Best Xbox One RPGs

With the Xbox One’s lifespan coming to a close to make room for the Xbox Series X/S, the console has gathered a sizable library of great titles. Whether players are looking to pick up an indie gem they’ve never heard of, an action-packed shooter, or a deep strategy game, the Xbox One has plenty of options. The console is particularly strong when it comes to role-playing games that feature great characters, strong narratives, imaginative worlds, and engaging combat. There are tons of fantastic options out there, but these are the very best.

Bottom Line Up Front

 There are many great options on the Xbox One, no matter what kind of RPG you are looking for. If you want a traditional CRPG, there is Divinity: Original Sin 2 or Wasteland 3. Co-op fans may want to check out Dark Souls 3 or Pillars of Eternity. Players looking for a tactical challenge may want to pick up Darkest Dungeon, while JRPG fans can grab Dragon Quest XI or Tales of Arise.

Selection Criteria

Of course, any evaluation or ranking of titles inherently has a lot of personal bias included in it. These best RPGs are no different. However, each title has also been selected via certain criteria. A series can only have one title included in the list, e.g., Dark Souls Remastered and Dark Souls 3 cannot both appear. Every game on the list also has a reasonably high score on Metacritic to ensure a relatively wide appeal to players.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Game of the Year Edition

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - Game of the Year Edition

  • Developer/Publisher: CD Projekt Red
  • Genre: Open-world Action RPG
  • Metacritic Score: 91

CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was a massive step forward for the franchise and quickly became a household name. Based on the Polish novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, it follows the story of the mutated monster slayer Geralt of Rivia. The game can be fully enjoyed without having played the two before it or having read any of the books and introduces players to an incredibly realistic and deep fantasy setting.

The game has received high praise for its narrative in its sprawling main questline and the dozens of side quests that players can find and track down throughout the world. Every character is fully realized, and there is never a clear solution or answer to make things easier. Even better, the Game of the Year Edition comes with both of the game’s main expansions and the numerous smaller DLCs that were released shortly after the game’s release.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Anniversary Edition

  • Developer/Publisher: Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks
  • Genre: Open-world RPG
  • Metacritic Score: 82

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim may have originally launched on the Xbox 360, but the Anniversary Edition revamps the game with modern visuals and even new content. Skyrim by itself has remained one of the most popular RPGs ever released, even ten years after its release. This is because of the incredibly detailed lore behind The Elder Scrolls’ lands and how open and free players are to make any character they can imagine.

Even for players who have played Skyrim before, the new content introduced in the Anniversary Edition arguably makes another playthrough more than worthwhile. The new content comes from Skyrim‘s Creation Club, which saw the developers teaming up with modders to create small content packs that can be purchased for the game. These include entirely new mechanics, questlines, items, and spells. Players who purchase the Anniversary Edition get all of them included, making it a great opportunity to test out the game’s new survival mode and see all the new content.

Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3

  • Developer/Publisher: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Metacritic Score: 87

The Dark Souls franchise and its spin-offs are renowned for offering a unique gameplay experience that is as punishing as it is fair. The games feature a dark but atmospheric world trapped in decay that players are able to travel around freely without quest markers or concrete direction. This is combined with a stamina-based combat system that gives players plenty of options for builds and gear while demanding that they be patient and learn their opponents’ attack patterns and moves.

While the game still has a steep learning curve for new players, its more modern controls help make it accessible to all players. It also has a more active online community, which is great for getting the intended experience as well as being able to summon other players for help on the challenging bosses. Dark Souls 3 can be played with a few friends, but the online mechanics can make it a bit cumbersome, and the game is not intended to be fully played in co-op.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

  • Developer/Publisher: BioWare/Electronic Arts
  • Genre: Science Fiction Third-Person Shooter RPG
  • Metacritic Score: 90

BioWare has been a genre-defining studio behind some of the most influential RPGs ever. Their games specialize in delivering expansive worlds for the player to explore with a squad filled with personable characters that they learn about and grow close to over the course of their playthrough. Mass Effect Legendary Edition packages and the studio’s prized trilogy with nearly all of their released DLC in one convenient package.

The Legendary Edition is now the best way to experience all three Mass Effect games, especially with the numerous updates made to the first game to align with its sequels. The trilogy is beloved across the industry for its fascinating science fiction universe, engaging narrative, and a cast of characters that are difficult not to be fond of. Being able to experience all three of the games together with a consistent save file also makes the trilogy feel more cohesive as players can see the rippling consequences of every one of their decisions.

Disco Elysium – The Final Cut

Disco Elysium - The Final Cut

  • Developer/Publisher: ZA/UM
  • Genre: RPG
  • Metacritic Score: 92

Disco Elysium – The Final Cut puts players in the shoes of an alcoholic, washed-up detective that is generally a loser. Players are unable to customize the backstory or position of their character. Still, the game more than makes up for it by defining their personality by how they approach situations. Every problem and obstacle throughout the game can be solved in many ways. Players can be aggressive, persuasive, violent, or even just charming to get the information required to solve a strange murder.

