2016 was a good year for RPGs. Darkest Dungeon kicked us off back in January, followed by the conclusion of Pillars of Eternity’s storyline. Later in the year we played blockbusters like Dark Souls 3, Final Fantasy XV, The Division, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and Pokemon Sun and Moon. We received meaty expansions packs for two of the biggest RPG releases in recent memory, Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3. The indie scene filled out every in-between we had: Grim Dawn, Tyranny, Salt and Sanctuary, The Dwarves. There was a lot to love about 2016. It was a good year to be an RPG fan -- and 2017 looks so much better.
Every year, I like to look forward to the games yet to come. 2017 looks exceptional for RPG fans. There are so many good games with only a bare few likely to be pushed from the year (many do not have exact dates announced yet, however). Below is the RPG Files “Big 15” and there are even more waiting in the wings we haven’t heard of yet. Check it out and join me looking forward to a great year in roleplaying games.
1. Divinity: Original Sin 2 (PC - TBA 2017)
The first Divinity: Original Sin helped usher in the CRPG renaissance with its excellent turn-based combat and elemental interactions. The sequel expands on it in nearly every way and brings multiplayer in as a prominent part of the mix. Party members now have unique interactions with people in the world which should lead to some tense and exciting branching paths. Don’t miss this one.
2. Torment: Tides of Numenera (PC - Feb. 28, 2017)
From the makers of the excellent Wasteland 2, InXile Entertainment, comes the successor to the cult classic Planescape: Torment. It’s another text-heavy CRPG that looks to create an excellent, unsettling atmosphere with some of the most varied environments we’ve seen in the latest entries to the genre. The screenshot above did more to pique my interest than any promotional materials so far.
3. The Surge (PC/PS4/XBO - TBA 2017)
The Surge comes to us by way of Deck 13, who you might remember as the creators of Lords of the Fallen. The Surge picks up on those Dark Souls inspirations and applies them to a sci-fi future where your workday at the robotics factory goes horribly wrong. Your exo-suit wearing co-workers are out to kill you, and by dismembering them you can make their tech your own to fight even bigger, badder enemies.
4. Ni No Kuni 2 (PS4 - TBA 2017)
The 2013 original, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, saw an incredible partnership between Level 5 and Studio Ghibli to create one of the most charming, touching JRPGs in years. This sequel returns players to the other world to restore the rightful king to the throne. Not much is known, but the first game featured an incredible sense of charm, whimsy, and heart rooted in a deep sadness not often seen in video games. This is definitely one to watch.
5. Eitr (PC/PS4 - TBA 2017)
Dark Souls meets Diablo meets pixel art. Eitr is a super stylish dungeon crawler built around Norse lore. You play as the Shield Maiden, venturing through the nine worlds to uncover Loki’s twisted handiwork in your personal fate. It’s a game of strategic choices and skill-based combat that will surely test the limits of your perseverance.
6. Persona 5 (PS4 - April 4, 2017)
The Persona series has been on the rise for years. Persona 4 seemed to be the breakthrough the series needed in the West, as Persona 5 is one of the most anticipated RPGs of 2017. Explore dungeons, taming and combining various personas, and saving the world… all while trying to maintain an active social life. In your downtime, build up your social links by dating, taking classes, and joining clubs.
7. Mass Effect: Andromeda (PC/PS4/XBO - TBA 2017 - Rumored March 21)
The first entry in what we hope to be a new series of Mass Effect games. Andromeda takes place hundreds of years after the end of Mass Effect 3 and into a brand new galaxy. The game will feature larger, explorable worlds, classless character design, the return of loyalty missions, and an increased amount of deeper relationship options. Combat has also seen refinements with a new cover system, as well as the addition of a jet pack. But really… we’re in this for story, and Bioware is sure to deliver.
8. Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4 - Feb. 28, 2017)
Horizon: Zero Dawn is the new PS4 exclusive action RPG coming from Geurilla Games. If that name sounds familiar, it probably is. The studio’s last franchise, Killzone, was the leading shooter within Sony for years. That their next game is an RPG is a surprise but Horizon looks nothing short of astounding. Set a millennium from now, human kind has been reduced to the Stone Age and machines have taken over the earth. You play as Aloy, an outcast from her tribe trying to uncover the mystery of her origins.
Continue to the next page for 9-16!