Best RPGs On Steam: Top 5 Games, According To Experts

Steam is a worldwide software seller and game-client management platform. From its inception in 2003, Steam began as a file update server for Valve games and by 2005 Steam began to sell 3rd party game software titles. Currently, Steam boasts 120+ million active users that enjoy Steam’s robust game management features including game purchasing, simplified installation, game server matchmaking, social networking, and software management services. One of the most prolific and popular genres in personal computer gaming is the role-playing game. RPGs are a broad genre with many core gaming experiences for players. Our list of the top five best RPGs on Steam aims to help our readers find the best of the best in an ocean of great titles.

Video games have the long-held perception of being meant for children. As such, it is worth noting that recent research suggests that playing video games may boost a child’s brainpower. Researchers in Vermont say gaming leads to better impulse control and working memory, improving behavior and academic performance.

In fact, many children of the ‘80s and ‘90s cite video games as having had a positive developmental impact on their education and careers. Researchers from the University of Surrey suggest that playing online games can actually help professionals develop a more refined skillset for their chosen field. Study authors found that IT professionals and engineers tend to gravitate towards puzzle-platform games, which can help enhance spatial skills. People working in managerial roles, meanwhile, displayed more interest toward action roleplaying games that require both organizational and planning skills.

Ready to game? The best RPGs on Steam on our top five list are all lengthy adventures with delightful layers of detail waiting to be discovered. Let us know your favorite RPGs in the comments below!

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Man gaming on PC (Photo by Sean Do on Unsplash)

The List: Best Role-Playing Games on Steam, According to Experts

1. “Elden Ring” (2022)

For nearly 20 million players, “Elden Ring” is a must-play title that offers heart-racing combat coupled with exploration, customized builds, and the ability to level up in a richly detailed fantasy game world. ‘”Elden Ring,’ the dark fantasy epic, is widely considered a masterpiece. Created by Hidetaka Miyazaki in collaboration with George RR Martin, ‘Elden Ring’ is FromSoftware’s most ambitious RPG yet, with an open-world design that takes the iconic ‘Souls’ formula to new heights. The first time you enter the mysterious world known as The Lands Between you’ll notice a stark difference in the design when compared to previous FromSoftware games. Veterans of ‘Bloodborne’ and ‘Dark Souls’ have commended the color shift as more inviting, with glorious landscapes to behold,” raves Slash Gear.

‘“Elden Ring’ is a great RPG game, but it also ticks a ton of other boxes. It’s a top-tier open-world game and a wonderfully vivid fantasy game. It’s got hardcore combat as a key part of the gameplay loop, so it skews more towards the action-RPG side of the spectrum if that’s important to you. But don’t just take our word for it,” writes PC GamesN.

“Worry not, though. Like ‘Dark Souls’ before it, ‘Elden Ring’ is a game about overcoming bosses through trial, error and eventual mastery. And, despite leaning into more traditional fantasy, it’s as weird and distinct as the studio has ever been—shining a light on the horrors of its world, rather than hiding them away in a poisonous swamp. As an RPG, too, it’s some of FromSoft’s best work, with extensive buildcrafting options that let you tailor your character and combat style in many different ways,” adds PC Gamer.

2. “Disco Elysium – The Final Cut” (2021)

“Disco Elysium” is most often praised and criticized for its gritty political storytelling. “Pursue your political dreams… You’re a detective with a unique skill system at your disposal and a whole city block to carve your path across. Interrogate unforgettable characters, crack murders, or take bribes. Become a hero or an absolute disaster of a human being,” writes Metacritic.

“If you don’t think video games should have politics, don’t play ‘Disco Elysium – The Final Cut.’ If you don’t think games should aspire to say something, this detective-RPG isn’t the game for you. That’s not to say the game is a manifesto. The way it cynically, yet thoughtfully, criticizes a range of ideologies reveals the game’s politics aren’t nearly as narrow you might expect. But this isn’t wishy-washy centrism. Disco Elysium’s sympathies ultimately lie with working people and movements that center their best interests, despite asking you to play as cops on the other end of that equation. The brilliant role-playing mechanics and richly realized world would be impressive no matter the story, but ‘Disco Elysium’s’ beating, thematic heart makes it the best PC game you can play at this moment in history,” raves PC.

‘“Disco Elysium’ strays close to being a game about how cool it is to be a… renegade cop, but does an admirable job of holding a mirror up to the real harm that person can cause, and giving you the tools to make amends. It’s also, finally, the rarest of all things: a meaty, narrative RPG that contains no combat whatsoever,” offers Rock Paper Shotgun.

