RPG’s are one of our favorite genres of games here at Link-Cable. At any given time it seems that someone on the staff is working their way through a large, epic adventure filled with monsters to slay, quests to complete and numbers to crunch. And while we’re all fans of games that don’t necessarily hold our hands it is admittedly difficult to get someone who has never played a role-playing title to get into the genre, what will all the different mechanics to learn and rules to follow. So to serve as a bit of a guide to those new to RPGs we’ve decided to show off our choices for the best games to ease someone into the genre!
Alex S. – Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
I’ll admit it, when I first played this game, I hated it. Jumping on Goombas didn’t squish them but sent me into a weird screen where I couldn’t move anymore, you couldn’t jump out of the way of enemies but had to let them attack you and mushrooms recovered some weird thing called ‘HP’ instead of making you bigger. Yes, when I first rented I had absolutely no idea what a ‘role-playing game’ was and that frustrated seven year old Alex to no end. But I kept trying, and I kept renting the game because the story and characters intrigued me so much until I finally took down the evil Smithy. That feeling of reward was intense and I soon sought out other RPGs like Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger, constantly upping the ante and saving countless worlds along the way.
Colin K. – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
It was very hard for me to not choose one of my favorite RPG’s, but since I’m choosing an RPG for someone new to the genre, I knew it had to be something decently modern, and adequately polished. With that in mind, Bethesda’s Skyrim was the clear choice. Lots of modern RPG’s force you into a single, pre-determined role, and so does Skyrim, but one of the things I like so much about this game is your ability to completely ignore that. You can choose to follow the story of the Dragonborn, or you can choose to head out and create your own story – which to me, is the essence of an RPG. And that’s why I think Skyrim is a fantastic entry to the genre for the uninitiated. The controls won’t give anyone a hard time, there’s nothing troublesome to wrap your head around, and the gameplay is straight up fun. This means you can ease yourself into the elements that separate RPG’s from other games. Your first play through might be that of the Dragonborn, but your next might be an Argonian recluse who has to turn to thievery in order to fund his pricey hobby of enchanting silver bowls. Skyrim also has the added bonus of being one of the most easily accessible and cheapest games out there – you won’t have any trouble finding a used copy at the game store, or snagging one of the editions off of steam for cheap. If you’ve never tried an RPG before, Skyrim won’t disappoint. Even if you find the RPG parts of it not engaging, you’ll still have fun with the game itself. And while Skyrim might not have a spot on my personal list of favorite RPG’s, it’s no slouch. There are plenty of epic and very memorable moments that burn memories of playing the game into you; just like any other classic RPG out there.
Jacob S. – Pokémon (Red/Blue) Versions
Not a very flashy pick, but Pokémon (Red/Blue) Versions was the go to RPG game for many gamers growing up, including myself. The rock, paper scissors, combat system is so simple that adding the different types never felt complicated and the journey was an easy to pick up and play experience that catered the handheld perfectly. Honestly, I can’t think of any other RPG that offers a simpler design than Pokémon (Red/Blue) did all those years ago.
What RPGs would you use to show someone the role-playing ropes? Let us know in the comment section below!