Best Turn-Based RPG

The 17 Best Turn-Based RPG In 2020 (PC, Console, & Switch)

Out of millions of games from thousands of genres, RPGs hold a very special place in the heart of many gamers around the globe.

Action RPGs like The Witcher 3 and Skyrim played a huge role in the success of this genre. Similarly, adventure RPGs also made some buzz and they were really appreciated by the community because they had the caliber of a proper RPG.

But when it comes to action-packed turn-based RPGs, they blew us away with their extraordinary mechanics and gameplay.

Titles like Chrono trigger laid the foundation of turned-based RPGs, and to this day, we’re still getting new games in the Final Fantasy franchise.

With about gazillion turn-based RPGs out there, only a handful of them made it to the top leagues and we’re counting down the 17 best turn-based RPGs for PC and PS4. 

What Is a Turn-Based RPG?

Turn-Based RPGs are action-packed games that are heavily influenced by Japanese Role-Playing Games. In turn-based RPG, you will have an extensive combat system that consists of different types of attacks, strategies, and upgrades.

Unlike real-time RPGs, the players in turn-based RPGs will take their turns while playing. Final Fantasy VII and Pokemon are the best examples of a turn-based RPG. 

Best Turn-Based RPGs 

17. Pirates Outlaws

Pirates Outlaws

Pirates Outlaws features the modern trends of turn-based RPGs with many opportunities of exploring the world and leveling up the deck to go toe-to-toe with the most violent pirates. This one is very easy to play and offers solid gameplay to back the well-lit world of pirates.

Find the most gold & relics to quickly reach the higher levels where you’ll face many barbaric pirates. Pirates Outlaws is more of a card game with many RPG elements but the turn-based strategy is the major highlight of this game. 

Even though Pirates Outlaws was recently released in 2019, it received appreciation from many RPG lovers and also received a solid rating from all the influential ranking companies and critics. 

  • Supported Platform – PC, Android, and iOS.
  • Release Date – March 5, 2019
  • Where to Buy – Steam

16. Grandia 

Grandia

The 90’’s was truly the best era for turn-based RPGs and Grandia was one of the finest from that time. It featured an excellent story of a boy who lost his father and going on a mission to steal a magical device. Although the story is quite slow, you’ll still have many opportunities to show off your fighting skills in third-person turn-based combat where you will be going against not-so-scary enemies. 

The mechanics and gameplay of Grandia remind you of the good old days where a well-written story was all that mattered. RPG elements like leveling up the characters and skillsets will count the most when playing this one. Grandia was soo good that developers took it upon themselves to come with a remastered version of this game in 2019. We’d really recommend this one if you’re looking for a story-driven turn-based RPG. 

  • Supported Platform – PC, Android, PlayStation, PlayStation 3, Sega Saturn
  • Release Date – Oct 15, 2019 (Remastered) 
  • Where to Buy – Steam

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15. Valkyria Chronicles

Valkyria Chronicles

JRPG games really contributed to the success of turn-based RPGs and Valkyria Chronicles also played a vital role in its success. Valkyria Chronicles features a very deep storyline where the story is set during the WW2 era and you’re given the task to eliminate Empire soldiers that are making their way to loot the rich deposits for your City. This tactical based third-person shooter was one of the first turn-based RPGs that was released on PlayStation 4.

Exploration and adventures are something that you won’t find much because the main focus of the game is turn-based combat. You’ll be fighting plenty of enemies which is really fun and you’ll enjoy every second of it. RPG elements in this game are also pretty unique and this is something that you surely haven’t experienced before. 

  • Supported Platform –  PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows
  • Release Date – April 24, 2008
  • Where to Buy – Steam

14. Dragon Quest XI 

Dragon Quest XI

Evil monsters have burned the kingdom of Dundrasil to the ashes but only an infant survived who was adopted by a family in a nearby village. As the events unfold, this infant was turned into a fearless soldier who took it upon itself to explore more about his past and plot revenge against the culprits that ruined his village and killed his loved ones. Dragon Quest XI is very similar to its predecessors in the Dragon Quest franchise. 

This turn-based JRPG offers many opportunities to explore the immensely wide world and many boss fights with the most brutal creatures. Sometimes, you’ll also have to go toe-to-toe with fire-breathing dragons which take things to a whole new level. Dragon Quest XI is fun to play but handling four different members could be time-consuming which makes things a little boring.

