The turn-based RPGs have held a special place in the hearts of many gamers, even though many modern-day gamers may not have ever heard of them. In the earlier times, turn-based games were a real hit. Many turn-based games were released by major publishers and most of the games in the Final Fantasy series also had the pleasure of featuring turn-based combat tactics.

However, with advancements in technology, many developers have adopted real-time strategy combat mechanics and ditched the idea of developing turn-based RPGs. These days, finding turn-based games is quite hard. It was even evident in the remake of FFVII that real-time tactics were included instead of the turn-based combat from the original, marking the end of an era.

Nevertheless, there are many phenomenal turn-based RPGs in the wild and we dug deep to find the 7 best turn-based RPGs of all time that you should definitely check out. Bear with us as we countdown our picks for the best turn-based RPGs.

Our Picks for the 7 Best Turn-Based RPGs of All Time

7. The Banner Saga

The Banner Saga told a dark story of the human race facing the risk of extinction. And when the Vikings are making the effort to save the world, the Varls launch a counter-attack that puts the fates of the human race at stake. As one can imagine, the story of The Banner Saga is quite captivating and it will keep you glued to the screen. 

However, the gameplay is quite mediocre and since it shows the over-the-head perspective, there isn’t much to say about the mechanics as well. But, one thing that we’re certain of is that The Banner Saga is without any doubt, one of the best turn-based RPGs that you’ll come across. The RPG elements backed with well-balanced turn-based combat will surely show you a good time.

6. Baldur’s Gate

Baldur’s Gate may feature quite outdated graphics and gameplay in regards to modern gaming but, it is worth the penny if you’re really looking to get your hands on a true turn-based RPG. It has tons of stuff to explore and a never-ending spectrum for side quests and character customizations. 

Frankly speaking, the gameplay is pretty bland and really wouldn’t impress any modern gamer but if you’ve been closely following the franchise then you’d know that graphics really don’t matter here. 

The performance and story-telling this game has to offer are far better than many modern-day RPGs that you’ll come across. In terms of the setting, the game takes place in a forgotten land from the DnD universe. Under dark clouds, the world is explored. To progress in the game, you’ll have to explore the wild and survive against the most fierce enemies and use turn-based tactics to bring them to the ground. Baldur’s Gate is fun to play and we highly recommend it.

5. Persona 5

For a modern-day turn-based RPG, Persona 5 is everything an enthusiast could dream of. It’s an RPG that is heavily inspired by JRPGs and settings also seem quite similar along with the story-telling and the actual gameplay. 

One of the major aspects that contributed to the success of the game is the amount of story-telling in this game. The developers did an excellent job in making the story flow and it was well-received by the gamers. Moreover, at times, it feels like there’s not much combat in the game but once you make progress in the game, you’ll have to fight off plenty of enemies. 

The combat mechanics in Persona 5 are completely turn-based which offers a great deal of fun for the player. However, the fights could get quite intense and if you’re not well-versed in dealing with heavy attacks, you may not survive to tell the tale.

4. Octopath Traveler

A 16-bit master class, Octopath Traveler is what you get when you put together the finest heads in the room. Octopath Traveler is an action-turn-based RPG that features four playable characters that’ll be your companions on your journey. From snow-capped mountains to buzzing hot desserts, there’s more than a handful of terrains in Octopath Traveler that are guaranteed to keep you anchored to the screen.

The story of the time is very intriguing, and although we won’t spoil it for you, one thing we can’t resist saying is that keep on the seat belt because you’re in for one wild ride. The gameplay looks stunning in a 16-bit environment with finely crafted terrains and excellent voice acting to offer a phenomenal RPG experience. 

Octopath Traveler features turn-based combat mechanics and players can choose between the characters to launch and defend attacks. In short, Octopath Traveler is worth every penny and we highly recommend it.

3. Divinity: Original Sin 2

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is an open-world RPG with a compelling story and excellent gameplay that you wouldn’t find elsewhere. In the RPG genre, the Divinity franchise has been viewed as one of the finest RPGs out there and when you’re specifically looking for turn-based RPGs, you won’t have to look any further. 

The gameplay and the overall graphics of the game are well-balanced and the finely crafted environment with all kinds of terrains further adds to the beauty of the game. Furthermore, there are tons of RPG elements in the game but character customization is one of the major parts of the game. Players can build up characters of their own choice and choose their own path. 

As far as the combat mechanics go, Divinity: Original Sin 2 uses turn-based combat tactics but unlike other games, this one is extremely difficult and to master each move, you’ll have to spend countless hours playing this one. Nevertheless, with this one, you’ll have the time of your life.

2. Dragon Quest X

If you’re a gamer who enjoys a well-written story backed with solid turn-based mechanics then you’ll love Dragon Quest X. Its mediocre graphics and salty gameplay may have fooled you into thinking of it as an indie title but, the Dragon Quest franchise is one of the most popular RPG franchises of all time. 

And since the game is heavily influenced by turn-based tactics, getting your hands on this one would be a wise choice. Moving on, the story flows very well and we’ve enjoyed the tons of RPG stuff including customization and the dialogue system. 

For someone looking for a true turn-based RPG should definitely take a closer look at this one. It may have its flaws but, if you decide to buy it with your hard-earned money, you won’t be disappointed.

1. Final Fantasy VII

The remake of FFVII may not feature turn-based tactics but, with the original game, you’ll get to fight off Shinra’s goons using turn-based tactics. Aside from its aspiring combat mechanics, the story of the game is very well-written and it received praises from all over the world. For its exquisite storyline and gameplay, Final Fantasy VII won numerous awards over the years. 

The game follows the journey of Cloud Strife and his allies from the Avalanche as they fight their way into a resource plant that’s draining life from the core of the earth by Shinra Corporation. The gang teams up to destroy the plant and save the Earth’s resources but, the journey won’t be easy as they might think.

That’s all folks! 

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