If you’re looking for a great adventure you might have missed, this is your list.
These PS3 titles are time-tested, beloved role-playing experiences. You can count on them to give you many hours of entertainment and still have you coming back for more, over the years. At least they have for me, and many others.
I love the ability to take on a new life and explore a new world, just by popping a disc into the PS3. I don’t even want to know how many hours I’ve spent happily exploring these worlds. Thousands, no doubt.
My favorite rpgs span medieval fantasy, down into the netherworld, and into the skies for intergalactic adventure.
Where do yours take you? Let me know in guestbook. I love finding awesome new games I’ve missed!
Dragon Age Origins
Recommended: The Ultimate Edition
In Dragon Age Origins you are the last of the legendary order of Grey Wardens, sworn to defend the land against the Blight. It is a time of civil war, when the kingdom’s army has just suffered crushing defeat at the hands of the horde you are sworn to fight, aided by a brutal betrayal laid at the door of your Order. You must unite elves, mages, dwarves, and humans, bring justice or redemption to the betrayer, and defeat the Blight.
Just another day in Ferelden.
Ferelden is a primitive, medieval kingdom in the fantasy world of Thedas, where all of Bioware’s Dragon Age games are set. You can play male or female characters, of several races, with varied customization options.
This was a masterpiece of a game a decade in the making. I have no shame at all in saying this has long been my all time favorite game, though I also enjoy others on this list. The lore is deep, and the game can easily last 60-80 hours (more, if you want to experience the world as another race or make different choices). Some of the NPCs become so real to the player as you delve into their stories, they are beloved and remembered years later.
Among the more unique and outstanding gameplay features are:
Approval system: your party companions are influenced by discussion, gifts, and your actions during the game. They may like, hate, or even fall in love with your character. Potential love interests include hetero and bi options.
Origins: As you create your character, you choose an origin story that adds richness and depth to how your character interacts with the game world, and how others in that gameworld see you. A dwarven noble has a far different life than a dwarven casteless; an elven or human mage has a far different life than city elf or a Dalish, or a human noble. There are differences in the game for which gender you play within those origins, as well.
The Ultimate Edition gets you all of the DLC that was released for the game, as well as the expansion pack.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Recommended: The Legendary Edition
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the latest Elder Scrolls RPG from Bethesda. Players can roll up characters of either gender, and of the different races of Tamriel. It is a medieval-style, Norse-inspired open world with an epic story, and dragons. Lots of dragons.
The player begins as prisoner, a bystander caught between factions of a civil war. The sudden reappearance of dragons overshadows that concern, and, strangely, they seem connected to you somehow. You’re set loose in an open world Skyrim with the freedom to choose sides with the Imperials or the rebelling Nords, explore the mystery of the dragons and your connection to them, and make your place in the world.
And we’re really only scratching the surface, here. There are secrets to be found, societies to join or take over, monsters to quell or become….
One of the cooler features is that in the major regions, players are able to purchase a house and decorate it after they’ve gained enough respect there.
There are many recruitable companions across the world, and many NPCs can be courted and wed if you like. (The courting and marriage system is, imo/ime, the weakest system in Skyrim, but it exists, and is a bit of fun to explore.)
The Legendary Edition gets you Skyrim and all of its expansion content: Hearthfire, Dawnguard, and Dragonborn.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
The mystery of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning begins with your death. Your character (male or female, your choice, in your choice of elven or human races) has somehow managed to escape the tapestry of fate to return to life.
Written by R.A .Salvatore and designed by Todd McFarlane (Creator of the Spawn series) and Ken Rolston (Lead Designer of Morrowind and Oblivion), this game packs some serious RPG cred, and it shows. The main plot is an unusual mystery, and the side quests are fantastic, even funny.
The primary story arc kept me entertained (and guessing) throughout my many hours of gameplay, but if you rush through with your eyes only on the main quests, you’ll miss the bulk of the fun and richness that is Amalur. Even the crazy fetch quests are entertaining (my favorite: reading the books from the monk’s personal library people had “borrowed” without returning. Quest doesn’t even give good loot, it’s just hilarious.).
There’s not much romance in this one, but my female PC was proposed to by an elven queen and ninjamanced by another elven girl (from the Kel DLC), which was a riot. I’d guess those two characters are equal-opportunity “romancers”, storyline-driven rather than concerned with gender, which was an interesting way to approach it, I thought.
Both DLC adventure packs are well worth the price, giving rich new areas to explore and, in the case of the Legend of Dead Kel, a home to reclaim and upgrade, as well.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Recommended: Greatest Hits Edition
Wrath of the White Witch is a beautiful game. Playing it is like stepping into one of those lovely Studio Ghibli fairy tales, like Spirited Away or Howl’s Moving Castle, because they did the animation for the game. It has a sweet, tragic story, and great soundtrack – just like a classic Studio Ghibli title.
So how’s the gameplay, you ask? Wonderful, if you love JRPGs. The player takes the role of Oliver, a child who quests through a parallel world in an attempt to bring his mother back to life.
Along the way, he gathers new friends and familiars, with the (many different types of) familiars fighting for him in battle. The battle system is an interesting blend of live-action and turn-based that takes us well beyond button-mashing.
Recommended: Greatest Hits Edition
The storyline basically consists of: kill the possessed. When you do, you gain the demonic soul and become more powerful, which you’ll need to fight the Big Bad Demon. The appeal lies in just how difficult that seemingly simple task is. Upgrading your stats and customizing your skills may even let you think you have a chance. Briefly.
It’s a dark, cruel world in which you are alone against overwhelming odds. And the thrill is in finally bringing that evil BBD down, despite it all.
Fallout New Vegas
Recommended: Ultimate Edition
If you’re in the mood for something a little more post-apocalyptic, Bethesda has you covered in Fallout New Vegas. Set in the Mojave desert after a nuclear war, in NV you play as a lone adventurer seeking to make a name for himself (or herself). But to do that, you have to survive a region full of dreamers and desperadoes and various factions jockeying for power. Not to mention the neon-drenched Vegas strip, with all its allure and danger.
While you’re fighting for your life against mutants, other survivors, and everything else going on, the mood is kept off-kilter by the nostalgic soundtrack and typically quirky Fallout brand of humor.
The Ultimate edition includes all the DLC, from the stories and new areas of Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues and Lonesome Road to the add-on packs of weapons and ammo.
Mass Effect Trilogy
Recommended: Trilogy Edition
The Mass Effect Trilogy is sci fi role-playing in space. Players take the role of Commander Shepard (male or female, your choice) of the starship Normandy. You are, of course, the galaxy’s greatest hope to defeat an intergalactic threat.
Take your ship and crew from the first glimmerings of trouble as a rogue agent attempts to unleash a horrific menace in Mass Effect, to a massive showdown involving an army you built from disparate races in Mass Effect 3 – all right here, in this one box. It’s a heck of a ride.
Throughout, Bioware brings gamers the well-written NPCs and companions they are known for. Shepard will recruit, befriend, even romance if she wishes, making choices that affect her through all three installments of the trilogy.
Originally published, by me, on Squidoo 10/24/2011, before being moved here and updated.