Fantasy is a genre that has tons of potential. Fortunately, this wonderful genre has been well explored in gaming. Throughout the years, there have been numerous fantasy games that represented the themes and style just as well as any book or movie has, if not better.
Now is a good time to take a look at some of these games. As such, we will be ranking the 10 best fantasy video games to see which comes out on top.
10. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a great game that had impossible odds stacked against it. It released very near to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in 2012. As you may imagine, Skyrim is a hard act to follow. This left Amalur ignored at release.
However, there was also some legal drama involving the developer behind the scenes, as well. This drama was due almost entirely to the chairman of 38 Studios, Curt Shilling, and his shady dealings in the game industry.
All of this helped tank Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning at release, which is a shame because it featured some incredible gameplay and combat. However, it received a second chance in September 2020 with the remaster edition Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, one of the best fantasy games on Steam.
Fable was a big selling point for the Xbox back in 2004. It provided players with a great new world to explore. However, it also experimented with tons of great ideas that were expanded upon in the sequel. It is well known that the Fable series did typically over-promise what was possible at the time. Although, it still managed to find a dedicated fanbase.
The reaction to an reveal of a new entry for next-gen proved that people still care about the world of Albion. Hopefully Fable still has the warm charm and entertainment value the original had in the years to come.
8. World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is the face of an entire genre. WoW is a fantasy Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, or an MMORPG. By tossing players from all over the world into a world of adventure and magic, this game gained mainstream popularity in 2004.
That may not sound very big today. However, that was unheard of back then. Plus, the game shows no real sign of slowing down, making it one of the most popular fantasy games ever.
7. Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition is the 2012 release of a gaming classic. The Dungeons and Dragons adventure is friendly to those new to the DnD world. However, veterans of the tabletop game will feel at home, as well.
The Enhanced Edition of Baldur’s Gate adds plenty to the game. Such as tweaks to make the game more accessible to modern players. That mixed with a classic Bioware story make this a fantasy game worth giving a try
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Elder Scrolls series typically provides quality fantasy games, most of which could fit well in this lineup. However, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) is by far the most accessible of the bunch. Some say the other games such as Oblivion and Morrowind may feature more intriguing storytelling elements. However, Skyrim features tons of quality-of-life improvements such as dual-wielding spells and sprinting.
As far as fantasy worlds go, Skyrim is among best fantasy games of all time. It’s also one of the easiest to immerse yourself in, especially in VR.
5. Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Origins is the first entry in a fantasy RPG series. Origins was released in 2009 and created by BioWare, a game developer known for their storytelling and characters at that time. It can be argued that this game was one of their finest attempts at delivering a rich, lore-driven narrative in gaming.
The world is intriguing, the characters are terrific, and the gameplay is fairly decent for the type of game it is. While the visuals of Dragon Age: Origins haven’t aged very well, almost everything else about it is a must for fans of fantasy games.
4. Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy is a great series that tends to mix both science-fiction and fantasy elements. However, some of the most well known entries in the Final Fantasy series have embraced sci-fi far more than classic fantasy tropes.
2000’s Final Fantasy IX does the opposite. From the beginning, FFIX feels almost like a fairy tale. One complete with wonderful characters, a magical setting, and many tropes that seem to be ignored in modern storytelling. Plus, the story that players experience is fairly straightforward and easy to understand. This is highly refreshing compared to games such as FFVII and FFVIII, which have mend-bending and twisty narratives.
3. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is among the top fantasy games the industry has to offer. While the quality of the characters, story, and world are very well known, the fantasy elements at play are sometimes overlooked.
The monsters and magic in 2015’s Wild Hunt are based on traditional Polish folklore adapted in the popular Witcher book series by Andrzej Sapkowski. This gives the entire game an authentic and traditional feel. All in all, if you’re looking to scratch a more mature fantasy itch, the Witcher III: Wild Hunt will give you everything you need and more.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda is a great fantasy series. It is also one of Nintendo’s heavy hitters. The release of a new Zelda game is always a big event in the gaming community, and each game delivers a good time even in the worst cases. So which game in this series represents the fantasy genre the best?
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time may very well be the answer. The story put forth in 1998 is one for the ages. It’s beautiful, tragic, magical, and epic, all finely mixed into a colorful narrative. It is still fun to play, and the music is among the best you can find in gaming. If you want to visit the kingdom of Hyrule, this may be the best way to do it.
1. Dark Souls
The reason that Dark Souls is unique is not because of the difficulty it is known for. The aspect that truly sets it apart from other fantasy titles is both the story and how the world is presented to the player. While not immediately apparent, players who pay attention to their surroundings will find an incredible, if incomplete, take on the fantasy genre.
2011’s Dark Souls is a fantasy story with a healthy dose of the post-apocalypse tossed in for good measure. The setting and enemies are dripping with dark fantasy features, giving things a unique, albeit somewhat familiar look. Also, the gameplay provides the feeling of being trapped in a fantastical, alien land. In the end, it is an incredibly new experience that subtly embraces most of the things that make the fantasy genre so wonderful. This makes it one of the best fantasy games for PC and consoles ever.