When you are talking about role-playing games for the PC, it is hard to pin down what the ‘best’ game is. There are a lot of great games in a lot of different genres. So if you are trying to find out what the best RPG games for PC are, you may not be able to pin down one particular game as the best. However, there are definitely common attributes that make up the best games out there and they are story, playability, and appearance.
Perhaps the most important aspect of any role-playing game is the story. A great story will have a solid plot, creativity, originality, and immerse the player into the world. Most modern role-playing games are open games and not linear. This means that a player has many different paths to take as they adventure through the game, as opposed to going from point A, to point B, to point C, and so on.
Included in story is also a large amount of content. Are there a lot of quests or tasks for the player to do? Is there a lot of items in the game that are unique and fun for the player? Are the locations, such as cities or areas, varied and exciting? And does the player have a lot of choices when building their characters?
The second most important aspect of any RPG is playability. Playability refers to game balance, overall difficulty, and the rules guiding the game. Good game balance should give the player a wide variety of options on what to do and when to do it. It won’t pigeonhole them into doing the same thing over and over until they finish the game. Also with game balance comes the difficulty. Is the game difficult enough to be challenging to the player, but easy enough for the average player to be able to complete? Perhaps the game has a difficulty mode that can be changed to challenge different levels of players.
Inside the playability sphere are the rules. A good RPG should have rules that are lightweight enough to where they are unobtrusive and do not encumber the game. However, they should be comprehensive enough to give the game a solidity that player can understand and use. In general, the rules should be kept to the minimum amount possible to keep unobtrusive but still be able to run an effective game.
The final attribute is also an incredibly important one and that is appearance. The graphics of a PC game are often the first thing that attract a player to the game. Is the visual aspect and art of the game modern and exciting to look at? If the game is going to become a series of games, are the graphics timeless enough to continue on in the series for many years to come?
There is a huge component with graphics on the PC that doesn’t translate onto consoles too. Are the graphics good but efficient? What we mean by this is are the graphics appealing to look at, but not so intensive that only top of the line computers can run it? If the graphics are so memory intensive that the average computer can’t run it, then you are cutting out a huge portion of your player base. Consoles are generally the same across the board so they do not suffer from this problem.
In the end, the decision will come down to each individual player. But if you are trying to judge what the best RPG games for PC are, looking at the story, playability, and appearance of each game is a very good place to start. Odds are if these areas are not good, then the RPG probably won’t be very good. And on the flip side, if these areas in the game are superb then you might have one of the best RPG games out there.