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The Ten Best RPGs of All Time, Ranked—According To Some Neckbeard At The Renaissance Faire

Promo art for Dark Souls Remastered

*As you stroll through the Renaissance Faire, minding your own business, you are approached by a neckbearded man wearing a fedora. He doffs it to you. “Oh god,” you think, “here it goes again.”*

Third tyme is the charm, m’lady.

While our last encounter did not go as pleasantly as I might have wished, I am pleased to encounter thine personage again thricely today. Forsoothingly, I have heard it saythed that thou wisheth to know the Greatest and Most Legendary of Role Playing Games that were ever created. This sorte of knowledge falleth directly within my purview, for indeed, I am noted as a scholaer of all games that are fantastical and weirde. Verily, no game compareth to the One True Greatest RPG, for that honor falleth upon Dungeons and Dragons alone. However, the rules of that game are highly mathematical, (if one wishes to play according to the rules of the ancient First Edition made by the Archwizard Gary Gygax) and are not suited for the delicate minds of noblewomen such as thyself. Indeed, thou wilt grow weary and require nourishment in the form of dates, bonbons, and other sweetmeats to regain thine strength. Therefore, allow me to furnish you with a list of fantastic role playing games that are more appropriate for the tender brain of a beginner.

10. Monster Hunter World

(via Capcom)

Indeed! Monster Hunter World is as symple as role playing games getteth! This game requires you to accomplysh one taske and one taske only! Slay monsters! But fear not, dear lady. Thou does not have to dirty thy soft, unspoiled hands with the blood of beasts. Simply pick up a controller and an avatar of thine own design will do it for thee! The game hath a vertitable menagerie of monsters to engage with in combat, and after they are slain, thou mayst craft weapons from their bones at the smithy! Do what with, thou ask? Why, slay more monsters! Naturally!

9. Fallout: New Vegas

(via Bethesda Software)

This game be set in the distant future, one where dark wizards laid waste to the world using strange spells and magicks called “nuclear weapons”. Most of humanitie was slain by such evil magicks, but thou and a few others survive in the Kingdom of New Vegas! Thou must journey across the blasted heath of a country once known as “America” and discover the wonders and horrors hidden therein! Take care my lady, frightful beasts now haunt the once lush and verdant landscape, twisted by nuclear magick. And frightful humans to boot!

8. Undertale

Sans fight screen in Undertale.
(Toby Fox)

This game was created by one man, a great wizard indeed! He calleth himself Sir Toby Fox. He conceived an epic about humans and monsters attempting to live harmoniously! Pshaw! The stuff of fables! Monsters are simply to be slain to win the favor of ladies! It is known. Yet no one toldeth Sir Toby Fox! Poor man! I have heard that one is able to win the game by befriending all of the monsters, and not killing a single one! What a childish notion! Naturally, I destroyed them all on my play through! The ending mty decision earned me made me feel a bit… icky… but I locked away those emotions in the vault of my heart! As any man should!

7. Persona 5: Royal

(via Atlus, Sega, SEGA of America)

This game taketh place in a distant land in the Far East! A land known as “Japan”. Japan is a queer sort of metropolis, where children attend “high school” and conjure each other using “cellphones”. How quaint! The stuff of fantasy already! However, a certain group of high schoolers become privy to a secret universe (or “metaverse”) that existeth parallel to their own! They are able to enter this metauniverse and form strange contracts with the demons therin to assist them in combat against forces of darkness! The darkness that existeth in the heart of man! Oh a thrilling tale! But should they search for darkness in mine own heart, they shall find none. They shall instead see a vast, sunlit field populated with songbirds carrying bits of Byronic poetry in their beaks. For my heart is pure as fresh-fallen snow.

6. Kingdom Hearts

image credit: Square Enix

A young island boy’s world is devoured by a strange darkness from beyond the stars! Oh how Lovecraftian! But instead of going mad, he is given a mysterious power to summon a sword-sized key made of light with which he may beat back the darkness! And better yet, he does it all with the help of the characters of Sir Walter Disney! Oh it is a thrilling tale. One fights in the jungles with the beastly Tarzan. One slays the sea witch Ursula with the help of Princess Ariel! And one even encountereth characters from another notable role playing game on this list! I will not spoil it, but a bard would say his name rhymeth with “loud knife”!

