I’ve got a list of what I think are the 12 best RPG games for PC in 2021. These are not necessarily games that came out this year, but they’re RPG video games that you should still be playing in 2021 in some cases. With that in mind, let’s dive in.
Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask Of The Betrayer
Developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Atari, this is technically an expansion for Neverwinter Nights 2, but it’s got enough going for it to appear on our list of the best RPG games for PC to play in 2021. The game uses D&D 3.5 edition rules which might be odd for some younger players. For more experienced and high-level humans, it just means a blast of nostalgia – and a hint of Pathfinder.
The games takes place in the Forgotten Realms setting and is meant to portray events immediately after the original game. Game Informer wrote, “Piles of new feats, spells, and classes will give even seasoned D&D vets plenty to explore, either in the official campaign or custom scenarios built by the community. Likewise, builders can benefit from the ever-improving toolset and (supposedly) fixed persistent-world implementation.”
TLDR: It’s cool. Check it out. You don’t need to have necessarily played the original but it helps.
Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup
This is a free roguelike RPG that’s a modern classic in my book. While they’ve changed the rules for food and other things over the game’s long life, it’s consistently a challenging and fun dungeon romp. The game itself has a very storied history. Here’s some info from the DCSS website:
The original Dungeon Crawl was created in 1995 by Linley Henzell. Crawl rapidly gained popularity because of Linley’s many innovative game-play concepts.
After releasing version 3.3, Linley eventually retired from Crawl development, leaving Crawl in the hands of a development team; this development team continued developing Crawl until early 2003 when version 4.0.0 beta 26 was released. After that, Crawl development went into something close to hibernation with only Brent Ross working on it, and development largely invisible to the public.”Source: Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup
TLDR: Challenging and addictive turn-based RPG with lots of races, classes, and fun ways to win.
Dark Souls is a 2011 action role-playing gamepublished by Namco Bandai Games and developed by FromSoftware. It is the second game in the Souls franchise and is notorious for being a difficult and unforgiving game – even on so-called easy difficulty. Still, the game is a classic ten years after it was released. There’s a reason for this – gameplay. Once you beat this game, its feels like a genuine accomplishment because you weren’t handed everything.
The game is set in the world of Erdrea and the kingdom of Dundrasil – just as monsters are attacking, of course. You, the player, are quickly drawn into the dark and foreboding story – not to mention the difficult to master combat. Once you get the hang of things, however, this can be a very satisfying RPG on many different levels. And that’s why it’s still being talked about today, ten years after it’s initial release.
TLDR: Tough game? Yes. Good game? Hells yeah.
Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut
This is another turn-based RPG that pays homage to Shadowrun, one of the premiere cyberpunk tabletop RPG systems. There’s been other Shadowrun games before, but they were nothing compared to this PC version. The Director’s Cut is where you want to start.
Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director’s Cut is a standalone release of Harebrained Schemes’ critically-acclaimed Dragonfall campaign, which first premiered as a major expansion for Shadowrun Returns. The Director’s Cut adds a host of new content and enhancements to the original game: 5 all-new missions, alternate endings, new music, a redesigned interface, team customization options, a revamped combat system, and more – making it the definitive version of this one-of-a-kind cyberpunk RPG experience.Source: Gog.com
TLDR: Solid Shadowrun implementation for hard-core cyberpunk RPG fans. Get this now.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
You’ll want to get the Game of the Year Edition, but this ancient PC RPG stands the test of time – mostly. No, it’s not perfect, but it was released during that Golden Age of RPG when bigger things were always just around the bend or over the horizon. Not everyone is going to enjoy this dated RPG in 2021, but it’s worth a look if you like in-depth RPG worlds to explore.
TLDR: Dated but still decent RPG if you have time and don’t mind old.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim is now available on Smart Refrigerators! Okay, I’m just kidding, but this classic RPG has been ported to many different systems over the years. Instead of a new Elder Scrolls, we keep getting enhancements to this version. Not that it’s horrible. In fact, Skyrim may be one of the best 5 RPG video games of all time. Released way back in 2011, it quickly became a Game of the Year. If you play, you’ll soon see why.
TLDR: Still a favorite RPG with many, this is one of the best RPG games for PC. Period.
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
Released way back in 2003, the dawn of modern video games, KotoR is a superb RPG that stands the test of time. Again, mostly. The graphics are dated, but the story and world are what made this a classic. There’s talk of remaking this game, but if you haven’t played the original, you should check it out. Yes, you can still buy the game on Steam believe it or not.
Choose Your Path. It is four thousand years before the Galactic Empire and hundreds of Jedi Knights have fallen in battle against the ruthless Sith. You are the last hope of the Jedi Order.Source: Steam
TLDR: May the Force be With You…
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
This may not be everyone’s favorite Dues Ex installment, and you should definitely play them all, but this one holds a special place in my heart. That’s why it made this list of best RPG games for PC. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action role-playing (ARPG) video game developed by Eidos Montréal and published by Square Enix. The game came out in 2016. While some people don’t like it as much as the original Dues Ex, this modern take isn’t all bad. In fact, it’s got strongly positive reviews recently.
Now an experienced covert operative, Adam Jensen is forced to operate in a world that has grown to despise his kind. Armed with a new arsenal of state-of-the-art weapons and augmentations, he must choose the right approach, along with who to trust, in order to unravel a vast worldwide conspiracy.Source: Steam
TLDR: Not for everyone, but they have another great video game story to follow here.
Do you like weird RPG? If so, Planescape: Torment is something you should definitely check out. Even if weird isn’t normally your thing, this RPG really stands out among others released around the same time.
TLDR: Weird game? Yes. Good game? Yup.
LitRPG Reads: Enter the Game
Um, yeah. This is NOT a triple A studio game. It’s not even all the way finished. However, it’s something I have created myself. I spent over 1,000 hours and $1,000 on this game and made under a thousand, but it was an experience I wouldn’t take back. I set out to create my own RPG, and I did it. Called a Witcher-lite by one reviewer, LitRPG Reads: Enter the Game is about a normal guy who gets trapped inside an RPG.
Ever wonder what it would be like to be trapped in an RPG? Now you can find out!
This LitRPG-themed ARPG has you playing a mild-mannered gamer who finds himself trapped in a game! Can you survive and find your way out?
On your meta adventure, you can collect dice to modify your equipment, craft weapons, mix potions, find LitRPG books, and a whole lot more.
You ARE the chosen one, and you WILL escape this game.
The dragon can’t beat you forever. Right?Source: Itch.io
TLDR: Clunky RPG made with love by first time RPG developer!
Baldur’s Gate II
Now this is truly a classic and one of the best RPG games for PC you should be playing 2021. It revolutionized the RPG genre in many ways when it came out. You should be sure to play the Definitive Edition that has all the bug fixes. They had years and years of feedback on the game, so you can bet that it’s really solid. No, it’s not perfect, but it’s a game you should check out if you like the RPG genre.
TLDR: Classic and one of the best RPG games for PC of all time.
Divinity: Original Sin II
Speaking of Baldur’s Gate, did you know the makers of Divinity: Original Sin II are finishing up the Baldur’s Gate III game? You probably knew, but just in case, ya know? Anyway, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a modern classes turn-based RPG. You can use the terrain to your advantage, and there’s many other things that make this game really stand out. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in an RPG on the PC, give this game a look.
TLDR: Modern classic and a good game until Baldur’s Gate 3 releases fully.