Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

Are you ready to dive into the world of 2D RPG games? This guide will take you on a journey through the fascinating world of 2D games, exploring their history, gameplay, and significance in the gaming industry. Get ready to discover the magic of 2D games and why they continue to captivate gamers of all ages. From classic retro-style games to modern 2D RPGs, this guide has something for everyone. So, buckle up and let’s get started!

What are 2D RPG Games?

Characteristics of 2D RPG Games

Side-scrolling gameplay

One of the defining characteristics of 2D RPG games is their side-scrolling gameplay. This means that the game environment moves horizontally as the player progresses through the game. The player typically controls a character that moves from left to right, interacting with non-playable characters, collecting items, and battling enemies along the way. This style of gameplay adds a sense of progression and momentum to the game, as the player is constantly moving forward and discovering new areas.

Rich storylines

Another characteristic of 2D RPG games is their rich storylines. These games often feature complex narratives with multiple plot threads, characters with intricate backstories, and morally ambiguous choices. The story may be presented through dialogue, cutscenes, or text-based interactions, and may involve quests, side missions, and other forms of content that help to flesh out the game world.

Complex characters and world-building

2D RPG games also typically feature complex characters and world-building. The player may encounter a wide range of characters, each with their own personalities, motivations, and backstories. These characters may be allies, enemies, or somewhere in between, and may have relationships with one another that the player can exploit or resolve. The game world itself may also be richly detailed, with a variety of locations, cultures, and factions that the player can explore and interact with.

Turn-based or real-time combat

In terms of combat, 2D RPG games may use either turn-based or real-time mechanics. Turn-based combat involves taking turns to attack, defend, or use special abilities, while real-time combat involves action-based gameplay where the player must react to enemy attacks and manage their own character’s abilities in real-time. Both styles of combat have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of which to use depends on the game’s design goals and playstyle.

Party-based gameplay

Finally, 2D RPG games often feature party-based gameplay, where the player controls a group of characters rather than a single character. These characters may have different skills, abilities, and equipment, and the player must manage their party’s resources and abilities to overcome challenges and defeat enemies. Party-based gameplay adds a layer of strategy and tactics to the game, as the player must balance the strengths and weaknesses of their party members and adapt to changing situations.

The Evolution of 2D RPG Games

Early Classics

The earliest 2D RPG games emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, marking the beginning of a new era in video game history. Titles such as Dungeons & Dragons (1975) and Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (1981) introduced players to the world of 2D RPGs, with text-based gameplay and simple graphics. These games relied heavily on player imagination and were limited in terms of visuals, but their engaging storylines and complex gameplay mechanics made them popular among gamers.

Modern 2D RPG Games

As technology advanced, so did the 2D RPG genre. With the introduction of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and Sega Genesis in the early 1990s, games like Final Fantasy (1987), Chrono Trigger (1995), and Super Mario RPG (1996) revolutionized the 2D RPG experience. These games boasted improved graphics, smoother animations, and more sophisticated storylines, captivating players with their rich worlds and immersive gameplay.

Indie Game Developers

In recent years, the rise of indie game developers has led to a resurgence in 2D RPG games. With the advent of accessible game development tools and platforms like Steam,, and mobile app stores, indie developers have been able to create unique, innovative games that have gained a loyal following. Titles like Stardew Valley (2016), Hollow Knight (2017), and Cadence of Hyrule (2019) showcase the creativity and passion of indie developers, offering players a diverse range of 2D RPG experiences.

While 2D RPG games have evolved significantly since their inception, their core elements remain unchanged: deep storytelling, engaging characters, and challenging gameplay mechanics. Whether you’re a fan of classic text-based adventures or modern graphics-driven epics, the world of 2D RPG games has something for everyone.

Top 2D RPG Games to Play Today

Key takeaway: 2D RPG games have a unique blend of storytelling, engaging characters, and immersive gameplay that make them popular among gamers. They have evolved significantly since their inception, with modern games offering unique blends of stealth, action, and survival elements. The accessibility of 2D RPG games is a critical factor in their appeal, with lower hardware requirements and compatibility with mobile devices. Finally, immersive storytelling is a crucial aspect of the appeal of 2D RPG games, with rich characters, intricate world-building, and dynamic gameplay.

