From sprawling worlds where every action you make can affect everyone in it to enthralling number crunching and customization, role-playing games have a lot to offer.
Thankfully, we’re in no shortage of RPGs to look forward to in the coming months and even years. From ports and remasters of classic games to brand new adventures, here are the upcoming RPG games you can look forward to in 2018 and beyond.
We didn’t include games that were predominantly action games with some minimal RPG elements because there are dozens and dozens of the things these days. We’re looking for everything you think of when you think of RPGs, from class customization to open worlds, deep narratives, stat-heavy combat systems, and ridiculous game titles.
Here are all of the upcoming new RPG games of 2018 and beyond:
1. Metal Max Xeno
Developer: Kadokawa Games, Cattle Call, 24Frame Publisher: Kadokawa Games Release Date: April 19, 2018 Genre: RPG Platform: PS4, PS Vita
An open world, post-apocalyptic, role-playing game with tanks? Sign us up!
The Metal Max series has been going strong since 1991 but Metal Max Xeno marks the second time the series heads west with the first being Metal Saga in 2006, according to Gematsu. The series features turn-based battles where players fight on foot or in tanks and other vehicles.
Vehicles are salvaged from the world and can have their health, weapons, and more enhanced and modified. The game also has character classes and multiple endings. Definitely something to keep an eye out for.
2. South Park: The Fractured But Whole Switch
Developer: Ubisoft San Francisco Publisher: Ubisoft Release Date: April 24, 2018 Genre: RPG Platform: Nintendo Switch
2017’s most irreverent RPG is coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2018.
Heavy laudedSouth Park: The Fractured But Whole for its great presentation, off-the-rails story, interesting strategy combat, and customization options despite its tedious puzzles. “South Park: The Fractured But Whole is a genuinely entertaining and engaging experience from start to finish,” said reviewer Collin MacGregor. So we’re definitely happy that the game is coming to the Switch.
3. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment Publisher: Versus Evil Release Date: May 8, 2018 Genre: RPG Platform: PC
Pillars of Eternity, a spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, was one of the biggest surprises of 2015. It was created with support from a crowdfunding campaign that raised nearly $4 million and the full release earned critical acclaim. Now Obsidian Entertainment is gearing up for a sequel.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire has players returning to Eora to face off against or help the god Eothas on his path of destruction, according to the official website. You’ll travel across the Deadfire with your teammates in your ship coming across different encounters and undiscovered lands. The game adds a new companion relationships system where companions not only interact with you but each other depending on your decisions within the world. The game also has its own dedicated ship-to-ship combat system with players being able to upgrade vessels.
We can expect Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire to be just as good as the original if not better, but we do have to be wary of Obsidian’s history of buggy launches. Let’s see if they can make lightning strike twice.
4. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux
Developer: Atlus Publisher: Atlus Release Date: May 15, 2018 Genre: RPG Platform: Nintendo 3DS
The cult classic Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is graduating from the Nintendo DS to the 3DS.
As a member of the united nations, you travel to the Schwarzwelt, a world of dark energy filled with demons that threatens to consume the world. The Redux edition retains all the same dungeon crawling and demon collecting fun from the original but includes new story content, additional endings, updated visuals, UI tweaks, a brand new dungeon, and more according to Gematsu. You’ll meet a new, mysterious character named Alex with a grudge against you.
Fans of hardcore RPGs will find much to love from Strange Journey, so if you haven’t already now is the perfect time to experience it.
5. Dark Souls Remastered
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: Virtuos Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment Release Date: May 25, 2018 Genre: Action-Adventure, RPG Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
If at first you don’t succeed, die, die again.
After being anticipated for some time and rumored to be a launch title for the Switch, a remastered edition of Dark Souls is finally happening. The remaster gives us all the Dark Souls content we love but now on modern consoles and with the Artorias of the Abyss DLC included as well as updated resolutions and framerates.
