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The RPG Files: 10 Reasons Why PC is Still the Best Place to Play RPGs

Columns By Christopher Coke on October 31, 2015

10 Reasons Why PC is Still the Best Place to Play RPGs

There is a longstanding rivalry between console and PC players. Console players like the simplicity of booting up a console and kicking back on the couch. PC players love pushing their games to the limit in every conceivable way. But with the rise of the current PC-like console generation, couch players would have us believe the field is somehow equal. Hah, we say!  We at MMORPG love our PCs, so here are the 10 best reasons to play with even a mid-range gaming PC.

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Don’t believe the myth: Console hardware is already outdated

When the PS4 and Xbox One were announced, there was a ton of talk about how consoles would finally give the average gaming PC a run for their money. While it’s hard to deny that either console is a good value, they are already far outmatched by even mid-grade gaming PCs.

The PS4, for example, uses a modified AMD 7870 graphics processor. AMD has released three generations since that time. Nvidia another three. The 7870 is officially in “more expensive because it’s obsolete” territory.

We PC players quietly stood on the sidelines while the hype lobby talked about how optimization would push their hardware to the next level. Two years on we can say their “next level” is still a cut below PC gaming standards.

Bonus: The whole “drivers are a nightmare!” argument is also bullocks. Sure, you might have to update or troubleshoot, but you do those same things on console and it’s about as hard. Being a PC gamer is a breeze in 2015.

You can build a PC easier and cheaper than ever before

And before you throw the “it’ll cost $1000” chestnut at me, consider this: if you have a PC in your house right now, upgrading is a much cheaper option than you may think. The team at Gaming Bolt has a build for $399. Cheat Sheet has another for $500. Start ticking off things that you already own and that cost just goes down and down. Have a case? Decent power supply? Up to snuff motherboard? Copy of Windows to transfer over? You just saved close to $200.

Exclusive RPGs are rarer than unicorns

These days, almost everything comes to PC and is better for it. Console exclusives are few and far between, particularly when it comes to roleplaying games. If you want Uncharted, ask yourself, is it that one game worth the whole $350 console? Probably not considering…

PC has the biggest RPG library

Not to mention the biggest gaming library, period. Thanks to sites like GOG, you can go back and play the classics as easily as the latest and greatest. PC players have access to every kind of RPG under the sun, from JRPGs, to Western blockbusters, to indie gems like Boot Hill Heroes. PC is the home of the roleplaying game. And...

Bad ports aren’t much of a problem

They used to be, but in 2015, there is real money to be made, and lost, in the PC market. Publishers know this and often give PC players the best versions of their game. Many “ports” feature huge improvements like more graphics and sound options, different control methods, and, soon, VR. Sure, there’s the occasional stinker from Ubisoft, but even they’re getting better.

Games are cheaper, by far

PC spoiled me on game prices. I loathe paying $60 for a game and would loathe it worse if I lived outside the US. Steam Sales are a known commodity, but there is a huge competitive marketplace for game sales online. As a PC player, I never pay more than 80% of retail ($48). Ever. Often, games come cheaper than that as retailers try to outdo each other. I won’t endorse the grey market outright, but if you’re willing to buy from the many, many CD Key sites out there, you’ll pay even less than that.

Steam Link solves the couch problem

As a new dad, I’ve come to appreciate being able to game from the couch. It’s why I own (and love) my PS4. But when the Steam Link comes, I predict it will take over. Every report coming in says that, if your internet is up to snuff, streaming PC games to your TV is now a reality. The Steam Controller also appears to be one of the most versatile, customizable controllers ever made for filling in for a mouse and keyboard.

Playing RPGs on your PC puts community resources at your fingertips

When you play RPGs on the PC, you’re as close to the community as a gamer can come without moving in. One of the best parts of being a PC gamer is being able to pause the game, hop on a forum or subreddit, and immediately start connecting with other people having the same kind of fun you are. Have a question? Ask in half a dozen places and you’re likely to get an answer. It sure beats thumbing it with a smart phone.

Mods. Say it with me… MODS.

Nothing adds replayability to a game like the modding community. Just ask Skyrim’s PC players. Games that feature full mod support allow passionates fans to add on and transform games.

PC usually get the deepest, most innovative RPGs first

It’s not uncommon for PC players to get the most innovative, quirky, and true to form roleplaying games first. A lot of this has to do with keyboard and mouse being a flat out better control scheme for deep, complicated games. There’s also something to be said for how much easier it is for studios to develop on PC versus consoles. But more importantly, it’s flat out cheaper. Smaller teams can take risks and try innovative ideas that Sony and Microsoft would charge a premium for.

PC is the natural home for the roleplaying game

Finally, the PC is where RPGs first gained traction as video games. It’s where many developers played their first roleplaying games. The sheer glut of RPGs that reach the platform first, and often can trace their success to the possibilities provided by it, demonstrates this fact. This is where RPGs call home.

Shouldn’t you? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Christopher Coke / Chris has been a fan of MMOs since the mid-1990s when he cut his teeth on MUDs. These days he scours the internet for the latest and greatest multiplayer gaming experiences.