The Next Generation may have landed, but as with the last generation, the uptake of the new consoles will continue to be modest until both platforms have a game library worth hyping over. Massive titles GTA: 5, The Last of Us and Bioshock may well have seemed like the current gen’s swansong, but with break-out hits such as Darks Souls II being released on current gen and with plans for big releases like Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain to be launched well into 2015, it’s safe to say there’s life in the 9-year-old dogs yet.
The RPG, historically, may be the nerdiest genre of console gaming, but with the huge success of The Elders Scrolls: Skyrim, many casual gamers ditched their old prejudices about the fantasy genre and sought out more complex, immersive and full-realised role playing games. This is a trend that has been characterised the surge in popularity of the Souls series.
The RPG isn’t confined to fantasy. Post-apocalyptic shooters like Fallout: New Vegas proved you don’t have to swing a sword to build a character and explore a vast, hostile landscape, seeking out quests. Often, the draw of these types of games is the detailed environment and freedom of choice available to you, whether it’s character customisation, playstyle or choose-your-own-adventure type story progression. Are you a beacon of hope, a murdering psychopath, a true neutral dishing out justice?
Many games now employ RPG elements without being the full-fledged article. In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the central character is not your own creation but a protagonist whose abilities you can alter and adapt to fit your own personal playstyle. The same can be said for other stealth-based games in the same vein, like Dishonored and Thief 4.
The Eight below are widely agreed to be some of the best RPG experiences on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. If you game because of the escapism it provides, the role playing game is for you. Nothing beats the immersion of investing time in a character you’ve created or moulded. Inhabit a badass today!