IGN’s List of Top 100 RPGs of All Time

IGN posted an article recently about their pick of the top 100 RPG games to play. Among the games featured on the list were some very obvious choices, simply because these RPG games are already huge fan favorites. Of course, there were some surprises of what didn’t make the list.

One of the Bioware game titles to make the IGN Top 100 RPGs list

Many of the Bioware games have made the list, but one game I’m surprised that didn’t make the list is Dragon Age: Origins. I really believe Dragon Age: Origins is a well made game that should have made the list. The characters and the world of Ferelden is just as engaging as the Mass Effect games (the first and second of this game series to make the list). I wonder what is the thought processes behind deciding which games to make the top 100 at IGN. I really think with the amount of Bioware titles on the list from Jade Empire to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Dragon Age: Origins is sure to make the cut.

An interesting thing about going through the entire list is finding out that certain games are considered RPGs or is RPG in nature. The one I’m talking about are the two or three Mario games that made the list. I always assumed the Mario games have been strictly platformers. Imagine my surprise when I found out that Nintendo has a few RPG adventure games starring Mario. Makes me wonder what an RPG Mario game looks and feels like.

There are so many games on this list that sound amazing to play. Considering the list also features old, but classic games, you start seeing how much RPG games have evolved over time. But just because graphics and technology has seen huge improvements on today’s current games, doesn’t mean the older games are any less desirable to play. If anything, it brings back a case of nostalgia and an appreciation of what came before and how it has paved the way for the games we currently have. As a gamer, I would love to get my hands on the many games on this list. If only there was enough time in the day to play all of these.

What would you consider your top RPG games? Were there some titles that didn’t make IGN’s list, but you wish they did?

13 thoughts on “IGN’s List of Top 100 RPGs of All Time

  1. Yay!! you’re back =) Hey so what games would you suggest for a noob like me??? I’m not a gamer so I don’t know… We’ve recently had a game store opened here and it’s loaded with so many games I’m lost… so help me =)

    1. That’s great! What consoles do you have? I’m not an expert at gaming by any means, but I play what seems interesting, has good reviews, or are recommended by friends. 😉

      1. oh no consoles 😀 PC gaming… I just upgraded my PC to an extreme version for 3d rendering. So was thinking about fully utilizing it’s capabilities =)

      2. In that case, I would suggest a lot of the Bioware titles for the PC. Definitely the ones I talk about often like the Dragon Age and Mass Effect games. They do have PC versions if you can find them at that local game store you have. LA Noire is also a good one I’ve been playing as well. Hopefully you’ll be able to play these titles. 😉

  2. It’s an interesting list. Some of my favorites were there, but I also wonder what the list would look like if only one in each series (like only one Final Fantasy game) could make the list. It would be interesting to see more diversity that way, just for fun. And I agree that DA:O absolutely should have made the list! I’ve heard people say it’s bound to be a classic, and for me it really opened up how powerful storytelling in RPGs could be. Hmm…

    Anyway, hope you had a lovely holiday!

    1. Thank you! I had a nice time off. 🙂 You know, it does make you wonder if the list were limited to one game for each series as you mentioned, would the list make it to 100? It’s kind of hard to have to choose just one from a series like Final Fantasy. I have heard there are games in that series that are considered the best out of all the ones they came out with.

      Isn’t it strange that DA:O didn’t make the cut? I haven’t played the older Bioware titles before DA:O and Mass Effect, but DA:O has been a big fan favorite as well. It really boggles my mind.

  3. Hope you had a good rest and welcome back~

    Mario RPGs: Yeah, Nintendo has Mario doing everything it seems. xD I actually have only one of the Mario RPGs right now (Superstar Saga for GBA), but I haven’t played it yet, so I can’t say how it compares to others. I have heard the Mario RPGs tend to be very wacky and whimsical though! Which I hope is true because that’s exactly what I want out of a Mario RPG~

    Back to IGN’s list: I sort of question some of their additions. I mean, Diablo III is an RPG? I haven’t seen anyone call it an RPG. It’s a loot-based hack-and-slash with RPG elements. Monster Hunter isn’t an RPG either. It’s another loot-based action game. I’d also argue that Odin Sphere is an action game with RPG elements. Ah well, it seems I really disagree with IGN’s super wide definition of what exactly is an RPG. Also I don’t think MMOs should be included on this list, but ah well, opinions!

