11 RPG Games Every PC Gamer Needs to Try: Page 9 of 11

The beautiful art of The Banner Saga
The RPG genre's "required reading"

3. Deus Ex (2000)

Deus Ex
You can make your way through the game using guns, computer skills, or espionage, leveling each up as you go.

While many RPGs present players with static choices in dialogue, Deus Ex grants you freedom in a different way: multiple paths through a level. Today, a lot of modern games give you little choice but to fight your way out of a situation with guns, swords, magic, or some combination of the three, but with Deus Ex, the way you designed and built your character decided how you played every part of the game. Maybe you were a hacker, which meant you could override security, turn on automated defense turrets, and use computer skills to get your way through a level. Maybe you talked and snuck your way through, playing more like a spy. Or maybe you did just go in and kill everyone with your cool future weapons and gadgets. What's more, however you play will affect your relationships with the game's characters and factions, who will approve or disapprove of how you handle your missions, which puts real consequence to not only the things you say during “story time,” but everything you do in the game outside the conversations, as well.

There are several sequels that did a decent job of recreating what made the original great, and the 2014 medieval-steampunk game Dishonored borrows many of its gameplay ideas from the series, but they all miss out on some of that beautiful cyberpunk attitude that you can only really get from the late-90s. If you're not sure what “cyberpunk” is, please play this game. It's a perfect demonstration of the aesthetic, and a great game for anyone who wants more choice in how they pursue a mission.

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Teacher, writer and story-gamer in Japan
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Overwatch
Top 3 Favorite Games:Mass Effect 2, Portal 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

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