The Xbox One version of the game, The Final Cut, improves the game’s excellent narrative even further by introducing more voice acting and cut content to help round out the experience. The choices that players make at every level of the main questline or side quests also have webs of consequences that can completely change the state of the world and its inhabitants. Disco Elysium – The Final Cut is not an RPG built for players focused on having an intense combat experience, but it offers a story unlike any other for players looking to explore a unique world and characters.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition

Divinity Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition

  • Developer/Publisher: Larian Studios/Bandai Namco
  • Genre: CRPG
  • Metacritic Score: 92

For RPG fans that are looking for a traditional RPG experience inspired by tabletop games and the likes of Baldur’s Gate or Neverwinter Nights, look no further than Divinity: Original Sin 2. Playable with up to four players online or locally, Divinity: Original Sin 2 has a complicated fantasy world filled with moral conundrums, cultural tensions, and magical upheaval. The game’s narrative has been regarded as one of the best ever. It is dramatic and emotional when appropriate while taking the time to have fun and make the player laugh as well.

But the game doesn’t lack in the mechanics either. Its turn-based combat system is deep with a variety of classes that can interact with one another and their environment in a number of ways thanks to its elemental effects system. For traditionalists, Divinity: Original Sin 2 also allows players to roleplay as much as they want to. There are pre-defined characters with their own backstories and unique interactions throughout the world while co-op players can travel independently anywhere in the game and can pick different sides in making decisions.

Dragon Age Inquisition – Game of the Year Edition

Dragon Age Inquisition - Game of the Year Edition

  • Developer/Publisher: BioWare/Electronic Arts
  • Genre: Open-World RPG
  • Metacritic Score: 85

For any players who like the sound of Mass Effect but want a more traditional fantasy setting, Dragon Age Inquisition – Game of the Year Edition is the perfect way to adventure across an amazing world with a group of close friends. It just so helps that those friends are also some of the most powerful warriors and wizards to be seen in the land of Thedas.

The game combines the tactical skill-based combat the series is known for with the strategy of ruling a new military movement in the land. Players take control of the Inquisitor, a warrior saved and marked by a goddess who is tasked with saving the world. This puts players in control of the Inquisition and all of the duties of making political decisions, gathering resources, and trying to keep advisors as happy as possible. However, if exciting combat is more your speed, there is still plenty of bloody skirmishes and the slaying of dragons.

Tales of Arise

Tales of Arise

  • Developer/Publisher: Bandai Namco
  • Genre: JRPG
  • Metacritic Score: 87

Tales of Arise is 2021’s entry in the legendary Tales JRPG series and takes it to all new heights. Many have labeled it as last year’s strongest RPG, while it manages to keep what fans love about the series while evolving it to feel more modern and be accessible to newcomers. The game follows a disparate group of heroes that take up a fight to free an enslaved race from militaristic overlords in a journey that spans entire nations.

Players and fans also found themselves falling in love with its cast of characters that players get to know and interact with within their team. Tales of Arise has also received a lot of praise for its real-time combat system that emphasizes long combos, the use of elements to exploit the weakness of enemies, and always looks cinematic and exciting. For JRPG fans, Tales of Arise is a must-have, while many newcomers to the genre have also found it as a great introduction.

NieR: Automata Become as Gods Edition

NieR Automata Become as Gods Edition

  • Developer/Publisher: Platinum Games/Square Enix
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Metacritic Score: 90

The NieR series is well-known for offering genre-blending experiences full of emotional moments, philosophical quandaries, and unique design. NieR: Automata is no different. It follows the story of the android 2B as she works towards making Earth re-hospitable for the last remaining humans who left it. Along the way, the player has to confront questions regarding whether or not robotic life is as valuable as human life, the meaning of a soul, and how much the truth matters.

If that all sounds to be a bit boring, however, the game’s action is put together by the amazing developers at Platinum Games. The combat is action-packed, full of combos, and frequently jumps from a traditional beat ’em up to a side-scroller to bullet hell. It always keeps the player on their toes, and there are numerous options for players to augment their playstyle with different weapons and attachments.

Darkest Dungeon

Darkest Dungeon

  • Developer/Publisher: Red Hook Studios
  • Genre: Turn-based RPG
  • Metacritic Score: 85

Darkest Dungeon is one of the most punishing RPGs on the Xbox One. It tasks players with amassing groups of four heroes to delve into corrupted regions surrounding their little hamlet to purge it of the Lovecraftian monsters and evils that have taken root there. Combat is fast, punishing, and utterly addicting. The game features a 2D perspective where a character’s position in their squad’s line dictates what skills are available, adding a unique foil to the battles.

However, one of the most punishing aspects of Darkest Dungeon is its sanity and permadeath mechanics. On top of managing the physical health of heroes, players also have to ensure that they do not endure too much mental strain at risk of forever crippling them with a mental illness or even dying of a heart attack. Then, once a hero is taken, they are gone forever, leaving the player to recruit a new one and start all over again. The game also features a variety of unique classes that allow players to personalize their approach to the difficult task ahead of them.

