If you liked Baldur’s Gate 3, try this

There is no real criteria by which we rank them, and we are not certain that this is a full list of games in this genre, but what we are certain of, is that you should definitely try these games if you enjoyed Baldur’s Gate 3.

Baldur’s Gate 3 has come out some time ago, but people will not stop talking about it any time soon. The amount of attention this game has received and the amount of love for it that came from the gaming community is truly unprecedented and heartwarming. There is a very clear demand in the industry for games of similar quality; however, what everyone does not realize entirely is that there is an entire genre of isometric CRPGs that paved the way to Larian’s success. Many of those games have not seen even a fraction of Baldur’s Gate 3’s success, and if they have seen success, then at best came down to being widely popular in wider circles.

I am not indifferent to this genre of games. As a person who grew up playing isometric CRPGs, witnessing their renaissance in the early 2010s with kickstarters of Wasteland, Pillars of Eternity, and Divinity: Original Sin (all of which I will cover in this article), I think the popularity of Larian’s most recent project is the perfect time to raise awareness for this genre that embodies everything great about videogames but largely stays in the shadows because of how intimidating it sometimes gets. After all, it is very true that many of these games require a lot of reading, and the graphics in them are nowhere near as good as what you see in BG3. Still, if what you liked was the adventure that you had to embark upon to get the tadpole out of your head, then there is a great chance you will like these games as well now that you were (hopefully) hooked on the kinds of stories only videogames can truly tell.

A little disclaimer to briefly explain how this list would work: firstly if you do not want to read an entire explanation of why I think this title is great, feel free to skip to the Play This If part. Also, a lot of these games are series. Some have overlapping plots; some are completely disconnected, and some are in the middle. On top of why a certain series might be cool, I will also provide a guide on where best to start each of them and which titles to skip to have the best experience. But if you feel adventurous, feel free to start with whatever game in the series you want.

1) Divinity: Original Sin and Divinity: Original Sin 2

Before being hired by Wizards of the Coast to do a game based on their IP, Larian worked on games set in Larian’s custom IP world. This means that this game is not based on DND 5e and has its own slightly altered gameplay mechanics, systems, and settings. But after you are used to a few unique tweaks, you will quickly notice similarities like talking animals, battle maps that heavily rely on interacting with the environment, multiple ways to solve each quest, and a strong focus on having a player explore each location however they see fit.

You can play any Divinity OS game without worrying about missing out on the plot. Both games are standalone. If their plot does interest you, however, the Divinity IP is extremely versatile and contains a lot of games that are tied by the setting. Events of one game do indirectly influence the other.

The story of Divinity OS follows two source hunters who are hunting for practitioners of the source, which is a prohibited form of magic in the custom world of Divinity. And in OS2, you play as a group of source magicians escaping from a prison designed to lock them in. Both games are written in a style somewhat similar to BG3; there is the same type of humor but a slightly lighter, more comedic tone to the narrative of both games. It feels more like a high fantasy interactive fairy tale rather than a dark narrative involving gods of murder and mass mind control.

Both games also possess the same levels of interactivity as BG3. You can also combine elements to create deadly combos and use battle environments to your advantage. If you enjoyed collecting dozens of explosive barrels, stacking them around a battlefield, and exploding them into your enemies, you would have even more of that experience in Divinity games. Not to mention that the soundtrack for Divinity OS2 is composed by the same man – Borislav Savov. The song Sing for Me is one of the most interesting compositions from it and has arguably the same level of artistic quality as Raphael’s Final Act.

Play This If you liked BG3 for unique combat encounters, quest design, and writing style. You will find all of this here, but be ready for a more relaxed and comedic atmosphere.

u003cspan lang=u0022ENu0022u003e2) Pillars of Eternity seriesu003c/spanu003e

When the first game in this series hit Kickstarter, it advertised itself as a spiritual successor to Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2. In many ways, this game’s success paved the way for an isometric CRPG Renaissance of the 2010s.

