The 8 Best Xbox One Role Playing Games of 2019

Play the best action, sci-fi, strategy and simulation RPGs

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Action: Final Fantasy 15

You are a prince, and it’s a beautiful sunny afternoon as you and your boys cruise in your convertible down a highway touring the countryside only to stop because you want to go beat up a giant chicken; this is Final Fantasy 15. As you traverse through the game’s land, you’ll always find an opportunity for action.

Aside from the down to earth and peculiar scenarios, Final Fantasy 15 is an open-world action RPG where characters fly through the air, acrobatic performances are the norm, blades swing and clash, and you’re always using magical powers. Battles happen in real time, and you and your comrades must utilize their skills in defeating new and unpredictable foes while a myriad of special effects and action sequences take place. The game’s huge sandbox environment means players can explore on their own accord and pick up side quests or jump into the main storyline are they must avert the apocalypse. There’s never a dull moment.

Take a peek at some of the other best Xbox One games you can buy.

Best Sci-Fi: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Bringing the same atmospheres of Blade Runner and Ghost in The Shell, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided brings to life a beautiful sci-fi adventure on the Xbox One. The game’s cyberpunk-themed dystopia takes place in 2029 after augmented humans went into a murdering frenzy caused by the Illuminati. Yes, it’s like that.

In Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, you play as an augmented former private security officer that works with a special Interpol unit sent to take down a weapon smuggler that winds up awry. The game is played in a first-person mode with a third person covering system and combines the elements of both a shooter and RPG. Players combat other technically augmented people, hack various computer systems, sneak around and engage in social interactions as the story’s plot unveils itself and its deeper layers. 

Check out our guide to the best Xbox One fantasy games you can buy today. 

Best Medieval: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
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Arguably the best RPG on Xbox One overall, The Witcher 3 has a lot to offer. Featuring a huge open world that includes horseback riding and sailing, The Witcher 3 follows series protagonist Geralt of Rivia as he explores the Northern Kingdoms and is tasked with finding the daughter of the emperor in a tale that, naturally, turns into something bigger and more world threatening.

The game world is massive and highly detailed, too, and wandering off the beaten path of the main story to explore and hunt down mythical creatures like wyvern, griffins, harpy, vampires, sirens, giants, werewolves and more is a huge part of The Witcher 3’s appeal. There are dozens upon dozens of hours of content in The Witcher 3, with fantastic sword and magic-based combat, a mature and expertly told story and gorgeous visuals and sound that all work together to make this one of the best medieval RPGs ever.

Best New Release: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Set in ancient Greece, the scale of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is resoundingly epic as both an open-world and role-playing game. Combining those two elements creates an adventure that is unlike any previous entry in the series. You’re given the option to play as one of two characters: Alexios or Kassandra. No matter who you choose, you'll find yourself with a bounty on your head soon enough. As mercenaries hunt you down, every decision has a consequence and affects future gameplay.

Strong gameplay aside, the visuals are breathtaking. Ancient Greece looks stunning as a white-stone isle of endless beaches and desert islands dotted with bronze and stone statues, the waves of the Mediterranean crashing in the distance. As your character moves through the game tackling quests large and small, it’s hard not to be impressed by its grand scale.

Best Multiplayer: Borderlands: The Handsome Collection

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection looks like a shooter on the outside, but it is all RPG under the hood with multiple character classes, skill trees, level-up mechanics, quests, NPCs and other RPG mainstays. It also just happens to be a great playing sci-fi shooter to boot.

Taking place on the planet Pandora and its moon, both under the control of the brutal Hyperion corporation, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection includes two full games – Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel – with hundreds of hours of gameplay in each as you fight back against Hyperion while trying to discover ancient alien vaults full of treasure.

Both games can be played cooperatively with up to four players either in local split screen or via Xbox Live, and adding more players makes the games more challenging and fun while also boosting the rewards and drops you earn accordingly. You can play Borderlands by yourself, of course, but the experience really shines when you bring some friends along.

Best Value: Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

Final Fantasy Type 0: HD
Courtesy of Amazon.com

While not a mainline Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD packs more than enough content to compete with its bigger brothers and sisters. Taking place in a world where four nations control four extremely powerful crystals, the story follows the chaos unleashed on the land when one of those countries declares war on the others.

You play as a group of 14 students from one of those countries who are tasked with using their unique magical abilities to bring order back to the world. Combat takes place in real-time action battles where you are free to move around the battlefield and attack at will. Since there are 14 characters, all of which have unique weapons and attacks and other abilities, there is a ton of variety to the combat encounters.

In addition to the replay value offered simply by having so many characters to choose from, the game also offers a New Game+ when you beat it that lets you carry over your stats and abilities while giving you tougher enemies, new missions and new story elements to see. It takes multiple playthroughs to see everything Final Fantasy Type-0 HD has to offer.

Got a 360? Check out our picks for the best Xbox 360 RPGs.

Best Indie: Divinity Original Sin: Enhanced

What started off as Kickstarter project later turned into a critically acclaimed game winning over 150 awards and bringing an unexpected turn in RPGs with “couch co-op” — playing offline, through split screen, with friends. Divinity Original Sin: Enhanced Edition gives players an epic journey of over 80 hours of gameplay to enjoy with their online or offline friends.

Divinity Original Sin: Enhanced Edition is an expansive, non-linear, turn-based isometric RPG that gives the same feeling as the Diablo series. The game gives players a fully customizable character that allows them to define their appearance and class specific roles such as a Wizard or Cleric. Part of the game’s high appraise is due to its in-game world of personalities, professional voice-acted characters, combat challenges and vast interactions with freedom of autonomy to explore.

Looking for strategy games? Read reviews in our roundup of the best Xbox One strategy games.

Best for All Ages: Stardew Valley

Finding an endlessly fun role-playing game isn’t easy, but Stardew Valley excels in every way. A wholesome game that’s appropriate for players of all ages, it’s infectiously adorable and entertaining. You play as a corporate employee who suddenly inherits a farm in Stardew Valley — dreaming of a better life, you pick up and relocate to your new plot of land.

From there, it’s all about getting the farm up and running again. You can choose the crops you grow and the livestock you raise, and you can change what your farm produces as you discover new recipes to sell. There are community events in town during the seasons where you can win prizes and rewards, and the world continues to open up with a seemingly endless array of things to do.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best Xbox One kids' games

What to Look for in an Xbox Role-playing Game

Favorite franchises - The Xbox One isn’t known for exclusive role-playing games that you can’t play on any other console, but you can find RPGs from many of your favorite franchises. If you have an Xbox One, and you’re looking for an RPG, you’ll find entries in fan-favorite franchises like Final Fantasy, The Witcher, Deus Ex, and more.

Co-op - Role-playing games can eat up a tremendous amount of time, so being able to share your adventures with a friend can make for a welcome change of pace. Just make sure to check whether the game includes online co-op, couch co-op, or both. If you want to play a co-op RPG with a buddy on your Xbox One, look for one that features couch co-op. If your friend has their own Xbox One, and you both subscribe to Xbox Live Gold, then go for an online co-op RPG.

Xbox One X enhancements - If you have an Xbox One X and a 4K TV with HDR, look for a role-playing game that has graphical and performance enhancements that your console and television can take advantage of. You’ll get higher resolutions, smoother frame rates, and usually improved textures as well, all of which can help suck you into the world of the game.