  • Supported Platform –  PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
  • Release Date – July 29, 2017
  • Where to Buy – Steam, Nintendo 

13. Shining Force 

Shining Force

Shining Force is one of the oldest turn-based RPG that you’ll find out there but this one was ahead of its time. Shining Force follows the story of Max who is sent on a mission to end the reign of Evil Kane and stop him from getting to the shining path which is the key to bringing back the cruel Dark Dragon. Max leads the shining force to prevent more evil happening in the world but will he succeed? we guess you’ll have to play it yourself and find the dark truth.

The magical turn-based combat system in Shining Force allows you to make timely decisions and cast the most powerful spells on your enemies. The force will get stronger as you make progress in the game and level up your weapons and spells. Shining Force isn’t just a hack n slash RPG that requires you to constantly press the fight button, you’ll need battle tactics to get ahead of the enemies. 

  • Supported Platform – PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
  • Release Date – March 20, 1992
  • Where to Buy – Steam &  Nintendo 

12. The Banner Saga

The Banner Saga

The human race is on the edge of extinction and the only way for the race to survive is to get their caravan to their destinations but this Viking-based RPG gets very complicated when the Varls are back for the revenge The Banner Saga features two different playable characters with their own unique story which will be merged at a point in the game and the story continues.

The Banner Saga is one of the finest turn-based RPGs available on PlayStation 4. And if you’re into Viking-themed games then this is a good one.

The story is very well-written but the gameplay seems too outdated for PS4. However, the storyline and the RGB elements in this game makes up for it. Fighting with Varls won’t be easy so you better be equipped with some pretty good weapons if you want to see the human race survive. 

  • Supported Platform –  Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Android, Xbox One
  • Release Date –  January 14, 2014
  • Where to Buy – Steam & Google Play  

11. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

The story is centered around the noble families and their ties with the group of reformists. Rean Schwarzer and co are on a quest to gain experience as they do many experimental studies to dig a little deeper into the world of empire. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is a true turn-based RPG with some excellent mechanics and a lot of opportunities to explore the wide world.

This game seems more like an open-world game than a story-driven RPG and that is why the RPG elements in this one make the game even better. The turn-based combat is quite different from the mainstream turn-based games but you’ll get a hold of it eventually.

JRPGs heavily influenced the turn-based RPGs and The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is also ranked as one of the finest that took the turn-based games to a whole new level. If you’re more into exploration rather than just hack n slash combat then you must at least try this game once. 

  • Supported Platform –   PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Windows
  • Release Date –  September 26, 2013
  • Where to Buy – Steam & Amazon 

10. South Park: The Stick Of Truth

South Park: The Stick Of Truth

One of the most loved tv shows, South Park had its fans in awe when they announced their RPG that was going to steal our hearts. South Park: The Stick Of Truth is based around a kid who just moved to the town and is already starting conflicts with creatures from all races.  You’ll get to experience turn-based combat with aliens, zombies, and gnomes that are taking the town apart. 

The story flows quite well and it is extremely linear. Just like the original show, the script is very well written and the humorous comedy makes it even better. The turn-based combat is not barbaric, you’ll have plenty of room to launch some heavy attacks on opponents. If you’re looking for something that’ll make your day till the very end then South Park: The Stick Of Truth is worth a shot. 

  • Supported Platform –  PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
  • Release Date –  March 4, 2014
  • Where to Buy – UPlay & Amazon 

9. Planescape Torment

Planescape Torment

Reclaim the memories from your previous life but if you get killed in the process, the memories will fade away. One of the most incredible story-driven RPG, Planescape Torment is a role-playing game with turn-based tactics. This one was released back in 1999 but it was so good that the developers decided to re-release the game on Playstation 4 as well.

The gameplay is fun as long as you keep changing your tactics and trying different spells on your enemies. The Nameless One is the main protagonist in Planescape Torment and although there’s not much exploration in the game, this one received its legendary status from the purely well-written storyline. 

Starting with  Planescape Torment wouldn’t be the right thing if you’ve never played turn-based RPGs. We’d recommend starting with South Park and then try this one because then you’ll have all the basics of a turn-based RPG by then and it’ll make things more enjoyable for you. 

