Being able to lead a group of characters in a fantasy game is a must-try experience. These are 10 Party-Based RPGs You Must Try
From the Lord of the Rings to the upcoming Dungeons and Dragons movie due out in March 2023, groups of adventurers have come together to gain loot and glory since the genre’s invention. Of course, being so heavily saturated with fantasy themes, the RPG video game genre has done its best to recreate this factor for single-player adventures as well.
Participating in a dungeon crawl is one thing, but being able to lead an entire group of characters on a mission is a completely different experience. From classic JRPGs to contemporary contributions of Western games, some fantasy adventures seem incomplete without a group of friends to accompany them.
For The King
This roguelike is what happens when the party can’t get together for the weekly D&D session, as it’s essentially a single player board game, complete with dice rolls and a grid map. For The King is a game that is based on an evening based on D20, character sheets and miniatures, but which turns into a full-blown video game.
Players will lead a trio of customizable adventurers through a game board, taking on missions and defeating evil bosses for treasure and experience points. Its features and mechanics should be familiar to anyone who has ever used a character sheet and followed the directions of a Dungeon Master.
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Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
If Dark Souls isn’t the best for you, fans of action RPGs should definitely try Dragon’s Dogma. At first glance, it might seem like Capcom’s attempt to clone Skyrim, but his world and his history are much deeper and richer.
As for the party element, players can not only customize their own adventurers, but also their spiritual adventure companions called Pawns. Because it is dangerous to go alone, the “Pawns” are essential for the search and conquest of giant monsters in this beautiful fantasy world. Ultimately, the grandeur and epicness of the Lord of the Rings with the action of a game like Elder Scrolls.
Dragon Age: Origins
If there is a company that has learned about role-playing games that are rich in history, it is Bioware. The Dragon Age series is steeped in history and character development, and Origins is its starting point. The group of adventurers the player can lead is as intricate and unique as the hero they choose to create.
As a member of the Gray Guardians, the player and his group of adventurers set out for the kingdom to defeat hordes of Darkspawn, collecting loot and weapons along the way. With archdemons, elves and a compelling narrative, this is more than just a typical RPG experience.
Collection Of Mana
The Mana series is a bit of a weird case in terms of genre, but its major editions in the Collection of Mana feature a unique take on party-based RPG. Instead of having a turn-based mechanic, the party acts more like a hack-and-slash and can be run by multiple players.
Secret of Mana was an RPG ahead of its time when it was released at the time of the SNES, and it’s a series that evolves and improves with each new release. It has the themes and visuals of Final Fantasy, but the gameplay of The Legend of Zelda, which makes it a hybrid that deserves more attention.
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For something more like a traditional JRPG, Octopath Traveler is classic and modern in equal measure. Although the fights are more contemporary, the JRPG’s use of traditional elements and imagery gives it a more familiar flavor. As for the party, players have eight different champions to collect, each with their own missions and story arc.
Big things come in small packages, and that can certainly be said about this 16-bit gem. With eight party members having eight different storylines, they are far more developed than normal fantasy followers.
Pillars Of Eternity
Pillars of Eternity is a game intended for a particular audience, that is, those who are familiar with games of this type such as the Baldur’s Gate series. However, it is a high-fantasy RPG dedicated to themes seen along the Sword Coast and in the deeper regions of the Forgotten Realms.
Players will undertake various missions and meet different party members along the way, all from an isometric perspective. Elves, orcs, and other traditional elements of fantasy RPGs are all present in this game, although it may not be the most suitable for beginners to the genre.
Final Fantasy VII
The Final Fantasy series essentially came up with the idea of a party-based RPG in the form of a video game. Unlike its predecessors, such as Wizardry and Zork, it was one of the first RPG video games to provide fully viewable visuals to accompany the player’s adventure. Although there are 15 games and several spinoffs outside the main series, it is the seventh title that continues to enjoy the most acclaim.
Cloud, Tifa, Yuffie, and everyone else have been some of the most recognizable figures in the franchise for decades, and the fanbase is very active in that regard. Even though the crystal heroes have been traded with a group of bioterrorists, the epic sense remains throughout the series. Although it received a recent remake, it is the original that achieved the highest ratings.
Dragon Quest XIS
After the Final Fantasy series, Dragon Quest is one of the most successful franchises in the JRPG industry. Taking a cue from Final Fantasy, but using more traditional Western fantasy elements, such as knights, wizards, and dragons, it’s a gold standard for party-based RPGs.
The series dates back to the 1980s, but its latest major version absolutely perfects the formula. Bigger and bolder than its predecessors, with a cast of colorful adventurers, lush environments, and a storyline that has elements of the Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, it’s truly a game for fantasy fans.
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Divinity: Original Sin II
One of the most successful RPGs of recent years, Divinity: Original Sin II has an excellent reputation behind it. Essentially a more refined approach than that seen in games like Pillars of Eternity, deep and impressive are not enough to describe the experience of this title.
The game’s story, characters, settings and even the smallest details are so detailed that a Dungeon Master’s head is spinning. Regardless of which cast the player chooses to fill their party with, their personalities are as vivid and vibrant as the kingdoms of Rivellon.
Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows Of Amn
The Baldur’s Gate series stems from the mastermind behind Dragon Age with the assistance and inspiration of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, and its second chapter is the one with the highest rating and some of the deepest content in terms of story and environment. With over 11 characters of different races and classes, the player will not experience the adventure alone.
The Guard of Gorion must battle the forces of an evil wizard and players will need all the help they can get in this epic adventure. With all the fantasy elements of a classic D&D campaign without the dice, fans of story-packed RPGs and the famous board game will not be disappointed.