The 25 Best RPGs To Play In 2024 (2024)

By Joey Carr on

The 25 Best RPGs To Play In 2024 (1)

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The role-playing games genre has been a staple in the video game industry from the very beginning, and the best RPGs to play are among the very best games in any genre, having had an extremely high impact on pop culture for decades.

The worlds, characters, and stories that developers create in RPGs have been turned into movie and TV franchises as well as full-on video game series. The recent Fallout TV series stands as one such example of a game franchise branching out, but you can go back to a game like Final Fantasy 7 and find numerous spin-offs both inside and outside of gaming.

The RPG genre is so large that there are multiple subgenres that some games can fall into depending on where they were created or their gameplay mechanics. You'll often see RPG elements pop up in games that otherwise largely fit into other genres; action-RPGs like the Diablo series have long been popular, while RPG-style character building have worked their way into shooters, action games, and numerous others.

While there are hundreds of RPGs that are worth your time, we're going to shoulder the difficult task of ranking the 25 best RPGs to play in 2024. As a note, this list only features one game from a given RPG franchise so that more specific titles can be included. However, that rule doesn't apply to developers, so you're going to see some entries from the same devs. This list is also in no specific order. For more, be sure to check our picks for the best games on PS5, best games on Switch, and best games on Xbox.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Release Date: May 19, 2015
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Nintendo Switch

The RPG genre was in a slight rut for a couple of years during the mid-2010s, and then CD Projekt Red released The Witcher 3. A true masterclass in every sense of the word, The Witcher 3 lives on nearly 10 years after its launch as easily one of if not the best RPG ever. The final chapter for monster-slayer Geralt of Rivia, the game takes place across a war-torn map that's filled with gorgeous and dangerous locations. The storytelling, individual quests, characters, and choices you make all have a lasting impact on anyone who decides to pick the third chapter in The Witcher saga. The Witcher 3 also has two of the best DLC expansions ever released for a game in Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine.

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Chrono Trigger

  • Developer: Square
  • Release Date: March 11, 1995
  • Platforms: SNES, Nintendo DS, PC

Chrono Trigger is a popular pick for many players' top RPG of all time, and there are no complaints about that here. Released in 1995 as the first entry in the Chrono series, the game takes you on a ride through time, visiting the past, present, and future. The story starts with a malfunction that leads to time travel but ends with a planet's fate in your character's hands. You'll visit prehistoric times, the end of time, and everything in between in this historic RPG.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

  • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
  • Release Date: November 11, 2011
  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Nintendo Switch

The Elder Scrolls franchise is arguably the best set of RPG games you can play. While this spot could have gone to Morrowind or Oblivion, the third and fourth entries in the series, respectively, we're choosing Skyrim for a couple of reasons. Not only does Skyrim have one of the best video game worlds to explore, but its cultural impact is as far-reaching as any other game on this list. When Skyrim was released, it became an instant phenomenon, as the developers pushed and exceeded the boundaries of what gamers thought an open-world RPG could be. Whether you're going into a random cave or completing a quest for one of the several in-game factions, you always have something enjoyable to do when playing Skyrim. If you play on PC, be sure to check out our picks for the best Skyrim mods, which can further improve your experience.

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Baldur's Gate 3

  • Developer: Larian Studios
  • Release Date: August 3, 2023
  • Platforms: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PC

Baldur's Gate 3 is the most recent entry on this list, but its stature in the RPG community will stand tall for years to come. The game of a generation for many RPG fans, BG3 is one of the impressive feats in the video game industry. A compelling narrative that grips you right from the start leads you to fantastic locations filled with quests, side activities, and characters to meet. Some of those characters can be recruited to your party, and all of them have distinct and enthralling quest lines to complete. The number of choices you can make in BG3 is truly mind-boggling, with each choice having the potential to alter your ending. You can also build your character in a variety of different ways, giving you total freedom to role-play whatever you want, which is truly what an RPG should be about.

