Name some playable RPG's, please
March 22, 2008 9:02 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend some 2D RPG's I can play on my PC.

I absolutely loved Legend of Zelda on the original Gameboy. I also absolutely loved it on the SNES. I hated it on the N64 it because it was 3D, and my brain is apparently incapable of dealing with 3D rendering. I managed about 20 minutes of jumping round the screen before I turned it off, never to play it again, because I couldn't work out where I was in relation to everything else. I do occasionally dig the SNES out of storage, and play LoZ again. I also really liked Secret of Mana.

What are some other similar 2D games I might like? Things I'm looking for especially are playability, power-ups, characterisation, etc. Going on some kind of quest would be cool. Graphics aren't important at all, as long as I can tell the player from the enemy. Single player would be best.

I'd prefer to be able to play them offline, but online is cool too. I've trying Googling free games, but there's so much chaff out there, it's hard to separate the wheat. I'm running XP, if that's relevant. I'm prepared to pay for a game, if it's worth it.
posted by Solomon to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Spiderweb Software makes several cross-platform 2D RPG's that should be right up your alley.
posted by mkultra at 9:17 AM on March 22, 2008

Dink Smallwood

Diablo 1 and 2, I would think. Especially heavy on the customization.

Cave Story

Of course, emulation for the SNES has pretty much been perfected. While I wouldn't avocate downloading roms of games easily acquired either through ebay or the Virtual Console store on the Wii, using and emulator will give you access to some never released items, like a fan translated version of the sequel to Secret of Mana.
posted by zabuni at 9:39 AM on March 22, 2008

Doesn't someone sell a single-cd collection of the old "Gold Box" D&D games?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:35 AM on March 22, 2008

The best you'll do for free games is probably to emulate an SNES... lots of places to download basically every SNES game ever made for free. Try Chrono Trigger for SNES. You might like something like Diablo 2 for the PC -- less story, more hack'n'slash.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:41 AM on March 22, 2008

2nd zabuni. Try Final Fantasy 6, and the Breath of Fire series. also Chrono Trigger and Earthbound. there is of course the whole Dragon Warrior series as well.

You will be able to find them on Ebay, of course, but they might not be very cheap.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 10:46 AM on March 22, 2008

The Interplay/Bioware games from the nineties would work for you. Baldur's Gate, Fallout, Planescape, etc.
posted by cmyk at 11:02 AM on March 22, 2008

It would behoove you to look into buying a Nintendo DS, since its catalog (and the Game Boy Advance catalog, with which the DS is compatible) is both rife and teeming with the kinds of games you seek. There are two newer 2D Zelda games might interest you in particular: Phantom Hourglass and the Minish Cap. You might also look into the prequel to the Secret of Mana that was released on the GBA (Sword of Mana). A used DS won't run you much more than $100, and you can generally find good deals on used and new games.

You sound like you're looking for action RPGs in particular, or maybe just action/adventure games; many of the games that have been suggested so far (e.g., Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger) are more hardcore, stat- and turn-based affairs, which are maybe not what you're looking for. Diablo and the Interplay/Bioware games are good, but they're also kind of heavy and lack the whimsy and playability you find in the Zelda games.

The overlap between PC-based and 2D action/adventure/RPG games, to my knowledge at least, is pretty slim (though I would be happy if subsequent answers proved me wrong!). But if you're just looking for excellent freeware games for the PC, there are a lot of options. Along with Cave Story, two freeware PC action/adventure games that I highly recommend are Seiklus and Knytt, both of which have a bit of Zelda in their blood, are very playable, and have subtle but interesting characterization.

If you do go down the emulator or DS path, make sure to check out the Metroid games (if you haven't already). If your love of action/adventure extends to platformers, there's a lot there for you to enjoy (Metroid: Zero Mission, Metroid Fusion, Super Metroid, etc.).

Good luck!
posted by aparrish at 2:57 PM on March 22, 2008

ADOM ("Ancient Domains of Mystery") is an extremely involving and entertaining RPG that can quite easily suck up all your free time. It uses ASCII characters as the graphics, but if you can get past that, it sounds like it will fit the bill...
posted by Chunder at 4:59 PM on March 22, 2008

It's not technically an rpg, but ditto Cave Story which is totally awesome.
posted by juv3nal at 10:03 PM on March 22, 2008

posted by Zed_Lopez at 10:22 PM on March 22, 2008

I second the Baldur's Gate/Planescape: Torment recommendation. I've been playing computer RPG's since the mid-80's, and Planescape:Torment is in my top 3 all-time. The story, setting, and writing are vastly superior to just about everything else out there.

I'd also recommend you check out GameTap. Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape, Phantasy Star, and lots of other RPG's are on there.

Good luck!
posted by EKStickland at 11:21 PM on March 22, 2008

Yeah, the Baldur's Gate, Planescape, Fallout axis could be called the height of 2d western RPGs. You couldn't possibly go wrong with any of those. Arcanum is also a well-liked steampunk rpg, but I haven't played it myself.
posted by Hildago at 12:11 PM on March 23, 2008

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