Classic 2D RPG Games

  • Final Fantasy
    • The Origins of Final Fantasy
      • The early beginnings of the Final Fantasy series can be traced back to the 1980s, where the first game was released on the NES console.
      • The game was created by the now-legendary game developer, Square, and was directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi.
      • The original game featured a unique combination of storytelling, music, and visuals that set it apart from other RPGs of its time.
    • The Characters and Storylines of Final Fantasy
      • The series is known for its deep and intricate storylines, with each game featuring a new cast of characters and plotlines.
      • The characters in Final Fantasy are often complex and well-developed, with rich backstories and motivations that drive the plot forward.
      • The stories themselves are often epic in scope, featuring themes of love, friendship, and betrayal, set against a backdrop of fantastical worlds and creatures.
    • The Legacy of Final Fantasy
      • Final Fantasy has since become one of the most beloved and iconic RPG series of all time, with dozens of games released across multiple platforms.
      • The series has spawned numerous spin-offs, sequels, and adaptations, including movies, TV shows, and even a theme park attraction.
      • Final Fantasy has also had a significant impact on the gaming industry as a whole, inspiring countless other RPGs and game developers to push the boundaries of what is possible in the genre.
  • Chrono Trigger
    • The Origins of Chrono Trigger
      • Chrono Trigger was developed and published by Square in 1995, and was directed by the legendary game designer, Yuji Horii.
      • The game was designed as a collaborative effort between Horii and several other prominent game developers, including Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragon Ball.
      • Chrono Trigger was designed to be a groundbreaking RPG that would push the boundaries of the genre, with a unique blend of time travel, alternate dimensions, and multiple endings.
    • The Characters and Storylines of Chrono Trigger
      • The game features a diverse cast of characters, including a time traveler, a robot, a knight, and several other memorable personalities.
      • The storyline of Chrono Trigger is nonlinear, with players able to explore different eras and dimensions as they attempt to prevent a catastrophic event known as the “End of Time.”
      • The game’s story is renowned for its emotional depth and complexity, with multiple endings that offer different perspectives on the game’s themes and characters.
    • The Legacy of Chrono Trigger
      • Chrono Trigger has since become a classic of the RPG genre, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest video games of all time.
      • The game has inspired numerous other RPGs and game developers to push the boundaries of storytelling and game design, and has been re-released on multiple platforms over the years.
  • Secret of Mana
    • The Origins of Secret of Mana
      • Secret of Mana was developed and published by Square in 1993, and was directed by the legendary game designer, Hiromichi Fujino.
      • The game was designed as a follow-up to the original Final Fantasy game, and was intended to be a more action-oriented RPG with a focus on real-time combat.
      • Secret of Mana was also notable for its innovative use of the “Ruby” system, which allowed players to customize their characters and equipment.
    • The Characters and Storylines of Secret of Mana
      • The game features a

Modern 2D RPG Games

In recent years, a number of modern 2D RPG games have emerged that have captured the hearts of gamers worldwide. These games offer a unique blend of storytelling, engaging characters, and immersive gameplay that have made them fan favorites. Here are some of the top modern 2D RPG games that you should definitely check out:

