Friends who own an iPad frequently ask me about what games they should get for their brand new device. A lot of my friends are PC gamers and they’re usually on the look out for PC and console-like games to play. We already wrote an article about great PC and Console games ported to mobile however there are some, like you, who are looking for offline iPad RPGs. So, here’s my list of top 5 offline RPG’s for the iPad.
My Top 5 Offline RPGs for the iPad
- Divinity Original Sin 2 – $24.99
- Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II – $14.99
- Queen’s Wish: The Conqueror– $13.99
- Dragon Quest VIII – $19.99
- Legend of Grimrock – $4.99
Before we dive deep into the content and explain why I chose these games, I want to make you aware of a little article I wrote on playing classic, retro computer, games on the iPad. That articles talks about your emulation options for both DOS and classic MacOS games, but also gives alternatives on playing those classic games. It contains quite a few lists with games ported or remade for the iPad so that article might be worth checking out.
Now, let’s talk about why I chose these games as my top 5 offline RPGs for the iPad. You’ll notice it’s a decent mix of old school and modern releases with 2D and 3D graphics with various different styles.
Honestly, if it was just up to my favorite games the entire list would be filled with games like Baldur’s Gate, Planescape Torment, Divinity and Icewind Dale, but I decided to just go with Divinity from that list since it’s a modern release with a more streamlined approach to design.
The only caveat with Divinity is that you need an iPad Air 4 to be able to run it properly. Let’s talk about the games themselves.
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Price: $24.99 | App Store – iPad exclusive | Minimum Requirement: iPad Air 4, iPad Mini 6
Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a masterpiece of an RPG with an amazing level of graphical detail. It has full keyboard and mouse support so if you have a similar setup to mine (I wrote all about it in this article titled “5 games to play with Universal Control“), or use Universal Control, this is probably the gold standard for iPad “as a computer” gaming.
The game is big, gorgeous and full character customization options, great dialogue and can be seen as a spiritual successor to old Bioware Games in style, controls and dialogue.
You have so much control over your character’s class and progression that it’s shockingly similar to playing a D&D game at a table, dice in hand and all. It’s not even funny how much time you can “waste” on just this aspect of the game alone.
For new players, I recommend picking a pre-made character just to get that extra bit of content available in the form of personal quests that run parallel to the main quest. The game’s so good you’ll want to explore and consume EVERY. SINGLE.
SIN BIT. of content the game throws at you.
And it’s gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous to experience on your iPad. Heck, I find myself even playing the game with the iPad hooked up to a 4K TV and controller in hand.
Check out this little video I recorded for another article (that compares the iPad + Apple Arcade with a Nintendo Switch setup). It’s amateurishly recorded with an iPhone while trying to grip a controller. But it drives home the point that the game is a godly masterpiece for our Apple Tablets.
Update: The game was just updated to run on the iPad Mini 6! The update also added mouse scrolling support for Zoom In/Out!
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II
When it comes to Star Wars there are a but a handful of games in the series that piqued my interest and kept me playing them for hours and hours at a time. Those would be the Jedi Knight Series (with no mobile ports so far), the Knights of the Old Republic Series (subject at hand) and the Rogue Squadron Series (no mobile port, yet).
What you get when you buy Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is an epic, non-linear, well designed cRPG with swords, lightsabers, blasters and a storyline with one of the best character development that spawned from Bioware’s “magic approach” to game development.
I needed some space to separate the two images that go one after the other so I’ll use this time (or space) in order point you to one of our case study articles. We released a free game for iOS and refused to promote it in any way (outside of a press release). Why? Because we wanted to answer the question “How Many Organic Downloads Can Your Game Get Without Marketing?”. If you’re looking to release an iOS game, or just curious about the subject, I invite you to give it a read. Now back to the regular scheduled list post.
Queen’s Wish: The Conqueror
Price: $13.99 | App Store | Minimum Requirement: any iPad that Apple still releases OS updates for
I’m a huge, huge, HUGE, Jeff Vogel (Spiderweb Software) fan and I don’t shy away from mentioning it with every chance I get. I haven’t grown up on his games and I discovered them really late in life. However, I purchased Avadon on a whim on Steam a few years ago and my life cRPG life has been going downhill ever since.
