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Top 8 Turn-Based RPG Video games Of All Time

Top 8 Turn-Based RPG Video games Of All Time

Simply put, a turn-based RPG is a game in which the primary way players interact with the world (typically through combat) is turn-based. We have distilled each title down to a handful of distinguishing qualities that best represent what makes a Turn-Based RPG great in general:

Story: Is the story well-written and coherent?

Writing: Do the world's characters have engaging dialogue and lore?

Impact: Does the player's decision affect the game's world?

Character Development:  Can characters be customized in the game?

Exploration/Adventure: Is the game linear, or does the player have a choice of how to proceed?

Combat: Is combat fairly matched? Is it logical? Having fun?

The primary Super Nintendo and PlayStation eras of good video games once were dominated by turn-based role-playing games. Epic quests to battle our way through, ranging from Final Fantasy to primarily Dragon Quest to the older Phantasy Star games, were aplenty in the stores.

A clear trend toward action-based role-playing games has emerged in recent years. However, you should check out these fantastic games if you missed the times when you had to carefully pick each character's course of action while waiting in a polite, civilized line.

The List of Turn-based RPGs Are:

RPGs imitate the tabletop nature of the games that inspired them by using turn-based gameplay. However, games have contested the idea that these character progression and stat-based mechanics must adhere to a turn-based structure as early as Link's Adventure on the NES.

1. X-COM: ENEMY UNKNOWN

The ten-game X-Com Series would be absent from any list of turn-based role-playing games. The X-Com Series has been around long enough—its first game was released in 1994—to experience growing pains like any other major series. UFO: Enemy Unknown, the title of the first X-Com game, and X-Com: Enemy Unknown (2012) share a portion of their names.

Story

In the alternate, light-sci-fi Earth of X-Com: Enemy Unknown, our lovely blue sphere is overrun by aliens. As the leader of an elite paramilitary group, it is your responsibility to build up your base, advance your technology, outfit and train your soldiers, and also then lose all those soldiers when they miss shots with a 99% chance of connecting and subsequently perish during the enemy's turn. As the story progresses, you will take on more complex and vital missions to stop the alien threat from destroying your priceless world, with the ultimate goal of mainly standing in front of a struggling group of people and proclaiming that it is the day the world gained independence. Oh, maybe that's the wrong series.

Writing

Throughout the show's more than 20-yealoped. There is a good deal of excellent voice acting, and the script is simple to understand. Other than the game's somewhat cliched alien invasion plot, there were no real writing issues.

Impact

Your play style generally changes depending on how you allocate your limited resources, but not drastically. You could complete some missions before others to gain access to new technologies or resources that altered how your soldiers or base operated. Still, in most cases, this only affected the timeline of events as opposed to the overall plot.

No matter your path, you will most likely still have the same technologies and also various resources at the end of the game. However, there was a chance of losing some help if the aliens destroyed those areas.

Character Development

In X-Com: Enemy Unknown, you command a squad of six soldiers using grid-based maps (though you'll want to have more on standby). Each character will have a class or area of expertise they are most interested. The Heavy Class uses heavy weapons and bombs, the Support Class heals, and the Sniper Class snipes. 

Additionally, you have a chance at random to give your characters psionic abilities, which can significantly alter how they play. After gaining experience, characters level up, and there is a skill tree from which to select skills. There are two abilities you must choose from, and they are mutually exclusive. For your soldiers, you can purchase newer, better weapons, armor, and support equipment in a vain attempt to save their lives.

Exploration or Adventure

Each player has some discretion over which mission they would like to complete, but the game is essentially linear. You must meet mission-critical operations to win the game, and even in the operation zone, you will typically need to navigate a "path" to get where you need to go.

Combat

The X-Com battle system is the most cathartic and frustrating I've ever played. When I completed the game Ironman, I spent every second making sure that each character had enough cover and assistance from their allies, but despite this, things would frequently go wrong. This is because XCOM's turn-based battles employ hit randomization that is percentage-based. Depending on enemy cover, size, defences, and mystical programming nonsense, your attacks have a specific chance of connecting with the target.

There are several skills that your soldiers can use, but you'll probably use overwatch because it allows you to shoot enemies as soon as they come into your line of sight. A massive sense of satisfaction is experienced when an alien enters the open and is swiftly eliminated by a barrage of gunfire. Additionally, it is much less satisfying when all six of your soldiers who are assigned to overwatch duty fail. Be careful not to expect miracles from your soldiers. They will occasionally miss shots with a 99% chance of connecting, which will enrage you.’

Verdict

If you don't want to see your soldiers perish, don't give them the names of people you know.

