in the series, not to mention being remembered for its jazzy soundtrack by composers Yoshino Aoki and Akari Kaida. A memorable story involving Ryu, the last survivor of a race of people who can transform into dragons, didn’t hurt, and combined all these elements ensured Breath of Fire III’s place in history.
People who added this item 176 Average listal rating (81 ratings) 9.1 IMDB Rating 0

First released in Japan in 1996, Lunar: Silver Star Story was actually a remake of the 1992 game Lunar: The Silver Star. This was before remakes were really a “thing,” making Silver Star Story unique for its time. It was also renowned for its animated scenes and stellar localization, and launched a sequel and multiple additional remakes.
People who added this item 80 Average listal rating (48 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Shining Force II - Sega Genesis and Mega Drive

Shining Force II wasn’t directly connected to its predecessor, but it was praised at the time for its considerable length and the freedom it afforded players. A relatively complex class system and extensive backgrounds for each character helped make the game distinct, while its grid-based combat system made Shining Force II ahead of its time.
People who added this item 369 Average listal rating (209 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Golden Sun - Game Boy Advance

There was a Pokemon-like creature collection element to Golden Sun’s Djinn system, but this Game Boy Advance RPG wasn’t riding any coattails. With fantastic graphics, a deep turn-based combat system, and puzzle-based gameplay that pushed the boundaries of what RPGs could do outside of combat, Golden Sun was a landmark. And the fact that it was all on the tiny Game Boy Advance was even more to its credit.
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People who added this item 108 Average listal rating (54 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals - Super famicom and SNES

In an era of Super Nintendo games replete with some of the most celebrated RPGs of all time, Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals managed to stand tall. A large part of that was its lack of random battles in dungeons, a huge advancement that made Lufia II way ahead of its time. It even had a randomly generated dungeon, the 99-floor Ancient Cave, another feature of modern games that had yet to reach prominence at that time. Those elements combined with devious puzzles and an engrossing plot, earn Lufia II a spot on the list.
People who added this item 168 Average listal rating (64 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Tales of Vesperia - Xbox 360

Namco’s expansive Tales series continues to this day, but Tales of Vesperia will always stand out from the rest thanks to its improvements to the series’ signature Linear Motion Battle System and its detailed, attractive anime-style graphics. Following Yuri Lowell and his guild Brave Vesperia, Tales of Vesperia also featured an engrossing story involving abuse of Blastia energy that threatens the very planet. Nobody even cared that this was the basic plot of Final Fantasy VII (and many other RPGs) as well.
People who added this item 491 Average listal rating (314 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0

Super Mario RPG launched multiple future spin-off series for the famous plumber, including the Mario & Luigi and Paper Mario games. But the original will always be remembered for its impressive (at the time!) graphics, unique cast (Bowser joining Mario’s side was novel at the time), and surprisingly engrossing story. Fan petitions to include Geno, one of the game’s many original characters, in Super Smash Bros. persist to this day.
People who added this item 213 Average listal rating (82 ratings) 8.6 IMDB Rating 0
Shadow Hearts: Covenant - PlayStation 2

As a sequel to the original Shadow Hearts set in the chaos of the first world war, Shadow Hearts: Covenant is one of the best alternate-history RPGs out there. The unique Judgment Ring made combat exciting, while new additions to the series like the Crest Magic system provided significant advancements over the original. Some wonky localization and dialogue issues only added to its charm. Who doesn’t love demons and sorcerers mixed in with actual historical events?
People who added this item 292 Average listal rating (162 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0

The World Ends With You featured a really cool story about combatants thrust into a mysterious Hunger Games-like competition in an alternate dimension of Tokyo’s famous Shibuya district, requiring multiple playthroughs to unlock all its secret narrative twists. But if you remember the original Nintendo DS version for one thing, it’s probably the game’s insane battle system, which required controlling two characters simultaneously on the system’s top and bottom screens. It’s a demanding but totally unique system that, combined with an inimitable style, made The World Ends With You a classic.
People who added this item 85 Average listal rating (46 ratings) 8.5 IMDB Rating 0
Phantasy Star IV - Sega Genesis and Mega Drive

Phantasy Star IV is as classic as classic gets when it comes to JRPGs, with the turn-based battles and top-down exploration that epitomizes traditional JRPG tropes. It was even criticized on its original release for its outdated graphics. But there’s nothing wrong with that retro look. Thanks to an involved combat and magic system, a solid story set 1,000 years after Phantasy Star II, and themes dealing with global climate catastrophe, it remains more than relevant today.
People who added this item 1233 Average listal rating (1183 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Final Fantasy VII - PlayStation

What needs to be said about Final Fantasy VII? The game singlehandedly pushed RPGs to greater popularity in the western world than they’d ever experienced, thanks to its gritty tone, incredible graphics, revolutionary CG cutscenes, unimaginably huge world, and insane story. Practically every one of its characters has become an iconic hero or villain, and its legacy is immeasurable. Whether you think it’s the greatest game of all time or the most overrated, its influence and its innovations simply can’t be denied.
People who added this item 58 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
Stardew Valley - PC Games

Stardew Valley captured hearts by feeling like a throwback to a simpler time in gaming, combining all the best bits of classic home-and-hearth games like Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing. It singlehandedly breathed new life into the genre with its polished presentation, deep farming systems, and remarkable freedom. Stardew Valley set its roots deep in the gaming consciousness, and with a Nintendo Switch release coming in 2017, it’s surely here to stay.
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Role-playing games have a long and fascinating history. From its humble tabletop origins, the RPG has grown and evolved over the years into the most dominant and ambitious game genre, boasting a catalog as critically acclaimed as it is diverse. The best RPGs embrace a rich storytelling tradition as well as deep and engaging gameplay to create universes that are as exciting to explore as they are thrilling to quest and do battle in. And we’ve sunk hundreds — sometimes even thousands — of hours immersing ourselves in those incredible universes, whether that be stunning high fantasy kingdoms full of knights and dragons, exciting sci-fi realms brimming with possibilities, or even extraordinary versions of our own world.

But which RPGs are the best of the best? Which RPGs were influential enough to lead the rest, or bold enough to question the mold in new and exciting ways? Which RPGs gave us the richest characters, worlds, and stories — experiences we’ll never forget? IGN got its biggest RPG fans in a room to find out. Below are the Top 100 RPGs of All Time.

The main elements we examined:

Story (Is it compelling, well-written, or uniquely told?)
Presentation (Is its sound, music, and/or visual style particularly strong?)
Character progression (Is there satisfying decision-making when it comes to building a character, choosing a combat style, or making other decisions in the game world?)
Combat (Is it fun? Innovative? Does it ask the player to make interesting choices?)
Systems (Is there an interesting dynamic between its various meta systems?)

Because the RPG is a particularly diverse and hard-to-define genre, it was important for us to nail down exactly what qualifies as an “RPG.”

For the purposes of this list, we defined an RPG as a game that includes:

- Persistent character progression (including player-exposed stats)
- Combat that is a significant part of the experience
- Choices and consequences
- Story
- Exploration
- Character building and customization

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