The Greatest RPG Video Games Ever Made

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List Criteria: Includes pure RPGs as well as popular offshoots, like tactical and action RPGs and MMOs.

This list shows the ranking of the best pure Role-Playing Games, Action-RPG hybrids and MMORPG's of all time, as voted on by the Ranker Community. The popularity of role-playing games far predates video game technology entirely, and many of the genre's standards, settings and concepts continue to draw strong influence from the pen-and-paper games of the past (particularly the granddaddy of them all, Dungeons & Dragons, or D&D.)

In traditional Role-Playing Games, the player controls a character in a fictional world or setting, and takes a strong hand in determining how that character chooses to progress through the environment. This can involve determining the character's nature and outlook, his or her development through quests and missions and potentially joining up with other characters, either NPC or representing other human players. They tend to be more character and plot-driven games in many ways, as opposed to games that put more emphasis on stealth, puzzle-solving or combat. In some ways, new technology has simply made RPG's easier to organize and faster to play through, removing the need for a "gamemaster" and reliance on dice or other physical means of determining game outcomes.

Many of the most popular RPGs are part of a larger franchise, set in a familiar world that has been established over the course of numerous games (and sometimes tie-in novels, short films or other media.) The "Final Fantasy" RPG franchise is perhaps the most significant and long-standing in video game history, and in fact at this point has branched out beyond traditional role-playing games to include entires focused on tactical role-playing, action role-playing, MMORPG's, racing games, third person shooters and even rhythm and fighting games. It has also inspired numerous animated films, tie in novels and comic books.

(Unlike many other RPG series that are all based in a single setting or universe - such as the "Elder Scrolls" series Tamriel or Azeroth from Blizzard's "Warcraft" games - "Final Fantasy" entries tend to take place in different settings and have sharply distinguished plotlines.)

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  1. 1
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    Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest RPG Video Games Ever Made
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    • Release: 1997
    • Developer: Eidos Interactive, Square
    • Genres (Video game): Console role-playing game, Japanese role-playing game, Role-playing video game
    • Series: Final Fantasy
    • Designers: Kazushige Nojima, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yoshitaka Amano, Yoshinori Kitase, Yusuke Naora, + more
    • Publisher: Square Enix, Eidos Interactive, Square, Sony Computer Entertainment
    • Platform: PlayStation, Microsoft Windows
    • Sequels: Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
  2. 2
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    • Release: 1995
    • Developer: Square, Tose Co., Ltd.
    • Genres (Video game): Console role-playing game, Role-playing video game
    • Designers: Masato Kato, Takashi Tokita, Noriko Matsueda, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yasunori Mitsuda, + more
    • Publisher: Square Enix, Square Electronic Arts, Square
    • Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, PlayStation, iPhone, + more
  3. 3
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    Mass Effect 2 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest RPG Video Games Ever Made
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    • Release: 2010
    • Developer: BioWare
    • Genres (Video game): Third-person Shooter, Action role-playing game
    • Series: Mass Effect
    • Publisher: Electronic Arts
    • Platform: Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
    • Game Engine: Unreal Engine 3
    • Sequels: Mass Effect
  4. 4
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    • Release: 2011
    • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
    • Genres (Video game): Action-adventure game, Action role-playing game, Role-playing video game, Fantasy
    • Series: The Elder Scrolls
    • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
    • Platform: PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
    • Game Engine: Creation Engine, Havok
    • Sequels: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  5. 5
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    Star Wars: Knights of the Old ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest RPG Video Games Ever Made
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    • Release: 2003
    • Developer: Aspyr, BioWare
    • Genres (Video game): Action role-playing game, Adventure, Role-playing video game, Science Fiction, Fantasy
    • Series: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
    • Designers: Drew Karpyshyn, James Ohlen
    • Publisher: LucasArts
    • Platform: OS X, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Macintosh
    • Game Engine: Odyssey Engine
  6. 6
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    Fallout 3 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest RPG Video Games Ever Made
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    more ABOUT
    • Release: 2008
    • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
    • Genres (Video game): Shooter game, Action-adventure game, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Action role-playing game, Survival horror, + more
    • Series: Fallout
    • Designers: Todd Howard, Emil Pagliarulo, Istvan Pely
    • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
    • Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
    • Game Engine: Gamebryo
    • Sequels: Fallout 2
  7. 7
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    • Release: 1994
    • Developer: Square, Tose Co., Ltd.
    • Genres (Video game): Console role-playing game, Role-playing video game
    • Series: Final Fantasy
    • Designers: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yoshitaka Amano, Yoshinori Kitase, Nobuo Uematsu, Hiroyuki Ito, + more
    • Publisher: Square Enix, Nintendo, Square Electronic Arts, Square, Sony Computer Entertainment
    • Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance
  8. 8
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    Final Fantasy X is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest RPG Video Games Ever Made
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    • Release: 2001
    • Developer: Square
    • Genres (Video game): Console role-playing game, Role-playing video game
    • Series: Final Fantasy
    • Designers: Kazushige Nojima, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Toshiro Tsuchida, Yoshitaka Amano, Takayoshi Nakazato, + more
    • Publisher: Square Electronic Arts, Square, Sony Computer Entertainment, International version
    • Platform: PlayStation 2
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