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10 Best RPGs of 2023

As an RPG enthusiast, 2023 was damn good year.

If there’s a category of games that has the most variety of experiences, it’s role-playing games, and 2023 just happened to have a HUGE pool of extremely good ones. Here’s my personal list of the best RPGs of the year.

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Top 10 Role-playing Games of 2023

Baldur’s Gate 3

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Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S

The collective Baldur’s Gate 3 experience can be described like this: it’s a $59.99 game that deserves to be bought at full price. BG3 is a Dungeons & Dragons game off the table, complete with “living with the consequences of your decisions forever” and “rolling to impress an NPC with a huge fart.” Combat and exploration encourage and reward players who think out of the box. However, if you prefer to take things linear and bonk all your enemies with a staff, that’s okay too! The story and characters alone make the experience so damn worth it.  

Octopath Traveler II

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Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Steam

If you’ve never played a Square Enix Asano Team game before (such as Bravely Default, Live A Live, and Triangle Strategy), Octopath Traveler II is a good entry point to their works. In fact, it’s a really, really good game. It kept everything that made its predecessor great—which, if you didn’t know, is Asano Team's best-selling game—and improved everything to the 100s.

Octopath Traveler II is a classic turn-based RPG with amazing HD-2D graphics. And when I say “classic,” I really mean everything you’d love in classic titles, such as interchangeable classes and b/w magic. The best part about the game, to me, is 100% the music. Absolutely phenomenal orchestral goosebumps.

Final Fantasy XVI

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Platforms: PS5

Square Enix was really willing to test the waters with Final Fantasy XVI. It’s an action RPG that, to me, feels like a fusion of XIV (for quests and story) and XV (for gameplay). Unsurprising as XVI’s producer is the director of the former. As for XV’s influence, you can really tell Square is pivoting away from turn-based FF and more into single-player action.

The gameplay feels so damn good. Sure, you can overlevel and start button mashing, but it really did force you to use everything that you had (such as combos and builds) to overturn the odds. The story is quite refreshing, with a lot of polarizing opinions online, but, to me, it’s what made it particularly memorable. We have a review up for Final Fantasy XVI if you're interested to learn more about it!

Related: Best Final Fantasy Games, Ranked

Lies of P

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Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

2023 is the year of action games, if you couldn’t tell, and Lies of P is one of your must-plays from the batch. Lies of P is a soulslike action RPG that, dare I say, is the closest you’ll ever get to the Bloodborne experience. The combat is fun, challenging, and, most importantly, extremely rewarding. The controls feel good, and a successful perfect block or parry makes you feel like an absolute god.

Of course, as a story enthusiast, I could never call an RPG good if the scenario isn’t well-written. You won’t have to worry about that at all in Lies of P. The Pinocchio-themed story is pretty well executed, with a lot of “should I lie?” dilemmas along the way. Check out our review of Lies of P here!

Sea of Stars

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Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch

Are there any Chrono Trigger fans out there? Because Sea of Stars is for you! It’s a simple, retro-styled RPG created by a team that truly understood what made those games so great—that it’s not just because they’re “16-bit” and “turn-based.” For example, the combat is a refreshing mash of turn-based and action, which makes the game feel good to play. The graphics are absolutely gorgeous, and the bardcore music slaps.

The overall experience is quite hard to describe, and I’d rather you play the demo, but it truly captured the retro aesthetic, from enemy encounters to story beats. It’s fully crowdfunded, and people absolutely felt rewarded (and more!) by what they were given. You can read my review of Sea of Stars here.

Darkest Dungeon 2

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Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

There aren’t make roguelikes that do it good like Darkest Dungeon 2. So, if you’re someone big on atmospheric horror, cool-looking bosses, and a decent but not unfair challenge, here’s your game of the year. I’m personally a huge fan of the variety of build/party options you can experiment with, with there being no one “best” team comp in the game. It’s all about synergy and playstyle here; just the way we like it.

Honkai: Star Rail

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Platforms: Android, iOS, PS5

Can you believe Honkai: Star Rail just came out this year? With my own account now sitting at the current level cap, you’d think this game came out in 2022. But no. Honkai: Star Rail is a mobile turn-based RPG developed by Hoyoverse, the bright mind behind Genshin Impact. I personally find Honkai: Star Rail more enjoyable. The dialogue is fun, the characters are great, and the challenge is there.

It’s also one of few mobile games where rarer heroes and lesser-starred ones are equally used in the right setup. I run a ton of teams with free characters, and they can absolutely destroy.

Related: How big is Honkai Star Rail?

Reverse 1999

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Platforms: Android, iOS

Reverse 1999 is a more recent mobile release, but its 1M+ downloads in less than two weeks is an absolute testament to its quality. It's a turn-based RPG that uses cards as moves. The mechanics themselves are super simple, but the skillsets of every character plus its intuitive "mix-and-matching" make the strategizing part quite challenging! It has an excellent and unique story with even more unique aspects to it—such as animals for gacha pulls.

The dub is super good too (it's Xenoblade English if you catch my drift) and very F2P friendly. In fact, I find myself leaning toward the free characters they give you in the beginning.

Starfield

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Platforms: Xbox, PC

Starfield is everything you’d expect from a Bethesda game but better. It's a role-playing sandbox game in space. You dictate who you are, what your background is, and how you want to play things. I’ve had friends who did nothing but build ships and another who played their space pirate dreams and plundered ships.

My personal favorite part of Starfield is its accessibility features, such as the ability to play the game in third person. That particular quirk really made early Skyrim and Minecraft difficult for me to get into. Anyway, it’s a nice comfort game you can pick up whenever you feel like it.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

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Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Of course, one cannot end a “best RPGs of 2023” list without mentioning Tears of the Kingdom. Riding on everything that made Breath of the Wild the best-selling game for the Nintendo Switch, Tears of the Kingdom is a sequel that improved on all that. While the experience itself wasn’t as “fresh” as playing BOTW for the first time, it’s still an excellent RPG that encouraged creativity to the fullest as long as you understood the physics of things. I’ve seen people build working mechas on this thing. 

Interested to explore more games that came out this year? Check out Best Single Player Survival Games and 20 Best Mobile Games in 2023 here at Pro Game Guides!


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Author
Image of Bianca Versoza
Bianca Versoza
Bianca Versoza is Pro Game Guides' Weekend Editor. With over three years of experience in gaming journalism, she specializes in anything remotely turn-based and strategic, like Pokémon, Final Fantasy, and Honkai: Star Rail. Bianca is a huge fan of Square Enix, RPGs, party games, and visual novels, but will play anything with a banger OST. She's a proud early bird.

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10 Best RPGs of 2023

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