Top 10 Most Popular RPGs on PC (Bestsellers)

Most Popular RPGs
A fight against a Lothric Knight in Dark Souls 3

What Are The Most Played RPGs on PC?

RPGs and the PC go together like peanut butter and jelly, like Michael Jackson and Tito, or like millenials and nihilistic irony. Since the first RPGs for PC back in the 80s, the genre has come a long way from simple text based adventures and 8-bt graphics to sprawling, intricate worlds in glorious HD splendor. RPGs are notorious for sucking away absolutely all of your free time, but with the sheer number of titles available, it can be hard to choose which RPG you would like to play until your eyes bleed. Luckily for you (and for your eyes), I am here to tell you what's what. So sit back and enjoy as we go over a list of the 10 most popular RPGs on PC right now. 

10) Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Kingdom Come Let's play video

Developed by European company Warhorse Studios and released in February 2018, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a medievalist’s wet dream. Set in Bohemia in the 15th century, you take on the role of Henry, a young silver miner who is left the sole survivor after his village is ransacked by the soldiers of Sigismund of Luxembourg. Bitter and hungry for revenge, Henry sets out to avenge his family's murder, and ends up involved in a dangerous political conspiracy to restore the rightful monarch of Bohemia to the throne.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is known for its accurate and authentic presentation of 15th century central Europe. The clothing, dialect, weapons, and combat styles were all crafted with a concern for accuracy, and professional historians and architects assisted in creating the game.

The game has an open world structure, and a classless character customization scheme. Quests are made to be non-linear, with multiple different ways to approach tasks. Perhaps most interesting is the game's “needs” systems. Kingdom Come: Deliverance forces the player character to eat and sleep regularly in order to stay healthy. Equipment will degrade over time, and food stuffs will perish after too many days in your inventory. Such a design forces a player to be more careful and strategic with their play style.

In the first week of release the game sold around one million copies on all platforms, half of which were on Steam. Despite minor complaints due to software bugs and glitches, the game received mostly positive reviews, with extra praise placed upon the game’s setting and atmosphere. Interestingly, the game is one of the few on Steam to have a higher concurrent player count than both the Witcher 3 and Skyrim, with a 95, 863 peak player count.

9) Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadow of Amn

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Created by legendary developers Bioware and released in September 2000, Baldur’s Gate II is considered by many to be among the greatest RPGs of all time. Set in the fictional country of Amn, the game revolves around the player character protagonist and their many encounters with the enigmatic mage Jon Irenicus. Though the game is set mostly in the capital city of Athkatla, ruled by the mysterious Council of Six, other areas visited by the player include the port town of Brynnlaw, the vast subterranean tunnels of the Underdark, and the otherworldly Astral Plane.

 

Designed in a traditional RPG style, Baldur’s Gate II begins by allowing you to customize your character's class, appearance, abilities, and moral alignment. Many famous archetypal RPG classes are included, such as fighter, mage, paladin, thief or bard. The game plays in an isometric style and combat is slated in real time, though the player can pause the game at any time to strategize and issue commands to their party.

Various other NPCs join your party, although only 5 characters may be active in a group at a time. Depending on which characters are in your party, conversations, romances, and side quests will ensue. The game also features a multiplayer mode, where up to 6 players can create a party together. In addition, depending on their moral alignment, party members will react positively or negatively to your decisions. Some party members will even leave your group if they disapprove strongly enough of your methods. 

Baldur’s Gate II received critical acclaim upon its release, with critics praising its story, artwork, gameplay, and voice acting. The game has a current 95 out of 100 Metacritic score, and won many “RPG Game of the Year” awards when it was released. As of today, the game has sold over 2 million copies and is fondly remembered as a defining title of the RPG genre.

8) Final Fantasy XV

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Older gamers will remember that glorious E3 2006 trailer, in which we saw our first glimpse of the gameworld that would eventually become Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV. At the time, the game was called Final Fantasy Versus XIII and it was supposed to be part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis series of Final Fantasy games. That game never saw the light of day though, and after many years, the game’s concept and story were reworked into Final Fantasy XV.

