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Pretty Good RPGs For People Who Don't Want To Play Another Endless 'Final Fantasy' Epic

Updated October 16, 2020 1.2k votes 249 voters 11.9k views15 items

List RulesVote up the games that are a pretty good change of pace from the typical JRPG grind.

Not everyone wants to go on an epic adventure. As entertaining as role-playing games are, the common tropes associated with the genre can make every RPG feel the same: explore a fantasy world set in the distant past or distant future, fight off hordes of fantasy creatures through a turn-based combat system, have your little journey transition into an epic fight for the universe that's won by the power of friendship...

There's nothing wrong with traditional fantasy RPGs, but sometimes you want to step out of the Final Fantasy comfort zone and play something completely different. That's where these games come in handy. The games listed here are fun RPGs that take the genre into completely new territories. Don't forget to vote for the RPGs that interest you the most! 

  • For better or worse, Fallout 3 transformed the series from the top-down RPGs of the late '90s into an immersive first-person shooter for the early 2000s and beyond.

    Despite the dramatic change in perspective and combat, Fallout 3 didn't lose all the RPG flavors of the original games. Its Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S.) integrated the turn-based style of the earlier games by allowing players to target specific body parts of enemies they engage in combat. The post-apocalyptic world of The Wasteland was still filled with memorable yet dangerous characters that either needed assistance to survive or help in slaying others.

    All in all, Fallout 3 is an engaging game that players can lose themselves in for hours. 

    • Release: 2008
    • Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
    • Platform: Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
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  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines
    Photo: Activision

    Out of all the stereotypical backdrops for an RPG, modern-day Los Angeles infested with vampires isn't one of 'em. Based on White Wolf's pen-and-paper RPG series of the same name, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is a sexy and gritty RPG where the player assumes the role of a vampire.

    The player can choose from seven vampire clans to join, each with their own unique traits and abilities. They can also decide how aggressive their actions can be and how much of their inhumanity they're willing to expose to the public.

    • Release: 2004
    • Developer: Troika Games
    • Platform: Microsoft Windows
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  • At first glance, Deus Ex: Human Revolution may seem like another first-person shooter, but the cyberpunk game is actually much more than that. In the game, you play as a cybernetic ex-SWAT specialist named Adam Jensen, who's hunting down the shadowy organization responsible for his condition - as well as an incident at Sarif Industries, a company that specializes in the controversial business of human augmentations.

    While Deus Ex: Human Revolution does incorporate traditional shooting, many of the game's scenarios offer alternative non-lethal solutions, such as stealth or environmental manipulation. How you build your character through augmentations - earned by side-quests or black market dealings - determines the freedom you have in resolving these dangerous situations. 

    • Release: 2011
    • Developer: Eidos Montreal
    • Platform: Personal computer, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3
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  • Harvest Moon
    Photo: Natsume

    There's no life like the country life. Harvest Moon is a series of role-playing games that task the player with saving their family's broken down farm from financial ruin.

    Players must perform daily farming chores, such as planting crops or raising livestock, while forging business or romantic relationships with the locals.   

    • Release: 1996
    • Developer: Pack-In-Video
    • Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii
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