It's an Incredible Time for RPGs—Don't Miss These 11 Recent Games

It’s nice to feel seen—to know that someone out there knows you and is making things just for you, specifically. That’s where fans of role-playing games have been since last August: We’ve been spoiled for RPGs.

Importantly, though, it’s not just one kind of RPG. We have Western and Japanese-style RPGs. We have action and turn-based ones; first and third-person perspectives; modern and medieval. If you’ve ever loved a role-playing game, there’s probably something for you.

Here’s a look at the best role-playing games from the past several months, along with an upcoming pick that we’re excited about. There’s surely something in here that you haven’t played… unless playing RPGs is your full-time job. (In which case, is your team hiring?)

Baldur’s Gate 3

Release Date: August 3, 2023

Here’s one for fans of Dungeons & Dragons, medieval RPGs, and Larian Studios. This incredible year of RPGs kicked off with Baldur’s Gate 3. After a few years in early access, Baldur’s Gate 3 was released officially last summer and outperformed everyone’s expectations, including big publishers and individual fans alike.

Developer Larian Studios managed to pack what feels like a comprehensive version of D&D 5th Edition into a game, alongside characters that are already set to be long-time fan favorites and tons of satisfying decisions to make. Larian honed its craft with the excellent Divinity: Original Sin 1 & 2, and then dropped this monster on us to show everyone who the king of RPGs is right now. It’s a true masterpiece.


Release Date: September 6, 2023

Starfield is for fans of Bethesda RPGs like Fallout and Skyrim, and for fans of more grounded science fiction. It’s the first game released by Bethesda Game Studios since Fallout 4 in 2014—almost a full decade between games. This is also its first original game in decades. But it has much of what you’d expect from Bethesda games, for better or worse.

The game was somewhat divisive upon release, but it offers a solid story, tons of exploration and weird quests, and extensive ship-building and crafting. Like Cyberpunk 2077’s original release, Starfield struggled to meet years and years of hype from fans, but there’s a fun RPG in here with dozens of hours of fun.

Our recommendation: play the main quest first, alongside a couple of other major questlines, and then dive into New Game Plus before you get too far in. The game makes it worth your while, but to say more would be a spoiler.

Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty

Release Date: September 26, 2023

This one is for fans of first-person role-playing and cyberpunk fiction. The initial release of Cyberpunk 2077 was a disaster—it had a solid main questline and a striking world to explore, but it was plagued by boring progression, tons of bugs, and unkept promises.

After a few years of updates, including some major overhauls to gameplay systems, Cyberpunk 2077 is in a good place. This fall brought the game its biggest update yet, and that’s not even considering the Phantom Liberty expansion, which has the player working with Idris Elba’s Solomon Reed to uncover a conspiracy full of twists.

Nowadays, Cyberpunk lets you play a bunch of wildly different character builds, including ones inspired by the excellent “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners” anime series, and the whole game world feels more fleshed out and exciting. Even those of us who played through the original found a lot to love about the new update. And even without Phantom Liberty, it’s a great update.

World of Horror

Release Date: October 19, 2023

This one’s for fans of cosmic and Japanese-style horror roguelike games, and old-school first-person dungeon crawlers. World of Horror is the odd game out on this list—everything else on this list is similar to something else listed in one way or another.

World of Horror is a first-person roguelike RPG, meaning that you’re expected to meet an unfortunate end pretty quickly and then start another run. In terms of gameplay, World of Horror is like one of those old dungeon-crawler games where you progress screen-by-screen, instead of having fluid movement.

The game features a gorgeous Game Boy-inspired visual style, with art inspired by horror master Junji Ito. You play a character who lives in a town plagued by horrors both cosmic and ghostly, and who feels driven to investigate those horrors in hopes of stopping them. Here’s the thing: Most characters in horror stories don’t make it to the final credits. Be prepared to die over and over again, and to see lots of creepy stuff in the process.

Super Mario RPG

Release Date: November 17, 2023

For fans of Nintendo and Mario, new RPG fans, and old kids who remember the original. While you can squeeze well over 100 hours out of many of the games on this list, Super Mario RPG is going to give you at most 20 hours, according to HowLongToBeat, even if you’re trying to do everything. Let’s be clear, though: That’s not a bad thing!

Much of what makes Super Mario RPG’s 2023 remake so much fun also worked when it was released on Super Nintendo so many years ago. It has a gorgeous art style with an isometric top-down perspective, and keeps its turn-based gameplay fresh and engaging by asking the player to press buttons at just the right moment to amp up attacks and defense.

The original game featured more writing for Mario characters than any title before it, and a lot of the things we consider canonical about Mario characters now—like Bowser being kind of a lonely loser—originally came from this game.

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth

Release Date: January 26, 2024

For fans of turn-based RPGs, modern settings, and long, dialogue-heavy cutscenes. There are a few sequels on this list, but none are as deep into their respective series as this one.

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is the eighth game in the long-running Like a Dragon series. The series started with Ryu Ga Gotoku, which was released on PlayStation 2. The name translates to Like a Dragon, but Sega renamed it Yakuza for its stateside release, and kept that name for the first 7 games in the series. Now, though, the gaming giant has reverted to the English translation of the original Japanese title.

Starting with the eighth game is weird; we’d actually recommend starting with the seventh, Yakuza: Like a Dragon. That game introduced protagonist Ichiban Kasuga, and this game continues his story. Even if you don’t already know and love Ichiban, though, this can be a great title to start with.

In addition to re-introducing characters from the previous title, it also is a sort of victory lap for the series’ original protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, the popped-collar-wearing, goatee-sporting hoodlum with a heart of gold who has been protecting the innocent people of Tokyo’s red light district (renamed Kamurocho in the game series) since getting out of jail in 2005. 

This game takes us further from Kamurocho than ever before, dropping Ichiban naked and penniless onto the sunlit beach of Honolulu, Hawaii. Infinite Wealth is packed with loveable characters, long cut-scenes, and plot twists. There are mini-games, including an Animal Crossing send-up that has Ichiban rebuilding a trash-covered island into a five-star resort.

You’ll find it nearly impossible to resist falling in love with the characters of Infinite Wealth by the time the credits roll—even some you initially thought were the absolute worst.

Persona 3 Reload

Release Date: February 2, 2024

For fans of Japanese-style RPGs, relationship games, and modern settings. Persona, like the Like a Dragon series, puts you in modern-day Tokyo. Instead of playing as an ex-con fighting off hoodlums with your bare fists, though, you’ll step into the uniform shoes of a Japanese high school student and use a Persona—a physical manifestation of the user’s psyche—to fight for the very fate of the world.

At the same time, though, you’re a high school student, so you can’t just run around the city during the day all the time. Instead, you’ll manage your time, keeping up with school and your social life while working with your friends, each with their own Persona, to fight evil on the side. The series truly blew up with Persona 5, but Persona 3 Reload brings one of the most beloved titles in the series back around and ready to play on modern platforms, and shouldn’t be missed.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Release Date: February 29, 2024

For longtime fans of the legendary RPG Final Fantasy VII, people who are curious about the thing that happens to that one character, and PS5 owners looking for something fresh. Final Fantasy VII Remake released in 2020 and took us through the Midgar segment of the original game—basically the first of three discs from the original PlayStation title from 1997.

This game has many of the same strengths of Remake, but it continues the story and takes us into a huge, open world that gives the characters time to breathe. You can get to know characters like Tifa and Barrett in more depth, explore the new and much less linear space, and play tons and tons of mini-games—including the stellar Queen’s Blood game.

Does that one thing happen to that one character? You’ll have to play it to find out. No spoilers—lots of kids haven’t played the original.

Dragon’s Dogma 2

Release Date: March 22, 2024

For fans of medieval RPGs, real-time action combat, and weird gameplay choices. Perhaps the most idiosyncratic game on this list is Dragon’s Dogma 2. Game director Hideaki Itsuno is best known for Devil May Cry, but in 2012 he blessed us with Dragon’s Dogma. Twelve years later, we have a sequel of sorts—more of a perfection of the ideas he set out to create back then.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 drops you into a fantasy world where a dragon steals your heart—physically, not romantically—and burdens you with being the chosen one who must defeat it. As the Arisen, you’ll be accompanied by pawns, NPC party members who will chatter and offer you advice. Crucially, though, these aren’t pre-written characters. Every pawn you meet is created by another player and influenced by that player’s path through the game.

Dragon’s Dogma 2 is full of great action and exploration, funny moments with pawns, and all sorts of strange but exciting things that set it apart—like timed quests that you can fail, and an Elven village where you can’t communicate unless you have a translator. You can make your character too short to reach some ledges, but they’ll be able to run right under some of the game’s biggest enemies. Dragon’s Dogma is weird, but it’s a cult classic for a reason.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes

Release Date: April 23, 2024

For fans of the storied Suikoden series and games with tons of characters. One of the most beloved RPGs of the original PlayStation era is Suikoden II. There are very few games like it, and we just got one more. Eiyuden Chronicle was directed by Yoshitaka Murayama, who helmed the original, and who passed away from an unspecified illness earlier in 2024.

Like Suikoden II, and as the “Hundred Heroes” name suggests, you’ll be meeting tons and tons of characters to party up with. It’s a Suikoden game in everything but name. Much like with Dragon’s Dogma 2, we’re excited to have a long-awaited new entry in such a singular game series—even if it’s not even technically part of the same series.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

Release Date: June 21, 2024

Here’s one more pick on the horizon for people who like dark fantasy settings and demanding action combat. Since the massive success of Elden Ring, fans have been waiting for another morsel of game from Japanese developer From Software. Elden Ring dropped you into a unique fantasy setting full of ghastly, unsettling characters and intense combat encounters.

It took much of what we loved about Dark Souls and blew it out into an intimidatingly huge open world. “A Song of Ice and Fire” author George R. R. Martin helped develop the lore behind the game, and Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki directed the game to bring all of that to life. Elden Ring was one of the best games of 2022, according to just about everyone who reviewed it, and we’ve been salivating for this one ever since.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

Editor’s note: The above games are traditional “Web2” games and do not have any crypto or blockchain elements.

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