Top 10 Best Turn-Based RPGs of 2023

Written by Harry Ted Sprinks

Best RPGs of 2023

There are a multitude of new turn-based RPGs releasing every year, whether they’re from indie teams, solo developers, or bigger studios, so much so that finding a well-rounded and polished experience can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg, offering a variety of experiences from massive blockbusters to small indie titles still in Early Access. From tactical RPGs and JRPGs to throwback monster-collectors, these are some of the best turn-based RPGs of 2023.

Cyber Knights: Flashpoint

Flashpoint RPG

This turn-based RPG takes place in a cyberpunk-themed dystopia with tactical turn-based combat akin to XCOM. However, the game also features a heavy dose of stealth mechanics, allowing the player to choose how to approach combat encounters. This element of stealth is reminiscent of games like Mutant Year Zero: Road To Eden, and even Invisible Inc.

In Cyber Knights, players manage a crew of hackers and mercenaries in true RPG fashion, sending them off on various heists. The game has players managing a network of contacts and even features a planning phase that allows players to gain the upper hand before a mission. Furthermore, Cyber-Knights feature extensive character progression and customization, allowing players to personalize their company of mercenaries.

Although Cyber Knights is currently in Early Access, it already shows great promise as a tactical RPG. Furthermore, the Trese Brothers have already proved themselves as trustworthy developers with their previously released games, such as Star Traders: Frontiers, a brilliant sci-fi sandbox RPG. At the time of writing, Cyber Knights has a 90% positive review score on Steam.



Although the RPG mechanics of Showgunners are relatively lightweight, its combat is both tactical and satisfying, and its variety of encounters still manage to offer a challenge. The game’s beginner-friendly RPG systems make Showgunners a much more accessible game than is usual with turn-based RPGs, but its over-the-top 90s sci-fi theme and mechanical twists keep it engaging throughout.

Where Showgunners shines is with its battle royale, gladiatorial theme, reminiscent of pulp science fiction like The Running Man and Rollerball. In keeping with this theme, the game features a “show director” that effectively acts as a dynamic difficulty modifier and helps to keep players on their toes. Furthermore, Showgunners features systems for fame, fans, and even sponsorship deals.

Overall, Showgunners is a great choice of tactical RPG for those looking for a fast-paced, over-the-top experience. Showgunners is also brilliant for newcomers to the genre of turn-based tactics, as its RPG systems are easy to learn, and its content is less dense than the more expansive RPGs on the market. At the time of writing, the game has a 93% positive review score on Steam.

Colony Ship – A Post-Earth Role Playing Game

Colony Ship RPG

This party-based sci-fi RPG takes place aboard a sprawling spaceship packed with interesting, well-written NPCs and engaging quests. Colony Ship features tactical turn-based combat, but its gameplay is more concerned with storytelling and role-playing mechanics than with frequent combat encounters.

Colony Ship’s focus on storytelling is apparent from the get-go, and its various quests and engaging narrative are among its greatest strengths. Because of this, Colony Ship is a relatively dialogue-heavy game, so players that want to get the most out of the game should be prepared for a lot of reading. Although Colony Ship does feature well-crafted turn-based combat, quests can often be handled in a multitude of ways.

Colony Ship is a slow-burning experience that requires patience, and not everyone will enjoy wading through its well-written dialogue, but its variety of engaging quests and in-depth character progression make it a deeply immersive RPG. At the time of writing, the game has an 87% positive review score on Steam.

Sea Of Stars

Sea of Stars

Taking influence from classic turn-based RPGs like Chrono Trigger, Sea Of Stars is a nostalgic strategy RPG with beautiful pixel art. Sea Of Stars has a tight focus on storytelling, exploration, and strategic combat, all of which combine to create a well-rounded experience.

While its visuals may be the greatest strength of Sea Of Stars, its turn-based gameplay offers a surprisingly fresh experience, despite its old-school influences. Combat in Sea Of Stars, while turn-based, features an action button that allows players to pull off timed hits to critically improve certain moves, allowing for combat that’s both strategic and engaging. Furthermore, Sea Of Stars doesn’t feature random encounters, freeing the exploration segments of the game from potential frustration.

Although Sea Of Stars is more nostalgic than it is innovative, it manages to offer a modernized take on classic strategy RPGs that remains loyal to its influences. The quality of life improvements, along with its unique combo system and engaging combat encounters, make Sea Of Stars an experience worth having. At the time of writing, the game has an 88% positive review score on Steam.

Jagged Alliance 3

Jagged Alliance 3

This action-packed tactical RPG doesn’t take itself too seriously, but that doesn’t prevent it from being a challenging and rewarding experience. Jagged Alliance 3 tasks players with battling through a campaign either alone or in online co-op, taking control of territory with their band of hired mercenaries. It’s these mercenaries that bring Jagged Alliance 3 to life, each with their own distinct personalities and backgrounds.

Jagged Alliance 3 features systems that embrace RPG character progression and allow players to have deep customization over their mercenary company, and players will have to create a varied team in order to succeed. Although Jagged Alliance 3 features options to help beginners, it can be a challenging game, and similarly to XCOM, players may at times find themselves in need of a full restart.

However, despite the game’s harsh edges, the over-the-top atmosphere and strategic choices available throughout the game make it a constantly engaging tactical experience. For fans of turn-based RPGs that can get on board with the action-hero military theme, Jagged Alliance 3 is worth a shot. At the time of writing, the game has an 89% positive review score on Steam.

Octopath Traveler 2

Octopath Traveler 2

This sequel takes everything that made the original Octopath Traveler so great and builds on those foundations with improved artwork, animations, and a day/night cycle that can be toggled with a single button. Although Octopath Traveler 2 doesn’t do much to innovate on the gameplay of the original, it’s a faithful sequel that manages to improve on its predecessor.

