I hope you are not planning to go out in the next few days, because I have a real casual gaming treat for you here: 20 of the best free-to-play RPGs on the web - all hand-picked by yours truly. I should point out here that I have excluded all MMORPG games from this list. So if you are wondering why your favourite browser MMORPG - featuring better graphics than anthing on this list, multi-player action, huge persistent worlds, etc - is not on this list, that is why. Anyway, to the list:
Would you like a free action adventure RPG with graphics that would not look out of place on a console, a story line fit for a novel and Zelda-esque game play that will keep you hooked for hours. Oh, and that's before we even get to the lavishly designed environments, beautiful animations and a great cast of characters. Of course, you would. Welcome to Funnaut's new RPG adventure game Arcuz. Play Arcuz here.
Had you asked me when I started compiling this list which game I would likely put at the top, I would have said Monster's Den. Since its launch a couple of years ago, Monster's Den has become one of the most revered Flash RPGs. It is easy to see why. The game presses all the right RPG buttons: a whole host of weapons, party-based game-play, a good variety of enemies and tons and tons of dungeons. Play Monster's Den here.
This game is a gem. Clearly designed as a tribute to the early Zelda games, Hero's Arms is one of the most accessible Flash RPGs out there. Explore the beautiful forests of this mythical game world, fighting enemies, solving quests, emptying dungeons and levelling up as you go. Fantastic fun. Play Hero's Arms here.
Sonny and its successor - the imaginatively named Sonny 2 - are among the highest rated Flash games of all time. They are arguably the best examples of the battle-based RPG where you don't do any exploring but simply progress through a series of battles, levelling up and gaining new equipment along the way. Play Sonny here. The sequel can be play here.
5Dragon Age Journeys
Based on Bioware's 2009 blockbuster Dragon's Age: Origin, Dragon Age Journeys is undoubtedly one of the best looking Flash RPGs out there. It is also blessed with a deep story-line (as you would expect from Bioware), highly customizable heros and a whole host of cool skill progressions. Might have made the top of the list but no support for keyboard controls. Why? Play Dragon Age Journeys here.
Caravaneer is a rare blend of RPG and trading game (think Elite set in a fantasy setting rather than outer space). Surprisingly, this fusion works really well. Caravaneer is innovative, clever and highly addictive. Recommended. Play Caravaneer here.
This is a very slickly-made card-based RPG game where you battle against enemies of steadily increasing strength before you face the ultimate test. You fight the battles using a variety of creatures. Creatures gain experience and level up from battling. Plus, as you progress in the game, you gain Turanggamasa level, allowing you to deploy more powerful monsters against your enemies. Play Dutamassa Battle here.
The plot is straight out of RPG folklore. You have to find seven pieces of a broken magic mirror hidden somewhere on a mystic island. Nothing innovative there but the cool 3D-esque graphics, beautifully designed and animated characters and generally high production values set this well above your average Flash RPG. Play Mystic Circle here.
9Hands of War
Build up your reputation and join one of several factions in the game. Then, decide to take the path of good or evil as you explore and battle your way through the game world. Complete quests to gain rare magical equipment. Slickly produced, this is a great classic-style RPG. Play Hands of war here.
It is said in RPG circles that Mardek is a game that you either love or hate. If you prefer dungeon grinds and minimal story line from your RPGs, then you will probably hate Mardek. Conversely, if you love to see the story develop via conversations between the game's characters, then Mardek may be perfect for you. Play Mardek here.
11Yan Loong Legend
This martial arts style RPG side-scroller is unique in this list in that it has a two-player mode. But don't fret if you can't find anyone to play it with. It is just as good as a one-player game. Unlike many RPGs, the focus is on fighting rather than exploration - learning knew fighting combos is the key to success. Play Yan Loong Legend here. Play the sequel here.
Rather than playing one of the standard warrior, mage, ranger triplet, in this game you choose between being an engineer, psionic and juggernaut. But in all other respects, Talesworth Arena is a pretty standard RPG game, although - it should be said - a very well produced one. Train up your character and fight in the steadily harder arena battles. Play Talesworth Arena here.
Featuring a likable hero, an interesting story-line, multiple skill progressions and some of the best graphics of the games on this list, the Kings Island RPG games could have been great. But they are let down by their controls: you can only use your mouse, which annoys this fan of keyboards. Nevertheless, an above average RPG and definitely worth playing. Play King's Island here. Play King's Island 2 here.
14World of Pain
Your task is to stop war destroying your home land in this nicely-made game. World of Pain is not particularly innovative but it features a large game world, a good variety of enemies and monsters and cute graphics. Play World of Pain here.
15Fellowship of Kings
I love this game. It is not flashy in the slightest, featuring graphics that would have looked outdated a decade ago, but what it lacks in style, it more than makes up in substance. In short, an old style RPG with no bells and whistle but simply great fun. Play Fellowship of Kings here.
It might be stretching it a bit to describe this puzzle game as an RPG. But it does boast many classic RPG features - such as levelling, skills progression and equipment shops - so I think I can be justified including it. Plus, it is a very good game. Try it if you want something a tad more intelligent than your standard dungeon grind fare. Play Knightfall here.
17Squares and Blade
This tactical RPG game is not for everyone. For a start, it is quite taxing on the brain. But put the effort in to learn how it works and you are rewarded with some great tactical RPG game play. The game features nice graphics and cool music. A must for those who like their RPGs to be more intellectually challenging than the average. Play Squares and Blade here.
18Chronicles of Avael
A lot of thought and effort has clearly been put into this game - and it is for that reason alone that I am including the game here. However, the game is seriously let down by a poor interface, fiddly movement controls (again, no keyboard support) and probably the most annoying background music I have ever heard. But if you can look beyond this, there is a good game hidden somewhere here. Play Chronicles of Avael - the Chimera Stones here.
Battle against the hordes of Shadow on your quest to save your kingdom from darkness. Customize your character through four skill trees, each with their own unique abilities and play styles. Similar to Hands of War. Play Shadowreign RPG here.
Play the part of a young orc trying to escape the evil slavers. Peon is a side-scrolling RPG fighting game similar to Yan Loong Legend (see above) but not as good. Still worth playing, however. Play Peon here.
If there are any great browser RPGs I have left out of this list, or you would order the list differently, please tell all in the comments section below.