Here is a list of the ten best pen and paper roleplaying games of all-time. Although there is no scientific way to prove the ‘best RPG games‘ ever, this list takes into account the overall popularity of pen and paper roleplaying games since the industry was first created.
10 – Gamma World – It’s a post-apocalyptic game, but not in the style of Mad Max. This game fit more into the style of a science fantasy game. You could play all sorts of random mutant creatures, in addition to playing people that were mostly normal.
9 – Vampire the Masquerade – Some may argue which is the best World of Darkness product. But Vampire the Masquerade was the game that put White Wolf on the map. Vampire the Masquerade has also become the number Live Action Roleplaying Game in the world. Go LARP’ers!
8 – RuneQuest – This game was considered as one of the ‘Big Three’ at some point. The big three being D&D, Traveller, and RuneQuest. It provided a different setting and system than other fantasy roleplaying games at the time.
7 – Champions – Although it may no longer be the most popular comic-themed roleplaying game ever, this game has been around a long time since it was first published in 1981. The game set the stage for many other comic book and super hero related roleplaying games.
6 – Tunnels & Trolls – Right after D&D was T&T. Tunnels & Trolls was the second roleplaying game ever created. The game was created as an alternate, and hopefully easier to play, version of Dungeons & Dragons.
5 – GURPs – The Generic Universal RolePlaying System is able to adapt itself to any game environment. Any setting you can think of has been created for the system. Its creator, Steve Jackson, is one of the most well-known game designers in the industry because of this game.
4 – Star Wars – Based on the movies carrying the same name, the Star Wars Roleplaying Game was first created by West End Games using the d6 system. Eventually it moved on to other companies and saw some play time under the d20 system, and then finally the Saga Edition. It is the premiere sci-fi, or space opera, themed roleplaying game due to George Lucas dominating the minds of nerds all over the world.
3 – Traveller – Not as famous as its other space opera buddy, Star Wars. This game, however, did come out as a roleplaying system before George Lucas’s creation did. Traveller was first created in 1977 and has been going strong ever since. The game is definitely considered one of the ‘original’ RPGs.
2 – Call of Cthulhu – A unique entry into this list. This horror-based roleplaying game is based off of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. There really isn’t a popular, comparable game out on the market now. Instead, different gaming companies have chosen to create Call of Cthulhu in a variety of different systems under a variety of different publishers.
1 – Dungeons & Dragons – The most famous pen and paper roleplaying game of all time. This fantasy game still dominates the market with all of its various incarnations, from the original D&D to 4th Edition. D&D creators Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson are legends in the industry, just as the game itself is.
Some people may disagree with the overall placement of some of these games. Others may ask why certain games are even on here. Why haven’t other games been included, like Shadowrun, Robotech, Palladium Fantasy, Rifts, or many newer games? Well, they weren’t. This list was created by veteran gamers and apparently they had a little nostalgia in them. So what do you think of the list of best RPG games ever?