In Octopath Traveler 2, much like the original, players will play through a variety of chapters led by eight distinct characters with their own origins. Like in the first game, Octopath Traveler 2’s combat system is turn-based and tactical, revolving around enemy weak spots that players must reveal in battle. This leads to a combat system that feels fresh while simultaneously meeting genre expectations.

Octopath Traveler 2 may not do much to set itself apart from the original game, but its well-written narratives and ensemble cast of characters make for an engaging experience throughout. For those that enjoyed the original, Octopath Traveler 2 is a worthy sequel. At the time of writing, the game has a 95% positive review score on Steam.


Wartales Strategy RPG

This open-world RPG tasks players with leading a company of mercenaries in a dark medieval setting, exploring a dense landscape populated with potential recruits, contracts, and engaging combat encounters. Wartales plays similarly to games like Battle Brothers, from which it takes clear inspiration, but the scope of Wartales is decidedly larger.

Rather than putting players in the shoes of a hero, Wartales tasks players with merely surviving in its harsh world, all while attempting to amass a sizeable wealth. The game’s in-depth RPG character progression and customization options keep the gameplay engaging even outside of combat, and the crafting system and upgradeable base camp help the game to stand out among its influences.

Although Wartales retreads the same ground as games such as Battle Brothers, it manages to offer a unique experience with its distinctive gameplay additions and well-crafted world. Wartales is heavy on combat, but thankfully its systems and encounters are often tactical and rewarding. At the time of writing, the game has a 91% positive review score on Steam.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader

Rogue Trader

With RPG systems loosely based on Games Workshop’s tabletop role-playing game of the same name, this narrative-focused tactical role-playing game takes place in a faithful representation of the iconic Warhammer 40,000 universe. Unlike many RPGs, Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader puts players in the shoes of a powerful member of nobility, allowing for a strong role-playing fantasy.

Rogue Trader’s rules are complex, offering in-depth systems that allow for plenty of ways for players to customize their party as the game progresses. While these systems may be challenging to wrestle for beginners, they ultimately make the experience more rewarding. Rogue Trader’s satisfying tactical combat is broken up by frequently well-written quests, and even a system for colony management.

While it may be weighed down with several reported bugs at the time of writing, Rogue Trader remains a challenging and complex turn-based RPG with rewarding combat and a well-written narrative. The game’s world is both visually striking and faithful to its source material, yet it remains friendly for newcomers to the universe of Warhammer 40,000. At the time of writing, the game has a 74% positive review score on Steam.

Cassette Beasts

Cassette Beasts

This open-world RPG tasks players with collecting unique monsters and using them in turn-based combat encounters, much like games such as Pokemon. However, Cassette Beasts stands out with its unique “Fusion System” that allows players to combine two different monsters to create unique fusions.

Cassette Beasts features a wonderfully retro pixel-art aesthetic that’s brimming with charm and colour, and the old-school 2D sprite-work perfectly blends with the pixelated 3D environments. Furthermore, as its title suggests, Cassette Beasts features a unique theme that has players “recording” monsters to tapes, rather than catching them, and playing back the tape to take on their form.

The game’s well-crafted retro presentation, combined with its back-to-basics gameplay and unique twist, make Cassette Beasts a must-play for fans of turn-based RPGs and monster-catching games. At the time of writing, the game has a 96% positive review score on Steam.

Baldur’s Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 Gameplay

It’s hard to argue against Baldur’s Gate 3 as the best turn-based RPG of 2023; this mammoth of a game is jam-packed with branching dialogue trees and narratives, all powered by impactful player choice and consequence. Baldur’s Gate 3 would take hundreds of hours to fully explore as just one character, but the game’s in-depth character creation offers a completely unique experience for every player.

While Baldur’s Gate 3 is a narrative-driven game with a strong focus on story, characters, and well-written quests, its combat is packed with interesting systems that reward strategic thinking. This is primarily thanks to Larian Studios basing their combat on the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, along with the game’s variety of environmental interactions and clever AI.

Baldur’s Gate 3 will no doubt be played and remembered for years, and its depth of systems and narratives make it a game with arguably unrivaled replay value. For fans of high fantasy and the tactical combat of tabletop RPGs, it’s hard to go wrong with Baldur’s Gate 3. At the time of writing, the game has a 96% positive review score on Steam.


Turn-based RPGs are one of the oldest video game genres around, and as a result, it is an often over-saturated market. However, it can be hard to find a fleshed-out, well-rounded RPG experience with engaging turn-based combat.

With any luck, these examples can shine a light on smaller indie titles such as Cyber Knights: Flashpoint, and maybe convince turn-based fans to finally give titans like Baldur’s Gate 3 a go, not that many needed convincing.

If there’s a great turn-based RPG that didn’t make it to this list, be sure to let us know on Discord, Twitter, and on our YouTube channel.


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Harry Ted Sprinks

With a deep love for strategy games that began when he first played Stronghold as a kid on his parents’ home computer and a passion for linear narrative games like Telltale’s The Walking Dead and old-school shooters like Blood and DOOM, Harry loves video games of all shapes and sizes. His knowledge of games new and old is broad, but Harry’s biggest passion is indie games, which he loves to champion in his writing. Harry’s favorite games include old-school rogue-likes like Caves Of Qud, older RTS titles such as Red Alert 3, modern classics like Halo 3, and survival-horror games like Resident Evil. When he isn’t writing or playing games, Harry can likely be found developing small games of his own or making music. Although Harry enjoys the occasional AAA game, his attention is primarily focused on representing indie games.