Because I started taking storylines and writing in games extremely seriously, both as a player and as a game developer. All of Jeff’s games are unique masterpieces that have just enough PIZZAZZ to not scare you away. The meat of the games doesn’t lie in amazing effects, sprite graphics (although Queen’s Wish looks absolutely decent), VFX or voice acting.
Instead, you get a pretty good hook, a setting and just enough questions unanswered to make you want to search for an answer and wrestle with the game until you are left satisfied enough to do another run through the story.
After tens of hours of play (even hundreds in some cases) you get the bright idea of trying another one of his RPGs and the entire situation repeats itself.
I really cannot do Queen’s Wish (or Jeff) justice in just a few paragraphs and it’s a game that requires its own review in many many thousands of words. The only thing I can tell you is that if you can afford the time to learn to experience the game, you’ll love it.
Dragon Quest VIII
Price: $19.99 | App Store | Minimum Requirement: any iPad that Apple still releases OS updates for
“Hello old friend, we meet again. It’s been a while; whose turn is it to strike again? Oh I remember.”
Cheesy Creed adapted lyrics aside for now, Dragon Quest VIII is one of those ports from the PS2 era that just cannot have anything bad said about them.
Art Style? We have Dragon Ball’s creator, Akira Toriyama at the table. Game structure, design and progression? Masterfully crafted JRPG with not a single gameplay element that has been thrown in just to augment and artificially increase gameplay time.
Random battles? HA, removed and voided. No more random monster attacks. You draw your sword when you want to draw your sword.
In short, if you want a big JRPG with Cell Shaded graphics that aged gracefully and looks good on your iPad, with a heck ton of content and beautifully craft worlds? Look no further than Dragon Quest VIII.
Legend of Grimrock
Price: $4.99 | App Store | Minimum Requirement: any iPad that Apple still releases OS updates for
First person dungeon crawling, a great fantasy setting, good graphics and real time combat with grid based movement. You still here? Good.
When Legend of Grimrock first launched on Steam, alarm bells rang in my head. “That’s the game I wanted” I suddenly yelled. I grew up with first person dungeon crawlers and they represented my favorite way of experiencing a fantasy/magical setting in an RPG. The idea of seeing the world through your character’s eyes in a first person perspective is still a magical experience for me, even after all these years.
This is why I was so excited with Legend of Grimrock’s launch on Steam. It’s been years since I played it and I never quite kept up with the developer. While using my favorite method of discovering new iOS games (I wrote a quick guide how to actually search and find iOS games you would like) I stumbled upon the game and immediately purchased it again.
I re-created the first party I made all those years ago and it felt like stumbling back in time to re-experience my introduction to the game.
This game ticks all the right boxes for the right kind of players. Did you grow up playing Eye of the Beholder or the Bard’s Tale? Etrian Odyssey or Dungeon Master? You’ll love it (and probably already played it on your computer).
If you didn’t and are looking to get into first person dungeon crawlers than there’s very few other games that would make for a better introduction into the genre, on the iPad or iPhone at least.
There are many more, good, premium RPG’s available for your iOS device. With this article I wanted to feature 5 great RPGs that don’t come from the same lineage with the same or really similar gameplay. Hopefully this list is diverse enough that anyone can find something they would like to try and if so, do let me know which game it was and how it worked out for you.
Where To Next?
This article was mostly targeted towards cRPG’s that work on an iPad. Some of these games are also available on iOS devices. If you own an iPad and wanted to treat it more like a computer, I have some more articles that you might enjoy.
For example here’s an article in which I use the iPad to play games that are not playable on modern macs. Or this article in which I show you how to play old-school and classic games from the 80’s and 90’s on your iPad.
We also have a lot of reviews for iOS games that you can read by heading over to our Review Section. And there’s a kick-ass guide to playing Dungeons and Dragons video games on your iPad if you’re into that, both old and new.
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