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Elden Ring

  • Developer: From Software
  • Release Date: February 25, 2022
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC

Few games have as much hype as Elden Ring had and manage to completely exceed so many players' expectations. From Software's masterpiece features one of the best open worlds ever created, full of highly challenging bosses and enemies around every corner. The sense of accomplishment you get for beating Elden Ring is next to none for most players, as conquering the entirety of this world is a truly difficult feat. Elden Ring's world is also built on top of extremely deep-seated lore that you have to uncover for yourself in the most peculiar of locations. While there's not much dialogue that occurs in Elden Ring, few games make you feel as deep of a connection to your character thanks to all of the hardships you go through with them in the Lands Between. If you jump, be sure to check out our many Elden Ring guides to help you make the most of the experience.

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Disco Elysium

  • Developer: ZA/UM
  • Release Date: October 15, 2019
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PC

If you're feeling burned out on combat in RPGs, then Disco Elysium needs to be the next game you play. Featuring a revolutionary dialogue system, Disco Elysium is a 25+ hour epic that takes you on the thriller of a lifetime. You play as a detective with some special skills you can use to your advantage when solving murders and other crimes. However, as with any good RPG, you can make a flurry of choices throughout the story that affect how the plot plays out in the end. The voice acting in Disco Elysium is some of the best you'll come across, and you'll be gob-smacked at how in-depth the dialogue system can be.

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Fallout: New Vegas

  • Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
  • Release Date: October 19, 2010
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Fallout is one of the most recognizable RPG franchises in existence. Sporting several games in the series and plenty of lore to go around, it's tough to pick the best overall game from Fallout. However, as many fans of the franchise will likely say, nothing truly beats Fallout: New Vegas when it comes to RPGs. New Vegas pulls you in right from the get-go, as you're shot in the head by a mysterious man with the lights of the Vegas Strip in the background. When you awake, you're set off on a gripping tale with twists and turns around every corner. Your choices play a vital role in how the game ends and you're able to pick a distinct side when everything is said and done, something other Fallout games struggle with.

You can see where we ranked the best Fallout games in a previous list.

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Final Fantasy VI

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Release Date: April 2, 1994
  • Platforms: SNES, PC

This will likely be the most divisive entry on this list, as Final Fantasy is a franchise that transcends the RPG genre. It popularized the entire JRPG subgenre in the Western hemisphere, but not until some of the later games in the series were released. While Western players truly started to get into Final Fantasy with the seventh game in 1997, VI is generally considered to be the Final Fantasy franchise's best game. The story-telling in VI was revolutionary for the time period and the narrative still holds up today. With unforgettable characters and a unique world to explore in the mix, it's hard to argue against Final Fantasy VI on this list.

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World of Warcraft

  • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
  • Release Date: November 23, 2004
  • Platforms: PC

While you might not think of World of Warcraft when going over the best RPGs ever, it has every right to be included on this list. Arguably the best MMORPG of all time, World of Warcraft is one of the famous video game franchises of the 21st century. It still pulls in millions of players every year and has delivered steady content updates every year of its existence. World of Warcraft might not allow you to make as many story choices as other RPGs, but building your character and interacting with other players is extremely fulfilling no matter how many hours you have in Azeroth. New content continues to regularly roll out, with ambitious plans for the next three expansions, The Worldsoul Saga, being revealed at BlizzCon 2023.

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Divinity: Original Sin II

  • Developer: Larian Studios
  • Release Date: September 14, 2017
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is another RPG from Larian Studios, but this one came six years before Baldur's Gate 3. That fact makes it all the more impressive what Larian was able to do, as it designed yet another massive world full of unique characters and locations. While the characters in Divinity: Original Sin 2 aren't as memorable as ones in other RPGs, the world is absolutely unforgettable. From the start of the game, you're thrown into a conflict between magic users and those who wish to restrict all forms of magic. The plot in Original Sin 2 plays out beautifully, with your choices being the most impactful aspect of how the story ends.

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Pokemon Legends Arceus

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release Date: January 28, 2022
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch

This entry carries a few caveats with it. There are definitely better overall Pokemon games than Legends Arceus, including Platinum, Emerald Heart Gold/Soul Silver, Black 2 and White 2, etc. However, from an RPG standpoint, Legends Arceus allows you to truly step into the footsteps of the main character. The open world design mixed with classic Pokemon elements gives you as the player an unprecedented amount of freedom for a Pokemon title. The catching process in particular stands out, as there's much more depth to capturing a Pokemon and using your existing team to whittle down a foe's HP. Though Legends Arceus does have some standing issues, the game is perfect for those looking to fully dive into the RPG aspects of Pokemon.

