• The CRPG genre experienced a renaissance in 2013 with the help of Kickstarter, resulting in some of the best CRPGs of all time.
  • Baldur’s Gate 3
    is a great introduction to the CRPG genre, offering players a sense of freedom, choice, and consequences that few genres can match.
  • Classic CRPGs like
    Baldur’s Gate
    Planescape: Torment
    , and
    Knights of the Old Republic
    offered more choices and dynamic consequences than modern RPGs like
    Mass Effect
    Fallout 3

The CRPG was long thought a dead genre by AAA developers and publishers. They were phased out in favor of third-person and first-person RPGs like Mass Effect and Fallout 3. While those are fantastic titles in their own right, fans still missed the flexibility and freedom of the classics. Games like Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment still offered their players far more choices, and consequences for their actions felt more dynamic. Even BioWare’s excellent Dragon Age series felt linear by comparison.


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Indie games are progressively becoming more thoroughly integrated into mainstream gaming culture, as exemplified by these fantastic RPGs.

However, from 2013 onward, the genre saw something of a renaissance for the classically styled CRPG with the help of Kickstarter crowdfunding methods. As a result, fans got some of the best CRPGs of all time, with many being as good as the games that inspired them.

Updated March 21, 2024. by Michael Llewellyn: Baldur’s Gate 3 and the Divinity: Original Sin series show the flexibility of the CRPG genre and the freedom it provides that few games can match. It’s the perfect style to recreate tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons, Shadowrun, and Pathfinder. Whether it is fantasy, science fiction, or a modern-day setting, the CRPG caters to many tastes, and provides hours of deep, tactical gameplay that will challenge its players. This list has been updated to include another recent CRPG that fans will enjoy.

26 Sovereign: Syndicate

A Victorian Era Steampunk RPG

Sovereign Syndicate characters on the streets of London

  • Platform: PC
  • Released: January 15, 2024
  • Developer: Crimson Herring Studios

Moving away from Tolkienesque fantasy and science fiction is Sovereign: Syndicate, a Victorian-era CRPG with a Steampunk setting. It focuses more on character interaction and role-playing than combat and shares similarities with the critically acclaimed Disco Elysium.

Despite its setting, Sovereign: Syndicate features elements of fantasy and Greek mythology with creatures like Centaurs, Werewolves, and Minotaurs woven into its intriguing world alongside well-written characters. The world is a stunning recreation of the gritty streets of Victorian London. It’s made more gritty by some dark themes, like depression, substance abuse, and prostitution. Sovereign: Syndicate is one of the most unique CRPGs in the genre.

25 Expeditions: Rome

A Historical CRPG Set In Ancient Rome

A top down view of a military camp with fire cooking food and people standing around different parts of the camp in Expeditions: Rome

  • Platform: PC
  • Released: January, 20, 2022
  • Developer: Logic Artists

Expeditions: Rome is a follow-up to the historically set Expeditions: Conquistador and Expeditions: Viking. Like its predecessors, Rome features turn-based combat and grand tactics elements like gathering resources and conquering regions to develop the protagonist’s standing in Rome.

The game follows the story of a Legatus investigating his father’s politically motivated murder by unknown assailants. Fans will encounter historical figures like Julius Caesar, Marcus Cicero, and Marcus Cato The Younger.

24 Solasta: Crown Of The Magister

A Linear But Entertaining RPG Set In The D&D Universe

Party members in Solasta: Crown of the Magister

Solasta: Crown of The Magister
May 27, 2021

Tactical Adventures

Solasta: Crown of the Magister is a tactical RPG that uses the 5th Edition of the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset. It is one of the more linear titles on this list, but it is a solid introduction to classically styled RPGs with excellent lore and character-building.

Like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Divinity: Original Sin 2, players can create a party of four characters based on D&D rules or use premade characters to embark on the story. The turn-based combat is a particular highlight with its faithful adaptation of the D&D ruleset, creating spectacular set pieces and moments of tension.

