The 25 best RPGs to play right now (and inevitably over-invest emotionally in)

Whether you like to stab or sneak, charm NPCs or just chuck various obscenities at them, you’ll find the game for you in our list of the best RPG games. Every one of our picks takes into account how much you can customise your character to suit precisely how you want to play, and some of them are even so good that we honestly wouldn’t blame you if you temporarily forgot that you weren’t actually a bounty hunter with the ability to suspend enemies in the air or a courier hunting down their murderer in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. So whether you need a distraction for a couple of hours or have a weekend of hibernation planned with an RPG dense enough to make you forget about the real world, our list of the best RPG games has the game for you. See you on the other side. 

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25. Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Henry the blacksmith’s son can either be a hero...or an utter cad. Thanks to Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s intricate - and unforgiving - mechanics, he can pickpocket the villages scratching a living out of the Bohemian villages, dedicate time to making the perfect potion, or refine parrying to become the scourge of bandits everywhere. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is one of the best RPG games out there not just because of its protagonist, but also because the world around Henry has strict rules, which are obviously there to be broken. Breaking or abiding by these rules gives you enough role-playing potential for playthrough after playthrough, with multiple ways to solve each quest just begging you to be a dick one moment and a benevolent helper the next. 

24. South Park: The Stick of Truth

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

It should come as no surprise that not only is South Park: The Stick of Truth ridiculously funny, but it also pushes fantasy tropes as far as they’ll go. Thankfully that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck as a Mage, Fighter, Thief, or Jew (a class which grants you the jew-jitsu fighting style - no, I’m not kidding) as throughout the game you can learn whichever skills you want and tailor the New Kid to be exactly the hero you have in mind. You know, if you imagine 2D kids when you hear the word ‘hero’. Characters from the TV show fight alongside you, although you can only saunter around with one of them at a time, and as long as you’re ok with tons of inside jokes and the odd magical fart attack, The Stick of Truth will delight for hours on end. 

23. Diablo 3

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Loot, glorious loot: Diablo 3 has a ton of it. Anyone looking for endless customisation options in their ideal RPG should gravitate to Diablo 3 like a well-aimed crossbow gravitates towards a demon’s skull. That endless torrent of coloured loot push you onwards no matter which of the seven classes you decide to play as, constantly evolving your playstyle to suit the shiniest new item and experimenting so that those pesky demons have a much harder time beating you up. Randomly-generated levels means that it’s a literally endless RPG, so if for some reason you’re not too fussed by an impressively-voiced story campaign and atmosphere you can just go on a majestic quest for loot. Lots and lots of loot. 

22. Persona 5

Available on: PS4

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. Fighting isn’t the only thing that makes Persona 5 one of the best RPG games of 2017, though. As well as slashing your way through winding combat levels, you have to navigate daily life as a student at your new Academy. Chat to your fellow classmates, try to balance schoolwork with a part-time job… or be a bit more productive with your time and craft items that’ll help you in an alternate world that’s filled with the manifestation of people’s (rather unfriendly) inner psyches. The two different gameplay cycles flesh out Persona 5 and make it an incredibly well balanced game, and one that you can’t miss even if you have a ton of homework to do. 

21. Ni No Kuni 2

Available on: PS4, PC

It’s going to be tricky to leave the world of Ni No Kuni 2 behind, mainly because it’s so vivid that each district takes on a life of its own. As the young king Evan, you’ve got to prove to your subjects that you’re worthy of the crown - and their adoration, of course. Although most of your time is spent adventuring around the various regions doing favours for people, that’s unsurprisingly not all there is to Ni No Kuni 2. Part of your duties involve managing your Kingdom - building new, well, buildings and watch how your resources alter and change to match (just keep an eye on the treasury). Skirmishes are also dotted around the whole map encourage you to strengthen your army in real-time strategy encounters, so if you’re looking for a fully-rounded Kingdom Simulator look no further than Ni No Kuni 2. 

20. Final Fantasy 15

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Another RPG game with royal blood coursing through its veins, Final Fantasy 15 puts you in the shoes of Noctis as he adventures across the land of Eos with his buddies. The power of friendship isn’t just so you can fill all the seats in your car, though: bespectacled Ignis learns new recipes as you dedicate more time to exploration, during combat your pals back up your attacks with perfectly-timed combo strikes, Prompto’s photography skills improve alongside the selfies he takes, and Gladiolus’ survival abilities scales with the distance you travel during the day. As you’re responsible for Noctis’ growth and the well-being of your chums, this RPG game is saturated with heart. Prepare yourself for the distinct possibility of getting over attached to those virtual characters. 

19. Undertale

Available on: PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch

I’m going to let you in on a secret: you don’t always have to fight those big bad monsters that typically appear in the best RPG games. Undertale chucks you into the Underground, a realm below earth filled with weird but wonderful monsters. Trying to break through to the surface involves meeting these odd creatures and choosing whether to kill them...or show mercy, make some friends, and prevent any more bloodshed. See, the monsters ended up on the wrong side of a war with the humans and it didn’t end too well. As a human yourself, they don’t look upon you too kindly, so the importance of your behaviour can’t be underestimated and being able to choose how you deal with each monster makes Undertale ripe for replaying time and time again. 

18. World of Warcraft

Available on: PC

There’s a good reason why World of Warcraft has such a loyal fanbase: it’s one of the best RPG games out there, hands-down. With a practically endless loot system and two completely different factions to choose from as they battle through Azeroth, there’s the potential to literally see both sides of the war between the Horde and the Alliance. Take on bosses with a humongous group of friends or go on questing alone - no matter whether you like your roleplaying experience to be large or small, World of Warcraft has been going on long enough to fill any craving you have. 

17. Nier Automata 

Available on: PS4, PC

Hacking and slashing with all the fury of the wronged android is pretty fun as it is, but when you take advantage of the fact that those nuts and bolts that make up your body mean you can pick and choose which chips are installed in that mind of yours, then the game starts to run as smoothly as a well-oiled machine. Swap them in and out to suit the enemies you’re coming up against, and take full advantage of the four weapons at your disposal to create devastating combos, and when things get really desperate - or if you just want to keep your distance - your floating support unit (called Pod) can pepper your foes with bullets or lasers. Encompassing both hack-n-slash and shoot-em-up genres, Nier: Automata’s story is enthralling enough to make you go through it all over again to get those extra endings.