Updated March 29, 2017: We added Torment: Tides of Numenera to this list for its amazing writing and sheer openended-ness. And despite the issues, Mass Effect: Andromeda easily makes the cut for its RPG progression, incredible combat, and rich upgrade system.

Set in worlds that are often rich in lore and history, RPG video games' origins stem from classic pencil-and-paper role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. Most borrow terminology and mechanics from those table-top classics. RPGs are centered around a single character or a team, that completes quests and storylines, gains experience in order to level up, and they often have a structured combat system when fighting enemies.

There are plenty of distant worlds and fantastic creatures on Xbox One. Here are a few of our favorites.

Torment: Tides of Numenera

There are few games on this list that can boast such a rich, divergent narrative. "Choice and consequence" is a phrase often lost in the world of marketing-speak nowadays, but for Torment: Tides of Numenera, it's the real deal.

Torment: Tides of Numenera is set millions of years in the future, where countless civilizations have risen and fallen, leaving the technology and detritus of alien invasions, trans-dimensional anomalies, and all other sorts of oddities. Amidst all this chaos, humanity has been reduced to a largely medieval state, where nobody seems to have a true grasp of what reality is.

You play as a Castoff, one of many artificially-created human shells used by The Changing God to sustain his abnormally long life. You're now free, and it's on you to find your place in the world, learn more about your origins, and survive the onslaught of The Sorrow, who wants you dead for reasons unknown.

Torment: Tides of Numenera is very narrative-driven, but it remains a true RPG, giving you access to a wide variety of skills, gadgets, gizmos, and unprecedented choice. It's a vital RPG.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda is far from perfect, suffering from a litany of bugs, engine issues, and grindy, "fetch this" side quests. However, as far as space RPGs go, Mass Effect: Andromeda is easily among the best.

Andromeda revives the original game's rich equipment system, complete with crafting, modding, and research, giving it a wealthy RPG progression layer. Throw in the dozens upon dozens of skills and abilities you can use to customize your playstyle, and you're on to a winner. For what Mass Effect: Andromeda lacks in polish, it makes up for with utterly stellar combat, which is arguably the best in the series so far.

BioWare have pledged to continue to support the game, repairing the issues, but even still, Andromeda retains those truly "Mass Effect" moments, with divergent decisions, emotionally engaging characters, and a suitably mysterious plot.


A good place to start for players new to MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), Neverwinter is an entertaining and fun RPG to play alone or with friends through Xbox Live.

With skill trees to tailor your character to your specific design and a reasonably generous loot system, you'll lose more than a few hours plumbing the depths of new dungeons. A number of new campaigns continue the main game's story and add lots of missions to take on. Neverwinter also boasts a robust guild system (including a thriving Windows Central's guild).

Neverwinter and its follow-on DLCs are free to play. Micro-transactions are present, but rewards are generous enough that you won't have to pay up. Neverwinter is not the prettiest RPG on Xbox One, and sometimes the the frame rate definitely chugs. But it boasts a whole load of game for free, so don't judge it by its cover.

Check out our Neverwinter guides for tips on how to chat, level up, and more.

See at Xbox Store

Lords of the Fallen

Lords of the Fallen shoved its way into the action RPG segment like a Viking on steroids. With an advanced combat system and mix-and-match class and skill ability trees, taking on the Gods for turning their backs on you never packed so much of a punch.

This is a hardcore action RPG, with roots in the formidable Dark Souls series. It has enough personality of its own to stand apart without being as will-crushingly difficult as similar games, which makes Lords of the Fallen a good choice for those who may have been putoff by the legendary difficulty of Dark Souls.

The school-or-get-schooled theme runs strong in this one. You play as Harkyn, a human taking on seemingly endless supernatural forces. With character choices that affect the world and varying play styles, you may find yourself going back in to face the Fallen God more than once.

Quest of Dungeons

Falling back to the retro gaming days of the late 80s, Quest of Dungeons is one of the closest things to an old-school roguelike dungeon crawler on Xbox One.

It has an iconic 16-bit art style, procedurally generated floor levels, permanent death, randomly placed items and monsters, and a turn-based battle system. These are all all staples of the roguelike RPG sub-genre, but this game is anything but dated.

Quest of Dungeons has a gentle learning curve, so players shouldn't have too much difficulty completing this game with its different classes and weapons. And when you're done with the main game, there is an alternate story to play. In true roguelike fashion, when you die, you start all over again — nothing carries over to the next game. Do you have what it takes to find your way through the labyrinthine floors and stay alive to collect the light that the Dark Lord has stolen?

See at Xbox Store

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV follows the story of Prince Noctis as he attempts to reclaim stolen lands from an evil, high-tech empire. Final Fantasy XV leans heavily on franchise lore, delivering piles of nostalgia atop gorgeous visuals and addictive combat.

Unlike previous entries, Final Fantasy XV is entirely real-time-action oriented. While it's not a full-blown hack 'n slash like Devil May Cry, players can play reactively, dodging enemy attacks and parrying in exchange for increased damage.

Final Fantasy XV takes heart of the criticism leveled at Final Fantasy XIII, ditching linearity in favor of a huge open world. Tons of secrets, dungeons, monsters, and side quests await the player, across dozens of hours of play. Final Fantasy XV is one game you can really sink your teeth into.

The Banner Saga

The Banner Saga boasts a gorgeous hand-drawn graphic style and a compellingly deep story — it was evident from the start that this Kickstarter-funded game was something to watch out for. It eventually raised more than seven times its initial funding goal.

Balancing resources in the downtime between turn-based battles in a manner akin to The Oregon Trail, choices made while trekking across the breathtaking icy wastelands to take on the Dredge have far-reaching complications down the line.