This is wonderful, but we can’t help but feel a bit bummed that the Switch version runs at only 30 fps, especially since playing Dark Souls: Remastered portably will be the definitive way to play this definitive edition. We also want the least fun parts of the game like fighting the Bed of Chaos and the Capra Demon get a bit of an upgrade, but we’re not holding our breath. And let’s not forget the legendarily terrible PC port of the original game, though judging by the excellent PC port of Dark Souls III the PC port of Dark Souls: Remastered shouldn’t be bad at all.
The only thing we can do for now is prepare to die… again.
Focus Home Interactive
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment Publisher: Focus Home Interactive Release Date: June 5, 2018 Genre: Action-Adventure, RPG, Horror Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Few role-playing games these days don’t really allow you to, y’know, role-play. But Vampyr will allow you to do just that as you take on the role of doctor turned vampire Jonathan Reid during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic.
According to our report, you decide on who and who not to feed on and turn into a fellow vampire by studying their habits and routines. Combat has you fighting different kinds of vampires with melee and vampiric abilities. You also have access to a dialogue wheel and a skill tree to improve your skills. The game has multiple endings with one of them found by not killing a single person and maintaining your cover as a doctor.
7. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA
Developer: Nihon Falcom Publisher: NIS America Release Date: June 26, 2018 Genre: Action-Adventure, RPG Platform: Nintendo Switch
The critically acclaimed Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA on PS4 and PS Vita is coming to the Nintendo Switch on June 26, 2018, as well as the PC sometime in 2018.
Travel a cursed island as the hero Adol with your shipwrecked crew as you challenge monsters and solve the mysteries involving a blue-haired girl Dana. You’ll switch consciousness between Adol and Dana in order to traverse each other’s worlds, according to the official website. Meet other people on the island and build your own village. Combine different damage types and attack skills to take advantage of enemy weaknesses and block or dodge enemy attacks at the right time for powerful counterattacks.
8. Octopath Traveler
Developer: Square Enix Publisher: Nintendo Release Date: July 13, 2018 Genre: RPG Platform: Nintendo Switch
If Square Enix’s recent returns to classic JRPG formulas with Bravely Default and I Am Setsuna are any indication, then Octopath Traveler should be something special indeed.
Octopath Traveler sees eight travelers journeying through eight different adventures, according to the official website. The game’s battle system lets you take advantage of enemy weaknesses to break through their defenses. You can store Boost Points with each turn and spend them at the right time to power up skills, chain attacks, or provide aid.
Each hero has their own distinct abilities that they can use in battle and while interacting with NPCs in the game’s world. For example, the apothecary Alfyn can mix items to heal allies and create explosive attacks in battle while using his inquire skill when talking to NPCs to receive info other heroes can’t. Later in the game, you can combine your primary job with a secondary one to combine their weapons and skill lists, according to our report.
The game launches July 13, 2018, with a special edition containing the game, an eight page pop-up book, a music selection soundtrack, a double-sided map, and a replica of the in-game coins.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is the long awaited 11th entry in the beloved series. Players play as a hero believed to be a harbinger of darkness and is hunted down as such. But with an eclectic cast of characters, they’ll learn of the ominous threat facing the world.
The game will retain the open world and enemy encounters of Dragon Quest IX, with players finding monsters exploring the world instead of encountering them randomly. The game will also use the dynamic camera system seen in Dragon Quest IX for combat along with a new camera system controlled by the player according to a recent trailer. Other than that, it looks to be the same Dragon Quest formula we know and love. And according to the official website, the game will keep us playing well over 100 hours with side quest and mini-games.
Too bad it’s not coming to the Switch this year, according to IGN. Plus the 3DS version will be released in Japan but not in the US according to the publication.
10. Shining Resonance Refrain
Developer: Media.Vision Publisher: SEGA Release Date: September 25, 2018 Genre: RPG Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
One of SEGA’s biggest JRPG franchises is coming state side. The remastered edition of the 2014 PS3 game Shining Resonance Refrain will be released in the west in the summer, according to Siliconera.
Shining Resonance Refrain sees the hero stopping the empire from exploiting the power of the ancient dragons, including the soul of the Shining Dragon within you. The game has a real-time action battle system with your party members using instrument-like attacks and music during combat.
