Science fiction has played a huge role since the inception of role-playing games.
How could it not? After all, science has been said to be indiscernible from magic once advanced enough.
Here’s our list for the most iconic sci-fi RPGs (we’re limiting ourselves to one game per franchise).
10. Wasteland 2
Fallout was considered the successor to the original 1988’s Wasteland, but this release launched the franchise back to new heights. The gameplay and story are perfect throwbacks to the original and pay homage to the RPGs of yore.
9. Nier: Automata
The incredible way this game manages to switch gameplay style throughout is a wonder to behold. In retrospect, this is the only Sci-Fi RPG game that made me prefer the non-RPG portions over the RPG aspect.
8. Deus Ex
The neo-noir dystopian flavor of this game are an incredible combination of Blade Runner and Neuromancer, and the way the story is tied into pretty much every conspiracy theory (at the time of release) create the perfect storm for storytelling. When its great game mechanics are taken into account, it’s not surprising to see this game take its place among the best Sci-Fi RPGs as an absolute must-play.
7. Eve Online
The scope of this game is almost unfathomable and the way its online community has developed itself as a micro-universe is something that every gamer should experience at least once.
6. System Shock 2
This game came out as a competitor to the iconic Half-Life and definitely plays similarly, but the added RPG element creates a more diverse experience.
5. Fallout: New Vegas
Arguably the best game of the Fallout universe, tying together perfect story and gameplay. This is the epitome of post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi RPGs. Seriously, if you liked Fallout 4, check this one out too.
4. Horizon: Zero Dawn
This is such a unique game. It’s post-apocalyptic, but there are giant mechanical dinosaurs. The world here shines incredibly bright, but great story and gameplay complement the experience beautifully.
This created huge waves on release and with good reason. The innovative cell-shaded graphics and difficult-to-pull-off combo of both FPS and RPG elements make this a game for the ages for fans of both genres.
2. Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
There are close to 150 Star Wars games with plenty of room to immerse yourself in its lore, regardless of genre preference. However, KOTOR is the best Star Wars RPG ever and is the perfect era-appropriate gritty response to the kid-friendly movies that many fans rejected.
1. Mass Effect 2
This game does incredibly well to build on its predecessor’s success but also adds a deeply fleshed-out story and one of the best gameplay systems in the history of Sci-Fi RPGs. It takes our top spot because this is the game that launched the Sci-Fi RPG genre into the mainstream.