The RPG genre has exploded in popularity in recent years, edging its way into mainstream gamer consciousness like never before. As a result, where Western RPGs have historically been pretty hard to come by, they’re now absolutely everywhere. The JRPG market too, once a relatively niche genre, has really taken off internationally, enticing more players than ever to lose themselves in a huge variety of worlds.
In this regard, the Xbox family of consoles has a wide range of excellent titles worth checking out. Whether they’re fantasy adventures set in a faraway land, surreal detective mysteries or something a little closer to home, there’s something out there for everyone.
In order to help you select the very finest RPG experiences currently available, we’ve picked out a bunch of our favourite titles and stuck them into a handy list for your consideration. We’ve also noted which of these are currently available to play via Game Pass.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft
Released back at the launch of the Xbox Series X and Series S, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is one of the finest entries in the series to date, sporting hundreds of hours of content and a wonderful representation of England to explore.
Taking the role of a Viking this time around, the combat is bloody and chaotic, especially with the ability to dual wield two devastating weapons at once. While the series has deviated massively from its origins, what it’s managed to morph into is fantastic. Embracing elements from games such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with its quest design, and even taking a leaf out of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with its exploration, it’s one not to be missed.
Borderlands 3 (Xbox One)
Publisher: 2K / Developer: Gearbox Software
The Borderlands series hasn’t managed to evolve massively since its original iteration, but what it has managed to do is continuously fine tune the gameplay it created back in the original. Borderlands 3 continues that tradition with an entry that feels like a culmination of all the ideas before it.
The gunplay has never felt tighter, the variety in both the environments and weapons is constantly surprising, and the quests manage to remain as wacky as ever. It’s hard not to be charmed by its cel shaded world that looks just as impressive now as it did in the original entry. Grab some friends, groovy weapons, and cause some mayhem in Pandora.
CrossCode (Xbox One)
Publisher: Deck 13 / Developer: Radical Fish Games
CrossCode is a 2D retro-inspired action-RPG that has gone unnoticed by some, but it was a low-key hit when it was part of Xbox Game Pass, and we highlighted it here at Pure Xbox as “a wonderful blend of Zelda and Sword Art Online.”
We’ll let our own words do the talking here — it’s definitely one to add to your wishlist!
“CrossCode has surprised us massively. Its narrative is engaging enough to keep us moving forward, but the gameplay is the true star. It boasts some deep RPG systems, punchy combat, fantastic puzzles, and a world you want to explore every corner of.”
Cyberpunk 2077 (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: CD PROJEKT / Developer: CD Projekt Red
You could definitely still argue that Cyberpunk 2077 isn’t yet in the finished state that was promised to us all those years ago, but the recent release of the Xbox Series X and Series S upgrade has definitely rectified many of the issues that plagued the title back at release in 2020.
In our ‘hands on’ review of the next-gen update, we called it “a major improvement on Xbox Series X,” pointing out that it’s “an immediately noticeable and genuinely impressive improvement right out of the gates.” It’s been a rocky couple of years for CD Projekt Red’s ambitious RPG, but now is finally the time to get on board with Cyberpunk 2077 if you’ve been waiting until it’s in a better state. Just be aware there’s still more work to be done…
Dark Souls III (Xbox One)
Publisher: Bandai Namco
There have been many Souls games over recent years and many imitations, but none perfect the formula better than Dark Souls III. The dark, gothic world is represented beautifully through the Xbox One version, and playing the game through backwards compatibility on the Xbox Series X|S is enhanced by FPS Boost.
The combat, much like other entries, is brutally hard, but is ultimately the most refined of the series here. Each encounter is a nail biting testament of skill and dexterity that demands the upmost attention. It’s a constantly rewarding experience that’s hard to put down. Definitely check it out.
Death’s Door (Xbox Series X|S)
Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Acid Nerve
Acid Nerve has followed up the wonderful Titan Souls with this Zelda/Souls inspired action adventure that looks sublime and plays even better.
Death’s Door is a beautiful, intricate little thing with surprisingly tough and moreish combat, clever puzzles and a world that’s chock full of secrets and hidden areas for you to find as you blaze through its bosses, unlocking new skills that allow you to access more areas as you go.
There’s so much style here, so much atmosphere, and it also doesn’t outstay its welcome. Death’s Door is a perfectly formed bit of magic from a developer everyone should be starting to sit up and take notice of! Seriously, this is one of the top few games on Xbox Game Pass.
Destiny 2 (Xbox One)
Publisher: Bungie / Developer: Bungie
Destiny 2‘s path since release has only bolstered its greatness over the years. With new expansions and even entire recreations of its systems, it’s fair to say it’s been a tremendous road to greatness for Destiny.
As for the game itself, it perhaps contains one of the finest gunplay systems seen in gaming. Bungie has managed to make each weapon feel powerful, meaningful and a force to be reckoned with. Racking up those numbers and unlocking new gear never gets old and even hundreds of hours later, the weapon drops still prove to be meaningful. With more planned in the future, it can only continue to ascend to greatness.
- Xbox Game Pass? No (It’s free-to-play though!)
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition (Xbox One)
Publisher: Blizzard / Developer: Blizzard
No other game is quite as addictive as Diablo III. The series has become one that’s been heavily mimicked over the years, with its ferocious combat and addictive loot systems never ceasing to give you new toys to play with.
One of the best elements of Diablo III is the ability to explore the world with a friend, working together to build up your characters, and unlocking skills that come together in perfect harmony. Even operating as a solo experience, Diablo III immediately sinks its claws into you and never lets go.