Living for the grind, hunting for that sweet upgrade, put yourself in the shoes of a hero and live out a life of wonder in a fantastical world. These are the hallmarks of a great RPG and why it is so easy to lose yourself in them for hundreds of hours. Some RPGs can simply turn into loot hunts or drag you along a trope-filled road of swords and maidens, but the genre is also one of the most diverse out there. An RPG doesn’t necessarily have to adhere to the old formulas that involve swords and dragons, it just needs to nail that “role-playing” aspect and one particular RPG this year managed to steal our hearts in more ways than one:
Persona 5 had to compete against giants of the genre this year as hardcore RPGs really brought the heat and would definitely deserve this award as well. However, Persona 5 struck a certain resonance in those that played it. This is a story of the ages with characters that are as unique as they are unforgettable. The role-playing aspect is taken quite seriously as you’re a new face in a new town and you carve your way through Shadows and figuring out who you want to befriend. The story covers everything from teenage relationships to the absolute corruption of society’s elite. With a scope like that, you can’t really go wrong.
The game has extremely traditional JRPG mechanics, but what sets Persona 5 apart, is that these mechanics are incredibly fun and accessible to all. People who despise the genre end up loving it and if that’s not a testament to its power, we don’t know what is. Persona 5 was the ultimate in role-playing for us this year and the journey of the Phantom Thieves won’t be easily forgotten soon.
Runner-Up: Torment: Tides of Numenera
Honourable Mention: Divinity: Original Sin 2, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Tales of Berseria, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Golf Story