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Gabriel Montenegro
Gabriel Montenegro

RPG Games with Amazing Stories: The Best Narrative-Driven Role-Playing Games You Need to Experience

What Are RPGs? Everything You Need to Know About Role-Playing Games

Role-playing games, or RPGs, are a common video game genre that's actually difficult to define clearly. There are many types of RPGs, including sub-genres, and some games use RPG elements without being RPGs themselves. Let's take a look at the RPG genre to better understand it.


A role-playing game (RPG) is a type of game in which you assume the role of a character or a group of characters in a fictional setting. You take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development.

rpg games

Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines. There are several forms of role-playing games. The original form, sometimes called the tabletop role-playing game (TRPG or TTRPG), is conducted through discussion, whereas in live action role-playing (LARP), players physically perform their characters' actions. In both of these forms, an arranger called a game master (GM) usually decides on the rules and setting to be used, while acting as the referee; each of the other players takes on the role of a single character.

Several varieties of RPG also exist in electronic media, such as multiplayer text-based Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs) and their graphics-based successors, massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). Role-playing games also include single-player role-playing video games in which players control a character, or team of characters, who undertake quests and may include player capabilities that advance using statistical mechanics. These electronic games sometimes share settings and rules with tabletop RPGs, but emphasize character advancement more than collaborative storytelling.

RPGs are very popular because they offer players an immersive and rewarding experience. You can create your own character, explore a vast and rich world, engage in combat and dialogue, make choices that affect the story and the world, and collaborate with other players or NPCs (non-player characters). RPGs can also challenge your creativity, problem-solving, strategy, and social skills.


RPGs have a long and fascinating history that dates back to the ancient times. People have always enjoyed playing roles and telling stories, whether through theater, literature, or games. However, the modern RPG genre can be traced back to the 1970s, when tabletop wargames evolved into fantasy role-playing games.

Tabletop RPGs

Tabletop RPGs have origins in wargaming, which has roots in ancient strategy games, particularly chess and its predecessor Chaturanga. From the late 18th century to the 19th century, chess variants evolved into modern wargames, most notably Kriegsspiel.

In the 20th century, wargames became more popular and diverse, especially after World War II. Some wargamers started to add fantasy elements to their games, inspired by works like J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. One of these wargames was Chainmail (1971), created by Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren. Chainmail included rules for medieval combat as well as fantasy creatures and magic.

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Gygax later collaborated with Dave Arneson to create Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), which was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules Video Game RPGs

Video game RPGs are digital adaptations of tabletop RPGs, or games that are inspired by the RPG genre. They usually feature graphical interfaces, sound effects, music, and voice acting to create a more immersive experience. Video game RPGs can be played on various platforms, such as consoles, computers, handheld devices, or mobile phones. Some video game RPGs are also multiplayer, allowing players to cooperate or compete with each other online.

The earliest video game RPGs were created in the mid-to-late 1970s, as offshoots of early university mainframe text-based RPGs that were played on PDP-10, PLATO and Unix-based systems. These included m199h, created in 1974, [Note 1] Dungeon, written in 1975 or 1976, pedit5, created in 1975, [Note 2] and dnd, also from 1975.

The first video game RPGs for home systems were games like Temple of Apshai (1979) for the TRS-80 and Beneath Apple Manor (1978) for the Apple II. However, the genre really took off in the early 1980s with the release of Wizardry (1981) and Ultima (1981), two series that would influence many future RPGs. Wizardry was a dungeon crawler that featured a first-person perspective, turn-based combat, and a party system. Ultima was an open-world game that featured a top-down perspective, real-time combat, and a morality system.

Since then, video game RPGs have evolved and diversified into many subgenres and styles, such as action RPGs, tactical RPGs, roguelikes, JRPGs (Japanese role-playing games), WRPGs (Western role-playing games), MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), and more. Some of the most influential and popular video game RPGs include Final Fantasy (1987-present), The Legend of Zelda (1986-present), Fallout (1997-present), The Elder Scrolls (1994-present), Mass Effect (2007-2017), The Witcher (2007-2015), Dark Souls (2011-2016), Persona (1996-present), Dragon Age (2009-present), and many more.


While there is no definitive set of features that define an RPG, there are some common elements and mechanics that are often found in RPGs. These include:

  • Character creation and customization: Most RPGs allow players to create their own characters or choose from a set of predefined ones. Players can usually customize their characters' appearance, name, gender, race, class, skills, abilities, equipment, and sometimes personality or alignment.

  • Story and setting: Most RPGs have a rich and detailed story and setting that provide the context and motivation for the characters' actions. The story is usually driven by quests or missions that the player can accept or decline. The setting is usually a fictional world that can be based on historical periods, mythology, fantasy, science fiction, horror, or other genres.

  • Exploration and interaction: Most RPGs allow players to explore the game world freely or within certain boundaries. The game world can be divided into different regions or levels that have different environments, enemies, items, secrets, and events. Players can interact with the game world by examining objects, talking to NPCs, using items, solving puzzles, opening doors or chests, etc.

  • Combat: Most RPGs involve some form of combat between the player's character or party and hostile forces. Combat can be turn-based or real-time, and can involve different actions, such as attacking, defending, using items, casting spells, etc. Combat can be affected by various factors, such as character attributes, skills, equipment, status effects, terrain, etc.

  • Progression: Most RPGs feature a system of progression that allows the player's character or party to improve their abilities and performance over time. This can be done by gaining experience points (XP) from completing quests or defeating enemies, leveling up, learning new skills or spells, acquiring better equipment or items, etc.

  • Choices and consequences: Many RPGs feature a system of choices and consequences that allow the player to influence the outcome of the story and the game world. This can be done by making dialogue choices, moral decisions, faction alliances, romance options, etc. The choices can have short-term or long-term effects, and can lead to different endings or branches of the story.


There are many examples of RPGs across different platforms, genres, and styles. Here are some of the best and most popular RPGs of all time:

Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is the most famous and influential tabletop RPG ever created. It is a fantasy game that uses dice, paper, and pen to create a collaborative storytelling experience. Players create their own characters and embark on adventures in a world of magic, monsters, and mystery. The game master (GM) acts as the narrator and referee, creating the story, setting, and challenges for the players. D&D has spawned many video game adaptations and spin-offs, such as Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Planescape: Torment, etc.

Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy is a series of video game RPGs that originated in Japan in 1987. I


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