  • Oxenfree
    • Story: Set in the 1980s, Oxenfree follows a group of friends who accidentally open a ghostly rift while exploring an abandoned island. Players take on the role of Alex, a newcomer to the group, who must navigate the dangerous supernatural forces that threaten to tear them apart. The game’s narrative is a gripping and emotional tale of friendship, loyalty, and sacrifice that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
    • Characters: The characters in Oxenfree are well-developed and multidimensional, each with their own unique personalities and backstories. Alex, the protagonist, is a relatable and likable character who grows and evolves throughout the game. The supporting cast is equally engaging, with each character bringing their own flair and dynamics to the group.
    • Gameplay: Oxenfree’s gameplay is a mix of exploration, puzzle-solving, and dialogue choices. Players will explore the island, uncover clues, and make choices that affect the story’s outcome. The game also features a unique real-time narrative system that changes the story based on the player’s choices, adding a level of replayability and unpredictability.
  • Steamworld Dig
    • Story: Steamworld Dig follows the adventures of Rusty, a robot who inherits a mine from his long-lost uncle. As Rusty delves deeper into the mine, he discovers a world of steam-powered machines and mysterious ancient technologies. The game’s story is a thrilling blend of Western-inspired themes and steampunk aesthetics, with a touch of exploration and discovery.
    • Characters: The characters in Steamworld Dig are a colorful cast of robots, humans, and other creatures. Rusty is a likable and relatable protagonist, and the supporting cast is full of quirky and memorable characters. The game’s world-building is top-notch, with a rich lore and history that adds depth to the story.
    • Gameplay: Steamworld Dig’s gameplay is a mix of exploration, digging, and combat. Players will dig through the mine, gather resources, and battle various enemies using a unique steam-powered system. The game also features a leveling system that allows players to upgrade Rusty’s abilities and equipment, adding a sense of progression and customization.
  • Undertale
    • Story: Undertale is a unique RPG that takes place in a world filled with monsters who have risen to the surface after a catastrophic event. The game follows the story of a human child who falls into the underground world and must navigate its dangers and secrets. The game’s story is a dark and emotional tale of love, loss, and redemption that will challenge your expectations and touch your heart.
    • Characters: The characters in Undertale are a memorable and quirky cast of monsters, each with their own personalities and motivations. The game’s protagonist, the human child, is a relatable and sympathetic character who must navigate the complex relationships and dynamics of the monster world. The supporting cast is equally engaging, with each monster bringing their own unique flair and charm to the game.
    • Gameplay: Undertale’s gameplay is a mix of exploration, puzzle-solving, and turn-based combat. Players will explore the underground world,

Upcoming 2D RPG Games

  • Skul: The Hero Slayer
    • About the Game
      • Skul: The Hero Slayer is an upcoming 2D RPG game that combines elements of roguelike games and traditional RPGs. The game follows the story of a skull who is the last hope for the people of the land, as they are under attack by a group of evil warriors.
    • Key Features
      • A unique blend of roguelike and traditional RPG elements
      • Fast-paced and challenging gameplay
      • Highly stylized and visually appealing 2D graphics
    • Expected Release Date
      • Q2 2023
    • Platforms
      • PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
  • Moonlight Sculptor
    – Moonlight Sculptor is an upcoming 2D RPG game that is set in a world where people can enter and leave a dream world. The game follows the story of a sculptor who creates puppets that can enter the dream world and battle monsters.
    – A unique and imaginative setting
    – Engaging and strategic gameplay
    – Beautifully designed 2D graphics
    – Q3 2023
    – PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
  • Temtem
    – Temtem is an upcoming 2D RPG game that is set on a distant planet called Cassette-Era. The game follows the story of a Temtem breeder who is trying to become the ultimate Temtem master.
    – A vibrant and immersive world
    – Deep and engaging gameplay mechanics
    – High-quality 2D graphics and animations
    – TBD
    – PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

The Appeal of 2D RPG Games


  • Classic gaming experiences
    • Revisiting childhood memories
      • Sharing experiences with friends and family
      • Nostalgic feeling of familiarity
    • Timeless gameplay mechanics
      • Turn-based battles
      • Leveling up characters
      • Exploring new areas
    • Retro aesthetics
      • Pixel art graphics
      • 8-bit soundtracks
      • Vintage game design


One of the key factors contributing to the appeal of 2D RPG games is their accessibility. This aspect encompasses several dimensions that make these games easily accessible to a wide range of players.

Lower hardware requirements

One of the primary reasons why 2D RPG games are accessible is their relatively low hardware requirements. Unlike their 3D counterparts, 2D RPG games do not demand high-end graphics cards or powerful processors to run smoothly. This means that players can enjoy these games on a variety of devices, including older computers and mobile phones, without encountering significant performance issues.

Mobile gaming

Another aspect of accessibility in 2D RPG games is their compatibility with mobile devices. As smartphones and tablets have become increasingly powerful, many developers have opted to create 2D RPG games that can be played on the go. This has opened up a whole new world of gaming possibilities for players who want to enjoy their favorite RPG games while commuting, waiting in line, or simply taking a break from their daily routine.

Furthermore, mobile gaming has enabled players to access 2D RPG games anytime, anywhere, without being tethered to a specific device or location. This flexibility has contributed significantly to the popularity of these games, as they can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life, regardless of their schedules or circumstances.

