Putting games into categories has always been tricky. Plus games tend toward one-size-fits-all these days. By these days I mean over the last 15-20 years.
RPG is Role Playing Game. There is usually some sort of story. Some people like me completely ignore the story. The game play itself is focused on character building. So the player levels up and develops the character with new or improved skills. Also weapons, armor and magic are important.
Adventure is a genre that has seriously changed over the years. I started playing them almost 40 years ago. They used to be almost entirely about exploring and doing quests. Like a real life adventure. There was very little to no character development. The only "reward" for completing quests was simply enabling you to move forward in the game. The quests tended to be puzzle-like. Nowadays I don't think there are any true adventure games. Adventure has become more of a marketing label than anything else.
Action games mean skill based. There are fast paced real time games. Traditional RPGs were almost always turn based games, similar to playing chess. Action games on the other hand are more like fast paced arcade games.
Classic RPG games are games like the old Might and Magic games. A little newer would be the Baulders Gate series. Also Morrowind and Skyrim and somewhat hybrids.
It is a term that has been so over used it is no longer really a genre any more. Any game where you play the role of another person is a role playing game. You can have a game labeled as an action RPG first person shooter. It used to mean a lot more when games were more single function because technology to make them as complex as they are now just was not there. Although you can still find games (especially Japanese ones) that stick to a more classic "RPG" format. But if you need an example this was one of the best ones ever made.
RPG or role playing game is when you create your own characters they normally involve statistics and levels and things like that. Fallout 4 is a good example. While action adventure games you play as a set charter and you have no control over what abilities or powers they can have. An example would the Assassin's Creed games
As a genre, an RPG is usually a game with a heavy focus on story and character development. Gaining experience by defeating enemies and leveling up your stats. Most games nowadays have various RPG elements to them, including shooters.
An example of an action-adventure game would probably be Zelda or God of War, but they still maintain RPG elements.
Traditional RPG's are either Japanese games like the Final Fantasy series or Western games like Baldur's Gate and Diablo.
When I think RPG, I think games like Guild Wars, World of Warcraft, Dragon Quest, Pokémon, Runescape (if that's still a thing), etc. They tend to be a lot more strategy and numbers based than action adventure games.
RPG games are for example: Suikoden, Final Fantasy, Dark Stone, Diablo, Dragon Quest etc. Action Adventures are: Assassin's Creed, Tomb Raider, God Of War, Indiana Jones, Prince Of Persia etc. Some games are combination of Action-Adventure and RPG game, for example Dungeon Master, Legend Of Zelda, Chrono Trigger etc.
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Home > Entertainment & Arts > What are RPG games and could you give examples of such games - how do they differ from Action-Adventure games?