The remastered edition comes with over 150 items of DLC content from the original along with new songs and costumes. The game also includes a Refrain Mode where previously unplayable characters can join your party.
11. Code Vein
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: Bandai Namco Studios Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment Release Date: 2018 Genre: Action-Adventure, RPG Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
From Bandai Namco, the publisher of Dark Souls, comes their own Dark Souls clone with Code Vein. Judging by a preview from Kotaku UK, however, it looks to be a lot more than a Souls clone.
The game tasks your vampiric hero with battling horrific monsters through a post-apocalyptic world in order to end their blood-sucking existence. Combat is very similar to its Souls inspiration with light attacks, heavy attacks, blocks, dodge rolls, and parries all governed by a stamina meter. You also have a limited supply of healing items and when you die you respawn at the last “bonfire” and try to reach your “bloodstain” to reclaim your lost currency/experience.
However, Code Vein adds an Ichor (magic) meter which lets you boost your defense, electrify your weapon, pull enemies towards you, use guns, and more. You also get a launcher attack which can put space between you and your enemy and a charged melee attack that makes you dash forward while restoring and increasing your total Ichor. But the biggest change is that you can be accompanied by an NPC companion that can cast defensive spells, attack, draw aggro of enemies away from you, and even revive you so long as you have enough Ichor available and they don’t die themselves. Kotaku UK found that the NPC was very competent and gave a bit of a safety net to bosses while the game retained its overall difficulty.
While Kotaku UK had some issues with the framerates, that could be down to the preview build. Either way, we can’t wait for some anime-flavored Dark Souls.
12. Kingdom Hearts III
Developer: Square Enix Business Division 3 Publisher: Square Enix Release Date: 2018 Genre: Action-Adventure, Hack & Slash, RPG Platform: PS4, Xbox One
Kingdom Hearts III is finally coming soon after what feels like forever.
The game will feature all of the characters you’ve known and loved for decades of course, but with some added twists. You’ll be able to change your Keyblade into different froms from dual guns to a rocket launcher and even a pegasus leading a chariot, according to GameSpot. Each Keyblade transformation will be unlocked by clearing all missions in a world. You’ll also have access to summon attacks with Sora riding on Disneyland rides. Some mechanics will return such as situation commands according to Gaming Bolt. The Gummi Ship is also returning with 360 degree control according to Comicbook.com.
Sora will once again travel to iconic Disney worlds. We already know that we can explore the worlds of Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Big Hero 6, Hercules, and Tangled. Rumor has it that we’ll also see a world set in The Jungle Book too.
Hopefully the frantic and explosive action we’ve seen in the trailers is an indication that we won’t be waiting in vain.
The beloved The World Ends With You is getting a remastered edition on the Switch. The World Ends With You Final Remix takes Neku and friends to a purgatory version of Shibuya, Tokyo where they must work together to complete a deadly game from a mysterious organization and return to the land of the living. The Final Remix version will take advantage of both touch controls and the new Joy-Con controls. The dual screen setup of the original has been replaced with what appears to be the setup from the mobile port with both partners on the same screen, complete with HD graphics. Plus there will be a brand new story epilogue.
Developer: Klei Entertainment Publisher: Klei Entertainment Release Date: 2018 Genre: RPG Platform: PC
From the creators of Mark of the Ninja, Don’t Starve, and Invisible Inc. comes their brand new game Griftlands. The game is billed as an RPG where “everything is negotiable” including money, loyalty, and morality.
Designer Kevin Forbes toldRock Paper Shotgun that the game is a “pirate/mercenary sandbox” letting you loose in a world with a simulated economy. The game will feature scripted questlines along with procedurally generated NPCs.
The turn-based battles will have morale and NPC personality be big factors with many fights ending when one team subdues the other. Murder has mechanical repercussions down the road and NPCs can have grudges.
15. Sunless Skies
Developer: Failbetter Games Publisher: Failbetter Games Release Date: 2018 Genre: Adventure, RPG Platform: PC
Sequel to Sunless Sea, Sunless Skies will have players traveling through the vastness of space to help expand the 20th century British Empire. The stars are intelligent beings but are dying one by one, with the empire swooping in to take the spaces they once oversaw.