3. “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” (2015)

Before the Netflix series, “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” was a huge financial success for game developer CD Projekt Red.  “Often regarded as one of the greatest games of the PS4 and Xbox One generation, as well as in general, ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’ was something of a revelation when it launched in 2015. The game was released to emphatic critical acclaim as an essential open-world experience, whereas others have merely tried to copy what ‘Skyrim’ set in motion… ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’ was praised for its rich storytelling, its wide and compelling cast of characters, and the myriad of side quests and DLC content just as immersive and substantive as the main story,” praises ScreenRant.

“The world is gorgeous in how untainted it is, with many locations to see and visit. Full of vibrant life, the medieval-style setting is simple and understated, with wide open fields, rainy meadows, snowy mountain ranges, and modest wooden towns and cities for you to roam around on horseback or on foot. There are tons of secrets to find all over, like monster lairs to destroy for loot, treasure maps to follow, and hidden side quests in remote villages. The in-game clock keeps the skies changing with the hour as you cross from city to city, country to country, brightening the horizons with brilliant, golden sunrises in the morning and burning crimson sunsets in the evening. Everything is amazing to look at, encouraging you to wander around aimlessly just to take in the sights,” adds /Slant.

“But the true strength of ‘The Witcher 3’ is that it populates these memorable landscapes with NPCs doling out humble but memorable quests (by the dozen) that help create one of the most human RPG experiences on the market. In decaying wayside towns, the witcher Geralt might find impoverished elves struggling in the face of local racism; elsewhere, he might help a self-styled baron reunite with his long-estranged daughter. These quests deftly navigate moral issues without being heavy-handed or offering obvious solutions,” opines PC Gamer.

4. “Fallout: New Vegas” (2010)

The “Fallout” series is famous for its tongue-in-cheek look at life in post-nuclear apocalypse America. “If you’re a fan of other ‘Fallout’ games or the ‘Elder Scrolls’ series, chances are that you’ll love ‘New Vegas.’ Your character is revived in a post-apocalyptic retro-futuristic world after an attack from their enemy. They were on a quest to deliver a package to New Vegas after the Great War. In both the main and side missions, you’ll encounter intense combat against enemies, such as robots and mutants. It’s playable with a first or third-person perspective, with a variety of impressive weapons to use,” writes Make Use Of_.

‘“While Fallout 3’ was successful, it was a different beast entirely from Interplay’s classics. Obsidian’s take on the franchise moves the action back to the West Coast, and reintroduces elements such as reputation and faction power struggles. Obsidian expands on nearly every aspect of Bethesda’s take, making the game less about good or evil, and more about who you should trust. It also adds much of the humor that we loved from the classic games,” details PC Gamer.

“After the first hours, your mission runs out of leads, leaving you to venture where you like: interacting with whomever you want, being good, evil, or anything in between to make ‘New Vegas’ the most adventurous ‘Fallout game.’ You can team up with the New California Republic, join the slave-loving Legion, stand up for the sleazy people of New Vegas, or be…  self-serving,” adds PC GamesN.

5. “Nier: Automata” (2017)

“Nier:Automata” is widely praised for excellent execution of both story and gameplay. “Considered by many to be one of the greatest games ever made and one of the greatest gaming stories ever told, ‘Nier: Automata’ is both mentally and physically challenging. Its hack-and-slash combat is easy to pick up but difficult to master, with waves of enemies and grueling boss fights to put your reactions and skills to the test. Meanwhile, you’ll be put through the emotional ringer with a story that examines what it means to be alive and challenges our preconceived notions of what a living being even is. It can be a lot, but it’s well worth it,” writes For The Win.

‘“NieR: Automata’s’ outlook on storytelling is incredibly special. To get the full experience, you have to run multiple playthroughs of the game, each of which offers a new experience and perspective. Your world view of the story events and characters expands drastically as you complete each playthrough, playing on your expectations to help you develop a deeper emotional bond with the protagonists and become invested in their plight. Things take a real turn on your third playthrough, putting you on an emotional roller coaster all the way to the true ending. The plot twists and knocks on the fourth wall elevate the story to a truly unique place. Getting all the way to the very end can be a religious experience from how much heart and meaning you discover in the symbolism,” explains /Slant

“The truth is, ‘Nier: Automata’ is hard to boil down to a single paragraph. On first glance, this is an action-heavy sci-fi story about reclaiming earth from destructive robots. On second glance, it is something else entirely. On third glance, you will find a tin man with the name of a 17th century mathematician, and you will start to wonder how many more glances it will take to truly know what this game is doing,” adds PC.

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