Role-playing games have been a staple of the gaming industry for more than three decades. Each month, the genre tends to welcome a couple of noteworthy titles, be it high-profile releases such as Hogwarts Legacy, Octopath Traveler 2, and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty or more niche projects like Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society, 8-Bit Adventures 2, and Little Witch Nobeta. There are always new RPGs on the horizon.
Due to the ambitious nature of the genre’s AAA projects, they are often announced years in advance, a practice that can result in extremely high expectations. Once the hype train gets moving, stopping it can be impossible. What upcoming RPGs are the most sought-after?
Updated on September 11, 2023 by Mark Sammut: September 2023 produced arguably the biggest RPG of 2023: Starfield. Bethesda’s project has been received well, and it looks primed to be another title that will keep players entertained for potentially years. Still, plenty of other highly anticipated RPGs are set to launch in 2023 and beyond.Lords Of The Fallen
Deck13’s Lords of the Fallen garnered a decidedly mixed reception when it launched in 2014, to the point that a continuation seemed unlikely. However, a new game in the series will be debuting in 2023, although it shares very little in common with its predecessor outside a name and Soulslike gameplay.
Developed by Hexworks, Lords of the Fallen will feature nine character classes, hard-hitting and challenging combat, and a dual-realm set-up. The latter concept is arguably the game’s most interesting feature as players will be able to explore Axiom or Umbreal, which are the land of the living and dead respectively. Although still too early to unabashedly declare it as one of the most exciting 2023 RPGs, Lords of the Fallen has built a decent head of steam prior to its launch.The Lords of the Fallen Platform(s) PS5, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, PC Released October 13, 2023 Developer(s) HEXWORKS Genre(s) Action RPG See at Amazon Super Mario RPG Remake
1996’s Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars marked the plumber’s first foray into role-playing territory. Developed by Square, the SNES classic is regarded as one of the franchise’s crowning achievements, and it paved the way for the Paper Mario series. Nintendo has confirmed that a remake is on the way for the Switch, and while not too much information has been revealed so far, a trailer did shed some light on the project. For one, the visuals have been given a 3D makeover, all the while still retaining some of the original title’s charm. Otherwise, there seem to be a few gameplay tweaks, although the full scope of the changes will likely not become apparent until the game officially debuts.
Even if the Super Mario RPG remake ends up offering little more than a graphical change, the core experience should still be incredible since the 1996 version has aged very well. Assuming it is polished and competent, this should be one of 2023’s best upcoming turn-based RPGs.Super Mario RPG Platform(s) Switch Released November 17, 2023 Developer(s) Nintendo Genre(s) RPG See at Amazon Persona 3 Reload
Announced alongside Persona 5 Tactica, which is also an exciting release for anyone found of tactics games, Persona 3 Reload is a full remake of Atlus’ classic turn-based JRPG. As the original release is one of the best games on both the PS2 and PSP, the remake has to knock everything out of the park to live up to its legacy, but P-Studio’s track record speaks for itself.
Boasting an entirely new visual style that is reminiscent of Persona 5’s aesthetic, Persona 3 Reload should look fairly modern rather than just a spruced-up PS2 remaster. Combat-wise, it is not yet clear the scale of changes the remake will incorporate, although a few tweaks will be included at a minimum.Persona 3 Reload Platform(s) PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5 Released February 2, 2024 Developer(s) P-Studio Genre(s) JRPG See at Amazon Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth
Square Enix’s Final Fantasy 7 Remake was generally a resounding success, setting the stage for a potentially even bigger sequel. So far, not all that much has been shown of Rebirth’s content, although it looks set to largely build on the Remake’s foundations while introducing new playable characters like Red 13.
The 2020 release established that this project is a reimagining of the 1997 JRPG rather than a straightforward retelling, and the storyline has already started to diverge from the classic beats. While it is difficult to say exactly where the sequel will go, Rebirth could push Final Fantasy 7 further down its new timeline, delivering an experience capable of surprising both newcomers and veterans.Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Platform(s) PlayStation 5 Released November 30, 2023 Developer(s) Square Enix Genre(s) RPG See at Amazon Suikoden 1 & 2 HD Remaster
While the franchise lived on spin-offs for a while longer, the last mainline Suikoden game debuted in 2006. Even if not every entry is considered a masterpiece, Konami’s JRPG series maintained a fairly impressive standard of quality throughout the PS1 and PS2 eras. All the numbered games are worth playing in their own right, but the PS1 releases tend to be held in higher esteem, especially Suikoden 2. That game is often cited as one of the best JRPGs on Sony’s debut home console, and that praise is well-earned.
Konami has announced plans to release an HD remaster compilation containing the first two entries in the franchise, both of which have reasonably long campaigns. So far, the package’s changes seem to be primarily surface-level, which makes sense since the project’s goal is to remaster rather than remake the games. That said, Suikoden and its sequel have aged quite well, and as The Legend of Dragoon’s successful PS Plus launch proved, the world still craves PS1 JRPGs.Suikoden 1 & 2 HD Remaster Platform(s) PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One Developer(s) Konami Genre(s) JRPG Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth
Yakuza: Like a Dragon marked a turning point in Sega’s franchise, one that brought on a new protagonist, setting, and combat system. The latter’s turn-based battles pushed the license into JRPG territory for the first time, and the series did an impressive job of replicating the magic of genre classics such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.
Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth looks set to build upon its predecessor’s good work, both narratively and mechanically. Ichiban will, once again, take center stage, but he will be sharing the spotlight with a returning Kazuma Kiryu. Going by its teaser trailer, Infinite Wealth will be taking the series away from Japan.Like a Dragon 8
2020’s Hades is rightfully regarded as a crowning achievement in the roguelite genre, but it should not be forgotten that the game is also a fantastic action RPG. Supergiant has confirmed that a sequel is in the works, one that will feature Zagreus’ sister as the protagonist. Taking inspiration from Greek mythology, Hades 2 finds the Underworld thrown into upheaval thanks to Chronos, the Titan of Time and Hades’ father.
Melinoë, the main character, will be likely tasked with stopping the Titan, although Supergiant’s stories tend to be fairly nuanced and complex. Going by the game’s FAQ, Hades 2 could explore witchcraft as one of its main themes, and Melinoë is a sorceress.Hades 2 Platform(s) PC Released November 30, 2022 Developer(s) Supergiant Games Genre(s) Roguelike, Action See at Official Site Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is the definition of a cult classic. While rough around the edges, the RPG features fantastic writing and characters, along with a great deal of customization that provides players with plenty of creative freedom. It is a masterpiece that, for the longest time, seemed destined to remain a solitary project (in the video game industry, anyway); however, in 2019, Bloodlines 2 was revealed to the world. Since then, the game has been pushed back a few times, and information regarding its production has been inconsistent. That said, a few Vampire: The Masquerade spin-offs have debuted over the last few years, so the IP is alive.
Set in Seattle, Bloodlines 2 will let players create a newly-transformed vampire, which will involve picking things like their human background and preferred discipline. Vampire: The Masquerade’s success can be partially credited to its deep clan system, which permits players to commit to one of the vampire groups operating in the city. This element should be present in Bloodlines 2. In terms of gameplay, so far, it seems like the sequel will stick close to its predecessor; therefore, expect first-person action with a heavy focus on a dialogue system.Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines 2 Platform(s) PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S Developer(s) Hardsuit Labs Genre(s) Action RPG See at Amazon Dragon’s Dogma 2
For the best part of a decade, Capcom seemed content with pretending that Dragon’s Dogma did not matter. Sure, Dark Arisen came to the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, but that was hardly enough to satisfy the fanbase’s thirst for something new and exciting. While far from perfect, the 2012 RPG largely nails its fundamentals: combat, build customization, and party system. These elements could serve as strong building blocks for a great franchise, and Capcom finally looks set to capitalize on this potential as Dragon’s Dogma 2 is in the works.
Once again, players will travel across a dark fantasy world ravished by a dragon. They will get to create and customize their own character, along with pawns who will charge into battle with them. At the moment, Dragon’s Dogma 2 seems to offer more of the same as its predecessor, which might not be a bad thing if it improves on most of its ideas.Dragon’s Dogma 2 Platform(s) PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S Developer(s) Capcom Genre(s) Action RPG The Elder Scrolls 6
It was only a matter of time before The Elder Scrolls 6 was revealed, although that is essentially all that Bethesda has done. Except for some minor details that can be surmised from the few seconds of footage that has been released so far, the game is still largely a mystery; however, TES 6 is one of those upcoming RPGs that only needs to exist to generate hype.
Realistically, Bethesda’s sequel is still a few years away from a debut, and the publisher will probably not start to heavily market the project until after Starfield’s cycle is complete. Nevertheless, it would be shocking if TES 6 does not wind up as one of the best-selling games of all time.The Elder Scrolls 6 Platform(s) PC, Xbox (Original) Developer(s) Bethesda Game Studios Genre(s) RPG Dragon Quest 12: The Flames Of Fate
Dragon Quest 12 is a weird one. Since being revealed in 2021, Square Enix has barely uttered a word regarding the next mainline entry in the storied JRPG franchise. Dragon Quest’s influence and popularity cannot be understated, particularly in Japan where the series is nothing short of a cultural phenomenon. While there was a fairly long dry spell after DQ8, the 11th mainline entry was a hit in Western countries, elevating the license to international highs it had not experienced for a while. Thanks to its predecessor’s success, Dragon Quest 12 is poised to be one of the biggest releases in the license’s history outside of Japan.
Perhaps, Square Enix announced DQ12’s existence a bit prematurely or simply wanted to gauge the public’s interest in a sequel; whatever the reason, the post-reveal silence has lasted slightly too long. Hopefully, the publisher will expand on the game’s development at some point in the near future as the gaming world is ready for a new mainline Dragon Quest adventure.Dragon Quest 12: The Flames of Fate Developer(s) Square Enix Genre(s) JRPG Dragon Age: Dreadwolf
2023 will mark a decade since the last Dragon Age game, and the world is long overdue for another BioWare masterpiece. Even if the sequels were polarizing, the franchise still holds a lot of weight in the RPG sphere, and a new entry will not only attract a lot of attention but also be held to very high standards.
According to reports, a sequel has been in development for years and the process has not been always smooth. A complicated development cycle does not have to result in an underwhelming final product, but fans might want to temper expectations until more information is officially released. Still, Dragon Age: Dreadwolf will be a big deal when it eventually comes out.Dragon Age: Dreadwolf Platform(s) PS5, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, Microsoft Windows Developer(s) BioWare Genre(s) RPG The New Witcher Saga (Polaris)
Subjective opinion aside, The Witcher 3 is objectively one of the best RPGs in the history of gaming. And, for the longest time, the 2015 release seemed destined to be the last mainline entry in CD Projekt Red’s franchise; at least, that was the case until 2022 when the developer announced a number of new Witcher projects.
Along with a remake of 2007’s The Witcher, CD Projekt Red confirmed that a new saga is in development. The studio has remained tight-lipped about what this might entail, outside of confirming that the game/s will use Unreal Engine 5.