What are the best RPGs to play on PC? It’s a question that has been asked for decades, and there is no shortage of answers. From Final Fantasy VII to Skyrim, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Dark Souls III, World of Warcraft, Dragon Age Origins- what do you think is the best RPG experience? There are many games out there with different mechanics and gameplay styles. Some may be considered traditional RPGs while others might fall into categories like action or multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). No matter your personal preference when it comes to the type of game or genre in general this list will offer up some suggestions for titles worthy of your time.
Whether you are a fan of retro games or relatively new to the genre, there should be something on this list for you.
This is the article Collab’s Top 10 Best PC RPGs! We have chosen our own personal favourite titles based on their overall quality and fun factor. The following list includes both indie and AAA titles so there should be something that appeals to everyone.
If you are curious about what else is out there take a look at our Best RPG Games list. The compilation includes over 100 titles in all shapes and sizes, with something for just about everyone’s taste.
1) Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII (FF7) is an action role-playing game developed by Square. Released in 1997, it is the seventh main instalment in the Final Fantasy series.
FF7 features 3D computer graphics with pre-rendered backgrounds. It uses a highly modified version of the original PlayStation’s console as a rendering set to create the game world. It introduced or popularized many features that are widely used today, such as glamorized character models.
The game’s story focuses on the protagonist Cloud Strife and his allies as they fight against Shinra, a powerful corporation controlling their world’s government. Their goal is to stop Shinra from draining the life of the planet to use as an energy source. Throughout the game, players explore various locations in their quest to save the world.
One element of the gameplay involves “Limit Breaks” which act as special abilities for characters. They can be activated when certain attributes are high enough, including health and magic points (MP). The battle system has another element called “Materia” which allows you to customize spells and abilities for each character.
2) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3 (TW3) is an action role-playing game with a third-person perspective. Players control protagonist Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter known as a witcher, who seeks to find his missing adopted daughter on the run from the “Wild Hunt” – an otherworldly army of spectres.
Speaking of which, combat follows in the same vein as its predecessors by mixing two systems together called “Witcher Senses” and “Quick Time Events”. During combat, players will need to utilise movements indicated by the enemy which are context-sensitive similar to those often seen in God of War or Batman Arkham series, but it isn’t really a QTE. Instead of mashing buttons, players will need to pay attention and time their button presses correctly.
There are dialogue options that can affect outcomes throughout the game along with multiple endings depending on player choices. The quests are nonlinear, with no requirement for players to take them in order to finish the game.
One interesting element is called “Gwent” which is a card game played within the world where characters use cards representing different actions or abilities to win each round. Players can sometimes use their own decks against NPCs, giving them access to special cards otherwise not available in-game.
3) Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 2 (ME2) was developed by BioWare as an action role-playing game in a third-person shooter perspective. Players assume control of Commander Shepard, an elite human soldier who must stop the rogue Spectre Saren Arterius from leading an army of sentient machines called “Geth” to conquer the galaxy.
The sequel builds upon its predecessor by improving combat and customisation features along with the ability to import save data from Mass Effect which can affect certain character storylines and outcomes in future games.
There is also more freedom on where you want to go and how you do things with many quests having multiple endings that vary depending on your ethical preferences while speaking with NPCs.
Players will need to assemble a team of soldiers, smugglers, spies, and aliens together to take down Saren’s forces as well as the ancient machine race called “Reapers”.
4) Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Origins (DAO) was developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts (EA). It’s a high fantasy role-playing game with a third-person perspective and several multiplayer modes. Players lead a party of heroes and command tactical control of their companions in combat against fantastical creatures such as dragons, giants, and demons. The players complete quests – linear scenarios with set objectives – to progress through the story. An optional area named the “Deep Roads” which is a maze-like system of dark caverns where you can fight hordes of Darkspawn that serve as an underground army for their King.