  • Supported Platform – Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Android, Xbox One, iOS
  • Release Date – December 12, 1999
  • Where to Buy – Steam, Google Play, & iOS

8. Baldur’s Gate 

Baldur's Gate

Looking for a turn-based RPG with Skyrim vibes? Well, we wouldn’t exaggerate but Baldur’s Gate is as closest as you can get. The immensely wide-character customization will remind you of the good’ol days of Windhelm. Baldur’s Gate takes place in the Forgotten Realms from DnD.

The game follows the story of a character of your own making who is on a mission to unravel the mysteries behind the iron crisis and the criminals responsible and decapitating them.

The RPG elements in Baldur’s Gate will keep you occupied for hours and you’ll enjoy every second of it if you’re into RPGs. However, if you’re more of an adventure/shooter gamer then Baldur’s Gate will seem a bit boring for your taste. None the less, Baldur’s Gate also features turn-based tactics backed with exceptional mechanics to support the flawless gameplay.

  • Supported Platform – Microsoft Windows & Android
  • Release Date – December 21, 1998
  • Where to Buy – Steam & Google Play

7. Persona 5

Persona 5

Persona 5 is what you get when you add some RPG elements in a shooting game. Persona 5 is more of a hack n slash RPG with a handful of RPG elements that mostly features interacting with your allies and leveling up as you make progress.

The graphics aren’t the best but when you’re playing an RPG, you don’t care about the graphics of the game. The mechanics are pretty smooth and how the storyline progress is just fine. 

Persona 5 is a modern world turn-based RPG that follows the story of a group of warriors who harness their personas to fight against enemies. The story of Persona 5 flows well and gets pretty deep as you make progress in the game. Persona 5 is another good option out there if you’re looking for a turn-based RPG for your PS4.  But keep this in mind that Persona 5 is not for the faint-hearted.

  • Supported Platform – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3
  • Release Date – September 15, 2016
  • Where to Buy – Store PS & Amazon 

6. XCOM 2

XCOM 2

One of the most elegant looking turn-based RPG on PS4, XCOM 2, and its turn-based combat will leave you in awe. The game follows a story of a military organization that is fighting against alien creatures that have invaded the planet Earth. The protagonist, Bradford is trying hard to bring the enemies to their knees but it gets tough as alien forces grow stronger and more powerful. 

XCOM 2 is a proper turn-based RPG with many factors that make the game much more fun and enjoyable. Unlike other RPGs, XCOM 2 is mainly focused on killing enemies rather than exploring the wide world.

The graphics of this turn-based RPG are just exceptional and the gameplay is quite smooth as well. There might be a few glitches here and there but the overall experience is just impeccable. Fortunately, XCOM 2 is readily available on Xbox One as well if you’re wondering. We’d recommend this one if you’re a big fan of games like Halo and Call of Duty. 

  • Supported Platform –  PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Classic Mac OS, Linux, Microsoft Windows
  • Release Date – February 5, 2016
  • Where to Buy – Amazon, Steam & Microsoft 

5. Dragon Quest X

Dragon Quest X

Games like Pokemon and Final Fantasy might’ve laid the foundations of turn-based RPGs but Dragon Quest games were the secret behind the success of this genre. Dragon Quest X is indeed one of the finest turn-based strategy game with all the RPG elements in a single place.

The gameplay is quite similar to most of the RPGs and we wouldn’t rate this one as the most perfect one because the graphics and the overall gameplay is a bit too outdated. 

Jumping into Dragon Quest X would be a wise choice if you’re just getting into turn-based RPGs because the setting of the game feels more like an adventure game and a lot of opportunities for exploration. Furthermore, if you’ve played JRPGs all your life then Dragon Quest X would make a lot more sense. 

  • Supported Platform –  Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS
  • Release Date – August 2, 2012
  • Where to Buy – Amazon 

4. Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler

If you’re looking for a modern-day turn-based RPG for your PC then Octopath Traveler got you covered. The gameplay is quite simple but the story is very well-written. There are a gazillion RPG elements that will drive you crazy if you’re coming over from a hack n slash or an fps game. For those who love playing RPGs with a deep story and flexible mechanics will find Octopath as one of the best turn-based RPG on PC. 

Square Enix developed this game and one thing is for certain that we can only expect great things from Square Enix. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Square Enix is responsible for some major AAA titles like Just Cause, Final Fantasy, and Tomb Raider franchise. 

Embark on a journey that you’ll reminder forever with eight different settings, Octopath Traveler will keep you occupied for quite a while. Still not sure about this one? Read more than 4000 positive reviews on Steam to make up your mind.

