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There is certainly no shortage of spectacular and brilliant games for the Xbox — and it can often feel like Microsoft’s console focuses on shooters like Halo or Call of Duty. However, you can also find plenty of meaty, immersive RPG experiences for the Xbox, too.

I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but let’s do a brief “what in the world qualifies as an RPG” first.

Role-playing games (aka RPGs!) are essentially games that give you plenty of control over your game experience. They allow for enough customization that will shape the game to suit your personal style of play. And while some have more linear experiences, others are completely open-ended. This style of game offers a seemingly infinite amount of gameplay, often set in large expansive areas to explore. 

But if you’re new to RPGs, it’s probably difficult to figure out where to begin. That’s why I’ve done the hard work and compiled this list featuring the best Xbox RPGs.

If you’re a big fan of RPGs and you want to pick up a few titles with maximum portability, you can also check out the best RPGs for the Nintendo Switch.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition

Maybe I’m biased because I personally love Skyrim, but you have to admit that it’s a really good RPG that is easy to get sucked into. You can disagree with me if you want, but many critics consider Skyrim one of the greatest video games of all time. The game has been included on “best/greatest of all time” lists from several publications.

That’s probably why you can find Skyrim across just about any platform. And if you want to complain about how Bethesda keeps releasing it, director and exec producer Todd Howard joked, “If you want us to stop releasing it, stop buying it.”

Enter Skyrim – Special Edition for the Xbox One. This remastered version was released for Xbox One with three DLC expansions and an upgrade to graphics. You’ll find hundreds of hours’ worth of gameplay. There are quests to embark on, treasures to find, and guilds to join.

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age is an entry in the long-running Dragon Quest series, which is often credited with starting the JRPG movement. And while the series is legendary already, Dragon Quest XI is definitely among the best it has to offer.

Set in the world of Erdrea, the kingdom of Dundrasil is invaded and destroyed by monsters. You’ll discover yourself to be of special descent, but when you seek the counsel of the king, he rejects you as an evil entity and throws you in the dungeons.

It’s a turn-based RPG set in a colorful fantasy world. Although it is simple enough to make it great for newcomers or younger gamers, there’s still plenty for veteran gamers to enjoy, too. The game features an expansive world with various terrains, a huge cast of characters, and epic bosses to battle.

The Outer Worlds

Space travel is so hot right now, so it seems like the perfect time to check out this cheeky sci-fi RPG.

"So Hot Right Now" meme featuring Mugatu in Zoolander
Paramount Pictures via Know Your Meme

What would it be like if private corporations colonized a whole solar system? Turns out, it leads to food shortages, political instability, terrorists, inequality, hungry aliens, and plenty more problems for Halcyon colonists. Now, there’s a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the Halcyon system. Explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter various factions vying for power.

Your choices will affect literally everything in this game, from the way the story develops to end-game scenarios. Of course, it’s a shooter at its core, so fans of classic shooter RPGs like Mass Effect and Fallout will definitely take a liking to The Outer Worlds.

If you really love this game, it’s worth noting that The Outer Worlds 2 is on its way. It was announced during Microsoft and Bethesda’s E3 2021 showcase. But while we know it is in development, an official release date hasn’t been given, yet.

Fallout 4

Some will disagree with Fallout 4 being on this list, but it’s the only main title from the franchise that was released for the Xbox One. Its predecessor, Fallout 3, was an Xbox 360 title that you can definitely use backwards compatibility to play, but 4 is newer and is probably better for Fallout newbies to pick up.

Even though Fallout 4 might not be considered the best of the main titles and spin-offs of the series, it’s still one of the best RPGs available for the Xbox anyway. It takes place in an alternate universe, where the Cold War actually brought about a nuclear apocalypse. In 4, you discover your spouse murdered and your child missing. You emerge from a fallout shelter located in Boston, of the in-game New England Commonwealth, into the nuclear wasteland to find out who is responsible.

When the game was released, critics praised the world depth, player freedom, amount of content, and more. Since then, Bethesda has released several DLC add-ons to give you even more content to enjoy.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

I’ve seen more than just a few people call The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt one of the best RPGs of the past decade, so it’s safe to say it should be in everyone’s inventory. On top of that, some say that it’s not just the best Xbox RPG, but the best Xbox game in general. That’s some pretty hefty praise.

Wild Hunt is a story-driven, open-world adventure set in a dark fantasy universe. Witchers have superhuman skills, strength, and reflexes. You’ll play as Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster hunter for hire tasked with finding a child of prophecy.

Packed with marvelous visuals and storytelling, the game has also pushed boundaries in terms of size and depth. The massive open world is enough to keep anyone busy for a long time — maybe even forever. It’s built for endless adventure, with large expansions that will keep the variety coming.

Final Fantasy XV

It’s hard to have a list of RPGs without including at least one entry from the Final Fantasy series. And although this one might be a little older than other entries on my list, it is definitely a classic that deserves a second go. 

The main concept of Final Fantasy XV is “a fantasy based on reality.” You’ll find locations based on real-world destinations, like the Bahamas, Tokyo, and Venice — but with fantasy elements intruding into otherwise normal settings. The story revolves around Prince Noctis, who has been in exile following a hostile takeover. You’ll embark on the greatest road trip ever with friends in tow, battling monsters and villains along the way.

XV features spectacular visuals and music, decent combat, and fun side quests. As expected, you’ll find an expansive open world with a familiar Final Fantasy flavor. Plus, there have already been years of updates and improvements, with plenty of DLC adding further gameplay options.

Cyberpunk 2077

At this point, everyone is aware that Cyberpunk 2077 didn’t have the best launch. Some themes and representations of characters were scrutinized, the game was widely criticized for bugs, and some versions suffered performance problems. Things got so messy that it was removed from the PlayStation Store for several months while the issues were dealt with.

Thankfully, the game has been improved and updated since then, leaving us with an enjoyable foray into Night City, an open world in the Cyberpunk universe. You’ll play as a customizable mercenary known as V, in a corporate hellscape overrun with technology. Everyone from common citizens to the militarized police enjoy superhuman abilities, thanks to cybernetic enhancements.

I’d recommend this one if you’ve got an Xbox Series X, because performance on Xbox One and Xbox Series S is less than desirable.

Monster Hunter: World

The Monster Hunter franchise is plenty successful, but World is the single highest-selling game in Capcom’s history. That alone says you should check it out, if you haven’t already.

If you guessed that this game revolves around hunting monsters, you guessed correctly. This fifth installment into the Monster Hunter franchise takes you into a spectacular untamed world where you hunt down huge creatures that are threatening humanity’s survival. There’s varied playstyle customization and a vast array of weapons. Plus it’s a co-op that is best experienced with friends.

Capcom later released the Iceborne DLC, which added new monsters, improved gameplay mechanics, and a new story in another location to the already expansive game.

Dark Souls III

Clearly, people know that Dark Souls III is a great action RPG. This final installment of the Dark Souls trilogy was both critically and commercially successful, and was the fastest-selling game in Bandai Namco’s history. A list of the greatest RPGs for the Xbox would be incomplete without mention of this game.

You’ll find intricately designed levels and a vast world to explore, and combat in this dark fantasy RPG is challenging. Players encounter different types of enemies, and some even change their combat patterns during battles. With so many weapons, armors, and spells, you’ll keep coming back for more.

For even more gameplay, two DLC expansions were made. The extra content adds new maps, bosses, and enemies, plus additional weapon and armor sets. Pick up Dark Souls III: The Fire Fades Edition to get the complete experience all wrapped up in one.