Mass Effect 2: You might find it a little bit odd that two 3rd person shooters, that have nothing to do with the fantasy genre, have made their way to the top of this list. The truth is RPGs and games as a whole are evolving. Even the Xbox first-person shooter Halo, has adapted some RPG elements in its latest offering, Reach. In Mass Effect, you have everything you could ask for in a video game. The production level is as good as a top tier film and the branching storylines and other RPG elements of Mass Effect, on top of its much improved shooter game engine, make this quite possibly the most satisfying experience on the Xbox 360.
Fallout New Vegas: There is some debate as to whether this game is as good as its predecessor, Fallout 3. There are too many improvements in this latest offering, story included, to not consider New Vegas superior. This game is another 3rd person shooter to make the top RPG list but, it’s too deep and immersive to not include. The graphics and game engine are nowhere as polished as Mass Effect 2. However, you really feel as if you can do almost anything in this game. There isn’t a game with as much to see and do.
Dragon Age 2: Just out in time to make this list, this is a classic western style RPG. If you loved PC RPGs ten or fifteen years ago, and want to relive that experience, this is the game for you. Not to say this game is a rehash. On the contrary, Dragon Age 2 brings the style into the 21st century. Its high production value and streamlined gameplay, make it a perfect game for modern times. Some may complain that it’s a little too streamlined but, its contextual customization makes it just enough old school without requiring you to invest 4 hours with each sit down. Although, you probably won’t want to put it down.
Fable 2: Fable 2 and Fable 3 are two of the most accessible action RPGs. With Fable 3, however, there is very little RPG left. That is why Fable 2 is here on this list. Fable 2, in addition to swordplay and magic gives you a sampling of a few game genres. You have some elements that feel almost like playing Sims, you can also be landlord or real estate mogul and you also have a gun. This is a well done game, with plenty of humor and personality. That and being able to play with a friend online or off, makes it easy to recommend, even to more casual gamers.
Final Fantasy XIII: Can there be an RPG list without Final Fantasy? The main complaint with this game is that there is little interactivity and it has been called a movie with combat. However, it is extremely well produced with an epic story, great acting and stunning visuals. The Xbox 360 graphics are not as good as the Playstation 3’s, but if you don’t have a Playstation, you shouldn’t pass on this game. If this endorsement isn’t enough, there are sequels and spinoffs coming for this game as well.
Some honorable mentions are Fable 3, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Eternal Sonata, Fallout 3, Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect, and Borderlands and all of these can be found at your local Los Angeles Area game stores.