23 Gamedec

A Futuristic Detective Noir With A CRPG Twist

Gamedec a view of the city

  • Platforms: PC, PS5, and Switch
  • Released: September 16, 2021
  • Developer: Anshar Studios

Gamedec is a point-and-click and RPG hybrid, similar to recent hits like Disco Elysium and even the Sherlock Holmes games. The isometric cyberpunk neo-noir adventure puts players in the shoes of a private detective – the Game Detective – hired to solve mysteries in realistic virtual reality settings similar to that seen in Star Trek‘s Holodeck virtual reality chamber.

Gamedec is based on the short stories written by Marcin Przybyłek. The different worlds function like Live A Live’s time-traveling storyline, where each chapter can be set in various timelines, like a medieval setting or the Wild West. However, as the detective ventures into more of the story, the plot gets darker with its BDSM-like world while searching for a missing girl. As an investigator, players will use a deduction mechanic similar to the mind palace sequences in Sherlock Holmes. Instead of combat, the main character’s stats develop through choices and interactions.

22 Spellforce 3

A Strategy And CRPG Hybrid Set In A Fantasy Universe

Spellforce 3 - Large hallway

SpellForced 3: Reforced
December 7, 2017

Real-Time Strategy , Free-to-Play , Strategy

Spellforce 3 is a CRPG and real-time strategy game narratively set as a prequel before the events of the first game in the series, Spellforce: The Order of the Dawn. It features a deep story, tons of lore, and a good cast of characters with solid motivations to keep players gripped.

The RTS mechanics are well implemented on consoles, making them accessible and fun to most players. The hero combat is similar to what is seen in regular CRPGs like Baldur’s Gate. There is a lot of dialogue to read and listen to, but the story is always interesting, and fans of RTS and RPGs get a perfect merging of genres.

21 Shadowrun Returns

A Fantastic Reboot Of The Fantasy Sci-Fi CRPG Series

Opening scene in Shadowrun Returns

Shadowrun Returns
July 25, 2013

Harebrained Schemes

Action RPG , Tactical

Shadowrun Returns is an RPG based on the Shadowrun tabletop board game. It’s a classically styled CRPG that merges cyberpunk and Tolkienieque fantasy with a focused murder mystery story that’s compelling from start to finish. The combat is turn-based and tactical without bogging players down in confusing and overly complicated systems. Shadowrun Returns is a solid introduction to the excellent Shadowrun Trilogy and the CRPG genre for fans of Blade Runner-style games with a hint of fantasy and detective noir.

20 Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic

Still The Greatest Star Wars Game Ever

An intense lightsaber battle from KOTOR

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Launched in 2003, Knights of the Old Republic marked a stylistic change for BioWare, acting as a precursor for their Mass Effect series. Instead of the isometric views of its predecessors in the Baldur’s Gate series, it created a fully 3D universe to explore.


Knights of the Old Republic Companion Tier List

With a Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic remake reportedly in the works, here’s a tier list of every companion from the original game.

Yet despite this, the game still felt and played like a CRPG in terms of its dialogue options and the combat system. It uses a modified version of the 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons ruleset. It has a deep fighting system more akin to a turn-based combat system that seems to fall somewhere between Final Fantasy 12 and Baldur’s Gate. More importantly, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has a gripping story with an excellent supporting cast, a great twist, and a memorable villain.

19 Path Of Exile

A Free-To-Play Action RPG With Classes To Appeal To Classic CRPG Fans

path of exile necromancer

Path of Exile
October 23, 2013

Action RPG

Launched as a free-to-play isometric action RPG, Path of Exile is a dungeon crawler allowing players to select from seven classes. These are the Ranger, Shadow, Witch, Templar, Scion, Duelist, and Marauder.

Path of Exile takes the old-school approach by throwing the player right into the middle of the action without any handholding. The world design is excellent and distinctive enough to separate itself from other action RPGs, and the free-to-play model opens the door for fans.

