First things first: this listicle is not trying to insult your intelligence. While you may have heard of all these sci-fi RPGs already, let this list be a reminder to you about how great experiencing role-playing games in a science fiction universe can be.
1. Mars: War Logs
As the game suggests, this Sci-Fi RPG is set on the planet Mars. However, it is also set nearly a century after the colonies on the planet were plunged into chaos when a catastrophe occurred. Water is a highly sought after commodity on the planet, obviously. While the corporations in the game try to control the water, you play as Roy Temperance, an adventurer.
Before we jump to conclusions, let’s all agree that the small RPG Mars: War Logs sounds an awful lot like The Technomancer. Well, it makes sense as both games were developed by Spiders and published by Focus Home Interactive. While Mars: War Logs wasn’t as well received as The Technomancer, one cannot deny which is the chicken and the egg in this scenario, making the need to play Mars all the more necessary.
Get it on Steam for $14.99.
2. Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines
How could the vacant eyes of the meandering undead and 21st century Los Angeles possibly have more in common than they already do? Vampire: The Masquerade–Bloodlines is the answer to that question. In this RPG, the player can choose to progress as either a male or female character who has been killed and then revived as a vampire. Players also must choose a vampire clan for their character based on points in different areas. While Vampire did not do well initially, it has since garnered a cult following.
Get it on Steam for $19.99.
Unlike the games above, Transistor sold well upon release in early 2014. Developed and published by Supergiant Games, Transistor uses an isometric point of view as the lead character, Red, goes from point A to point B. Red is a famous singer in the fictional city of Cloudbank. After escaping assassination by the enemies known as The Process, Red comes to possess a huge weapon called the Transistor. Fans of the game noted its stunning graphics as one of its greatest features. In 2014, Transistor won Best Graphics in IGN’s Best of 2014.
Get it on Steam for $19.99.
4. Deus Ex: Invisible War
A sequel to critically acclaimed Deus Ex, Deus Ex: Invisible War takes place 20 years after its predecessor, set in 2072. In the game, the world is recovering from what is referred to as The Collapse. Players see the game’s world through the eyes of character Alex D, a trainee of Taurus Academy. Like the game before it, Invisible War received favorable reviews, except for comments on the game’s tendency toward an over-simplified gameplay. Overt RPG elements within the game include the use of Biomods or nanotechnological implants that grant different abilities to players.
Get it on Steam for $6.99.
5. Omikron: The Nomad Soul
If there were no reason to play this game except for the soundtrack, that would be enough. The late-great David Bowie co-wrote the soundtrack to the game. Also, his likeness appears twice within the game. Omikron is set in the fiction city of the same name. Early in the game, the fourth wall is demolished as one of the city’s police officers ask the player to join him. In the game, players investigate different serial killings within the city. Although released in 1999, versions scheduled for PlayStation and PlayStation were ultimately dropped after the Dreamcast version failed to sell.
Get it on Steam for $9.99.
What are your favorite sci-fi RPGs? Let me know in the comments!