- Are AI Generated Games The Next Big Thing? - February 2, 2024
- If You Play 3 Games A Year, Stop Voicing Your ‘Expert’ Opinion - January 9, 2024
- Is Sony’s Adaptive Difficulty A Good Idea? - January 7, 2024
- Selection Criteria
- #10 Dragon's Dogma 2
- #9 Granblue Fantasy: Relink
- #8 Unicorn Overlord
- #7 Gothic
- #6 Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes
- #5 Avowed
- #4 Rise of the Ronin
- #3 Metaphor: ReFantazio
- #2 Vampire: The Masquerade- Bloodlines 2
- #1 Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth
- Honorable Mentions
- A Surprising Year Awaits
2023 has been one of the best gaming years of all time. Dormant franchises reappeared with massive success, new IPs dropped left and right, and excellent games came from genres of multiple kinds to create an assault on our wallets that has never been seen before.
In particular, RPGs went beserk in 2023, with Octopath Traveler 2, Hogwarts Legacy, Final Fantasy 16, Remnant 2, Starfield, and best of all, Baldur’s Gate 3, making their marks on the industry. There seemed to be something for everyone to enjoy no matter what your interest was, and compared to 2022, it was quite a busy year for gamers everywhere.
Every single big title managed to hit the mark in some way, and the hit rate was higher than we’d ever seen before. With all of that in mind, you’d expect there to be a little bit of a letdown in 2024. Many Titanic releases have already come out, so is there anything we can still look forward to from RPGs in 2024? We’re going to find out.
While there will be more than 10 RPGs released in 2024, these are the ones that we feel have the most potential to really make an impact in the gaming industry.
- All games must be released in 2024
- All games must have the potential to nab a GOTY nomination
- All games must have considerable hype behind them
Now that you know what makes us excited about these games, it’s time to dive in and see what will be denting our wallets in 2024.
#10 Dragon’s Dogma 2
- Developer: Capcom
Dragon’s Dogma is one of the biggest cult classics in the modern gaming era. It was initially released in the spring of 2012, hot on the heels of games like Dark Souls, Skyrim, Mass Effect 3, and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, so it’s fair to say that it might not have gotten the proper respect that it deserved.
It sat firmly in the fantasy RPG space, but it had a healthy dose of weirdness that kept it feeling unique from its contemporaries. Specifically, the combat was one of a kind, combining the monster climbing mechanics of Shadow of the Colossus with punchy melee combat and an incredible magic system that still hasn’t been matched to this day.
The sequel has been long rumored and awaited by legions of fans, and we’re finally going to get to play it in 2024. Early gameplay looks to capitalize on what fans already loved about the first game while taking it into this current generation of graphics.
There will be more vocations to choose from, expansions on the beloved Pawn system that let you travel with a host of often player-made companions, and a more concrete focus on the story this time. If it all comes together, we may have our dark horse for Game of the Year in 2024.
- Developer: Cygames, Inc.
I’ve been following the development of this game for a very long time. The reason is it was supposed to launch in 2016. That’s going to be 8 years of development for the much-awaited entry in a franchise that seems to be dying to make its mark in the mainstream.
So, what is it exactly? Granblue Fantasy: Relink is a gorgeous-looking, anime-inspired RPG that has gameplay similar to Tales of Arise that will have you traveling the skies on a good old-fashioned JRPG epic.
These games are few and far between these days, so I am most looking forward to seeing what this once-mythical title has in store for us. The combat looks bombastic, with colorful magic blasts flying everywhere and melee combat that looks impactful as well.
The best part is the entire game is going to be multiplayer, allowing you and up to 3 other friends to join in for co-op play. Rarely do long-delayed titles come out with a bang, but I’ve got a good feeling about this one. Tales of Arise single-handedly revived the big-budget JRPG genre a few years ago, and I think Granblue Fantasy: Relink is going to take the ball and run with it.
- Developer: Vanillaware
Yes, the name is a bit out there, but this RPG from Vanillaware has a lot going for it. The gameplay revolves around two main modes: an overworld tactical mode and a turn-based combat mode. Aesthetically, it’s not dissimilar to Octopath Traveler II, but the gameplay overall looks much different.
Exploration is the name of the game here, and you can discover new quests the more you explore. It’s a 2D approach to an open-world RPG, and it looks like it will be a fantastic experience. You can gain new allies as you explore and make game-changing decisions throughout, determining who lives or dies and the path of the story.
There is also an online mode, which is somewhat unheard of for this genre. There are 60 characters to recruit throughout your journey, and Unicorn Overlord looks to have Vanillaware’s signature writing chops behind it as well. This is their biggest budget game ever, so we’re hoping it finally gets its big, mainstream hit. Unicorn Overlord looks like Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics had a child, and it looks to be an incredible time when it drops in 2024.
- Developer: THQ Nordic
Another cult classic, the Gothic series, is beloved for being the first open-world fantasy game in existence. Yes, the Gothic series even predated The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, and it’s well-known that Bethesda took more than a few ideas from this legendary title. We will be getting a full-fledged remake of Gothic in 2024, and with it will hopefully come the breakout, mainstream hit that THQ Nordic has been searching for for many years now.
The story of the original revolved around a war of humans and orcs and the player character, who happens to be the chosen of the god Innos. It’s not the most original story out there, but the way the depth of Gothic made up for the lackluster story.
There was so much to do in the original game, and it’s likely the remake will keep that in mind when bringing the title into the current gen. The combat was a standout for the time, too, offering far superior melee and magic systems compared to other titles in the genre. The fantasy RPG is a bit lonely these days, so here’s hoping that Gothic can bring back that Skyrim-sized hole that we’ve all been feeling over the past decade.
- Developer: 505 Games Official
Another game that’s been stuck in developmental hell for some time, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, is a massive 2D/3D hybrid JRPG developed by the creator of the original Suikoden games. In fact, this game is somewhat of a love letter to those games and will have you traveling a beautiful world and recruiting the 100 heroes of note on your journey.
The plot surrounds a war and an evil empire searching for a powerful magic artifact, and while it’s nothing particularly new, anyone who’s played the original 2 Suikoden games knows that the depth of characters for both heroes and villains alike is what makes these games special.
The 2D JRPG renaissance is upon us, and Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes looks like it could be a massive banner waver for it in the summer of 2024. The graphics are just a sight to behold, and it really feels as if a PS1 game was yanked into the future, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. Much charm is lost when JRPGs go full 3D, and Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes seems to understand that fully.
- Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Avowed is one of the biggest X factors of 2024. Just what is this game going to be? It takes place in the same world as Pillars of Eternity, but the gameplay is far removed from those games. Instead of a turn-based, real-time hybrid where you control a party, you’re given control over one character from a first-person perspective.
On the surface, it’s another open-world fantasy RPG. However, Obsidian has a special way of tweaking the mundane into the spectacular, as they did time and time again with the Pillars of Eternity games.
The setup is you are an envoy of a foreign land called Aedyr, and you’ve arrived on an island to investigate a plague. It’s a unique setup and a breath of fresh air compared to more typical fantasy game setups. We’re for sure going to get Obsidian’s trademark RPG features like in depth conversations, multiple ways to approach each situation, and character build flexibility.
Obsidian has some experience with first-person combat in Fallout: New Vegas and The Outer Worlds, but for a fantasy game, that means all the action is going to be with swords, bows, and sorcery, so it will be interesting to see the approach they take in that regard. The initial launch trailer showed a very dark and brooding world, but recent ones show off a far more colorful and light-hearted tone. The final result is anyone’s guess, but we can’t help but be intrigued to play this one in 2024.
- Developer: Team Ninja
Team Ninja doesn’t stay dormant for too long, do they? In the last two years alone, they’ve released Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, both very solid titles but not groundbreakers like their Nioh franchise was.
Now, Rise of the Ronin is coming this spring, and with it comes a decidedly different flavor from their past titles. This looks to be a serious take on the Boshin War between the Tokugawa Shogunate and other shogunate factions. This real-world backdrop makes the story all the more intriguing, as Team Ninja often goes into the surreal with their stories, and here, things seem to be a bit more grounded.
