Top 10 Best RPG Series of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Final Fantasy

The Final Fantasy series crushes the rest in all aspects, constantly offering a new gameplay experience with breathtaking aesthetics, from music to character design, the pinnacle level of finesse!

How is this not first? That's ridiculous! This is, by far, the most memorable and amazing RPG franchise ever created. With the brilliant strategy of almost never having a game in the same universe or world, they are able to keep things fresh and new very easily. Although the later ones have been lacking, the old ones are perfection.

Final Fantasy as a whole reshaped how RPG storytelling, gameplay, and presentation are created. It gave the video game industry a whole new criteria for fantasy genre-based games and gave us some of the most memorable stories, characters, and locations in any media form.

2 Elder Scrolls

I started pretty late with Oblivion in 2006. I played the heck out of it, got Morrowind, and played the heck out of that too. Then Skyrim came along, and I played the heck out of that as well. All are amazing, but here's how I'd rank them:

1. Skyrim - feels very refined. It seems like they perfected the Elder Scrolls formula with this game.
2. Oblivion - The first one I played. I might be biased. It has an interesting world, a good story, and is overall fun.
3. Morrowind - I love this game. It has the best story of them. It's set in an inhospitable and interesting world. The gameplay doesn't hold up that well today but still is one of the best games I've ever played.
4. Daggerfall - It has a big world with lots of stuff.
5. Arena - It's boring, and I lost interest after an hour.

I have played and completed almost all quests in every single TES title, delving deep into each game (focusing only on those with The Elder Scrolls titles). You might think I'm boasting or have too much free time, but in truth, I barely touched Skyrim. My passion lies in classic gaming, finding the most enjoyment in RPG classics.

Daggerfall is my all-time favorite classic RPG, and I still play it regularly. The world feels infinite, making it seemingly impossible to explore everything. I have invested countless hours in The Elder Scrolls: Arena and continue to do so. When Morrowind was released, it was the most amazing and impressive game I had ever played. However, the enchantment ended with Morrowind. I did play and complete all quests in Oblivion, but neither Oblivion nor Skyrim recaptured those old-school vibes for me.

3 Pokémon

No matter what generation you played, you still love or loved Pokemon. It's just one of those games where, even if you don't realize it, you are always remembering the good times. When I take tests, I listen to the Lance battle music. When I'm happy, I hum Pallet Town. People aren't afraid to make references to it, because everyone knows that everyone used to play it.

Pokemon is a fun game series and many enjoy it. It is a series that brings back memories and has been going on for quite a while. It is a classic game that is one of Nintendo's top-selling series. It is also one of the series that Nintendo relies on heavily.

Why on earth is this not number one? These games are quite possibly the greatest games that anyone has ever played. Ruby and Sapphire are my favorites, but all of them are classic and awesome. Not only are you almost never done with the game, it's one of the few RPGs you can battle your friends with, even doing it competitively.

4 The Legend of Zelda

Legend of Zelda is immense. No matter if you played Elder Scrolls or Final Fantasy when you grew up, it is almost impossible that you did not play at least one Zelda game while growing up. To top that off, the familiar characters, storyline, amazing soundtrack, AND the fact that it's one of Nintendo's joint three most recognizable franchises, it just can't be beaten.

The Zelda series is a masterpiece that was created by Nintendo. Although there are many competitors other than that series itself, it still can survive till now. Since I played Zelda for the first time, it feels like my life is changing. It has become so much better... Thanks, Zelda. Thanks, Nintendo...

It is because of this series of RPGs that Nintendo was forced to make technology that used a battery to save game files. I think that in itself and the fact that it is the first open-world exploration game are testaments to how great this game is.

5 Fallout

I've thoroughly played all the games listed on this ranking, and I can assure none of them has any chance at all when compared to Fallout. The Fallout franchise itself is one of the best of all time, but Fallout 2 alone, in my humble opinion, hasn't been matched by any other RPG game ever made.

An absolutely original, mature, believable, appealing, and coherent universe is mixed with an absolutely incredible atmosphere. It's developed with so much love and dedication that it seems unbelievable that we still have to wait for a part three.

What separates Fallout 1 & 2 from all the other so-called "RPGs" out there is that they are actual, genuine, and above all, original role-playing games. Whatever you did and said affected the outcome of a certain situation, or in some cases, even the final outcome of the game. It's a pity that Fallout 3 does not share this trait with its predecessors by being more shoot-em-up and less role-playing-oriented.

To Fallout 1 & 2, the two greatest role-playing games on Earth!

