Role-playing games have been the backburner genre for the past few years, but things are picking up lately with some excellent titles. Some were saying that the RPG is dying in past years. Psssh.
RPGs are not dying off, and this year is evidence of that. Good things are coming from both the East and West, though the results of our nominations definitely seem to lean more toward one side. For you fellow JRPG fans out there, I'm fighting the good fight here. Needless to say, I'm very happy that Xenoblade made the cut.
Here are our nominees for RPG of 2012:
Even if it's not a perfect game, there's something special about Diablo, and it's something that keeps people playing beyond just a basic addiction to loot. That I've already sunk over 40 hours into the game in just over a week and I'm not even close to being bored of it yet is a testament to the magic of Diablo, and something that can't be ignored.
At the end of the day, fun is what gaming should be about, and Diablo III delivers.
Read the full Diablo III review.
Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is an MMO for people who both love and hate MMOs. Outside of living a fulfilling life entirely as a crafter (à la Ultima Online), you can pretty much find solace in anything you can imagine an RPG would provide.
Read our full Guild Wars 2 impressions.
Legend of Grimrock
Personally, when I hear the term "dungeon crawler," I cringe a little. I think of games that are incredibly bland, repetitious, and uninspired. Luckily, Legend of Grimrock is none of these things. With clever puzzles, tactical combat, and secrets upon secrets, Grimrock takes an old-school feel and injects it seamlessly into the modern era.
Read the full Legend of Grimrock review.
If you're a fan of hack 'n slashes, loot fests, or dungeon crawlers, definitely pick up Torchlight II. It's absolutely worth your time and money, and should hold your attention for quite a while. There are portions of the game that could certainly use a little bit of polish, but it's unlikely these problems will turn you off from the game entirely. Grab the game, grab some friends, and get to clicking.
Read the full Torchlight II review.
I am incredibly grateful to Xenoblade Chronicles, for it has rekindled my love for console JRPGs, a love that had been systematically throttled by the likes of Square Enix and tri-Ace for the past few years. Not since Lost Odyssey have I been so thoroughly entranced by a Japanese role-player. As I type this, the beautifully sweeping music from the Bionis' Leg area is washing through my head, accompanied by fond memories of successful chain attacks and expertly crafted gems. There's no denying that Xenoblade has its low points, but those high points are some of the highest of the genre. If you own a Wii, there's very little room to question -- this is a must-have game for Nintendo's humble little system.
Read the full Xenoblade Chronicles review.
Congrats to all the nominees! We'll be announcing the official winner on Friday, December 14. In the mean time we want you to tell us which game this year was the best RPG. Plus, be sure to go vote in our Community Choice Award for your favorite game of 2012.
Check out all our other categories and nominations: