25 Top RPGs of the Last Five Years

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25 Top RPGs of the Last Five Years

The best RPGs in the last five years.

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I maintain that RPG is the most poorly defined genre in all of gaming. Path of Exile, Pokemon X, and Mass Effect 2 have no business being in the same genre. There's just nothing that really counts as a unifying feature across all RPGs besides having experience bars and a persistent character across the entire campaign.

Falterfire:
I maintain that RPG is the most poorly defined genre in all of gaming. Path of Exile, Pokemon X, and Mass Effect 2 have no business being in the same genre. There's just nothing that really counts as a unifying feature across all RPGs besides having experience bars and a persistent character across the entire campaign.

I would call any game whose storyline can change upon the decisions you as a player make for the character you play as an RPG, wich does include games like Deus ex while no amount of dicking around in GTA would make that an RPG since basicly the story allways progresses in the same way.

Path of exile and Diablo 3 Are called "action RPGs" for a reason. They focus mainly on the action instead of the RPG... some allow you some degree of choice (Sacred 2 for example) while others atleast give you a good lineup of possible character classes.

And Pokemon? I wouldnt call it an RPG to begin with since really there is no role playing here at all... you are allways the same characters and the only thing that changes are your lineup of tools (pokemon) the game is allways the exact same no matter how often who plays it.

No Nier or Alpha Protocol, and Fallout: New Vegas being that low makes me sad. This is counteracting by Skyrim being number one making me laugh however, so I suppose it all evens out.

Yeah, I disagree completely with ME2, but then again, I only played through the game once and have since refused to go near it again, so maybe I just had a bad first impression.

Other than that, the rest of the list seems fine, and I find myself with a sudden urge to try D:OS

Skyrim is such an unfocused game. I never understood why people love it.

Personally, I wouldn't have put Fire Emblem on the list; the amount of control you have outside of battles is simply too low; a game this closed and linear cannot be an RPG. That said, it's a better game than everything that was ranked higher.

P.S. Thanks

Kinda sad not to see Mount and Blade: Warband or Alpha Protocol on the list. Good list though.

Holy crap... Skyrim on some "Top X RPGs" list on The Escapist?.

Personally I agree with this list for the most part, but I'd like to point out that Deus Ex HR's bosses were basically fixed in the Director's Cut edition, so that definitely should be worth mentioning.

So yeah, Skyrim in first place.

Calling Skyrim limitless is a bit silly. I'm limited to fighting Draugr.

I do agree Skyrim should be on this list, but placing it higher than ALL of the Souls series? Come on guys, really?

Dragon Age 2? Really? The whole game seemed a bit unfocused, and lost in trying to make the same amount of money as DA:O. It screamed of being rush, and was pushed out in what I would call a beta state. The repeating areas is unforgivable from the same company that gave us ME2 and DA: O with in the same period of 2 to 3 years.

The story is even worse. Part two should of been part 3, and the end of part 3 need to die in the fires of the Maker.

Now, it has been ages since I played the game, and I could change my mind, but it still bugs me that the First Enchanter in DA2 did that.

Fallout: New Vegas and Divinity: Original Sin being this low on the list made me suspicious. Dragon Age 2 being on the list at all and above made me laugh in disbelief. Skyrim taking a first place made me sad, I got nothing against Skyrim, I sunk over 200 hours in it thanks to mods, but this is not a good RPG game.

Seriously, you should have named this list "25 Top ARPG's of the Last Five Years". Positioning would've made more sense then.

PS
It seems I should just steer clear away from the news section here.

I dun goofed on this comment, so i edited it.

PC Gamer's top 25 looks so much better than this. Severely underrating modern classics like Alpha Protocol, Fallout New Vegas, Path of Exile, while overrating factory-made "AAA" games like Mass Effect 3, Skyrim, Kingdoms of Amalur, and Dragon Age 2. Did Jim Sterling make this list or something?

crackfool:
PC Gamer's top 25 looks so much better than this. Severely underrating modern classics like Alpha Protocol, Fallout New Vegas, Path of Exile, while overrating factory-made "AAA" games like Mass Effect 3, Skyrim, Kingdoms of Amalur, and Dragon Age 2. Did Jim Sterling make this list or something?