Talking of combat, it is an action-based system that requires tactical positioning and an understanding of your party’s abilities to defeat larger enemies. Players will also be able to utilise their surroundings through traps and environmental hazards in order to gain an advantage in battle such as starting a fire for extra damage over enemies caught within the flames.
There are multiple playable races that each has their own unique set of talents and skills with different origins that affect how NPCs react towards them. The choices players make also affect the storyline which can lead to up to 36 possible endings depending on specific actions and dialogue chosen throughout the game.
5) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (TESV) was developed by Bethesda Game Studios (BGS) and published by Bethesda Softworks. It’s another action role-playing game like Bioware’s Dragon Age, but with a first-person perspective set in a vast open-world environment that can be explored freely on foot or horseback. You play as the Dragonborn – an individual with the soul of a dragon – whose fate is to destroy an evil race known as the dragons which have returned after being extinct for over 400 years.
The player will need to face deadly adversaries while completing quests at local taverns, villages, towns, cities, temples, bandit camps, Dwemer ruins, Nord tombs and forts to gain experience points which will raise the character’s level and grant access to new abilities. You can also craft weapons, armour, and potions of healing/magical properties at different blacksmiths throughout Skyrim.
The game features multiple interactive environments that allow players to roam freely even though there are certain areas that require a specific quest or items in order to access them. One interesting aspect is really about how you want to play whether you’re good or evil with countless side-quests allowing you to pick sides between NPCs because every little thing matters in TESV.
6) Fallout 3
Fallout 3 (FO3) was developed by Bethesda Game Studios (BGS) and published by its parent company, Bethesda Softworks. It is an action role-playing game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland of Washington DC where the player takes on the role of an inhabitant from Vault 101 who ventures out into the dangerous Capital Wasteland to search for his/her father. The world is inhabited with mutants, raiders, super-mutants, ghouls, robots, and more following the nuclear war which devastated the planet.
It’s played from either a first-person or third person perspective allowing you to freely explore environments while completing main story quests alongside side quests given by NPCs at local settlements which can range from collecting items to saving townsfolk from certain death. There are also multiple that each has their own beliefs that will allow you to ally with them or provoke hostility depending on the choices you make during dialogues.
The game is powered by a Gamebryo engine and utilises a VATS system that allows players to freeze time while targeting specific body parts of enemies for more accurate shots and greater damage – but costs action points so it’s not something you can rely on in every major battle. That said, FO3 allows the player to unlock various perks as they level up which provides boosts and bonuses such as double damage or improved accuracy when dealing with certain weapon types.
7) Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Kingdom Come: Deliverance (KC:D) was developed by Warhorse Studios and published by Deep Silver which also publishes the Saints Row & Dead Island series. While it takes inspiration from other titles like Skyrim and The Witcher 3, KC:D is more grounded in reality with a heavy emphasis on realism and historical accuracy set in the Kingdom of Bohemia which existed during medieval times. Therefore, players won’t see things like magic or mythical creatures within the game world because they simply didn’t exist back then (granted there were rumours of such creatures such as vampires but only through hearsay).
KC:D sports an open-world environment that allows you to freely explore towns, villages, forts, farms, mines, and more while completing quests given by NPCs. There are also many activities to do aside from following the main story such as joining factions and participating in tournaments hosted at local taverns, fighting enemies in the forest, challenging people to a duel for money, crafting items and equipment at different workshops, or you can just go fishing because who doesn’t enjoy that?
KC:D features over 200 non-linear quests with various choices that alter the direction of each quest alongside multiple endings depending on what was chosen providing lots of replayability which will also be helped along by user-created mods. There are three types of skills – combat (melee & ranged), mechanic (locksmithing & traps), and herbalism (medicinal plants) – many of which were inspired by real-life medieval techniques which you’ll need to master if you want to survive in the game world.
