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Top 10 Best Sci-Fi RPGs of ALL TIME

VO: Dan Paradis

Script written by Alex Crilly-McKean

Space! Aliens! Star Fighters! Lasers! Experience Points? These are the best best role playing games - or RPGs - take to place in a science fiction style setting. That means no swords and sorcery here - just spaceships, plasma rifles, strange aliens and faraway planets! And quite honestly, we’re pretty sure that we’ve found the very best of them all, so tune into http://WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Sci-Fi RPGs!

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Special thanks to the peerless user “Dan Paradis” for suggesting this topic when no-one else was brave or smart enough to do so, using unparalleled skill with our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Transcript
One small step for man, one giant leap for gamers. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we are counting down our picks for the top ten Sci-Fi RPGs.

For this list, we’ll be looking at RPG games that primarily exist in the sci-fi genre, though we won’t be including MMOs. We’re also only going to be covering one game per franchise.

#10: “Borderlands 2” (2012)

Taking the best elements from the first game, this highly acclaimed sequel brings together four new Vault Hunters on an explosive mission of revenge. With a colourful cast of dynamic, and often psychotic, characters to play as, not to mention one of the best video game villains in recent history in the form of Handsome Jack, all held together by Borderland’s signature design and polished off with online multiplayer; your second trip to Pandora won’t be one you’ll be forgetting anytime soon. Besides, we’re kind of afraid of what Tiny Tina will do to us if we don’t include it.

#9: “Star Ocean: The Second Story” (1998)

Making the transition from the Super Famicon to the original PlayStation, this second instalment marked vast improvements for this ever-evolving series. Players are given the choice of two protagonists, whose individual choices ultimately decide the fate of the cosmos as they battle against the universally genocidal Ten Wise Men. While it has all the traditional features of your standard 90s RPG such as travelling from dungeon to dungeon, where the game really shines is in its battles. Set in real time where there’s no limits on player manoeuvrability, fights have a lot more weight to them. Whether you prefer to get up close and personal or flank your enemies, this game still stands out as one of the series’ best.

#8: “Shadowrun Returns” (2013)

Now this is how you make the most of a crowdfunded game. Taking control of the signature Shadowrunner, players are thrown into a tale of conspiracy and murder contained in a neo-noir setting with an emphasis on customisation and exploration as well as its RPG-style combat. While there is indeed a mystical element to it, what with the races you can play as ranging from human to elf to dwarf, even trolls, the game remains fixed in its sci-fi roots. Where else would you be able to select the Street Samurai class? We also have to give mention to the expansion turned standalone title, Shadowrun: Dragonfall (xref) for continuing the trend.

#7: “Xenogears” (1998)

Reincarnation, destruction, trauma and giant robots. What more could you ask for? While the recent Xenoblade Chronicles X(xref) was a strong contender, our choice for the Xeno franchise had to go to the tale of Fei Fong Wong and his quest to end the cycle of universal rebirth and extinction. Tasked with freeing the Wave Existence, we’re presented with a tragic hero whose bloody past and previous deeds have let him a wounded, vulnerable but relatable protagonists who desire to atone is as compelling as the fact that you basically get to take out God with giant, freaking robots!

#6: “System Shock 2” (1999)

We could go into detail about how the game presents us with a distinct class system that easily blends together RPG and FPS elements, and that the dependency on upgrading your weapons, armour and abilities does nothing to impede the claustrophobic nature of your environment and the horrors of the enemies you have to face. However there’s really only one you need to hear that ensures this title’s standing amongst fans of the genre: Shodan. No matter how many rounds you have or how many psionic powers you’re able to unlock, the ever looming threat and haunting voice of this insane A.I ensures that this Sci-Fi entry won’t leave you basking in wonder, but shaking in fear.

#5: “Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic” (2003)

Mixing together nostalgia and elevating the lore that George Lucas created, this iconic entry in the Star Wars gaming mythos had players question just how tempting it was to turn to the Dark Side. With multiple origin stories and classes to choose from, tonnes of customisation to choose from as well as a gripping story that had you taking on the infamous Darth Malak, nothing was more satisfying than busting out a lightsaber and smiting foes with your mastery of the Force. Oh, and there was this whole plot twist that shocked fans to their core? Something about Darth Revan? Meh, can’t be that important.

#4: “Final Fantasy VII” (1997)

The earlier entries in this franchise were very much at home with the fantasy side of things, but VII is when science began to seep in, and from it came a hybrid that is still adored to this day. Following Cloud Strife and an iconic cast as they try to bring down the Shinra Cooperation, stop the imminent impact of the world-destroying meteor and defeat the villainous but oh so badass Sephiroth. You may still be able to summon giant creatures on a whim, but the substantial amount of mechanised enemies and abundance of airships boasts a whole other side to franchise that would only flourish in future instalments.

#3: “Deus Ex” (2000)

Long before Adam Jensen was fighting both for and against augmented individuals, JC Denton was taking on the likes of the Illuminati and choosing the fate of the entire world. Aside from is deeply-invested and layered narrative, the game incorporates both lethal and non-lethal ways to complete each mission. With multiple ways to deal with enemies and navigate each terrain depending on which skill points are invested, players will find themselves shooting, slicing, silencing and hacking their way to an ending that dealt with consequences that were far off from anything resembling a happy ending.

#2: “Fallout 3” (2008)

In a world where nuclear war has ravaged life beyond repair, the sci-fi genre takes a dark turn as players have to venture through the Capital Wasteland. Aside from a main quest that has you gunning down Super Mutants, Cannibals and Raiders all in an attempt to save Liam Neeson, the game offers numerous side missions that will only submerge you deeper into the twisted lore, where classic steampunk gains a futuristic edge. The captital wasteland is yours to explore – just be careful to not absorb too many rads…

Before we reveal our number one pick, here are a few honourable mentions.

“Transistor” (2014)

“Rogue Galaxy” (2005)

“Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey” (2010)

#1: “Mass Effect 2”

The strongest entry in what many consider to be one of the greatest video game trilogies of all time, Commander Shepard’s second venture through the galaxy to defeat the eerie Collectors was truly a space opera to remember. Meshing together impressive third-person shooter elements vastly improved from the first game along with branching dialogue options, you truly felt like you were shaping the galaxy around you. Throw in awesome weapons and armour, interesting companions who come complete with a plethora of personal missions, not to mention some deeply-investing romances, and you have one of sci-fi gaming’s greatest hits.

Do you agree with our list? What do you think is the best Sci-Fi RPG video game of all time? With new top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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