Five RPGs you may have missed in 2021

With so many video games released on the market every year, it can be hard to keep track of everything. RPG fans are having a great time in 2021, from great indie games to new titles in the hit series. Bandai Namco gave us two great RPGs in Tales of Arise and Scarlet Nexus. Remastered and remastered editions such as Nier: The Replicant, Mass Effect Legendary Edition and Pok√©mon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl offer a ton of nostalgia while also bringing new fans. The long-awaited entry finally debuts with Shin Megami Tensei V and Neo: The World Ends With You. And that’s just the surface. Here are five role-playing games worth your time that may have slipped off your radar.

east

Switch, PC, Mac

If you like RPGs with a nostalgic ’90s feel, Eastward is worth your time. There’s a lot to love between the pixel art style, the whimsical vibe, and the endearing bond between the protagonists John and Sam. Wacky adventures full of surprises as you unravel the secrets of this strange world, use frying pans to knock enemies back and bombs to blast through obstacles. It’s bizarre and touching, and pays homage to Earthbound with its own arcade game called Earth Born, for you to play when you need to divert the main story. If you want an RPG with simple mechanics and a unique setting, look no further. Read our review to learn more.

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox

Switch, PS4, PC, Stadia

The long-running Ys series continues to shine, and proves it’s not afraid to take some risks along the way with Ys IX: Monstrum Nox. The series still features the iconic red-haired hero Ador, but he gains supernatural abilities and the ability to exorcise monsters. During his adventures, he meets other people with these abilities, all of whom have their own specialties to help you traverse the city and take on the bad guys. Unique traversal methods and increased verticality make exploration a blast, and the big bosses and fast-paced action don’t disappoint. Plus, the story takes place in some wild places. Watch our new game today to learn more.

crystal

PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Stadia

With a beautiful aesthetic and fun concept, Cris Tales grabs your attention and offers plenty of reasons to stop. Ultimately, a love letter to classic RPGs, Cris Tales takes old genre tropes like time travel and makes them more than a gimmick. For example, Cris Tales’ time-jumping mechanic allows you to see the past, present, and future at the same time, which not only leads to interesting exploration, but also interesting combat opportunities. Think about it: use a water spell on an enemy’s powerful shield, then move into the future to rust it, lowering its defense. It’s fun to see the impact of your actions through different timelines, and if the game proves anything, it’s that no future is guaranteed. Read our review.

Wilderness Myth

personal computer

This character-driven, procedurally-generated tactical RPG has received some critical acclaim, but still manages to fly under the radar of many. Its PC exclusivity may be part of the reason, but it’s worth finding a way to play it, especially if you like the tabletop RPG experience. Just like running your own Dungeons & Dragons campaign, you assemble a team, make decisions that affect their story, and fight hordes of enemies in a variety of turn-based combat settings. While each campaign is self-contained, the coolest part about Wildermyth is that you can take the characters you develop into subsequent campaigns, complete with all their stats. Our own Dan Tack said it best in his review: “If you’ve always wanted a fantasy Dungeons & Dragons XCOM game, Wildermyth might be just what you’re looking for. Designing a game around a random narrative is tricky, but Worldwalker pulls with enthusiasm and gravitas.” Read the full review here.

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Fate

PS4, Switch

If you like strategy/RPGs, but prefer a little bit of antics and over-the-top antics, there’s a new entry in last summer’s long-running Disgaea series. This entry is more streamlined, but still retains its humorous tendencies and fun tactical combat that allows you to link ridiculous damage numbers. This time you play as a humble zombie named Zed, who uses the power of super reincarnation to resurrect each time he dies. Zed’s insistence on getting better every time and improving those around him is one of the better storylines in the series. Graphics upgrades and a new, albeit divisive, autoplay feature add some color to the series. If you’ve played other entries, you might like this one. It’s also a good place to start if this is your first Disgaea rodeo.