If you don’t have a lifetime invested in gaming or are simply new to RPGs, you may not immediately see what makes them so unique to so many gamers. They immerse us, they challenge us, and most of all they take hundreds of hours away from us.
As much as many people would suggest starting with a hard game like Dark Souls and learning through sheer attrition, that wouldn’t be an enjoyable experience for most. With that said, a beginner-friendly RPG doesn’t have to be easy either. It does, however, need to be enjoyable enough to prompt them to keep playing the game. There are many things that could appeal to a player, so here are some of the best choices for a beginner to try out.
Fable is a very beloved RPG series known for its bulk of choices that allow for a deep role-playing experience. The most notable way it stands out is its approach to morality. Your actions affect your character’s growth and how the world responds to it as your adventure and grow into a good guy or a bad guy.
Fable II and Fable III take it a step further by adding purity into the mix. Spend a night getting drunk? You increase your corruption. Eat all your vegetables at dinnertime? You increase your purity. Of course, this is all very simplified and in video game form, but it provides for a very intriguing experience that is sure to get anyone in the spirit of role-playing a fantasy character.
9 Xenoblade Chronicles 2
As far as JRPGs go, you can’t go wrong with the “Xeno-” franchise of games. Getting its start with Xenogears, then moving onto the Xenosaga series, and then finally the Xenoblade Chronicles series, it has remained a mainstay in JRPG lovers’ minds.
It will be quick to see why if one is to play any of them, but to start with, the Xenoblade Chronicles series will be the best pick for people new to the franchise, with the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 being an even better pick for anyone just getting started exploring the world of RPGs.
8 Fallout 3
Along with the Elder Scrolls series, Fallout is Bethesda’s other biggest claim to fame. If you are a person who prefers more contemporary themes than fantastical ones, Fallout is a perfect series to get into.
You could do well starting with any game in the main series (Other than 76) as they are all jam-packed with quality and uniqueness. Fallout 3 and 4 probably provide the most accessible experiences with 3 being a slightly older, but very finely crafted free-form role-playing experience that laid the groundwork for Fallout 4 and Fallout: New Vegas. If authenticity is what you aim for, then look no further.
7 Persona 4
The rise of Persona 4 launched the Persona series and by extension the SMT series, into mainstream culture. While the turn-based combat is iconic, what really drew new players in was the characters and the social link feature.
The cast is some of the most memorable characters you are likely to meet and the mysteries surrounding them make for one of the most immersive stories in gaming history. Persona 4: Golden is the definitive edition of the game that adds even more features to sink your teeth into. There is probably no better choice than this game for someone new to RPGs especially if they find themselves craving a more social experience.
Skyrim likely needs no introduction, even to new players, it’s a quintessential gaming experience at this point and a perfect fit for both people new to RPGs or new to gaming in general. The amount of freedom available to the player provides for an endless amount of role-playing regardless of how much or little you engage in the main storyline.
You are provided with a fair few character creation and progression options (especially when mods become involved) and you can do it at your own pace and interact with basically anything in any order you please. Compared to its predecessors, it is quite easy to get into and has been released on practically every platform since its released. There’s basically no excuse to not try out the most accessible RPG ever made.
5 Tales of Arise
The “Tales of” series is a quite approachable RPG for those who much prefer a little eastern flavor in their games. Lovers of anime will feel right at home with the characters, plot, and settings encountered in the series. While which game is the best will forever be up for debate, there is probably no better entry point to the series than Tales of Arise.
A modern game in a long-running series, there are many features such as the open-world nature that will appeal to new players much more than the older entries. All this combined with the action RPG combat with years of refinement at its back is sure to hook anyone looking for a fun game that won’t overwhelm them.
4 Rune Factory 4
If you’ve ever played Stardew Valley and thought “I wonder what this would be like with more RPG in it” then Rune Factory is the game for you. It has a similar premise: Farm, build up your town, raise a family. The difference lies in how the game entwines all this with RPG elements.
You explore dungeons, fight monsters, level your character, and upgrade your tools. Rune Factory 5 is the best-selling game in the series thus far, but Rune Factory 4 has the best selection of characters and gameplay with the Special edition improving things that much more, making it an excellent choice for anyone wishing to hop in.
3 Final Fantasy XIV
Although one might raise an eyebrow at suggesting an MMO to a beginner, Final Fantasy XIV is very beginner-friendly. There are a lot of stories and a lot of mechanics to go through in an expansive world, but despite this, its MMO nature lets you go about doing any of this at your own pace.
You can have friends show you the ropes or simply just do whatever catches your eye. It will casually introduce the player to the famed JRPG franchise, Final Fantasy, and its themes and monsters as well as a crash course on RPGs, even if the flavor is undoubtedly MMO. And above all else, it has a free trial.
2 Final Fantasy VII: Remake
If you are instead a beginner who would prefer to get acquainted with Final Fantasy in a single-player environment. In that case, the remake of Final Fantasy VII takes one of the most applauded games in the franchise and modernizes it with an ARPG twist that is sure to captivate anyone starting out.
It delivers the first big chunk of the game in a very easy-to-digest form. It may still lack things that made the original special for the time, but it is certain to be a good time for both veterans and those just starting out.
Undertale is practically a love letter to RPGs. Much of the gameplay, art style, and music are influenced by Japanese games, such as Earthbound or Touhou, all with a western spin. Without even trying, it’s very easy to see how a beginner may find the simple, yet charming result of Toby Fox and his team’s hard work. The simplicity of the game is quite deceptive in hiding just how deep and intricately crafted it all is. What the player may think is a minor detail can actually turn out to be important later.
It’s easy to learn and doesn’t overcomplicate itself. Combat can be tackled however the player sees fit and the consequences for your choices are clear (usually). Although it could be argued that many references and in-jokes will go over the heads of anyone not familiar with RPG tropes, there’s more than enough humor to go around for people of any knowledge level. Anyone who hasn’t played it is implored to give the game a fair shake as there is a lot to love.
NEXT: Best Dungeons & Dragons Video Games