Top Upcoming RPGs For 2021 And Beyond

Role-playing games have come a long way since we were slaughtering slimes in Dragon Warrior, hunting for the rat tail in Final Fantasy, and being endlessly wiped for wandering into the wrong tile in The Bard’s Tale. While the genre umbrella is now wider than ever as more and more games over the last decade have embraced progression systems, character classes/jobs, and choice and consequence, RPG experiences have never been available in so many forms.

From modern takes on the classic JRPG to action-infused scaling open worlds, the role-playing genre continues to capture the hearts and minds of gamers looking to explore the gamut of strong narratives, cool characters, and mighty mechanics. Let’s take a look at some of the top upcoming RPGs of 2021 and beyond. What RPGs did we miss? Which are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments!

 

Fable

The world of wizards, warriors, and whimsy is coming back. How, we don’t exactly know at this point. But Fable is returning, and that alone is worthy of some attention. Several more recent Fable projects in the franchise may have you raising an eyebrow in concern with this one, but we’re hoping that the sprawling new Fable offering avoids the pitfalls that plagued other projects. For instance, I remember playing Fable Legends years and years ago at Gamescom, an asymmetric experience that pitted players against each other as hero and Dungeon Master-style baddie. There was also the Fable Fortune CCG experiment that didn’t quite pan out, though I did have a good bit of fun with it.

All that said, with Playground Games at the helm of this project, there’s every reason for some optimism going into the future. Of course, we’ll have to see how gameplay turns out, but sometimes just hearing a beloved IP is coming back is enough to get the hype train rolling, so we can’t wait to see what’s in store for this fantasy as the year marches on.

Hogwarts Legacy

Harry Potter’s fantasy world has already been the subject of oodles of games, and now they’re going full open world with it for Hogwart’s Legacy. The title has recently shifted into a 2022 release, so we likely won’t be battling Dementors with our Patronus for a while, but the opportunities for wonder and exploration inherent with this particular franchise are extreme. With groundwork already established for myriad creatures, characters, and rules of magic across an archive of books and film, it’s just about putting the pieces together. And of course, hopefully creating a wholly new adventure inside that universe that players can immerse themselves in. All I can say is, this game better have the talking sorting hat around for character creation. That thing rules.

Mixing potions, taming beasts, and defending yourself against the dark arts are all featured parts of the curriculum as you tackle Hogwarts, eventually expanding out into the greater world beyond the spellcasting school to take on greater challenges and mysteries. There are definitely dragons, and there’s probably a giant spider too because I saw one of those on the Universal Studios ride when I went on it. That’s how this works right?  Anyway, hopefully we get to see more of how the game plays this year!

Dragon Age 4

What do we know about Dragon Age 4? Not a ton, but our resident expert Liana Ruppert has been putting together the pieces since the first reveals. Apparently, the next chapter of Dragon Age will take place in Tevinter. What’s a Tevinter? I asked myself the same question. If you’re looking to delve into Dragon Age lore and cobble together bits and factoids to create a vision of what Dragon Age 4 might look like when all is said and done, explore with us here.

We know Solas is involved somehow, and I’m not exactly the most keyed in Dragon Age expert, but I’m aware that Solas gets some big reactions when the name comes up during conversation here. As with other BioWare RPGs, the Game Informer office is filled with early conversation that’s a healthy mix of prospective romance and deadly rivalries. You can check out some more theories involving Dragon Age characters here. When will Dragon Age 4 appear? Probably not soon. But that’s not going to stop us from speculating!

Even with this extensive list, the RPG genre has a multitude of other entries on the way as well. Forget being a niche genre, RPGs have taken over the gaming scene in a big way, with myriad subgenres riffing off our our love for awesome characters, potent progression, and the power of player choice. Whether you want to dive into a massive social experience with other players, engage in tactical combat on a grand battlefield, level up a smorgasbord of job classes, or just hack and slash your way through some demons in a Diablo-like, the RPG genre has solidified itself as one of gaming’s core pillars. So sit back, relax, and level up! 

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