I have tried a ton of RPGs, and most just don’t click for me. Here are a few:

  • Skyrim - enjoyed Morrowind for the side content, Skyrim just felt empty
  • Chrono Trigger - enjoyed until about halfway through with the battle with Magus; felt very RNG dependent, or maybe I was under leveled; I bailed after 5 or so attempts that all ended the same way (healer got killed and everyone got picked off)
  • Pillars of Eternity - burned out somewhere in Act 2 (20-25 hours); combat system annoyed me, and I dislike picking new abilities
  • Banner Saga - story is great, but I hate the combat, so I bailed

Some things about me:

  • I don’t care about leveling up/character builds, it feels like a chore; abilities also don’t interest me
  • I hate grinding
  • using items feels like cheating, so I tend to just use character abilities (I will heal if needed); I’d rather “git gud” than buy and use items
  • turn based combat (tactics) is generally boring, but I do like puzzles, so that can make it acceptable
  • I don’t like the feeling of being OP, I want to struggle through the end
  • I don’t like loot

That said, here are a few that I’ve really enjoyed:

  • ARPGs like Ys and Zelda - items are rare or are tools in a puzzle-like system; favorites are Ys 1, Ys Origin, Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Zelda: Skyward Sword (probably because I played Skyward Sword recently); I dislike BotW, and Memories of Celceta has been dragging a bit (I’m near the end, but excited to finish)
  • interesting RPGs like Undertale - short and very unique experience
  • Souls-like games - challenge involving melee/dodging keeps me going
  • Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - not a fan of the combat, but the story is interesting somewhat at least; I’m about 2/3 through I think (30 hours), but I’ve taken a multi-month break; likewise, Xenoblade Chronicles is interesting so far, but I’m not super excited about it (may bump down to story mode to get through it, the combat sucks imo)
  • Nier: Replicant - great story, leveling stayed out of the way, and I never felt like I needed to grind or upgrade gear

I really like the storylines of RPGs, I just don’t like actually playing them. Unfortunately, my preferred ARPG genre is filled with loot nonsense, and I’ve played most of the ones that don’t really on that as a mechanic. Perhaps my favorite RPG-adjacent game not mentioned already is Yakuza 0, I’m not a fan of the combat, but he story is amazing and the side content is fun.

Does anyone feel similarly? Do you have any suggestions for other games to try?

Jedi: Fallen Order is a souls-like set in the Star Wars universe. Frequently goes on sale for under 10 bucks these days.

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