2018: Dragon Quest XI
2019: Death End re;Quest
2021: Bravely Default II
Video games are the only form of storytelling that has a barrier to the ending: if you are not good enough at the game, then you will not see the end of the tale. The Role-Playing Game (‘RPG’) genre places worldbuilding, characters, and a plot at the heart of a video game, and the gameplay mechanics frequently work as hard as possible to make the true ending feel earned.
This year, there are three games nominated for the Best RPG Award, and I am sure you can already guess the winner.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
NA Release Date: July 29, 2022
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the fourth game in the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise from Monolift Soft and is the series that arguably helped to found this site as part of the Wii RPG campaign over a decade ago. This entry tells the story of two warring countries, Keves and Agnus, as characters from both nations must join together to discover the secret behind the war that has been going on for longer than anyone remembers.
With DLC for this game still being announced even in February 2023 and a combat system inspired by previous entries in the franchise while allowing seven party members to fight at once, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a game that was an easy inclusion in this year’s shortlist for Best RPG Award.
Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream
NA Release Date: February 24, 2022
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Nintendo Switch
The alchemist Sophie Neuenmuller returns for her second adventure as she searches for a dear friend in a dream world called Erde Wiege as the plot starts to spiral into something much bigger than she could imagine.
With six playable characters in turn-based combat, Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream focuses upon telling a story about well-defined characters who have their own motivations with the Atelier series staple of alchemy as a crafting backdrop. All of this, put together, makes this title an easy inclusion for the Best RPG Award.
NA Release Date: February 25, 2022
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Directed and written by Hidetaka Miyazaki for a world built by George R. R. Martin, Elden Ring is one of those games that actually lived upon to the massive hype generated before release. Set in the Lands Between, a realm ruled by demigods, the player must explore six different areas while trying to repair the Elden Ring.
Elden Ring is an action/adventure RPG set in an open world that sought to be more accessible plotwise to fans of the Dark Souls franchise while still retaining a level of difficulty to the gameplay that FromSoftware is known for. I said at the start of this Awards column that a lot of video games will make the ending feel earned through gameplay and combat, and Elden Ring certainly fits both that and its spot on this RPG Awards shortlist.
2022 Best RPG Award
Goes To… Elden Ring!
If there is one RPG from 2022 that you should play, it is Elden Ring. Come on. You knew what it was as soon as you clicked open the link, didn’t you? Everything from the world’s lore to the combat to the leveling and crafting system is a masterpiece in the RPG genre.
If you have not picked up oprainfall‘s 2022 RPG Award winner yet, then you absolutely should. You will love it.
Congratulations Elden Ring for winning this year’s Best RPG Award!
Do you agree or disagree with our choice?
Let us know in the comments below!
Thank you to Brandon Rose for the cover image. You can find his Twitter here.