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition

Dragon Quest XI S Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition

  • Developer/Publisher: Square Enix
  • Genre: JRPG
  • Metacritic Score: 92

Dragon Quest is a long-running JRPG franchise that offers a unique approach to the genre. The series’ narratives focus on delivering an almost episodic tale that follows a group of heroes as they travel across a world and right its various wrongs. Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age is the newest installment, and offers players an elegant and modernized take on the series. It features a relatable cast of diverse characters, flashy turn-based combat, and a new Draconian Quest difficulty mode that gives players a checklist of options to customize the difficulty of their journey.

The game’s Definitive Edition also comes with new quality of life features and additional content. The entire game can be played either in its original 3D form or in beautifully rendered 16-bit graphics that call back to the franchise’s storied past. Players can also find locations that teleport them back to some of the most iconic locations from previous entries, making it a perfect nostalgic trip for longtime fans while still being entirely new.

Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition

complete edition

  • Developer/Publisher: Obsidian Entertainment/Paradox Interactive
  • Genre: CRPG
  • Metacritic Score: 86

Pillars of Eternity: Complete Edition is a traditional CRPG that aims to deliver a tactically challenging experience set in a world and story filled with intrigue and humanity. In the world of Eora, death is not the end, as the souls of the dead are instead reincarnated with no memory of their past selves. This makes it all the more troubling when the player’s character is changed into a Watcher, a being capable of witnessing fragments of the past lives of others. They then have to assemble a team of heroes to stop the devious machinations of the mysterious cult known as the Leaden Key.

The combat in Pillars of Eternity features a range of unique classes that can be personalized to work better with one another in multiple ways. During encounters, players can either set AI Scripts to control their party members or pause time to target different enemies with specific skills and abilities. The game also features a massive main quest, personal sidequests for every party member, and enough side content to spend more than a hundred hours traveling the world.

Wasteland 3

Wasteland 3

  • Developer/Publisher: inXile entertainment/Deep Silver
  • Genre: CRPG
  • Metacritic Score: 84

Wasteland 3 is a post-apocalyptic CRPG released in 2020 to critical and player acclaim. The game is played from an isometric perspective. It features turn-based combat with a squad of characters that are all part of the player’s very own faction in post-apocalyptic Colorado. Along the way, the player has to solve faction disputes and try to help their group survive as well as possible. However, this is made all the more difficult by the fact that every character can be killed, complicating things and changing the narrative in unique ways.

Wasteland 3 can be played entirely with a cooperative partner, which may be a good idea with how hazardous its combat tends to be. With turn-based encounters, players have to balance different classes armed with firearms and melee weapons in a cover-based system akin to games like X-COM and Mutant: Year Zero. Thankfully, players can level up and customize their characters with different gear and abilities to help them prepare for the various challenges they face.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Dragon

  • Developer/Publisher: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio/Sega
  • Genre: Turn-based RPG
  • Metacritic Score: 89

While the Yakuza series has always been an action-RPG series following the underground crime of Japan’s Yakuza gang, the newest entry, Like a Dragon, transformed it into a turn-based RPG. The game features dynamic turn-based combat that keeps characters moving during combat to make it feel as lively as ever. The game also features more than a dozen jobs that range from serious options like the brawler to more humourful like the musician.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Yakuza title without over-the-top action, an intricately detailed world map, and plenty of mini-games to discover, and Like a Dragon has all of that in spades. When players aren’t punching gangsters, they can enjoy the nightlife at a karaoke bar, order highly detailed food at various restaurants, or even go bowling for fun. Every option is deeply fleshed out with unique minigames, challenges, and questlines to explore and discover along the way.

Path of Exile

Path of Exile

  • Developer/Publisher: Grinding Gear Games/Tencent
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Metacritic Score: 83

For RPG fans looking for an experience similar to the dungeon crawling adventures of DiabloPath of Exile is an isometric loot-driven dungeon crawler that is completely free-to-play and can be experienced entirely solo or with a group of friends. The game features numerous classes with an overwhelmingly sprawling skill tree to navigate as you level up and progress.

The game also gets seasonal updates that add new content, adventures, and choices for players to check out. The constant flow of new content also helps keep players engaged so that they don’t have to worry about finding a new action RPG for quite some time as they play through the game’s multiple expansion storylines, the deep PvP system, and sizable endgame content.

FAQs

Question: What DLC doesn’t come with Mass Effect Legendary Edition?

Answer: The only DLC not included in Mass Effect Legendary Edition is Mass Effect 1‘s Pinnacle Station DLC that included a limited number of single-player horde-style missions.

Question: Can Path of Exile be played offline?

Answer: No, Path of Exile can only be played when connected to the internet because of features such as its online marketplace and social areas.

Question: Do I need to have played other Yakuza titles before starting Like a Dragon?

Answer: There are some elements and story beats of Like a Dragon that will be better appreciated by players who have played previous titles, but the game’s story can be thoroughly enjoyed if it is the first Yakuza title you’ve played as well.

Conclusion

RPGs are one of the most varied genres across the video game industry, so there is a title to match the preferences of every kind of fans preferences. Whether you are looking for a light-hearted co-op adventure or a dark and twisted saga of political intrigue, the RPGs of the Xbox One have you covered and then some.

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