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The 25 best RPGs you can (and should) play right now

The best RPGs transport you to faraway lands and magical worlds, giving you a chance to live a life that's entirely different from your own. You could be a spacefaring commander or a medieval-style warrior, or you could just go to high school - the opportunities are endless. 

In the best RPGs, you are the protagonist, and you can shape the world around you and influence the people who live in it. That means you can can easily spend hours embroiled in these worlds and their dramas, making important decisions, changing up your look, or killing the odd side character if you see fit. 

All 25 of the games listed here are great ways to keep you occupied while you wait for upcoming RPGS (which may very well make it on this list) like Mass Effect 5, Starfield, Elder Scrolls 6, and Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. We also keep this list updated with newer releases like Elden Ring, and have populated it with some of the best RPGs of the last decade and beyond. Rest assured we stay on top of it. Some of these games will overlap with our best MMORPGs list, so make sure to head there after to see more ways to fill up your free time. And if you're looking for an even more specific RPG experience, there's a list of the best JRPGs to check out as well. 

So no matter your preference – sci-fi or fantasy, monsters or magic, or maybe something completely different – we've got the 25 best RPGs you can play right now. 

The 25 best RPGs you can play right now

25. Monster Hunter: World

Monster Hunter: World

(Image credit: Capcom)

Developer: Capcom
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

Just in case the title didn’t make it obvious, in Monster Hunter: World you hunt monsters. But although the main prize is the Diablos armor set or just the thrill of the hunt itself, how you take down those beasts is what you’ll be obsessing over as soon as you face your first Great Jagras. Experimenting with different weapons will take up your first handful of hours, and then once you develop an attachment to a particular implement you start to realize the crafting potential with all those bits and bobs dropped by your (now dead) quarries. The other half of the game opens up with this epiphany, so prepare yourself for some micro-management levels of tweaking and optimizing before you go out into the wild to perfect your character for the fight they’re about to face. 

24. Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden West

(Image credit: Sony)

Developer: Guerrilla Games
Platform(s): PS4, PS5

Horizon Forbidden West is the sequel to the beloved Horizon Zero Dawn, and it does exactly what a good sequel should: it iterates on what made the game great and pushes itself beyond that. The open world of the forbidden west beckons you with enticing quests in every corner and robot dinosaurs around every bend, with enough variety to feel excitingly fresh while also feeling familiar, like a warm blanket wrapped around your shoulders on a cold night. Siple fetch quests expand into beautiful stories, and Aloy remains at the center of this world as a character you are immediately drawn to and root for. There are few sequels that so elegantly expand upon the original like Horizon Forbidden West, and it's an RPG you can't miss. 

23. Final Fantasy 7 Remake

FF7

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Developer: Square Enix
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5

Final Fantasy 7 is universally loved, so it's no surprise the Final Fantasy 7 Remake would end up on here. The beautifully detailed world you were already familiar with has changed – it seems bigger, more epic, and impresses at every turn. The world feels lived-in and the environment is vibrant – this is truly a reimagining of a classic. Final Fantasy 7 Remake honors the original game, while also introducing new elements to update it for modern players. Gone is the turn-based setup of the original game, and in its place is a real-time combat system that immediately feels more kinetic and dynamic. Your favorite characters have also gotten more depth, giving them even more pathos and helping you fall in love with them all over again. 

22. Divinity: Original Sin 2

Divinity Original Sin 2

(Image credit: Larian)

Developers: Larian Studios
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch

There's a ton of flexibility in Divinity: Original Sin 2, as well as rewarding combat and beautiful visuals that really make this one of the best. Take your time when choosing your class, as the depth and flexibility of your build mean your first decision is an important one. Then dive into the world of Rivellon, where dark beings from beyond the veil are invading after the one person meant to hold them back died before the start of this game's events. At times, this game will feel a helluva lot like you're enjoying a tabletop RPG thanks to Larian Studios embracing choice and creativity. Once you pick up Divinity: Original Sin 2, you'll find it hard to put down. 

