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It is exhaustingly hard to make a list of the best RPGs of all time, as there are so many fantastic titles to choose from. We’ve chosen to set aside the huge franchises that everyone knows and loves here; franchises that count among them the Final Fantasy phenomenon, World of Warcraft, Pokemon, The Elder Scrolls, Mass Effect, Fallout, The Legend of Zelda and many more. We know you already know these titles are good so we’ve picked our three favourite, often overlooked RPGs.
1. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
Any fan of Star Wars will love the attention to detail and the intricacies of the Star Wars universe in this game. With a combat probability system and an extensive inventory of items to play with, this acts as a classic RPG without being too complicated. For this reason it’s great for the rookie RPG player, but also has something for the more experienced player with its fantastic storyline, character development and potential for strategic play.
In true Star Wars style you can mess around in an open world setting, swinging double lightsabers and choking people with the force of the dark side – enough to make any fanboy squeal. We love how your decisions throughout the game affect your leaning towards the Dark or the Light side of the Force.
2. Baldur’s Gate II: Shadow of Amn
A game that takes a Dungeons & Dragons-esque approach, Baldur’s Gate II in the same way is a game filled to the brim with quests and content, boasting double the spells to play with and double the monsters to defeat. Hours and hours will fly by as you save this village and find that chest and generally explore this open world game.
The plot is well written with snappy dialogue and genuinely funny jokes, coming mostly from the wild and wonderful team you play with throughout the game, and with the new re-released version from 2014 you get a rebooted and quicker game with oodles of extra content on top of an already exhaustive game. Don’t get us wrong, it can get frustrating. The rules are bizarre and sometimes your death hangs in the balance of a single unlucky dice roll but as much as that’s a pain, it’s also part of what makes the game so playable.
1. Chrono Trigger
A little bit old school but a genuine classic, Chrono Trigger was first released on the SNES in 1995 and has captured our hearts ever since. A genuinely unique game, it employs time travel as a huge part of the storyline. This is one of the aspects that adds to an already fantastic narrative, intricately weaving different periods in time together. Turn-based as in Final Fantasy, the combat with a magical element makes up a big part of the game with, however never draws away from the plot. The 16-bit environment is beautifully designed and has aged very well. The characters are varied and well developed, and the interplay between them works fabulously. All in all this makes for an ageless classic that we can’t help but return to again and again.