Players travel across space faring ports holding passengers and cargo, all the while balancing resources and your crew. Your actions can have big political consequences across the regions and can affect future captains. You’ll be able to upgrade your ship and hire new recruits with their own skills and stories as you battle against space pirates and more.
The game is in early access right now and so far the response has been pretty positive. While it’s likely one of the new RPG games of 2018 you’ve never heard of, you should check it out for yourself and look forward to the final release sometime in 2018.
From the creators of Rainbow Moon comes a brand new RPG experience in the form of Rainbow Skies.
The game has players in the role of Daimon as he takes the final examination as a monster tamer. But after a terrible hangover, he not only fails the test but destroys the monster compound. It’s up to him and his friends to not only fix things but keep the balance between two rival super powers.
The game has you taming and breeding monsters as you explore dungeons and fight monsters in grid and turn-based battles. The game also promises loads of optional and endgame content including treasure hunt quests and a new main story.
Developer: Spiders Publisher: Focus Home Interactive Release Date: 2018 Genre: Action/Adventure, RPG Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Greedfall has you playing as one of the settlers and treasure hunters on a remote island filled with magic and maybe even lost riches, according to the official website. You’ll be fighting the native population and their supernatural protectors while exploring an interconnected world that changes with every action you make. Quests can be completed through combat, stealth, and even diplomacy.
This all sounds cool, but we have to keep in mind that Spiders is behind the game. While Of Orcs and Men was great, that’s really the only game they’re known for with the rest being average at best. So maybe keep an eye out for reviews before you pick this one up.
18. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey
Developer: AlphaDream Publisher: Nintendo Release Date: 2019 Genre: RPG Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story is being remade for the 3DS. This follows the remake of the first game in the much loved Mario & Luigi series, Superstar Saga. Curiously, Nintendo is skipping the second installment, Partners in Time, for the third entry of Bowser’s Inside Story. This may be because the third game was far better received thanks to its innovative gimmick of playing as Bowser while switching to the Mario Bros. trapped inside him for puzzle solving.
Either way, we can expect updated visuals and music. The game will also come packaged with Bowser Jr.’s Journey, a side game similar to the Bowser’s Minions game from the Superstar Saga remake.
19. The Surge 2
Focus Home Interactive
Developer: Deck13 Publisher: Focus Home Interactive Release Date: 2019 Genre: Action-Adventure, RPG Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
The Surge didn’t exactly set the world on fire even though it had its fans. It was great to finally get a sci-fi take on the Dark Souls formula but it was marred by difficulty spikes and other limitations. Hopefully Deck 13 can turn things around with The Surge 2.
The Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 will “keep what fans and critics loved about the original while also expanding greatly upon the formula,” according to publisher Focus Home Interactive and the developers. The game will take place from the ruins of the CREO company in the first game to an entire city.
The game will also iterate on The Surge‘s “limb targeting system” which separated the game from its Dark Souls inspiration, where attacks can target certain body parts on enemies so they can sever them and use their resources for upgrades. Plus there will be more abilities, weapons, implants, and drones to find.
20. Wasteland 3
Developer: inXile Entertainment Publisher: N/A Release Date: 2019 Genre: RPG Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
After reviving the Wasteland series with Wasteland 2, inXile is back at it again with a third entry.
Wasteland 3 will follow up from the squad-based role-playing gameplay of its predecessors but according to Rock Paper Shotgun the game will take place in the frozen wastes of Colorado and include vehicles and “an interesting take on cooperative multiplayer.” Co-op will see friends controlling their own squad of rangers together with your games being linked, meaning that one player can complete quests and change the world without the other being there, leaving surprises for the other player when they return.
According to the crowdfunding campaign, the game will also add new environmental dangers, a reworked action system, a a revamped dialogue tree system. They decided to fund the game on Fig because studio head Brian Fargo believed that momentum was slowing down on Kickstarter.
Will Wasteland 3 be another hit? Or will it just waste everyone’s time? We’ll just have to wait and see when the game launches sometime in 2019.
