The 20 best RPGs to play right now (2024)

Figuring out the best RPGs to play right now is no easy task. One of the most popular and beloved genres in video games, role-playing games take many forms. From vast, dense open-worlds that have you hooked for hundreds of hours, to expertly crafted stories that tug on the heartstrings and immerse you in fantasy environments like nothing you've ever seen before, the best RPGs all offer something unique and special.

So we've played - and reviewed - all of the major RPGs over the last decade or so to produce this definitive list of the best RPGs of all time, across PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo consoles. Here is the Eurogamer list of the best RPGs, including JRPGs, CRPGs, and ARPGs in no particular order.

Baldur's Gate 3

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Even though this list isn't in any specific order, Baldur's Gate 3 is argued by many to be the best RPG of all time. Drawing heavily from the Dungeons & Dragons 5e ruleset, this is a CRPG sandbox where you can tell almost the exact story you want, how you want. It still has its own plot to follow - that is, ridding yourself and your companions of the mindflayer parasites currently boring their way inside your brains - but it's one of the biggest games to date that relies so heavily on the choices you make as a player.

Somehow, Baldur's Gate 3 caters for every possible outcome - whether it's a tiny bespoke line of dialogue from your recruitable (and romanceable) party members, or NPCs reacting in real-time to you stealing stuff straight out of their pockets mid-conversation. It's an astonishing feat of design, and that's before we even get to its knotty, turn-based tactical combat system where you can kill anybody in the game… or talk your way out of the situation if needs must. As our Baldur's Gate 3 review put it, this is an RPG that "achieves its quest to be Tabletop Roleplaying: The Video Game", and it "rewards you generously for responding thoughtfully".

Cyberpunk 2077

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Few games have seen as much hype before launch as Cyberpunk 2077, only to then release to widespread disappointment. This was largely down to performance issues, especially on older consoles, but also because its RPG elements were - ironically - a little underwhelming. But after years of updates, including a complete overhaul of its skill system, Cyberpunk 2077 has now flourished into a truly great RPG.

The 2.0 update, coupled with the Phantom Liberty expansion, means this Keanu Reeves-starring futuristic FPS RPG is now one of the best in the business. Its dense world is full of interesting characters and captivating side quests, and its reworked abilities now give new meaning to its weighty and satisfying combat system. Not to mention the main storyline, which takes all sorts of twists and turns. Our original Cyberpunk 2077 review praised the "exceptional characters, heartfelt storytelling, and enjoyable action", so combined with the recent overhaul, it's well worth your time.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

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In 2017, Nintendo completely transformed The Legend of Zelda as we knew it with Breath of the Wild, an open-world RPG for the Switch that instantly became one of the best in the entire series. So how do you top that? With 2023's Tears of the Kingdom. As a direct sequel, it takes the same world as Breath of the Wild, but adds so much more, both in terms of the density of its original overworld map, but also expanding Hyrule up into the heavenly skies, and down into the deep, ethereal underground.

While Tears of the Kingdom is a continuation of Breath of the Wild's story, the 2017 game isn't a prerequisite to enjoy the sequel, as it stands alone while being a marked improvement on what was already a masterpiece. With all the usual Nintendo charm, the goal once again is to save Princess Zelda from Ganondorf, but the Hyrule you must conquer to do so is the most expansive, beautiful, and content-rich yet. Just listen to our Tears of the Kingdom review: "an astonishing, quite literally top-to-bottom sequel, adding complexity and splendour to the formula without sacrificing its enchantment".

Dragon's Dogma 2

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Sprawling fantasy epics are something of a recurring theme on this list, but Dragon's Dogma 2 is without doubt one of the best in class here. An RPG like few others (except the original, Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen), this is arguably one of the most engrossing multiplayer experiences you can have while also playing completely by yourself. This is all down to the Pawn system, which are essentially extra party members you can recruit from other players around the world - and they all have their own strange backstories, memories and secrets to share to give your journey that extra spark of life.

You'll need a good range of Pawns in tow, too, as there are some fearsome monsters to take down here (and clamber around on their backs), including huge griffins, ogres and the odd sphinx. But fear not, as Dragon's Dogma 2 is also a game that encourages you to experiment with your own combat class, too, as there are plenty of vocations to master and swap between over the course of the game. Indeed, part of the joy of Dragon's Dogma 2 is that thrill of discovery, and just like our Dragon's Dogma 2 review put it, it "succeeds in evoking that magical feeling in a way no other game has before it."