2. SOUTH PARK: THE STICK OF TRUTH

There have been 22 seasons and nearly 300 episodes of South Park. That the series would venture into video games was only natural. Most attempts to make South Park accessible to gamers were terrible, but in 2014 a studio renowned for producing engaging role-playing games took control of South Park: A Stick of Truth. Gamers were introduced to South Park's crude satirical humor by Obsidian Entertainment in a hilarious and captivating way.

Story

The narrative of ASOT centers on the "new kid," a character who has just moved to the made-up town of South Park, Colorado. Your character quickly bonds with well-known and adored TV show characters and sets out to reclaim the Stick of Truth.

The town experiences alien incursions, government schemes, and Nazi zombies throughout the game (no, I am not kidding). Additionally, there is a scene involving the parents of the "New Kid" that I won't spoil but will always stick in my mind.

Writing

Without a doubt, ASOT has excellent penmanship. You'll like the report in this game if you like the paper in the South Park television series. Trey Parker and Matt Stone heavily influenced this game's development, and it's obvious. This game is very much like an online South Park episode.

Impact

While there are many ways to collect collectibles and explore the town in the game, the plot is generally reasonably linear. A few important decisions can affect how major events turn out.

Refrain from interpreting my lack of assertion that the player significantly influences the plot as a criticism.Similar to Planescape: Torment, there are times when you want to be able to tailor a story to your preferences. Other times, you wish to participate in the narrative as it develops.

Character Development

The game starts with four character classes to choose from: the three clichés of "fighter," "mage," and "thief," as well as one type that is genuinely specific to South Park, the Jew. You will level up throughout the game by gaining experience from battles and other activities. Additionally, you'll equip your character with new gear to boost their attack and defense. If I'm sincere, the character development system isn't very in-depth, but it does the job.

Exploration or Adventure

Without much guidance, the game provides a sizable opportunity to discover South Park's town. You are generally encouraged to look around and search, though some areas will be locked off until you finish specific tasks. This is particularly true because the game contains a sizable number of collectibles. You'll have a lot to gather if you're one of those people who must locate and collect everything.

Combat

The way battles are conducted very reminiscent of the majority of the Final Fantasy series. The enemies are on the other side of the screen from your characters, and you fight each other across a neutral middle ground. The player has access to all the standard tools required to defeat enemies, including close-range attacks, ranged attacks, items, special abilities, and more (also, there is fart power).

The New Kid is never fighting alone, and you are welcome to bring a friend. Additionally, special characters can be summoned during combat to assist you when things get tough (think summons from Final Fantasy). In a way that was endearing, hilarious, gross, and hilarious, ASOT introduced a cherished comedy franchise to the world of turn-based role-playing. However, it did not by any means revolutionize turn-based combat.

3. WIZARDRY 8

WIZARDRY 8

Since 1981—many years before I was born—the Wizardry series has also been a mainstay in good role-playing video games. I'm embarrassed to admit that I have never played any original Wizardry games, but I do recall booting up Wizardry 8 for the first time when I was 13 and starting my adventure.

Story

Wizardry 8's plot is based on the cliché that one must find three artifacts to become a god—the Astral Dominae, which is the key to life. These artefacts are the Chaos Molinari, the Knowledge Key, and the Destinae Dominus.

But to collect these powerful artifacts, you must journey through a captivating world filled with dangerous foes, daring allies, and enigmatic observers.

Writing

Although it has been a while since I finished this game, I am trying to remember there is a lot of voice acting. Most of the information is given through dialogue boxes, and the game contains a ton of lore. You might occasionally feel a little lost if you are unfamiliar with the Wizardry universe, but never to the point where you can't carry on with the game.

Impact

One of those games where your choices can change the outcome is Wizardry 8. That is to say, while you will have opportunities to aid or oppose various characters along the way, your final choice will ultimately determine how the game turns out. These people might choose to support you, give you benefits, or turn against you. In the end, the game mimics Mass Effect 3 by offering three options, but unlike that game, each prospect has a very different result.

Character Development

As you progress through the game, two more NPC characters can join your party of six characters that you initially created. There are 15 classes and 11 races available for turn-based combat, each with distinct advantages and disadvantages.

This enables you to make a group that will work with almost any play style. You will level up as you murder your way through the game's world, gaining access to new skills and abilities that you can use to tailor your party further.

Exploration or Adventure

Wizardry 8 is a sizable game with many items to hunt down. You will encounter exciting people dispersed throughout the landscape, get to know them a little, and then kill them. A few gated areas require you to complete missions or quests to access them, but I only recall seeing a few of them. For the most part, your new exploration is only limited by the relative difficulty of the monsters that await you in those new areas.

