When you think of the best romantic RPGs, the first titles that come to mind are probably older releases spread from the SNES to the PS2, but the Xbox 360 has seen its fair share of excellent RPGs as well, many of them containing some form of compelling romantic subplot. If you’re looking for a game with a great, immersive story and a bit of romance on the side, here are our picks for the top 10 best romantic RPGs playable on the Xbox 360 console:
- Knights of the Old Republic: It’s no wonder this list starts with a Bioware game, as they are traditional masters of the romantic RPG. Knights of the Old Republic, created for the Xbox, is backwards-compatible with the Xbox 360 if you have a hard-drive installed on your console. Nowadays you can pick it up for less than $5, and it’s definitely worth your time. Though you only have the choice of romancing two characters total, the romances – especially for a male PC – are beautifully woven into the plot, making them very engrossing and enjoyable.
- Mass Effect 2: A sequel to an outstanding game that makes the list later on, Mass Effect 2 has improved upon the romance storylines in Mass Effect, offering far more choices as well as the opportunity to romance two old favorites from the original Mass Effect game. If you enjoy space operas in the same vein as Star Wars, you will find something to love in the Mass Effect universe.
- Dragon Age: Origins: Rounding out the top three is another Bioware, this time a dark fantasy with gameplay fairly similar to Baldur’s Gate. Dragon Age offers four romance subplots in total, including two possible same-sex options. The game itself may be a bit too tragic for someone seeking a light-hearted story, but the romances in Dragon Age fit well with the setting.
- Lost Odyssey: It’s true that Lost Odyssey doesn’t offer a romance option for the main character, but romance does play a part of the plot, and the setting alone has a romantic sort of whimsy that helps earn this game a spot on the list.
- Assassin’s Creed 2: Building on the success of the first game, Assassin’s Creed 2 has an even more emotionally-engaging storyline, played out across a differing timescape. Romance is a fairly significant part of this story from the past, blending well with the over-arching plotlines.
- Mass Effect: Though the original Mass Effect’s more limited romance options allow better integration into the overall plot, they rank a bit lower than Mass Effect 2 due to lack of detail and substance. The game regains some points, however, for allowing a same-sex romance for females.
- Jade Empire: In a beautiful, Asian-themed world, Bioware delivers another set of romances worthy of at least one play through of Jade Empire. Though certainly not the most developed subplots in their menagerie of RPGs, Jade Empire is a decent contender and even offers a same-sex romance for males, this time around.
- Knights of the Old Republic 2: Unfortunately Knights of the Old Republic 2’s romances are not nearly as compelling as the title’s predecessor, but there are more of them available, and you as a player have greater influence over them. Knights of the Old Republic 2 includes a system by which you can greatly influence your companions, and romanceable companions can be altered in rather interesting ways.
- Fable: If you are looking for a title that offers engrossing, story-enduring romance options, then Fable is probably not the game for you. But if you just want something light and fun, it can offer a mild diversion from the main plot.
- Bioshock: Though it has no semblance of a romantic subplot, Bioshock is a game set in a very whimsical, engrossing world. Romantic in that sense, it’s difficult not to get sucked in by the stunning art direction and musical composition.
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