RPG's are one of the most popular and varied video game genres in the industry, and 2021 came out with excellent RPGs and more.
The RPG is one of the most varied genres in video games, as it ranges from action RPGs, Skyrim, and tactical RPGs such as Wasteland 3, to simplified RPGs like Pokémon and Paper Mario.
Because of this, RPGs often use elements from other genres like action-adventure, confusing what is and isn't an RPG at times. Overall, though, this is a good thing because no two RPGs will be exactly alike.
All in all, 2021 was a strange year for RPGs. There wasn't much western presence, many JRPGs took center stage and many RPGs experimented and dabbled in other genres. However, RPGs are an essential part of the industry and 2021 appeared like any other year (as seen below in alphabetical order).
Bravely default 2
Bravely Default 2 is set in a new world, with a new story and cast of characters, but retains the classic turn-based RPG style of previous games.
It also updates the Brave Point System, introduces the Brave and Default combat system, a customizable group of classic RPG characters and classes like White Mage, Black Mage, Monk, Thief and so on.
Overall, as we wrote in our review of Bravely Default 2, “turn-based battles with a twist, an intricate, intersectional work system, and a ragtag group of heroes are all key components that make the experience memorable.”
Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights
Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights is a 2D dark fantasy RPG that engages in elements of Metroidvanias, action-adventure games, and more. It's pretty impressive for any game, let alone a standalone title, to pull all these elements together cohesively, but Ender Lilies does just that. In an attempt to solve/save a realm destroyed by the Rain of Death, players can defeat bosses and then recruit them as allies, utilize an intricate combat system, acquire abilities from their enemies, equip relics, and ultimately determine how the story ends (with Ender Lilies having three endings) through action-oriented choices.
Loop hero is unique, combining ideas of an endless RPG with the concept of a zero-player game. In it, instead of taking on the role of a hero trying to save the world, players essentially become the recreator of the world.
It combines roguelike and deck-building elements with unique choices like an RPG where players must build the world around their hero as they go through it.
The overall objective is to restore the world through memories and defeat the Loop Hero lich. Recreating mountains, forests, buildings and more is fun, but they can also upgrade your hero with smart choices.
Monster hunter rise
Monster Hunter Rise is an action RPG with a focus on action. Using a variety of weapons, RPG systems like a buildable Palamute and more, players are able to refine the build and handle their builds.
Combat in Monster Hunter Rise, and indeed in all MH games, is its defining feature, but one that lends itself to RPG elements when players can acquire specific items from that monster and turn it into new weapons and armor.
Monster hunter rise followed the great success Monster Hunter World , which was no easy feat, but really made a name for itself. Now fans can look forward to the Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak expansion.
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the franchise Monster Hunter It may be seen as a one-trick pony, but the truth is, it can do it all. Nintendo fans got a real treat this year to see her do just that. While Monster Hunter Rise is a continuation of the franchise's primary RPG mechanics, Monster Hunter Stories 2 takes players down a different path.
It utilizes turn-based combat, a classic element of RPGs, and also offers the ability to use Monsties in combat. More than that though, as the name implies, there's a greater emphasis on story than Monster Hunter Rise as well.
Nier Replicant version 1.22474487139
Nier replicant was originally only available in Japan, but this re-release finally saw the game make its way west – after NIER in 2010.
This worldwide re-release also came with several updates such as a complete graphical overhaul, reworked movement and combat, reorganized soundtracks, new locations, weapons and an ending, and more. Overall, this might be many people's first time with NieR Replicant, but it sure is the ultimate experience.
Scarlet Nexus is a third-person action RPG where players must defend New Himuka and defeat the “Others”. Players can use close-range weapons, but they also excel at using their psychokinesis, which can be upgraded via the Scarlet Nexus' "brain map" (read the skill tree).
Players can also meet new companions and eventually "brain link" them, unlocking the ability to personally use their abilities as well.
Shin megami tensei 5
Combining RPG elements with strategy and adventure elements, Shin Megami Tensei 5 is the latest in a beloved JRPG franchise. As a high school student, players must venture through Tokyo and its post-apocalyptic future, eventually ascending to godhood (of a species) as the Nahobino.
Players can create and fuse demons, make important story choices, increase their stats and work on their character progression, and much more.
Tales of Arise
The 'Tales Of' franchise has been around for quite some time and is truly a definitive JRPG experience. This year, however, the release of Tales of Arise went in another direction.
It retains many of the JRPG skills, weapons, and character systems from previous games, including the beloved skits from the Tales franchise, but adds a darker, West-oriented story. By combining the best of both worlds, Tales of Arise set a new standard for future Tales RPGs.
While not a necessary component of every RPG, the choice-based systems and storylines are one of the biggest draws when really diving into their RPG elements. Wildermyth offers this unlike any RPG this year and unlike most previous years.
In a character-driven, group-based tactical RPG, Wildermyth sees players taking their characters and building their legend. Unique heroes are born in each game, with their own unique personality and story, but the player defines their future.
Players can let them die in a blaze of glory or pull them back with a mutilation that changes their future. Combining an original and beautiful paper world, extreme character depth, and infinite reproducibility, Wildermyth is an RPG where every game has untold potential.