Combat

In its basic form, Wizardry 8 is a turn-based role-playing game. Your group functions as a unified whole. All of your characters will have actions to take before the turn starts. According to their speed, each person will respond, and then the adversaries will depart.

It is a style of combat from a more civilized era. You won't need quick reflexes, so you can take your time and carefully consider your next move.

4. LEGEND OF HEROES: TRAILS IN THE SKY

LEGEND OF HEROES

The first Japanese role-playing game (JRPG)-style game on this list is Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. Even though the first game in the series, Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes, was released in 1989, I had never played one. The most recent three Trails in the Sky, Trails-Crossbell Arc, and Trails of Cold Steel are among the approximately 14 Legend of Heroes games that are split into five subseries.

Story

Estelle Bright, a vibrant young girl, and Joshua, a stoic and melancholy young boy, are the main characters of Trails in the Sky. You quickly enlist in the Bracers, a group of adventure-seekers that includes your father, Cassius. There are unique crystals that must be retrieved, a father who has vanished, and villains to thwart, all in keeping with the Final Fantasy trope.

Writing

Trails in the Sky's report is more precise than some other JRPG games. There were no obvious issues that we noticed with the localized English version. You should prepare to read a ton of exposition, lore, and dialogue. I want to remember there being much voice acting.

Impact

JRPGs typically have a very linear plot, and this one is no exception. You can occasionally complete a few tasks for the Bracer guild and other NPCs, but you should be free to follow the developers' narrative progression. This is, again, not a problem. It lets you easily listen to a story you can participate in and interact with.

Character Development

In Trails in the Sky, there are seven playable characters, each with unique skills, preferred weapons, and fighting techniques. The ornaments and quartz you collect as your party levels up will be used to upgrade your characters, learn new skills, and generally make your party stronger. You can purchase new weapons, armor, and other items for your feelings, as you can in most role-playing games, and these will boost your characters' statistics accordingly.

Exploration or Adventure

Trails in the Sky's primary setting, Liberal Kingdom, is explored from a top-down third-person perspective. Instead of chance encounters, enemies show up on the world screen that you can choose to attack or avoid.

Generally speaking, you can only explore areas that relate to the part of the story you are currently in. After a certain amount of game progress, some sites will become inaccessible. In light of this, ensure you finish everything before continuing with the main quest if you need to find every item and monster.

Combat

Compared to other JRPG games, Trails in the Sky combat is a little more tactical. The action in Trails in the Sky takes place on a grid where you can move your characters to out-range opponents or close in for devastating attacks. This is in contrast to games where groups of sprites on either side of the screen leap across to quickly beat each other before retreating to their line. Combat is entirely turn-based, with love determining when your characters will act and when the enemy will be coming your way to give you the finger.

Verdict

This might be the game for you to pick up if you're looking for a fun and engaging JRPG to lose 40 to 100 hours.

5. WASTELAND 2

WASTELAND 2

A post-apocalyptic turn-based RPG is called Wasteland 2. It is a sequel to the old 1988 film Wasteland and was funded through Kickstarter. It is one of the very first games I ever funded on Kickstarter. While there were a few pretty significant bugs and issues with the initial release, patches and a Director's Cut edition released in October 2015 have primarily addressed these issues.

Story

In the alternate history depicted in Wasteland 2, the nuclear war destroyed modern civilization. You command a "Desert Rangers" team devoted to aiding other survivors. When the recent body of an experienced ranger is discovered dead, you are forced to embark on a beautiful journey of discovery. You find out why he was killed and carry out his mission. Arizona and Los Angeles are the two central locations where the story is set. While exploring these areas, you will encounter raiders, nomads, robots, nuke-worshipping monks, and many other exciting factions. Your ultimate objective is to prevent chaos in your tiny corner of the fragmented world. Good fortune.

Writing

Wasteland 2's writing was excellent. If you want to learn the history of the world, be prepared to read a lot of dialogue boxes because some parts of the game had voice acting while others did not.

Some bugs in the initial release prevented some conversation options from showing up correctly in specific conversations, but those have been fixed. The world is quite detailed, so if you want to enjoy the experience fully, you should pay attention to the details.

Impact

In Wasteland 2, your choices significantly affect the game's world. Some decisions you make in the game will destroy entire factions, hostile towns, or even the destruction of your party. You must carefully consider your choices in Wasteland 2 because they will impact the game throughout your entire playthrough.

Character Development

In Wasteland 2, you can initially create a squad of four members, and as you advance on your quest, up to three NPC characters will join you. You can customize each character to your preferences by allocating stat points to C.L.A.S.S.I.C statistics. You can specialize in a few of these statistics or make your character more generic. 