In conclusion, the accessibility of 2D RPG games is a critical factor in their appeal. By offering lower hardware requirements and being compatible with mobile devices, these games have become accessible to a wider audience, making them an increasingly popular choice for gamers worldwide.

Immersive Storytelling

2D RPG games have gained immense popularity in recent years, with millions of players worldwide getting hooked on their immersive storytelling. The genre offers a captivating experience, with compelling characters, intricate world-building, and dynamic gameplay that revolves around choice and consequence.

Character Development

One of the most significant contributors to the immersive experience in 2D RPG games is character development. These games typically feature a cast of intricately crafted characters, each with their unique personalities, motivations, and backstories. Players become invested in these characters, experiencing their growth and evolution as they progress through the game.

Character development in 2D RPG games often involves a deep exploration of the psychological and emotional aspects of the characters. This can lead to a greater understanding of their actions, decisions, and relationships with other characters. Players may find themselves empathizing with a character’s struggles or rooting for their success, further enhancing their connection to the game’s narrative.


Another critical element of immersive storytelling in 2D RPG games is world-building. These games often feature expansive and detailed environments, filled with diverse landscapes, cultures, and histories. Players are transported to these worlds, becoming a part of the story as they explore and interact with the environment.

World-building in 2D RPG games is typically accompanied by rich lore and backstory, which helps to create a sense of depth and realism. This lore can encompass everything from the origins of the world and its inhabitants to the political and social structures that shape the game’s setting. By immersing players in this detailed world, 2D RPG games allow them to become fully engaged in the story and its many elements.

Choice and Consequence Gameplay

Choice and consequence gameplay is a hallmark of 2D RPG games, allowing players to shape the narrative and experience unique outcomes based on their decisions. This dynamic gameplay element adds a layer of interactivity to the immersive storytelling, making players feel like they have a direct impact on the world and its characters.

In 2D RPG games, choices can range from minor dialogue options to significant plot decisions that alter the course of the story. These choices often have far-reaching consequences, with players experiencing the ripple effect of their actions throughout the game. This adds an element of unpredictability to the narrative, keeping players engaged and invested in the story’s outcome.

Overall, immersive storytelling is a crucial aspect of the appeal of 2D RPG games. With their rich characters, intricate world-building, and dynamic gameplay, these games offer players an engaging and unforgettable experience.

Playing 2D RPG Games

Tips for New Players

For new players, getting started with 2D RPG games can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your gaming experience:

  1. Choosing the right game
    The first step is to choose the right game. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to play. To make the right choice, consider factors such as the game’s storyline, characters, gameplay mechanics, and reviews from other players. It’s also a good idea to read reviews and watch gameplay videos to get a better idea of what the game is like before making a decision.
  2. Understanding the genre
    Next, it’s important to understand the RPG genre and its various sub-genres. Some popular sub-genres include action RPGs, turn-based RPGs, and strategy RPGs. Each sub-genre has its own unique gameplay mechanics and features, so it’s important to choose a game that suits your playstyle.
  3. Investing in a good gaming experience
    Finally, investing in a good gaming experience is crucial for enjoying 2D RPG games. This includes having a good gaming computer or console, a comfortable gaming chair, and a good gaming headset or speakers. Taking care of your equipment will ensure that you have a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience.

Resources for 2D RPG Gamers

For 2D RPG gamers, there are several resources available to enhance their gaming experience and improve their skills. Here are some of the most useful resources:

Online Communities

Online communities are a great way to connect with other 2D RPG gamers and share tips, strategies, and gameplay experiences. There are several online forums, social media groups, and websites dedicated to 2D RPG games, where gamers can engage in discussions, ask questions, and provide feedback. Some popular online communities for 2D RPG gamers include:

  • The RPG Academy
  • The RPG Consoler
  • The RPG Enthusiasts
  • The RPG Fanatics
  • The RPG Players’ Guild

These communities provide a platform for gamers to share their knowledge, collaborate on game projects, and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the world of 2D RPG games.

