10 best RPGs of the decade. From Mass Effect 2 to Persona 5 – review

The most fascinating role-playing games of the 2010s.

About nomination

RPG is the most democratic genre, because both multi-million blockbusters and dream projects made by a team of several people on bare enthusiasm can compete on equal terms in it. If there is a prescribed world, fascinating quests and sensibly implemented pumping, then graphic delights are not so important. Therefore, in the final top, we present role-playing games of all sizes, budgets and subgenres. In addition to FromSoftware creations, after fierce disputes with interspersed self-mutilation, the editors agreed that it would be more appropriate to classify them as action games.

10 best RPGs of the decade. From Mass Effect 2 to Persona 5
The game, called the “new Fallout”, Unexpectedly for everyone, turned out to be a completely independent and full-fledged product. Of course, the inheritance New vegas all the same team Obsidian peeping out of all the gaps and crevices, however, the developers cherished and nurtured the most suitable ideas of their predecessor, added a few new ideas, and then weaved them together, getting something unique, incredibly beautiful, but at the same time painfully familiar.

At The outer worlds there were no huge budgets, technical capabilities, and, more importantly, empty promise cars. Instead, she simply appeared and showed everything that we love Obsidian games for: fateful dilemmas, an extensive field for research, detailed characters and worlds, as well as vivid dialogues that do not have time to get bored.

In addition, The Outer Worlds is an exemplary RPG. In addition to all the purely mechanical features of the genre, there is freedom of choice and a feeling that all the actions of the player most directly affect both the main character and the world around him.

10 best RPGs of the decade. From Mass Effect 2 to Persona 5

Finding a full-fledged role-playing game in a realistic setting without elements of fantasy and science fiction is extremely difficult. And if the setting is not just “realistic”, but natural historical? Until February 2018, this could only be done with your hands apart. Fortunately, it turned out that in the Czech Republic they are able to make not only GTA clones about gangsters.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance can be blindly mistaken for a randomly turned on History Channel: we even devoted an analysis of the reliability of what is happening separate material. Bohemia of the beginning of the 15th century with all its knights and robbers, castles and villages, forests and fields looks so lively that you want to settle in it yourself. But living the main character with an unusual name for the Russian ear Indrzhih is also not bad. Warhorse studios managed to maintain the perfect balance between realism (Indro needs – what your tamagotchi needs!) and playability, so the project looks more like a good adventure novel like “Ivanhoe” or “Black Arrow” than a history book. It turns out that in the Middle Ages one could have fun quite well without any witchcraft. Today we throw manure at a neighbor’s house, and tomorrow we storm the stronghold of the local feudal lord; the day after tomorrow we take part in the village priest’s orgy, and another day later, after eating hallucinogens, we call Satan along with the “witches” …

The Kingdom Come: Deliverance deserves a place in this ranking at least for what it demonstrates: an ordinary, fictional Earth is suitable for role-playing games no worse than regular worlds of sword and magic or a gloomy post-nuclear future.

Eighth place – Disco Elysium

10 best RPGs of the decade. From Mass Effect 2 to Persona 5

It’s great that Disco elysium fired. The audience accepted the debut work of the Estonian studio ZA / UM extremely warm, and critics literally filled up with awards. But the question arises: is it too early to call it one of the most important RPGs of the decade? Suddenly the guys were just lucky, or did we become so impressionable?

In our opinion, no, not too early. Yes, this is only the first work of the studio. Yes, perhaps the stars just converged at the right angle. But is it that important? It is already clear that Disco Elysium will age like a fine wine; absolutely nothing to confuse her with. Although ZA / UM has taken the experience of many RPGs, starting with Planescape: torment and ending Shadowrun, the result of her labors turned out to be one hundred percent original.

Disco Elysium refuses to get out of his head even months after passing. She seems oddly familiar, even native; like a city that you know from postcards, but where you’ve never been. And all because the developers created an RPG where everything really revolves around the characters. Around the tragicomic, but for some reason painfully real situations in which they constantly fall. No battle, sewn to the chic scenario just “to be”, no Manchkinism and rush – only endless melancholy.

Well, the collection of glass containers, of course. It is necessary to buy cigarettes for some money, so that they smoke noirly in the pouring rain.