18 Masquerada: Songs And Shadows

A Renaissance-Inspired CRPG With A Unique Art Style

Masquerada Tiziana dialogue

  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One
  • Released: September 30, 2016
  • Developer: Witching Hour Studios

Launched in 2018, Masquerada: Songs And Shadows is a tactical action RPG from Witching Hour Studios. Masquerada is a visually stunning game using a more cartoonish aesthetic than other games on this list.

The Renaissance-inspired setting feels original compared to the fantasy-inspired surroundings of other titles. The characters get their elemental powers from the magical Venetian masks. However, in true CRPG fashion, there is a ton of lore for the player to get lost in, and despite being a little on the linear side, the story will captivate its players from start to finish.

17 Age Of Decadence

A Gritty Take On Fantasy CRPGs

Age of Decadence - combat

Age of Decadence
Microsoft Windows

October 14, 2015

Iron Tower Studios

Iron Tower Studios

Launched in 2015 for the PC, Age of Decadence is an isometric RPG developed with classic CRPGs in mind. Unlike most fantasy RPGs, however, Age of Decadence is set in a more grounded and realistic world, even though magic still exists.

The game emphasizes politics, alliances, and allegiances instead of good and bad choices. The shades of grey morality and political backdrop are perfect for fans of Game of Thrones and HBO’s Rome. Challenging and completely unforgiving, the CRPG Age of Decadence is the ideal title for fans of the classics.

16 Pathfinder: Kingmaker

An RPG Based On The Tabletop Series Filled With Meaningful Choices

pathfinder kingmaker

Pathfinder: Kingmaker
September 25, 2018

Owlcat Games

Developed by Owlcat Games, Pathfinder: Kingmaker was launched on PC in 2018 after a successful Kickstarter campaign. The console ports followed in 2020. It is based on the tabletop RPG Pathfinder board game launched in 2009.


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With mythology and lore comparable to Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder is inspired by classic CRPGs like Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights. Like those games, Kingmaker is faithful to the source material, offering players an in-depth choice and consequence system. There are many dialogue options with consequences, meaning their impact can create a significantly different experience in every playthrough.

15 Encased

A Post-Apocalyptic RPG Inspired By The Isometric Fallout Games

  • Platform: PC
  • Released: September 7, 2021
  • Developer: Dark Crystal Games

Launched in 2019 for the PC, Encased is an open-world isometric RPG developed by Dark Crystal Games. It is a science fiction RPG that pays tribute to the classic Fallout games. It left Steam Early Access in 2021 for a full launch.

Encased is set in an alternate 1970s. The gameplay and post-apocalyptic nature resemble the first two Fallout games, and the science fiction setting is reminiscent of 70s sci-fi TV shows and movies. The writing is top-notch, and there is a dark sense of humor that genre fans will appreciate.

14 Torment: Tides Of Numenera

A Cleverly Executed RPG Inspired By Planescape: Torment

Planescape: Torment

Torment: Tides Of Numenera
February 28, 2017

Torment: Tides of Numenera was launched in 2017 for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Tides of Numera broke records for the highest-funded video game on Kickstarter after raising over $4 million. The game is based on the tabletop RPG Numenera created by Monte Cook, taking inspiration from the Planescape universe, which he had a hand in designing.


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Unsurprisingly, Torment: Tides of Numenera is considered a spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Planescape: Torment. It retains the importance of character choice, interaction, and narrative over combat and looting. Additionally, Numenera is one of the most unique gaming worlds ever designed.

13 Wasteland 2

A Modern Sequel To The 1988 Classic That Inspired Fallout

Wasteland 2

Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut
October 13, 2015

Developed by inXile Entertainment, Wasteland 2 is a sequel to the 1988 PC original. It was released in 2015 on the PC in 2014, with the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch versions following a year later.

The first Wasteland inspired the original Fallout games on PC, and Wasteland 2 continues that legacy with its visual style, solid writing, dark sense of humor, and turn-based combat. Wasteland 2 is unapologetically old-school and a little janky at times, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously and has the charm to keep CRPG fans hooked from start to finish.