Combat-wise, well, Team Ninja doesn’t miss. Here, it looks like we’ll get a healthy mix of katanas and guns, and the combat appears to be a much less over-the-top take on their recent combat systems. That being said, the recent trailer shows off plenty of flaming blades and wild-looking moves, so it doesn’t appear they’re going too far outside their comfort zone here. If you like Team Ninja’s previous outings, it’s almost a certainty you’ll also love what they have in store for you with Rise of the Ronin.
- Developer: Atlus
Yeah, that name doesn’t make any sense right now, but what does make sense is Atlus making an RPG. They are masters of their craft, and while most of their games share a similar aesthetic, they all bring something unique to the table. With Metaphor: ReFantazio, Atlus is going outside of its comfort zone to create a massive fantasy RPG. It resembles something like Final Fantasy far more than it does Persona 5 and looks to dive fully into the warring kingdoms and political machination side of gaming stories.
Gameplay-wise, Atlus is innovating yet again with an action-based combat system that also implements turn-based combat. It’s a unique mix that will need a careful touch to pull off properly, but if there is one developer I trust to create compelling RPG combat, it’s Atlus. The visuals are gorgeous to watch in motion, and the voice acting to support it all looks top-notch as well. This looks like their biggest effort since Persona 5, so we can’t wait to get our hands on it sometime in 2024.
- Developer: The Chinese Room
Vampire: The Masquerade is a game that’s already 20 years old, but it still is revered as one of the best RPGs of all time. The choices and the way you could shape the world in that game were beyond anything most games at the time were doing then or even today. This sequel has gone through multiple delays, but 2024 seems to be the year of the “no way that’s actually going to release” games finally coming out.
The game will place you in a near future version of Seattle where a vampire war is taking place, and you’ll have to decide who to join, who to betray, or who to play all sides for your own gain. The gameplay will be first person, giving you a host of vampiric powers to play with and tons of seedy, vampire-laden underworld areas to explore. It has the weight of the world on its shoulders, so it’s hard to say if this is going to knock it out of the park, but it is certainly one of the most intriguing games in 2024.
- Developer: Square Enix Creative
Final Fantasy VII: Remake single-handedly brought the iconic series back into the mainstream with a big effort in 2020, and since then, the hype has been building for part 2 of the series.
When we last left off, Cloud and company were thrown for a loop as Sephiroth revealed that he had seen the future, knew his own fate, and now looks to do everything in his power to change those events. With Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth, it looks like Sephiroth may be an ally along with Zack Fair, who is revealed to have lived following the events of Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core Reunion.
It’s a lot to digest, and it’s part of what makes This next chapter so compelling. We already know the original story of Final Fantasy VII has been effectively thrown out the window for something different, so where will they go from here?
What classic characters will return, and what new twists will be thrown our way? We don’t know the answers, but we know that the excellent combat from Final Fantasy VII: Remake will return, giving us even more characters to play with this time around, as well as more Limit Breaks to make the action more exciting than the last game.
We’re also getting something of an open world to explore, which is a big departure from the restrictive nature of Midgar in Final Fantasy VII: Remake. This more explorative approach to the game can do wonders for longevity, as well as the optional super bosses the franchise is known for and, best of all, Chocobo riding. We won’t be waiting too long to play this one once 2024 strikes and we have all the reason to believe that it will do the Final Fantasy name proud.
We have a loaded year ahead of us in 2024, so not every RPG made the list. For those that we left out, we still have a lot of faith in them, and they make up our honorable mentions. Some of these games may be only rumored to be out in 2024, so keep an eye on them.
- Dragon Age: Dreadwolf
- Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth
- Black Myth: Wukong
- Flintlock: The Siege of Dawn
- Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden
- King Arthur: Knights Tale
- The Legend of Heroes: Trails Through Daybreak
- Crimson Desert
A Surprising Year Awaits
If you thought it couldn’t get any better than 2023, you might want to rethink that, as the docket of RPGs we have ahead of us in 2024 looks mighty impressive on paper. Sure, not every one of them will hit big, but we’re certain that a handful will be games to stand toe to toe with the best that 2023 had to offer.