The 7 Best Dungeons and Dragons PC Games to Buy in 2018

When you think of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), it's easy to imagine that scene from Stranger Things where the main characters sit around a table role-playing as knights and wizards, going on adventures together, and then finding out they’ve been playing for ten hours. But it doesn't have to be that intense.

PC games lower the steep learning curve of D&D and offer an alternative to real-life tabletop games without having to find a party or dice to play with. These games digitize many of the elements of the original to create a streamlined solo or group experience. Many still stick to the rules of the original game, and all are filled with the kind of stories and mythology that get fans into role-playing in the first place. One game even allows you to make your own stories and be Dungeon Master (DM) of your own campaign. Whether you're just dipping your toes into D&D or you're a high-level mage, there's a game on this list for you.

Best for Authenticity: Neverwinter Nights 2 Gold

Using an adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition rules, Neverwinter Nights 2 Gold brings to life an authentic experience close to the real-life pencil and paper game on PC. The game includes a bundle set of the original game plus its expansion pack: Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer.

In Neverwinter Nights 2 Gold, players start by making a character that represents them, choosing one of 16 races and 12 classes like a rogue, paladin, and wizard, then assigning various skill points. The third-person, top-down perspective game uses a die roll or random number to represent the chance and power of each action, including attacks on numerous monsters you'll encounter on exciting quests. A complex toolset used by the original developers is included in the game and allows you to make your own campaign similar to being a dungeon master in D&D.

Best for Party-Based System: Temple of the Elemental Evil

Temple of the Elemental Evil: A Classic Greyhawk Adventure is a more party-focused Dungeons & Dragons-style PC game where players control up to five different characters. It uses the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition rules and is considered to be one of the truest adaptations of the original game.

You choose the five characters in your party either using the game's pre-made selections or by creating your own in a thorough menu screen.

The game's turn-based tactical combat gives players more time to decide actions with an elaborate range of choices possible for your party. Players control their characters through menus, casting specific spells, performing actions or using inventory items all while unraveling a story with a different experience depending on your alignment.

Best for Real-Time Strategy: Dungeons & Dragons Dragonshard

Dungeons & Dragons Dragonshard combines D&D's traditional role-playing elements with a real-time strategy (RTS) game (like Starcraft). And it might sound complicated, but Dungeons & Dragons Dragonshard is designed to walk you through with tutorials that’ll teach you the basics of its controls, combat, how to maintain an economy and army and more. Dual-level maps change up gameplay: The surface world focuses on the RTS aspect of the game with building structures, armies and gathering resources, while the underground level is a more role-playing and a dungeon-crawling experience. The game earned high marks among PC game magazines and critics for its innovative fusion of D&D role-playing and RTS elements.

Best for Immersion: Pillars of Eternity II — Deadfire

Played from an isometric perspective without ever wasting a moment of beauty, Pillars of Eternity II — Deadfire will wow even the most casual D&D fan. The sequel to the award-winning original RPG sets you on a swashbuckling tale over land and sea to pursue a rogue god.

Pillars of Eternity II — Deadfire has you create a character from scratch, picking classes with unique story backgrounds (wizards, paladins or rogues) and then choosing specialized abilities, a subclass and even animal companions, including bears. Socializing and combat are highly customizable and based on your stats and dice rolls, offer a satisfying flow of gameplay where you can pause and tactfully plan out every attack, action and strategy needed (but there's also an option to auto-battle if what you prefer). The game is incredibly immersive with dense, enthralling lore. And the beautiful graphics and animations let you witness every detail.

Best Side Scrolling Beat ‘Em Up: Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara

Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara is a fun side-scrolling, beat-‘em-up. The arcade-style, hack-and-slash game can be played with two players offline and offers a quick-to-the-action approach for D&D PC games.

Chronicles of Mystara comes with two classic Capcom arcade hits: Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom and Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara. And both are played in the same way: You’ll choose a character like a fighter or cleric and battle countless undead and dragons while you gather experience points that’ll level you up and increase your stats. Don’t be mistaken, though, role-playing elements are here, too. Dialogue with a countdown timer forces you to make decisions on where to go and what to do; you still collect and purchase items; and the game includes a side quest list and challenge system.

Best for Beginners: Dungeon Siege 3

Easy to learn for any beginner, Dungeon Siege 3 is an overhead dungeon crawler for PC with basic elements of Dungeons & Dragons. The game is not meant to be complex, offering four easy-to-use classes with equipment and character development that makes playing it a breeze.

The core combat mechanics in Dungeon Siege 3 are fun to play around with, and well-designed encounters have you dodging attacks and utilizing all your abilities to overcome battles. It's easy to gain familiarity with all the well-defined talents, proficiencies and items you pick up as your character levels up. Though it lacks replay value, it’s a great D&D-esque game for anyone who wants to jump into the genre without feeling overwhelmed.

Best for a Modern Feel: Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition is a modern epic that marries a big and gorgeous PC game with a taste of Dungeons & Dragons. Every little thing you do matters​ and the game stays fresh with vast and diverse landscapes filled with hidden treasures, secret paths and unique characters to meet.

In Dragon Age: Inquisition you play as a custom character (and you can tailor their attributes to your liking, including physical features and class) and lead a band of warriors to settle civil unrest. The action role-playing game’s story progression relies on you gaining experience from side-quests and other adventures as you build up power to take on new missions and areas. The game’s world is massive and it utilizes gameplay mechanics from the past and present (count on pausing and giving orders at will, fighting directly and even ambushing enemies by luring them in with traps).

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