Exploration or Adventure

One should exercise caution when exploring Arizona's wastelands because they are dangerous. Although you are free to move around as you please, you should be aware that some areas will be blocked off by radiation clouds that would not hesitate to completely wipe out your group if they had the chance.\

In addition, chance encounters with murderous robots, bandits, raiders, secret caches, and ruin explorations may occur. To get the most out of the game, it's highly advised that you investigate, so get ready to scour every inch of the setting.

Combat

In Wasteland 2, action is viewed from a tactical angle with a clear turn order. Grid-based action is used, and your characters can use ranged attacks, cover, close combat, grenades, and even destroy some of the terrains to their advantage. Their action points determine the number of actions each character can perform during a battle based on their strength, intelligence, and speed.

Verdict

Run away if you notice a turret pointing at you.

6. DARKEST DUNGEON

As you explore hellish lands, Darkest Dungeon is a game that does not hold your hand. It is a game that openly acknowledges that adventurers constantly plagued by terrifying nightmares will inevitably go insane. There have been several DLC releases, most of which have been new character classes.

The Crimson Court, one of two critical pieces of downloadable content, affects the game's balance positively and negatively, whereas The Colour of Madness was generally well-liked.

Story

When you learn that you have inherited a relative's estate, Darkest Dungeon officially starts. Unluckily, a vast pit of evil was used as the foundation for this estate. It is now your responsibility to rid your country of the evil creatures that have poured out of portals to dark dimensions and into the world. As you make your way down through several different dungeons until you arrive at the game's titular "Darkest Dungeon," the story is revealed in bits and pieces. This is where your destiny is shown to you. I wish you luck.

Writing

Darkest Dungeon's writing is suitable for its atmosphere because it is sufficiently gloomy and melancholy. You won't be reading a novel for hours while playing the game because the lore is intriguing but not intrusive. Although some of the lines spoken by characters during battle can get repetitive, the voice acting is well done.

Impact

In the game, your decisions do not significantly impact the story. Most of your choices will concern your hamlet, specifically which structures to upgrade, which heroes to recruit, and how to handle the terrible emotional and physical trauma your brave allies will experience. Due to the rogue-like nature of this game, you might find yourself returning to dungeons you've already cleared to find gold, items, or experience for newer players who have joined to take the place of those who perished horribly.

Character Development

The game offers 15 classes, and two more heroes can be acquired through DLC purchases. Each class has a unique set of skills that they bring to the table to help their party during their perilous journey, as well as special armor and weapons that can be upgraded at the blacksmith. High Resolve heroes are a valuable asset to protect because they can level up through "Resolve Levels," which enable the hero to improve their skills and equipment further.

Exploration or Adventure

You must explore the various rooms within each "Dungeon" to finish the task. Each room may have foes, obstacles, loot, shrines, or even nothing. By interacting with these events, you may gain experience, buffs, debuffs, or even outright death. You won't be shuffling across a picturesque landscape in search of collectibles. Some dungeons are linear, while others offer a little more choice regarding the path.

Combat

Darkest Dungeon excels in combat. It is, at times, visceral, challenging, and frustrating. The enemies are positioned on one side of the screen, and your heroes are placed on the other. Your rightmost character will lead as you move in a single-file formation. Ensure your team is positioned correctly because some abilities can only be used from specific positions in the building.

You must also be very careful about what you do because enemies or occasionally even your skills can change the order of your party. For every battle, a long-term plan will almost always be more effective than an emotional response. Your characters can sustain mental scarring in addition to physical damage and scarring, which can cause them to hesitate, alter their formation, or even turn on your heroes. Nobody has ever claimed that purging the land of evil is simple.

Verdict

When fighting monsters, one should avoid turning into one themselves. A prolonged gaze into an abyss causes the abyss to look into you as well.

7. GRANDIA

GRANDIA

The first game in a six-game series is called Grandia. It was initially released in Japan in 1997 and then in North America on October 26, 1999. It is a traditional JRPG in which you take on the role of a young prospective adventurer who gets sucked into an adventure where the world's fate is at stake.

Story

You take on the role of Justin, a budding explorer whose father disappeared and whose mother doesn't want to lose her son. You and Sue join forces to look into a dig site run by the laughably inept Carlyle Forces, where you steal an odd object that you must ship across the world. Your worried mother may experience an emotional breakdown because of your blatant abandonment, believing that her entire family has been lost. You jerk, good job... Regardless, you board a ship for a distant location, find some new allies, engage in some combat, and ultimately save the world. Because it's a JRPG, anticipate it to stay within the cliché of the "hero overcomes all odds.