The games are connected. The story of PoE1 directly flows into PoE2, but the games are very much worth the time you put into them. They were developed by legendary Obsidian Entertainment (Fallout: New Vegas, Neverwinter Nights II, The Outer Worlds). Its Kickstarter campaign gathered unprecedented success, saving Obsidian from bankruptcy, and the release of the game was so successful Obsidian released the second game in the series just 3 years after the first.

Set in the custom world of Eora, which is a fantasy world that has confirmed reincarnation. The plot is heavily centered around the idea of reincarnation of the souls. As a matter of fact, Pillars of Eternity 1 starts in a manner similar to BG3 because you also realize that you are plagued with something, and over the course of the game, you have to discover what it is. That, however, is where similarities mostly end. Unlike BG3, what plagues you is not the mind flayer tadpole, but rather you gain the ability to speak with souls of the departed and also tap into the souls of other people to see who they were in their past lives. The power of doing so gives you nightmares, as you essentially hear the voices of dead people infinitely, and you need to find a cure before you are consumed by madness. None of your companions share that condition with you, but they each have motivations to join you on your journey. Usually, it is because their path lies towards the same locations as yours. You can become friends with them by the end of the game, but the story does not feel like you are uniting powers of good to save the world from evil. Rather, it feels as if you are all banded together for personal goals that you help each other achieve.

Pillars: Deadfire had everything good about Pillars 1 and then some. Both games are similar to BG3 in terms of narrative design, but their main source of inspiration was BG2, which came out in the early 2000s. When it comes to character writing, Obsidian has a tradition of writing their characters as philosophical concepts. Each of them has some form of existential crisis that is directly related to the main theme of the world rather than the main plot of the game. This, in turn, leads to a lot of character quests feeling like isolated stories, which add nuance to the way you perceive the rest of the world. One character, for example, Aloth, suffers from schizophrenia induced by this universe’s wheel of reincarnation. His past life awoke within him, and he was forced to live with them in the same body. Other companions suffer from similar kinds of issues. All of them were somehow affected either by the war that swept the region or by the intrigues and manipulations of gods, and your character helps them on these quests while they help him.

Try this if you felt as if there was not enough reading in BG3, good characters, and heavy philosophical discussion on the matters of life and death, as well as what it means to be a God.

Play This If you want a game with an even darker tone than the story of BG3, and if instead of a story about saving the world, you want a more subtle narrative about the nature of godhood and the cycle of life.

3) Pathfinder Kingmaker and Wrath of the Righteous

Pathfinder games were developed by Russian Cyprus-based studio Owlcat Games and are based on the Pathfinder TTRPG system developed and published by Paizo. Just like DND, it is a tabletop system, and as a matter of fact, it has a very close relationship with earlier editions of DND. Pathfinder games are based on Pathfinder 1e, which is the offspring of DND 3.5. BG3 is based on DND 5e, which is a more recent edition of the original DND, which chose to prioritize player accommodation and roleplay over complex choices and mechanics, meaning that most of the character creation and choice-making in 5e happens over the course of the first few levels, after which you do not really have to choose anything other than feats and new spells to prepare. What makes Pathfinder stand out from DND is that the system was deliberately designed to make sure that you, as a player, have to make a choice every time you gain a level. If you are a fighter in 5e, you choose feats only once every 4 levels. In Pathfinder, you choose a new feat every single level. If you are a barbarian in 5e, you do not make any choice after level 3. In Pathfinder, at every odd level, you choose a feat, and at every even level, you choose a rage power, of which there is a multitude. And even when you do not get a meaningful choice on a level-up, that usually means next level, you will get to make two choices. This may intimidate some players, but it may also better accommodate those who want to have stronger agency in the progression of their character. That multitude of choices has been perfectly represented in Pathfinder: Kingmaker and Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, with the second game having progressively more options than the 1st.

