Knight’s Top 5 Best & Worst:
One of my favorite gaming genres, the action RPG, combining the rich character growth and customization of an RPG with the excitement and high octane gameplay of an action game. While the actual definition of an ARPG is a bit unclear, and can vary from game to game, this ultimately means that it’s a rich genre with a lot of variety! In the end however, that means that there are some games in the genre that soar, while others…flop… Lets go ahead and explore just a few of my favorite and least favorite action RPGS! Remember that in the end this list is fully opinion and any game is yours to enjoy as you please~
#5 Best: Fallout 3
The fallout series is famous for its ability to create a beautiful, expansive, and immersive world out of a ruined, nuclear wasteland, and in my opinion no Fallout game does it better than Fallout 3, with its strong, rich story and deep character development which lets you build yourself into the exact fighting machine you’ll need to be to survive the intense wasteland of DC
#5 Worst: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
On the other end of the spectrum we have Kingdoms of Amalur, a game which feels, for all intents and purposes….Generic. The level design is generally very flat and areas tend to either run together or feel pretty simply defined. Alongside that, the character design functions are rather limited, I tried as hard as i could to make a genuinely interesting looking character, but i had a difficult time creating any significant variation from the default. While the story is rather vast, it’s also very confusing and sort of feels like an excuse for you to exist in the universe at all, rather than an actual story that you want to dig up! However, i can praise it on it’s unique choices in weapon design and combat systems, unfortunately thats not enough to salvage the experience in my opinion.
#4 Best: Dragon Age Inquisition
Fun fact: Inquisition was my very first dragon age game, and y’know what? I never felt lost while playing it! The game is extremely good at immersing you into the story and world even if you’re a newcomer to the series. Speaking of the story! It is amazing! One of the best things about bioware games is the ability to choose and speak, as much fun as a game with a silent protagonist can be, a game where you direct conversations is endlessly better. The gameplay also speaks for itself, the combat, though simple, really allows for lots of variety and strategizing! The ability to switch between characters during combat is also a really neat feature. Overall, a great experience!
#4 Worst: Mass Effect
Though i love the series as a whole, the first Mass Effect was riddled with issues, from graphical and sound bugs, to over difficult missions, as well as some poor writing in certain areas.. Not to mention the insane loading times and of course, the combat which is widely regarded as just…a mess, its slow, grueling and really really just not fun.
Despite all that, though, this is far from the worst game on the list, hell far from being one of the worst in general, despite its issues, the game provides us with lots of lovable characters, and kicks off one of the best game series in recent memory!
#3 Best: Dishonored 2
Recently I reviewed this game, so i suppose there isn’t too much to say here that i haven’t already. It’s a strong game with multiple play styles, lots and lots of character customization and gameplay paths! It’s combat is smooth, fast and fun and you get a very real sense of immersion in the world around you!
#3 Worst: Thief
Trying to piggyback off the success of Dishonored and the original Thief series, the 2014 reboot of the series tries way too hard to be as many things as possible, unfortunately, in doing so it forgot to hold onto the thing that made the original series great. It also suffers from heavy railroading in what could have been an excellent open world game, unfortunately instead it feels more like memorizing the steps to a slow, arduous dance, and missing one move in the routine ends in disaster. While it was an exciting concept, i’m afraid that thief just doesn’t make the cut.
#2 Best: Dragon’s Dogma
Though I wasnt expecting much when i picked up this game on sale, I was immediately proved wrong as soon as i started playing! Dragon’s Dogma is definitely one of the most fun games i’ve played in a long while, its smooth, inventive battle system is a joy to use, as well as the strong, class based character creation system. One of my favorite features of the game is the pawn system, which allows you to summon followers, including one of your own creation, as well as those belonging to other players! The most interesting thing about the game in my opinion is the simple, yet incredibly game-changing grab mechanic, using it, one can lift and throw smaller enemies, or mount and climb large foes, it truly makes battling a giant monster feel like less of a grind and more like a strategic battle! Plus it’s fun to throw bandits off the cliff near the beginning of the game…….
#2 Worst: Fable 3
The fable series is one of the better known staples of the Action RPG genre, unfortunately, when a series continues on long enough it tends to hit some snags…Which leads us into Fable 3. Now to be fair, 2010 was something of a hard time in the gaming industry, and it seems that Fable simply wanted to follow the trends, which unfortunately didnt work out too well for it. Much of the issues with the game comes from it’s oversimplified, almost boring gameplay, as well as the attempt at putting too much narrative focus on an otherwise open world game, not only that, but the myriad bugs in the game just did nothing to help it play well.
#1 Best: Kingdom Hearts 2
Now I won’t lie, Kingdom Hearts is my ABSOLUTE favorite game series out there, and of course, the second (Or…third?) Installment in the series is definitely my favorite, combining a fun and clever story with incredibly fun gameplay, and stunning graphics for its time! even though this game came out before character customization became a standard for the genre, the game still allows you to direct the growth of your character from the very beginning. Not only that but the game is chock-full of secrets and collectibles to keep you playing far longer than the main story, plus with the addition of the Drive Form system, and reaction commands the gameplay gets even deeper! Ultimately, Kingdom Hearts 2 just holds a very special place in my heart, it’s one of my favorite games ever and it’s one I go back to time and again.
#1 Worst: Two Worlds
Alright now, if you’ve heard of this game, then you probably saw this coming, generally regarded as one of the worst games of all time, Two Worlds is a sad dissapointment, featuring an uneven open world that does not scale to your character’s level, a difficult and simply player unfriendly combat system, a ridiculously oversexualized female character, namely YOUR (character’s) SISTER. But the worst part of it all is was the hype that came before the release of this game, the devs claims that the game would completely blow away the elder scrolls and take over the ARPG market. Now, to the game’s credit, it did well enough to warrant a sequel, which, in fairness is far superior to the original, however, absolutely nothing could be worse than the heights that this game was raised up to, only to fall so low upon release.
So! That was my top 5 best and worst action RPGs, did you agree with my list? If not, why? We here at NWG would love to hear your thoughts!! Thanks so much for reading and i’ll see you again soon. -Knight