The term "Western RPG" can be used in two different ways:

A RolePlayingGame developed in the Western world, specifically North America and Europe.

Or a Role Playing Game following a style popularized by Western computer developers, which is sometimes differentiated from {{Eastern RPG}}s by having several or more of the following features:

* Usually made in North America or Europe.
* Often released on the PC instead of consoles (though recently they have been on both).
* Aimed to satisfy the player's need for self-expression and fantasy fulfillment by allowing them to become something that they can never be in real life.
* The game rules resemble (and are often licensed from) {{Tabletop RPG}}s such as ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''.
* Often has a WideOpenSandbox game experience, but can be a DungeonCrawler, or in recent years, a plot-based game focused on the CharacterDevelopment of both the customized PC and the [=NPCs=].
* The main hero is generally [[CharacterCustomization customizable]], and is more of a [[FeaturelessProtagonist "blank slate"]] than a predetermined character.
* In some games, non-boss encounters can be resolved (at least, [[UselessUsefulNonCombatAbilities in theory]]) without combat, through [[CombatDiplomacyStealth diplomacy or stealth]].
* TurnBasedCombat was the dominant combat form in the past, but has been steadily losing ground to action-based real time. RealTimeWithPause is the genre's popular middle ground.
* The art style tends to be more "{{real|IsBrown}}istic" and "[[DarkerAndEdgier grittier]]" than in Eastern [=RPGs=].
* Usually enemies are fought on screen rather than cutting to a separate "battle screen", though the latter was not uncommon in early Western [=RPGs=]. [[CommonTacticalGameplayElements Terrain and party formations]] often play an important role in combat.
* Dice rolls are often visible, and stats are directly shown as they interact with the rules. In recent years, however, many of the more action-oriented Western [=RPGs=] have been moving away from this.

Computer RPG is a flexible format, having gone through several dominant design paradigms since its nascence [[TheEighties around 1980]]. The [[UrExample earliest examples]] (''Franchise/{{Ultima}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}'') were more-or-less faithful implementations of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' and are best described as "{{dungeon crawl|ing}}ers": as the player, you were supposed to get through a dungeon, killing monsters and looting treasure--in essence, a more forgiving version of the {{Roguelike}}s (which had been codified around the same time). This period also saw the last extensive cross-pollination between Western and {{Eastern RPG}}s--e.g. ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' was influenced as much by ''VideoGame/UltimaIII'' as by ''VisualNovel/ThePortopiaSerialMurderCase'' (a [[TropeMaker quintessential]] VisualNovel)--before the two traditions grew firmly apart.

For a while, [=RPGs=] in the West remained [[RPGsEqualCombat all about]] TurnBasedCombat, but something extraordinary happened in 1985: Richard Garriot's Origin Systems released ''VideoGame/UltimaIV'', which codified what would become the new "[[WideOpenSandbox sandbox RPG]]" subgenre, where you could go wherever you wanted and do whatever you pleased. For the longest time, ''Ultima'' became the pioneer of Western RPG tradition, codifying such things as a PlayerParty of [[NonPlayerCompanion pregenerated NPCs]], KarmaMeter, interactive dialogue (via a TextParser), NPCScheduling, and it even [[VideoGame/UltimaOnline gave birth]] to (as in, "made profitable") the {{MMORPG}} genre. Although the ''Ultima'' series reached its [[VideoGame/UltimaVII high point]], [[VideoGame/UltimaVIII withered]], and [[VideoGame/UltimaIX died]] by 1999, it saw a successor to its traditions in ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series, which climbed to the heights of commercial and critical success in the following decade.

But in the [[TheNineties mid-90ies]], things were looking very grim for Western [=RPGs=]. ''Ultima'' was not the only reputed series that didn't [[VideoGame3DLeap make it to the 3D]]: ''Wizardry'', ''[[VideoGame/TheBardsTaleTrilogy The Bard's Tale]]'', ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic'', the VideoGame/GoldBox, ''VideoGame/TheMagicCandle'', ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'', ''VideoGame/EyeOfTheBeholder'', ''VideoGame/LandsOfLore''... [[EverybodysDeadDave they were all dead or dying]] by the end of the decade. And as if to fill the void, Japanese [=RPGs=] like ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' stormed the Western markets and conquered them in a flash, with nobody left to challenge them.

Or so it seemed. From the ashes of the old Western RPG tradition, two phoenixes rose around 1997. One was ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'', a perky little dungeon crawler that captivated the masses with simple, action-oriented gameplay (instead of traditional turn-based) and a consistent and moody Gothic atmosphere. The other was ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'', a game that profoundly changed the Western understanding of role-playing video games by focusing on a single PC's story (rather than a [[PlayerParty party]]) and on the choices the players must make, from [[CharacterCustomization building their character]] to figuring out [[CombatDiplomacyStealth their path to victory]].

On the shoulders of these giants, the third and, so far, the youngest subgenre of Western RPG arose: the "narrative RPG". Codified by ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' and ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' (particularly part two) and learning from the successful story-oriented competitors from Japan, these games put the spotlight on intricate plots and interesting characters--and hit gold. As the [[UsefulNotes/TheSixthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames sixth generation]] approached, this allowed the Western [=RPGs=] to go on an offensive and plant boots on the console ground with ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'' (a sandbox RPG) and ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' (a narrative RPG).

The jump to full 3D and MultiPlatform brought with it new sensibilities, however. Some Western-developed games (''VideoGame/SepterraCore'', ''VideoGame/{{Anachronox}}'', ''VideoGame/{{Summoner}}'', ''VideoGame/SonicChronicles'', etc.) deliberately went for the console RPG feel. Other developers embraced real-time combat and GamePad controls and started streamlining traditional RPG mechanics and pitching their games as "{{Action RPG}}s"--a term that has never been particularly well-defined in the West, but one that now posed the critical question: just when does an "ARPG" stop being an RPG and become an ActionGame? At the same time, RPGElements started to bleed into other genres (shooters, strategy games, {{MOBA}}s, sandboxes, etc.), and by TheNewTens, Western RPG was suffering from a severe identity crisis that could be summed up in one sentence as "It's an RPG if [[TakeOurWordForIt the publisher says it is]]."

Perhaps as a response to this, the genre is experiencing a renaissance of sorts in TheNewTens. The rise of crowdfunding (and Website/{{Kickstarter}} in particular) and affordable game tech (like UsefulNotes/{{Unity}}) has allowed some veteran developers to go back and reevaluate the gameplay and story ideas that were on the table during the Golden (pre-1995) and Silver Ages (late 90ies to early 2000s) but have been swept under the rug as Western [=RPGs=] went down the triple-A road: Creator/{{inXile|Entertainment}}'s ''VideoGame/{{Wasteland 2}}'' was a deliberate throwback to the [[VideoGame/{{Wasteland}} 1988 original]] (and, [[SpiritualSuccessor by extension]], to ''Fallout'' itself); Creator/{{Obsidian|Entertainment}}'s ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity'', to the Infinity Engine era; inXile's new ''VideoGame/{{Torment|TidesOfNumenera}}'', to the classic ''Planescape''; and Garriot's ''VideoGame/ShroudOfTheAvatar'', to his own ''VideoGame/UltimaVII'' and ''Online''. Unity even paved a way for the resurrection of the venerable ''Might and Magic'' brand, while ''VideoGame/PathOfExile'' brought back some of the old ''VideoGame/DiabloII'' magic via direct crowdfunding. Not all of it is nostalgia-driven, either: ''VideoGame/KingdomComeDeliverance'' was on Kickstarter ''specifically'' because nobody has ever done an RPG like that before.

On the triple-A side of the industry, the narrative RPG subgenre is currently defined by the [[DuelingGames rivalry]] between Creator/BioWare's flagship franchises, ''Franchise/MassEffect'' and ''Franchise/DragonAge'', and Creator/CDProjektRED's ''Franchise/TheWitcher'' games. The sandbox RPG niche is dominated by Creator/{{Bethesda}}, who most recently released ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' to great success and now owns the ''Fallout'' IP. Pure dungeon crawlers have largely gone out of favor with the big publishers, but Creator/{{Blizzard|Entertainment}} has made a resurgence with ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'', and ''Diablo'' clones like the ''VideoGame/{{Torchlight}}'' series still bring in the cash.

See also our guide on how to SoYouWantTo/WriteAWesternRPG.
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!!Examples of this genre:

[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/{{AdventureQuest}}''
* ''VideoGame/AethrasChronicles''
* ''VideoGame/TheAgeOfDecadence''
* ''VideoGame/AidynChronicles''
* ''VideoGame/{{Allods}}'' series
* ''VideoGame/AlphaProtocol''
* ''VideoGame/AlternateReality''
* ''VideoGame/AncientEvil''
* ''VideoGame/{{Ancients 1 Deathwatch}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Ancients 2 Approaching Evil}}''
* ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura''
* ''VideoGame/ArxFatalis''
* ''VideoGame/{{Avadon}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Avatar}}''
* ''VideoGame/BaldursGate''
* ''VideoGame/TheBannerSaga''
* ''VideoGame/{{Battleheart}}''
* ''[[VideoGame/TheBardsTale The Bard's Tale: A Quest for Coin and Cleavage]]''
* ''VideoGame/TheBardsTaleTrilogy''
* ''VideoGame/BetrayalAtKrondor''
* ''VideoGame/BetrayalInAntara''
* ''VideoGame/{{Bloodnet}}''
* ''VideoGame/BobsGame''
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}''
** ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}''
** ''VideoGame/TalesFromTheBorderlands''
* ''VideoGame/BoundByFlame''
* ''VideoGame/CaptainBibleInDomeOfDarkness''
* ''VideoGame/ChampionsOfNorrath''
* ''VideoGame/ClassOfHeroes''
* ''VideoGame/CubeWorld''
* ''VideoGame/DarfurIsDying''
* ''VideoGame/{{Dark}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Darklands}}''
* ''VideoGame/DarkHeartOfUukrul''
* ''VideoGame/TheDarkSpire'' (Made by a Japanese developer and a clone of ''Wizardry''. Note that ''Wizardry'' [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff remained popular and influential in Japan for far longer than in the USA]].)
* ''VideoGame/{{Darkstone}}''
* ''VideoGame/DarkWaters'': A GameMod for ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' created by Adam Miller.
* ''VideoGame/DeadState''
* ''{{Deliantra}}''
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx''
** ''[[VideoGame/TwentyTwentySeven 2027]]''
** ''VideoGame/TheNamelessMod''
* ''VideoGame/DeusExInvisibleWar''
* ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution''
* ''VideoGame/DeusExTheFall''
* ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}''
* ''VideoGame/DivineDivinity''
** ''VideoGame/BeyondDivinity''
** ''VideoGame/DivinityIITheDragonKnightSaga''
** ''VideoGame/DivinityOriginalSin''
* ''VideoGame/{{Dnd}}''
* ''VideoGame/DoctorWhoLegacy''
* ''Franchise/DragonAge''
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening''
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition''
* ''VideoGame/{{DragonFable}}''
* ''{{VideoGame/Dragonstomper}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Drakensang}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Drakkhen}}''
* ''VideoGame/DreamWorld''
* ''VideoGame/{{Dungeon}}''
* ''VideoGame/DungeonLords''
* ''VideoGame/DungeonSiege''
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena''
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall''
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind''
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion''
*** ''VideoGame/{{Nehrim}}'' (a fanmade [[GameMod total conversion]])
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim''
*** ''VideoGame/InterestingNPCs'' (a fanmade {{NPC}} {{GameMod}})
** ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsOnline'', a GaidenGame {{MMORPG}} set at least 500 years prior to ''Arena''
* ''VideoGame/{{Elvira}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{EpicDuel}}''
* ''VideoGame/EpicTheHumorousRPG''
* ''VideoGame/EtrianOdyssey'' (another example by a Japanese developer)
* ''Videogame/EvilIslands''
* ''VideoGame/ExcelsiorPhaseOneLysandia''
* ''VideoGame/{{Exile}}''
** ''VideoGame/{{Avernum}}''
* ''VideoGame/EyeOfTheBeholder''
* ''VideoGame/{{Fable}}''
** ''VideoGame/FableI''
** ''VideoGame/FableII''
** ''VideoGame/FableIII''
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}''
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 1}}''
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}''
** ''VideoGame/FalloutVanBuren'' (a canceled installment)
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''
* ''[[VideoGame/FearMythosRPG Fear Mythos: The RPG]]''
* ''VideoGame/FinalVision''
* ''VideoGame/FreedomForce''
* ''VideoGame/FreedroidRPG'', which is also OpenSource and [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin free]].
* ''VideoGame/GameOfThrones''
* ''VideoGame/AGameOfThronesGenesis''
* ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}''
* The ''VideoGame/GoldBox'' series by SSI
** ''VideoGame/UnlimitedAdventures'' (a [[GameMaker game making tool]] for Gold Box-style games)
* ''VideoGame/GoldenLand''
* ''VideoGame/{{Gothic}}''
* ''VideoGame/HellgateLondon'': Owned now by a Korean game distributor, it's still defined by its Western developers and influences, particularly Diablo.
* ''VideoGame/HeroicArmiesMarching''
* ''VideoGame/IOfTheDragon''
* ''VideoGame/IcewindDale''
* ''Videogame/IMissTheSunrise'' (freeware; blended with EasternRPG)
* ''Videogame/{{Inquisitor}}''
* ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire''
* ''VideoGame/KingdomComeDeliverance''
* ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning''
* ''VideoGame/KingsField'' (another Japanese example)
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfPenAndPaper''
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheChalice''
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic''
** ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords''
* ''Videogame/LegacyOfTheAncients''
* ''Videogame/LegendOfGrimrock''
* ''[[VideoGame/LionheartLegacyOfTheCrusader Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader]]''
* ''VideoGame/LandsOfLore''
* ''VideoGame/TheLogomancer'' (mostly an EasternRPG, but contains the WideOpenSandbox aspect of this genre)
* ''VideoGame/TheLongingRibbon''
* ''VideoGame/TheLordOfTheRingsTheThirdAge'' (Another western take on the JRPG)
* ''VideoGame/TheMagicCandle''
* ''VideoGame/MarvelAvengersAlliance''
* ''Franchise/MassEffect''
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect1''
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect2''
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''
* ''VideoGame/{{MechQuest}}''
* ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic''
* ''VideoGame/MonsterArena''
* ''VideoGame/MordorTheDepthsOfDejenol''
* ''[[VideoGame/PLATOMoria Moria]]''
* ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade''
** ''[[Videogame/EighteenSixtySixAMountAndBladeWestern 1866: A Mount & Blade Western]]''
** ''VideoGame/{{Europe1200}}''
** ''VideoGame/TheLastDaysOfTheThirdAgeOfMiddleEarth''
** ''[[Videogame/LightAndDarknessHeroesOfCalradia Light & Darkness: Heroes of Calradia]]''
** ''Videogame/PhantasyCalradia''
** ** ''VideoGame/{{Smite}}''
** ''[[VideoGame/SolidAndShade Solid & Shade]]''
** ''Videogame/StarWarsConquest''
** ''VideoGame/SwordOfDamocles''
* ''VideoGame/{{Nethergate}}''
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights''
** ''[[VideoGame/BloodrightTheBloodRoyal Bloodright: The Blood Royal]]'' (a popular fanmade module)
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfArterra'' (a popular fanmade module)
** ''VideoGame/ADanceWithRogues'' (a popular fanmade module)
** ''VideoGame/D20ModernNeverwinterNights'' (a [[GameMod mod]] which adds modern and futuristic themed content for the LevelEditor)
** ''Videogame/JulyAnarchy'' (a futuristic UrbanFantasy series of planned mods - the first one has been released)
** ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2''
* ''VideoGame/NeoQuest'' (Notable for being a PHP RPG on the {{Neopets}} Web site)
** ''VideoGame/NeoQuest II''
* ''VideoGame/{{Nox}}''
* ''VideoGame/PathOfExile''
* ''VideoGame/PennyArcadeAdventures''
* ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity''
* ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment''
[[/index]]
* ''Planet Stronghold'' (An independent 2D game with many Western RPG elements, created by Winter Wolves with [[VisualNovel Ren'py]], released for computers in February 2011.)
[[index]]
* ''VideoGame/ThePrecursors''
* ''VideoGame/QuarterstaffTheTombOfSetmoth'' (overlaps with InteractiveFiction)
* ''VideoGame/QuestOfYipe''
* ''VideoGame/RealmsOfArkania''
* ''VideoGame/{{Risen}}''
* ''VideoGame/SevenDaysToDie'' (a lot of the [=RPG=] aspect is missing, since it's still in Alpha)
* ''VideoGame/ShadowKeep''
* ''VideoGame/ShadowrunReturns''
* ''VideoGame/ShroudOfTheAvatarForsakenVirtues'', the successor to the ''Ultima'' series
* ''VideoGame/SidMeiersPirates''
* ''VideoGame/SiegeOfAvalon''
* ''VideoGame/SouthParkTheStickOfTruth''
* ''VideoGame/{{Space}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Space Station 13}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Stonekeep}}''
* ''VideoGame/{{Sudeki}}'', though it is modeled after [=JRPGs=]
* ''VideoGame/StickRPG''
* ''VideoGame/{{Soulbringer}}''
* ''VideoGame/StarControl II''
* ''VideoGame/{{Summoner}}'', though it has elements inspired by Eastern RPG and is something of an hybrid of the two.
** ''VideoGame/{{Summoner 2}}'', its [[ActionRPG action oriented]] sequel.
* ''VideoGame/SuperheroLeagueOfHoboken''
* ''VideoGame/SystemShock''
* ''VideoGame/TaskMaker''
** ''VideoGame/TheTombOfTheTaskMaker''
* ''VideoGame/TelepathRPG'' (also a TacticalRPG [[WebGame made in Flash]])
** ''[[VideoGame/TelepathRPGServantsOfGod Servants of God]]''
* ''VideoGame/TheTempleOfElementalEvil''
* ''VideoGame/ThroneOfDarkness''
* ''VideoGame/TitanQuest''
* ''VideoGame/{{Torchlight}}''
** ''VideoGame/TorchlightII''
* ''VideoGame/TormentTidesOfNumenera'', the successor to ''Planescape: Torment''.
* ''VideoGame/TwoWorlds''
* ''Franchise/{{Ultima}}''
** ''VideoGame/UltimaI''
** ''VideoGame/UltimaII''
** ''VideoGame/UltimaIII''
** ''VideoGame/UltimaIV''
** ''VideoGame/UltimaV''
** ''VideoGame/UltimaVI''
** ''VideoGame/UltimaVII''
** ''VideoGame/UltimaVIIPartII''
** ''VideoGame/UltimaUnderworld''
** ''VideoGame/UltimaVIII''
** ''VideoGame/UltimaIX''
* ''VideoGame/UnterwegsInDuesterburg''
* ''VideoGame/UntoldLegends''
* ''VideoGame/VacantSky''
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines''
* ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeRedemption''
* ''VideoGame/{{Venetica}}''
* ''VideoGame/WarpForce''
* ''VideoGame/WarriorsOfMightAndMagic''
* ''VideoGame/{{Wasteland}}''
** ''VideoGame/{{Wasteland 2}}''
* ''VideoGame/TheWitcher''
** ''VideoGame/TheWitcher2AssassinsOfKings''
** ''VideoGame/TheWitcher3WildHunt''
* The ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}'' series
* ''[[Franchise/{{Thunderscape}} World of Aden: Thunderscape]]''
* ''VideoGame/TheYouTestament''
[[/index]]
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