An estimated 244 million people play video games in the US today. A favorite genre of gamers is a role-playing game (RPG) offering players relief from the stresses of everyday life by stepping into a world where they can choose their own superpowers and become the best. Hence, a game that is consistently interesting throughout with a mind-blowing plot and story as well as exciting adventures hook gamers for a long time.  Here are some classic RPGs that you should experience at least once in your lifetime.

Science Fiction and Traditional Fantasy

Wizardry is an RPG franchise that was first released in 1981 with the final game launched 20 years later. Full of robust characters, you can choose from among 11 different races such as mooks, hobbits, elves, and humans. The main attraction of this classic RPG is that it mixes sci-fi with fantasy so you can have guns and aliens as well as swords and spells at the same time. RPG fans will not also forget Chrono Trigger which many consider as the greatest game of all time. It was first released in 1995 and was created by a ‘dream team’ that included manga artist Akira Toriyama and Yuji Horii of Dragon Quest Fame. The amazing soundtrack was the work of Yasunori Mitsuda, a young composer who has since become a legend. Lose yourself in a once in a lifetime adventure as you navigate different settings such as the prehistoric age or the post-apocalyptic future. Travel through time to regroup, find allies, collect equipment, and gather intelligence to help the quest of preventing a global catastrophe. Chrono Trigger does not only have a brilliant plot, its 6 characters are courageous, determined, and memorable. In addition, the game has 12 different endings which will keep you on your toes throughout the gameplay.

For those who prefer a newer RPG release with the same elements of sci-fi and fantasy, try Fire Emblem which first came out in 1990.  Although the first 5 games of the anthology were never released outside of Japan, they gained recognition because of two characters, Marth and Roy, available to play in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Fire Emblem is best known as the first ‘tactical role-playing’ series in gaming history.  Each character has a unique personality so you can learn more about them and their interests. In other words, you can develop relationships with the characters in the game. Another interesting aspect of the game is that you cannot replace your members if they die in combat so you will feel their demise or absence. In total, there are 19 games in the series if you want to conquer them all.

Modern Superheroes and Settings

A lot of RPGs revolve around adventurers and futurists in a fantasy land. One game that is depicted in modern settings is Freedom Force. Featuring superheroes in a contemporary world, this lively game allows each hero to interact with the urban environment. Defend Patriot City from villains, monsters, and other threats. Hurl cars, uproot light posts, or drop a building on your enemies. It’s even possible to pause the game whenever you want to give instructions to your warriors. 

Another game worth mentioning is Persona 5 developed by Atlus and released in 2017. It depicts the story of a high school student in modern day Japan who was forced to move to another school because of a wrongful accusation. What sets it apart from other RPGs is the introduction of the ‘social links’ system permitting the player to go through different personas while doing regular activities in a normal word.

Action and Strategy Games

Action RPGs such as Diablo II emphasize the battle or combat rather than the narrative. A dark fantasy action game, your role is to fight Diablo, the Lord of Terror. In the original Diablo, the game ended when the warrior contained Diablo in his own body. However, Diablo corrupts the soldier’s soul in Diablo II. Known as the Dark Wanderer, he unleashed the demons on a tavern. Marius is the only survivor, chasing the Dark Wanderer. As the hero, you fight monsters in real time to level your character and get items that you can use in the battle.
In strategy RPGs, combat takes place on a map and character units are positioned strategically to fight the enemies. What is critical in this type of RPG is to develop the characters and party because stronger and higher-level opponents can overpower weak groups. The Final Fantasy franchises are quite popular in this sub-category of RPG. The plot focuses on a group of characters with different backgrounds. They get together to save the earth and fight a major antagonist whose aim is to destroy the world. Real-world mythologies, cultures, and religions are the sources of inspiration for the spells, names, and designs in the game.

RPGs have grown and evolved over the years offering rich stories, engaging gameplays, unbelievable fantasies, and astonishing versions of the real world. Wizardry, Freedom Force, Chrono Trigger, Diablo II, and Persona 5 are classic games that you should try to see how fun and challenging they can become.