Role-playing games and the iPad tend to go hand-in-hand. While some game genres, like first-person shooters, can come off awkward on a touch device if not done just right, RPGs tend to fall in line with the iPad's mechanics. The best RPGs on the iPad tend to use a touch-to-walk scheme, but as titles like Dungeon Hunters 2 show, on-screen movement pads can work just fine.
With over 40,000 apps (and counting) available for the iPad, there are a lot of different choices for those who want to quench their role-playing thirst on the app store. The following is a few of the best, most-addicting RPGs for the iPad.
Never mind the iPad, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is as one of the top role-playing games of all time regardless of platform. This Bioware classic is a story-driven adventure that takes place four thousand years before Luke, Leia and Han Solo hit the big screen for the first time. As the last hope of the Jedi Order, you choose your own path, including the lure of the Dark Side of the Force.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic arrives on the iPad with a remastered interface focused on making the touchscreen controls more intuitive. Other than that, this is the full Knights of the Old Republic game, taking a whopping 2.5 GB of storage space to install.
When a game is featured in an iPad commercial, you know Apple likes what they see. And it's not hard to tell what caught Apple's eye with Infinity Blade. The game from Chair Entertainment uses the Unreal Engine 3, so it is not surprising that it has sweeping visuals and beautiful landscapes.
But Infinity Blade is more than just eye candy. The action-RPG creates a nice balance between the role-playing elements and the exciting action of combat, with tap-controls allowing you to attack,dodge, block and cast spells.
The role-playing game ruled the 80's, but by the middle of the 90's, many called the role-playing game a dead genre on the computer. And then came two games: Diablo and Baldur's Gate. Diablo spawned a genre of action RPGs, but Baldur's Gate proved you could still build a story-oriented puzzle-filled hack-and-slash RPG and be a success. Considered by many to be one of the best RPGs of all time, the Enhanced Edition is a great port of the full game to the iPad.
Did you love The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion? Have you played Skyrim for hours and hours on end? If you answered yes to either of those questions, Ravensword: Shadowlands is the game for you. Built with the same skill-based class system and open sandbox design, Ravensword: Shadowlands is a gorgeous game with beautiful landscapes and plenty of baddies to mow down on your way to see those scenic views.
Dungeon Hunter set the gold standard for an Action-RPG on the iPad, and the sequel does not disappoint. Boasting fine-tuned controls and expanded game play, Dungeon Hunter 2 is everything you want in a sequel: the addictive game play of the original and enhanced features that feed rather than detract from that game play.
In addition to a deeper level of character customization, Dungeon Hunter 2 ads co-op multiplayer so you can go out adventuring with your friends.
What happens if you put character into an isometric action RPG? You might get something like Bastion. A beautiful port of the popular game released in 2011, Bastion is a great example of not delivering a pared down experience when bringing a game to iOS. But the real beauty of Bastion is its many-tiered elements of gameplay where there always seems like there is something new to experience within the variety of enemies, levels and mini games.
Speaking of paying an arm and a leg, Final Fantasy III hit the app store with a price tag closer to the Nintendo DS version it is based on than the standard price tag of an iPad RPG. But for hardcore fans of the series, there is no substitution for the real thing.
Final Fantasy III for the iPad is based on the Japanese version rather than the Final Fantasy III released in North America. The story starts with four young children who are drawn to a crystal of light, granting them powers and a destiny to restore balance to the world.
Based on a rather high price tag, Final Fantasy III is recommended for those who love the Final Fantasy series and want to adventure through one of the classic adventures again, or for those who love the latter Final Fantasy games but didn't get an opportunity to play the earlier ones.
Who needs World of Warcraft when you can carry Pocket Legends wherever you go? A great fantasy-based MMORPG, Pocket Legends leads the way for massively mutiplayer game play on the iPad. Anyone that has played an MMORPG will feel right at home in Pocket Legends. And because you can create an account for free, it's easy to list as a must-have download.
The great thing about Pocket Legends are the frequent updates, which keeps the game from getting stale. These updates include new areas, new quests, new monsters, new items and (occasionally) even a raising of the level cap.
If the idea of an action-RPG and a tower defense game being put into a blender and turned into a single application makes your mouth water, Dungeon Defenders: First Wave is the game for you. The game features everything you would expect in one of the best RPGs on the iPad: stats, tons of items, character building, etc. But it combines these addictive qualities with the stategy of a tower defense game to create a great hybrid.
You also won't be taking on the hordes of baddies alone. Dungeon Defenders: First Wave features both co-op multiplayer modes and player-vs-player modes.