12 Dragon Age: Origins

An Original Fantasy Universe From The Creators Of Baldur’s Gate

dragon age origins ogre

Dragon Age Origins
November 3, 2009

Developed by BioWare to be a modern-day spiritual successor to the Baldur’s Gate series, Dragon Age: Origins was launched in 2009 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC to much critical acclaim. While most players tackle the story in third-person perspective mode, the classically inspired isometric viewpoint makes Dragon Age feel more authentic.

In addition to some great gameplay, Dragon Age features an excellent story. It lacks the freedom and openness of some other titles on this list. However, Dragon Age is a triple-A epic with a dark fantasy tale that would not feel out of place in the Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones universe.

11 Tower Of Time

A Story-Rich CRPG With Tactical Real-Time Combat

Tower of Time combat

  • Platform: PC, PS4, and Xbox One
  • Released: April 12, 2018
  • Developer: Event Horizon

First released on the PC in 2018 and on consoles in 2020, Tower of Time is a classically inspired computer RPG incorporating a tactical real-time combat system. It is heavy on the story with prominent writing and is sure to please fans of the genre from start to finish.

Positioning the characters on the map to gain a tactical advantage and planning is vital. Offering an alternative to the usual stop-pause and turn-based systems usually found in a game like this.

10 Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous

A Sequel That Improves On Its Predecessor


Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous
September 2, 2021

Owlcat Games

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is the sequel to Pathfinder: Kingmaker, but fans can jump into the sequel without prior knowledge of the first game. It builds on the groundwork laid by Kingmaker and includes the updated tabletop ruleset from the board game.


Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous – The Best Classes For Beginners

Each class in Wrath Of The Righteous has things they do well. Newcomers will have an easier time with these during their first run.

Wrath of the Righteous is a beautiful game with a world begging to be explored. However, there is a steep learning curve, and newcomers to the genre may take some time to get used to the mechanics and the text-heavy menu screens. Perseverance will be rewarded because the Pathfinder games are vast open experiences that take players on an epic journey they can call their own on every playthrough.

9 Pillars Of Eternity

A Modern CRPG Inspired By Baldur’s Gate And Icewind Dale

Pillars of Eternity companion shot

Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, Pillars of Eternity was released on the PC in 2015 after a successful Kickstarter campaign. It was later ported to the PlayStation and Xbox One in 2017 and the Nintendo Switch in 2019.

Pillars of Eternity was one of the first games released on modern machines, taking inspiration from classic RPGs like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale. Just like the inspirations it draws from, the writing in PoE is incredible, and the combat complex and beautiful artwork brings its world to life.

8 Tyranny

A CRPG Where The Player Strives To Become The Ultimate Villain


Linux , Microsoft Windows , macOS

November 10, 2016
RPG , Adventure , Strategy

Launching exclusively for the PC by Obsidian Entertain in 2016, Tyranny was built on the same engine that powered Pillars of Eternity. Just like Pillars, Tyranny is a high fantasy RPG that places the same emphasis on story, characters, and moral choices as its predecessor.

However, Tyranny has a unique story because the game starts after the godlike Overlord Kyros – the main villain – has already conquered everything. Instead of being the hero, the player is encouraged to become the next main villain by making painfully despicable choices. The story is twisted and beyond dark, but it is also utterly compelling.

7 Divinity: Original Sin

A CRPG Set In The Divinity Universe

Divinity Original Sin 2 Combat

A prequel to the Divine Divinity series developed by Larian Studios, Divinity: Original Sin is a crowdfunded project launched to critical acclaim in 2014 on the PC. Citing the Baldur’s Gate series as an inspiration, Original Sin offered players near-limitless choice and experience.

Furthermore, Larian created a beautiful open world that is a joy to explore. The turn-based combat is reminiscent of the XCOM series, where the environment can work for or against the player. Divinity: Original Sin is a hardcore RPG experience with a steep learning curve, but the payoff is worth it.


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