It may sound like a weird request, but I’d love to see more single-player role-playing games that give you the illusion that you’re playing a massively multiplayer online game. In other words, I want a game that has NPCs that talk like people, an action-oriented combat, a large world to explore and a game where I can sink hundreds of hours into. Of course, the point of playing an MMORPG is the social experience it provides, but there’s something that draws me to single-player games that make you feel like you’re playing with other people.
Dragon Age: Inquisition (PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
Over the years, BioWare has proven that it really knows how to craft a role-playing game. Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect are some of the fantastic series that the company has given us and Dragon Age is another success for the company. Inquisition is a massive fantasy epic that tells a mature story that explores themes of sexuality and politics. On top of that, the combat is entertaining, there are several quests to complete and the environments are diverse.
Final Fantasy XII (PlayStation 2, PlayStation 4)
I know most Final Fantasy fans actively dislike the twelfth entry in the series, but I happen to love it. I’m the first one to admit that this game has some problems (primarily, the generic plot,) but the battle system is engrossing and the gambit system is so flexible that you can break the game in some entertaining ways. As long as you’re willing to ignore the plain story and the characters, you’ll find a deep and flexible RPG.
.hack Tetralogy (PlayStation 2)
.hack is a series of action-RPGs for the PlayStation 2 that are games within games, since they are set in an MMORPG universe called The World. There are four games in the main series Infection, Mutation, Outbreak, Quarantine and then there was Fragment (the latter was the only game in the series exclusive to Japan and it was an actual MMORPG. Back in the day, these titles received mixed reviews, while the setting and character design were praised, the mechanics didn’t differ that much from game to game.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Right from the beginning, Kingdoms of Amalur was planned as an MMO, but the developer ran into some financial difficulties and ended up making a single-player action-RPG that has the essence of an MMO. Combat is time-based and there are quick time event cutscenes. On top of that, there’s a “fate system” that allows you to accumulate points to then enter reckoning mode, a slow motion mode that lets you defeat enemies much more quickly. There are some minor technical problems, but if you want a single-player MMO with an engrossing story, compelling gameplay and great-looking environments, this is for you.
Xenoblade Chronicles X (Nintendo Wii U)
If you’re into RPGs, who wouldn’t like a deep combat and upgrade system, vast world to explore and incredible sense of freedom? The only downside is that you need a Nintendo Wii U to play the game, since that’s the only platform where the game is available. So if you want to live in an MMO world where you’re actually playing by yourself, it doesn’t get better than Xenoblade Chronicles X.