21. Nier Automata 

Nier Automata

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Developer: PlatinumGames
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch

Come for the soundtrack, stay for the silky smooth combat and a pitch-perfect blend of genres. There's hack and slash, there's shoot 'em up, there's text adventures, there's RPG elements – Nier: Automata has it all, and in spades. The dazzling combat is split between three crazy sexy cool android protagonists who twirl and flip in hypnotic ways - and while its fun to hack and slash away at enemies with the quiet fury of a robot, the game really shines when you start customizing those robotic elements. Pick what chip is installed in your metal head and swap them in and out as needed, depending on the enemies you're facing - add that to one of four weapons in your arsenal and you'll have an ever-changing flurry of devastating combos at your disposal. The ending will linger with you long after and make you want to go back and get whatever extra info you can.

20. The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds

(Image credit: Obsidian)

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch

The Outer Worlds is a game that lets Obsidian show off its best talent: making RPGs with great dialogue, engaging characters, and a world that drags you in and never lets you go. The Outer Worlds feels like Firefly and Mass Effect had a neon space baby and you are the caretaker of its future – no pressure. Sure, this game asks you to do a lot of talking in order to get to the best, cystipig-meatiest bits it has to offer, but almost every conversation you have with the denizens of Halcyon will delight you in some way. Brilliant voice acting coupled with cracking writing and surprisingly deft facial animations means you're going to be picking favorites and picking them fast. This only makes every decision more difficult, which is the mark of a great RPG: the ability to make you sweat with anxiety over a superficially innocuous dialogue option.

19. Pillars of Eternity

Pillars of Eternity

(Image credit: Obsidian)

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch

If you find yourself reminiscing about Baldur's Gate's, Pillars of Eternity is the game for you. It's also a game for you to get into if you're looking forward to Obsidian's upcoming game, Avowed, which is set in Eora – the same world as PoE. The world of Eora is a captivating world full of different races like elves, dwarves, humans, orlans, aumaua, and more – there's a clear Dungeon and Dragons influence here. You might spend hours on the character creation screen before you even dive into the compelling story, which offers eleven playable classes and the option to choose a pet (yes, you read that right). Talking to characters includes descriptions of their body language to help you better decide how to react to them, which is just one of many amazing details that proves Obsidian really put everything into Pillars of Eternity. 

18. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Developer: Intelligent Systems
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

Fire Emblem: Three Houses brings the turn-based strategy series to Nintendo Switch, which means you can spend hundreds of hours delving into its epic story no matter where you are. Not long after you boot up Three Houses, you'll find yourself wanting to build your team while commuting to work and learn more about every last character while waiting in the doctor's office. With a great story propelling the action forward into tight and difficult turn-based combat, Three Houses greatly improves upon the original formula. There's even a Persona-like relationship simulator that will have you arguing over your favorite characters with friends and getting emotionally invested in every last one of them. This is one you won't wanna miss. 

17. Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Developer: Ubisoft
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

Assassin's Creed Valhalla brilliantly returns elements of the stealthier aspects of the franchise without compromising the elements fans love about the newer Creed games. Valhalla ushers in the return of stealth, even giving you a tailing mission in the main campaign that hearkens back to Brotherhood days. It also gives you a chance to take part in Viking raids, and take a battering ram to a castle's gates to enjoy the spoils that lie within. In this game, you can complete an Assassins contract from the safety of anonymity, and ten minutes later you can blow a Viking horn while standing on the sternpost of a longship, ushering in your crew's arrival with flair. Valhalla has a beautiful, arresting story set in a gorgeous 9th Century England – both of which will stay with you after you put the controller down. 

16. Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Pokemon Legends Arceus

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Developer: Game Freak
Platform(s):
Nintendo Switch

Game Freak wanted to create a new way to enjoy Pokemon games, and Pokemon Legends Arceus does all of that and more. Not only does the story pull you in immediately, but the shift to open-world exploration delivers the kind of Pokemon experience we all dreamed off when we were young. The series, which has doggedly stuck to its formula for 25 years, needed a game like Arceus, which injects it with new life that focuses more on the Pokemon and less on the gym leaders. For fans of the 'mons, this is delightful, as the "gotta catch 'em all" phrase truly takes center stage. There's so much fun to be had while playing Arceus that you won't mind the occasional performance issue, we promise. 

15. Persona 5 Royal

Persona 5 Royal

(Image credit: Atlus)

Developer: Atlus
Platform(s):
PS4, PS5

School is hard. It’s even harder when you have a super-powered alter ego who spends their nights roaming through a supernatural realm fighting the bloodthirsty, personified desires of the people around them. Persona 5 Royal is an expanded version of Persona 5, one of the best RPG games of 2017. The expansion gives quality of life and gameplay adjustments, plus two new characters, adding even more value to the 100-hour game. Persona 5 wants you to understand each character, and Royal gives you the chance to learn about mysterious student Kasumi Yoshizawa and school counselor Takuto Maruki - you'll be entrenched in the world of Shujin Academy before you know it. And if you don't have a PlayStation, don't fret, as there's a port for Xbox and Nintendo Switch coming October 2022!

14. Diablo 3

A magic attack devastates a battlefield in Diablo 3

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Platform(s):
Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, PC

Diablo 3 made its debut a decade ago and in that time it has steadily risen to become one of the best cooperative RPGs out there. One Blizzard cleared out the controversial auction house, refined the loot system, and expanded the endgame, Diablo 3 was given the space it needed to surpass its original limitations – the game that exists today is truly phenomenal. Whether you're exploring the depths of Sanctuary alone or partying up with three other friends to take on the most challenging encounters, Diablo 3 is one hell of a good time.  

13. Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

Developer: Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone
Platform(s):
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch

In Stardew Valley, Pelican Town welcomes everyone. After inheriting your grandfather’s farm, it might be that you want to cultivate the land into a lush paradise with fruits and vegetables springing from the ground, or perhaps you’d rather focus on the social side of the game and romance a villager of your choosing. More and more of the game unfolds the further you’ll get, as aside from selling your produce and/or levelling up friendships you can also tackle the dungeon-crawling mines. Or spend your days fishing. Or just buy hats. Seasons dictate what you can and can’t do, so you’ll soon find yourself falling into a pleasantly-repetitive routine. That’s a good thing, trust me. 

12. Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age

Dragon Quest 11

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Developer: Square Enix
Platform(s):
PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

It might be the 11th instalment to one of the most enduring RPG franchises of all time, but there has never been a better place to jump into Dragon Quest. That's because Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age is one of the best JRPGs on the market, a sprawling experience full of depth and character. Between its lavish world, excellent turn-based combat, and cast of memorable heroes and villains, Dragon Quest 11 is one the best RPGs to play if you're looking for a throwback adventure that's been touched up with modern flourishes. And if none of that grabs you, then the character designs from Dragon Ball artist Akira Toriyama surely will.

11. Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition

(Image credit: EA)

Developer: BioWare
Platform(s):
PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

Sorry to drop some major life lessons on you, but the people you surround yourself with says a hell of a lot about you as a person. The same principle applies to Dragon Age: Inquisition. Adventuring around its massive dangerous areas alone would lead to you becoming a bloody red smudge pretty quickly, so tailoring your group of followers will depend entirely on how you prefer to play. Bloodthirsty melee players will benefit from keeping those mages at a distance to buff you in combat, or if you prefer to stay safely away from the action you’ll need to befriend The Iron Bull, who’s buff in a very different way. Although it might be a bit overwhelming for newcomers, getting to know each of the characters is enough motivation to return to Inquisition’s world time and time again. 

10. Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium

(Image credit: ZA/UM)

Developer: ZA/UM
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch

In Disco Elysium, you're a detective who has a drinking problem and drug-induced amnesia, and you can die in the opening minutes while trying to get your tie from the ceiling fan. There's no traditional combat, but there are dialogue trees and skill checks, and you'll need to upgrade skills to pass skill checks - however, it's a slippery slope. Upgrade your Drama too high and you might be partial to the occasional fit of hysterics. All of Disco Elysium is based on dice rolls which are added to your skill value and stat value - the resulting roll and addition of all the stats will tell you if you've succeeded in completing a task, which can be as asinine as getting your tie from a ceiling fan.

9. Bloodborne

Bloodborne

(Image credit: SIE)

Developer: FromSoftware
Platform(s): PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC

Welcome to Yarnum, a gloomy, sombre city straight out of a gothic novel whose inhabitants are suffering through a plague – not just of the illness type, but also the dangerous beasts type. Yarnum, despite being the last place you'd want to visit IRL, will entice you, begging you to return back to it longer after you've bested its worst. You'll want to knock on more doors and hear the bizarre cackles of villagers who have gone mad, or walk along another rooftop in an attempt to find a hidden mystery. Bloodborne's streamlined RPG elements have you working with six stats, and the character creator lets you design some of the coolest Victorian Gothic heroes ever. The hats, man, the hats are so cool. 

8. Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Developer: Ubisoft
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a leap forward for Ubisoft’s stabby series as for the first time you have NPCs to romance (whether you want to be a Casanova or as chaste as a saint), and dialogue options. Then combine those brand new features with the return of naval combat and enough sidequests, locations, and hidden secrets to keep you busy for days and you've got Odyssey. Your misthios (mercenary) Alexios or Kassandra is truly yours to shape however you wish. With nine endings to unlock, the way you end specific quests will end up having an impact on the world around you whether that’s for the better or worse. You know what that means? Multiple playthroughs. If you dare, of course, as you will be kept busy for over 100 hours if you choose to explore everywhere and do everything (and everyone). After this RPG, Assassin’s Creed is never going to be the same again. 

7. Elden Ring

Elden Ring

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Developer: FromSoftware
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

Elden Ring introduces you to a breathtakingly beautiful world filled with bizarre, twisted lore that's the result of a collab between George R. R. Martin and Hidetaka Miyazaki - and you'll never want to leave it. From poison swamps to cursed kings, The Lands Between is fascinating and fearsome. Elden Ring is an absolute beast, taking the best parts of the FromSoftware formula and injecting them with refreshing new elements that attract veteran and beginner players alike. If you want to avoid that big, bad boss early on in the game, just hop on your horse Torrent and go level up a bit or find a better weapon tucked away in a castle full of mean magicians. There are tons of options for players that mean countless permutations of weapon, armor, and stat builds, giving you so many ways to play this game you can easily justify a playthrough or two (or three). 

6.  Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

Developer: BioWare
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch

Sometimes, RPGs can feel a bit unapproachable. If you're not a lover of the game type, you might feel daunted by a title that requires meticulousness or an endless supply of patience or a seemingly endless supply of choice. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a game that appeals to hardcore RPG players and those who may have been hesitant to join the ranks. Set 4,000 years before the movies' events, you are tasked with training in the ways of the Force under the tutelage of the Jedi. The game lets you pick from three character classes at the start of the game, and choose if your character will align with the dark side or the light side of the Force. The game is a Star Wars fan's Eden as it manages to capture that magical, space fantastical essence of the films while imbuing the entire experience with choice. There's incredible voice-acting, accessible gameplay, and sparkling supporting characters. Plus, you get to swing a karking lightsaber. 

5. Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

Skyrim companions: Mjoll

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Developer: Bethesda
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch

Be anyone you want. Do anything you want. Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is rammed full of delirious licence to properly live in its world: you can devote yourself to Alchemy and go hunting for a Daedra heart, adventure your way to the top of the Companions, or just wander around Skyrim making a living harvesting wheat and potatoes as a farmhand. Sure, the threat of a dragon razing a nearby village is almost ever-present. But despite the incoming apocalypse, your goals in Skyrim are just that - your own. Nothing forces you to accept quests. While we wait for Elder Scrolls 6 to be released, rest assured that Skyrim boots you out into the open with some looted gear and a whole world at your feet and then it’s up to you to find out what kind of dragonborn you want to be. 

4. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Developer: Nintendo
Platform(s):
Nintendo Switch

Link is a blank canvas. A wonderful, quiet blank canvas that you can turn into stealthy Sheikah, a fully-armored knight, or someone who runs around in their underwear throwing chickens at Moblins. Link’s personality is so malleable that you can do whatever you want in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and it just feels right. Despite the apocalypse that’s on the way, people have their own business to be getting on with and let you do exactly the same. From spotting the tip of a new tower in the distance to navigating one of the mysterious mazes on the edge of the map, your surroundings are so intriguing that the world practically begs you to get distracted, fitting perfectly into the idea that Link has woken up after decades in slumber and just can’t stay still. 

3. Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout New Vegas

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Developer: Obisidian Entertainment
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

I really don’t blame The Courier for going on their rampage. Someone just shot them in the head, they survived, and now they want answers. But with all of Fallout: New Vegas’ land available to explore right from the beginning, that can wait. Not really a surprise considering it’s also one of the best open world games around. You might even decide that finding the person who shot you in the head is the last thing you want, your survival instinct telling you that you had probably best stay away. Join one of the many fierce factions, try to become the Savior of the Damned by boosting your good karma, or simply create your own goals. Collect all the teddy bears in the land. Clear Quarry Junction from its, er…pest problem. It's up to you. 

2. Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

Developer: BioWare
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X

In this sequel (which you can enjoy with the entire trilogy thanks to the Mass Effect Legendary Edition), BioWare takes the foundation laid in Mass Effect (Commander Shepherd must navigate space racism and the potential predetermined destruction of the universe alongside a motley crew of aliens) and builds a beautiful shiny space house on top of it. Oh, and it chucks out the goddamn Mako maneuvering. There's a completely redesigned combat system that evokes the duck and cover style of the Gears games - with Shepherd's special skills and your squad's unique abilities, you get dynamic gameplay that feels personalized. The game's comfortable place as the space meat in the middle of the "introducing you to this world" and "destroying this world" sandwich gives the plot some breathing room. Into that breathing room steps the most incredible cast of characters, potentially ever. The romance options actually hurt your feelings, the background stories tug at your heartstrings, and the ideological arguments between your friends paralyze you when it comes time to make a choice. Sure, RPGs are good at evoking emotion and forcing you to make game-time decisions, but the sheer magnitude of how much Mass Effect 2 makes you care is a rare achievement.

1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Developer: CD Projekt Red
Platform(s): PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Nintendo Switch

There's nothing quite like The Witcher 3, where one moment you can help put the soul of a noonwraith to rest and the next you can head to the Passiflora and engage in some heavy petting (that you paid for). A fantastic mix of tough (but fun) combat, brilliant writing, and truly difficult decisions, The Witcher 3 will sink its hooks into you faster than you can say, "Wind's howling." Geralt of Rivia is both reviled and required by the people of this mythical world, and the tension of being an outsider in an environment that's growing more prejudiced by the minute is palpable. But it's easy to keep busy: spend your time slaying monsters or seeking out rare armor tucked away hard-to-reach areas - the choice is yours (but good luck choosing between your paramour options, Triss and Yennefer, as that decision gave me anxiety for 80 hours). And once you're done with the weighty and intense main storyline, you can simply download The Blood and Wine and Hearts of Stone DLC for a few dozen more hours of hanging out with Geralt and Roach. Simply put, this is the best damn RPG you can play right now, so toss a coin to your witcher, you've got the time – or wait until The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Remastered drops in Q4 of 2022. 


Check out our best single player games for even more alone time. 

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.