Set in the land of Eos, FFXV follows the story of Noctis, prince of the kingdom of Lucis, and chronicles his journey to defeat the powerful Nilfheim Empire and reclaim his family’s lost throne. The game is an open-world action RPG and the story is structured as a series of missions. Exploration on the map is either on foot, or in Noctis’ family car, the Regalia. In addition, chocobos make a return as a means of exploring the overworld.

Combat is in real time, where the player controls Noctis. Depending on your party members’ positions and AP levels, Noctis can perform special chain attacks with them that do extra damage. Magic works a bit differently than most other Final Fantasy titles though. Instead of casting spells from a pool of mana, elemental energy is drawn from various points around the world map. This mana is then crafted into magical bombs which can be used against enemies.

FFXV currently holds an 81 out of 100 on Metacritic, which is ranked as “generally favorable.” The game received praise in particular for its visual style and impressive graphics and won a number of awards. The game was also well received for its memorable main characters, whose interactions and friendship felt natural and realistic. As of January 2018, FFXV has sold over 7 million copies, making the title a huge success for Square Enix and one that effectively re-branded the Final Fantasy series for a new generation of players.

7) Mount & Blade: Warband

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Mount & Blade: Warband is Turkish developer TaleWorlds’ stand-alone expansion pack to their 2008 title Mount & Blade. Following in the vein of the original, Mount & Blade: Warband is a medieval life simulator par excellence. Warband expands on the original title by adding in a new political options, a new player created faction, and adding a new multiplayer mode.

Warband takes place in a medieval world named Calradia. At the very beginning, you are asked to answer various questions about your character and their past. Depending on your answers, your character’s gender, class, and attributes will be set. The story is very minimal, as most events are left up to the player character’s decisions. Your choices affect how other NPCs interact with you; frequently robbing caravans will set your reputation as a criminal, perform good acts and people will see you as a hero. The lack of over arching story gives an emphasis to player freedom and allows the players to focus on making their own player-driven story.

Warband is noted for it unique and challenging combat mechanics and large modding community. With over 1,056 different mods, there are so many different ways to play the game that players can easily sink 200+ hours into the title.

Warband received positive reviews. The game currently has an overwhelmingly positive rating on Steam, and as of 2015, the game has sold over 6 million copies worldwide.

6) Dark Souls 3

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I will come right out and say it, I absolutely love Dark Souls 3. The third installment in the Souls series from Japanese developers FromSoftware is the most ambitious entry yet. Released in 2016, the game immediately skyrocketed to popularity as Dark Souls 3 succeeded in bringing the Souls franchise to a wider audience.

Dark Souls 3 takes place in the land of Lothric, and ancient land that has seen the rise and fall of countless kingdoms and lords. You are the Unkindled, and it is your job to defeat the 4 Lords of Cinder and relight the First Flame, thus ensuring that the world will not fade into darkness and chaos. The Dark Souls series is known for its cryptic story presentation. There is virtually no explicit narrative exposition; rather, the player must discern the story for themselves, by reading item descriptions, talking to NPC characters, and gathering clues from the environment.

Of course, no Dark Souls game would be complete without the series' trademark difficulty. Once again, you will find yourself dying A LOT. Once again, you will find yourself anxiously prowling the dark halls of a dungeon, wondering what monstrosity is about to ruin your day. It is amazing that after 3 entries (4 if you count Bloodborne) the series is still fresh and exciting. Combat is in real time and puts an emphasis on strategy and stamina management. Even once you reach the end game, beginning levels and enemies can still easily kill you.

Dark Souls 3 was released in April 2016 and within 2 months the game had already shipped more than 3 million copies worldwide. The game currently has an 89 out 100 on Metacritic, and its sales helped boost the Dark Souls series to over 13 million copies worldwide.