8) Mount & Blade: Warband
Mount & Blade: Warband (MBW) was developed by TaleWorlds Entertainment and published by Paradox Interactive. It is the second game in the series following 2008’s Mount & Blade which you can read about here. Set during medieval times, MBW allows players to take on the role of a mercenary who travels into Calradia – an open-world massive multiplayer environment where they can interact with other players through trading or fighting for power within its many kingdoms alongside completing quests given by non-playable characters.
The game isn’t purely single-player as it has multiplayer aspects such as factions that fight against each other while thousands of NPCs roam around to battle or be recruited into armies. The game world is completely open allowing the player to explore every nook and cranny alongside completing quests that also allow you to level up by increasing your attributes (strength, stamina, etc.) as well as choose new skills (riding, combat, etc.).
Since Warband was released in 2010 there have been numerous mods created by its community that provide additional content such as items or features like “Mount & Musket”, a wargame mode where 200 players fight each other to claim dominance over Calradia.
9) The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (TES III) was developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks which publishes the Fallout series. TES III takes place in the province of Morrowind which is located in Tamriel – a vast continent with various islands, countries, and continents set during the 3rd Era (time period not specified). Players take on the role of a fabled prisoner who has been exiled to Vvardenfell Island for unknown reasons and must locate their lost “thoom-broom” (a staff/magic wand that does certain things when used), discovers their true identity and stops an impending threat from Dagoth Ur (leader of House Dagoth) which leads them to travel all across the island.
The game is primarily set within the province of Morrowind which features over 15 cities, villages or settlements with many non-playable characters (NPCs) giving quests that require the player to explore dungeons through the first-person view. There are various guilds to join such as Dark Brotherhood (assassins who offer contracts), Mages Guild (magicians/wizards offering quests for different magical items like potions and spells), Thieves Guild (requires stealing certain objects before joining then performing tasks afterwards), among others that become available depending on your race, skills, and faction ranking; there are 18 races in total to choose from each with their own unique traits.
Although it can be played independently TES III can also be played as an MMORPG with thousands of players populating its online persistent world which allows them to meet up, trade, and work together to combat enemies. In addition, there are various mods available which add additional quests or features such as improved graphics for higher-end computers or “Tamriel Rebuilt” – a project that adds over 16 new provinces from Tamriel’s mainland to Vvardenfell Island which you can learn more about here.
10) EVE Online
EVE Online was developed by CCP Games and published by THQ then later on through a deal with a current publisher – Dark Horse Comics – who feature it alongside other popular video games in their graphic novel series called EVE: True Stories. Set within the mysterious cluster of New Eden (galaxy in EVE), players take on the role of a spaceship pilot where they control their ships like foot soldiers with the goal of one day becoming powerful enough to take over entire star systems.
There are three races to choose from which include Caldari (focused on commerce and industry), Minmatar (a tribal race that emphasizes speed), or Gallente (a race that focuses mainly on technology). The game takes place within open zones where you warp your ship towards planets, space stations, asteroid belts, etc. to start missions. Missions can either be performed by yourself or with friends depending on if they’re flagged as “Public” which essentially lets anyone join them once you meet the mission’s minimum requirements for – combat rating or cargo capacity.
Although the game is subscription-based it allows players to play for free by completing different tasks (e.g. finding an object or scanning sites) which can be completed either alone or through group efforts within EVE’s open zones; there are also various activities in these zones such as mining, manufacturing items, etc., however some actions like engaging other ships require you to pay a fee depending on the cargo value of your ship – this fee is taken from your wallet whether you decide to destroy that player or not whether it’s completely empty at the time.
EVE Online has seen multiple expansions released over its 10+ years with one of them being “Apocrypha” which added over 340 new solar systems to explore along with its own unique storyline along with new ships, items, NPCs and missions. The game’s expansions continue to add new features such as Planetary Interaction where players can colonize different planets on the EVE universe map and develop cities/facilities to trade goods with other colonies or auction them off for a profit. Other expansions create additional opportunities for earning ISK (EVE’s in-game currency) through Planetary Conquest where you must capture a planet by destroying all of its infrastructures.