Both games are set in Golarion, which is a unique world that both resembles and differentiates itself from Forgotten Realms and Faerun. In Kingmaker, you take over the role of a baron who tries to bring civilization to a barren region called the Stolen Lands but finds himself in the middle of a world-shattering intrigue. In Wrath, you are a Knight Commander leading the crusade against demons, and eventually, you become a demigod of your own choice. You can be an angel crushing hordes of demons, an aeon preserving the space-time continuum, a golden dragon fighting for the freedom of mortals, or maybe your story will be the story of someone who decided to fight great evil with another great evil seeking the power of undeath, and becoming a lich, or even a demon lord. There are essentially 9 stories being told in Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, and each of them comes with a multitude of difficult choices to make.

Companions in both Kingmaker and WOTR are done on the level, if not better, than in BG3. Speaking from personal experience, and I know this may be a controversial statement. Still, in both Pathfinder games, there are romantic interests that are written on the level of Karlach and Shadowheart. For Kingmaker, I would say that the romance that stands out the most is the romance of Valerie, a human fighter who seems off-putting at first but goes through a very narratively deep arc. In WOTR, I have really enjoyed the romance of Arushalae. Both of those romances require you to spend a lot of time with your chosen companion and help them grow and develop into better people thanks to your influence and help. What is also interesting is that in both Kingmaker and WOTR, you can corrupt companions and make them succumb to dark influences, if they have any, which is not something you can do in BG3. Wyll can be persuaded to kill Karlach, but there is no way for you to corrupt him and convince him that slaughtering the druid grove is a good idea. Companions can still leave you in Pathfinder games, but the way it happens is done with much more depth, and in both games, you are required to spend a lot of time with them and complete their quests in a certain way to make sure they make it through to the end. This brings risk to the gameplay and may encourage some people to save or look up guides ruining their gameplay, which is a valid criticism for Kingmaker. In WOTR, however, you can corrupt multiple companions and still make them playable, which is something I expected from BG3 but sadly didn’t get. Do be wary of corrupting your companions, though, because it may still have unexpected consequences. Also, Pathfinder games do not allow you to romance every companion but rather give you multiple romance options and multiple friend options, which works as a better balance because you do not have your entire party trying to flirt with you for no apparent reason.

Another great thing about Pathfinder games is the adjustability of difficulty. Instead of giving you a choice between easy, normal, hard, and very hard, the game gives you a whole page worth of sliders and offers you an opportunity to adjust the difficulty yourself. Those sliders include things like enemy stats and damage output, the severity of penalties that your team may receive, inclusion or exclusion of permadeath, and methods of progression. Whether the party will get exp individually or collectively as a milestone and is just the tip of the iceberg. The game understands the importance of player choice and offers you the opportunity to balance the game the way you see fit.

Play This If you want a narrative similar to BG3, with equally well-written companions and romances, and also play it if you want more choice over your characters’ and your companions’ build. Also, play it if you really liked Astarion because, in my humble opinion, Daeran from Pathfinder: WOTR is written much better than him.

4) Wasteland 2 and 3

Specifically, 2 and 3, because Wasteland 1 was released way back in the 1980s. Its recent remaster is worth checking out, but I would say that you do not really need it to have a good time with Wasteland 2 and 3.

The games are set in the post-apocalyptic USA, and their setting has initially inspired Fallout, as Brian Fargo, the lead designer for Wasteland 1, 2, and 3, has also worked on Fallout. Just like Fallout, Wasteland games cover the topics of human beings surviving after a nuclear war and adapting to new environments without changing much.

Unlike Fallout, however, Wasteland does not utilize a retro-futuristic aesthetic in its conceptual design, rather settling for Cold War-era technology. The way the nuclear war happened in the world of Wasteland was the increasing Cold War tension, and after the world came into ruins, a group of prison guards became new symbols of law and order in the desert of Arizona. In the process, however, they released all the fugitives, who became bandits that the newly found Desert Rangers had to fight.

