Classic vs. Modern: A Comparative Review of Legendary RPGs

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Role-playing games (RPGs) have evolved significantly over the years, with classic titles paving the way for modern masterpieces. From the pixelated dungeons of old to the sprawling open worlds of today, RPGs have undergone a transformation that reflects advancements in technology, storytelling, and game design. In this comparative review, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most iconic RPGs from both eras and examine how they stack up against each other.

Classic RPG: Final Fantasy VI (1994)

Developer: Square
Platforms: SNES, Various

Review: Final Fantasy VI is a timeless masterpiece that continues to captivate players with its epic story, memorable characters, and groundbreaking gameplay. Set in a steampunk-inspired world on the brink of destruction, the game follows a diverse cast of heroes as they band together to overthrow an oppressive empire and save the world from ruin. With its deep and emotionally resonant narrative, innovative Active Time Battle system, and breathtaking soundtrack by Nobuo Uematsu, Final Fantasy VI remains a shining example of classic RPG excellence.

Modern RPG: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)

Developer: CD Projekt Red
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

Review: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a modern masterpiece that sets a new standard for open-world RPGs. Set in a dark and immersive fantasy world inspired by the works of Andrzej Sapkowski, the game follows Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter for hire, as he embarks on an epic quest to find his adopted daughter and confront the forces of evil that threaten to engulf the land. With its breathtaking visuals, branching narrative, and richly detailed world filled with dynamic characters and moral ambiguity, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt stands as a testament to the power of modern storytelling in gaming.

Classic RPG: Chrono Trigger (1995)

Developer: Square
Platforms: SNES, Various

Review: Chrono Trigger is a timeless classic that continues to captivate players with its innovative gameplay, engaging story, and charming characters. Developed by a dream team of RPG luminaries including Hironobu Sakaguchi, Yuji Horii, and Akira Toriyama, the game follows a group of adventurers as they travel through time to prevent a global catastrophe. With its revolutionary Active Time Battle system, multiple endings, and seamless integration of gameplay and narrative, Chrono Trigger remains a beloved and influential RPG that has stood the test of time.

Modern RPG: Persona 5 (2016)

Developer: Atlus
Platforms: PS4, PS3

Review: Persona 5 is a modern masterpiece that combines stylish visuals, addictive gameplay, and thought-provoking storytelling to create an unforgettable RPG experience. Set in modern-day Tokyo, the game follows a group of high school students who moonlight as masked vigilantes known as the Phantom Thieves, using their supernatural powers to battle corruption and change the hearts of evildoers. With its unique blend of social simulation, dungeon crawling, and turn-based combat, Persona 5 offers a fresh and exhilarating take on the RPG genre that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Classic RPG: Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn (2000)

Developer: BioWare
Platforms: PC

Review: Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn is a classic CRPG that remains a benchmark for the genre to this day. Set in the iconic Forgotten Realms universe, the game follows the player character, a powerful warrior known as the Bhaalspawn, as they navigate a treacherous world of political intrigue, epic battles, and dark magic. With its deep character customization, branching narrative, and challenging tactical combat, Baldur’s Gate II offers an immersive and rewarding RPG experience that has stood the test of time.

Modern RPG: Divinity: Original Sin 2 (2017)

Developer: Larian Studios
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Review: Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a modern masterpiece that sets a new standard for classic-style CRPGs. Set in a richly detailed fantasy world, the game follows a group of unlikely heroes as they uncover a sinister plot that threatens to destroy the fabric of reality itself. With its deep and immersive storytelling, strategic turn-based combat, and unparalleled player freedom, Divinity: Original Sin 2 offers a true sandbox RPG experience that empowers players to shape the world around them in meaningful ways.


Both classic and modern RPGs have their own unique charms and strengths, offering players distinct experiences that cater to different tastes and preferences. Classic RPGs like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger paved the way for the genre, introducing innovative gameplay mechanics and captivating narratives that continue to inspire modern developers to this day. Meanwhile, modern RPGs like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Persona 5 push the boundaries of storytelling and immersion, leveraging advancements in technology and game design to create epic and unforgettable experiences. Whether you prefer the nostalgia of retro classics or the innovation of modern masterpieces, there’s no denying the enduring appeal of RPGs as a genre that continues to evolve and captivate players around the world.

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