You clearly have little faith in our Lord Sterling's own choices, you know his Number 1 would be Chungus.

crackfool:
PC Gamer's top 25 looks so much better than this. Severely underrating modern classics like Alpha Protocol, Fallout New Vegas, Path of Exile, while overrating factory-made "AAA" games like Mass Effect 3, Skyrim, Kingdoms of Amalur, and Dragon Age 2. Did Jim Sterling make this list or something?

PC Gamer's list was wrong on many levels - Diablo 3 over 2? Pshh, please - but it was all of all-time keep in mind. We restricted this list to the last five years to rank the most current RPG.

"Amalur??? Seriously??? Well this is they guy who likes Dragon Age 2" Clicks next page. And there it is.
Amalur could have been on this list if they hadn't fucked it up but they did.

Also there are a bunch of ARPGs on this list. I think ARPGs do not count as actual RPGs, its just a meaningless name. Which strongly proves the 1st comment's point.

The only way I could disagree more with this list is if it had Alpha Protocol on it. As an Obsidian fan that game was a lackluster joke with a decent concept hidden behind a terrible execution.

But dear lord is Dragon Age II a massive pile of shit. I gave the game another shot recently, I hate the game more now. Its characters are annoying and storytelling laughable. The 3 years gaps between Act 1 and 2, and 2 and 3 feel as if no times has passed. Kirkwall is a lifeless, boring city. The voice acting even leaves a lot to be desired. The combat is a waste of time that just throws enemies at you out of thin air and rushes you from all corners. How are the recycled dungeons a minor complaint? It perfectly shows how rushed the game was. Plus the game forces you to choose between two factions led by horrible cunts, because reasons.

And what the even is this?

Lizmichi:
snip

Orsino also knew about and shared research with that guy who

Bat Vader:
Kinda sad not to see Mount and Blade: Warband or Alpha Protocol on the list. Good list though.

We're forever doomed to have the greatest RPG ever made ignored, us Mount and Blade Fans. I'd at least be happy if it placed. Damn obscurity.

I agree with a decent amount on this list. I don't think Human Revolution should be on there and I think a few others should be higher.

Skyrim? SKYRIM? SKYRIM?!


Skyrim can be a fun game sure, but I wouldn't put it at the top of any list, let alone the best RPG. I have nothing against Skyrim, its a below average game that can be modded into something great, but from that list alone there are a bunch of games that deserve that top spot more than Skyrim.

CharrHearted:
WHERE IS PERSONA 4:GOLDEN. -cough- you know, the single greatest rpg to ever grace the m fing human goddamn race, this may be coming from a huge fanboy, but you cannot disregard the facts, about how Persona 4: golden is literally PERFECTION.

Literally? LITERALLY? So you are saying that there is no way that it could be better? It could not look better, it could not have some content you would like and so on. You are saying that there is nothing that you would want to polish or add? I mean... I just hate when people use the word literally so freely, I love the game but I wouldn't call it LITERALLY PERFECT, because perfection is practically impossible.

Mass Effect 3 a Top RPG? Oh C'mon!

The story fell apart pretty much as soon as the game started, what mish-mash they cobbled together has so many plot holes in it I thought it was sieve and finally, the game should have to stand on it's own two feet i.e; No DLC.

I was really hoping that Dragon Age II would be on this list. Bless you, Greg.

My tastes tend to be a bit more... classic pc inclined than what you mostly see on this list. I'm not even sure I'd count some of those games as rpg while others I wouldn't exactly have ranked very highly even if they are rpg-ish *cough*Diablo3*cough*.

I'd probably have had Shadowrun's expansion Dragonfall as a seperate entry higher up on the list as it really is quite good, while Mount & Blade: Warband would also have a high spot. You'd probably also find Banner Saga on the list as well if towards the lower end, it's gorgeous visuals, music, and unique approach at least earn it mention. Same with Alpha Protocol, which for all its faults still had some great ideas and memorable moments which merit it recognition.

