What’s the best RPG of all time?

There have been some fantastic RPGs over the years, from Pillars of Eternity to The Witcher 3. That’s for sure. There’s something quite special about the RPG genre. For me, the genre itself is almost enough to tempt me into buying a game.

Slap a detailed story, with character development (and maybe some customisation) and I’ll be like a kid at Christmas. Still, the label itself isn’t enough to make a great game. But there have definitely been some great RPGs, on a multitude of platforms. Though, could you solidly put your finger on ‘the best’. The number one RPG. That one RPG that rules the roost? I don’t think you can.

Sure. You could tell me that Knights of the Old Republic is the greatest RPG ever made. I might not even argue. I mean, it’s an RPG based in the Star Wars universe… that’s pretty much my version of a wet dream right there. But others might suggest that Skyrim is the best RPG available. I’d come back by stating that, in my opinion, Oblivion was better. And I’m sure someone would pipe up that they preferred Morrowind.

My argument is that ‘the best’ is always going to be subjective. Even if I made a list of the top 100 RPGs, someone would say “but what about Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic?!”. Sure, there will be a certain number of RPGs which would make that top 100. A Mass Effect title would be within the top 20, probably. I’d even throw Divinity in there. And, to the horror of many, I’d most likely put Alpha Protocol on that list, too. But the real argument would be the order.

I can see the comments now. “How could you put Dragon’s Dogma as number 13 and Final Fantasy V as number 12?! ARE YOU STUPID? They should clearly be switched around”. Though the comment would probably have a good few spelling mistakes… and somehow allude to me being a Sony / Xbox fanboy. Some might include Dark Souls on the list, and others would complain that Dark Souls isn’t an RPG (though I think it qualifies). Then I’d add in games like Baldur’s Gate and people would say it was too old… or that I was being retro for the sake of it.

Out of all the RPGs I’ve played. If I had to pick one. Assuming someone had a gun to my head, or the likes. I’d probably say Oblivion. I’ve played some fantastic RPGs over the years, but none have replicated the feelings I got (and still get) when I played / play Oblivion. But I’m relatively sure that Oblivion wouldn’t be the best RPG in your opinion. So let me know in the comments below!

  • kangms872

    WTF

  • kangms872

    WTF

  • Limit Break

    What do you mean by “Best RPG” ?
    We have been through this YEARS ago.
    It’s the first Deus Ex, duh 🙂

  • Limit Break

    What do you mean by “Best RPG” ?
    We have been through this YEARS ago.
    It’s the first Deus Ex, duh 🙂

  • Pratyush Raj

    Witcher 3 if I had to choose one. It gave me the same feelings you got through oblivion, so yeah the whole thing of best is subjective. I wouldn’t say that there couldn’t be a better game than Witcher 3, it’s just that the game connected on every emotional level with me. So yeah, Witcher 3 it is.

    • Raizu Grant

      witcher 3 and skyrim for me

    • I did love Witcher 3. It took me a while to get into it at first, but once I stuck out the first hour or so I was so glad that I did.

      • Pratyush Raj

        Yup it has a bit of a slow start. But everything after the first few hours is just epic. And counting the DLCs, we have one of the best overall stories ever

  • Pratyush Raj

    Witcher 3 if I had to choose one. It gave me the same feelings you got through oblivion, so yeah the whole thing of best is subjective. I wouldn’t say that there couldn’t be a better game than Witcher 3, it’s just that the game connected on every emotional level with me. So yeah, Witcher 3 it is.

    • Raizu Grant

      witcher 3 and skyrim for me

    • I did love Witcher 3. It took me a while to get into it at first, but once I stuck out the first hour or so I was so glad that I did.

      • Pratyush Raj

        Yup it has a bit of a slow start. But everything after the first few hours is just epic. And counting the DLCs, we have one of the best overall stories ever

  • ModerndayAppleseed

    Deus Ex First one was the best at the time and influences all other games.

  • ModerndayAppleseed

    Deus Ex First one was the best at the time and influences all other games.

  • Collin

    There are simply too many RPG’s with distinct themes and mechanics, and too many subcategories of the genre (action RPG’s, strategy RPG’s, etc.), to select a singular, definitive favorite. That said, my choice would go to Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Persona 3, Dark Souls, Xenogears, Valkyrie Profile, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Tales of Vesperia, Suikoden 2, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, Dark Cloud 2, Ni no Kuni… ah, nevermind. I give up!

    • I constantly change my mind on my ‘favorite’. When I wrote the article I was backing Oblivion, but occasionally Dragon’s Dogma and Dark Souls top the list… being an RPG fan is hard. At least with sports games you just have to choose between EA or 2K.

  • Collin

    There are simply too many RPG’s with distinct themes and mechanics, and too many subcategories of the genre (action RPG’s, strategy RPG’s, etc.), to select a singular, definitive favorite. That said, my choice would go to Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Persona 3, Dark Souls, Xenogears, Valkyrie Profile, Muramasa: The Demon Blade, Tales of Vesperia, Suikoden 2, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, Dark Cloud 2, Ni no Kuni… ah, nevermind. I give up!