    On to their actual rankings. I do really like their number 1 & 2 as both games are in my own personal top 5, but they have severely undermined their credibility in my eyes by ranking Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together as merely #56. Perhaps I am crazy biased here, but this game deserves to be in the top 10. I’ll admit that perhaps not everyone will love it so much as I and put it at number 1, but there is so much done right in this game that I do think, for it’s ability to story tell, it deserves to be in the top 10 regardless if some gameplay elements are a bit chunky. TO: LUCT is one of the few games I have seen tackle a story of war realistically and I do honestly think it probably the best war story out there right now. The politics are chillingly realistic, the story paths painful, and no path allows you to save everyone! You are going to have to accept that people die in war. The characters are also very well done. I mean, this is RPG story-telling perfection. No stupid character tropes. No stupidly pandering childish female characters that have no make no sense in a war and the war isn’t so black and white. I really have to wonder if IGN played this game. How could they not appreciate that?! I’m having a hard time taking them seriously when they put a game like Disgaea above TO: LUCT at #45. I like Disgaea too, but no matter how you look at it, TO: LUCT is the superior game here. Hell, I’m even surprised they put Ogre Battle: March of the Black Queen above TO: LUCT too. OB: MofBQ is from the same franchise, but the game doesn’t have a really in-dept plot or characters. It does have a more unique battle system, but, and maybe my bias is shining through here, I think the leaps and bounds TO: LUCT made with its story and characters just put everything else to shame. (Yes, it’s my number 1 and I am an shameless fangirl of the game 😛 )

    Outside TO: LUCT, I also really disagree with where they placed Fire Emblem (#83). The characters are really well fleshed out and FE actually expects you to use strategy to win. A game like that deserves to be placed higher (at least in the top 50). Kingdom Hearts is also surprisingly low on the list, only #84. I know KH is pure opinion since it definitely doesn’t do anything special above the Disney and Final Fantasy crossovers, but to me personally, it should have been at least a bit higher. And it is downright criminal of IGN to put such a fresh game like World Ends With You at only #62. Weren’t places like IGN whining about “lack of innovation” in “JRPGs”. Well here they have it and they give it #62. Really their rankings are taking another dive in credibility. Also sad to see Golden Sun at only #50, but I can respect that as the game again doesn’t do anything super special to really push it higher.

    So in closing, I do like their number 1 & 2 spots, but I just can’t take the list too seriously given where they place some of the games. I know, I know, everyone is entitled to their opinions, but I just find it hard to comprehend that someone could not appreciate a game like Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, Fire Emblem, or The World Ends With You. It’s one thing if you don’t like SRPGs, I can respect that; or if you don’t like RPGs in general, but this is a top 100 RPGs. I sure hope whoever is doing likes the genre and if they do, I do think these three are some of the very best even taking personal preferences into account. Sorry for this wall of text. ^__^;;;

    1. No problem! I like hearing your opinions. 🙂 It just makes me feel like such a newbie at RPGs in general because I haven’t played a lot of the ones on that list so I can’t get too fired up about the rankings of some of these games.

      The World Ends With You is one of my favorite RPG games. The first time I got it as a gift for the DS, I started playing it and immediately got hooked. I could not stop playing the game. The story was great, the characters were interesting, and I like how the pins you collected had unique abilities (also kind of like Pokemon in the “gotta catch them all” kind of way ;).

      As I mentioned in the post, I wonder how the staff at IGN came together to decide what games should make their top 100 for RPGs. My only complaint about the list was the fact that they didn’t have Dragon Age: Origins on there. It really should have been there.