Grumpy grognards that they are, I identify more with RPG Codex's Top rpg than any other 'top rpg' list I've seen. But then this is a list for just the last few years so the comparison between it and this Escapist article is a bit silly so I'll stop now.

Dragon Age 2 and Kingdoms of Amalur have no business being in the top 25, let alone top 50 of the past 5 years. DA2 was the worst sequel I have ever experienced in any form of media, and KoA was a boring, generic slog.

The top spot going to a title as casual, shallow and milquetoast as Skyrim is disgusting, but not surprising.

Lists like these are intended to provoke discussion, but I get the feeling all we're going to get from the comments is "Dragon Age II!? OHHH NOOO" followed by poorly thought out posts on what the definition of RPG is. We all know RPG is a loose term, arguing about what is and isn't an RPG is just hypocritical.

"You can't put Skyrim and Mass Effect 3 on here guys, those aren't real RPGs they're *spit* action RPGS"

"Oh, okay. But in that case we'll have to get rid of The Witcher 2 and Dark Souls as well."

"Errm...forget I said anything."

About the list itself, I'm surprised Fallout: New Vegas is as low as it is. I know the bugs are what let it down, but by the time I played it most of the bugs had been ironed out by official patches and unofficial mods, so I can only imagine how bad it must have been. It's a fantastic game and a great RPG otherwise; if it weren't for the bugs, I could see it easily cracking the top 5.

Also, maybe it's ineligible for being a re-release, but no Persona 4: Golden? Blows all these other ones out of the water man. That's not on.

I haven't actually played too many of these games. I've played Bravely Default, Monster Hunter, Bastion, Fire Emblem, Pokémon, Dragon Age and Skyrim. I agree that most of these are great RPGs, but I disagree with a couple of them. While I did enjoy Skyrim while I was playing it, I eventually just stopped playing. I just sort of got bored of it. While I do understand that it's designed around exploring, I found that large stretches of nothing around wasn't really conducive to a gripping experience. As I said, I did enjoy it for a while, and maybe I'll get back to it some day, but I don't think that it deserves the #1 spot on the list. I actually enjoyed Oblivion more, though it's not eligible for this like since it's been more than 5 years since its release, but that was because I spent the entire game doing stupid shit with my character, including punching everything with my bare fists, eating everything I could, jumping everywhere I could, and shouting "HADOUKEN" while lobbing fireballs at unsuspecting victims. Yes, my character was a hyperactive Street Fighter wannabe. I thought it was hilarious, and could only have been funnier if I could've somehow simulated the Shoryuken and Tatsumaki Senpukyaku.

My biggest disagreement with this list is Dragon Age Origins. I really hated Dragon Age. Maybe my opinion doesn't matter, since I never really finished the game, but I thought it was completely boring. I did try to read up on the things I missed, so I would be able to see if there's anything else to keep playing for longer. I never felt any weight to my decisions, and I never thought there wasn't one that didn't have a "right" choice; one of them always gave better loot or had more favourable consequences or story implications. I never felt that my party member choices mattered at all, either, because, somewhat paradoxically, I felt that they mattered too much; there's this illusion of choice that's prevalent in the game when it comes to party building, specifically with stats and skills. There are only so many skill points to go around, and there are only so many enemies in the game. You have to be extraordinarily careful of the skills and stats you take, because there's no way to get them back later and no way to get more of them, and yes, it is a problem if you accidentally spec your character in the wrong way. It feels like the game wants me to play it the way it wants to be played, rather than figure out my own way through it. I felt that the relationships with the characters were hollow; there wasn't much at all in terms of animations and sound that really pulled me into the scenes that were supposed to be emotional. Alistair was really the only character that I wasn't indifferent with, and only because I thought he was pretty hilarious. I thought that the setting was pretty meh, too; the Fade was the only new-feeling concept, and that was marred by a horrifically bad level within the Fade. The tropes employed in the story weren't really twisted in any way that really felt new to me, and thus the whole thing felt standard to the point of feeling tragically quaint. The whole game seemed to lack energy, too; there was no excitement at all in... anything, really. The reason for this is that everything is so freaking slow; the combat is glacially paced and felt almost entirely hands-off. It's just attack-skill-attack while waiting for skill to recharge-skill-rinse and repeat, with some healing thrown in there.

