Stick of Truth beats the odds, thanks to the way Obsidian applied the South Park license to some clever RPG tropes—party members are recruited through a Facebook-like interface, a quest sends you to retrieve “Mr.Slave’s Package,” status effects include being “grossed out,” etc.Sly’s look of resignation as he’s thrown out of his own office window is brilliant, and he carries it with him throughout the adventure.
It's the same approach we take without our overall list of the best games to play today.
We don’t ignore a game’s impact completely—innovation and influence just has a lesser weight under our criteria.
It’s hard not to wonder what Hall’s planned sequels could have achieved.
Release date: 2016 | Developer: Crate Entertainment | Humble Store, Steam If you’ve rinsed Diablo 2 for every magical trinket and are looking for a modern fix, here is your game.
Long before shooters or real-time strategy, the earliest PC developers replicated their tabletop RPGs on the PC, building sprawling adventures filled with orcs and wizards and foul dungeons.
Those early games slowly built on their tabletop origins, and RPGs eventually became so popular, their elements spread to other genres.
It’s not the deepest RPG on this list, but it’s one of the most immediately fun entries, and makes for a great introduction to the genre.
Release date: 2001 | Developer: Ion Storm Dallas | Humble Store, Steam Former id Software designer Tom Hall had a vision for his first, and only, Ion Storm game.
Ion Storm built the game on a heavily modified version of the Quake 2 engine, and it’s never looked like a normal game.
But even today, the blocky character models still have personality, and the facial animations are surprisingly effective.
He wanted to make a turn-based RPG, like Final Fantasy, but with a distinctly Western voice.