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The editors over at PC Gamer have assembled a fresh list of what they consider to be the best RPGs currently available on PC. The list includes over 40 titles, so there’s a good chance it contains something you haven’t played yet, and if not, you may want to check it out anyway, because who on the Internet can resist a nice long list.
Here are a few examples and you take it from there:
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Many of the best RPGs focus on tales of lone, wandering adventurers, but few if any pull it off it with such artistry as The Witcher 3. That artistry is most apparent in the setting itself, which is so packed with breathtaking sunsets and wind-tossed groves of trees that, months later, I still find myself opting to go to destinations on foot rather than taking the fast travel points.
But the true strength of The Witcher 3 is that it populates these memorable landscapes with NPCs doling out humble but memorable quests (by the dozen) that help create one of the most human RPG experiences on the market. In decaying wayside towns, the witcher Geralt might find impoverished elves struggling in the face of local racism; elsewhere, he might help a self-styled baron reunite with his long-estranged daughter. These quests deftly navigate moral issues without being heavy-handed or offering obvious solutions
Through it all, much as in The Witcher 2, Geralt usually plays the role of just another character on this troubled world's stage. In the process, this tale of monster slaying and inter-dimensional raiders becomes strangely and poignantly relatable. The Witcher 3 is still great with a few years on it, but you can spice it up with some Witcher 3 mods if you're into that.
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Outside of tabletop games, there are few RPGs that boast the liberating openness of Larian's humongous quest for godhood. If you think you should be able to do something, you probably can, even it it's kidnapping a merchant by using a teleportation spell and then setting fire to him with his own blood. Almost every skill has some alternative and surprising use, sometimes more than one, whether you're in our out of combat.
You can enjoy this game of madcap experimentation and tactical combat with up to three friends, to boot, and that's where things start to get really interesting because you're not forced to work together or even stay in the same part of the world. Indeed, there are plenty of reasons to work against each other. The player is always in the driving seat, and with four players, collisions are inevitable. Just remember: if you freeze your friends and then start poisoning them, at least apologize after.
Disco Elysium returns to the absolute fundamentals of tabletop RPGs. It's all about playing a role and becoming your character and embracing whatever success or failure that entails. Your predetermined protagonist is a detective who wakes up after an amnesia-inducing bender without a badge, gun, or a name. As the detective, you'll attempt to solve a murder in the retro city of Revachol while also solving the mystery of your past and identity.
There is no combat, at least not in the way you'd expect of a classically-inspired RPG. Instead, the majority of Disco Elysium takes place in conversation either with characters you need to interview about the murder or with your own mind. Each of your skills in Disco Elysium are parts of your personality with opinions on what to say and do during your investigation. Empathy will helpfully clue you in to the feelings of people you talk to so you can better understand them while Logic will help you poke holes in a bad alibi or understand a clue you find. Investing in skills helps you pass dice roll skill checks all throughout the game for everything from kicking down a door to hitting on a woman at the hotel. It's a massive RPG with clever writing where each playthrough is significantly different based on the kind of detective you choose to play.