  • Supported Platform –  Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS
  • Release Date – July 13, 2018
  • Where to Buy – Steam & Nintendo Store 

3. Disgaea 5 

Disgaea 5

Disgaea franchise also contributed a lot to the turn-based RPG genre and this genre wouldn’t be the same without them. It is actually a JRPG that is only suited for hardcore RPG lovers. A casual gamer who loves playing AAA titles would find it a bit complicated and boring but if you’re into RPGs that offer deep gameplay then you’ll find Disgaea 5 as a finely crafted masterpiece.

Graphics of the game are very vibrant like most JRPGs. The story flows well but the gameplay seems a bit childish. As mentioned before, it is only for those hardcore RPG fans. As for the turn-based combat and RPG elements, there’s a handful of them and you won’t get bored easily. Disgaea 5 is another excellent turn-based RPG that you must try if you’re on a lookout for turn-based RPG for PS4. 

  • Supported Platform –  Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
  • Release Date – March 25, 2015
  • Where to Buy – Steam & Amazon

2. Divinity: Original Sin 2

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Divinity: Original Sin 2 holds a very special place in our hearts because of its a powerful story and impeccable turn-based combat. This game was released just a couple of years ago but it received applause from all over the world because it offers a complete package for the RPG lovers. Play with pre-built characters or step up a notch and customize a character of your own and start slicing your enemies like butter. 

Mechanics and the gameplay is far more superior than most of the games listed here and you’ll also find a significant improvement in the graphics section as well. It is surely one of the finest looking turn-based RPG that you can get your hands on.

However, the campaign is very long and you’ll have to invest dozens of hours in this one. Never the less, Divinity: Original Sin 2 is worth every penny and you won’t regret getting your hands on this one. 

  • Supported Platform –  Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, And Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date – September 14, 2017
  • Where to Buy – SteamNintendo Store, Amazon & Microsoft 

1. Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII

When it comes to the best turn-based RPG, Final Fantasy VII is without any doubt, the best turn-based RPG that won numerous GOTY awards. The gameplay is absolutely terrific and the storyline is just flawless. Final Fantasy VII features a true turn-based strategy that features everything from a simple light attack to the deadliest spells and attacks. 

The 7th installment in the series follows the story of the lionhearted Cloud Strife who teams up with members of Avalanche that are plotting against the Shinra and starting off by taking out of their main operation that is draining the resources of the Earth. The story and gameplay are quite appealing and a perfect match for those who love playing adventure games. 

The combat in this game is the major highlight of this game with a wide variety of attacks and spells that will dismantle the enemies. The story flows really well and quite addictive as well. You’ll want to complete the whole thing in one sitting but it’s not quite possible because the campaign is about 40hrs long.

The remake of FF7 is just as good and if you’re looking for the best turn-based for PS4 then go ahead buy that one because you won’t be disappointed. 

  • Supported Platform –  Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS
  • Release Date – January 31, 1997
  • Where to Buy – PS Store (Remake), Amazon & Steam 

FAQs

What Was The First Turn-Based RPG?

Some say that Dragon Quest was the first franchise that introduced the turn-based RPG genre while some say that Chrono Trigger is the first in the turn-based RPG genre. However, we cannot actually argue any of them without some hard evidence but one thing is for sure that all of them made a huge contribution to this genre. 

Is Pokemon a Turn-Based RPG?

Yes, Pokemon is one of the finest turn-based RPGs that you’ll find in the market alongside Final Fantasy, XCOM, and Divinity franchise. However, most Pokemon games are only available on Nintendo and if you’re running things on PS4 or PC then you’ll have to switch over to Nintendo Switch to play some exceptional turn-based RPGs. 

Is Final Fantasy VII Remake turn-based?

Unlike the original, Final Fantasy VII Remake features more of a real-time action strategy rather than completely turn-based combat. There are some moments where you can switch over to turn-based strategy but for the most of it, you’ll have to deal with your enemies with real-time strategy.

Conclusion 

There were our pics for some of the best turn-based RPGs that you can find out there. Our recommendation is to start off with South Park if you’re new to the genre but if you’re looking for something modern then XCOM 2 is surely a good option. But for the old-timers who are looking for a challenge, the Final Fantasy 7 and Divinity: Original Sin 2 would make things very interesting.

That’s all folks! 

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