The most influential role-playing games inspire new games and shift the dynamics of the genre. The first role-playing game of all time was Dungeons & Dragons. In video games, role-playing involves players taking the role of a character in a fictional setting. They can control everything from the speech of a character to their movements. People love the genre for being able to custom-tailor their experience. Upcoming role-playing games like Cyberpunk 2077, Shenmue 3, The Outer Worlds, and Final Fantasy VII Remake may not exist if it weren't for the games in this list. This is ranking the 10 most influential RPGs of all time.
10 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
The Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series preceded Mass Effect, which is another game developed by BioWare. Because of its masterful integration of role-playing elements, we can say that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is one of the most influential role-playing games in history. One can carve their path through dialogue choices that influence the game. RPGs were never as defined until KOTOR. Even today, people are still asking for a sequel to one of Star Wars' most (if not the most) memorable games.
9 Dragon Age: Origins
It depends on who you ask, but many would say that Dragon Age: Origins is the best game in the Dragon Age series. Its impact on the role-playing genre can be attributed to its top-notch dialogue and character development. The game is entirely single-player, unlike Dragon Age: Inquisition. The series fared better when it was single-player because of its pathos and story immersion. Its take on the dungeons and dragons theme comes with a huge emphasis on dragons. It's one of the few games we looked forward to and delivered on all fronts.
8 World of Warcraft
When we think of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), World of Warcraft usually comes to mind. It is the leading MMORPG—and for a good reason. It's addictive questing and dungeons give the game replay value. You might say its loot and combat systems are the best in gaming. Playing as characters like dwarves, orcs, and trolls prove to be effective. People have logged thousands of hours into this game, lost their jobs, relationships, and more just because of this video game. Several MMORPGs attempt to mimic World of Warcraft, but none capture its magical essence.
7 Mass Effect 2
Although the original Mass Effect laid the foundation, Mass Effect 2 answered back with triple-A voice actors, refined gameplay mechanics, and a more intriguing story. The Illusive Man, played by actor Martin Sheen, was a secretive character who is one of the commanding forces in Mass Effect 2. With impactful characters like the Illusive Man and the Harbinger, the game had depth like few role-playing games. Mass Effect: Andromeda doesn't hold a candle to Mass Effect 2. Mass Effect 2 is one of the greatest RPGs of all time.
6 Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII is nostalgia at its best. The depth of its gameplay is unlike other games in the Final Fantasy series. Although it is lengthy, it is highly immersive and deeply engaging. Future role-playing games use Final Fantasy VII as a standard for quality. The music in the game is glorious. A remake for Final Fantasy VII is scheduled to release in March of 2020. With high expectations, there is a large margin for error. This is one retro game worth playing over and over until the cows come home. It wouldn't be unusual to log over three-hundred hours in Final Fantasy VII.
5 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Although The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is largely inspired by open-world exploration games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, it beats Skyrim in more ways than one. For starters, it is a newer game, so the graphics are improved. Enemy variety is more diverse in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and side quests are more intuitive. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of those games you can play endlessly without touching the main story. That's not to say that the main story is terrible, but its side quests are amazing.
4 Fallout 3
Fallout's first attempt at a three-dimensional third-person open-world role-playing game (sorry for the mouthful) had remarkable execution. Fallout 3 might not be the best Fallout game in the series, but it is the most impactful. It laid the groundwork for games like Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4. This post-apocalyptic game is enormous. The story is immersive because it incorporates role-playing elements masterfully. It's a bit more challenging than Fallout 4, so you may need a strategy guide. It wouldn't be surprising if this game received a remake.
3 Diablo 3
Diablo 3 is a hack and slash role-playing game that had inspired numerous copycats. Games such as Path of Exile, Grim Dawn, and Torchlight I & II all attempt to copy Diablo's loot-system that rewards players for slaying enemies. Diablo 3 is the product of a generation who loves to find loot. The game's enigmatic bosses and character classes are too memorable. Diablo 3's sequel is now one of the most anticipated games out there because of the leaps and bounds of Diablo 3.
2 Dark Souls
It doesn't happen often, but Dark Souls cemented itself in a new genre of video games. The Souls genre encapsulates a broad variety of games that appeared after the release of Dark Souls. Code Vein, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Nioh, and The Surge all take after Dark Souls' combat. As a role-playing game, there isn't as much customization as some of the other games in this list, but there is still a tremendous amount of weapon choices and character builds, which allows you to walk your own path.
1 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the ultimate open-world role-playing game. The scale of the map was ridiculously large in comparison to other games when it released. Skyrim generates quests, so there is virtually no end to the game. With DLCs like Dawnguard, Dragonborn, and Hearthfire, it's no wonder why Skyrim is considered one of the best games of all time. New role-playing games are often compared to Skyrim since it serves as a benchmark for RPGs. The game is available in VR, providing an unparalleled immersive experience.