      1. The story was definitely well executed for The World Ends With You. Characters were good, but I still felt they played into certain stereotypes. I think Beat was the one that escaped the stereotypes the most. The other characters were less successful (but still well done for what they were). That said, the way Jupiter and Square Enix went about joining story, atmosphere, music, and gameplay was simply amazing. Alone, each part was nice, but together they made something really special and one reinforced the other to create a singular experience. I don’t particularly like hip-hop and the art style used in TWEWY (everyone looks too thin D: ), but TWEWY really did something unique, so for someone compiling a list of the best RPGs, I do think objective TWEWY should be somewhere in the top 20 because there is no experience like it. Not to mention, I have yet to see an RPG that makes use of the system it is on so well. In short, I feel the same way. TWEWY is definitely one of my favourite RPGs. Top 10 for sure~

        Haven’t played Dragon Age: Origins, so I can’t personally say I am disappointed in them for not including it, but yeah, I definitely do question what sort of system they were using to get this list organized. I recall they had Phantary Star II pretty high up and the game isn’t bad, but it is a massive grind fest. I tried playing it back in the day and I gave up half way through because I got bored of grinding. Setting and story were definitely interesting. So I’m sort of confused how they are sorting these games as well since they have some very tedious games ranked pretty high. If they were doing it purely from a gameplay perspective, I could accept that Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together has a few problems with its gameplay. But that’s not really what’s going on in this list. :/

        Anyway, I guess there is a bit of nostalgia probably going on in this list as outside of Mass Effect I do believe the top 10 were all older games. FFIV, for example was I believe #5. Not a bad game by any means, but it certainly isn’t that exceptional (certainly wouldn’t make my top 20). I find that those who tend to like it are the ones that got into Final Fantasy through it. Everyone else seems to view it as an ok entry. I like Pokemon as much as the next person too, but Red/Blue are too high as well. Those games have massive nostalgic value but they are so chunky when playing it coming from the newer games: you have to select surf from the menu, no short cut Y button for the bike, etc). It’s a good game, but I don’t think it’s the best one in the series.

  4. I loo-ooved The World Ends With You and was very happy to see it made this list. Also thrilled to see Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, which might just be my most favorite Mario game of all time. It truly is a great RPG. But the original Paper Mario is just as worthy, though not listed, because it was the first of its kind. The omission of DA:O is rather glaring. As you mentioned, its story and gameplay were as deep and intricate as any decent RPG. And it was a unique take on what could have been a bland medieval world.

    This list makes me realize just how many great RPGs I’ve yet to play!

    1. I agree. Reading the brief summaries about each RPG game on the IGN list, both new and old, makes me really want to find these and play them. Probably the much older ones would be harder to find because they belong to older systems, and I definitely don’t own any of the older consoles.

  5. It would take forever to list my all of my favorite RPGs, but Fallout, Deus Ex, Neverwinter Nights, and Fire Emblem (though that may be cheating since it’s more of a TBS game) all get mention easily.
    Fallout was the single most immersive gaming experience I’ve ever had, and it continues to be even though I’ve beaten it upwards of 20 times. Never has a fictional world seemed so real.
    Deus Ex was another pleasantly immersive experience, but that, I feel, is more because of its story than its world or characters (though those were great). Conspiracies & a dystopian future, what more could you ask for?
    Neverwinter Nights gets on there because it really brings out what I feel is the strength of the D&D system: adaptability. The amazing amount of fan content, along with the support of various types of characters, made it a journey across not just one world, but countless ones.
    And finally, Fire Emblem was sort of a mix of all these elements. There were tons of unique, memorable characters, a certain degree of customization (certainly in what units and weapons you chose to use), and a very focused story.
    Also, if you’re looking to play some of these older games, then you can buy a lot of them on sites like GOG (well, the computer ones, at least).

    P.S. I really need to comment here more. . .

    1. Thanks for commenting! I feel very behind on RPGs in general. There are more RPGs I would love to play at some point. Deus Ex I have heard is a good one along with the others you have listed as your personal favorites. What I love about RPGs are the stories and characters. If the gameplay is great, then it’s just an additional perk for me.

      And thanks for the site recommendation. I’ll be sure to check it out.

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