Daily Grind: The Best RPGs Of 2016

10) Dragon Quest Builders

I have to admit, on my list of most wanted franchise mixups, a Dragon Quest-Minecraft crossover wasn’t anywhere near the top. Okay, so this game doesn’t officially have anything to do with Mojang’s smash hit franchise, but the influence is evident in every screenshot — and that’s beside the point, anyway.

The point is, I never expected a crafting take on Square Enix’s other longtime RPG series to be so fun, flexible and addictive — and yet Dragon Quest Builders provided me with countless hours of fun to kick off the fall gaming season. Its take on Dragon Quest‘s combat was a little oversimplified for my taste, but its deep and varied set of building tools helped fill that void. And to be fair, it’s undeniably refreshing to see an RPG title focused on creation rather than destruction.

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9) Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir

Best RPG Games 2016

I debated whether to include Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir on this list, because it’s technically a remastered version of Vanillaware’s 2007 cult classic. I put it on here regardless, though, because calling this masterful update a mere “remaster” seems a criminal understatement to me.

In addition to updating the gorgeous hand-drawn 2D sprites for high definition, Leifthrasir tweaks a million little things to get them just right. As a result, the side-scrolling combat and exploration play a million times better than they did nine years ago, and make this Atlus-published title among the best examples of refining a game ever.