You sure wouldn't expect this entry in any Top 10 about games with RPG tropes; just what would have Metal Gear Solid to do with RPGs anyway? Well; it's somewhat far-fetched, but that recruiting a bunch of foes, turn them allies and have them work at your base to upgrade your gear and stuff sounds pretty RPGish, in a X-COMish way. The fact that the more workforce you have, the best gear (obviously) and that going to missions for enemy-capturing (that's pretty much what you do in all missions; even against the AI bosses - you assemble your own AI robot (guess what's it's name?) out of pieces salvaged from these!) pretty much doubles as level-grinding makes this game pretty RPGish. Heck; for an action game, you'll play this like a bloody RPG!
Well, just another old face from the previous Top 10s: you get to photograph some ghosts to death (...does that make sense to anyone?), you get some experience points, you upgrade your camera with that, you wander around ghostbusting for some more experience points, same old, same old; you know the deal. Anyway, it's an RPGish action game, and a fun one at that, so it comes back to the list.
It would come as a surprise to anyone that an action game with Final Fantasy's name in it has a slight of RPG, and a pretty good one at that. While this looks more like a RPG (the main character does level up), it's first and foremost a third person shooter, and the main focus here is buying and upgrading gun parts and assembling one hell of a boomstick with it (as cool as it sounds, even though variety of pieces is somewhat scant). You'll sure come to appreciate this, and the plot is nothing to sneeze at (although gameplay is on the mediocre side).
Another old face from the previous Top 10, but with games like this you just cannot go wrong! Simply put one of, if not THE best Combo-Action game ever (does that genre actually exist anyway?). It beats God of war. It beats Darksiders (and that one had nifty Prince of Persia jumping, too) and maybe it beats even Bayonetta and Heavenly Sword! And of course, like most of you already know, Combo-Action games feature some RPG tropes; mainly some currency for purchasing and upgrading extra comboes and buffs (it may be the same currency you use for purchasing curatives or not), and last but not least the very RPGish trait of encouraging exploring every square inch for items and enemies to kill (actually some of these games, and this one sure is one of them, might require some degree of grinding). Also, this game also happens to have both cash and exp (just for styles, though)!! You can't help but admit this game is just smokin' awesome!!
This one is a damn sick combo! No one before would ever think that Fighting games á la Tekken would ever be mixed with stat-driven RPGs (and this game is as stat-driven as it gets: characters get equipment, level up and get buffs that primarily improve statistics, like strenght and HP, and the more of these, the best - just plain RPG style). This game actually wouldn't qualify as a full fledged RPG if it weren't for it being a 1 vs 1 Fighting game like Tekken, and actually it doesn't disappoint: you get to choose between 20 characters (heroes and villians from FF1 to FF10), you get to level them up a bit (unlocking combos, moves and abilities, which you have to equip before a fight), and get to the fray Tekken style! Each of the characters has a different gameplay style (you'll hardly ever will be able to stray too far from it through changing builds), and there's little overlap. Also, did I mention you can pick a friend of yours and fight your Final Fantasy heroes against theirs? This game owns!
#5: Dead Space (PC)
Pretty nifty Survival Horror. It's actually pretty RPGish - maybe a little too RPGish for it's own good - but sure plays like a full-breed Survival Horror: scary enemies you'll hardly have enough firepower to hold at bay, somewhat puzzles, and grisly atmosphere to boot. It features cash and medkit, ammo and weapons purchase (actually, I think the only weapon you don't have to buy is the Plasma Cutter, aka the Handgun), as well as weapon and armor upgrade. Actually this game is goddamn RPGish! Anyway, the last two are just too RPGish and good at it they kick ass!
Another game from previous Top 10s; this one earning its RPG-itude (is that a word?) because of its shooter gameplay with a big focus on killing everything in sight (rather than avoiding them, like in most Survival Horrors) for cash and power-ups (be it ammo or restoratives). It also has an extensive arsenal you can fully customize (with hard cash, though) and the ever welcome health buffs (this time in the form of Yellow Herbs). Just like previous Dead Space; so why is this higher in the ranking? Well: it's funnier (no matter how gruesome aliens may be: nothing beats zombie with CHAINSAW! - not to mention two of these at a time) and weapon customization, while lacking the cheesy gimmicks from Dead Space, does far better (bigger arsenal and extra buffs if you max out the boomsticks are a plus), and of course extra modes. Also did I mention the zombies speak Spanish? (Oddly enough, despite the game being set in a somewhat archaic Spain, the zombies speak in Mexican).
You sure wouldn't expect a Top 10 about action games with RPG elements without arguably the very best Metroidvania of all times (well; whether this one is the best of the crop is debatible, but it sure as hell is the very first, and pretty cool). It was in the previous Top 10, and most of you sure know the deal here: it's a platform game Metroid style (you navigate a maze-like place, fighting foes and eventually getting some powerup that enables you to get to somewhere else; rince and repeat until you get to the final boss) with some RPG in it (you level up - and you should hit a somewhat high level to stand a chance against most bosses -, you get some gear, you get some cash for buying gear, and so and so forth). Since this one came out, there has been a lot of Metroidvania games, both 2D (most of them for Nintendo handhelds - and they're good) and 3D (largely outshadowed by Devil May Cry and Co., but quite interesting nonetheless; specially if you want more RPGish action). A neverending classic.
Now this Top 10 cannot be without the winner of the previous edition, can it? This game is by far the most RPGish action game ever (meaning it's the action games that blends the best with the most RPG tropes without becoming an RPG itself - no leveling up): gear to purchase (there're little ways to get stuff other than cash), magic spells to get (via exp, and there's no overlap: no spell obsotelizes another; not even the leveled-up ones) and action, while somewhat more methodical than other action games's, sure is kickass! You'll sure enjoy exploring every nook and crany of the landscape for every creature to kill (a map that tells you where they are helps a lot), and the extra modes are just a godsend! Now you'll think: how come this gem of a game only gets second place? Well, as marvelous as this game is, it just cannot beat the next game...
#1: BioShock (PC)
Now this cannot be but the very best blend of RPG, Survival Shooter (does that genre actually exist?) and all-around Action videogame! Without messing and spoiling too much, this game, like the previous one, features both cash (for purchasing restoratives and ammo) and somewhat of experience points (for purchasing magic spells and buffs). The catch is that only one critter yields experience (you'll know which one soon enough), but you can get it in either of two ways: the evil one (which yields the most exp, hence you purchase more stuff) and the nice one (which yields somewhat less exp, but you get some exclusive buffs for free; it's somewhat compensated). Sure this is a less RPGish game than the previous one (and has few to none secret stuff or extra modes), but overall it is damn more fun! Also, the story cannot be more compelling and thought-provoking. So do yourself a favor and play this nice piece of a game, would you kindly?
Sure thing: nowadays you're most likely to find some RPGish stuff in pretty much every game nowadays if you look close enough, but if you enjoy the truly RPGish gimmicks (specially maximizing your character and pretty much getting some ultimate stuff it's bound to take a metric ton hours to get), then these games are for you.
List by HighEntomologist (04/29/2013)
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