5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


Finally! An RPG world that is simple to understand! Elves! Men! Giants! Dragons! It is all so simple. So familiar. However, the game creatively turns the familiar world of fantasy all topsy turvey by allowing the player to access the awesome power of the dragons by speaking their draconic language! Oh how thrilling! One says “good ‘morrow!” in the draken tongue and a pillar of fire shooteth out of the mouth! A man wonders what sort of heat would be summoned when he sayeth “I love thee” to a faire lady in the language of the Great Wyrms. Perhaps we shall playeth the game together and findeth out.

4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

(CD Projekt)

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt featureth a protagonist that maketh me feel totally secure in my masculinity. Utterly. Completely, say I. In no way doth the striking figure of Geralt of Rivia conjure up any feelings of inadequacy in me. None whatsoever. I care not that he is able to hunt and slay great monsters. I am able to do that every Tuesday night my weekly game of Dungeons and Dragons with the lads. I care not that he is handsome and stylish, for the clothes my mother buys me from Ye Olde Navy are equally handsome and stylish. I care not that he has known the touch of a woman, for someday I too shall know – I mean – I presently know the touch of woman. I swear. Many. Throngs of them. I can hardly take a stroll without – let us changeth the subject.

3. Mass Effect 2

Jack and her tattoos in Mass Effect

Oh what a thrilling tale! Full of dangerous enemies! Merry friendships! Thrilling romantic encounters! All set in the vacuous abysses between the stars! Indeed, my lady, this game taketh place in space. Thou art the commander of a ship filled with the very finest warriors in the galaxy, and thou must traverse through many strange planets in order to foil the machinations of old and terrible sentient war machines! These war machines are like mighty mechanical trebuchets, if trebuchets did not fire silly rocks but rather streams of molten metal that traveleth at a fraction of the speed of light. Oh my lady thy foes shall be fierce in this game! But thou art able to romance many a strong, strapping alien to help thee face off against thy foes!

2. Elden Ring

Elden Ring

A keen eye mayhaps notice that I neglected to include masterful FromSoftware games such as Bloodborne and Dark Souls on this list. In the words of Gimli, son of Gloin “that was deliberate!”. While I beleiveth that these games are indeedly works of arte, I find that Elden Ring sits at the pinnacle of FromSoftware’s creations. After all, this game was dreamed up with the help of the glorious bard Sir George R.R. Martin, singer of the Song of Ice and Fire. As such, the lore of the game is as deep and expansive as the combat is glorious! The monsters are fearsome, but the weapons one may acquire to defeat them are more fearsome still! This game is a treasure for the ages! Huzzah! Huzzah!

1. Final Fantasy VII

(Square Enix)

Indeed, this be the greatest Role Playing Game of All Thyme (and I do not mean the kitchen spice!). Forsoothedly, this game be what one mayest call a “cultural touchstone” in the world of RPGs. The mark it left upon the world cannot be understated! And I shall duel any man to the death who sayeth otherwise! For a generation of younglings, it was the first role playing game that they had ever played, and it inspireth perhaps every other game on this vaunted lyst! The game concerns a hero who defies the machinations of a sinister corporation as nobly as his hair nobly defies the laws of Newtonian gravitation! (A rhyme! I shall compose it in a song!) The combat is an intellectually thrilling affair, as the game requires the player to think of many a clever stratagem in order to defeat one’s foes! And one is rewarded for one’s efforts, and one gains “experience points” and acquires many a skill to pay many a hefty bill! The game also feautereth a grand story, a most sinister villain named Sephiroth, who skewers a fine and noble lady on his blade! It is a heartbreaking affair. But fear not lady, I would never allow thee to be skewered on any blade! Unless of course thou wisheth to see mine own – pray, lady, what art thou spraying me with? Be that a can of bug spray to keepeth the Renaissance Faire mosquitoes away? I am now pesky gnat lady! Surely you jest! Take care lady! Bug spray is flammable! Should I encountereth a dragon I may be in for a world of –

What art thou doing with that lighter…?

(Featured image: FromSoftware)

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Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.