Emma talks about her top 10 RPGs of the last five years and how they stuck in her mind where others haven’t.
Before we begin, take some time to look at the title and see that it says ‘most enjoyable’, not ‘best’. The two are not mutually exclusive. Now that we’re clear on that, here are my top 10 RPGs of the last five years that have made me come back for more time and time again.
(Also, this is in no particular order so don’t hate plz /cry)
1. The Dragon Age series – BioWare (2007-Present)
BioWare have always been acclaimed for their RPGs. From Neverwinter Nights to Mass Effect their range is broad and their writing is spectacular. Dragon Age Origins, Awakening, and – despite the controversy – 2 have all been frequent flyers for me.
Since I looked at my hard drive and saw I’ve played all of them the same amount of times (oops), all three of them had to take the spot. Alistair has NOTHING to do with that. Nope. Nothing.
2. Saints Row The Third – Volition (2011)
I would count its sequel too, but I’m only counting games I’ve finished on this list. Saints Row The Third was a comedic explosion of guns and running around naked with a giant dildo. I know some wouldn’t say this was an RPG as such, but you take on a role, customise it and make it yours. That, to me, is what an RPG is about.
It was a refreshing comedic change that was a breath of fresh air amongst some of the much blander releases at the time. I mean, LOOK at this guy.
3. Mass Effect 2 – BioWare (2010-2011)
BioWare take another spot on this list with their antics in space with Commander Shepard. The first doesn’t get on this list because it’s past the five year bracket (I know, right?) and the third doesn’t because… Well, just because. Mass Effect 2 was my favourite of the trilogy and holds a very special place in my heart.
The plot was engaging, characters were heartwarming/badass, and the whole game just oozed that unique ‘BioWare-ness’ out of every pore. I loved it.
4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Bethesda (2011)
We all knew that RPG giants Bethesda would take at least one spot on this list. Skyrim was a hotly anticipated game that’s still not gathering dust on my shelf. As it was with Oblivion, you’re always pretty compelled to play again. Despite Alduin being a bit of a let down, the game was pretty amazing.
Not taking the visuals into account, the world was incredible. Fantastic lore and fun quests made for hours of adventuring. Plus it was wonderfully and impeccably glitchy.
5. Fire Emblem: Awakening – Intelligent Systems (2013)
The first 3DS title on this list, and my current go-to game, is Fire Emblem: Awakening. Combining the elements of an RPG with tactics and a quick mind, this game hits all my buttons time and time again. The characters are all unique and are very distinct unlike some other games where your companions can kinda blend into one another if they’re not 3D (Hah, get it?) enough.
This game is incredible. The music is incredible, it looks incredible…It’s just incredible, alright?
6. Harvest Moon: A Tale of Two Towns – Marvelous Interactive Software (2010-2012)
Harvest Moon is one of the most iconic RPG franchises, although it’s more on the slow side than others. A Tale of Two Towns was the first Harvest Moon game to be released on both DS and 3DS and it captured my heart with it’s charm and quirkiness.
As always, you’re a farmer, but Marvelous are incorporating more and more things for you to do, and the idea of two villages feuding brought an intriguing element into the gameplay and made you think about what option would be the most productive for you.
(I couldn’t find a gif for it so this cute little picture will have to do)
7. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – CD Projekt RED (2011-2012)
Geralt has to be one of my favourite player characters EVER. That along is kinda a factor as to why the game is here. Y’know, alongside the amazing combat, story and environments. It just ticked all the boxes for me.
That and the fact that the hangover mission was one of the single funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life.
8. Dark Souls – From Software (2011)
From Software’s spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls set many gamers tempers alight with its insane difficulty and imposing demeanor. To be honest with you, I loved it. I thoroughly enjoyed the game even when it was beating the crap out of me.
Why? Because it wasn’t giving me a pat on the head and a cookie every time I followed an instruction or finished a QTE. It made me work for what I got, and that was the mark of a fantastic game to be.
(That being said no amount of money will ever convince me to play the Prepare to Die Edition. That’s a whole load of nope right there.)
9. Pokémon X & Y – Game Freak (2013)
This little beauty is quickly becoming one of my favourites of the entire franchise. Normally, I get the newest Pokémon game, I play it, I beat it, and I spend heaps of time afterwards screwing around with all the optional stuff. This time? I started from scratch and did it all again.
Black & White/Black & White 2 had the same effect on me, but X & Y got the spot purely because I prefer the region.
10. Fallout 3 – Bethesda (2008)
Ha! You thought I wasn’t going to put it in, didn’t you?! This behemoth takes the last place on this list with it’s massive expanses of wasteland, engaging characters and gripping plot. The bigness of it always intimidated me a bit, but was also one of the things I loved.
Kinda loved the whole ‘pick which body part you want to maim’ thing, won’t lie.
So, there you have it. My top 10 RPGs of the last five years. I could’ve gone on and on about others that were outwith that time frame but seriously there’s not enough time in the day. So many thanks for taking the time to read this.
If you’ve got any examples of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments!