It used to be a debate during days when game consoles only had so much memory of whether a game's story really mattered. After all, when cutscenes threaten to take up the space where there could be an entire level, it limited just how far a narrative could really go.

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But then these RPGs happened, and although they certainly aren't the sole pioneers of deep and extended writing in games, it's hard to say they haven't made an impact. Through some great storylines, developed characters, brilliant worldbuilding and so much more, these are the RPGs that stand out as having the best writing in their field.

10 Fallout: New Vegas

A masked figure stands by a sign which says Welcome to Fallout New Vegas

From its iconic aesthetic to its interesting world, Fallout: New Vegas told a tale that was all about letting go of the pre-war world of America before nuclear apocalypse changed everything. The game had you play as a courier who could change the fate of New Vegas and its surrounding wasteland as you get caught in a conflict between factions vying for power. Underneath the story are tons of incredible characters, great world-building and a set of DLC that take you on a wild journey through some of the most unique settings in the franchise.

9 The Outer Worlds

A brown skinned woman stares towards you as an armoured figure stands in the background in Outer Worlds

Obsidian Entertainment only proved their worth once again with their title The Outer Worlds. The sci-fi comedy RPG had all the classic highlights of Obisidan Entertainment from its interesting setting to cast of lovable companions. The game introduced fan favourites like Parvati and Felix and does a great job with its satirical commentary on capitalism through space corporations. It may not have as much depth as the studio's other titles, but The Outer Worlds still has writing that is fantastic, funny and sometimes meaningful.

8 Dragon Age: Origins

A blonde man in knight's armour sits by a campfire in Dragon Age Origins

Perhaps one of the best written RPGs of all time, Dragon Age: Origins has the heavy task of introducing fans to the world of Thedas and it does so almost flawlessly. From a compelling and detailed history to incredibly fun and unique characters, Dragon Age: Origins tells a story that may seem a little cliche with evil monarchs and great darkness sweeping the land.

But beyond its plot is something truly special, with memorable moments like Loghain's betrayal to a brilliant story structure that works well with its gameplay. All of which is what captivated fans for years and still has many in love with the series to this day.

7 Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic

A blue alien, a Wookie and a female figure stands in a sci-fi city in Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic

The BioWare of old seemingly just can't be defeated when it comes to a good story and nowhere is that more clear with Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic. The story takes the classic Star Wars formula of a character realising their Force powers and having to defeat power-hungry Sith and turns it into a tale that can compete with the very first films.

Though its characters like the memorable Bastila Shan or humorous duo of Mission and Zaalbar, the plot of the game is where it really shines. If you haven't played it, then it's best to go in blind, but the plot has twists and turns that make it one of the best in the entire Star Wars franchise.

6 Disco Elysium

An isometric view of a shootout with numerous figures in Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium is one of the more literary roleplaying games in that it actually could be a book series with a word count of over one million. Following a drunk detective who has lost his memory, you have to piece together snippets of a detailed world, a grisly murder case and your own identity.

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The themes of Discoy Elysium are some of the deepest in the genre with a heavy focus on the weight of the past, forging an identity, nihilism at the state of the world and much more.

5 Mass Effect

A reptilian alien holds a gun as he looks elsewhere in Mass Effect 1

Mass Effect is an impressive feat with its storytelling and forging of its own universe. You might think it's easy but building a world of science fiction with numerous alien species, planets and histories requires a lot of effort which the game puts in.

The plot is where Mass Effect really gains most of its captivating nature, with player choice reflecting on the world and pushing its already interesting characters in different directions. Even Commander Shepherd comes across as a likeable protagonist who can have their own great character arc.

4 Pillars Of Eternity

An isometric view of figures fighting a blue scaled dragon in Pillars of Eternity

Another literary RPG, Pillars of Eternity is a project that oozes with passion. Despite how dark the game and its setting can be, it offers a homely atmosphere that can be likened to your friend's Dungeon & Dragons campaign.

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You can get lost in endless discussions with complex characters, finding out the history of the world around you and exploring the intricate cultures being presented all wrapped up in a thrilling adventure that will take your party through a world of magic and mystery.

3 Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

A blonde pale figure stares ahead as people dance in the background of a club in Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines

Fantasy and science fiction are common genres of well-written RPGs, but what about urban fantasy? What happens when magic is in a city we recognise? Would dragons be able to roam a world of skyscrapers? Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines doesn't quite answer all those questions, but it does present a very fascinating world where fantastical creatures like vampires and werewolves hide in plain sight.

Though the gameplay leaves much to be desired, the game's script is intelligent and full of depth with countless dialogue options concerning clans, characters, loyalties, history and so much more. It takes on a fantastic approach to the RPG genre as well with so much well-written dialogue and story development no matter the nigh endless choices the player could make.

2 Bloodborne

A figure in a dark jacket walks at night in a dark foggy Victorian style city in Bloodborne

The Lovecraftian horror of Bloodborne is something that few games have ever come close too writing-wise. The approach to storytelling through its environment and sporadic style is what has made From Software so acclaimed in the industry and Bloodborne is not only some of their best work in that department, but a contender for a magnum opus.

With a world so well realised it is still being discussed, debated, and picked apart years after its release, its themes of man's hubris and weakness are told by being interwoven through its gameplay and player-driven exploration. It's a hard feat to tell a good story, and even harder to make it so good that players are chasing after it.

1 Planescape: Torment

An isometric view of numerous figures in an industrial stony room in Planescape Torment

Considered the best-written RPG of all time, Planescape: Torment achieved what few stories can and that is to make such an impact that it has irrevocably changed its genre forever. Its story went against every convention of traditional roleplay from its protagonist The Nameless One being a villain who has a brilliant character arc centered around self-identity and past lives to inventive, beautiful and memorable dialogue.

Its interpretation of the Planescape setting was also seen as a welcome breath of fresh air to the typical fantasy conventions of most games in the genre, with a dark sense of humour to reflect its unique world.

NEXT: The Best Story-Driven Video Games