Even within the basic premise, you can see that this game has a unique brand of cynical humor, which is based on showcasing how insane some people get after civilization’s collapse. This humor is in the worldbuilding and factions: The Payasos – a gang of killer clowns who wear circus makeup into a gunfight, Priests of Boom – a sect of religious zealots worshiping nuclear missiles; a Patriarch of Colorado who wants to restore American democracy whilst sitting on a throne made of missiles and American flags.

In contrast to that insanity is a totally sane group of sheriffs who dress up in Wild West uniforms, arm themselves with guns, and pretend as if they are in charge of the law in their territory. That is where the players come in, and as the Desert Rangers, you are tasked with saving the wasteland or dooming it to more pain and suffering. Depending on your actions, you can either save the desert of Arizona and the mountains of Colorado or doom them to even more suffering, and the choices of how to go about this journey are entirely on you.

Play this if you liked BG3’s worldbuilding but want it replicated in a post-apocalyptic setting instead of a fantasy one. You will also enjoy the Wasteland series if you like when dark humor is contrasted with serious decisions that you need to make.

5) The Banner Saga series

The games were developed by ex-BioWare devs who wanted to create an RPG without oversight from an increasingly interfering publisher. Banner Saga was funded on Kickstarter. There are technically three Banner Saga games, but because of the way they were developed, they really compile one whole story. Choices you make in BS1 have a direct effect on the story up until late BS3.

In this story-focused tactical RPG, you take on the mantle of a refugee caravan leader in a Nordic apocalyptic setting. Your gods are dead; your village is ransacked by monsters who came from the underground and are flooding the villages near you. It feels as if you are fighting a never-ending horde, and realizing that you have no ability to fight back, your goal becomes ensuring your people survive, as well as finding any way of stopping an impending catastrophe that got unleashed on the world.

The game has a very unique tactical combat system in which your damage is directly dependent on how much health your character has left. You also have armor, which protects you from losing your health, but once it depletes, you will lose the ability to deal any serious damage very quickly. It also has very aesthetically pleasing cartoon graphics, which make it seem as if you are watching a 1990s Disney cartoon more than playing the game. Animators put a lot of love into making this world come to life.

In the world of Banner Saga, there are multiple races; three key ones are humans, varls, and dredge. Varls are giants with horns who were built by the gods and cannot reproduce, and dredge are stone-folk who live in the caverns. Still, something has recently forced them to wage an unprecedented crusade on the surface, pillaging everything in their path. Throughout the story of Banner Saga, you will be forced to navigate through the intrigue of these people and either help them survive or doom them to save yourself, which may seem like an obvious choice to make at first. Still, Banner Saga games are very good at making you count every unit of resource you have.

The Banner Saga series is one of those titles where it feels like every decision you made along the way has directly or indirectly impacted the conclusion of the story. There is one mechanic introduced in BS3 that accounts for every single choice you made leading up to it and gives you a challenge on their basis.

Play this If you liked BG3’s tactical combat and if you felt as if BG3’s choices mechanics could have been implemented a little better. Check it out if this is the kind of experience you want, but do not expect choices along the way to be easy.

6) Shadowrun Series

Shadowrun series also stems from a unique TTRPG setting. Instead of medieval castles, dungeons, and taverns, however, you slay dragons in megapolises controlled by megacorporations.

The premise of Shadowrun games is that you take on the position of a Shadowrunner – a mercenary for hire who covertly infiltrates corporations and engages in all conceivable manners of sabotage. You are a weapon that corporations use in order to keep their hands clear of blood on their hands, and you get paid extremely well for what you do. All three games, however, change that premise up a little.

As a tabletop, Shadowrun has existed since the late 1980s. The first attempts to port it to a videogame format date back to 1992 and there was also a quickly forgotten online shooter developed by Microsoft in 2007. After the shooter underperformed, however, Microsoft sold the IP to a small studio called Harebrained Schemes, who in turn kickstarted a crowdfunding campaign for a game called Shadowrun: Returns. After the commercial success of Returns, HS also developed two more games: Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Shadowrun: Hong Kong.