    • I constantly change my mind on my ‘favorite’. When I wrote the article I was backing Oblivion, but occasionally Dragon’s Dogma and Dark Souls top the list… being an RPG fan is hard. At least with sports games you just have to choose between EA or 2K.

  • Rob Kershaw

    Planescape Torment. I’ve not played anything that has come close. Hopefully Tides of Numenara will reach for those heights.

  • Rob Kershaw

    Planescape Torment. I’ve not played anything that has come close. Hopefully Tides of Numenara will reach for those heights.

  • Celso F

    JRPG: Phantasy Star 4
    SRPG: Shining Force 3
    WRPG: Skyrim

  • Celso F

    JRPG: Phantasy Star 4
    SRPG: Shining Force 3
    WRPG: Skyrim

  • GoproGecko

    I’ve played them all, since Zork, FF to Suikoden through today. Witcher 3 hands down, Fallout 3 a close second.

    • I think Fallout 3 edges it for me against Witcher 3, which is saying something because I’m a much bigger fan of the ‘medieval / mystical’ setting.

  • GoproGecko

    I’ve played them all, since Zork, FF to Suikoden through today. Witcher 3 hands down, Fallout 3 a close second.

    • I think Fallout 3 edges it for me against Witcher 3, which is saying something because I’m a much bigger fan of the ‘medieval / mystical’ setting.

  • Kristofer Bengtsson

    The obvious (and correct) answer is of course Baldur’s Gate 2

    • Definitely a good choice, be difficult to argue otherwise!

  • Kristofer Bengtsson

    The obvious (and correct) answer is of course Baldur’s Gate 2

    • Definitely a good choice, be difficult to argue otherwise!

  • Michael Scoates

    World of Warcraft was so good millions of gamers actually paid to play it. But if I were in that gun-to-head scenario and had to pick one, I’d simply answer that I love all my RPGs and be content that I’d been as honest as possible.

    • Go down with the ship, like any good captain.

  • Michael Scoates

    World of Warcraft was so good millions of gamers actually paid to play it. But if I were in that gun-to-head scenario and had to pick one, I’d simply answer that I love all my RPGs and be content that I’d been as honest as possible.

    • Go down with the ship, like any good captain.

  • Paul Scott Thomas

    Skyrim, just nothing came close to the scale for me and fun combat/gameplay loop.

    Deus EX and Fallout 4 close runners up (controversial I know, but love fallout 4 over others in the series)

    • Skyrim is a true classic, so stoked for the remaster coming in October. Can’t wait to dive back in with improved graphics (and more achievements!).

      I still think that Fallout 3 was my favorite… but I think that I preferred the story of Fallout 4. I think it’s similar to Oblivion vs Skyrim for me. Whilst I know that Fallout 4 was probably the better game, 3 was my first experience of the Fallout universe, and that’s always quite special.

  • Paul Scott Thomas

    Skyrim, just nothing came close to the scale for me and fun combat/gameplay loop.

    Deus EX and Fallout 4 close runners up (controversial I know, but love fallout 4 over others in the series)

    • Skyrim is a true classic, so stoked for the remaster coming in October. Can’t wait to dive back in with improved graphics (and more achievements!).

      I still think that Fallout 3 was my favorite… but I think that I preferred the story of Fallout 4. I think it’s similar to Oblivion vs Skyrim for me. Whilst I know that Fallout 4 was probably the better game, 3 was my first experience of the Fallout universe, and that’s always quite special.

  • HeWhoIs

    In the last 4 years Xenoblade Chronicles has captured me the most

  • HeWhoIs

    In the last 4 years Xenoblade Chronicles has captured me the most

  • Edonus

    No particular order…..

    Lost Odyssey
    FFVII
    Star Wars KOTOR
    Panzer Dragoon Saga

    • KOTOR is definitely in my top 3 RPGs. Keep hearing all of these rumors about a remaster – keeping everything crossed that they’re true (pretty sure they are, right?)

  • Edonus

    No particular order…..

    Lost Odyssey
    FFVII
    Star Wars KOTOR
    Panzer Dragoon Saga

    • KOTOR is definitely in my top 3 RPGs. Keep hearing all of these rumors about a remaster – keeping everything crossed that they’re true (pretty sure they are, right?)

  • Simon

    There’s just too many to mention and for that reason, you could argue that RPG is the best genre! What other genre has such a range of different themes, gameplay design and gameplay mechanics all falling under the same umbrella?

    Why is there no mention for Secret of Mana? SUCH a great game! Right up there with FF VII, Skyrim, Witcher 3 and KOTOR for me

    • RPG is most definitely the best genre – they deliver completely unrivaled playing experiences.

      Never played Secret of Mana, any comparisons?

  • Simon

    There’s just too many to mention and for that reason, you could argue that RPG is the best genre! What other genre has such a range of different themes, gameplay design and gameplay mechanics all falling under the same umbrella?

    Why is there no mention for Secret of Mana? SUCH a great game! Right up there with FF VII, Skyrim, Witcher 3 and KOTOR for me

    • RPG is most definitely the best genre – they deliver completely unrivaled playing experiences.

      Never played Secret of Mana, any comparisons?

  • Hans Siedorski

    Planescape.

  • Hans Siedorski

    Planescape.