The Top 10 Must-Play Turn-Based RPGs for PC Enthusiasts

  • 10-01-2024 |
  • Polad Aladi

Turn-based role-playing games (RPGs) have long been a staple in the gaming world, offering players the chance to immerse themselves in rich, elaborately crafted universes where strategy and thoughtfulness reign supreme. The beauty of turn-based combat allows for a more methodical approach to battles, making each decision a critical pivot point in the unfolding narrative. In this exploration of the top 10 turn-based RPGs for PC, we'll delve into each game's unique offerings, from story depth to game mechanics, which continue to captivate audiences worldwide.

1. Divinity: Original Sin 2 - Definitive Edition

From the moment you set foot in its vast, interactive world, Divinity: Original Sin 2 secures its place as a masterclass in the turn-based RPG genre. Its gripping narrative and beautifully rendered environment make it more than just a game; it’s an experience. Character customization is extensive, with every choice echoing throughout the game, affecting everything from personal character arcs to the overarching plot. The combat system is tactically rich, encouraging players to use the environment to their advantage and combine skills in innovative ways.

2. XCOM 2

XCOM 2 builds upon its predecessor with a renewed sense of urgency and stakes that couldn’t be higher. Set in a world where humanity has lost the war against an alien threat, it’s your task to command a resistance force and reclaim Earth. The game combines base building, resource management, and tight turn-based combat scenarios that will challenge even veteran strategists. Each mission feels important, and the permadeath feature means every soldier counts, adding emotional weight to every encounter.

XCOM 2 poster

3. Persona 5 Royal

While originally a console-exclusive, the critically acclaimed Persona 5 has made its way to PC, allowing a broader audience to dive into its stylish universe. Persona 5 Royal is a testament to storytelling, where players lead a double life as a high-school student by day and a phantom thief by night. The game's turn-based battles are flashy and fast-paced, relying on a refined system that rewards exploiting enemy weaknesses. Outside of combat, the game is teeming with rich character development and a story that addresses real-world issues through an otherworldly lens.

4. Wasteland 3

As the latest entry in a long-standing series, Wasteland 3 takes players to the frozen wastes of a post-apocalyptic Colorado. What stands out in this installment is the combination of tough moral decisions and the impact these choices have on the story’s progression. Teams of customizable characters venture into turn-based skirmishes that require foresight and tactical planning. The game adds a layer of strategy with the Kodiak, a vehicle that players can upgrade and utilize in battles.

5. Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster

Bringing together two classic games in one package, the Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster lets you relive epic journeys in stunning visual clarity. Famous for its Sphere Grid system, Final Fantasy X allows for a granular level of character progression without traditional levels, while its sequel, X-2, introduces fast-paced, job-switching mechanics. Each title in this remastered set boasts compelling narratives, emotional depth, and battles that combine strategy with character-driven storytelling.

Final Fantasy X X-2 HD Remaster game

6. Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler presents a glorious homage to classic RPGs while carving out its own unique space with its striking ‘HD-2D’ graphics style. The game features eight distinct characters, each with their own storyline and abilities, which converge in a rich, intertwined narrative. Its turn-based combat is deceptively simple at first glance but reveals deep tactical layers as players balance boosting abilities and breaking enemy defenses, offering a refreshing take on the genre’s traditional mechanics.

7. Disco Elysium - The Final Cut

Disco Elysium - The Final Cut is not your traditional turn-based RPG; it eschews combat for cerebral encounters where dialogue and inner conflict take center stage. It’s a detective game steeped in choice, with the player's decisions influencing not just the narrative but also the very psyche of the protagonist. This game is a narrative powerhouse, rich in themes and philosophies, offering a deep, text-heavy experience unlike any other. The ‘combat’ here lies in the mental and conversational gymnastics your character performs.

8. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is an homage to the isometric RPGs of old, improving upon its predecessor with a massive, explorable, open world and a dynamic story that reacts to the player's choices. While offering both real-time and turn-based combat, Deadfire’s turn-based mode is fully fleshed out and adds a strategic depth to the game. Naval combat and exploration are unique aspects of this sequel, allowing players to captain a ship across treacherous seas—a novel twist on the RPG formula.

Pillars of Eternity II Deadfire

9. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

Continuing the legacy of this long-running franchise, Dragon Quest XI brings together a feel-good story and traditional turn-based mechanics wrapped in a visually charming package. The game maintains fidelity to its franchise's core ethos, showcasing enhanced visuals and polished mechanics for an upgraded gaming experience. The combat is accessible for newcomers but layered enough for veterans to enjoy deeply. This entry is a celebration of the genre, with joyous storytelling and characters that will leave a lasting impression long after the journey concludes.

10. Shadowrun: Dragonfall - Director's Cut

The world of Shadowrun combines cyberpunk with fantasy to create a unique, dystopian universe, and Dragonfall - Director's Cut represents the pinnacle of this concept. The game shines with its strategic turn-based combat that intertwines tech and magic, a deep storyline, and an atmospheric setting framed by the streets of 2054’s Berlin. It presents a gritty, narratively dense adventure where players lead a team of shadowrunners each boasting individual backstories and abilities to navigate the multifaceted challenges of this dark, futuristic world.

In conclusion, the world of turn-based RPGs is as diverse as it is vast, and these PC titles are the top contenders that prove the genre's resilience and evolution. Whether you are looking to command an army, explore distant worlds, or unravel a complex narrative, each game on this list offers an unforgettable journey filled with engaging characters, challenging combat, and stories worth every second of your time.