Gone are the days when the term ‘RPG’ was confined to small groups of nerds gathered around candlelit tables in their parents’ basements. Now that computers and consoles have developed the technical capabilities to immerse players in stunning 3D fantasy worlds, the genre has become a driving force in video games as people of all ages are drawn to the thought of heroic adventures and epic battles.
Since 2000, RPGs have exploded with games like World of Warcraft, Elder Scrolls, and Fallout being among some of the most popular and best selling titles of any gaming genre. But now that RPGs have been fully integrated into mainstream gaming, there are more choices than ever for someone looking to take their first tentative steps into a spellbinding realm of novel gameplay experiences.
So to help ensure you’re not wasting hours of your precious leisure time on mediocre gameplay and unfulfilling quests, we’ve put together this list of 10 of the best RPGs from the past 15 years.
11. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
For BioWare’s first RPG foray into a realm that wasn’t high-fantasy, they couldn’t have asked for a better setting than a galaxy far, far away. While the Knights of the Old Republic still maintains many of the trademarks BioWare has become known for—branching narratives, captivating dialogue, and ambitious battle systems—they made the combat mechanics more fluent and less like a traditional tabletop RPG so the game would be more accessible to a wider audience. This was also one of first games to give players party companions with unique, well-defined personalities who would spontaneously engage you in conversations that you could respond to in various ways—an aspect BioWare would develop much further in later games.
When Knights of the Old Republic was announced, many people feared it would inevitably degrade to a pandering piece of cheesy Star Wars fan service, however, the reality turned out to be just the opposite. The story and characters were so outstanding that everyone was wishing they had used the game’s storyline as the basis for the Star Wars movie prequels.