TL;DR: I really don't get why people liked Dragon Age.

I mean, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but... wow.

Not to keep banging this drum, but... Dragon Age 2? For real? I love DAO. It might be underrated at #2 on the list. DA2 doesn't belong anywhere near the top 25.

To say nothing of criminally underrating New Vegas and Alpha Protocol.

Well the majority of the games I haven't played, and the fact that Pokémon X was so high is surprising, but it's their opinion. I do agree that maybe we should split these games up a bit more definitely, maybe into turn-based, tactical, open-world, etc. I think it would've been better to put SMT IV, despite it's flaws, in more than Pokémon, but that's just me. Lots of RPGs that have come out in the last five years.

Shame that there are no SMT games on here. SMTIV's music alone should merit a place. Strange Journey, Devil Survivor, c'mon!

CharrHearted:
WHERE IS PERSONA 4:GOLDEN. -cough- you know, the single greatest rpg to ever grace the m fing human goddamn race, this may be coming from a huge fanboy, but you cannot disregard the facts, about how Persona 4: golden is literally PERFECTION.

They said no remakes. Persona 4 original might have made the list if it weren't for the fact it was made 6 years ago. Either way, I don't really agree with this list at all. I mean South Park? As an RPG it is very poor, and the comedy is really diluted when having to compromise with it also being a game.

As soon as I saw Dragon Age 2 on this list I was frantically clicking to the next page going "If they've put Dragon Age 2 on this list but not Origins...", but thankfully my prayers were answered when I found Origins sitting pretty at #2.

"Oh boy a Top 25 RPGs list. I swear to god if Skyrim is at the top-"

Otherwise I guess I agree with the list from most of what I played. If I had to disagree somewhere it would be with Pokemon XY or Black/White. Don't get me wrong I like XY but I loved BW. I really liked how BW threw all the previous pokemon out the window and made you work with only the new ones through the main storyline. It made the game really feel fresh to me since I didnt know much about the new Pokemon and couldnt rely on finding old favorites. The focus more on the villains and less on the getting the badges and becoming champ was also refreshing.

Yeah, lists are great ways to start discussion, so I hopefully don't come across as too critical. It's a little sad that portable systems are constantly underrated on these lists. Nearly all of my favorite RPGs from the last couple years have been on the handheld systems. Bravely Default, Pokemon and Fire Emblem: Awakening are fine games, but hardly the only games worth mentioning.

The following probably should be considered in the running for great recent RPGs:
Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward
Radiant Historia
The Last Story
Legend of Grimrock
SMT 4
Etrian Odyssey 4
Ni No Kuni
Dragon Quest IX
Dungeons of Dredmor
Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (if we're including other action RPGs then this one really, really should have been on the list)

The following I think are too flawed to be serious contenders:
Dragon's Dogma - It's a fine game, but really comes across as a poor man's Dark Souls and has lots of little flaws.
Diablo 3 - I've never been so bored playing a multiplayer videogame in recent memory.
Kingdoms of Amalur - Fun for about an hour, but becomes a huge slog.
Dragon Age 2 - It's not as bad as its reputation, but it should be nowhere near any Best Of list... unless it's Laziest/Rushed Games of the Last 5 Years.

Alamur is a great game with a surprisingly captivating story. it's great not because it does anything innovative or different, but because it takes all of the elements we know and love and polishes them to near perfection.

and somehow FFXII did not make the list.

in contrast: Skyrim? Skyrim? SKYRIM?

As a man who has played 3114 hours (As of now) of Skyrim...I approve of this list.

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