Top 5 RPGs You Must Play!
Christopher Dowdall Shares His Current Top 5 RPGs. Check Them Out.
As a gamer that has played a hell of a lot of RPGs these are the ones that I highly recommend. It was pretty hard to limit it to five especially with series of great games like Mass Effect, Fallout, Diablo and of course the Elder Scrolls series, but I think there’s a pretty good mix here, with some you may not have heard of. In no particular order here they are:
Many of you may not be familiar with this little gem. Jade Cocoon was very similar to Pokémon and is a turn based game in which you battle with captured monsters. You played as Levant, the son of a legendary Cocoon master. A Cocoon master captures monsters called minions out in the wilds via a ball of light called a cocoon and the use of his ocarina. The special thing about Jade Cocoon was that these monsters could be captured and combined to create entirely new creatures. For example there are small creatures with metallic armoured shells if you combined this with a demon imp-like creature you would end up with a demon with a coat of metallic armour! Even combining these creatures in different orders can create different results in the monsters appearance, abilities and elemental type. The monsters also grew in size as they levelled up and became older and you could also acquire special skins to apply to your minion, such as a tiger pattern amongst many others. For a Playstation One game it is amazing how advanced the minion combination system was, you could be combining a minion that had already been mixed several times with another and keep getting new results, providing hours of experimenting and capturing different minions to create your own perfect beast. Check out this gem if you haven’t already.
This goes without saying. Mass Effect gave players a rich and detailed universe full of interesting characters with their own unique personalities and backgrounds. Everyone has a favourite Mass Effect character that never leaves their side, mine was the Krogan: Urdnot Wrex, who is quite frankly the badass of all badasses. However all the characters are unique in their own right and as a gamer I actually cared about them as we went through the story and had chats on the deck of the Normandy as well as helping them get rid of their emotional baggage. It is no easy achievement for a game to achieve this level of care and development of characters and Mass Effect is all the better for it. This also leads to tough decision making where the crews lives are often in your hands, the choices you make shape Sheppard into your very own hero, or antihero. The story itself was also brilliant as you attempted to track down Saren, the rogue spectre, and eventually learn of the much greater Reaper threat. Also it was definitely a breath of fresh air to be playing a third person shooter, sci-fi, RPG instead of playing the traditional magic and swords, medieval era RPG. Unless by some unfortunate turn of events you’ve ended up trapped in a dungeon then you’ve already played this, and if you haven’t you must escape and play this totally immersive and engaging game immediately and then play the sequels.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
This is definitely a must play for any RPG or Elder Scrolls fan. Morrowind is a completely different world to Oblivion and Skyrim and is home to the Dunmer, or Dark Elves. Morrowind is a mostly desolate and barren land full of diseased creatures, twisted, decaying trees, and swamps and features a gigantic volcano in the centre of the map. But that doesn’t stop there being countless villages, cities and tribal areas to explore as well as all the Dwemer ruins, mines, tombs and other areas. Morrowind is a much more challenging game than Oblivion and Skyrim, there aren’t any quest markers or fast travel to help you along here, you have your journal, which you refer to remember directions given to you and quest information. This will often lead to players referring to wiki guides in search of guidance when directions become too confusing or unclear to follow. However this just makes the exploration and role playing aspect of the game more fun as you have to walk great distances to your objective, creating a real sense of an epic journey as you follow paths and direction signs and encounter many unexpected enemies. Morrowind also featured countless guilds and factions to join including the classic fighters, mages and thieves guilds to several vampire clans, great houses, Imperial legion, Morag tong and many others. There’s a few spells in this game that I would also have loved to see in Skyrim such as the levitate spell, which you could use to float over pesky mountains so you don’t have to walk around the whole damn thing, and slow fall, which enabled players to fall safely from great heights, making it quicker and more fun to get down from mountains and buildings. If you loved Oblivion and Skyrim then Morrowind is definitely still worth playing now, with an entirely different world, guilds, quests and the Bloodmoon and Tribunal content I wouldn’t be surprised if this the biggest elder scrolls game in terms of content and playtime. I desperately wish that with all the HD remake collections coming out that developers would take the time to recreate this carefully created world. I would throw my money at them.
Champions of Norrath: Return to Arms
I feel that this game was mostly overlooked and it’s a real shame because it was one of the most fun coop games on the Playstaion 2. Champions of Norrath is set in the Everquest universe and is a top down Diablo style dungeon crawler that included four player cooperative gameplay. Players can pick from seven different classes which included a barbarian, cleric, ranger and wizard as well as the beast races Iksar Shaman, which was a lizard man that had abilities that could increase his size dramatically, making you a rampaging Godzilla of a beast. There is also the Vah Sir Beserker, which was a cat like creature that could be customised to look like a panther, cheetah and a lion and became increasingly stronger and faster the closer to death you became. All of these races could be customized by choosing and combining set facial features and hair, but this was good enough so that your character felt unique. Playing this game with friends will create frantic rivalries as players rush to pick up all the bosses weapon drops before the other does. Me and my friends got into a few hilarious and heated debates that included the following: “give me your weapon, it’s not for your class you don’t need it” to which the reply was “No! I’m going to sell it for the moneys!” Sure the story may not be particularly brilliant but there’s a great variety of levels, nice graphics and utterly addictive dungeon crawling with tonnes of random weapon and armour drops to find. Playing this game with a few friends is an absolutely great time that will have you laughing and arguing for hours over that one special item drop.
Fallout: New Vegas
Why New Vegas over Fallout 3 you say? Well I feel that New Vegas was largely overlooked because allot of people thought it was basically an add on and there was no improvement on the graphics. While it’s true that the graphics are virtually the same it is certainly not an overblown add on. New Vegas is easily as big as Fallout 3 except everything is a completely new environment. Don’t get me wrong Fallout 3 is a great game but for me New Vegas had a better storyline, locations, characters and other features that made it stand out more. For example New Vegas featured a new faction system where your actions could make you liked by one faction of people such as the boomers, whilst simultaneously being hated by another such as the Brotherhood of Steel. This allows you to pick and choose who you can be an asshole to instead of being labelled a murdering evil bastard like in Fallout 3. Some of the more interesting characters also include “The King” a gang leader who models himself and his gang on Elvis Presley. This fits in very well with the whole 1950’s theme and is also pretty funny as “The King” isn’t entirely sure who the real King was, as there’s very little evidence left over after the nuclear apocalypse so he has had to fill in missing information. The setting of the game itself is also much more interesting as you learn that civilisation is developing with the NCR, or the New California Republic, becoming a steadily growing authority that has begun introducing taxes and offering protection and clean water to the people of the wasteland. On the other end of the scale there’s Caesar’s Legion, a power hungry Roman inspired ruthless community that want complete control of the wasteland and it’s up to you who wins the battle for Hoover Damn, the ultimate resource that tips the balance in either direction for the wasteland. Or there are a few other options, but I don’t want to ruin anything. If you enjoyed Fallout 3, you should definitely give this a try, especially with a relatively cheap game of the year edition out. With more interesting characters, story, environments and weapons Fallout New Vegas will definitely provide you with a fun and lengthy experience.
I realise there are many other worthy RPGs to be included here especially Dragon Age: Origins, Skyrim, Oblivion, Dark Souls, Dark Cloud 2, Final Fantasy 8, Steambot Chronicles and Dragon Quest: Journey of the Cursed King. I could go on, but this list will provide you with the often overlooked and unheard of gems that will provide you with a new experience in the glorious and immersive world of RPG’s. Give these games a try and you will be sucked into another world.
To Game, Or Not To Game.
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