5) Monster Hunter World

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The Monster Hunter series of games involves the core mechanic of: you guessed it, hunting monsters. You take on the role of a hunter who is tasked with hunting or trapping monsters that live in the various ecosystems of the world. Central to your adventures are your investigations into the mysterious Elder Dragons. By hunting and killing monsters, players acquire materials to craft better weapons and gear, with the goal of hunting and killing more powerful monsters.

Monster Hunter: World follows the other titles in the series and is presented as an open-world RPG. At the beginning, players are asked to create their own hunter character and then are set free in the massive world to hunt to their heart’s content. The player’s attributes and skills are determined by their equipment so player’s must be careful to match up armor, weapons, and items appropriately to be the most effective.

The game is noted for its expansive and open environments. Unlike the previous games, the map in Monster Hunter: World forms a seamless connected world with no loading zones. The game utilizes the power of current-gen consoles to render dynamic and reactive environments. Enemy AI is better as well, with enemy monsters changing tactics depending on how much health they have left. If hurt, monsters will retreat, become more aggressive, or find food to replenish their health.

Monster Hunter: World received universal acclaim from critics and currently holds a 90 out 100 on Metacritic. The game was praised for keeping the series core gameplay, but refining it to be more accessible for causal audiences. It sold a whopping 5 million copies three days after release, and by March 2018, the game had sold over 8 million copies.

4) Diablo 3

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Following in the footsteps of its predecessor games, Diablo 3 is a classic dungeon crawling and loot gathering RPG. Released in 2012 and an expansion pack Reaper of Souls released in 2014, Diablo 3 takes dungeon exploration and looting to the next level. 

Set in the fictional world of Sanctuary, the game sees you take on the role of the player character, who is tasked with freeing the world from the control of the Lord of Terror, Diablo. Structured in a traditional RPG style, the game begins by asking you to choose you character’s class, appearance, and attributes. The game plays in a pseudo-isometric style, with real time strategic combat and loot gathering being the main mechanics. Players can use a variety of skills and weapons to make their way through various monster filled dungeons and catacombs. Other changes for the series included an online PvP mode and the inclusion of skill runes.

Before its release, Diablo 3 broke records for being the most pre-ordered game on Amazon to date. In just 24 hours the game sold over 3.4 million units, and within just one week, almost 7 million units. Diablo 3 is currently ranked as the fastest selling PC game to date, and as of June 2015, the game has sold over 30 million units.

3) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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Dragons, dragons, and more dragons. Obviously this game was going to show up on the list. Skyrim has become something of a standard bearer in the modern age, with many subsequent games borrowing or refining elements of its design. Release in 2011, Skyrim has reached legendary status among gamers for its epic scope and presentation, wonderful mechanics, design, and insanely addictive gameplay.

Set in the snowy northern areas of Tamriel, ESV:Skyrim follows the adventures of the player character the Dragonborn, and their attempts to defeat Alduin the World-Eater, a mighty dragon prophesied to destroy the world. The game continues the open-world structure of the previous games, which puts an emphasis on player freedom and agency. In the world are various side quests to complete, factions to join, dungeons to explore, cities to check out, and areas to explore.

Like the other Elder Scrolls games, character progression is dynamic and occurs in real time. In order to level up your skills, you must actually perform the requisite action. So if you want to increase your skills with swords, you actually have to go around and use a sword for a while. This leveling mechanic adds a feeling of reward to progression. In addition, contrary to previous titles in the series, Skyrim ditches the idea of classes, and instead opts for a classless character progression. Without classes, players are encouraged to experiment with gameplay style, rather than choosing a class and play style at the very beginning. Skyrim is also notable for refining and extending the Elder Scrolls signature “radiant AI” system, proprietary software that governs the actions and schedules of the various NPC characters.