All games have completely unrelated storylines, and any links to one or the other story can be seen as easter eggs rather than full-on story beats. For the same reason, I cannot recommend anyone today to play Shadowrun: Returns, as it was designed as an extended demonstration of concept rather than a standalone game, and both Dragonfall and Hong Kong are significantly more deep and insightful in terms of gaming experience that they provide. In Returns, there are very few things that distract you from the main plot thread, and the game is entirely focused on the main story; meanwhile, in both Dragonfall and Hong Kong, the game intentionally pauses the main story in order to provide you with opportunities to learn more about the world you live in and get to know the companions you work with. Dragonfall’s and Hong Kong’s companions are written as well as BG3’s, but HS adopts a slightly different approach to their quests.

In Return, you are hired by your old colleague to investigate their own murder. In Dragonfall, your Shadowrun crew’s leader gets assassinated, making you the new boss, and you are now tasked with figuring out the circumstances of who screwed you over. In Hong Kong, you are convicted of murdering your adoptive father and are forced to run a crew while investigating who framed you and for what reason.

Sometimes, personal companion quests in Shadowrun correlate with the main plot; for example, in Dragonfall, you have to eliminate a neo-nazi cult, and one of your companions asks you to help him retrieve his nephew from it, but other times, your companion’s quests exist outside of the plot, and play out more like individual stories within a story. There is a debate in a game designer space about whether one of these styles of companion quests is better or worse. Still, both allow you to understand the personalities of your companions really well. In my eyes, characters like Glory from Dragonfall or Gaichu from Hong Kong are written on the level of BG3 if not better.

Play This If you liked BG3 companions but want to play more games based on TTRPG systems that are vastly different from Dungeons and Dragons. Also, this game series combines fantasy and cyberpunk in a way very few series do.

7) Tyranny

It was also developed by Obsidian Entertainment, so the quality of writing and the style of writing are very similar to Pillars of Eternity. The premise here is that you play for an evil overlord and lead his army to crush the last surviving bastion of resistance. Over the course of the game, you can choose to either work for the tyrant directly or attempt to overthrow him through violence and intrigue.

The game has a very unique approach to magic that I have not really seen anywhere else. Magic in the world of Tyranny is transcribed through sigils, and combining sigils creates unique spells. But, in order to be able to wield stronger spells, you need to be more versed in lore, meaning you have to invest skill points in lore instead of physical stats.

Another cool thing about Tyranny is that instead of your companions liking you, they can either fear you or respect you, which influences their choices in personal quests, as well as gives them unique combat abilities. Companions themselves also have really interesting backgrounds, and I would definitely advise bringing them to locations that correlate with their stories the most. Lantry, for example, used to be a scribe in a library that turned into an erupted volcano. Bringing him there would allow you an opportunity to get to know him better and become friends. Your other companions also represent different factions, and over the course of the story, your relationship with those factions directly reflects upon your relationship with the companions, allowing you to understand the world and their place in it a lot better.

Play This If you want a well-done evil playthrough because very few games do evil playthrough well. Even BG3 has a very bad evil playthrough which essentially punishes you for being a dick and forces you into a heroic fantasy adventure. This game, however, is designed in a way where you cannot be a hero even if you try really hard. You can either work for a tyrant or become one, and in that evilness, there is a certain sense of liberation to be had.

8) Disco Elysium

This game is especially close to my heart because it was developed in Estonia, the country where I come from. This game is a baby of ZA/UM Studio, who spent years of their lives trying to perfect the game and make it work. From all the titles on this list, this isometric CRPG is perhaps the most unique in the way it perceives space and world interaction.

Disco Elysium is set in the city of Revachol and follows a policeman who lost his memories and is now forced to recover them on top of having to solve a murder. As you explore more of the world, you embark on a journey of mystery and self-recollection that helps you better understand who you are and the world around you.

To understand what I mean when I say that this game is revolutionary, it is important to understand that just like any genre of games, isometric CRPGs have certain established traditions on how they have to be made. Usually, they take place in a country or some sort of a large location of epic proportions. In Pillars of Eternity 2, for example, the setting is an archipelago, which you traverse by your very own ship. In contrast to that, Disco Elysium takes place in one district of a city, with only about five locations being accessible to a player throughout the entire game. However, that one little district is perhaps the most deeply written district in this entire genre of games.

Writing in this game replaces combat. You still very much fight; it’s just that typical dragon slaying is replaced with being forced to endure a very uncomfortable chair or trying to persuade a bodyguard to help you in your police investigation by internalizing fascist theory in order to convince him that you are of the same view of the world as him. Your build is composed of four types of stats: Intellectual, Psychological, Physical, and Reactionary. Each of these has skill points of sorts, and whichever skill point you have more of will chime more often within dialogues. If you have a high encyclopedia stat, for example, you will be able to recall knowledge of all events that have occurred in the world. Stat development is also very interestingly balanced because if you have too much of one stat, you start noticing too many details and become too obsessed with certain things. For example, if your encyclopedia skill is high enough, you start almost exclusively talking about historical events, forgetting that the rest of the world exists. If you have high electrochemistry, you almost exclusively think about smoking, drinking, and doing other primitivistic things, and the same applies to every skill you can learn and take points in. This provides an interesting balance between upgrading skills you like but also exploring outside of them and not getting focused on one thing, which, in a sense, is what this game is about – having a broader, wiser vision of the world.

Another interesting mechanic that encourages you to delve deeper into understanding the world of the game is the thought cabinet. I have previously mentioned that you can internalize fascist thoughts to get someone to help you, and the thought cabinet is the mechanical way of how you do it. Essentially, as you explore the world, different thoughts come to your character’s head. If he chooses to expand upon them, he may learn perks that improve his skills or maybe grant him bonuses when choosing certain variants in dialogues. This mechanic is also where you can choose a political ideology of your character, and no matter what you choose, the game will inevitably make fun of you. Political ideologies in this game are not exactly morality systems but rather individual choices for which you will be inevitably mocked by the game in one way or another, which makes it stand out from how other games handle politics. You are not making moral choices; you are trying to comprehend what is happening around you, and the game will react to it in a critical way because, once again, it does not want you to go through it with a narrow mindset.

Developers of this game are also huge fans of TTRPGs, and rumors say that one of the inspirations was the TTRPG called Paranoia, which utilizes d6 as its only dice. This mechanic is something that Disco Elysium adapted as well. All checks in the game will be rolled with two six-sided dice. As you explore more of the world, you may encounter things that will either give you bonuses or debuffs to each check, which is where the main loop of the game lies: you explore, learn more, and when the time comes to roll dice, the knowledge you gain either helps or hinders you.

Play This If you felt as if the dialogues in BG3 were too restrictive, and you want a game entirely made out of having well-written deep dialogues. Even if you usually do not like to read in games, I promise you that you will after you are finished with this game.

9) Torment: Tides of Numenera

Also developed on the basis of a tabletop system. Cypher, which also is a TTRPG, uses d20 as one of its dies. There are multiple things, however, that make it distinct from DND or Pathfinder. Ability checks, for example, are easier to calculate, only having a 1-10 distribution. Also, the way you improve your chances of succeeding in a check is by wasting your stat points, which will only be reset on long rest. So your willpower stat is also your mana pool, essentially. Another cool thing about the Cypher system is that it encourages a player to receive one-use artifacts and use them frequently over the course of the story, which is something very rarely reflected in a video game.

Usable items in RPGs are very difficult to design because, to a lot of people, they may prove a little too complex to keep track of, which in turn may lead to hoarding them. Torment: Tides of Numenera addresses the issue by introducing Cyphers, powerful single-use artifacts that are awarded to you quite frequently but which also have a limit on how many you can equip on one character. This means that if you keep hoarding them, you will soon have an entire pile of cool, unique items that you will not be able to use at once. By setting a cap on how many you can equip, the game is trying to solve the issue of ‘saving it all for the final boss,’ which is a phenomenon that makes one-use items so hard to design right. The game tells you straightforwardly that the main way in which you will have fun in this game is if you use the tools you get as much as you can; however, it does have the side effect of some people still choosing to hoard artifacts and losing on what makes the system fun. This design issue is still quite serious, but this game made a serious attempt to improve upon it, which I think more people should pay attention to.

The setting is very unusual in the sense that it takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting, where multiple civilizations have begun and ended, and technology has long ago invented magic. The game is directly inspired by Planescape: Torment and was promoting itself as its spiritual successor.

Numenera was also developed by inXile Entertainment, but the setting focus of it is very different from Wasteland games. For instance, one of the selling points of this game is that you can play through its entirety without starting a single fight, and that is largely true; however, what the developers do not tell you is that it is a huge challenge to do so, and will require very careful planning and meticulous exploration. The world of Numenera, however, is worthy of your time and very much will reward you for exploring it. One of the companions, for example, is a talking ooze whom you have to find by exploring some of the more hidden locations more thoroughly.

Despite the fact that the game brags about how it can be solved non-violently, I would still urge you to participate in local combat because it has integrated a feature that I have not really seen anywhere else since within the genre of isometric CRPGs; this feature being the ability to speak to your enemies during combat. Hopefully, future CRPGs will find a way to bring it back, but so far, even BG3 did not really have this feature, and this game did. This means that although it is hard, it is certainly possible and could add an entirely new dynamic to the combat of the game.

Play This If you enjoyed talking your way out of fights in BG3 and if you want a game where attention to detail is on the level of Larian games. Also, you would love this game if you enjoyed the way BG3 designed its single-use items and potions because this game has some really cool and useful items. It successfully disincentivized me from hoarding unique artifacts even better than BG3 did.


This list took years to compile and research, and in a sense, what I just did was to recap my entire childhood. All of these games have inspired me for one or the other reason, and my hope is that those of you who will read to the end of this list will give these games a chance. As a game designer, the field of isometric CRPGs is my favorite field in the entire industry. My sincerest hope is that the games that will be coming in the next few years will expand that field even further because games like these take their players seriously and tell them stories that stimulate them to grow into better people.

One of the things that I remember most from when I was growing up in the mid-2010s was that in my part of the world, the stigma for video games still ran wild. People thought that because it was on the computer, no good could come from it, and I should instead read books and watch smart movies if I wanted to become smart. Playing these video games, however, taught me that this attitude could not be further from the truth. Games like these could teach you just as much as a good book because they treat you as a complex human being who is able to think critically and make difficult decisions.

These games show you people in unprecedented situations expressing a wide range of complex emotions that encourage you to pay close attention to how their story develops. and what makes them stand out from books is that this time around, you are the one who has the opportunity to influence companions traveling with you. You are the one who is actively building relationships with those people, which teaches you a very important lesson that hopefully more people will learn in time: you cannot ignore people around you and pretend like you are the smartest person in the world. You should always find means to discover new things and meet new people, and listen to those people, and help them grow, and while they grow, you will be able to grow with them because when all of you grow, the world around you will become a better place, which is what video games are all about. They are the first medium we created that allows us to make these kinds of decisions as players, and because of that, I have a very optimistic view of how the real world will develop. Suppose we have more games that teach people these values. In that case, we will be able to raise more people who understand how important it is to build relationships with people and make friends and that friends could be made in unusual and unprecedented ways. If we have more games that teach this, maybe we will have more people that will enjoy playing them and make them a part of our culture. At least, we can hope that this is what will happen.

NEXT: Gaming for good: 7 games merging play with awareness

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