2015 was an astonishingly generous year for RPG fans. We were showered with an embarrassment of riches, from massive triple-A behemoths like Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3, to the mid-size stars of Kickstarter like Pillars of Eternity. Standouts appeared in the oddest places, from the Wii U's stunning Xenoblade Chronicles X to bizarre indie gems like Undertale, peppering the 2015 landscape with incredible role-playing experiences on almost every platform, at every level of development.
It may sound like an impossible act to follow, but mark my words: if you love RPGs, 2016 is set to rock your world. Here's how.
Final Fantasy XV
There was a long period of time quite recently where JRPGs seemed stuck in a rut, shackled to rusty, ancient mechanics and unwilling or unable to innovate. But a breakout crop of releases in the last few years, led by the likes of Ni No Kuni and Persona 4, have lit the way forward for a genre that seemed intent on endless navel gazing.
Who better than Square and their flagship franchise to shepherd a new generation of RPGs into the modern era? Final Fantasy XV promises to shake off the dated trappings that have long been the hallmark of Square RPGs, eschewing tired combat conventions for clever 3rd person action bolstered by the sort of novel systems we're used to in the best Final Fantasy entries. Throw in open environments brimming with interesting diversions, a generous handful of Monster Hunter, and a customizable sports car, and you've got our full attention.