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Our 10 Most Anticipated RPGs Of 2017

by Kimberley Wallace on Jan 20, 2017 at 11:02 AM

Now that a new year is in full swing, it's always exciting to get an idea of how you'll spend it as a gamer. 2017 is full of promising titles, so much so we've been breaking them down by genre so you can see what's in store for your favorites. We recently showcased what's on deck for the action and shooter genre, and now it's time to shine the spotlight on the RPG genre. So far it looks like it's going to be a big year for RPG fans with tons of different experiences on tap, from humorous romps such as South Park: The Fractured But Whole, to exciting remasters such as Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue. We had a hard time getting our list down to just 10 games, and as some of you may have noticed, we had some genre crossovers that ended up on the action list like Horizon Zero Dawn and Nioh. These are the 10 RPGs for 2017, ranked from 10 to 1, that we're most anticipating.

10. Valkyria Revolution 
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, Vita
Release: Spring
We fell in love with Valkyria Chronicles, naming it one of our top 10 RPGs of last generation, so we're interested in what Valkyria Revolution has in store. The game is a "revolution" from what we've come to expect from the Valkyria games, taking place in an alternate time, continent, and universe. The biggest shake-up is the gameplay; previously the series has been focused on turn-based strategy, but now it's a straight-up action/RPG. While changes can be scary, we're curious if they're for the better. Revolution has you building up your base, forming relationships with your squadmates (permadeath is possible!), and customizing your companions' A.I. and weapons to fit certain battle roles. A bonus? Legendary composer Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger, Xenoblade) is behind the score.

9. Cosmic Star Heroine
Platform: PS4, PC, Mac, Vita
Release: Spring
So far we've been impressed with what we've seen from Cosmic Star Heroine in demos. This fun, 16 bit-style throwback takes cues from JRPGs such as Phantasy Star, Suikoden, and Chrono Trigger, and comes from a two-man team that has already made a name for itself: Zeboyd Games, the developer behind Cthulhu Saves the World and episodes three and four of Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. The story, which is inspired by sci-fi films such as Blade Runner and Alien, follows Alyssa L'Salle, a top galactic agent who uncovers a government conspiracy. The turn-based RPG also lets you recruit characters and build up your own headquarters in your fight.

8. The Bard's Tale IV
Platform: PC, Mac
Release: October
The CRPGs of yesteryear are making a big comeback! After successfully crowdfunding Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera, inXile Entertainment (founded by Interplay's Brian Fargo) looked to see what fans wanted next. It turned out demand was high for a revival of The Bard's Tale, the very series that put Brian Fargo and Interplay on the map over 30 years ago. A Kickstarter campaign raised over $1.5 million for a sequel to the trilogy. The Bard's Tale helped define the role-playing genre, and now inXile wants to modernize it for a new generation of gamers, keeping intact all the things that made the trilogy special. The party-based dungeon crawler will have rich exploration, dangerous fights, and challenging puzzles and riddles. inXile even turned to hardcore fans for feedback along the way.

7. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
Platform: PlayStation 4
Release: TBD
Regardless of how you felt about the original, you can't deny the power and beauty of being transported to a Studio Ghibli world. That's why we're interested in how Bandai Namco will follow things up with a sequel. We're hoping it can only improve on the previous formula, making the combat just as enticing as the fantastical backdrop. Not much has been revealed about the game, but in an interview with IGN Japan, director Akihiro Hino said the team is "giving it all their might" and "the scale has gotten huge." Unfortunately, Studio Ghibli will not have any involvement in the sequel, but the art style shown in trailers still look on point - vibrant and gorgeous.

6. Nier: Automata
Platform: PlayStation 4, PC
Release: March 7
Coming off a fun and well-received demo, Nier: Automata's release date is drawing near, making us excited to see the game in all its glory. The original Nier captured a dedicated fan base with its fun characters and emotional tale. Thankfully, series creator Taro Yoko, producer Yosuke Saito, and composer Keiichi Okabe are all back for Automata, and it's also bringing in new talent with Platinum Games heading development. One of the criticisms lodged at the first game was its combat, so we're hoping Platinum Games can bring the stylish action it's known for to bolster this entry.

[Click to the next page to see what made our top five....]

5. Divinity: Original Sin 2
Platform: Xbox One, PC, Mac
Release: TBD
We couldn't be more thrilled for a sequel to one of the best RPGs of 2014. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is set centuries after the first game. You can choose your hero's stats, origin story, race, and recruit up to three characters to join your journey. Dialogue and quests will be different depending on your character's backstory, and Larian said the origin tales will continue to "evolve and expand through the main campaign." Choices are also left in your hands; you can kill, chat, or trade with anyone. Will you steal or sneak your way through quests, or vow to be an honest adventurer? Larian took the time to get feedback from the first game, and has been improving the sequel since it entered early access this past September.

4. Torment: Tides of Numenera
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release: February 28
A spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Planescape Torment, an RPG often heralded for its fantastic writing? Sign us up. Apparently, others agreed too, as it set a record for highest-funded video game on Kickstarter with over $4 million pledged. We're curious how Torment will live up to Planescape's legacy and the ways in which inXile will evolve and modernize the formula for this generation. Just like its predecessor, the focus here will be on story, characters, and interacting with the world. Based on the world of Monte Cook's tabletop RPG setting, Numenera, the game is set in the far future, where civilization has regressed into a medieval state.  During your trek, you will encounter optional NPC companions, and your words, actions, and choices are said to drive the experience. Here's hoping inXile delivers on all these fronts, giving Planescape a wonderful comeback.

3. South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release: Spring
Coming off the fantastic Stick of Truth, South Park is at it again with another hilarious RPG, appropriately titled The Fractured But Whole. Ubisoft San Francisco, with the help of South Park masterminds Trey Parker and Matt Stone, are set on going bigger with this sequel, creating a richer gameplay experience and longer narrative. Its focus is just as appetizing and ripe for comedy: superheroes. You create your own origin story for your hero, build out your superpowers, and can recruit up to 13 friends to your cause. We can't wait for all the laughs and off-the-wall moments that await.

2. Persona 5
Platform: PS4, PS3
Release: April 4
Through various spin-offs and re-releases, we've been waiting a long time for Persona 5, but none of that has dulled our excitement for the next entry in the acclaimed Persona series. We haven't had a new mainline game or cast since 2008's Persona 4, so we're curious about how the new cast compares and shakes things up for the series. In this entry, you're a regular high school student by day, just trying to make friends and live a normal life. At night, however, you transform into a phantom thief who must rescue people from their distorted desires. Atlus has always had a knack for building character relationships and confronting mature topics, making us more than eager to step into this next entry and dungeon-crawl our hearts out.

1. Mass Effect Andromeda
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Release: March 21
Last generation, the Mass Effect trilogy made a huge impact on gamers and the industry alike, giving us a memorable journey and characters to cherish. Now it's time to see what else BioWare can do in the Mass Effect universe. BioWare finally peeled back the curtain this last year, confirming it's bringing back loyalty missions and making a game with its largest universe to date. In Andromeda, you are the Pathfinder and your job is to find a new home for humanity. To do this you must explore a variety of planets, each offering a host of things to do and discover. BioWare set a hell of a high bar with Commander Shepard's adventure, and seeing if they can top it is exciting in its own right. Here's hoping they do, and Andromeda brings us all the things we love about Mass Effect along with some great innovations.

What RPGs are you most looking forward to in 2017? Let us know in the comments below. Be sure to check our our most anticipated adventureactionMMORPGshooter games lists as well.