Skyrim is a bona fide legend in gaming culture, having spawned countless mods, challenges, and internet memes. In fact, it is kind of hard to overstate this game’s importance; most RPGs since model themselves after Skyrim in some way. The game received critical acclaim upon release and sold over 3 million copies within 2 days. Bethesda director Todd Howard has confirmed that, as of 2016, Skyrim has sold over a whopping 30 million units, thus cementing the title’s legacy in gaming memory forever.

2) Fallout 4

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That’s right, 2 Bethesda games on the same list. There is a reason why Bethesda is considered by some to be the king of RPGs. Fallout 4 continues that lovely Bethesda tradition of creating massive living worlds, and then letting the player go absolutely nuts in it.

Set in a post-apocalyptic earth, Fallout 4 follows the player character and their journey to find their kidnapped child in the Boston-area wasteland. As with other Fallout games, there is a heavy emphasis on survival and resource management. Players create their own character and choose their appearance and skill distribution. From there, the game is largely up to the player, as the Boston wasteland offers plenty of content to keep even the most hardcore scavenger happy. Many dangers populate the wasteland, such as starvation, radiation sickness, radioactive ghouls, thieving bandits, and other hostile settlers. Surviving will take every ounce of cunning and grit you have.

Fallout 4 was notable for introducing the concept of base-building to the series. Now, players can craft their own materials to build a base of operations in the wasteland. Over time, more and more settlers come to occupy your base, giving you immediate access to merchants, doctors, and more. In addition, Fallout 4 marks the first time the series has featured a fully voiced protagonist.

Fallout 4 was an absolute juggernaut in sales, selling over 1.2 million copies within its first 24 hours. In 2017, Pete Hines announced that Fallout 4 had officially sold more units than Skyrim, although a specific number was not provided. The game currently holds an 84 out of 100 on Metacritic.

1) Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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If you have been keeping up with the RPG scene, you probably knew this was coming. Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was, in my humble opinion, the first true next-gen RPG. No other game has come close to the epic scale of Witcher 3 and very few other games stack up in terms of narrative, writing, characters, and world building elements. Add in two content packed yet reasonably priced DLCs, and it’s no wonder this game always pops up on lists of the greatest games of all time.

Witcher 3 sees the player take on the role of Geralt of Rivia, a member of a caste known as witchers, genetically mutated monster slayers-for-hire. Geralt is on a quest to find his long lost adoptive daughter and ward Ciri, who is being pursued by a band of otherworldly horsemen known as the Wild Hunt. Along the way, Geralt must also deal with the aftermath of a military invasion from the southern Nilfgaardian Empire. Many story lines weave and intertwine, crafting a complex, mature, and deep narrative that really pushes the limits of the artistic medium of video games.

Witcher 3 plays as a 3rd person action RPG, with combat taking place in real time. Geralt can walk, run, roll, and (for the first time in the series) jump, climb, and swim. You are required to explore a massive fantasy world, replete with monsters to fight, treasure to loot, and quests to complete. Don’t expect any pointless filler either; every single fiber of Witcher 3 is crafted with purpose and drive. Combat is fast and intense, with every monster slain making you feel like a complete bad-ass. Combat is not the solution to every problem though. Sometimes you must use diplomacy (or deception) to quell your enemies. The sheer number of different story paths to choose gives the game immense replay value, as over 36 unique endings exist, each sensitive to some particular in-game conditions.

Witcher 3 was released in 2015 to near universal critical acclaim. The game currently holds a 93 out of 100 on Metacritic, and has won numerous game of the year awards. Before release, the game garnered over 1.5 million pre-sales, and within two weeks of release it had sold over 4 million copies. By March 2016, only a year after release, CDProjektRed announced that the Witcher 3 had sold over 10 million copies. By March 2018, the series as a whole had sold over 33 million copes, with over half of those sales numbers belonging to Witcher 3.

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From the colorful world of the Mushroom Kingdom to the dark and threatening land of Lordran, Alex is an lifetime expert in rescuing princesses from castles and fighting ancient evils.
Gamer Since: 1996
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Super Mario Odyssey, Cuphead, Hollow Knight
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