The 8 Best Xbox One Role Playing Games to Buy in 2017

Play the best action, sci-fi, strategy and simulation RPGs

Role playing games (RPGs) come in a wide variety of themes and game types. While normally associated with fantasy, RPGs can be sci-fi, western and post apocalyptic, and the gameplay can include turn-based, action, strategy and even simulation elements. The Xbox One doesn’t have a ton of RPGs, unfortunately, but there are still a handful of great ones available that no RPG fan should miss. Read on for the best RPGs games to play in 2017.

The best classic sword and shield combat in any action RPG on Xbox One is easily Dark Souls III, the medieval kingdom on the brink of darkness. Fighting through brutal hordes of undead, knights, giants, dragons (and more) up close and personal with a sword (or spear, or daggers, or axe or hammer) and shield is a thrill because any of the enemies, even the seemingly weakest ones, can kill you at any time if you aren’t careful.

Dark Souls isn’t just about attacking, though, it is about managing a limited amount of stamina so you can also block or dodge out of the way if you need to. This creates a realistic flow to combat as you dart in to strike when you have an opening, and then dodge away to avoid an enemy attack. It is challenging and difficult, but satisfying in a way few other games can be because you have absolute control over what happens. When you die, it is always because you slipped up, not because the game is unfair. And when you succeed, it is because you fought hard and were smart and earned it. No action RPG has more satisfying gameplay than Dark Souls III.

Two hundred years after nuclear war destroyed the world, your character wakes up from cryogenic sleep to find your partner killed and son kidnapped while you were out. From there, Fallout 4 unleashes you out into an open world post apocalyptic Boston and surrounding areas of Massachusetts as you battle monsters, raiders, synthetic humans (and worse) as you search for your son.

Played from either a first or third-person perspective, Fallout 4 is an action RPG shooter that features real-time combat as well as a unique ability to slow down time and let the CPU target and shoot enemies for you with success or failure based on your stats. There’s more to Fallout 4 than just combat, of course, as you can also build custom settlements and simply explore the massive and interesting world around you.

Thanks to a huge amount of possible skills and perks you can acquire by leveling up, you can specialize in different weapons and combat, make a stealth character, a charismatic character capable to talking their way out of trouble and more.

Arguably the best RPG on Xbox One overall, The Witcher 3 has a lot to offer. Featuring a huge open world that includes horseback riding and sailing, The Witcher 3 follows series protagonist Geralt of Rivia as he explores the Northern Kingdoms and is tasked with finding the daughter of the emperor in a tale that, naturally, turns into something bigger and more world threatening.

The game world is massive and highly detailed, too, and wandering off the beaten path of the main story to explore and hunt down mythical creatures like wyvern, griffins, harpy, vampires, sirens, giants, werewolves and more is a huge part of The Witcher 3’s appeal. There are dozens upon dozens of hours of content in The Witcher 3, with fantastic sword and magic-based combat, a mature and expertly told story and gorgeous visuals and sound that all work together to make this one of the best medieval RPGs ever.

Turn-based menu selections used to be the default battle system when it came to RPGs, but turn-based games are much more rare these days. There are still some classic turn-based games on Xbox One, though, and the best is Child of Light.

Starring a princess named Aurora who is transported to a land where a villain has stolen the sun, moon and stars, you must help the character restore the light and find her way home. With gameplay that includes 2D platforming exploration that changes into turn-based, menu driven battles, Child of Light is truly a unique experience.

Battles are turn-based, but have a unique mechanic where you can manipulate how much time enemies and allies have between turns, which gives Child of Light an interesting strategic element many games of this type don’t have. In addition to a fun battle system and solid 2D platforming in between battles, Child of Light also looks and sounds absolutely fantastic and, in a fun touch, the story is told entirely in rhymes.

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection looks like a shooter on the outside, but it is all RPG under the hood with multiple character classes, skill trees, level-up mechanics, quests, NPCs and other RPG mainstays. It also just happens to be a great playing sci-fi shooter to boot.

Taking place on the planet Pandora and its moon, both under the control of the brutal Hyperion corporation, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection includes two full games – Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – with hundreds of hours of gameplay in each as you fight back against Hyperion while trying to discover ancient alien vaults full of treasure.

Both games can be played cooperatively with up to four players either in local split screen or via Xbox Live, and adding more players makes the games more challenging and fun while also boosting the rewards and drops you earn accordingly. You can play Borderlands by yourself, of course, but the experience really shines when you bring some friends along.

While not a mainline Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD packs more than enough content to compete with its bigger brothers and sisters. Taking place in a world where four nations control four extremely powerful crystals, the story follows the chaos unleashed on the land when one of those countries declares war on the others.

You play as a group of 14 students from one of those countries who are tasked with using their unique magical abilities to bring order back to the world. Combat takes place in real-time action battles where you are free to move around the battlefield and attack at will. Since there are 14 characters, all of which have unique weapons and attacks and other abilities, there is a ton of variety to the combat encounters.

In addition to the replay value offered simply by having so many characters to choose from, the game also offers a New Game+ when you beat it that lets you carry over your stats and abilities while giving you tougher enemies, new missions and new story elements to see. It takes multiple play throughs to see everything Final Fantasy Type-0 HD has to offer.

Taking place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland version of the Western U.S., Wasteland 2 is a strategy RPG about a group of desert rangers tasked with protecting the good and innocent from raiders, monsters (and worse) all wandering through the radiation soaked wreckage of society.

Gameplay mostly consists of freely exploring areas from an isometric point of view, but when combat starts the game shifts to a turn-based strategy grid setup instead. In combat you only have a limited amount of action points during each turn to spend on moving characters around, using items and firing weapons. The strategy element comes from being able to move characters where you want while also still having enough points left over to attack.

It must be noted that Wasteland 2 is a very, very dense type of RPG, thanks to an overwhelming amount of stats, abilities, perks, items, weapons, etc. But there are some great tutorials and optimization for consoles, so it isn’t too tough to learn. It is definitely worth the effort, though, as Wasteland 2 is the only strategy RPG on Xbox One and one of the most unique games on the system overall.

Farming Simulator 15 is a simulation RPG where you have to manage a farm, starting from a single field and the smallest equipment and working your way up to multiple fields and gigantic combines and tractors. It might sound somewhat boring, but once you really get into it, Farming Simulator can be one of the most addictive and satisfying games you’ll ever play.

There is a ton to do here, such as managing your finances, hiring workers, taking delivery and lawn mowing missions around town, taking care of animals and buying new equipment.

Driving the heavy machinery is fun, and some of these machines are pretty surprisingly complicated. And Farming Simulator 15 doesn’t skimp on the details (it is a simulation, after all). Some might argue Farming Simulator 15 isn’t an RPG, but there are stats to keep track of, resources to manage, and you play a role you probably never have before.

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