One of the great appeals of gaming is that sense of escapism from the real world each and every title brings, and RPGs perhaps offer this better than any other genre.
Settling down with a party and designing characters, making choices and watching the consequences of actions unfolding have been fundamental in role-playing games ever since their invention, and the same is certainly true for their virtual counterparts in the world of video games.
Virtual RPGs take out the need for big parties to be assembled in the flesh and for everything to kept under control by a taskmaster, instead allowing players to control entire groups themselves and perhaps push the boundaries on replayability and immersion in new and original ways.
But, whilst franchises like Final Fantasy, The Elder Scrolls and Kingdom Hearts have all established themselves as recognisable faces in the genre with huge sales, passionate fanbases and a plethora of releases, the industry is filled with other titles that slipped a bit more under the radar.
From inter-galactic crime stories, fantastical stories about ancient kingdoms and mythical beings, to quirky stories about running a shop, here are 10 obscure RPGs you NEED to play.
Developed by Tom Hall and the Dallas-based Ion Storm company, Anachronox is a sci-fi turn-based RPG game first released all the way back in 2001.
The game revolves around Sylvester "Sly Boots" Bucelli, a struggling private investigator who decides to try his luck and find some work in the slums of Anachronox, an inter-galatic steampunk-themed city home to shady figures and sinister secrets.
Tom Hall and co. looked to famous RPG games such as Final Fantasy as well as sci-fi books and literatures like Ender's Game for inspiration when it came to developing Anachronox, and all of this influence can be seen in the game's three-person party structure and how players navigate through 3D futuristic environments.
Anachronox had a notoriously long and troubled development, with its originally planned release date of mid to late 1998 being pushed back time after time due to a variety of technical issues and some seriously unfortunate events such as one of the developers having their laptops stolen on the eve of E3.
But, whilst plans for a sequel to Anachronox would have to be scrapped when Ion Storm's offices closed just days after the game's release, there's no denying that this is still a seriously important moment in RPG history.
Anachronox is a game that was built entirely from individuals with a strong passion for RPG games and, whether it's in the various technical languages written specifically for the game, the vibrant visuals or goofy dialogues supplied by Hall himself, it's a passion that can be felt every time the game is played.