If you haven’t heard the news about the next generation of consoles coming, November 10th for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 on November 12th, then “Hi, Welcome to Earth.” So Gaming Access Weekly wanted to see what some of our staff remember fondly this generation. This time we asked them about their favorite RPG.

“We don’t mind which type you like, be it an Action RPG, JRPG, Sandbox RPG, or MMORPG or anything in between, What was your Favorite RPG game this generation?”

Here is what they had to say!

John D.
Chief Operating Officer/Really needs to start that Arcane Book Collection

Choice: NieR: Automata

Because you let me pick Action RPG everything else lost. While Dragon Age: Inquisition is a very close runner-up, with The Witcher III right on its heels, NieR: Automata is a clear winner for me. Androids vs Robots with so much drama and action it will make your head spin. 26 different endings; some humorous, few devastating. Some blatant story-telling, some twists, and turns. It’s a brilliant and fun game with an amazing soundtrack.

Sure, it looks like a weeaboo’s dream come true…and it is. But it’s so much more than that. This game, to me, was beautiful and I put in 111 hours on PC (not combined) and bought it for both of my consoles and have played it again and again. Combat is hack-and-slash action-based, but there is also a mech component once in a while also.

Like all Hack-and-Slashes, during battle, the player can use light attacks and heavy attacks can hold up to two weapons. The player can evade enemy attacks and, with successfully timed button presses, can gain temporary invulnerability and launch a counterattack that deals heavy damage, which is always a blast. The upgrade is something new and interesting and once you find your favorite upgrades you become a non-stop robot-bashing machine…literally. All around A++ for NieR: Automata. And, Yes, I did preorder the special edition of NieR: Replicant coming out next year, thanks for asking!

Marc Watson
Jr. Staff Writer/Literally has Chrono Trigger decals all over his car.

Choice: Zelda: Breath of the Wild

As a gamer from the decidedly old part of the school, I naturally gravitated to more traditional fare. Neir, Skyrim, and Witcher are RPGs I admit, but they’re too flashy for me. I like my sprites how I like my ginger-ale: flat! So no small part of me wants to give this to the Tokyo RPG Factory gems I Am Setsuna or Lost Sphere, or both! It’s basically the same game!

However, even though we’re here to usher out the PS4 and Xbox One generation, my pick comes from a system still going strong this generation in the Switch. Zelda: Breath of the Wild is everything Myamoto-san envisioned when he was a young man in the suburbs of Kyoto, adventuring in the forests that inspired the first NES Zelda. Nintendo came out with a game that just has so much going for it, it still baffles me that all of that goodness fits on a tiny Switch cartridge.

The secrets! The vistas! The practically-unlimited ways you can kill your enemies! The list of characters so rich and deep it’s practically War and Peace in Hyrule. It may not have the horsepower of the bigger systems behind it, but with this much charm and character, it doesn’t need it. The moment you turn it on and look out off the Great Plateau, knowing full well that in the hours to come you are going to explore every distant place you see, you’re enveloped in this world like no other game I have ever played. The difficulty can be Dark Souls-high at times, but it gets you there with patience and a bit of luck until eventually, you’re back-flipping Stalfos attacks while perfectly parrying Guardian blasts. The well of this game is so deep I don’t think it can ever run dry, and I can’t wait for Part 2 to keep the good times coming.

Robin G.
Sr. Editorial Writer/Loves RPG’s more than any genre, which includes immersive-sims! 

Choice: PREY (2017)

This generation has given us so many fantastic, diverse RPG’s that it’s really hard to even widdle down a list of strong contenders. Over the past 6 years we’ve had incredible, sprawling RPG’s like The Witcher 3: The Wild HuntFallout 4Dragon Age: Inquisition, Nier: Automata (I promise to play it soon John, I swear), Assassins Creed Odyssey, and heck, even Skyrim and its consequent next-gen version. I’ve mentioned maybe a tiny fraction of the many fantastic RPGs that have come out in the last few years: it’s really a good time to be a fan of role-playing games. Now here’s the shocking part, my favorite “RPG” is not a traditional RPG but an off-shot evolution that doesn’t get the love that it does: the immersive sim genre, specifically, Arkane’s Prey (2017). 

Now yes, an immersive sim is not your traditional RPG where players level up but instead have a unique approach towards player agency, choice, flexibility, and more. PREY has all of these elements in a complex, astounding package that combines brilliant level design, interesting characters, an endless amount of choice through game mechanics and world-building that rivals many vast, open-world RPG’s that have become so ubiquitous. PREY forgoes the vast, sprawling worlds filled with thousands of things to collect and do and instead goes all-in on a laser focus approach where players are fully immersed in a haunting science fiction universe with so many secrets and stories to uncover.

