My gaming journey has taken a nice swerve in recent years.
I discovered RPGs for the first time a couple of years ago and it has quickly become my favorite genre in video games. While I’ve fallen in love with the genre, it’s still been a bit of a learning curve.
I grew up on Mario and Legend of Zelda games mostly, although Pokémon was also a popular franchise to me when I was young. Focusing primarily on these types of games made me accustomed to a certain style of gaming.
So when I ventured into the fantasy-heavy worlds of RPGs, I was in for a bit of a shock since the gameplay is so unique. I’ve largey picked it up but still am learning the intricacies as I go.
This leads me to a key question for other players who are interested, but new to the genre: Which RPGs are ideal for beginners?
Pokémon Games as a Foundation
As mentioned, I was a big fan of Pokémon growing up. Pokémon Gold and Crystal were absolute gems to me, leading me to only minimal tears when I realized the internal battery doesn’t last forever.
Without even realizing it, these games were my first RPGs, specifically Pokémon Red. The exploring, collecting, leveling, and combat all helped brace me for playing iconic turn-based series like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.
I think a lot of people have played Pokemon games, making them an ideal starter for those interested in RPGs.
The Case for Action RPGs and Ys VIII
Another great starting point for myself was Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana.
The Legend of Zelda has always been my favorite franchise largely because the controls are simple. Press B to swing your sword and move your control stick/pad to dodge attacks.
I almost gave up on Xenoblade Chronicles on my 3DS because the battle system is the complete opposite of that. Once it clicked, I had a lot more fun, but the learning curve was difficult.
Thank goodness games like Ys VIII exist because it takes the simple controls of action-adventure games and blends it with RPG elements. This game has quickly skyrocketed to my top five games of all time.
Action RPGs sometimes get a bad rap from purists, but I believe they are a transition into the robust world of RPGs. This is especially true if you came from a similar background as mine in regards to games.
RPG games are robust in nature and include a lot of different subgenres such as JRPGs, tactical RPGs, action RPGs, and many more.
What do you Think?
There are many franchises — such as Fire Emblem — that offer beginner modes to help newcomers, while still providing the tougher experiences for veterans. In particular, Fire Emblem: Awakening was another great first step into tactical games.
But what do you think? Which RPGs are perfect for beginners? Which game eased you into the genre? Which one would you recommend to newcomers to the genre? Let us know in the comments below or by commenting in our Discord.