The Banner Saga immerses you in its rich Norse mythology-based lore, beautiful graphics and impressive battle system. This story-driven game puts you right in the middle of the action, where every decision you make could spell the end of your civilization. Every choice you make — from where you travel to who you put in charge to fight threats — will have meaningful consequences. Not everyone will survive, but will you live to tell the tale?

See at Xbox Store

The Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online is an online safe haven for those fans waiting impatiently for the next installment of the acclaimed fantasy series.

You could race across Tamriel on mounts, join guilds, perform daily tasks, take part in raids and embark on quests with your friends or play alone. Explore every nook and cranny of the land, forge your equipment to use or sell, or read the in-game books. The scope of The Elder Scrolls Online is massive and way more laid back than the individual titles. Spend your time just walking around the coastlines (keep an eye out for bandits or imps), or saturate the market with poorly made hats. It's entirely up to you.

Elder Scrolls Online is different from most MMORPGs — there's no subscription fee, just the initial purchase price and option in-game purchases to supplement the character classes.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

When events occur that make you seem like a Divine Being, what would you do? Go with it, and seek to bring peace and harmony to the land, or denounce your new holy status and build an army that will be written into history as you save the world from the brink of destruction by evil forces?

Create your character (and import choices from previous games) and lead your team of heroes across Thedas, the expansive world of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Over 80 hours of main game story, and hours of side quests will easily take you over the 140-plus hour mark for near full completion, not including DLC. BioWare is known for making high quality, well-rounded RPGs, with in-depth lore and character back stories so well written you'll feel like it's all real.

Fight High Dragons, ward off the ancient evil bringing the end of the world, and rebuild.

Wasteland 2: Director's Cut

Wasteland on PC was the original inspiration for the post-apocalyptic classic Fallout. This addictive and successfully Kickstarted RPG lets you play your own way, with consequences to boot. Tactical decisions and moral choices are all yours as you fight for survival, and the controls are smooth and easy. Everything is a learning experience, and there is much more to explore as you complete quests, gather equipment in one of the most brutal RPG experiences.

Over 80 hours of playtime await you, as do hundreds of characters and customization options to tailor an experience all your own.

Wasteland 2: Directors Cut took an already very successful formula and ported it to console in such a way that it really has to be played to be believed.

Dark Souls 3

Still retaining its place as one of the most punishingly difficult series of games ever made, Dark Souls 3 builds on the story of its predecessors, but with a few new bells and whistles of its own. Dark Souls is an action RPG known for its difficulty, tasking players to meticulously learn the attacks of its wide and various enemies or suffer the cold, and constant, embrace of death.

With the addition of weapon arts in your roster of attacks, Dark Souls becomes a whole new beast. Changes to the combat system create a deliciously fluid game, where death rules over all, eventually.

Setting the benchmark incredibly high, Dark Souls 3 is in a unique world, and no self-respecting gamer should avoid this brutal land without at least having a damn good try first.

Fallout 4

Bethesda nuked out a hit in the fourth instalment of its cult hit series, Fallout 4.

The last survivor of Vault 111 after a world-ending nuclear event more than 200 years ago, Fallout 4 offers a huge open world of Wasteland to explore, and now rebuild. Fallout 4 features wildly improved first person combat, allowing you to craft all sorts of guns and melee weapons. For the first time in the series, you can even build your own settlements, using one of the most impressive and intuitive modular base-building systems we've ever seen.

Fallout 4 is also one of the first Xbox One games to allow mods, which can enhance your game in various ways, from minor bug fixes all the way to new quests, features, and character models. For a rundown on what Fallout 4 mods are capable of, have a look at our best Fallout 4 mods roundup.

If you fancy collecting curvy Pip-Girl statuettes, or ripping someone's arm off and beating them with it, go check out Fallout 4.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

For what is essentially a AAA standard indie game, The Witcher 3 absolutely deserves a spot on this list.

Truly a masterpiece in its own right, The Witcher 3 is top of its game. You play as Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher, monster hunter and master swordsman in this hugely open world. Meaningful choices decide the fates for whole communities, all the while slaying monsters and holding back the tide of enemies standing against you in a jaw-dropping environment, backed up with the kind of storytelling that's in a class of its own.

The Witcher 3 and its DLC hold hundreds of hours of fantastic combat against mythical creatures, alongside a cast of superbly written characters. It is a time sponge that'll make you forget there are even other games you could be playing. Suffice to say, it's an Xbox RPG worth trying.

Divinity: Original Sin

Divinity: Original Sin is a turn-based isometric RPG that pays homage to the CRPGs of the 90s. Teams of up to two players (either online or offline) must develop their characters from a huge variety of skills and classic job archetypes, including rogues, wizards, warriors, and beyond.

Divinity: Original Sin follows the journey of two Source hunters on a quest to rid the world of forbidden Source magic. While investigating what seems to be a routine murder, the players uncover a magical conspiracy that threatens the world.

Divinity: Original Sin is one of the more unique titles on this list, no less for its co-operative combat and dialogue systems. This is definitely one to consider.

To sum that all up ...

We will never tire of a good RPG to sink ourselves into. To slip into another life and carry the burdens for a while is sometimes a nice break from the stresses of our own lives. While some games on this list are short and sweet, others will suck you in for days at a time, but the feeling at the end is the same.

With such a large variety of games to choose from, and a large variation of styles of RPG, there should be something in the list for everyone. What are your favorite RPGs on Xbox One? Which RPGs would you like to see on the Xbox One in the future? Let us know in the comments below.

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