Writing

Like most new games on this beautiful list, expect to read a lot. While some of the lore is revealed through in-game scenes, you should plan on reading dialogue boxes frequently. There aren't many surprises or twists, but the antagonists are evil, the heroes are good, and there are some excellent comedic scenes.

Character Development

In Grandia, there are two types of experience. Your level will rise thanks to the first type of experience, broad experience, but skill experience is more crucial. Casting spells or using weapons will give you skill experience.

You will also be able to learn new skills and maneuvers as you gain more experience using a particular weapon or element type. Before choosing a specific gun or magic path, take a quick look at a professional guide. Your statistics, like strength, will increase as you level up your skills should be noted.

Exploration or Adventure

Grandia has a strong narrative focus. While there isn't much room for exploration, moving from one story hub to the next will take up much more of your time. It is by no means an open world, and once you leave some places, you may not be able to return. On the world screen, monsters can be seen. When your sprite touches an enemy, a battle starts.

Combat

Grandia's third-person turn-based combat system allows you to block enemy attacks by striking them while they are charging up their attack. Although this only sometimes succeeds, it is best to make an effort to stop enemies whenever you can.

Verdict

Puff, Puff!

8. DRAGON QUEST 11

DRAGON QUEST 11

The most recent Dragon Quest game is Dragon Quest 11, which has been around since 1986. My brother saved my game when I played my first Dragon Quest game on the NES. I was furious. Since then, the series has advanced significantly, and Dragon Quest 11 is now one of my personal favorites.

Story

You play as a "Stoic Hero," as in most Dragon Quest games, and your mission is to defend the country. The game's premise doesn't stray from this; you're never made to feel like the villain.

Grab your weapon and give those evil baddies a good what for, as the game repeatedly tells you that it is up to you to save the current world and also that you are the only one who can.

Writing

Dragon Quest 11 has good writing. Voice acting is used in all of the significant cutscenes and some of the standard dialog. You'll need to read a little to get the most out of the game. The fact that the game provides a summary of what has been happening in the game as soon as you load is particularly lovely. Therefore, if you put it aside for a week or three, you can come back, understand what happened, and dive right back in. This feature belongs to more games.

Impact

This game has a lot of linear gameplay, like many JRPGs. You will only be given one or two tasks, aside from the always-present option to grind experience and money. There are none. Since this is a predetermined story and your only role is to experience the journey, there isn't much you can do to influence what happens in the game.

Character Development

The Luminary, essentially an Eldritch Knight, is your character. You possess the skills of a wizard and a badass wielding a blade. You can invest points into a hex-based talent tree as you level up, improving at particular aspects of combat. The Luminary can improve two-handed, sword-and-board, and magical combat skills. However, you are not the only character in the game with a talent tree, and the game's six playable non-player characters (NPCs) each have unique skill sets and equipment preferences. Make sure to grind a lot of monsters because, like in most JRPGs, you will also be upgrading your armor and all the weapons in every new town.

Exploration or Adventure

A few areas in Dragon Quest 11 are gated by quest or level requirements, but overall the world is pretty open. Exploration is encouraged because there are many hidden objects and locations to discover. It is generally advised that you do some heavy exploring before completing the main quest objectives because you are sometimes prevented from returning to specific areas in the game.

Combat

Even though you can freely move your character around the battlefield, it has no advantages. Most Final Fantasy games and other Dragon Quest titles effectively use the same combat system.

The enemy lines up on one side of the battle, and your units line up on the other. You then start killing each other with weapons and magic until one side is declared the winner. If you are familiar with these new combat systems, I suggest you play on hard mode. If you play on average, Dragon Quest 11 does err on the side of being too simple.

Verdict

Puff, Puff!

Conclusion

This concludes our ranking of the top turn-based role-playing games ever made. Which books are your favorites?

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FAQ

What exactly is a turn-based RPG?

Simply put, a turn-based RPG is a game in which the primary way players interact with the world (typically through combat) is turn-based.

Do turn-based RPGs still get made?

Even though turn-based RPGs just released are rare, many older games are still very playable thanks to their art styles, which are often considered some of the best turn-based RPGs ever created.

What is a turn-based combat role-playing game?

Since the beginning of RPGs and strategy games, turn-based combat has always been. This gameplay enables players to concentrate on thoughtfully evaluating a situation and selecting their course of action, relying less on split-second reaction times than they would with physical challenges.

Why do turn-based RPGs predominate?

RPGs typically use turn-based gameplay to mimic the tabletop nature of the games that served as their inspiration. But games have questioned the idea that these character progression and stat-based mechanics must follow a turn-based structure as far back as Link's Adventure on the NES.

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