Kim's Most Anticipated RPGs Of 2015

by Kimberley Wallace on Dec 31, 2014 at 09:05 AM

As the year comes to a close, I’m always anxious to look at what’s in store for the next, especially for my favorite genre: role-playing games. The best part? I usually find more is coming out than I even realized. Plenty of cool RPGs are due to hit in 2015, such as Final Fantasy Type-0, Bloodborne, and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker, but this wouldn’t be much of a list if I included everything I’m interested in. Narrowing it down to a few titles was tough, but these are the games most on my radar. RPG forecast: Looking fantastic.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3 made my list last year and the delays haven’t changed my enthusiasm in the slightest. I like that CD Projekt RED is taking the time to give Geralt the send off he deserves. Every time I see something new from the game, like Ciri being a second playable character, I'm even more excited than before. At this past E3, it ended up being my game of the show as CD Projekt RED showed how some difficult choices would reflect in the world. Who can you really trust? And that’s what I’m most excited to see — choice and consequence play out in an open-world adventure. CD Projekt RED has already shown it knows how to make compelling choices. Throw in anti-hero Geralt and I’m more than excited to see how his finale shakes out. This is his story, and as we’ve seen, it’s all shades of gray. 

Persona 5

Atlus hasn’t revealed much about Persona 5 (aside from a trailer and red and black color scheme), but the franchise has such a fantastic pedigree that I don’t need much to raise my enthusiasm. If you think about it, the last main entry launched in 2008, so we’re due for a new cast and adventure. As much as I love Persona 4’s cast, I’m ready for new blood, and the Persona series never lets me down in the character department. 

The trailer already showed the game in modern-day with the main character riding Japan’s rail system. The main character looks bored, stuck in the rut of a routine, and soon he’s out in the hustle and bustle of the city, swarmed by people. So far Atlus has also revealed that a conflict will be the characters feeling restrained by the rules of society, which makes sense in the context of the recent trailer. I have a feeling it will be about them breaking free and doing what’s right for them, not what society wants, but that’s just my speculation as a Persona fan. Of course, I’ll be interested to see how that conflict ties into dungeons and taps into our characters special powers. We saw a blue surge of electric light at the end of the trailer. That’s the only hint so far. 

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles also made the list last year, even though I knew it was a long shot for a 2015 release. This is one I’m hoping doesn’t slip to 2016, as it’s definitely a game the Wii U could use right now. At least at this past E3 we got a taste of the game in a 43-minute live stream that answered many questions. Xenoblade Chronicles X is a spiritual successor, not a direct sequel to the fantastic Xenoblade Chronicles. Still, it taps into many of the same philosophical ideals. An epic space battle between two alien races incidentally causes Earth’s destruction. Humans attempt to evacuate before Earth blows up. Your main character, who is completely customizable right down to gender, ends up crashing into alien planet. From here on out, it’s up to you to find answers and life. The world shown off in the demo already looked amazingly vast and varied (even housing a city that looked like a futuristic Los Angeles), and that’s just a slice of the game. Throw in dinosaur-like creatures and mech battles, and the world is just a cool place of discovery. Xenoblade Chronicles was all about evolving the JRPG, and I expect Monolith Soft will take X to new heights for a new generation.   

The Banner Saga 2

The Banner Saga ended up being one of my favorite games of last year, breathing new life into the strategy/rpg genre with choices around every bend. The fight was never easy; forcing you to manage troops and encounter unexpected obstacles such as illness. It was Stoic’s first outing and now the developer has had time to assess what worked and what didn’t. It’ll be interesting to see if and how your choices from the first game, especially the ending, play into The Banner Saga 2. Not much has been revealed outside of an announcement trailer, but I’m all in for another round. The first game left me feeling the sting of my poor choices, and even when I succeeded wondering if there was something I could have done better. For better or worse, The Banner Saga forced me to go with my gut, never really offering me an easy choice. I can’t wait for another entry that challenges me both on and off the battlefield.

Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance  

I’ve been a longtime fan of the Disgaea series. I love its wacky humor and the way it forces you get creative with your strategy. Tower attacks, anyone? The fifth entry is raising the stakes with a longer campaign (16 chapters!) and bigger battles (up to 100 enemies on screen, compared to the 30 in past entries). The theme is revenge, which is a delicious topic in itself for the Netherworld. NIS said the storyline is much darker this time around, but you can still expect plenty of parody and laughs. After all, you have a character that’s obsessed with curry and one who acts like a princess and treats everyone like they’re her slave. A revenge mode also plays into theme with, letting you deliver the ultimate payback. Disgaea 4 still remains one of my favorite entries; NIS went all out with it. I have a feeling it will be doing just the same for Disgaea’s PS4 debut. I can’t wait to get back into that crazy, evil world.  

Tales of Zestiria

Tales has continued to charm me throughout the years. I love the the action combat, and the franchise has a knack for building character bonds. Tales of Xillia added some refinements to the series, but Tales of Zestiria looks like it’s offering even more. I had the opportunity to test out a Japanese build at Namco Bandai’s TGS event and liked what I experienced. Zestiria returns to the franchise’s classical roots, taking place in a traditional, medieval setting. The common theme is coexistence and this plays into the two lead characters: Sorey and Mikleo. Sorey is human, while Mikleo is a seraph. Sorey can transform in battle, using Mikelo and other seraphs’ powers. Different seraphs lend Sorey different elemental powers; elemental weaknesses are front and center for this entry. I’m most interested in finding out more about the other cast members. From what I’ve seen, this is the best-looking Tales game yet, and I can’t wait to get another big console entry in the series.

What RPGs are you most looking forward to in 2015?