The roleplaying genre is comprised of some of the best games ever made. Obviously, that is exactly why most recent games have borrowed some kind of component or mechanic from RPG titles. The Call of Duty series, for instance, took inspiration from RPGs by using unique ranking and extensive customization features.
The best part about any roleplaying game is that you can immerse yourself in a fantasy world, and easily customize your avatar to suit your tastes (unless, of course, the game has no customization options). You can also slay countless hordes of enemies with badass weapons and skills, which would never occur in real life. You can even outfit your avatar with beautiful armor, thus truly allowing you to make the character your own creation.
Nevertheless, if you are an avid RPG fan you know all this already which means we’ve just recapped information you didn’t want to hear again. Don’t worry we’re done droning on about how wondrous RPGs are, and what amazingness they have to offer. Now we’re on to the important stuff!
The Best RPG Titles of 2012
It might be a little early to crown the best RPGs of the year, after all we still have a few months left in 2012. However, we can list some of the better titles that have released so far.
If you’re looking to play some fresh RPG titles, or revisit some of the better titles of 2012, then keep reading! We’ve got them all laid out for you.
Dragon’s Dogma is an action RPG game set in a gargantuan open world.
What makes Dragon’s Dogma unique is that it is outfitted with an unprecedented combat system. Many of the enemies you face in Dogma are enormous, and force you to climb their body (shadow of the colossus style) to find a weak spot you can attack.
In Dragon’s Dogma, you control a party of three heroes, comprised of your own distinctive character and two allies called “pawns.” The tactics used to manage your party in Dogma, are reminiscent of an MMO.
The story in Dragon’s Dogma is sub-par and rather cliché, but it does pick up over time and will actually surprise you towards the end of the game.
All in all, Dragon’s Dogma offers a fresh, and remarkably unique experience that long time RPG fans will want to try at least once.
Dark Souls is a highly unforgiving, mature themed action RPG. The leveling system is unique and involves collecting souls from defeated foes. The souls are used to customize and level up your character as you progress through the game.
The game difficulty in Dark Souls is significantly higher than other RPGs on the market which makes it ideal for long time genre enthusiasts and hardcore gamers.
In Dark Souls, you can progress however you wish as there are no linear limitations. If you stray too far from the correct path, the difficulty is just amped up much higher. There is nothing stopping you from progressing through the game in your own order though.
Dark Souls features a character customization system, weapon and armor crafting, and of course tons of different play styles to provide ample replayability options.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
If you don’t know about Skyrim by now, then you must be living under a rock. Regardless, Skyrim is Bethesda’s follow up to the successful, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Set 400 years after the previous title in the series, Elder Scrolls V takes place in the northern province of Skyrim. You play as a Dragonborn, working to rid the country of evil dragons that have awoken to take the mortal world by force.
Skyrim features an incredibly large, open world to explore with an endless supply of quests and missions to complete. On top of the extensive content options, you can also thoroughly customize and equip your character as you wish.
Skyrim for PC also supports community mods, which profoundly enhance the gaming experience. Be sure to check out our article on the best mods for Skyrim.
The Best RPG Titles of 2012 (Thus Far)
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is practically a lavish and hulking apology to fans, for the debacle that was the original Final Fantasy XIII. Square Enix omitted too many tried and true mechanics and features in the first XIII title, which were highly desired by long time series fans.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 includes a much better storyline, and plenty of customization options including a Pokemon-like creature collection system. XIII-2 also features a revamped combat system that works to improve the action, turn-based combat from XIII.
While XIII-2 doesn’t exactly have an open world to explore, it does allow you to progress through the game at your own pace on a semi linear path. You can choose which levels to play, and can also revisit them to complete certain objectives and collect various items.
XIII-2 undeniably offers an unparalleled experience for anyone willing to give it a try and won’t disappoint.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Kingdoms of Amalur is best described as “what the Fable series should have been”. With a massive open world to explore and secondary DLC content available, there is plenty to do in Amalur.
KOA is an action RPG with free-flow combat similar to the Fable series in that you can switch between ranged, melee and magic based combat on the fly. As one would expect with free-flow combat, you can also take advantage of a combo meter that keeps track of your successful hits as you gracefully eliminate your foes.
Kingdoms of Amalur also offers distinct character customization options, a crafting system, and plenty of resources to collect. The character upgrade system makes use of fate cards, which give different bonuses based on player class.
Definitely give KOA a try if you haven’t already.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
The Witcher 2 is hands down, one of the best titles on this list. Although, the game is surprisingly mature themed and includes both violent gore and nudity (but honestly, who doesn’t like a little tasteful nudity in their games).
Witcher 2 is an action RPG that strays pretty far from the first title by offering up an entirely revised combat system. Combat in the Witcher 2 is designed to be rhythmic and continuous, you want to strike at just the right time in order to boost your combos.
There are no character creation options available, but you can craft weapons, armor, and there are the obvious alchemical potions to mix.
The best part about the Witcher 2 is the story, which is incredibly polished and deep, especially in the new enhanced edition that includes additional content.
If you play no other games on this list, make sure you at least give the Witcher 2 a try.
Stop Reading & Start Leveling
What are you still doing here? We gave you an impressive list of titles, and you’re still reading? Shame on you!
Get out there and start leveling your characters so you can take advantage of that high-requirement gear. Most of the games on this list are available for consoles and PC (with exception to a couple), but there are clearly titles here for everyone!
If you’d rather play some awesome free to play MMOs, you can browse the relevant Tech Labs article.
If, for some odd reason, you don’t have access to a PC or console we also have a sizeable list of Android based RPGs for you, all available through Google Play!