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5 Best Isometric RPGs

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5 Best Isometric RPGs in 2023

Isometric RPGs feel as old as time. They first made their debut in the 1990s, creating the multi-dimensional appeal of RPG games. In the 2000s, isometric RPGs were hotcakes, making the rounds as the ultimate leader of the genre in delivering all-around gameplay. Today, though, they have gradually faded into the background, leaving first and third-person perspectives to take the lead. But that doesn’t mean isometric RPGs aren’t still relevant. Quite the opposite.

Whether you’re craving the old days or simply prefer a top-down perspective, isometric RPGs still make headlines today. You can choose to induce nostalgia via long-running franchises that make remakes in honor of fan-favorite old-school titles, or check out some of the indie titles that are determined to prove isometric perspectives still apply today. Regardless of your choice, these best isometric RPGs in 2023 are sure to fill your hours with nothing but pure fun.

5. Dragon Age: Origins

Dragon Age: Origins Gameplay Official Trailer

Dragon Age is an RPG franchise that has lots of fantasy titles under its belt. It features the vibrant world of Thedas, filled to the brim with glimmering cities, dangerous labyrinths, and rugged wilderness. Dragon Age: Origins was the first game in the franchise, released in 2009, and is still a downright beloved game today. It’s set in a time when nations go to war and the people of the fictional kingdom of Ferelden live in civil strife.

Players take on the role of either a warrior, a mage, or a rogue who’s recruited into the Grey Wardens to fight against the deadly forces called the Darkspawn and defeat their leader, the Archdemon, to finally end the unrest. Although the game uses a third-person perspective, you can freely shift it to a top-down perspective to get broader views of battles and the environment as a whole.

Dragon Age: Origins holds up really well for its age, so it’s definitely worth checking out. To experience its timeless story in the best way possible, you may want to check out Dragon Age: Origins – Ultimate Edition, which includes Dragon Age: Origins, its expansions, and all DLC in a single release.

4. Baldur's Gate III 

Baldurs Gate 3 Official Launch Month Trailer | The Game Awards 2022

Baldur's Gate is a critically acclaimed RPG series set in the Forgotten Realms Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting. So, that means a similar adoption of races and classes and the freedom to play solo or with up to four players. Also, exploration, experimenting, and interacting with a world that adapts to your will.

In Baldur's Gate III, developers use the Divinity 4.0 engine to create more expansive landscapes infused with a deeper, cinematic narrative. Players embark on a journey that pushes them into building forces with friends and scooping up more power. Not all characters are trustworthy, though. Some will deceive, obstruct, and even romanticize you into doing their bidding. 

It’s a tale of survival amidst a growing calamity. A journey of friendship and betrayal. Will you leave a mark on the world, or will it consume you? Your party members will play a huge part in how successful you are. So, choose them carefully and let the adventure begin.

3. Hades

Hades - Official Animated Trailer

What happens when you go against Hades, the god of the Underworld? Well, he unleashes all his minions on you, hunting you down to the depths of the Underworld, so there’s no escape. As Zagreus, the immortal son of Hades, he might stand a chance, hacking and slashing his way out of the Underworld of Greek myth.

Hades is a rogue-like dungeon crawler that rewards you for your effort but punishes you harshly when you falter. It’s a test of endurance and survival. Lots of angry lost souls will come at you. If you die, the game whisks you off to the beginning to restart your escape attempt afresh. Fortunately, you do receive some help from some of the other gods of Olympus as well as search for treasures that help you in each escape.

Hades is curated in a blissful way. It infuses fast-paced action, a rich, eerie atmosphere, and a character-driven narrative that immerses you every step of the way. Furthermore, each respawn triggers a new experience, so it’s possible you may dish out hundreds of hours into the game, uncovering new character builds and story events along the way.

2. Disco Elysium 

DISCO ELYSIUM - Launch Trailer (Official)

Disco Elysium is a detective game that follows an amnesiac detective tasked with solving the murder of a hanged man while searching for his own self-identity. However, unlike most RPGs, Disco Elysium takes a different approach to gameplay. Instead of immersive combat, players deep dive into resolving events via skill checks and dialogue trees. With each clue, players uncover more mysteries that intertwine and lead them closer and closer to the truth. 

It’s a non-traditional approach that works beautifully, using mostly text-based narration to fill in the gaps. And using an isometric perspective, players can enjoy expertly crafted worlds while developers find clever ways to stuff away the clues they don’t want players to see just yet. You’ll see nearly one million plus words of dialogue, which will ironically prove well worth the time.

1. Divinity: Original Sin II

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Trailer

If you like Baldur's Gate III, you may want to check out Divinity: Original Sin II. They’re both developed by Larian Studios and follow a pretty similar recipe. Players gather their party of up to three members and jump head-first into a fantastic adventure. The game is free-form, where you’re free to do whatever you please, whether exploring every nook and cranny, crafting supplies, or interacting with the characters and animals you see.

Just be careful, as every action you take influences how the story progresses and how subsequent interactions will proceed. Your party members are your saving grace. Each member will contribute differently to tactical battles, so try to maximize individual skills. Thereafter, find ways to work together to thwart all threats that come your way. Divinity: Original Sin II is such a critically acclaimed entry that reviewers have gone so far as to crown it “the greatest RPG of all time”. So, by all means, have a blast.

So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our best isometric RPGs in 2023? Are there more isometric RPGs in 2023 we should know about? Let us know over on our socials here.

Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.