There are few gaming genres as convoluted and difficult to nail down as the RPG. RPG’s are roleplaying games and they can come in all sorts of different styles. From Japanese inspired RPG’s with a difficult learning curve and a thousand sub-menus to the more casual open world RPG like ‘Red Dead Redemption’. Among the thousands of RPGs released throughout gaming history there are a few that continually get overlooked by the gaming community. Game Informer’s Kimberley Wallace looked back over the years to showcase some of the best, most overlooked RPG titles in recent memory.
Wallace knows that RPGs can come in a variety of different playstyles and that is why her list was open to a ton of different games. One title that she highlighted, ‘Rune Factory’, is well outside of the norm for most dungeon crawling RPG titles. ‘Rune Factory’ is an extension of the farming sim series ‘Harvest Moon’. Rather than taking on dungeons and dragons players are instead tasked with farming, making friends in town, and yes — at times — collecting monsters and exploring dangerous dungeons. ‘Rune Factory’ is an underrated RPG with a deep system that isn’t reliant on grinding battles and that, according to Wallace, makes it a game well worth playing.
Next up on her list of high quality, ‘guilty pleasure’, RPG’s was ‘.hack//G.U.’. This RPG is based off of the popular anime television series of the same name. The ‘.hack’ franchise is a huge part of gaming culture thanks to how well received it was and how it helped to instigate passion in gaming. You could look at ‘.hack’ as a precursor to shows like ‘Sword Art Online’. In any event, ‘.hack//G.U.’ was a favorite of Wallace thanks to the fact that it had simple leveling, it was easy to grind the main character Haseo, and the story was deep and interesting. There will be a re-mastered version of ‘Last Recode’ coming out next month for both the PC and PS4 so gamers can get another chance to revisit the ‘.hack//G.U.’ universe.
It is becoming increasingly clear that games like the ones on our list are going to become more and more common. The rise of platforms like ‘Steam’ have given indie game developers more and more freedom to develop RPGs for fans rather than focusing on trying to make as much money as possible with a huge budget.