The 8 Best PC RPGs of 2020

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: The Witcher 3 - Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Courtesy of Amazon

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a stunning role-playing game from beginning to end. Even if you haven’t played the previous titles in the series or read any of the books from which the franchise is based, you can dive right in with The Witcher 3 and enjoy the rich fantasy world.

Everywhere you go in the game world, you’ll be faced with dazzling detail, remarkable design, and no lack of fantastic creatures to battle. While you’ll play as Geralt of Rivia, a Witcher specialized in combating magical creatures, and Ciri, you can customize your weapons, armor, abilities, and some aspects of your appearance.

The base game offers a massive story, woven together with plenty of engaging and delightful characters and an expansive world. There’s also a wide array of side quests, and with multiple endings, you can play it multiple times making different choices. And, all of that is before factoring in the major expansions, which add on new areas and plots to follow, making The Witcher 3 an even better RPG than it already is. Since the graphics can scale up with your PC, the game just gets that much more stunning when you pair it with a powerful gaming rig.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic

Licensed properties used to make video games can be a dicey prospect, but Star Wars fans got incredibly lucky with Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The role-playing game takes players into the early days of the Star Wars universe, well before the events of the original Star Wars trilogy and even the prequel trilogy.

In Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic, you will create your own character, choosing from multiple classes and picking skills. Your character will wake up with amnesia, unsure of who they, and all that mystery will play out over the course of the game. Of course, what fun would it be if there wasn’t the opportunity to become a Jedi.

You’ll get to enjoy lightsaber battles while you explore the galaxy along with multiple NPC (non-player character) companions. As you make decisions in the game, your character’s alignment with the light and dark sides of the force will also change. Want to be a Sith Lord or a Jedi Knight? This game gives you the choice amidst a giant world and epic storyline.

Best First-Person: The Elder Scrolls III - Morrowind

The Elder Scrolls franchise has many titles released, but the third installment especially stands out. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind's universe is in full 3D, and gives you the freedom to do pretty much whatever you want. From the very beginning, you can explore wherever you want, and do so entirely at your own peril.

The world of Morrowind is sprawling and fantastical. While the graphics are likely to feel more than a bit dated nowadays, most modern computers will be easily able to run the game. Despite its age, the game still has a substantial main storyline that will offer you plenty of playability, thanks to side quests, the availability of expansions, and the option to play through everything all over again with a totally different character with entirely different skills.

In Morrowind, you get to create the character you want and see them become more capable as you level them up. The progression system is especially compelling, as your character will become more advanced in the skills that you use most.

Runner-Up, Best First-Person: The Elder Scrolls V - Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim takes place in an entirely different part of the world from Morrowind and at a very different time, but fans of the series can catch hints of events from the past and events yet to come, furthering the sense of immersion in the game world.

The Elder Scrolls V lets you create your own character and explore the Nordic world of Skyrim. The world is massive, and the graphics are a lot less dated than Morrowind for folks that care about that. Similar to Morrowind, there is a massive storyline and plenty of side stories that offer nearly as much gameplay. Unlike Morrowind, for better or worse, Skyrim doesn’t let you kill characters that are necessary for the story to unfold. That said, Skyrim really does let you do a lot, choosing from a variety of classes, leveling up to tackle the most daunting challenges however you prefer.

Best Third-Person: Mass Effect 2

Not every great RPG takes place in an old-timey fantasy environment. The Mass Effect series one example. And for the best third-person PC RPG, check out Mass Effect 2, where you'll follow Commander Shepard in a battle against a threat to life everywhere.

Mass Effect 2 (and the series in general) gives you some options for choosing your character, with Shepard playable as either a male or female, plus customizable looks and class. From there, you’ll have the option to play the game how you want. Your choices in Mass Effect 2 are vital, as your decisions can have lasting impacts on your relations in the game and the outcome of events. It’s not just a game about your skills during battle, but also your effective decision-making.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a great RPG if it just had a great storyline that changes with your decisions. The game also has a wide world for you to explore, and exciting arsenal of weapons at your disposal, and plenty of interesting character to befriend or antagonize. The choice is yours.

Runner-Up, Best Third-Person: Dragon Age - Origins

If you love an RPG loaded with royal strife, dragons and demons, knights and mages, then you’re going to love Dragon Age: Origins.

In this game, you’ll enter a world that’s in danger as the result of a civil war on one side and a powerful archdemon threatening humanity on the other side. You’ll play as a Grey Warden, part of a legendary order of guardians. But, you’ll get to customize your character and have the choice to play the game how you see fit. You can choose from a variety of origin stories for your character, and further shape your character through your choices in the complex situations you’ll encounter.

Beyond fighting massive enemies and brutally executing your foes, you’ll be confronted with murder, genocide, betrayal, and human trafficking, and the game will force you to make tough decisions that will have an impact on your character and the world around you.

Best Isometric: Baldur's Gate II - Shadows of Amn

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Courtesy of Amazon

Baldur’s Gate is a classic RPG franchise based in the Forgotten Realm setting of Dungeons & Dragons. When it comes to role-playing games, D&D stands out. So, it should come as no surprise that Baldur’s Gate also stands out as an excellent RPG franchise on PC. The best of the franchise is Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn.

In the game, you’ll create your own character, choosing class, abilities, appearance, and alignment. You can also use pre-made characters. You’ll ultimately build out a team and explore the country of Amn and its capital, Athkatla. If you don’t want to play alone, friends can join, taking control of extra characters or the NPCs you’ve recruited. But even without other friends to play, this can give you the D&D experience without the need to find a Dungeon Master or a host of other players committed to a campaign.

As you explore, you’ll face monsters, explore dungeons, and make use of a wide assortment of spells and weapons. And, with hundreds of hours worth of gameplay, you won’t run out of things to do quickly. Unsurprisingly, this classic RPG masterpiece comes from none other than BioWare.

Runner-Up, Best Isometric: Divinity - Original Sin II

Divinity: Original Sin II - Definitive Edition

Courtesy of Steam

Since advanced 3D graphics have allowed for immersive RPGs in first- and third-person perspectives, it may seem like the old-school isometric game perspective has been lost to a forgotten time or obscure games. But, as Divinity: Original Sin II demonstrates, the isometric perspective still has life in modern video games, and excellent ones at that. And, the Definitive Edition improved on an already excellent game.

In Divinity: Original Sin II, you’ll create your own character, choosing their origin, appearance, skills, and more. Together with a crew of NPCs or other human players online or locally, you'll explore the beautifully rendered and highly detailed world of Rivellon.

You’ll get to engage in advanced combat that will let you get a lot more clever about how you take down enemies than just hitting them in the head with a sword. If you love an old-school RPG with lots to do and see but just can’t get behind dated graphics, this is a great option for you.

Our Process

Our writers spent 3.5 hours researching the most popular RPGs for PC on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 60 different games overall, read over 32 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 6 of the games themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.