Roleplaying games are a constant, major topic in the gaming community, with fans of immersive storylines and experiences waiting in anticipation for any shred of new information they can get their hands on. Here, we’ve detailed the best upcoming RPGs that PC players can expect to see more info on as we move through 2021 and beyond.
With games such as Skyrim, Dragon Age Inquisition, The Witcher 3, and Red Dead Redemption 2 marking the 2010s as the best decade for RPGs on PC, we haven’t seen any RPGs in the past year that held much weight against these behemoths.
Cyberpunk 2077 famously fell from grace with its broken game, lack of depth and customization — something that’s integral in an RPG — and a multitude of glitches, leaving many disheartened. What was long-awaited in the community (and perhaps hyped up too much) is now just another game to add to the list of disappointments alongside games such as Anthem and Marvel’s Avengers.
While we all may now approach future game releases more cautiously — and this is surely a good thing — the RPG community looks set to be in for a treat with some of these upcoming gems.
Best RPGs for PC (2021)
Baldur’s Gate III – Available now in Early Access
Set in the Forgotten Realms of Dungeons & Dragons, Baldur’s Gate has taken a long hiatus. Now a cult classic, with the original title being released in 1998 and the most recent addition to Baldur’s Gate dropping in 2016 — an expansion to the original games’ Enhanced Editions — Baldur’s Gate III serves as the newest standalone game in over 4 years.
Developed by Larian Studios, who helmed the vastly-acclaimed Divinity: Original Sin series, they’ve been tasked with bringing the game to life. Their sequel, Divinity: Original Sin 2, harkened back to the games of yesteryear with its combat mechanics, character depth, and top-down perspective, making it perfect sense for the developer to take up the mantle of this new entry.
Featuring a robust character creation system, you can craft the character you want to play. Alongside the Dungeons & Dragons dice-based style of play for battle and speech checks, Larian weaves you through a unique storyline full of intrigue and mystery.
Although technically available now through Early Access, the game is still undergoing vast changes. Larian is committed to working with the community to deliver a product that’s something they’re proud of, and that it sits in line with what feedback is received from players. Larian states on their Steam page that they anticipate the game remaining in early access for at least one year, but it’ll ultimately be ready when it’s ready. At the time of writing, this puts the release on PC anywhere from Autumn 2021 and beyond.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 – Releasing in 2021
Based on the tabletop game Vampire: The Masquerade, and part of the World of Darkness series, the sequel to the cult-classic of 2004 is infinitely hyped with fans. 2004’s game was developed by Troika Games and published by Activision, but was plagued with development issues that saw it released in an unfinished, barebones state.
Lovers of the game managed to restore the unfinished or removed content, and is today still supported by an unofficial patch that is almost essential to play the game on today’s modern machines.
With writers on board from the original game such as narrative lead Brian Mitsoda, the setting of a Seattle-based city shrouded in darkness is highly exciting. Unfortunately, the sequel is not without its controversies, too, as in August 2020 it was revealed that Mitsoda has been fired and replaced as narrative lead, with long-term fans being anxious as to what the final product will result in without Mitsoda’s aid.
The gameplay features are built upon from the first game, allowing players to create who they were in life prior to a vampire (with some providing bonuses that will aid in play), select their pronouns and body type. Further customization comes from a highly in-depth discipline system, alongside choosing a vampire clan (such as the Nosferatu, named for their similar appearance to the titular character in the 1922 silent film), providing players with ample ways to approach and play through the game’s story.
While initially due for release in 2020, the game has been further pushed back to ensure players have the best possible experience. It’s now set for a 2021 launch.
Starfield – Releasing in 2021 at the earliest
Fans of PC RPGs all over the world have their eyes set on Bethesda Softworks’ upcoming entry into their collection of fantastic roleplaying games. Alongside The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, Starfield aims to take players to space in an RPG of the same caliber and quality expected in a Bethesda title.
Details concerning the upcoming game are incredibly light, but the internet nevertheless is abuzz with hype. After all, Skyrim is still heavily played to this day and is continually supported and added to by the modding community, with Oblivion being moved over into the game for players to experience.
