Role-playing games have come a long way from their tabletop origins. What started with pens, pencils, and dungeon masters moved to 8-bit characters wandering forbidden forests and crawling through dungeons. RPGs will always have a place in the top tier of video game genres, and the current generation of consoles is no exception. With everything from deep-space exploration to futuristic societies to fabled mythology to, well, more dungeon crawling, there's an RPG out there for just about anyone.
We've made this list to help out anyone looking for their next favorite game. Does The Witcher 2 pop up on this list? What about Infinite Space or Dragon Quest IX? More importantly, which one should you play first? We've wracked our brains to answer these important questions for die-hard fans and rookies alike. Find out what tops the list by clicking through our exclusive feature of the 15 best RPGs of this generation.
15 | Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together | PSP
It always warms our collective hearts when we see a quality title get the attention, care, and exposure it so deserves, even if it's been a while since it original release. Take Tactics Ogre, for instance -- an influential strategy-RPG from famed game designer Yasumi Matsuno, and the precursor to Final Fantasy Tactics -- which saw a fantastic re-imagining from Square Enix earlier this year.
Joining Persona 3 Portable and Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions in continuing the fine trend of outstanding RPG ports on the PSP, Let Us Cling Together's engaging wartime narrative, timeless gameplay, and outstanding English localization make it an essential entry for on-the-go gamers.
14 | Torchlight | PC, Mac
Torchlight is an action-role-playing game/ dungeon crawler with an impressive pedigree. Runic Games boasts some impressive talent on their team, including two designers who worked on the iconic Diablo series.
Full of beautiful environments, tons of baddies, and an immense amount of loot, the game is an adventurer's wet dream. The level of customization on your character (and eventually, your pet) gives players the feel that they're having a unique adventure that was built for them. The random dungeon maps help ensure replayability, as does the ease with which you can transport to and from town. It's easy to want to get lost in Torchlight's depth, and despite an almost non-existent story, it's an exceptionally immersive title.
13 | Demon's Souls | PS3
One of the most innovative games to be released this generation; this dark, beautiful RPG is renowned for its creativity and its difficulty. You are a lone warrior trapped in the underworld, battling demons and trying to survive against overwhelming odds. Other players can be recruited to help fight with you, against your foes; but in the right circumstances, hostile players can also invade your games and kill you.
The unique online component is what helps Demon's Souls stand apart, along with its lonely, moody atmosphere and intense duals. You will die often; but attaining victory here is more satisfying than any game released this generation.