Seventh place – Persona 5

10 best RPGs of the decade. From Mass Effect 2 to Persona 5

Another Persona became a real gift for fans of Japanese role-playing games. It is difficult to call it innovative: the fifth part successfully continues to use the elements introduced in the third. But each of them is complemented and polished to a dazzling brilliance, thanks to which the combination of turn-based fights, puzzles, stealth, visual novels and an original magical system plays with new colors.

Persona 5 turned out to be a real candy for the eyes. And not only because of the new engine, which finally allows you to consider the heroes, persons and demons in detail. Designers famously mixed anime and comic aesthetics, flavored it with noir and references to pop culture and got a damn stylish picture that also looks amazing in dynamics.

But, most importantly, the series, as always, does not shy away from raising hot topics and asking uncomfortable questions, turning simultaneously to psychology, mythology and philosophy. Persona 5 themes can be listed for a long time: here is the fight against social injustice, and the search for one’s place in the world, and the price of freedom, and responsibility to other people, and much more. And, unlike the tragic stories about discrimination against magicians or robots, the plot of the game is depressingly topical.

10 best RPGs of the decade. From Mass Effect 2 to Persona 5
Original Deus ex was an outstanding game: varied, multi-layered and truly adult – and even counting such fingers today. To get a new hit, Eidos montreal I didn’t even have to invent something new, since from the time of the masterpiece Ion storm nothing like him has ever appeared. Actually, it was precisely for this reason that the young team didn’t even have so much a prequel as a remake of the 2000 game — timid attempts to add something to one’s own account can be ignored — and that was enough.

The principle of “kill-steal-persuade” in this immersive sim works even better than in most “purebred” RPGs, and a flexible role-playing system allows you to turn your hero even into a reinforced concrete thug, even into a silent assassin, even into a dodgy hacker, even in all right away. And most importantly, almost any build will be viable – you just need to choose the right tactics. Moreover, crawling through ventilation ducts and hacking computers behind the backs of guards is no less fun than breaking into a crowd of enemies with a machine gun naked. What is already there: even reading notes and digging into someone else’s email for once do not look like a game designer crutch, they really talk about the world of a not-so-distant future and help to plunge into it even deeper. That Deus Ex: Human Revolution you can go without killing anyone except the three bosses, and it’s not worth talking.

Not only one of the best RPGs, but definitely the main cyberpunk of the decade: smart, complex and multifaceted.

10 best RPGs of the decade. From Mass Effect 2 to Persona 5
Divinity: Original Sin thundered all over the world and overnight did Larian studios a prominent player in the market. Therefore, it was difficult to imagine that the planned sequel will turn out even better, that the authors will be able to jump above their heads – but they succeeded. Divinity: Original Sin 2 perhaps has become almost the only case in history when a game funded through Kickstarter, not only did not fail expectations, but also largely surpassed them.

This is an RPG where you can sit for more than ten hours in the prologue and even be somewhat surprised that it did not drag on for longer. This RPG is so big and ambitious that in the hands of any other developer, its scope would turn into a disaster – but Larian Studios knew what it was doing. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is not a computer RPG inspired by desktop role-playing, but vice versa. This is a party in D&D or Pathfinderplaced on digital tracks, where the master is very loyal to the players and loves when they experiment. Want to put a barrel of tar in your inventory? Well, why not, come in handy. Two characters in a cooperative decided to act against each other? Well, I just have plot twists in this regard. Is it possible to drain a puddle, and then electrify a cloud of steam to stun enemies? Yes, yes and yes again – only then do not enter this cloud yourself.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 surprises from the first minutes and does not stop throwing surprises up to the very credits, all one hundred (!) Hours of gameplay. This is a modern classic: in ten years they will speak about it with the same reverence as about Baldur’s gate.

Fourth Place – Mass Effect 2

10 best RPGs of the decade. From Mass Effect 2 to Persona 5

Mass effect 2 became one of the last games from Bioware, which managed to earn almost unanimous approval from RPG fans. And there were reasons for that. She could boast of many bright characters with well-developed stories – from veterans of the previous part like the good old friend Garrus to newcomers, for example, the outwardly tough and rude mercenary Jack or the mysterious Ghost. The tasks were not only interesting and varied, but also remarkably posed – from a battle on a spaceship flying in the middle of an endless storm to a battle with a huge reaper who looked like a terminator. Thanks to the improved combat system, it finally became a pleasure to shoot, and from any weapon. Canadians managed to raise the quality level set by themselves even higher. Perhaps Mass Effect 2 had only one significant drawback – the main plot of the trilogy in it did not advance too much after the first part.

