10 Best RPGs In A Modern Setting

Something a bit closer to home.

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Due to early RPG's being heavily inspired by the likes of Dungeons & Dragons, it makes sense that games in the genre usually take place in a fantasy setting.

Since those initial role-playing games were popular, people just started copying their art direction, and now practically every RPG has you fighting goblins alongside your elven friend.

Thing is though, just because the genre was designed around the idea of exploring a mythical world venturing through dungeons and fighting dragons those tropes can be applied to another setting.

Whilst sci-fi RPG's are becoming quite popular - and that's definitely a topic worthy of a list someday - one of the most interesting settings is the present. Or at least something heavily inspired by the present.

It turns out that putting modern-day elements into a framework that was originally designed for a fantasy setting can lead to something really unique that can say a lot of interesting things about society.

Oh, and this list won't deal with the myriad of games that just contain RPG elements but aren't full-on role-playing games. Most triple-A games nowadays have some kind of levelling up system, that doesn't make them RPGs, per se.

10. Pokémon Black & White

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It's easy to forget that if you remove the Pokémon from Pokémon you'll be left with something very similar to our own world. Every region is meant to be somewhat of an alternate version to a real-world location.

For example, Galar is meant to be Britain minus Wales for some reason, I guess the Welsh people did something to offend Game Freak, Kalos is meant to be France, and Kanto is meant to be... well Kanto.

The original vision of the series was to create a JRPG set somewhere closer to home just with catchable monsters and that's most obvious in the Unova region from Pokémon Black, White, Black 2, and White 2.

Meant to resemble New York, Unova is filled to the brim with metropolitan areas, monuments to modern human ingenuity, and even Pokémon that have been shaped by the modern world.

You thought Klinklang, Vanillite, and Trubbish were just bad designs, nope they're commentary on how our society bleeds into nature, corrupting it with our influences. That or they might just be bad designs. Who can say?


Has a degree in video game development. Is kinda addicted to video games, television, and films. Probably needs some help, to be honest.