With a wide variety of game titles releasing every year, many role-playing games don’t hit the mark that players are expecting when they purchase the title. Not every release can be as well received as, say, Dark Souls, and therefore many titles need to earn their keep in the cutthroat community of gaming.


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Many titles are not well received at release due to bugs or confusing concepts that lose the interest of players. However, some games are able eventually to win over their audiences after some time has passed. By listening to their current audience or seeking out a new one, some RPGs have finally found their place, allowing them to make history.

Updated October 21, 2022, by Megan Smith: New role-playing games are constantly being created and published for players to enjoy, however even titles from a couple of years back have had its own sudden breath back to life. One such example of this has been the sudden resurgence in those playing Cyberpunk 2077 after the recent release of the anime series Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.

With the hope from CD Projekt Red that the one and only DLC for the game will release next year and hopes of another title being made. This is only one of many RPGs that originally bombed at launch but suddenly began to shine for players.

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13/13 Honorable Mention – Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk isn’t old enough yet to class as a cult classic, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve an honorable mention on the list. Any play that can remember starting this title back in 2020 may remember how many bugs and issues the game was having that lead to some players receiving refunds and the PlayStation store no longer selling the title.

Years later and Night City is finally getting the recognition it deserves as being a fascinating city with a variety of interesting quests and characters for players to meet, as sales of the title rocketed on Steam.

12/13 Fallout New Vegas Deserving Of A Remaster

Before release, Fallout New Vegas received some favorable reviews from critics. The usual technical issues were there, but the vast open world of this radioactive wasteland outshone its issues. However, within hours of its release, fans of the franchise flooded Obsidian Entertainment with reports of technical issues involving save files getting corrupted and certain elements being unplayable.

Although fans were angry, the developers pleaded for them to keep their copies and got to work on fixes. Within the week of release, a fix launched to quell some issues as the company continued to sort out the others. After a rocky start, players would eventually be praising Fallout New Vegas as one of the best Fallout games in the franchise for years to come.

11/13 Lukewarm Beginnings With Assassin’s Creed Unity

Although now praised by some fans as the Assassin’s Creed title with the best parkour, at its release fans felt disheartened. Overall, Unity received lukewarm responses from both players and critics.

Its main advertised feature of playing with others to complete assassinations was ruined through connectivity issues, and the game itself was a bit of a buggy mess. Many of these issues could not be fixed, and Ubisoft considered players feedback for later games. Even so, many fans still play Unity, claiming it to be an enjoyable experience with the most memorable parkour.

10/13 Poorly Timed Earthbound

In Japan, Earthbound sold incredibly well. It was highly praised as an instant classic with its adorable pixel art style and interesting humor. However, it’s release in America was quite bizarre. Firstly, although the game appeared to sell okay, it was still viewed as an unsuccessful release for Nintendo. The game had also not made it to Europe due to these poor sales, as well as the NES being in the process of phasing out.

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Even with these setbacks, fans of the title did exist in America and praised its uniqueness. When Earthbound returned to the Switch through the online service, it gave even people in Europe the chance to try it out and discover for themselves how different and enjoyable this game was, cementing its status as a cult classic.

9/13 Controversial Diablo 3

Diablo 3 had its controversies. Fans disliked many of the new additions, as well as directions that the team at Blizzard had decided to go. Players disliked the lack of a PVP mode and the addition of an auction house. This made the game feel less rewarding, as some individuals could buy what they needed while others enjoyed the profit.

However, plenty of fans of the franchise still play and enjoy Diablo 3. There was a turning point after discontinuing the auction house and acknowledging how the legacy of Diablo 2 overshadowed the production of the third game.

8/13 Apocalyptic Exploration In Fallout 76

After infamously releasing with no NPCs inside the game, not to mention the bugs, it is of no surprise that the game didn’t have a promising first release. Reviews from critics were average at best and unfavorable at worse, and questioned whether Fallout 76 was worth saving.

However, Bethesda stuck to it, bringing back NPCs and fixing technical issues. With the release of the Wastelander DLC, the game saw even more of an improvement and an increase in positive reviews from critics, and the RPG gradually saw its fan base return to try out this newer concept.

7/13 Planetscape: Torment Had Unnoticed Immersive Story

Taking place in one of the countless settings of Dungeons and Dragons this RPG explores the campaign of Planetscape in a story-driven adventure that sees little of combat. Although when it first released back in 1999 it was deemed to not be a commercial success since then it has attracted the attention of many.

Due to becoming a cult classic it has since received more released on newer platforms such as coming to Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PS4 in 2019 while critics continue to praise the title as being one of the best role-playing titles ever created.

This Bethesda title, managed by ZeniMax Online Studios, had issues during its early days of launch. Critics that had reviewed the game had given it average reviews, saying the concept of this Elder Scrolls MMORPG was okay, but okay doesn’t cut it for such a big franchise.

Related: Fighting Games That Bombed At Launch But Became Cult Classics

Answering to this call to make sure fans would want to keep playing, the developers scrapped the subscription for a onetime payment. Thanks to the release of DLCs such as Summerset, which won the Outstanding Video Game Award, Elder Scrolls Online has gradually called back its audience and kept them entertained.

5/13 Torturous Fun In Pathologic

Similar to Earthbound, Pathologic did amazingly well in Russia, but the western release was disappointing due to its poor English translation. Language barriers aside, this survival RPG has been called literal torture by those that have played it due to its difficult mechanics and unique concept.

Others, though, have found the title to be quite appealing, as they understood the deeper meaning to the game that lies beneath its graphics and poor translations. Since its original release in 2005, the game has received an HD remaster in 2015 which fixed some audio and translation errors. There was also a new game titled Pathologic 2 in 2019 that looked to develop the story further.

4/13 Sleeper Hit Suikoden 2

At the time of Suikoden 2’s release 3D graphics were becoming far more popular, this meant that the few critics that gave Suikoden any attention felt that the retro graphics used were outdated and lackluster.

Although deemed a sleeper hit at first due to its disappointing sales, the game eventually got the attention it deserves as players began to come back around to its charm. Reciting that it is a classic Konami title of the RPG genre. There has since been hope form players that this alongside the original will get a remaster.

3/13 Remaking Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn

Not many titles can say that they were rebuilt from the ground up in order to gain the trust of fans once again. The original Final Fantasy 14 received a substantial amount of negative feedback. It wasn’t what the players wanted, and they felt that it didn’t fit the genre it was representing.

Related: Tabletop RPGs That Dungeons & Dragons Fans Should Try

Developers at Square Enix felt that it could not be fixed in its current state, and therefore they took the option of rebuilding the game and calling it Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. This was obviously a great idea and although it delayed other titles it essentially saved the Final Fantasy MMORPG.

2/13 Alpha Protocol Could Be Polished Into A Remaster

Critics deemed Alpha Protocol to be an RPG that lacked polish and purpose during its release in 2010. Although reviews were mixed and had a slow start, when it was re-evaluated in 2013, Alpha Protocol finally started to find its audience.

Critics started to identify how the narrative was compelling and the choices players could make in game had a genuine effect on future dialogue. The graphics themselves may have been lacking, but the story behind it was one that players were enjoying.

1/13 The Flawed Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines

Lovingly titled by critics as a flawed masterpiece, Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines is a game with a brilliant story bogged down by a technical issue. When it first released, back in 2004 players battled with a variety of bugs and issues that made the game physically unplayable.

Unfortunately, fixes after its release weren’t possible, as many of the members of the development team at Troika got sent elsewhere due to company funding issues. This left players to take matters into their own hands. Modders created the unofficial patch, which finally put the game in a state where it could be played and enjoyed for its great writing.

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