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Diablo II

  • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
  • Release Date: June 28, 2000
  • Platforms: PC, NIntendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S

Diablo 2 is the famous series at its finest, and it makes for an incredible RPG that still gets talked about to this day. It's tough to play the original since it was released back in 2000, but if you can manage to get past all of its quirks, you're in for a truly memorable experience. Even if you don't want to play a now-ancient game, there's also Diablo II: Resurrected, which is a modern remaster of the classic title. Diablo 2 features an intriguing story, plenty of ways to build your character, and an experience unlike anything else on this list.

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Kingdom Come Deliverance

  • Developer: Warhorse Studios
  • Release Date: February 13, 2018
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Few RPGs feature as much attention to detail as Kingdom Come Deliverance. Set in medieval times, your character isn't some all-powerful god or the chosen one. Instead, you're simply a soldier looking to make your mark on the battlefield and avenge the death of your parents. The game features historically accurate locations and other content as well as a truly unbelievable level of detail throughout the world. The story is also not one you'll forget anytime after watching the end credits roll.

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Planescape: Torment

  • Developer: Black Isle Studios
  • Release Date: December 10, 1999
  • Platforms: Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC

Planescape: Torment isn't too popular of a game outside the RPG community, but it's arguably the best RPG ever made from a strict role-playing perspective. Released in 1999 and modernized in the 2010s, the game is set against the backdrop of a Dungeons & Dragons campaign in a multiverse. You can travel to and from different universes as The Nameless One, which is the name for your character. The Nameless One forgets everything they've learned if they die, and the bulk of Planescape: Torment is about retrieving these lost memories throughout the city of Sigil. The story takes a front seat in this RPG, with combat being less emphasized. Some combat is still present, though, so you get the best of both worlds in this fantasy epic.

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  • Developer: From Software
  • Release Date: March 24, 2015
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4

From Software is back, and this time we're choosing Bloodborne over any of the Dark Souls games. Bloodborne is From Software at its finest when it comes to game design; the bosses in the world are extremely challenging, but all can be overcome, and the world flows together masterfully. It's also worth mentioning the Victorian-era setting of Bloodborne is a true marvel from an artwork perspective. Like with any From Software game, you may to think Bloodborne is the worst, most unfair game ever created at some point during your playthrough, but all the trouble is worth it once you reach the end credits.

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Persona 5

  • Developer: Atlus
  • Release Date: October 31, 2019
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PC

The Persona franchise is widely recognized as one of the best the RPG genre has to offer, and the fifth installment is where the series has shined brightest. If we want to get more specific, Persona 5 Royal is the best version of the game as a whole, but Persona 5 itself won plenty of awards in 2019. You play as a high school student who receives their special Persona powers overnight. These powers allow you to transform into a Phantom Thief, patrolling the streets for corrupted adults to change them into good-hearted people. Persona 5 is distinct in that you still have to attend school and classes during the day, which adds a fresh social sim/RPG element to your experience.

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Dragon Age: Origins

  • Developer: BioWare
  • Release Date: November 2, 2009
  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Times were simpler when Dragon Age games were first being released, and there's no better game in the franchise than Origins. The first title in the series, Origins is a deep and action-packed RPG that sees your character battle magical creatures from the past and your fellow countrymen in a civil war. There are choices to be made at every turn that test your morality and the combat is easy to understand, but incredibly hard to master. While the visuals and controls are a bit dated, you'll be so enthralled with the world in Dragon Age: Origins you likely won't even notice after the first hour.

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Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

  • Developer: Troika Games
  • Release Date: November 16, 2004
  • Platforms: PC

It's not often that a developer can pull off a vampire game or form of entertainment well, but Troika Games truly delivered a masterpiece back in 2004. Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines allows you to fully feel like a vampire, sucking blood from anyone you can find. However, along this basic journey, you're forced to make moral choices that shape your character and the story as a whole. There are warring factions, tons of lore, and unique characters that make your first playthrough extremely memorable.

