A Visual Guide To The Role-Playing Genre

In case you needed a quick primer on the who's who and what's what of the role-playing genre, or just want something pretty to hang on the fridge, here's The Kotaku Genre Guide to Role-Playing Games.

Consider this a round-up of some of the key info you need to know to stay abreast of the role-playing game genre. You've got the top-ranked games, a field guide to RPG sub-genres, and a look at some of the key figures who've made the RPG business what it is today, for better or for worse.


    Very nice guys - well done :)

    No mention of Deus Ex under Role-Playing Shooters.
    I am disappointed in you, Kotaku.

    Why is mass effect 2 on the top 5 twice? Was the PC version different to the 360 one? o.o

    LOL! the difference between eastern and western rpgs is the fact that you cant do shit in eastern and you have choices in western.

    reflection on their lifestyles? YA YA YA

      But it is fair and mentions that story in westerns can suffer.

      I'm a fan of both so ...

        what games have you guys been playing?

        FFX and FFXII i remember had a metric shitton of side quests :S

    I like it, just a little suprised they don't mention the Pokemon creator. Gets it's nothing new just a refined formula.
    That being said he did invent the world's most popular.

    Good stuff. There's a typo in Lord British, missing an I.

    I personally wouldn't class games like Zelda and Diablo as RPGs at all.

    I hate to, you know, bring up the elephant in the room, but KotR was kind of rubbish.

    Funny how fast the RPG genre changes these days.

    Chrono Trigger deserves to be up in the top five. One of the most fantastic games I've ever played.

    And speaking of Pokemon, I finally crumbled and got HeartGold yesterday...

    "combat is generaly menu driven and rarley challenges a players physical prowess"

    then in types of RPG's only two out of 5 are menu based combat?

    Legend of Zelda is hardly an RPG. It's just a straight up action-adventure game.

    One of my only faults with Mass Effect (even though ME2 is one of all time favourite games) is its linearity. A lot will be like, WTF?

    But after the game is finished their is no exploring unless you do a second playthrough.

    ME2 suffers more than ME1. You can't just roam a planet that doesn't have any major missions. I like to walk around, interact and explore. Sometimes outisde of a city/nightclub. I think the scanning planets affected that alot - but i hated the Mako. Hopefully the ME2 vehicle will feature in ME3 and will resolve this issue that, well I have personally.

    A would like to continue to explore and have more worlds that you can search. Meet just normal citizens that have tasks or need help. Even if its cheap or tacky missions like helping rid of some creatures near some guys land or something like that. Things you would find in Action-adventure games like Red Dead Redemption. This allows you to roam the world a bit more freely without being restricted to your spacecraft and planets with missions.

    First person RPGs are not *new*. There's at least System SHock being the oldest one I can think of, then there's System Shock 2 and Deus Ex that's way older than Fallout 3 and Borderlands. Sounds like some minor pro-console bias here. At least they mentioned the original Fallout and Diablo, but still, there's so much to explore.

    2 of the top 5 list are the same game on different platforms- immediate proof positive that as far as top 5 lists go, that one is utterly full of crap.

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