20 of the most unique side quests in RPG history

Dragon Age: Inquisition - Sit in Judgement

Despite our body-dumping routine in Origins, we're still trusted to preside over trials in Inquisitions courts. The trick is to judge crims, varying from the clearly guilty to the truly bizarre, without upsetting your companions with overly grim punishments. One man has been attacking Skyhold by firing goats at it. He seemed harmless enough, but we felt we had no choice but to sentence him to unbearable torture. Harsh, but reminding us of Goat Simulator cannot be allowed.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! - Rough Love

"Nina lonely, need partner for lovetimes"... we've seen worse descriptions in the lonely hearts ads. There's something about a great side quest that brings out the inner romantic in us, especially when it involves shooting potential suitors in the face with a freeze ray. They say true love conquers all. We say it's no match for a good laser-cannon to the heart. Find Nina her true love and she'll keep him in her infirmary, strung up by his wrists. We think we'll stick to bachelor life.

Mass Effect 2 - Batarian Bartender

After a busy day of saving the galaxy/shooting your biggest fan in the foot, Shepard's earned a drink at Afterlife, the anti-human bar. Is that a smart move? Amazingly no, as Shep loses consciousness and wakes up outside. You can now go and face the bartender or how about you maybe not swig a mysterious blue drink that you didn't order in the first place? Still, someone needs to stop Forvan the bartender from poisoning his customers because it's a pretty lousy business model.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 - Spare a Little Change?

Barely a quest, but kudos to the devs for showing how flawed the morality system is. A beggar asks you for money. For light side points, pay up and watch a brief cutscene of him getting mugged. For dark side points, give him nothing and watch him angrily mug someone else. So no one wins. It seems that in the Star Wars universe, no deed is truly light or dark, more of a murky grey. Haunting.

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim - The Mind of Madness

In an Inception-like twist you journey into the mind of Pelagius the Mad to battle his demons and fix his lack of self-confidence. Boost his courage by shrinking his enemies and boost his sanity by maybe not stomping around his brain in the first place. While you wait for Psychonauts 2, enjoy one of Skyrim's strangest quests. Complete it and you'll receive the wonderfully named Wabbajack, a staff that can cast one of 21 spells, or nothing at all. Truly mad.

Borderlands 2 - You Are Cordially Invited: Tea Party

All little girls deserve to enjoy tea parties, even if that little girl is Tina, psychotic demolitions expert and world's deadliest 13-year-old. Want to be the fool who tells her she can't? Safer to protect her from waves of guests as she pours tea, makes small talk and gets gory revenge for the murder of her parents. Never been to a tea party before? We'd advise against attending one of Tina's asshe has a nasty habit of electrocuting her guests before they've finished their cucumber sandwiches.

The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion - The Ghost Ship of Anvil

This optional quest has you climbing aboard The Serpents Wake, a haunted ship full of ghost pirates. Hang on, why isn't that the main quest? All games are better with ghost pirates zombie parrots! Scary treasure! Floating pirate ships! one measly side quest in Oblivion isn't enough even Black Flag and Rogue didn't have ghost pirates! (Note to self: send death threats to Ubisoft demanding Ghost Pirate DLC.)

Fable 3 - The Game

A generic save-the-princess quest is given a Fable twist, when the three powerful mages who've enlisted your help turn out to be overenthusiastic gamers themselves. Shrunk down into their Hollows and Hobbes game (think Dungeons and Dragons) to meet a cardboard cast and fight real enemies, it's a fun send up of fantasy tropes. "Prepare to meet a feathery doom!" cries one of your captors, summoning a demonic chicken. Maybe time to start leaving the house again, eh lads?

South Park: The Stick of Truth - Find Jesus

Summon Jesus in combat and hell descends from heaven, spraying enemies with a holy dose of heavy machine gun fire. To unlock him, you have to find Jesus at the South Park church. A surprisingly pious sounding quest turns out to be a game of hide and seek, with a childish Jesus giggling behind the pews until you find him. Honestly, this is tame by Stick of Truth's standards. You should see the bit where Mr Slave opens up his [Clear your desk and get out - Ed].

OXM Staff

The official source for everything Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox Series X. We're also a magazine, covering all things Xbox in the UK and the US. Originally established in 2001, the magazine was discontinued in April 2020.