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 games like Dungeon Hunters 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.
Infinity Blade has produced two sequels, but the original is still a great place to start.
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.
Finished the original? You can try the sequel, which includes expansions such as Throne of Bhaal and Fist of the Fallen.
Speaking of paying an arm and a leg, much of the Final Fantasy series is available on the App Store, but don't expect a break on the prices. These classics cost between $10 and $20, but for fans of the series, there is no substitution for the real thing.
It's dealer's choice which game makes this list. Final Fantasy I might be where the true hardcore fan would start, but if you just want to see if Final Fantasy is your thing, Final Fantasy Tactics might be the best choice. It's a gem among gems in the Final Fantasy series, and while it will cost as much as any in the Final Fantasy series, it has very deep game play and presents a rewarding experience.
Order and Chaos Online is Gameloft's attempt to clone World of Warcraft to the iPad, and by all accounts, they've done a pretty good job of it. The game is based on a faction system that pits humans and elves against orcs and undead and has over 500 quests for players to complete. And in true massively multiplayer RPG fashion, players can join guilds, trade loot and even duel each other.
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.
Retro games come in two flavors: classics that have been ported to the iOS platform and brand new games with a retro flair. Mage Gauntlet takes on the retro style of old school Nintendo RPGs, oftentimes poking fun at classic RPG cliches, but providing enough fun to keep you entertained.
The game isn't just about using whatever weapon you can find to deal with anything that gets in your path. You'll do a lot of on-screen dodging to get away from hordes of creatures, biding time for your gauntlet to power up so you can unleash a devastating spell. All in all, a good combo of action role-playing and 16-bit fun.
If you've ever longed for Legend of Zelda: The Wind Walker to come to the iPad, you've found your game. Oceanhorn may not have the "Legend of Zelda" title, but it has the Legend of Zelda heart. The controls can be a little awkward at times, but this game is a must-have for anyone who longs for the Zelda games to hit iOS.
The storyline itself is pretty simple. The death of the hero's father sets up a grand adventure, but it's the execution that captures this game. Oceanhorn has beautiful graphics and original music by Nobuo Uematsu, who also composed some of the music for the Final Fantasy series.
Slayin is definitely not like anything else on the list, which is one good reason to put it on the list. It's very much like a classic coin-op game, but with a very modern charm to it. If you want something simple-yet-addictive, this is the best dollar you could spend.
There are two different ways to build an RPG. Some developers focus on story and role-playing, which is fundamental to games like Baldur's Gate, while other developers use story like window dressing, focusing mainly on the action. Count Eternity Warriors 3 as one of the latter.
If you want an old school dungeon crawler that will remind you of Diablo, this is your game. There are some multiplayer elements, but they are more for socialization than actual adventuring. Think of this one as a single-player action RPG that will satisfy your urge to hack and slash.