Loved Baldur's Gate 3? Play These 8 Expansive RPGs Next
New worlds to discover.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is the kind of experience that only occurs once in a blue moon, completely reinvigorating and redefining an entire genre. In this case, it’s the CRPG (computer RPG), a descriptor usually used to refer to a specific type of RPG heavy on stat management, role-playing, and world-building.
Baldur’s Gate 3 has already been a smash-hit success for Larian Studios, wracking up over 850,000 concurrent players on Steam in its first week. With that in mind, it’s likely many players’ first introduction to the world of CRPGs, so if you find yourself craving more, here’s a selection of fantastic games to dive into next.
Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2
Baldur’s Gate has always been a key name in the CRPG genre, as the first two titles from BioWare truly did define what other games would try to do for decades. That being said, both titles absolutely show their age these days, even with remastered “Enhanced Editions” from developer Beamdog.
Still, Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2, and their respective expansions, are seminal pieces of RPG history, and worth playing from that perspective alone. These are expansive role-playing experiences with intricately designed worlds, and Baldur’s Gate 3 fans will find the latest game references and nods to the previous two quite a bit, even with returning party members like Jaheira and Minsc.
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition are available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Divinity: Original Sin 1 & 2
The Divinity: Original Sin games are quite literally the precursor to Baldur’s Gate 3, where Larian Studios tested and learned everything they’d use. As such, pretty much everything you like about Baldur’s Gate 3 is present in these two games, maybe just not as refined.
Both have expansive well-realized worlds, complex party members, tough-as-nails turn-based combat, and a hefty dose of humor. The first game is admittedly a little rougher around the edges than Divinity: Original Sin 2, and there’s not a lot of story continuity, so you might consider starting with the second game and moving backward.
Divinity: Original Sin is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Divinity: Original Sin II is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Origins actually has a lot in common with Baldur’s Gate 3, in terms of how it redefined the genre and created compelling party members that people simply couldn’t get enough of. Taking place in the world of Thedas, Dragon Age creates a sweeping epic tale of the country of Ferelden holding back a recurring event known as The Blight, where horrific creatures called Darkspawn invade the world. Dragon Age is one of the very best RPGs out there in terms of player agency, truly letting you craft your character and story, creating a world that feels reactive to your every choice.
Of course, BioWare’s trademark, party members, truly shine here with fantastically written characters that are a joy to learn about, and even romance. The next two Dragon Age games veer more into action-RPG territory, but they’re very much still worth playing if you enjoy the world-building and narrative of Origins.
Dragon Age: Origins is currently available on PC.
Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2
Neverwinter Nights represented BioWare taking its Baldur’s Gate formula one step further, modernizing with some interesting touches, and then Obsidian Entertainment doing the same thing with Neverwinter Nights 2. Both games are set in the same world as Baldur’s Gate, Faerun, but take place largely in the city of Neverwinter and the Sword Coast region.
Neverwinter represents more of a simplification of the CRPG genre, rather than fully diving into complexity like Baldur’s Gate. BioWare and Obisidan do a great job of streamlining combat, leveling, and stats, squarely keeping the focus on action and forwarding the narrative. It’s a bit of a different experience, but it works, and Neverwinter Nights is filled with fascinating locations and stories to uncover. Also, the expansions to both titles are even better than the base games.
Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Neverwinter Nights 2 is available on PC.
Pillars of Eternity 1 & 2
Outside of Baldur’s Gate 3, the Pillars of Eternity games are easily the best modern representation of CRPGs, with Obsidian Entertainment creating visionary experiences that build on all of the studio’s experiences. Pillars of Eternity, more than anything, features fantastic lore and world-building that creates a truly compelling role-playing setting that’s easy to immerse yourself in.
Simply uncovering the multitude of interweaving stories is enough reason to play Pillars of Eternity, but there are compelling characters and combat systems layered on top of that. Both games also feature a sort of “home base” that’s integral to the story, letting you build up and customize a home for you and your companions. While Baldur’s Gate 3 adapts the series’ formula to Larian’s stylings, Pillars of Eternity truly feels like a modern version of the original Baldur’s Gate games, in the best way.
Pillars of Eternity and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire are available on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Yet another all-timer from Obsidian, Tyranny is a more compact RPG experience that can be completed in roughly 30-40 hours, but puts more of an emphasis on player choice. Tyranny explores morality in some fascinating ways, casting you into a world dominated by hierarchy, social classes, and factions. The combat and party members of Tyranny do feel a bit light in comparison to other games, like Pillars of Eternity, but the way you see your choices mold the world around you is simply unmatched.
Tyranny is available on PC.
Disco Elysium is the only non-fantasy game here, but guaranteed it’s unlike anything else you’ve ever played. The game takes place in a fictional world called Elysium, meant to reflect a post-Soviet version of Estonia, with the nations and people of the setting following different ideologies, including communism, fascism, moralism, and ultraliberalism.
You take on the role of an amnesiac detective tasked with solving a murder, but fascinatingly Disco Elysium features almost zero combat. Events are instead resolved through skill checks and dialogue trees, giving players 24 different skills that represent different aspects of your character, like their pain threshold or perception. Another system called the Thought Cabinet lets you embrace or reject other personality traits or ideologies, further altering how you approach dialogue and events. This unique approach is lifted up by phenomenal writing that really makes Disco Elysium feel unique reactive to everything the player does.
Disco Elysium is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.
Pathfinder: Kingmaker and Wrath of the Righteous
Pathfinder: Kingmaker and Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous are based on the Pathfinder role-playing campaign, much like how Baldur’s Gate is based on Dungeons & Dragons. Both titles bear a lot in common with Baldur’s Gate, featuring turn-based combat and an isometric perspective. However, Pathfinder’s most unique aspect is how it casts you as a local lord, making decisions that quite literally affect the world and people around you.
Because of this, there are a lot of management systems that give Pathfinder a unique flavor, on top of the typical CRPG fare of building a party, completing quests, and making moral choices that change your alignment. Kingmaker has some technical issues and feels a bit rough around the edges, but Wrath of the Righteous improves nearly everything to make for one of the best CRPG experiences out there.