6 Baldur's Gate

Baldur's Gate and all the Forgotten Realms-type games provide a type of gameplay different from the above games. If you like a long plot full of interesting lore, deities, creatures, and other such stuff, you will like these games. While the graphics aren't the best in comparison to games such as Final Fantasy, its story is what matters. Baldur's Gate and Planescape Torment's stories are amazing compared to all the stories I have played in other RPGs. Another great thing is the fact that companions have their own opinions and seem realistic, unlike companions in most games. I love that you're not forced to go on a completely set path, unlike most games, and that you can choose from a variety of lifestyles to live. On top of all this, community mods have improved upon the game, making graphics better, conversations longer, and romances possible with any character. If you love story, DEFINITELY play Baldur's Gate!

7 Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts games didn't just give you entertainment like the select games above but they gave you a sense of true emotion and attachment to the characters. The emotionally powerful stories of both games make the love story thing actually good to like, and this game not at least being in the top 5 really proves to me that gamers only play mainstream stuff these days.

I don't really like to play video games that much, but these games are amazing. The storyline is awesome, and it has all the themes of the hero's journey. The music is great, and you get to play alongside all the best Disney characters in their worlds and fight off their villains. Classic! I don't know why this isn't number 1.

If you think Disney makes memorable stories, Kingdom Hearts is beyond it. The music blends you and the game. You can relive the Disney worlds in a whole new way. It is expressed in powers! And who wouldn't dig into Sora's badass transformations?

8 Shin Megami Tensei

I love the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. It's just so much more different than your typical JRPGs. The darker themes regarding morality, spirituality, etc., just make it such an interesting franchise. In the games up to the late 2000s, Kazuma Kaneko created some hauntingly beautiful, amazing art that perfectly encapsulates the tone of Megaten. I'm not discrediting other artists, by the way. They've all done a great job, but Kaneko was really something else. Possibly my favorite video game concept artist. The games have a higher difficulty than most JRPGs, which just makes them a thrill, and the music is always just phenomenal. The aesthetics and fashion also capture late 90s-2000s Japanese street culture, and I love it. And then there's the spinoff Persona series, which are all amazing games as well, especially Persona 2 and Persona 4. My favorite games in the series are definitely Digital Devil Saga, Persona 2, Nocturne, and Persona 4.

9 Dragon Age: Origins

This is one of the most exciting games that I've ever played. There are so many different outcomes that I keep playing it over and over again, while waiting for Dragon Age 3: Inquisition.

The characters in this game really define it, as well as the fantastic gameplay. Honestly, it hooked me from start to finish. I'm sad to see it end.

A very good game... Deserves to be in the top 10, not number 20. Great story. Can be a little difficult at first, but once you get the hang of combat and tactics, you will absolutely 'LOVE' this game.

10 Paper Mario

Oh, Paper Mario... The original as well as The Thousand Year Door captured all of us with its unique style and great (if not hilarious) writing and storytelling. Nothing beats getting completely owned by Bowser at the beginning of the game and falling from orbit, only to survive and gather your strength. Next thing you know, you're back up there with Bowser using every ability and every little hour you used in the game to get stronger to beat him. EPIC!

I love Paper Mario, especially the first two. The first two were original and nostalgic. Super Paper Mario technically isn't an RPG, and a lot of people hated Sticker Star. Yes, it's generic, but I didn't really mind it. Though, when there's a console and portable game that's either a sequel or the same game, they tend to be very different. Plus, the Thousand Year Door had a lot of Super Mario RPG, which gave it the nostalgic feel.

The Contenders
11 EarthBound

Technically it's the Mother series, but yeah, the games are great because they are set with a storyline that could happen in real life, which makes you actually feel like the character. Everything about the games is great, like the music and dialogue.

Well, this game has a special spot in my heart and will continue to do so. It's just so weird, if you haven't played it, you have to. It may not be as wonderful as Mother 3, but that is my favorite RPG of all time, and I'm not lying. Definitely worth playing, no doubt.

This game is one of my favorite games of all time, and as much as I love Pokémon, this game is better. It's a shame Mother 3 wasn't released outside of Japan because it might have made the series more popular and sell well.

12 Fire Emblem

Along with the original Paper Mario game, Fire Emblem is the first game that I've ever taken the time to play twice. It has great difficulty, strategy, and incredible music, story, and character development.

Best Story: Radiant Dawn
Best Character: Marissa
Best Class: Hero
Best Lord: Hector
Best Chapter: The one in Bern for FE7
Best Overall Game: Fire Emblem 4 (sucks because it was only released in Japan)

The only true epic strategy series, Fire Emblem stands out in the midst of games such as Final Fantasy and Legend of Zelda for being a series that gained immense popularity worldwide with only four games released in the West.

