7 immersive role-playing games to get lost in

One of the best forms of digital escapism comes in the form of role-playing games. From its humble tabletop origins, the genre has grown and evolved into one of the finest mediums of storytelling, providing hours of immersion as you explore, fight and guide your protagonist through a world of adventures. Each entry comes with innovative mechanics that push the genre forward through a level of freedom and diversity that inspires many.

Whatever your preference, there’s always something to unpack in these games – be it the rich story, characters, or world elements. And so, here is a list of some of the best RPGs to play on a cold, rainy day.

Disco Elysee

A love letter to classic tabletop games, Disco Elysium is an RPG that isn’t aimed at the average gaming audience. Those of you who enjoy reading or rich, dialogue-heavy storytelling will find this a perfect choice. You play as an alcoholic and amnesiac detective with a unique skill system at your disposal that grows over time.

Disco Elysium draws heavily from classic tabletop RPGs and relies on a dice rolling system to establish outcomes. (Screenshot)

Helen Hindpere’s writing presents several loose threads in the story that can be explored by interviewing characters, solving cases, and even accepting bribes in an attempt to find each other. The choice-based dialogue system here relies on dice rolls that determine your next moves or conditions, while consumable meds bolster your resolve. Also, the latest update added individual voice lines for each character, so you don’t have to read the text.

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

There’s no way we’re going to keep the 2015 Game of the Year winner off this list. Regardless of what you may think CD Project Red now the studio is earning credit for its magnum opus, which is the dark fantasy tale of Witcher 3. The story revolves around Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster hunter, who is on the hunt for his missing adopted daughter on the run .

best RPGs of all time The Witcher 3 won multiple Game of the Year awards in 2015. (Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

As part of the journey, players will enter a vast fantasy open world, rich with trading towns, caves, pirate islands, dense forests, and mythical creatures. The game features a robust skill tree system, which relies on genetic mutations and elemental powers, adding some variety to the mundane sword fights. You also have a pet horse named Roach, which appears at the first whistle.

Ring of Elden

At Hidetaka Miyazaki’s punishing Souls games saw a major difference in style when it introduced a vast open world to Ring of Elden. The game is a bit easier this time around, as you control the pace and explore the far reaches of the Middle Lands to level up and develop your character into the ideal warrior.

best RPGs of all time Like all other FromSoftware games, Elden Ring is home to various ingeniously crafted bosses that are sure to give you a hard time. (Screenshot)

As a descendant of the Terni, your job is to search for the titular shattered shards Ring of Elden, restore it and eventually become Lord Elden. The game also has no quest logs or special icons on the map, allowing for a grounded approach and an array of lore to unfold through dialogue and hidden letters. Developer From Software has also added a dedicated jump button this time and summonable spirits to aid you in combat.

Borderlands 2

The pinnacle of shooters-looters, Borderlands 2 is an incredibly fun game that can be played solo or with friends via co-op. Set on the exotic planet of Pandora, you choose from a party of four Vault Hunters and embark on a treacherous, intergalactic journey to defeat the tyrannical Handsome Jack.

best RPGs of all time Borderlands 2 is a great entry point for newcomers to the role-playing genre. (Screenshot)

Completing objectives or clearing mission areas earns you Loot Boxes, which contain procedurally generated guns, upgrades, and other gear that are guaranteed to create mayhem. Traversal is made easier with spawnable vehicles, while the fear of death at the hands of a howling Psycho is reduced, thanks to its goofy comic book style. It also features split-screen multiplayer for the occasional couch co-op session.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

There was a time when Assassin’s Creed was known for his clinical stealth and examination of the Templars, through connected lore. In 2015, Ubisoft traded those ideas for an open-world system that mimicked traditional RPGs. Following this change, AC: Odyssey immerses us in ancient Greece – a retelling of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta.

best RPGs of all time The later stages of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey let you battle legends from Greek mythology such as the Serpent-Headed Medusa, the Minotaur, and the Sphinx to name a few. (Screenshot)

You play as Alexios or Kassandra and explore the vast open world to clear fortresses and camps, explore tombs and wreckage, and collect hidden treasures. The combat is very primitive, with gold-plated shields and axes, and even offers opportunities to battle Greek legends such as Medusa, The Minotaur, and The Sphinx.

Fallout 3

Set in a post-apocalyptic version of Washington DC, after a nuclear fallout has caused massive devastation. You play as a resident of Vault 101, one of many underground shelters created before the explosion, and you venture into the wasteland to find your missing father. Players have the ability to switch between a first and third person perspective at any time, which helps with combat in sticky situations.

best RPGs of all time Fallout 3’s VATS system lets you pause and decide the best shot placement to deal damage. (Screenshot)

Pickpocketing or pickpocketing affects a special mechanism called Karma, which has a direct effect on how the world ends and feels. Exploration is also quite strong, allowing you to search for endless weapons and special equipment, at the cost of radiation poisoning. The game is marked as unavailable on Steam India, although a quick search on the GMG website will let you snag it for Rs 565.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

Bloodlines drops you into the dark, gritty underbelly of present-day Los Angeles as a creature of the night, to uncover the truth behind a relic that heralds the end of all vampires. By selecting a clan and configuring points in different attributes, players must venture into the darkness, where demons, werewolves and other creatures reside.

best RPGs of all time Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines was initially criticized for its technical flaws, and was eventually polished into the cult favorite it is now. (Screenshot)

You have the option of being a bloodthirsty killer or taking the path of empathy, seducing and charming your way through the ranks. For special abilities, the game relies on blood, which can be acquired by preying on innocents or completing quests, adding to this high-risk, high-reward style of play. It even penalizes you for using vampiric abilities in front of humans.

Helen L. Cuellar