If any of you follow my work, you know that I’m a huge RPG fan. While many see the genre as lengthy and complicated, others such as myself live for these enormous story-driven games. The ability to immerse yourself into a character and take part in magical and whimsical worlds just entices me. I’ve loved RPGs for as long as I’ve been playing video games. There are so many classics that I nostalgically remember playing as a child. Of course, while the past offers plenty of hits, I want to focus on the here and now. In recent years, RPGs have seen a bit of a revival. Yes, some have been mediocre at best, but the majority have proven to encapsulate the qualities that make an RPG what it is. Today, I want to discuss five relatively new and recent RPGs that I personally feel exemplify what makes a good RPG for fans like myself. So, without further ado, here are five modern games for the RPG fan.
1. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 mixes turn-based and action elements to create a unique combat system that provides both flashy combos and strategic thought. This gives players the ability to experience exciting and deep battles against enemies. The combat, however, only touches the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the greatness of this game. The customization capabilities of both drivers and blades goes to a satisfying level while the story creates a grand tale with well-written characters to follow. While the plot may be corny at times, it still manages to tug on the heart strings of anybody who plays it.
2. Octopath Traveler
Do you enjoy the classic, pixel look of old-school RPGs, but want something new and high quality? Well, Octopath Traveler is your game. Inspired by games such as the Final Fantasy series and Chrono Trigger, this game brings the traditional aspects of past RPGs into the current era. Here, you follow the stories of 8 different characters as they traverse the land of Osterra and seek to accomplish various goals. Each character plays as a different character class, meaning they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. This game takes the classic turn-based style of gameplay and enhances it with the graphic capabilities of the 21st century. While yes, the stories of all the characters don’t exactly weave well together, that doesn’t change how much of a call to form this game was.
3. Pokémon Sun & Moon/Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon
To say that Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! polarized the fanbase would be an understatement. This game took the franchise into a stream-lined direction that many felt made the games too easy. While the games themselves still do great things to introduce newcomers to the world of Pokémon, I don’t feel that they truly represent what a great RPG these games are. For that, I would turn to Pokémon Sun and Moon/Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. I see these games as the shining example of a friendly platform that gives players a taste of the RPG world. With the turn-based battles, team/character customization, and better focus on story elements, the seventh generation of Pokémon acts as the perfect bridge for no-RPG players.
4. Monster Hunter: World
Monster Hunter: World probably provides the most customization that I have seen in a long time. Everything from your weapon-class to the size of your nose can be customized. With so many options, it’s no wonder this game is revered for its RPG elements. World also excels in another RPG aspect: combat. With the combination of stealth and action, hunting monsters has never felt so invigorating! Your play-style can be tailored to your preferences thanks to the vast variety of weapons and armor. Plus, you have a cat sidekick called a Palico… who wouldn’t love that? Monster Hunter: World acts as one of the more hardcore RPGs I have played, and I appreciate what it does.
5. Kingdom Hearts III
The Kingdom Hearts series may have one of the most confusing plot lines in gaming history, but that doesn’t take away from the classic RPG elements that are skillfully implemented. Kingdom Hearts III probably does the best of this. This action RPG has a stellar combat system, which is always crucial in an RPG. With mechanics and weapons that make you feel like a massive god, it’s hard not to have fun destroying enemies. The game also provides such endearing and enjoyable characters that make you love every moment of growth and development they go through. On top of that, the large open worlds and epic boss battles provide an excellent recipe for one of the best modern RPGs currently available.
What modern RPGs would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below! For more gaming content, check out our articles on Four Criteria For a Great Story (A Look Into God of War) and The State of Gaming 2019. Otherwise, keep it on Culture of Gaming for all things Gaming!