Sacred Stones, man...
Rogue and Mage Knight are the two BEST CLASSES.
Rogue is my favorite class in the whole series.
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
The sword can't hit what the eyes can't see!

13 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Easily the most personal, diverse story and characters in any game ever. It's simple, KOTOR is something magical, even the sequel was on par with the original game, and even the MMO is great (and I really hate MMOs)! Although I have to admit, while playing TOR or any other BioWare game, there is still a big part of me upset simply because it isn't Knights of the Old Republic 3, even though it's been 7 years since I finished the second game. It is that good. By far the best Star Wars prequel.

Wow, really? Final Fantasy? I admit it is a really great series and definitely has some of the greatest games of all time, but really? The minute I held my hands on KOTOR, I fell in love. Truthfully, of course, it is not the greatest RPG series or game of all time. But for Star Wars fans, it is. Excellent game, and with Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG coming out... heaven knows.

I was going to say some truly elegant stuff about how astoundingly great this series is, about the mature themes, the epic storytelling, and awesome twist of KOTOR I, and the deeply personal story of KOTOR II. But instead, I'll go with this: You get to go on a galaxy-wide murder spree with a racist assassination droid. Beat that, Final Fantasy.

14 Mass Effect

The immersive impact of the characters, battles, romance, locations, story development, and incremental leadership the entire trilogy distributes to the player is indescribably amazing. Even though I humbly agree with this list, I will forever love Mass Effect for all that it is.

Mass Effect stands out because of the way it biotic charges you into its own world... Bringing you close to its characters, mass relays, and individual stories. This incredible saga made me weep at its conclusion... But never fear, there's more to come!

Best RPG games... The only reason why it's not in the top 10 is we are missing the last chapter. If it is at the same level as the first 2, then it's easily top 5.

15 Planescape: Torment

Without a doubt, Planescape: Torment offers the best storyline ever crafted for a video game, transcending the RPG genre. The narrative quality surpasses many books and movies.

The setting is remarkable. Despite initial doubts, the Planescape setting works wonderfully in a video game format. It doesn't focus heavily on combat, unlike Baldur's Gate and similar games, but the battles it does feature are epic, especially given the context. They occur at just the right moments. Constant 'epicness' can become monotonous, but here, the pacing is flawless, expertly alternating between quieter moments and building up to genuine gaming climaxes. In short, it's the best game ever created, period.

This game deserves more... Its story is one of the greatest I've ever seen. That flying skull cracks me up all the time, and the gloomy atmosphere is also a brilliant way to suck you in.

There were hundreds of thousands of words in the narrative of this game. The storyline drove older RPGs. Newer RPGs are just graphics. Games like Planescape prove you don't need a story to be truly amazing.

16 Neverwinter Nights

Please, let's limit ourselves to the only REAL role-playing games in this list (Neverwinter Nights 1-2 & Might and Magic series) and the only platform for serious gamers: the PC. Let's get rid of that childish console crap once and for all!

I second this. All those console games are not real RPGs. Yeah, you level up, but that does not constitute an RPG. There are no real "choices" in games like FF.

One of the only games (NWN1 and 2, not the NWN online...) that feels like a true tabletop RPG, where even small quest speech options can have impacts on the main storyline. A plus for NWN1 + Hordes of the Underdark. Replayability is great due to the ginormous quality content created by the community.

17 Chrono

Well, I'll be. Chrono Trigger is just better than anything here, except for Final Fantasy, but we can debate that all day. Chrono Trigger revolutionized the RPG genre and is still known today as the greatest SNES game of all time. Then again, Cross doesn't live up to the expectation, in my opinion. Still, Trigger alone deserves AT LEAST Top 5. It is one of the Top Ten greatest video games of all time.

This is the best game I have ever played! I remember so vividly the very first time I started playing this game back in the days. It had cool graphics, an awesome story, great characters, awesome artwork, TIME TRAVEL, and multiple endings!

Also, one of the first RPGs (I have played at least) that had the ability to combine attacks.

I have spent way too many hours playing this game and I would play it again anytime today even though it's so old already.

It's absolutely Chrono Trigger. It revolutionized the RPG world, and I believe it was the first game to offer multiple endings. An RPG that didn't use tutorials but showed you as you played, and that your actions would change the course of the game. And don't get me started on the music.

18 Secret of Mana

Everything about Secret of Mana is great. I love the storyline and the music. I also think the combat controls are some of the best of any game. I have been playing this game since I was a kid, and I still enjoy playing it over and over again.

By far the best RPG I have ever played... And I have played many. Perfect music and storyline to match. This game actually helped shape me into the person I am today. Seems ridiculous...? Play it, and I doubt you'll argue.

Classic, innovative, memorable, fun, epic, unique, captivating... etc., etc.

