While video games as a medium are meant to transport us to various new and unimaginable realities where we control many different characters, role-playing games take it to the next level. With sprawling skill trees and more weapon and armor options than you can count on your hands, RPGs grant you near limitless freedom to design your character any way you want.
The RPG genre has slowly become oversaturated, as other games in different genres might bleed into it by including basic role-playing fundamentals like quests or different abilities. But the true RPGs push the boundaries by adjusting how your character looks on screen after swapping armor pieces or weapons. The following games are among the best that embody this notion and go the extra mile in their character designs.
10/10 Kingdom Hearts
Alright, it might be a bit of a stretch to include Kingdom Hearts among other RPGs but hear us out. The Disney-Square Enix partnership birthed a magical game baby that featured Mickey Mouse and his band of joyous pals with the spikey-haired gang from Final Fantasy.
Kingdom Hearts contains many RPG-like elements, such as different skills, weapons, and armor pieces but only the characters’ weapons visually change on the screen. While the different armor might not change, Sora’s design does adjust when visiting different worlds, and we love seeing all sorts of versions of his giant clown shoes.
9/10 Fallout 4
If there’s one thing fans of the Fallout series have learned, it’s that war never changes. Since 1997, gamers have attempted to survive the bitter wastelands of a post-apocalyptic world that is riddled with all manner of mutated beasts, evil factions, and of course, harsh radiation.
With so many dangers to befall you, having the proper weapons and armor are essential to staying alive. Although the majority of Fallout games are first-person, equipping different gear will adjust your appearance. So, while you might not get the benefit of seeing how your character has evolved throughout the game, all the NPCs you encounter will surely be grateful for it.
8/10 The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
The fifth main installment of the Elder Scrolls series is considered one of the greatest RPGs ever made because of the sheer number of things to do in the game and for allowing players a better way to develop skills.
While Skyrim is meant to be played in the first person, you can change the perspective to the third person. We’re not advocating for either perspective, but playing in the third person will allow you to see the different weapons and gear you find throughout the game. And with one-handed, two-handed, and archery weapons, your character’s appearance might constantly change depending on the type of enemy you’re fighting.
7/10 Mass Effect 2
Role-playing games have evolved from simple turn-based style combat to full-on run-and-gun experiences. Some might not consider certain games to be RPGs, but the boundaries between genres have been meshing together for quite some time. Mass Effect is one of these games, as the intergalactic adventure is ripe with plenty of high-intense battles.
Mass Effect 2 upped the ante from its predecessor and delivered exceptional action sequences that gamers hold in high regard. But the biggest change from the first game was the amount of weapons and gear Commander Shepard and his crew could use. Mass Effect 2 embraced the RPG elements and dove deeper into character creation and how you can change yourself visually.
6/10 Divinity: Original Sin 2
Many avid RPG fans have staked the claim that Divinity: Original Sin 2 reigns supreme in the genre. The sequel takes palace centuries after the events of Divinity: Original Sin and the protagonist is tasked with saving the world of Rivellon from the evil God King who threatens the realm from the Void.
Before rushing into battle, you’ll choose between six pre-made origins and four main classes that will influence how your character fights and interacts with the overarching world. Throughout the game, you’ll find various armor sets and weapons that provide boosts and strengths against enemies, as well as change the appearance of your character.
5/10 Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
The transition from being a stealth series to an action RPG proved extremely successful as Odyssey was praised for its depiction of Ancient Greece and expansive skill tree.
Besides the upgraded abilities system and the high number of quests, Odyssey has a wide range of weapons and armor sets that provide a variety of statistical and visual adjustments. Certain armor sets are designed in the image of specific Greek gods and goddesses, allowing you to display Kassandra or Alexios in unique ways.
4/10 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
One of the most critically acclaimed RPGs of the 2010s was CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. The third entry in the series, Wild Hunt finds Geralt of Rivia on a grueling journey to find Ciri and help save the world. Exploring the sprawling world is a dangerous, yet rewarding task, and you’ll need the proper weapons and armor to survive it.
Different armor sets offer Geralt a variety of buffs that can impact your play style. Typically, you will find swords that will match full armor sets, so Geralt can battle monsters in style. However, you won’t acquire the full set at once but methodically throughout the game.
3/10 World Of Warcraft
Since 2004, World of Warcraft has dominated the online role-playing genre. Gamers choose between13 different classes and set off into the magical world of Azeroth to discover treasures, battle dangerous monsters, and embark on all kinds of quests.
Throughout the years, Blizzard has launched nine major expansion packs that have elevated the experience to new heights. Not only have the expansions added hundreds of hours of content but also a wide range of weapons and armor sets. Because of the social nature of World of Warcraft, gamers tend to show off their characters to others, so finding the best gear isn’t only for defeating enemies in the game. You have to look fashionable doing it.
2/10 Final Fantasy 15
It took ten years for Square Enix to complete the development of Final Fantasy 15. Taking place in the world of Eos, war suddenly erupted between Niflheim and the Lucian royal family. The heir prince to the throne, Noctis, journeys over the world to become strong enough to save Lucis.
Final Fantasy 15 is the first game in the series to utilize a real-time battle system, so any changes to the party’s weapons or armor will visually change while exploring the open world. Besides the standard outfits that you’ll want to equip to strengthen your party throughout the game, there are a few gimmick outfits that gamers will also enjoy using like a full-body Chocobo costume.
1/10 Elden Ring
The brilliance of Hidetaka Miyazaki emerged yet again in FromSoftware’s Elden Ring. The near consensus game of the year, Elden Ring presents unparalleled levels of freedom as you explore the vast realm of The Lands Between, trying to become an Elden Lord.
There is no shortage of terrifying beasts that will try to kill you, making it a top priority to be on the lookout for new weapons and armor. Depending on which of the ten classes you choose from, there will be certain pieces of armor and weapons that you can use in the game. No matter what the gear looks like, always be sure to check its statistic improvements because even a fish mask can provide a helpful boost.
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