Divinity: Original Sin 2 is one of the best modern RPGs, and it is made by the same team that gave us Baldur’s Gate 3. To me, the best thing about Divinity: Original Sin 2 is how close it feels to a tabletop RPG. You can try out all sorts of wacky ideas, and the game will not try to punish you for experimenting. Instead, it has mechanics in place to encourage player creativity and as a result, every playthrough is a completely different experience.
After pouring over 100 hours into Divinity: Original Sin 2, I can confidently say no other modern RPG has the same tactical depth or variety in quests. For those of you who have finished the game and want a similar experience, I have prepared a list of 15 games like Divinity: Original Sin 2. If you enjoyed Divinity, you are surely going to enjoy these games as well. So let’s get started with the list.
1. XCOM: Enemy Unknown
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is more of a strategy game than a story-driven RPG. However, its turn-based combat system is possibly the best I’ve ever experienced in any game. The story has you in charge of defending the planet Earth from a hostile alien force. You are the manager of the XCOM project which is an international paramilitary organization with access to the latest technological advancements. You control troopers of various classes in turn-based combat against invading alien forces.
Based on how you perform in each mission, you will get more or less funding from nations that are part of the XCOM program. XCOM is all about managing resources and making compromises. Do you spend your limited budget on researching new satellites that can help find alien ships? Or do you instead spend that money on interceptors that will shoot down alien ships which you locate via conventional means? XCOM is a challenging game, and it even has a multiplayer mode for 1 v 1 battles between two players. If you want the ultimate turn-based strategy, this is it.
2. XCOM 2
Similar to its predecessor, XCOM 2 is set in a near-futuristic world with all sorts of cool weaponry and tech gizmos. However, in this game, you find out that humanity lost the war you waged in Enemy Unknown. Imagine the Resistance vs Skynet in Terminator, but instead of machines, you’re up against an army of aliens. Early on, you lead your squad of humans against technologically superior alien forces. Characters that you customize and bond with can be permanently killed off if you make the wrong choices.
The turn-based combat is tight and requires you to think several steps ahead as if it were a game of chess. However, there is still an element of luck because doing the right thing won’t always guarantee your victory. You have to put a lot of thought into which aspects of your troops you should upgrade. XCOM 2 introduces a touch of randomness, you never know which route the enemy will be hidden within. It varies from playthrough to playthrough. Procedurally generated maps and lots of mission variety keeps things interesting even after several dozen hours.
3. Wasteland 2
The original Wasteland is what inspired Fallout. Released in 1988 for the Apple II, it hooked an entire generation of gamers onto the CRPG genre. Basically tabletop RPG, but in video game format. And the kids who played the original Wasteland are now fathers. So why did it take so long for a sequel to come out? Well, I can’t really answer that because RPGs as a whole have evolved a lot since then. And the old-school CRPG genre wasn’t in demand until games like Divinity: Original Sin came along. But hey- if you like tabletops and post-apocalyptic themes, you’re going to love Wasteland 2. Combat could be more refined, but I feel Wasteland 2’s story and choices are what make it excellent. A must-play for any true RPG fan.
4. Divinity: Original Sin
This is the one that started it all. Divinity: Original Sin was in the making for a really long time, but a successful Kickstarter campaign is what finally made it happen. Free from the demands of overbearing publishers, Larian got to work on what is undeniably one of the deepest and most enjoyable modern RPGs. The game is set in a generic fantasy world called “Rivellon”, but the smart writing and interesting characters make it very fun to play. Divinity: Original Sin has the usual RPG fetch quests and dungeons, but each one has a little twist or quirk.
These little things defy your preconceived notions and result in a very rewarding experience. The turn-based combat system and variety of choices are what make this game so awesome. Depending on your charm, skill in combat, etc. you can solve a problem with your sword or your words. And the game will provide unique rewards for whichever method your choose.
5. Baldur’s Gate 2: Enhanced Edition
Baldur’s Gate II was originally released in 2000. Back then, video games came on a disk. And with Baldur’s Gate II, you would also get a user manual. One with 263 pages, mind you. It was a book filled with made-up terminology and quirky fantasy stuff. Remember when games were designed to be fun, instead of platforms for microtransactions? Those were the days. Anyways, why should you play Baldur’s Gate II in the current year? Because even after 2 decades the gameplay remains interesting and the story is gripping. Plus, this is the enhanced edition- designed to run on modern hardware and display resolutions. It also has a few new characters and quests that you won’t find in the original version.
6. Pathfinder: Kingmaker
When it comes to recreating a tabletop RPG experience, Pathfinder: Kingmaker comes the closest. It is a deeply immersive experience complete with excellent turn-based combat and a story that clings tight to its tabletop roots. In the world of Pathfinder, you have the usual high fantasy tropes. There are dwarves, elves, trolls, orcs, and all sorts of mythical beings. You’ll slay monsters in dungeons and liberate kingdoms from tyranny. Enemies could use some more balancing to make dungeons feel less monotonous, and the story pacing is slightly off. Even so, this is an exceptionally good CRPG.
7. Pillars of Eternity
Pillars of Eternity is a throwback to the days of old when CRPGs were great. It takes inspiration from Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, etc. Obsidian developed Pillars of Eternity with the help of over 75,000 backers on Kickstarter. The main thing that helps this game stand above any other CRPG in recent times is the amount of detail in its world and lore. Everything feels well thought out. And while it does rely on classic fantasy tropes, Obsidian has introduced new stuff. For example, there are elves and dwarves but also new races of mermaid-like creatures and small furry people. And while you have the usual warriors, mages, rogues, etc. there are refreshing new additions in the form of ciphers and chanters. Combat is real-time, but you can pause to give orders and plan out future moves. Overall, a very good CRPG and definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of games like Divinity or Baldur’s Gate.
8. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire
The sequel to Pillars of Eternity, Deadfire is an improvement in every conceivable way. And no, I’m not saying this just because it’s newer. The combat is more streamlined, character creation is deeper, multiclassing is now allowed, and the plot is more interesting. Some prefer the previous story, but I quite liked the characters and setting of Deadfire. Visually, the 2nd game is a massive upgrade over the first. In the end, if you really have to make a choice I suggest starting with the 1st one and then playing the 2nd for plot continuity. Both combined will take around 100 to 200 hours of your time.
9. Shadowrun: Dragonfall
A turn-based RPG set in a Cyberpunk universe, Shadowrun: Dragonfall is some of the most fun you’ll have in a video game. Trench coat wearing cyber ninjas with telekinetic powers, orcs with machine guns, elves running giant military corporations- this game’s world is wacky and I love it. Magic mixed with modern technology, the perfect fusion of sci-fi and fantasy. Shadowrun: Dragonfall has some of the best characters you’ll see in a video game, and the story is narrated masterfully. Combat feels crisp and there are literally hundreds of weapons/ spells to chose from.
10. The Witcher 3
Alright, I’ll admit- this isn’t exactly a CRPG. However, The Witcher 3 remains one of the most critically acclaimed games of the 2010s. It skyrocketed CD Projekt Red’s brand and made the Witcher books popular. So popular in fact, that Netflix made a TV series on it starring Henry Cavill as Geralt. If you’re looking for branching narratives and deeply engaging combat, this isn’t the game. You can’t even create your own character. There is Geralt, with his predetermined backstory and the game’s plot is very linear. It’s honestly more of an action game with RPG elements. Still, its unique Slavic fantasy setting and excellent storytelling make this game worth a playthrough for RPG fans.
11. Dragon Age: Origins
Well-designed games just don’t age, do they? The original Mass Effect and this game hold up pretty well even today. I should know, I played both just a month ago. Yeah, the graphics don’t look so good. But you can’t ignore the excellent art design. Dragon Age: Origins give you the choice to choose from various backstories for your character in a fantasy world that is on the cusp of being taken over by dark forces. These “darkspawn” were vanquished centuries ago by Grey Wardens. These Grey Wardens were a combined force of warriors from every race on Earth- humans, elves, dwarves, etc.
Now, the evil returns and you must put together a group of warriors to save the world once again. The top-down camera angle is perfect for tacticians, and you can pause the real-time combat system to give your party members orders. There are races, and each race has access to various classes. And within these classes, you have skills as well as spells. The game lets you build your character exactly the way you want to. If you so desire, you can have a stealthy ninja-like hero or a brute who smashes enemies to bits with a giant club.
In most RPGs, you play the role of hero. You start out as a nobody and build up your character into a legend. However, in Tyranny, you are part of the regime. Not the dictator, but a rank and file officer carrying out orders to suppress the rebellion. And yes, your choices do matter. Not in terms of “this guy gets to live”, but “this town doesn’t turn into a barren wasteland” if you make the right choice. And there is really no black or white, everything is morally grey. You can choose to be merciful or a complete barbarian. And depending on how you treat people in the world, they will respond accordingly. You can use the power of otherworldly beings to punish dissenters with earthquakes that will ruin their crops. So yeah, there’s going to be a lot of NPCs who hate your guts if you ever use that power. Tyranny’s combat is mediocre and repetitive, which is a shame because its skill system is vast and creative. Still, the game is an easy 7.5/10.
13. Knights of the Old Republic 2
As far as RPGs go, few top Knights of the Old Republic. It is the best game Bioware has ever made, and the best Star Wars game you can play. Of course, this is my personal opinion but one Google search will tell you that a lot of people share this opinion. So why is this game so good? Simply put- the narrative. You play as the exile, a fallen Jedi who was cast away from the order because he/ she committed terrible war crimes. And because of this humiliation, you cut yourself away from the Force which resulted in the creation of a dark being. A Sith by the name of Darth Traya. She is the main villain but not at all conventional. Old, soft-spoken, and with no desire in becoming more powerful, Darth Traya is one of a kind. The game faces you with uncomfortable questions regarding the Force and whether it’s truly this gift. The excellent dialogue and story combined with good combat make KOTOR 2 my personal favorite Star Wars game.
14. Fallout 1 & 2
A spiritual successor to Wasteland, Fallout is a turn-based RPG set in the post-apocalyptic aftermath of worldwide nuclear war. Humanity now lives in underground settlements called vaults, but the water recycler chip in your vault broke so you have to set foot outside to find a replacement. The world is harsh and unforgiving. You must craft weapons from junk to save yourself from mutated creatures and scavengers. Style and aesthetic are a huge part of what makes Fallout so memorable. The 1st and 2nd Fallout games have top-down camera view. So if you’re used to the new Fallout games, you will find this perspective slightly awkward at first. But the first 2 games are truly excellent RPGs in terms of factions, player choice, weapon and skill selection, etc.
15. Shadowrun: Hong Kong
This game has extremely detailed dystopian cityscapes that make it feel more Cyberpunk than Cyberpunk 2077. Add to that the exceptional soundtracks, and you’ve got a game that’s an absolute joy to play through. The universe of Shadowrun is basically what would happen if Lord of the Rings and Blade Runner merged together. The game is set in 2056 Hong Kong, a city with bright neon streets and dark alleyways. There are skyrises and slums, all within the same city block. Of all the Shadowrun games, turn-based combat is best implemented in this one. If you want a Cyberpunk themed turn-based RPG, this is a must-try.