Top 10 RPG Games of 2019

By JohnSnow, Posted 02 Jan 2020

Although we are all excited for the huge lineup of gaming releases in 2020, we must acknowledge that 2019 was an incredible year for RPG video games. The final year of the 2010s saw the release of a number of highly anticipated sequels and entries in some of the most popular and acclaimed video game franchises of today, as well as original independent releases that received critical acclaim and commercial success. Players got to take on the role of so many different protagonists, explore vast open worlds, interact with engaging and fascinating casts of characters, navigate through compelling stories with twists and turns throughout, and make significant choices that deeply affected their uniquely individualized playthroughs.

With so many major releases in just one year, it can be overwhelming to think back on some of the most impactful, influential, and exceptional titles of the year. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Here are our top ten picks for the best role-playing games of 2019.

Kingdom Hearts III, Top 10 RPG Games of 2019

10. Kingdom Hearts III

The long-awaited and highly anticipated Kingdom Hearts III finally came out this year in January after a long and agonizing fourteen years of development from Square Enix and Disney Interactive. Serving as the official conclusion to the “Dark Seeker Saga” arc that began with the series’ first game, Kingdom Hearts (2002), this PlayStation 4 and Xbox One RPG saw the return of protagonist Sora and his friends Donald Duck, Goofy, Micky, and Riku as they set off to stop the evil Xehanort and the impending second Keyblade War. Upon release, the game received critical acclaim from fans and critics alike. Commercial sales were also impressive and broke records as the fastest-selling and best-selling game in the series history.

9. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

This past March saw the release of another sequel game, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, an online RPG for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One developed by Massive Entertainment and published by Ubisoft. Set seven months after the events of The Division (2016), the game takes place in Washington, D.C. following an agent of the Strategic Homeland Division as they attempt to rebuild a world devastated by a recent smallpox epidemic. With third-person shooter gameplay mechanics and an open world, critics and players praised the game, deeming it an improvement over its predecessor. The game also succeeded commercially and was the number one best-selling game in the U.K. during the week it was released.

8. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers

Though there was no official new Final Fantasy game released this year, 2019 did see the drop of a brand new legendary expansion pack for Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers. The aforementioned MMORPG came out back in 2013 for PC and PlayStation 4 to positive reviews, but Shadowbringers, the game’s third expansion pack, was released this past July. The new patch allowed players to travel to the First Star, a brand-new dimension. Players journeyed to become the Warrior of Darkness and restore the dark to a world engulfed in light. The patch added many features, including playable races, environments, jobs, characters, and more for an exciting new experience.

7. Outward

The open-world fantasy RPG Outward for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One was also released this year back in March. Developed by the Canadian studio Nine Dots and published by Deep Silver, the multiplayer game draws upon survival game features and aspects. Players take on the role of a commoner, a departure from the typical trope of portraying a hero, and monitor their warmth, hunger, fatigue, and thirst levels to survive. Battles are also a prevalent feature of this game and can utilize weapons and magic to defeat enemies. One unique aspect of the game is its auto-save feature, making the game more difficult as the ability to save before battles or return to play before death is impossible.

6. Code Vein

The action and hack-and-slash RPG Code Vein placed players in the middle of a post-apocalyptic dystopian world filled with vampires and supernatural elements. Released in September for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, and developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, this action thriller placed players in an open world ravaged by a mysterious calamity called the “Great Collapse.” Players can team up with an AI or join in multiplayer mode to dungeon grind and rise up to battle the Lost - cannibalistic beings who’ve mutated out of control. The game was a commercial success, debuting at number two on all format video game sales charts in Japan during its first week on sale.

Borderlands 3, Top 10 RPG Games of 2019

5. Borderlands 3

The highly-anticipated Borderlands 3 was also released this year in September for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One consoles. Developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games, this sequel to 2012’s Borderlands 2 served as the fourth main entry in the Borderlands video game series. In this action RPG and loot-driven first-person shooter game, players must stop the fanatical cult-leading twins Troy and Tyreen Calypso from claiming the galaxy’s ultimate power. Play as one of four new Vault Hunters and take on insane new enemies, collect loot, and save everyone. The game was both a critical and commercial success, earning generally favorable reviews and generating impressive sales upon the first few days of release.

4. GreedFall

This past September saw the release of GreedFall, an action RPG for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, and developed by Spiders and published by Focus Home Interactive. Set in a 17th-century-styled fantasy world filled with magic and mystery, players must navigate through diplomacy as colonists discover this brave new world. Influence the evolving nature of this world through relationships, force, and deception to complete quests and make an impact in your society. With so many paths and multiple endings, players can truly feel like their choices have a significant effect on each playthrough. The game received generally positive reviews upon release and even earned a nomination for “Best RPG” at the 2019 Titanium Awards.

3. Disco Elysium

From the mind of Estonian novelist Robert Kurvitz, Disco Elysium is an RPG for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One developed and published by ZA/UM. Players take on the role of a detective with an entire city block on their hands. From interrogating a complex cast of characters, cracking murder cases, or taking on bribes, players have the freedom to become a leading model citizen or an absolute trash monster of a human being. The game was universally acclaimed, with praise for its writing, characters, open-world setting, and freedom and depth of choices. At the coveted Game Awards 2019, Disco Elysium took home four awards for Best Narrative, Best Independent Game, Best Role-Playing Game, and Fresh Indie Game (ZA/UM).

2. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

The highly-anticipated Fire Emblem: Three Houses also dropped this July, serving as the first Fire Emblem game for home consoles since 2007. Developed by Intelligent Systems and Koei Tecmo for the Nintendo Switch, this tactical RPG took place on the magical continent of Fódlan, a land divided into three rival nations who now live in harmony. Players take on the role of a professor at the Garreg Mach Monastery Officers’ Academy, leading one of three houses during a school year filled with fighting against bandits, thwarting assassination attempts, and eventual national war. The game was a commercial success, with reports that over 2 million copies had been sold by September 2019. It was critically acclaimed as well, even going on to win Best Strategy Game and Player’s Choice Award at The Game Awards 2019.

The Outer Worlds, Top 10 RPG Games of 2019

1. The Outer Worlds

Finally coming in at number one is the critically acclaimed The Outer Worlds, a sci-fi action RPG developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Pirate Division. Released in October for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, this first-person RPG is set in an alternate future where U.S. President William McKinley was not assassinated in 1901. As Theodore Roosevelt did not succeed him in office, megacorporation’s began to take over the world, eventually colonizing alien planets. Players explore a space colony, where every choice impacts not only your future but your new society’s as well. Beyond receiving a multitude of favorable reviews, The Outer Worlds also earned four nominations at The Game Awards 2019 for Game of the Year, Best Narrative, Best Performance (Ashly Burch), and Best RPG.

As you can see, 2019 saw the release of some incredible role-playing game titles in the market. From their critical acclaim, commercial sales, and cultural impact, it’s clear that these releases have made an insane mark in the video game market in the last year. Cheers to a fantastic year of RPGs! (And if you haven’t played any of these titles yet, what are you waiting for?)


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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher(s): Private Division
Developer(s): Obsidian Entertainment
Genres: Role-playing
Themes: Sci-fi
Release Date: 2019-10-25

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