A handful of words are just not enough to describe the scope of this game. Go back and play it. It's that good.

19 Diablo

After 20 years, still absolutely awesome!
Now, I am writing only to increase the comment quality or whatever.
You should be warned that if you pirate this game, you will not be able to play multiplayer, only local. That is via Hamachi and such.
However, it is definitely worth buying even now!

This is just the best Blizzard game ever until now. There's no way someone can't enjoy the monster-slaying it offers you, nor the way that you can ignore or pay full attention to the story, depending on what you want from it.

Diablo was the first of its style of game and influenced the RPG genre today. Diablo is based off the board game Dungeons and Dragons.

Without Diablo, all the main MMORPGs wouldn't have been made. They are all breakaways from Diablo.

20 Tales Series by Namco

The Tales Series was introduced to me 10 years ago on the 3DS, and it has amazed me more than any other franchise. We currently have 16 mainline titles that came out in just 26 years. Final Fantasy has 18 in 34 years. A good RPG has memorable characters and a great story, not the best graphics. I remember lots of characters from the franchise because they interact with each other more, which causes you to become a part of the group. It also has great humor, excellent music, and a story with twists that no one expects.

Honestly, here in the West, no one has heard of these games, and it is a real shame. This is one of the most amazing game series I have ever played for reasons all stated down below. I just wish more people knew about them... They are so underrated. All you hear of is Final Fantasy, which I have played and enjoyed, but nowhere near as much as the Tales of series.

This masterpiece series is pretty underrated due to the majority of the games being released in Japan only. The series never fails to combine excellent storytelling, addicting gameplay, and fantasy in a nutshell.

21 Dragon Quest

I'm surprised that this is so low, behind games that hardly qualify as RPGs (Paper Mario, really?). It's also weird how DQ Monsters is higher than its parent series. I love this series because you almost always have the option to play the game as a solo character.

Better known to some as "Dragon Warrior" 1-4 on the NES, how this series is not a top ten, I'll never know. Come on...
A Slime Draws Near!
The Slime Attacks!
The Slime Misses!
Erdrick Attacks!
Erdrick Lands a Tremendous Blow!
427 Damage!
(the DDDAa! )
Thou art defeated the Slime.
Thou art gained 1 gold.
Thou art gained 2 Exp.

It should be up there... you know you've played it.

I play-tested Dragon Warrior I for NES. I hated it at the time but played it some months later and ended up enjoying it.

22 Xenosaga

Far too underappreciated. When played from start to finish, you'll find one of the most complex universes created, and an epic tale that cannot be missed!

23 Suikoden

My two favorite games are Final Fantasy VII and Suikoden II. I think out of those two, Suikoden II is the better game. I also enjoy the original Suikoden and Suikoden V, and yes, I own every Final Fantasy game and every Suikoden game. The best thing about Suikoden is that it's a continuing story in a large and interesting world, with many mysteries yet to be uncovered. The series as a whole has a much deeper world and story than any single FF game can ever accomplish.

I say that this game was released too fast, especially Suikoden II. I say that because the graphics are not really good. But the storyline and the gameplay are so AWESOME! So awesome that even though the graphics are not that good, we still see this game as the best game we ever played. And the mystery in the Suiko world makes me really curious. The best RPG ever!

As far as RPGs go, Suikoden 2 is the best I have played. Suikoden 2 was the game that opened my eyes to how great RPGs can be. Suikoden has an incredibly vast world, so expansive that it's hard to imagine its full extent. The world has a rich history, numerous nations, and even some unknown nations that are yet to be discovered. It also features the 27 True Runes, many of which remain mysterious and unknown. I can't wait to see another series of this game, especially Suikoden 6.

24 RuneScape

The world's most popular free MMORPG and not even in the top ten! Runescape is a game for serious and committed gamers who wish to explore 26 skills, combat and non-combat-wise. With thousands upon thousands of hours of gameplay and limitless paths to take, you can never fully take it all in. That's what makes Runescape unique and worthwhile.

Very good quality gameplay. It should be at least 4th on this list because it is free, and there is no download required to play. It has the largest base of players, which also means it is the most popular, and the graphics have really improved over the last couple of years!

I've played Runescape for 10 years off and on and never even came close to trying everything in the game. Definitely a game for anyone to play, but be aware that once you're hooked, you won't ever want to let go of it. Hence why I played for ten years.

25 Fable

Fable 3 might be just OK, but Fable and Fable 2 are two games that I replay on a regular basis. They are easily some of the most enjoyable games I've played, partially for their sense of humor.

This game is so underrated. Not only is the game actually good, but the characters are funny, and the storylines are always good stories.

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