It feels like every other video game nowadays can stake a claim to being a part of the RPG genre, in part thanks to the popularisation of its mechanics. Stats, levelling up, and abilities are all over the place, but it's the titles that use those elements in tangent with either a captivating story or deep, systems-filled gameplay that separate the best from the rest. RPGs might not have been quite as in abundance this year, but those that did make it to launch were generally something rather special. It was a tough call, but these are the best PlayStation 4 RPGs of 2019.
Bronze Trophy: Borderlands 3
If it's variety you're looking for, Borderlands 3 puts almost every other RPG to shame with four different characters to pick between and a humungous list of classes and builds to spec into. Abilities come and go as you level up, the loot remains interesting and diverse throughout, and a long, long list of quests and side activities ensure you'll always have something to do next.
The Vault Hunters could do with shutting up once or twice, but the sheer amount of content on offer here along with different planets to explore means your playtime could quite easily reach the triple figures. The Borderlands brand of humour may turn people off, but the series' influence is simply undeniable. Full of stuff to do and characters to create, Borderlands 3 is an RPG masterclass.
Silver Trophy: The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III
Successfully building on an already complex and engrossing series of events established in the first two Cold Steel titles, Trails of Cold Steel III is a narrative force to be reckoned with. Fans of the series get some fantastic payoff in this third instalment, with both returning characters and fresh new faces adding so much to the overall story.
What's more, a number of gameplay tweaks ensure that the game plays better than its predecessors, striking a near-perfect balance between storytelling and turn based action. Falcom's role-playing property goes from strength to strength, delivering what we believe to be one of the best Japanese RPGs on the PS4.
Gold Trophy: The Outer Worlds
After developing what is widely considered to be one of the best RPGs of all time in Fallout: New Vegas, Obsidian has always felt like a sleeping giant. Choosing to focus on CRPGs such as Pillars of Eternity, the studio returned to what it does best with The Outer Worlds -- an experience brimming with humour and role-playing. After being woken up from cryosleep, it's your job to awaken your fellow crewmates by any means necessary.
An amusing, entertaining adventure across the galaxy packed full of all sorts of eccentric creatures and characters, it's an experience enhanced by excellent writing that is sure to get a good laugh out of you more often than not. Combined with quests that let you choose their outcome but suffer from the consequences, The Outer Worlds is an RPG that gives you the freedom to do whatever you like, but beware of what that might mean for those affected by your actions. Obsidian is most assuredly back and better than ever.
Platinum Trophy: Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
Also known as Monster Hunter World 2 (or it might as well be), Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is one of Capcom's greatest achievements this generation. The expansion -- which can be bought with the base game included -- turns an already outstanding action RPG into something even greater. With fantastic new beasts to fight, some slick gameplay additions, and an endgame that'll keep you obsessed for weeks on end, Iceborne really is Monster Hunter at its absolute best.
It may not have the narrative chops of the other titles on this list, but when the gameplay loop is so masterfully crafted and absurdly compelling, it's difficult to argue against Iceborne's top tier status. We'll be hammering this one well into 2020 and beyond.
Do you agree with our picks? Is there an RPG you think belongs on the list which we skipped on? Place your vote in our poll and share your thoughts in the comments below.