What are RPG video games?

The origin of the RPG genre, its main features and the most famous examples.


What are role-playing games?

In role-playing video games, the user “plays” the role of a character who participates in the story.

These gaming releases are also known as RPG, which stands for “role playing game”.

In role-playing video games, there is a fundamental mechanic: interaction. It is true that interaction is also important in other video game genres, although in these cases it is central and indispensable.

Did you know that the origin of RPGs dates back to tabletop games?

The concept of playing the role of one of the characters had been seen before in tabletop games such as Dungeons & Dragons, also known as “Dragon and Dungeons” or “Dungeons and Dragons,” depending on the country.

Next, we will review the characteristics of role-playing video games, with a detail of their distinctive elements.

In addition, we will review the types of RPGs that are categorized based on variables such as the number of players or the synchronization of battles.

Characteristics of Role-Playing Video Games

The following are the main characteristics of RPGs. Let’s see.

  • As indicated above, they are games in which the user takes on the role of one of the characters.
  • Interaction, dialogue, and cooperation are the three fundamental pillars in the gameplay of RPGs.
  • It is common for there to be a narrator, judge, or director who “leads” the adventure, and this role often rotates in games.
  • Character control is framed within a story in which missions must typically be completed to reach the final goal.
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While there are variants of RPGs with different styles and mechanics, these elements are usually found in games of the genre:

  • Characters have different abilities, which are represented by numbers and/or statistics.
  • Each character’s skill serves to classify the character in the game, and it is common for there to be “categories” that define them, such as “wizards,” “sorcerers,” “thieves,” etc.
  • Players must collect items, which are generally useful for adding abilities or powers that expand the character’s capabilities.
  • These games are often set in fantasy universes.
  • Turn-based combat is also common.

Types of Role-Playing Video Games

While a series of common characteristics define these video games, there are different types of RPGs. Let’s see the detail.

  • ARPG: Characterized by being in real-time and focusing on combat.
  • MMORPG: Stands for “massively multiplayer online role-playing game”; many users participate in cooperative or attack mode through a platform that allows them to be connected to the same game.
  • WRPG: RPG focused on tactics and strategy; this is a sub-genre that emerged in the Japanese market.

Examples of Role-Playing Video Games

Some of the most well-known role-playing video games include The Legend of Zelda, World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls, Diablo, and Final Fantasy.

In these mentioned RPG examples, we see that the genre is not excluded from the gaming industry, with large companies in the sector participating in the developments.

Behind these games are relevant studios such as Nintendo, Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, and Square Enix.

3 Facts About Dungeons & Dragons, a Paradigm of Role-Playing Games

  • The first edition was released in 1974.
  • It is a board game that served as inspiration for many role-playing video games.
  • If you have seen the show Stranger Things, it is the tabletop game that entertains the four kids, especially in the early seasons.
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RPG, Between Narrative and Interactions

Inspired by tabletop role-playing games, these video games prioritize elements such as narration, interactions, dialogue, and cooperation.

As Nosolorol website points out, RPG games are based on the idea of telling stories.

The source provides a summarized answer to the question “what is an RPG?” “If you think a role-playing game seems like a kind of improvised storytelling conversation, you are not far off. However, like any other game, there are rules, and in this case, they will be used to decide what happens in exciting situations,” it states.

If you’re a fan of games and narratives, and you have never played an RPG, now is the time to join these adventures that are improving day by day with new technologies.