But compared to the failed ending in Mass effect 3 and for the most part unsuccessful Andromeda this is an insignificant trifle.
10 best RPGs of the decade. From Mass Effect 2 to Persona 5

Look at today Skyrim really hurt. And not because she, despite all the reprints, was godlessly outdated visually, but because she remained the best creation Bethesda in the 2010s. Eight years have passed, and nothing more ambitious or richer than the studio has ever produced. But let’s give credit to the developers – the bar is really high.

Skyrim led the player by the handle only once – at the very beginning, when it was necessary to escape from the imposing one, do not get the dragon from where. But as soon as you get out of the spider cave, as this whole harsh snow-covered world lies in front of your feet. All roads are open to you, just some are harder than others, but otherwise – absolute freedom. You can follow the plot, master dragon cries and carry out the orders of the jarl, or you can just dodge around the mountains, run from giants, fish, clear dungeons, turn into a vampire, steal food, etc. etc. It was fascinating in 2011 and it is fascinating now.

10 best RPGs of the decade. From Mass Effect 2 to Persona 5
Perhaps not a single series of classic RPGs went through such deep transformations as Fallout. What is technical, what’s in the gameplay, what’s in the storyline between the license plates of the second and third parts is the whole Grand Canyon. Moreover, the main trouble is not that step-by-step isometry suddenly turned into a shooter with role-playing elements: Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel managed to give a damn about the canon back in 2004. The problem is that FPS from Fallout 3 came out very mediocre, “role-playing elements” worked anyhow, and the central story with the epic final battle for water pumping caused only irritation among fans who were waiting Van buren, but who received what happened. Obsidian Entertainment was entrusted to save the series – people who are under the guise of Black isle studios at one time created the world of Fallout as such. And they did not fail.

Formally, New Vegas is drawn not so much to the full part of the series as to the big mod, but the Obsidian specialists on the old engine made a completely new game. Greenish, like a beer bottle, the Metropolitan Wasteland was replaced by the expanses of post-nuclear Nevada, shown through a warm orange filter. A distinct firearm appeared, a full sighting through the front sight (yes, in Fallout 3 there wasn’t even that!) And more or less competent shooting. The city of vice New Vegas and its environs were inhabited by colorful heroes like a prostitute robot with the talking name Fisto or a super mutant who considers himself a caring grandmother. They were connected to the extent of crazy quests with very real, unpredictable and far-reaching consequences that affect the fate of individuals, towns and the world as a whole. What can we say about little things like testing skills in dialogs that again made the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system a useful, outrageous plot, the famous Wild Desolace perk or the hot atmosphere of a radioactive western.

In general, even if you transfer New Vegas to the engine of the first parts of Fallout, playing it will still be interesting. And this is the best recommendation that you can give an RPG.

10 best RPGs of the decade. From Mass Effect 2 to Persona 5
According to all the laws of the gaming industry, CD Projekt Red it just couldn’t work out “Wild Hunt”as we know. Yes, Killers of Kings came out quite breakthrough for regional development, but they were still felt by the East European game, which pretends to be a blockbuster. Well, the swing to a full-fledged open world should have turned at best into something like a trilogy Risen or recent Greedfall. But a real miracle happened: at the cost of hellish refining, bordering on the violation of human rights, Polish craftsmen made a hit by the standards of not only Eastern Europe, but the whole world.

The beauty of the third Witcher is that it is truly made for everyone. Appreciate non-linear quests and colorful characters? Already in Vronitsa, and that, and another will be in abundance. Do you like a beautiful battle? Local bandyugan savory cut into pieces. Interested in variable pumping? The local skill tree is branchy enough so that Geralt can be customized. And if you unscrew the level of difficulty to the limit, then alchemy and blacksmithing will become a truly important component of the gameplay, and not just additional items on the menu. Wild Hunt didn’t invent anything, but borrowed all the best from the genre and mixed it in such proportions that both casual and hardcore players can enjoy it. Among the RPGs “for all”, she remains the best almost five years later.

Do you agree with our choice? Tell us in the comments what other outstanding 2010 RPGs deserve honors.