Walking the halls of the Talos-I station, making hard choices in how to build my character, reading every email I could, became an experience that will last with me for a very long time. Arkane has crafted such a complex ebb-and-flow embedded in the systems that hold up PREY’s world, that I still don’t think I fully experienced everything that the world has to offer which begs for a second playthrough. PREY is not your traditional role-playing game, but it’s a role-playing game where I felt like my role actually mattered.

Christopher T.
Staff Writer/I should’ve picked Super Mario RPG!

Choice: Need For Speed (2015)

After quite a bit of thought, my runner up for greatest RPG this generation is Dragon Age: Inquisition. BioWare set the standard for immersive RPG’s and the third installment of the Dragon Age series is no exception. Dragon Age Inquisition was my first Dragon Age experience, which I quickly rectified soon after many countless hours of exploring the vast world of Thedas in Inquisition. Despite the Legendary Awesomeness of Dragon Age Inquisition, my favorite RPG of the generation is Need For Speed 2015.

I know many reader’s heads are probably exploding at my RPG pick, however, EA and Ghost games created an awesome RPG in the form of a racing game. In Need For Speed, as players compete in events they earn experience points called REP. REP unlocks new car part upgrades such as exhausts, engine blocks, manifolds, and air-intakes as well as a multitude of other engine performance parts to squeeze the maximum amount of horse-power and handling out of their car.

REP is extremely easy to earn as players obtain it from completing events but also from performing specific actions during events and free roam such as drifting, drafting, and hitting top speeds. Players also earn a secondary form of XP in the form of cash which is more finite in its availability, but lets players choose the best approach to succeeding at the game. A great example would be using cash to invest in a single automobile to be a jack of all trades for the various types of racing or allowing players to use a single car build per race type.

Players can freely explore the city and engage in side activities such as procuring ‘free’ car parts, as well as locating scenic photo ops and street art. After players earn enough REP in Need For Speed 2015 they unlock the Eddie side missions. The Eddie side missions give the player opportunities to score big REP and cash at the expense of extremely difficult, sprint, circuit, drift, and gymkhana events.

Players are fully immersed as they play a silent protagonist while interacting with the five main characters representing the five different racing styles that can be played or ignored depending on what is preferred. There is so much to discuss in regard to Need for Speed 2015, however, what finally sets it above the rest is the live-action cut-scenes mixed with real-time 3D, not to mention Magnus Walker is in the game and players get to race him head to head.

Amanda G.
Community Development Team/Would really like more hours in a day

Choice: Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate

After the launch horror that was Assassin’s Creed Unity, I was about ready to swear off the Assassin’s Creed series. I hated Arno, and I was mad at Ubisoft for remarks about animating female characters.

The announcement trailer for Syndicate brought me back. I love London, and the Industrial Revolution is one of my favorite eras in World History. It’s one of the reasons I love the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies so much too. Jacob was the only Frye featured in the trailer, but a month later, one was released with Evie. TALK ABOUT BADASS. The game was was everything I wanted. Jacob was your typical “I’m going to punch things until I get my way,” but Evie was the exact opposite. She was smart, she was methodical, she was the TOTAL BRAINS OF THE OPERATION, and never got enough credit for it. Honestly, it would have been great if Jacob hadn’t been so bull-headed.

Gameplay-wise, some people found it stale, but I loved taking over London district by district. It made me think of inFamous: Second Son. (Which I almost wrote about.) Some people say it’s not an RPG. For me, it hit all the buttons to be called one. You level up, you craft things, you hunt for supplies to craft things, there’s loot for days, and you even recruit followers! (The whole gang mechanic was one of my favorite things in the game.) Did I mention loot for days? I was beyond impressed with the number of weapons I found in the game with all their different attributes. GOLD. The combat was fluid and awesome; I loved taking down guys as Evie.

Jacob was okay. But if I could have played the whole game as Evie, I would have.

(The Jack the Ripper DLC? I could go on even more. SO GOOD.)

In short, Aveline stood and Evie walked so Kassandra could run. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk!

Well folks, there it is. The best RPG games this generation according to our staff. Do you agree? What games would you put on the list? Tell us in the comment section below!

Stay Tuned for more Generation lists right here at Gaming Access Weekly.

About The Author

John D
Chief Operating Officer

John Donadio a.k.a. SomeBeardy2Love is the COO here at GAW. He once had a show that he produced, wrote, and co-hosted called the Wide World of Games, you can probably find it on youtube. He is also a co-host on a podcast called Party Up! John is an Action-Adventurer, platformer, RPGer, and FPS kind of gamer. Quick to play any game that has magic, swordplay, and/or stealthy elements. If you can customize a character he is in it for the long haul or just give me your 2D platform and he's a happy camper. What else do you expect from a gamer with a beard and a bow tie tattoo? Seriously.