Bloodborne

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While Bloodborne is in hot demand for a PS5 remaster, it's still playable on the console via the original PS4 version. However, this attack-minded Soulslike from the masters themselves, FromSoftware, is widely considered to be one of the best in the genre.

Incredibly tough, as all Souls games are, Bloodborne sees you fighting through a Gothic city called Yharnam, laying waste to the villagers-turned-beasts who are out patrolling the streets. You'll encounter plenty of grotesque monsters, many of whom will frustrate as they repeatedly mulch you into the cobblestones, but Bloodborne is all about learning their attack patterns and figuring out how to defeat them in an elegant dance of death. Our five-star Bloodborne review called it "imaginative, powerful, coherent, and genius". High praise indeed.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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Few have been in the RPG game for as long as Bethesda, and while their most recent great space epic Starfield didn't quite live up to expectations, the enduring popularity of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim shows no signs of slowing down. You are the Dragonborn, someone who can channel the power of extremely loud shouts to essentially cast spells, and you have an enormous world to explore full of cities with hundreds of side quests, dungeons with fierce enemies, and all manner of secrets in between.

In 2011, we published our Skyrim review on launch, but since then the game has been remastered and rereleased numerous times, across different console generations and hardware. We gave it full marks to begin with, stating that "Bethesda has created a very special game, as they have weaved together extraordinary craftsmanship evident in the music, storytelling, adventure, and world design".

Persona 5 Royal

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Persona 5 Royal is the definitive edition of Atlus' critically acclaimed JRPG Persona 5, a 100+ hour behemoth that many consider to be the best in the series. You play as a student who must juggle their studies alongside solving a supernatural mystery and battling demons, in an experience our original 2017 Persona 5 review called "beautiful, badass, and audacious".

Persona 5 Royal improves upon all the small gripes players had with the original release, while also adding two brand new characters and additional story beats, meaning there's simply even more Persona 5 here to love - and you can read our Persona 5 Royal review to find out more. If you're a JRPG fan, you simply can't go wrong here.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

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This may feel like cheating a little because Mass Effect Legendary Edition is technically three games in one, but this remastered package of the first three entries in the series is by far the best way to play BioWare's magnum opus today. Take control of Commander Shepard, a human soldier in a universe full of different alien races where various choices shape how the story plays out, including from one game to the next.

The second game in the series is widely considered to be the best, and our Mass Effect 2 review from way back in 2010 explains how "BioWare's greatest success is taking a complex RPG and making it effortless to understand, play, and enjoy on a constant basis", making it "utterly essential to veterans and newcomers alike".

Final Fantasy 7 Remake

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Ask any Final Fantasy veteran what their favourite game in the series is and FF7 will always be in or around the top. The 1999 original continues to be one of the best JRPGs around, but Square Enix's Remake is so much more than a simple retelling with prettier graphics. It's a complete overhaul from the ground up that not only retains exactly what everyone loved about the original, but also toys with the plot in smart and interesting ways. It's a game in conversation with itself, in other words - although bear in mind that Remake only covers the Midgar section of the game, and you'll need to play Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth and the eventual third game in the remake trilogy project before it reaches its conclusion.

Still, FF7 Remake knows exactly how to tap into that early Disc 1 nostalgia, as this is Midgar like you've never seen it before. Visually, it stands among the best-looking games of all time, and its characters feel much more fleshed out thanks to its expanded script. Its turn-based combat system has also been completely revamped for a modern audience, leaning into responsive, real-time action while still players the option to scour its menu screens for the perfect follow-up attack. There's never been a better time to play this, and our Final Fantasy 7 Remake review called it "an expansive remake that treads carefully upon this most cherished of games".

Monster Hunter World

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Picture the scene: you're gallivanting around a luscious world with your pals, bag of cans on your back, hunting gigantic beasts to take down with the greatest of synergy and teamwork between you. Okay, maybe the bag of cans won't be there, but that's the gist of Monster Hunter World, the biggest Monster Hunter game to date and one that has made countless new fans of the series since its launch in 2018.

While that synergy with teammates is part of what makes Monster Hunter World so satisfying, as each of you plays a role to best monsters far stronger (and often far bigger) than yourselves, it is also fully playable solo, of course. Spec towards the build of your choice with its dizzying array of armour and weapon choices before embarking on your huge missions - it's "the most accessible, most detailed, and most magnificent entry yet" according to our Monster Hunter World review.

Sea of Stars

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Sea of Stars is one of those games that both exudes a powerful nostalgia for the golden era of SNES RPGs from the 90s, while also being one of the best modern examples of the genre. Think Chrono Trigger, but with all the mod cons of today's technology and accessibility options, and that's what Sea of Stars is going for, making it not only the perfect introduction for newcomers to JRPGs, but also just a great game full stop for long-time veterans.