Developer: Bioware Publisher: EA Release Date: 2019 Genre: Action-Adventure, RPG Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
While Anthem is more of an action game than an RPG, EA’s answer to Destiny should still scratch that same number crunching, gear collecting itch.
In the shared open world, you travel from your home behind the wall to the untamed lands beyond. Up to four players fight search for loot while piloting power armor equipped with unique weapons, abilities, and customization options built from gear collected and crafted, according to the official website. You’ll also have to deal with world-altering events like Shaper Storms.
With a loot-based gameplay system like this and judging from recent AAA gaming trends, we can expect to see microtransactions even though they haven’t been officially confirmed. Seeing how people reacted to Star Wars Battlefront II‘s loot boxes, however, EA will likely be pretty quiet on this front.
According to analyst Michael Pachter, the microtransactions will likely be cosmetic to distance itself from how Battlefront II’s loot box controversy revolved around tying in-game advantages to in-game purchases. But that won’t make them any less tempting and will be very distracting in a game that will cost $60 on top of it.
We’ll have to wait and see when Anthem finally releases sometime in 2019.
22. Cyberpunk 2077
CD Projekt Red
Developer: CD Projekt Red Publisher: CD Projekt Release Date: TBA Genre: RPG Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Cyberpunk 2077 was first announced in May 2012 and quickly became vaporware in the same vein as The Last Guardian. But a little tease on the official Twitter account in early January all but confirmed that the game’s development is still going strong.
Based on the tabletop game, Cyberpunk 2077 will be CD Projekt Red’s first game outside of their critically acclaimed Witcher series. President Adam Kiciński recently toldDualShockers that we can expect character creation and classes and hinted at a possible multiplayer component. Classes are a lot more unconventional with players choosing to play as a rock star, rogue corporate executive, an investigative journalist, and more according to NAG Online. There will be no microtransactions or other “games as a service” business models according to CD Projekt Red.
A rumor is going around that the game will take place in a living city with different areas allegedly changing according to complex AI rules whether or not the player is interacting with them.
Either way, Cyberpunk 2077 is shaping up to be something truly special. We’ll have to see if it was worth the wait.
After years of speculation and hope, we’re finally (eventually) getting a remake of the legendary Final Fantasy VII.
We got the news back at E3 2015, which confirmed that long time Final Fantasy veterans Yoshinori Kitase and Tetsuya Nomura are leading the project and that it’s coming to PS4. One year later we found out that the game will feature more action-based combat akin to Final Fantasy XV and that its release will take on an episodic structure with multiple, full-sized games.
Since the, however, the project has been relatively quiet. The latest update is that Square Enix brought development of the game in-house while before it was being partly handled by CyberConnect2, according to Polygon. Hopefully the game will be everything we were hoping for.
Not much is known about Shin Megami Tensei V. We do know from the trippy as heck reveal trailer that it takes place in the present day like most of the other Shin Megami Tensei games, it will likely have the demon collecting and combat of the other games, it’s coming to the west, and that it’s coming exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. This follows up from 2013’s Shin Megami Tensei 4 and 2016’s Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse which were exclusive to the 3DS.
From the developers of Starbound and the publisher of Stardew Valley comes a magic school RPG known as Witchbrook.
Chucklefish CEO Finn Brice toldPC Gamer that the game takes big inspirations from Harvest Moon as well as Stardew Valley in that they learned that “there’s an inherent value in [having] a game world that’s just charming to be in,” and that developing a world that the player falls in love with comes before mechanics and gameplay. In addition, combat will draw from 2D Legend of Zelda games but with a modernized twist. There will also be a dating system in place to interact with the cast of characters. Characters act independently and can dump you if you behave in the wrong way.
“It’s very young adult literature in a lot of ways,” artist and designer Jay Baylis told the publication. “We’re taking that idealised heroism away from you and you’re just another awkward teenager at a school of awkward teenagers.”
Consider us very intrigued in this Harry Potter meets Harvest Moon world, and for that reason, it’s one of our most anticipated upcoming RPG games of 2018.
Heavy, Inc. is a participant in various affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to those sites. Our product recommendations are guided solely by our editors. We have no relationship with manufacturers.