The role-playing genre of the video game industry is one of my favourites. The combination of action; the gradual process of creating a unique character; character creator sliders! You can spend hundreds of hours exploring the diverse in-game as you complete side quests and flesh out the legend of Granthar the Blood Elf or Keith Sheppard, world’s sleaziest Alliance soldier. For the sake of this list, I am excluding MMORPGs.
1. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim- Bethesda Softworks
This fantasy RPG has been my go-to time killing RPG for many years. You play as the Dragonborn, the latest in the line of powerful beings with the ability to absorb the souls of slain dragons. There are hundreds of side quests and 251 perks across 18 skills, allowing for plenty character customisation. Want to be a destruction mage with the ability to smith super strong armour? Then go for it! Throw in the twists and turns of a medieval politics system, lots of NPCs, three DLC packs and an active modding community and you have an immersive sword and sorcery RPG that will keep you entertained over many playthroughs.
2. Fallout 3- Bethesda Softworks
From high fantasy to the post-apocalyptic; Fallout 3 is not only one of my favourite RPGs, but one of my all-time favourite games. You play as the ‘Lone Wanderer’, someone who escapes one of the 112 vaults/social experimentation laboratories set up to shelter the inhabitants of the United States from nuclear war. In the main game, you get to explore the ruins of Washington DC and the surrounding area as you discover the truth about the world around you. If you get bored, three DLC packs will take you to the eerie coast of Maryland, slave driven Pittsburgh and even an alien spaceship! If you are curious about this Fallout 4 everyone is talking about, go back and check out Fallout 3.
3. The Mass Effect trilogy- BioWare
The space opera to rule them all (if you overlook Star Wars of course). You play as Commander Sheppard as you fight to protect the universe from a mechanical, assimilating force intent on ending it. Each game plays very differently and all are satisfying, despite what people say about Mass Effect 3. This is a series where your decision matter, you become fully in command of your squad’s actions in combat and you are free to seduce your crew and assault members of the press to your heart’s content. I promise that you will fall in love with every aspect of this epic quest to save the universe.
4. Borderlands 2- Gearbox Software
Is the thing you want in life an utterly insane RPG with a crazy cast of characters, mind-boggling weapons and a villain who owns a pet horse made of diamonds called Buttstallion? Then Borderlands 2 is the game for you. Travel to the chaotic world of Pandora as a vault hunter, someone who searches for legendary treasure troves, along the way you will be side-tracked at every step to complete side quests for the planet’s insane residents and with ten DLC mini-campaigns to immerse yourself in, you will spend numerous hours exploring and battling your way across Pandora. In addition, once you’ve exhausted all Borderlands has to offer, Telltale Games has a fantastic episodic adventure based around the series!