Nothing echoes these thoughts more than our Sea of Stars review, which states that it's "well-considered inspirations are shot through with smart, modern sensibilities, creating a more-than-welcome addition to the contemporary throwback RPG club". It bounces between various scenarios such as "pirate ship comedy, spooky haunted house, epic family-friendly fantasy, and space-time-bending cosmic weirdness" with ease, each of which are executed magnificently. Plus, with a story that wraps up in around 30 hours, it also doesn't take an age to finish.

Elden Ring

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Elden Ring might have been FromSoftware's first attempt at taking their much beloved Souls formula and meshing it into an open-world, but it should probably come as no surprise to you that they absolutely aced it. Elden Ring is a marvellous, stunning, dense behemoth of a game that many consider to be the best FromSoft game to date.

That's a big claim, but among the myriad bosses, variety of biomes and regions, and different playstyles and builds on offer, the one thing Elden Ring excels at is being hugely appealing to existing genre veterans while simultaneously being one of the friendliest Souls games to date for new players. It's still hard as nails, mind, but the flexible nature of its haunting and evocative world means there are so many more options on where to go next and which unspoken quest to tackle, that if anything seems too tough or unbeatable, you can simply divert from the path and come back later while still making progress. Our Elden Ring review awarded it an Essential badge, describing it as "grandiose, mysterious, but now a touch more welcoming", which should be music to anybody's ears.

Divinity: Original Sin 2

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While Baldur's Gate 3 is lauded as one of the best to ever do it, if you need more of that glorious, immersive, world-building CRPG action, look no further than developer Larian Studios' previous project, Divinity: Original Sin 2. It shares a lot of similarities with Baldur's Gate 3, but while it takes some inspiration from Dungeons & Dragons, it doesn't use the ruleset in quite the same way.

Even so, this is still a rip-roaring fantasy epic with a brilliant cast of superbly-written characters to get stuck in with, and a reactive, impossibly dense world to loose yourself in. Essentially, everything great about Baldur's Gate 3 is also applicable here, though we'd recommend choosing one of its pre-made origin characters (all of which can also be recruited to your party later on) rather than creating your own. It also has a rich, turn-based combat system to master, though like Baldur's Gate 3, you can also choose to avoid combat at any costs by talking your way out of sticky situations. We gave it five stars in our Divinity: Original Sin 2 review, stating that it is "a CRPG of unparalleled breadth and dynamism".

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a magical concoction of a spellbinding narrative combined with sublime sword-fighting, some of the best writing you'll find in the medium, and an open-world that will have you desperate to uncover every inch of it. While this is the third core game in the series (and will carry over decisions and character choices from the first two games if you've played them on the same platform), The Witcher 3 also operates perfectly fine as a standalone story, making it a great jumping in point for those after a giant fantasy romp.

Where lots of RPGs have the player create a character they want to play as, The Witcher 3 puts you in the muddy boots of Geralt. Geralt is a Witcher, a kind of magical monster hunter mercenary, and one of the best at it to boot. The Witcher 3 focuses on Geralt's search for Ciri, his adopted daughter, while also trying to reconcile with the love of his life, Yennefer of Vengerberg. This is a third-person action RPG that excels at everything it turns its hand to; just read our Witcher 3 review, which describes it as "a majestic, earthy open-world adventure with great integrity and personality".

NieR Automata

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NieR Automata is an eccentric blend of RPG sub-genres all mashed into one, and somehow it works. It's an open-world adventure where you'll be hack and slash-slicing up robots one minute, before blasting from the sky in a shoot 'em up segment the next. It's a wild ride with twists and turns at every corner, all wrapped up in PlatinumGames's signature stylish combat systems. But there's one thing you need to keep in mind with NieR Automata…

If you want to truly complete this game and see it through to its conclusion, you must play it at least three times. While there are 26 unique endings, most of them are jokes or non-canonical. Rather, there are five main endings, two of which come part-way through the game, while the other three require full replays. It's a hefty undertaking, but is absolutely worth it by the time you reach the proper end credits. There's simply nothing else like this in video games today - and our NieR Automata review called it "an endlessly imaginative dreamlike journey".

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

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Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the eighth mainline instalment in the Yakuza (now renamed as Like A Dragon) series, but it's also a brilliant jumping in point for complete newcomers. It not only recentres its long, ongoing story on a new protagonist - the energetic and lovable Kasuga Ichiban - but it's also the first to introduce turn-based combat, making it quite a different proposition to the real-time beat-em-up action seen in previous games. However, despite being quite a drastic change for series regulars, it works well thanks to how dynamic its fights are, and you can, of course, still use nearby objects such as bicycles as makeshift weapons to clobber thugs over the head with.