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Mass Effect 2

  • Developer: BioWare
  • Release Date: January 26, 2010
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One

The Mass Effect series features one of the best overall stories an RPG franchise has ever told. While the ending, or endings, to Mass Effect 3 soiled the series for some players, there's no denying how much of an impact it had on future RPGs. As for the best title in the series, we're going with Mass Effect 2, which was a step up from the first game in most ways. The world is more expansive, the characters are fleshed out, and the gameplay keeps you hooked for the entire game. Your choices in Mass Effect 2 also set up the story in the third game if you import your save, which is a neat feature that's not seen often in games even today. 2021's Legendary Edition bundles together and remasters all three games from the original trilogy.

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Deus Ex

  • Developer: Ion Storm
  • Release Date: June 23, 2000
  • Platforms: PlayStation 2, PC

Few RPG franchises have had as much of an impact on the rest of the genre as Deus Ex. More specifically, the first game in the franchise was a spectacle, featuring advanced graphics, gameplay mechanics, and role-playing elements. Taking place from a first-person perspective, Deus Ex wasn't like anything else you could play at the time of its release. Set in a futuristic, cyberpunk-themed world, the RPG takes players on a wild ride from start to finish. While it's certainly dated by today's standards, it's still one of the better RPGs you can play.

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  • Developer: Toby Fox
  • Release Date: September 15, 2015
  • Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC

Other RPGs on this list are impressive for a variety of reasons, whether it be graphics, gameplay, story, RPG elements, or whatever else. With Undertale, the story is entirely different. The game was created and published by an indie developer named Toby Fox. While Fox might not have known it at the time, they made one of the best RPGs of all time. Few games have received more glowing reviews than Undertale, which sits at a 10/10 rating on Steam with over 100,000 reviews. The game looks incredibly simple at first glance, and it is, in many ways, as you play a child who has fallen into an underground world. However, the adventure you go on will stick with you for a lifetime.

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Yakuza 0

  • Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
  • Release Date: March 12, 2015
  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

It was challenging to pick the best game from the Yakuza franchise, as there are several to choose from. However, in the end, we ended up on Yakuza 0, which narrowly beat out Yazuka 5. Yakuza 0 is the sixth entry in the franchise, but it's a prequel to the first game. Just like all other Yakuza games, Zero is set in an action-packed world full of crime, enemies to defeat, and weird humor that takes some getting used to. The combat, in particular, is where Yakuza 0 shines, as there are a variety of ways to take out an opponent. You'll also find yourself in the middle of a fantastic story that sets up the rest of the series.

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Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release Date: March 9, 1996
  • Platforms: SNES, Nintendo Switch

There's no way we could leave Mario off this list. RPGs might not be what the Mario franchise is known for, but several games in it allow you to effectively role-play as a character. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars is our pick for the best RPG in the franchise, as it features outstanding gameplay and a great story set against unique locations. This was also the first RPG in Mario, so Nintendo certainly started well. In Legend of the Seven Stars, Mario and Bowser, Princess Toadstool, and others are trying to retrieve the seven pieces of Star Road, which have been scattered across the world by the Smithy Gang. There are plenty of side activities and locations to visit to keep you busy in between completing main quests. A remastered version is now available on Nintendo Switch.

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Stardew Valley

  • Developer: Eric Barone
  • Release Date: February 26, 2016
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

While it might not seem like a traditional RPG, Stardew Valley is considered a role-playing game by its community and the original developer, Eric Barone. You inherit your grandfather's farm and have to tend to it in the best way you can. This involves heading into various towns to meet and talk to new people as well as exploring mysterious and dangerous locations across a large map. Stardew Valley is certainly a farming simulator, but the RPG elements are prevalent enough that it warrants a spot on our list. It's one of the best-reviewed Steam games of all time and still beloved by millions in 2024.

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Fable 2

  • Developer: Lionhead Studios
  • Release Date: October 21, 2008
  • Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One

Fable 2 is part of a now-forgotten RPG franchise (albeit one with a new game, Fable, on the way) that was truly ahead of its time back in the early 2000s. Fable 2 allows you to become a mage, sword and shield user, or gun wielder and unlock powerful abilities throughout the game. You also get to bring along a dog as a companion as you traverse all sorts of unique locations. Fable 2 doesn't offer an open world, but all of its levels are open enough to allow for exploration.

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