The RPG video game genre was one of the first to gain popularity among the gaming community, which makes sense. After all, people already loved RPG board games before the inception of the NES, so doing the same in a virtual universe was a must-have experience. Some amazing old titles that really put RPGs on the map were Chrono Trigger, The Elder Scrolls, Fall outand Final Fantasy.
Over the years, things have changed rapidly as RPGs have become more immersive. Most modern RPGs have done something special to help them stand out from their peers and give players a unique experience. Also, a few titles have truly deconstructed the genre in ways that gamers could never have imagined.
Understatement took the world by storm when it came out in 2015 from a talented indie developer. The game is a 2D role-playing adventure experience that puts players in the shoes of a young child who finds himself lost in a mysterious underground realm.
Soon enough, players find themselves surrounded by unique creatures and a memorable world that is hard to forget. All about Understatementfrom the music to the design choices, make it one of the most playable RPGs ever made.
9/10 Yume Nikki
Yume Nikki is an adventure game from 2004 that heavily deconstructs the RPG genre to fit the narrative. The classic game was created with RPG Maker by a pseudonymous developer named Kikiyama. Yume Nikki is a highly exploratory title without fixed narratives or goals.
Instead, it’s up to players to find their purpose as they travel from a one-bedroom apartment to a dreamland full of mystery and horror. The game offers no dialogue, no plot lines, and no combat mechanics. It is one of the most unique experiences ever.
8/10 Delta rune
Delta rune is a spiritual successor to Understatement and takes all the old game mastery and amps it up to eleven. It is an RPG title that resembles its spiritual predecessor and uses similar design choices, music, and gameplay elements. However, the story in this game is completely different and spans seven chapters with great details and plot twists.
IN Delta rune, players take control of a boy named Kris, who must save the world with the help of a monster and a prince. The full game is probably still years away at this point, but two chapters are available for players who want to experience the first part of the story.
7/10 Earth bound
Earthbound is the grandfather of many RPGs, as it is one of the first games that attempted to deconstruct the genre. The Nintendo classic came out in 1994 on the Super NES and quickly became a polarizing title in the gaming community. But over the next few years it became a cult classic, especially in the West.
Earth bound is an RPG where players take control of a young boy named Ness. The little guy lives in the fictional country with his friends Paula, Jeff and Poo. Together, the friends go on an adventure and travel the world to defeat a cosmic being called Giygas.
6/10 LISA: The painful
Only a few games have reimagined the RPG genre quite like that LISA: The painful, as it mixes turn-based combat with side-scrolling platforming. The PC-exclusive was released in 2014 on various operating systems and is the second main game in the Lisa trilogy, which i.a. Lisa: The first one and Lisa: The happy one.
LISA: The painful is a post-apocalyptic role-playing game that tells the story of a man named Brad Armstrong who is searching for his adopted daughter in a vast wasteland. All the games in the series offer dark comedy, brilliant music and excellent writing that can keep anyone hooked.
OMORI is a relatively recent RPG released in 2020. This RPG is an indie game where players explore a “strange world full of colorful friends and enemies”. OMORI features the story of a hikikomori boy named Sunny, who is on an adventure in the dream world with his alter-ego.
OMORI draws inspiration from classic Japanese RPGs, but adds its own spin. In addition, it has a cute art style, a top-down view and a nostalgic feel, which makes it an excellent game for those who like such things.
4/10 The raku
The raku tells a sweet story about a young, hospitalized boy who goes on an adventure to explore a beautiful fantasy world with his mother. The game offers a healthy mix of adventure-style and role-playing mechanics, not to mention a fantastic art style.
As Yume Nikkithis 2017 game is an RPG Maker title that offers unique game mechanics and a memorable story. the raku, at its core is a sprite-based exploration game that deconstructs the RPG genre by offering no combat at all. Instead, it allows players to travel into a fantasy world full of mystery.
Palette is another old RPG Maker title that originally came out in 2001. It’s a great hybrid of adventure game and RPG elements and offers unique gameplay and a memorable story. The game offers four hours of play time and is a psychological horror game.
Palette tells the story of a girl named BD who has lost her memory. The player’s task is to control her through her memory and discover the terrible mystery within herself. This 2001 game is one of the greatest psychological horror RPGs ever made.
2/10 Nine: Automata
Nine: Automata is an ARPG released in 2017. It was developed by PlatinumGames, known for epic hack-and-slash games like Bayonetta, Defeatedand Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Nine: Automata reinvents the RPG genre by mixing wild action into shoot ’em-up style gameplay and text adventure.
The game revolves around combat android 2B, scanner android 9S and rogue prototype A2 and is set in a unique world where alien machines fight against human androids. It’s an incredibly deep title with a lot of replayability, and it’s well worth checking out for fans of sci-fi themes.
Of is an RPG from 2008. The RPG Maker title puts players in the shoes of Batter, a man in a sports outfit who aims to rid the world of evil. In the game, Batter encounters all kinds of enemies, from the scary to the downright disturbing, but never gives up on his sacred mission.
Of is a kind of psychedelic dream game where everything feels like a strange acid trip. Its art style and music also complement the crazy story that players uncover while playing the game. Like many RPG Maker games, it’s relatively short, but that’s not to say it’s not well worth checking out.
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