Our Yakuza: Like a Dragon review called it "an impressive JRPG makeover" overall, as that's in part because that's simply how the JRPG-obsessed Ichiban sees the world. He even models himself after the hero from Dragon Quest, giving every fight a daft but endearing twist on classic JRPG tropes. It's also stuffed with all the usual minigames and emotional side stories the series is famous for, and is arguably essential reading if you're eyeing up 2024's equally excellent Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, which continues Ichiban's story over on the sunny shores of Hawaii.

Citizen Sleeper

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Citizen Sleeper is an RPG all about living life by the roll of the dice. You are a Sleeper, an android who's linked with an indentured human consciousness somewhere out in the vast expanse of space. You've run away from your human host and employer, and must now make a life for yourself on the fringes of The Eye, a space station where everyone's trying to eke out a living for themselves. However, each day brings new challenges, as you not only need to earn enough money to keep yourself fed, but your dwindling energy levels also dictate how many dice actions you can take, and thus how many tasks and quests you can carry on with.

It's a delicate balancing act, but one that's shot through with rich, evocative stories, and the kind of writing that cuts through to the bone. As our in-depth Citizen Sleeper review said, "there is a real anguish and intimacy here, real experience, real softness, pensiveness, complexity of thought". Citizen Sleeper is for readers and thinkers who don't want the intensity of combat-based RPGs, and it's one of the best.

Super Mario RPG Remake

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Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars launched in 1997 for the SNES to critical acclaim and paved the way for some of Mario's future spin-offs, including Paper Mario and the Mario & Luigi RPGs. Now, we finally have a remake on our hands for the Nintendo Switch, with the Seven Stars subtitle dropped, as well as modernised visuals and a more accessible approach to combat that makes it a great first-time RPG experience.

Our Super Mario RPG review praised how you can really tell that this has been a deep collaboration between Nintendo and Square Enix: "The isometric landscapes you travel through are very different to anything seen in the Mushroom Kingdom before. Mario still jumps to hit blocks, but they're wooden treasure chests, while the isometric sewers and forests feel more like stage settings for a gorgeous and evocative panto than the side-scrolling wonder-worlds of the platforming games." Super Mario RPG is quite a streamlined RPG compared to other games on this list, but there is still plenty to love for veterans, if only to go back in time and see exactly where our plumber's non-platforming adventures began.

Disco Elysium

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Most of the games featured so far have had a strong focus on combat in one way or another, but not Disco Elysium. This is a game for those who love immerse themselves in a deep, knotty story, and help shape it based on the decisions you make as a player. It really is a role-playing game through and through, as everything you do is based on your interpretation of how the protagonist, an alcoholic amnesiac detective, should think and feel.

Alongside your trusty sidekick Kim Kitsuragi, you're ostensibly here to investigate a murder scene, but as you go about your police business, you'll also encounter snot-nosed kids who make a mockery of you, protesting worker unions, slimy kingpins, deranged locals, karaoke competitions, and maybe even some mythical creatures if you're lucky. And, of course, have several interior monologues with your very own lizard brain, as each stat and ability in Disco Elysium is deeply engrained in your detective's neurological make-up. Widely considered to be one of the best-written games of all time, our Disco Elysium review called it "a verbose and rich psychological roleplaying game" where "no two player experiences will be the same".

Fallout New Vegas

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Bethesda may be lauded for being the studio who brought the Fallout series kicking and screaming into the modern era, converting it from an isometric CRPG to a first-person one, but the best of the modern Fallout games is widely considered to be New Vegas, which was made by Pillars Of Eternity developers Obsidian Entertainment. A spin-off that landed just two years after Fallout 3, the Mojave Wasteland may not be quite as vast as the Capital Wasteland, but it is far richer in points of interest and the depth of content within each.

You are The Courier, a postal worker who's left for dead after the package they were carrying gets stolen. But what starts as a revenge quest to try and recover that package quickly turns into so much more, as you become embroiled in a war between the various factions you'll encounter throughout the Mojave. New Vegas takes Obsidian's talent for crafting rich and densely-plotted stories and combines it with Bethesda's foundation to make a phenomenal RPG that we said has a "totally compelling, huge and sprawling world in an immersive, obsessive experience" in our Fallout New Vegas review.

The 20 best RPGs to play right now (2024)

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