Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen – Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen kicked off the year of RPGs with incredibly fun action-adventure gameplay, and open-world exploration. Taking control of the Arisen, players can create their own pawns, recruit pawns made by other players, and engage in a deep but rewarding battle system.
Final Fantasy Explorers – While Final Fantasy Explorers isn’t exactly super heavy on the story, it does provide a lot of fun content you can experience with your friends. It’s often described as a lite version of the Monster Hunter games, and players can team up with iconic Final Fantasy monsters to take down eidolons and collect them. Final Fantasy Explorers also offers up plenty of jobs and classes to choose from, allowing players to experiment with different play styles.
Fire Emblem Fates – If you love romance options in your RPGs, Fire Emblem Fates is the perfect game for you. Not only does it feature a really gripping story about the war between Hoshido and Nohr, as well as really challenging tactical gameplay, nearly every character in the game can be romanced by your avatar. And that’s really the only important part of the game, isn’t it? All jokes aside, Fire Emblem Fates will provide you with tens of hours of rewarding tactical battles, and a good cast of characters for you to latch on to.
The Banner Saga 2 – As the follow-up to the critically acclaimed Banner Saga, this sequel takes the decisions and choices you made in the first game into account. The Banner Saga 2 continues to feature engaging world-building and lore, as well as a tactical combat system that’s challenging, but always fair.
Salt and Sanctuary – A lot of recently released RPGs have been described as Souls-like, but no game truly embodies the meaning of that description than Salt and Sanctuary. The game is played completely in 2D, and Souls fans will find a lot to love here. Salt and Sanctuary features tough bosses with learnable patterns, sanctuaries which are essentially the same as bonfires, and a grim art style that will remind fans of Bloodborne.
Dark Souls III – Now here’s a big juggernaut that RPG fans can’t afford to miss out on. Dark Souls III is the concluding entry to one of the most well-written stories in modern gaming, and it sends off its epic saga with complete story threads and multiple endings for fans to pore over. The level design and verticality is extremely well-done, and Dark Souls III has spared no expense in polishing its gameplay and presenting some seriously gorgeous set-pieces.
Bravely Second: End Layer – Bravely Second is a perfect fit for any old-school Final Fantasy fan who misses the classic stories of searching for crystals and protecting them. As the follow-up to Bravely Default from a few years ago, Bravely Second brings back the innovative combat system where players must constantly choose between potential risks and rewards. The humorous writing and wit makes a comeback in a pretty big way as well.
Valkyria Chronicles Remastered – If you missed this gem when it first released on the PS3, now’s your chance to see what the fuss is all about. Valkyria Chronicles Remastered comes packed with all of the previously released DLC, and offers up a strong cast of characters you’ll quickly find yourself attached to. While the tactical combat can get pretty grueling at times, Valkyria Chronicles makes up for that by giving players one of the most convincing love stories in video game history.
The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine – Blood and Wine is the final expansion for The Witcher 3, and it certainly is a worthy sendoff to this incredibly detailed world. Blood and Wine will take you to the beautiful region of Touissant, where you’ll find truckloads of side quests and NPCs to check out, as well as a lengthy campaign for you to tackle. If you’re a fan of vampires, this one’s for you.
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir – Fans of Vanillaware RPGs will feel right at home with this one. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir is a full remake of the PS2 release, and it graces the PS4 and PS Vita with gorgeous artwork and incredibly addictive combat. It’s a pretty long game too; players will get to take control of five different characters, get used to their varying play styles, and test their mettle against colorful and unique bosses. I highly recommend picking this one up on the Vita if you love having your RPGs on the go.
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
Z is a ridiculous fangirl of Metal Gear and anything Souls-related. She has a B.A. in history but thinks her time is better spent as the resident Reviews Editor around these parts. She also thinks Amazon's Kindle is the greatest technological invention in the world. You can reach her at [email protected]