Game Guides and Walkthroughs

Game guides and walkthroughs are essential resources for 2D RPG gamers who want to complete games, unlock achievements, or explore hidden areas. There are several websites and mobile apps that offer game guides and walkthroughs for 2D RPG games, providing detailed instructions, maps, and strategies to help gamers overcome challenges and progress through the game. Some popular game guide websites include:

  • GameFAQs
  • IGN
  • GameSpot
  • Cheat Code Central
  • Video Game Strategy Guides

These websites offer comprehensive guides for a wide range of 2D RPG games, from classic retro games to the latest releases. They also provide tips, tricks, and cheats to help gamers get the most out of their gaming experience.

Game Development News and Updates

For 2D RPG gamers who are interested in game development, there are several resources available to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the industry. These resources include:

  • Game development blogs: Several game developers maintain blogs where they share their insights, experiences, and knowledge about game development. Some popular game development blogs include Gamasutra, Unity Technologies, and The Game Developer.
  • Game development conferences: Game development conferences provide a platform for developers, designers, and artists to share their work, ideas, and experiences. Some popular game development conferences include the Game Developers Conference (GDC), the Independent Games Festival (IGF), and the Game Developers Choice Awards.
  • Game development podcasts: Game development podcasts provide a great way to learn about game development while on-the-go. Some popular game development podcasts include The Game Developer Show, The Audio Nerd, and The Indie Game Developer Podcast.

These resources provide valuable insights into the world of game development, including trends, techniques, and technologies that can help 2D RPG gamers create their own games or improve their skills as players.

The Future of 2D RPG Games

The future of 2D RPG games is a topic that is worth exploring. As technology continues to advance, it is expected that the genre will continue to evolve in exciting ways. Some of the potential changes that may occur in the future include:

  • Continued evolution of the genre: The 2D RPG genre has been around for several decades, and it has come a long way since its inception. In the future, it is likely that the genre will continue to evolve and change, with new mechanics and features being added to keep it fresh and exciting.
  • New technologies and platforms: As new technologies and platforms emerge, it is likely that 2D RPG games will be developed for them. For example, we may see more 2D RPG games being developed for virtual reality (VR) platforms, which could provide a unique and immersive gaming experience.
  • Expansion into new markets: 2D RPG games have traditionally been popular in Japan, but in recent years, they have gained popularity in other parts of the world. In the future, it is possible that the genre will continue to expand into new markets, making it even more popular and widely-played.

Overall, the future of 2D RPG games looks bright, with plenty of opportunities for growth and development. Whether you are a fan of the genre or are just starting to explore it, there is sure to be something for everyone in the world of 2D RPG games.


1. What is a 2D game?

A 2D game is a type of video game that is played on a two-dimensional plane. This means that the game environment and characters are rendered in a two-dimensional format, as opposed to a three-dimensional format. 2D games are typically simpler to develop and run than 3D games, as they require less processing power and memory.

2. What is a 2D RPG game?

A 2D RPG game, or “2D role-playing game,” is a type of video game that combines elements of role-playing and adventure games. In a 2D RPG game, the player takes on the role of a character in a fictional world, and is able to explore the environment, interact with other characters, and complete quests or missions. 2D RPG games often feature turn-based combat, where the player must make strategic decisions about which actions to take in battle.

3. What are some examples of 2D RPG games?

There are many different 2D RPG games available, both old and new. Some popular examples include the classic game “Final Fantasy” and more recent games like “Undertale” and “Stardew Valley.” Other 2D RPG games include “Battlefield 1,” “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” and “Minecraft.”

4. What are the benefits of playing 2D RPG games?

There are many benefits to playing 2D RPG games, including the ability to explore new worlds, interact with interesting characters, and solve challenging puzzles. 2D RPG games can also help improve problem-solving skills, as players must often make strategic decisions in combat and other situations. Additionally, 2D RPG games can be a great way to relieve stress and unwind after a long day.

5. Are 2D RPG games appropriate for all ages?

While 2D RPG games can be enjoyed by players of all ages, some games may contain mature themes or content that is not suitable for all audiences. It is important to research a game before playing it, and to consider the age and maturity level of the player when deciding whether or not to allow them to play. Additionally, it is important to monitor a child’s gameplay and ensure that they are not spending too much time playing.

Your First 2D GAME – Day 1 Beginner Tutorial

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