Role-playing games aren’t for passive gamers. The time it takes to invest in diving into massive worlds, or multiple worlds, will quickly become too gargantuan a task for the passive gamer. I’m not saying the sports games or first-person shooters don’t take days out of people’s lives. There’s just a difference between leveling your player up in 2K, and running around the world in Elder Scrolls. That’s why RPG players are so devoted to their game titles, they’ve grown to become one with the game. They can’t buy next years edition of Madden or Call of Duty. They are still playing the same RPG from 3 years ago, without completing everything. Unless they’re that dedicated, of course.

The list of amazing RPGs is expansive, and narrowing down the best isn’t really a fair task. Personal preference plays such a large role in what RPG the gamer connects to the most. With this list in mind, we also included Action-Adventure games because of how close they relate to RPGs. Yes, some of the games on our list don’t feature leveling up or turn-based combat, but games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time have the same expansive maps with epic and lengthy story modes.  

You might see your favorite RPG in here, and you might not. You will find groundbreaking titles that changed the genre or affected millions of people on a level that transcends regular fandom. We did not include more than one entry from a series on this list, although some games do have multiple classics in their catalog. If you haven’t played one of these titles, remember, the internet can be your best friend. From one gamer to another, this is our list of the best RPGs of all time.