In 2019’s E3 Coliseum, Todd Howard spoke with Elon Musk and revealed that “traveling in space in our game, I want to say it’s like flight in the ’40s, like it’s dangerous,” before stating that these trepidatious conditions will have to be gamified some, so that it’s not as punishing as actual space travel.”
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While we know Starfield will arrive before The Elder Scrolls VI, a release date has yet to be officially confirmed. While this doesn’t bode well for anything to happen before summer 2021, Fallout 4 was revealed just 6 months ahead of its release date.
Dragon Age 4 – April 2022 at the earliest
Set in the world Thedas, Dragon Age features storylines of magic, warring nations, and growing relationships between its central characters. An RPG lover’s dream, the game prides itself on allowing the character to form deep and meaningful friendships, relationships, and adversaries through its storytelling.
With an incredible voice cast throughout its games, such as Freddie Prinze Jr. as the widely loved Bull, Alix Wilton Regan as one of the Inquisitor’s voices, and Felicia Day as Tallis, DA4’s voice cast is surely set to impress.
While little is known as to the storyline of the new installment, with Bioware’s description of “The world of Dragon Age needs a new hero – someone who can take on the evil forces threatening Thedas,” we can be sure to be in for a wild ride.
Although Bioware’s release of Anthem was a total flop and has been all but abandoned and swept by the wayside, Dragon Age has promising potential to be another fantastic addition to the franchise, with characters like Silas returning once more to pull at player’s emotions. No release date is yet set in stone, but in EA’s previous Q2 earnings call for 2020, Blake Jorgensen stated that it “probably” would release after the fiscal year of 2022, which would denote any time after April 2022.
Fable 4 – 2022 at the earliest
Little is known about the fourth installment in the Fable franchise. Other than the teaser trailer detailing that we will “explore a land of fantastical creatures and wondrous places” there’s little to go off of. Of course, it seems set that Fable’s setting mimics the previous installments, with the dry, British, tongue-in-cheek humor still very much alive.
The fact that we are even receiving a new game came completely out of the left-field, though, as Lionhead Studios and head Peter Monyleux closed up shop in 2016 after canceling the cooperative asymmetrical Fable Legends, which saw development issues throughout its lifecycle.
For now, though, all we have to go off of is the information relayed in the trailer. “The world is full of stories of legendary heroes and treacherous villains.” This likely indicates a continuation of the game mechanic which sees you being able to become good or evil through the actions that you take throughout gameplay. It continues by saying that “not all stories have happy endings, but yours has yet to be written,” possibly hinting towards an open-ended experience in which the actions of players affect what occurs in the nation of Albion.
While no release date is set, as nothing other than a teaser has been shown, we can make a safe estimation that the game will not see a 2021 release. What we do know, though, is that the game will, at least initially, be an Xbox and PC exclusive, due to the game being made under the Microsoft umbrella.
Hogwarts Legacy – Releasing in 2022
While a plethora of games based around The Wizarding World have been released in the past, predominantly based around the adventures of Harry Potter and his friends, Hogwarts Legacy aims to shake up the narrative. Set in the late 1800s before Voldemort and other baddies attempted to gain control of the wizarding community, the date is far enough away to be its own separate entity yet still remain within the realm of familiarity. After all, the Wizarding World and the technologies and fashions used there are timeless.
Allowing players to choose their Hogwarts House of Slytherin, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw while attending classes as a 5th-year transfer student, players will be able to experience the closest thing to a lifelike replica of existing in Hogwarts.
Roleplaying communities have existed in online forums and virtual worlds — such as Second Life’s Mischief Managed — for years, allowing players to create their own characters with deep storylines and roleplay with others, but this will be the first AAA experience for fans to engage with.
In an official statement released on the Hogwarts Legacy Twitter, it’s been revealed that the game is now due for release in 2022.
So, there you have it. Our list of the best RPGs coming to PC in 2021 and beyond. It’s looking to be an exciting future for fans of the genre.