The five best Xbox RPGs

By Heidi Nicholas,
We've got a good chunk of gaming time over the holidays, so there's no better time to start up a new RPG. If you're looking for your next adventure but aren't sure where to start, we've compiled a list of what we think are five of the best RPGs out there. Just to be clear, this list is a mix of our personal picks and some of the highest-rated titles on our list of RPGs. If you're not seeing your favourite on the list, why not head to the comments and tell us about what you think is the best RPG out there?

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Yakuza: Like a Dragon Achievements

Yakuza: Like a Dragon only has 87 ratings at the moment compared to the 9,000 or so for the two versions of The Witcher 3, but those ratings actually place it above Witcher 3, at the top of the TA list of highest-rated RPGs, with a rating of 4.9/5. You play as Ichiban Kasuga, who has just come out of an 18-year prison sentence to find his clan gone, and who sets out on a quest to become a hero. Yakuza: Like a Dragon was maybe one of the more unexpected hits of this year, but there’s no doubt its own brand of pure silliness is working — Luke gave it a 4.5/5 in his Yakuza: Like a Dragon review, saying it’s “one of the best entries in the Yakuza series.”

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla

Valhalla, Odyssey, and Origins — the three latest AC games — are all near the top of the best-rated RPGs on TA, but it’s Valhalla that gets the spot on this list. That’s just my opinion — while Odyssey and Origins were both fantastic games, Valhalla really builds upon what came before. Valhalla sees you lead your viking crew to England in search of a new home, and you’ll be raiding, foraging, and exploring to find the resources needed to build a settlement. It takes the huge open-world style that Odyssey gave us, reinforces it with more content and better rewards for exploration, and ties it all together around your settlement — and it’s that settlement feature in particular which makes Valhalla stand out from the two previous games. Ravensthorpe, your central hub, features as a bit of an anchor in what could otherwise be a slightly overwhelming open world. The settlement ties into the story and boosts the immersion of your Viking adventure, but it’s also just really useful: when you get tired of traipsing around England trailing loot, resources, and armour, that settlement has everything you need to sell, upgrade, or build, all in one place. Dark Ages England looks beautiful in Valhalla, especially on the Xbox Series X, and the weightier story of Valhalla, together with that huge open world, combines to offer a fantastic RPG.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

Skyrim: Special Edition

It doesn’t look as though Skyrim will ever lose its place at the top of the list of best-loved RPGs. Nine years later, and it’s still held up as a standard for open-world and role-playing games. Hundreds of hours of pure escapism, an expansive story, a world full of myths, legends, and lore, and some top-quality meme fodder, all cement Skyrim as one of the best-loved RPGs out there. Although your role as Dovahkiin might feel a little redundant by the end of the main story, the world of Skyrim feels just as unlimited as it did when you first finally woke up in that rickety cart on the way to your own execution. Just take a look at the Skyrim grandma, who maintains it’s not possible to ever finish the game.

Over 17,000 votes put Skyrim at 4.69/5, with over 4,000 votes putting the Special Edition at 4.74/5. To make things even better, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition has just been added to Xbox Game Pass.

The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds ~ TitledHeroArt

For pure, unadulterated silliness, The Outer Worlds is your best bet — but it’s also a pretty fantastic RPG. The game starts you off in the midst of absolute chaos, and never really slows down from there. A mad scientist bellows at you about conspiracies before shoving you out into the world with no clue what’s going on, and just a vague idea that you’re maybe meant to decide the fate of the Halcyon colony. From there, you can do pretty much whatever you want: helping people or attacking them with bizarre science weapons, saving the colony or causing havoc. Whatever takes your fancy.

The Outer Worlds has that same wacky sense of humour as Obsidian brought to games like Fallout New Vegas, but it’s still entirely its own game, There’s a huge level of detail there if you want to dive into it: endless stats for your increasingly-weird weapons, or leftover diaries and messages from other less fortunate travellers scattered around the world. A vivid story, brightly-coloured worlds, a fantastic cast of characters (of which Parvati is obviously the best,) and that irresistible mad-scientist premise makes The Outer Worlds irresistibly enjoyable.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Kingdom Come: Deliverance Achievements

Let’s take a step back from all the sci-fi and fantasy and look at Kingdom Come: Deliverance, a brilliant RPG entirely grounded in an effort at realism: the idea that there is no grand prophecy, no dragons descending on villages, and no powerful magical skills. You’re just Henry, a nice enough guy, and a bit of an idiot.

Sure, Kingdom Come has some flaws, but the way it went about aiming for that realism was always interesting. Signs and books are unintelligible to Henry at first, and for good reason: until you dedicate some time to Henry’s education, he can’t read. Nor can he fight, or pick locks, or master any other skills which come so naturally to some of those other fantastical protagonists. You have to spend the time to teach Henry how to do those things. He doesn’t know any important people at first to help him on his quest — the game tries to tell us he’s a complete nobody, but the constant ecstatic yells of “Henry’s come to see us!” soon strain that theory to breaking point — and you’re starting right at square one with him, allowing for a wonderful level of immersion as you meticulously plan which armour to wear, what approach to take on quests, what Henry eats, how much he eats, and everything he carries. As a historical RPG based solely around ensuring Henry survives from one day to the next, Kingdom Come: Deliverance is fantastic.

Bonus: Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition

free demo

Easily one of the best surprises of this year’s gaming announcements was the news that Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition was coming to Xbox Game Pass. It’s the first time a Dragon Quest game has been on an Xbox console, and considering that there’s well over 100 hours of content, a fantastic story and soundtrack, and that the game is available on Xbox Game Pass, it’s not surprising to see Dragon Quest XI S sitting high up the list of RPGs with a rating of 4.38/5.

You play as the Luminary, building a party of allies in a mix of turn-based combat and exploration and travelling across the gorgeous world of Erdrea. All-in-all, Dragon Quest definitely brings its own brand of epic tale to the RPG genre, and the Definitive Edition expands the game still further with more content and side stories, the retro 2D mode, and the 16-bit World of Tickington activity.
Heidi Nicholas
Written by Heidi Nicholas
Heidi graduated with an MA in English Literature, and now enjoys writing news, reviews, and features across TrueAchievements and TrueTrophies. When she’s not writing, Heidi is usually either looking for her next RPG, or trying to convince the rest of the team to hear about yet another delightfully wholesome game she has found.
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