RPG is one of the top genres in video gaming. During the course of history, there have been a lot of great games, however, usually, only the very best of them get remembered. The other titles, while being really close to greatness, often fall into obscurity. In this article, we will list out some of the top tier RPGs of yesteryear, which are really underrated.

10 – Jade Empire (PC)

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BioWare was amongst the best video games developer back then, when they weren’t just a division of EA. Amongst their top titles, Jade Empire was one of the best. Originally released for the Xbox then ported to PC, the title took various inspirations from Chinese history and mythos to create an amazing real-time RPG. A moral system similar to other Bioware games like Knights of the Old Republic or Mass Effect would run parallel with the decisions that you made inside the game. From story choices to even skill build, a lot of things would factor into the system, which would lead you to various different endings. While Jade Empire only sold a modest number (only a few hundred thousand copies) it still has a devoted fanbase.

9 – Skies of Arcadia (Dreamcast)


Sega used to be one of the gaming giants of the past, with their best hit being the Sega Dreamcast. Their in-house development team, AM1 (later renamed to Overworks), was famous for a variety of different games. Their best hit on the system, however, is the RPG title called Skies of Arcadia. The events of the game are set in a fantastical world, with sky pirates and floating landmasses. Its strongest point is the well-written character cast and amazing storytelling that would definitely be able to hook you (after the rather slow start). This game is pretty much a staple for players of the Dreamcast era.

Based on the rumors floating around, it looks like the company has been working on either a remake or a sequel to this title.

8 – Mount and Blade: Warband (PC)

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Mount and Blade: Warband is a prime example of how much expansion could improve the base game in general. Being a standalone expansion, the game was able to split and absorb the community of the original game to create a much strongest fanbase, who are most of the time being borderline fanatical. The amount of freedom that one could have playing this game is staggering. You can pretty much do everything, from mercenary works, creating factions to wage war, create your own kingdom… Mod supports also further increase the replayability of the game, as you can play in various different settings such as Lord of the Rings or Warhammer. While its visual assets are outdated, the game’s amazing combat and sheer depth are still able to carry it in today’s market.

A sequel named Bannerlord is going to be released this year.

7 – Grim Dawn (PC)

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Whenever people mentioned ARPGs, it is usually Diablo, Path of Exile and Warframe that would get the spotlight. However, Grim Dawn from Crate Entertainment is definitely in the same tier. The game was a great homage to Diablo 2, with the same style of world design and dark atmosphere, along with the signature hack and slash skill-based combat. The customization aspect of this game is pretty decent, with seven unique classes that can be used to create various combinations. Replayability is great as well, as the dungeon is randomly generated – that, along with the wave-based crucible, would have you sink dozens or hundreds of hours.

6 – The Age of Decadence (PC)

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While story-driven gameplay and choice/consequences are very valued in RPGs today, it is pretty weird that The Age of Decadence from Iron Tower Studio is more often than not overlooked. The events of the game are set in a post-apocalyptic world with an unusual Roman Empire twist. There are numerous choices made available to the player in order for them to customize every playthrough, as you can pick between combat, pacifism and more. It is heavily recommended to build a specialist character in this game, however, as the Jack of all Trades approach would lead you nowhere. This title is definitely worth checking out if you are looking for something with depth and replayability.

5 – Torment: Tides of Numenera (PC)

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Created by inXile Entertainment, the brain behind the rebirth of Wasteland series, Torment: Tides of Numenera is an attempt to continue the legacy of the cult classic Planescape: Torment. While the combat aspect of the game wasn’t done that well, it can’t be denied that this game is a story/consequence driven game with some great characters. The settings were its strongest point, as various elements from both sci-fi and high fantasy was brought into this and combined. Your character customization would play a big part in beating the story because how the story unfolds is heavily dependent on what you do and what abilities you have. If you are into stuff like Planescape and reading, Tides of Numenera would definitely a great pickup.

4 – Legend of Grimrock 2 (PC)

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A classic dungeon crawler in the style of older games in the 90s that was remade with current graphics standards, Legend of Grimrock 2 is definitely a curious game. Made by indie developer Almost Human, in Grimrock 2, you would be exploring a mysterious island in the first person. The difficulty is pretty unforgiving, as you would usually have to go with the “try over and over” approach. While the visual is not actually something worthwhile, Grimrock 2’s excellent puzzles, gameplay, and challenging combat make it worth a try.

3 – Phantom Brave (PC)


Nippon Ichi Software has been one of the big names in the JRPG scenes, however, none of their game except a select few was able to break into the top, as there are just too many competitions. Phantom Brave is amongst that number. The story of the game revolves around a girl called Marona, whose ability lets her communicate to various spirits known as Phantoms. Her main ability is to imbue an object with a phantom, which would provide various skills and bonuses that would greatly affect gameplay. Combine that with various RPGs staple like movement modifiers, fusion spells, and item construction, Phantom Brave is definitely one of the best obscure turn-based JRPG.

2 – Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (PC)

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The last title made by the original Fallout squad while they were Troika Games, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines was an adaptation of the famous tabletop settings World of Darkness. While the game didn’t sell very well and has numerous technical issues such as bugs and glitches, the sheer quality of its contents earned quite a few positive reviews. You would play as a newly created vampire in the city of Los Angeles and explore everything the underworld has to offer. The depth of the game is concentrated on whatever class you picked, as they all have distinct differences that would change your playthrough completely.

A sequel is going to be released in 2020. If you want to play the original, it is best to get the unofficial patch for the game first.

1 – Tyranny (PC, Xbox)

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The selling point of this game is its unique premise. The events of the game happened after the end, in which the evil side has won and destroyed everything to create a new world order. You would step into the shoes of a Fatebinder, a servant of the Dark Lord, with the duty to clean up everything left in the aftermath. Tyranny asks you a lot of hard questions – as you have to choose between all those evil choices. Decisions would affect the storyline, along with whatever skills you often use. Tyranny is definitely a unique experience that fans of the genre should not miss.

Interested in more of our articles related to video games? Please check out this post for the top 10 best RPGs of 2019.