Baldur’s Gate 3 just launched on PC on August 3 and comes to PlayStation 5 shortly on September 6. Unfortunately, an Xbox Series X/S version of the RPG does not have any concrete release date. Developer Larian Studios explained in a community post that this is because it doesn’t “want to compromise on quality and feel it would be a shame to downscale to 30 [frames per second, aka fps] or make other compromises to hit an arbitrary date.” Still, it’s disappointing that Xbox players can’t get in on the fun anytime soon. Thankfully, there isn’t a shortage of alternatives on Microsoft’s gaming platforms.
Xbox Game Pass is home to dozens of RPGs, many of which share the same computer-RPG roots as Baldur’s Gate 3. While Xbox players might not be able to enjoy Larian Studios’ shockingly thorough and immensely enjoyable Dungeons & Dragons CRPG just yet, they can’t go wrong playing these six titles right now.
Where Baldur’s Gate 3 may be the pinnacle of fantasy RPG games inspired by Dungeons & Dragons, Fallout: New Vegas is that for postapocalyptic RPGs. This game from Obsidian Entertainment and Bethesda Softworks — both of which are now owned by Microsoft — first released in 2010. Despite some in-game glitches that still persist, the Xbox 360 version of Fallout: New Vegas on Xbox Game Pass is just as enthralling of a role-playing experience as it was nearly 13 years ago. The Xbox 360 version can even be played at 60 fps on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, thanks to the FPS Boost feature.
Like Baldur’s Gate 3, it’s a faithful follow-up to some classic CRPGs that give players a massive amount of choice as they complete their adventure however they see fit. You can have endless fun exploring the world and creating experiences that feel personal to you while dealing with its eclectic cast of factions and characters. While it’s a bit rough around the edges in certain aspects, New Vegas is still one of the best RPGs ever made. As such, it’s worth replaying or trying first the first time if you want to play an RPG, but can’t experience Baldur’s Gate 3 right now.
The CRPG had fallen out of fashion in the 2000s, and Obsidian Entertainment’s Pillars of Eternity series is partially responsible for bringing the genre back in a big way. Both 2015’s Pillars of Eternity and its 2018 sequel, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, are playable on console via Xbox Game Pass, and each provides a classically styled CRPG experience set in a completely unique world called Eora. If you aren’t sure which one to pick, Pillars of Eternity tells a more traditional fantasy narrative, while its sequel takes to the high seas and is more of a pirate RPG adventure. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
If you want to play a more modern series that has set the bar for CRPGs like the original Baldur’s Gate did, then either Pillars of Eternity game is worth playing on Xbox Game Pass. Xbox fans will also want to play these games before 2024, as Avowed is set in the Pillars of Eternity universe, although it’ll play more like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim than the two Pillars games or Baldur’s Gate 3.
Before Baldur’s Gate 3, indie developer Tactical Adventures took a swing at making the ultimate Dungeon & Dragons-inspired game with Solasta: Crown of the Magister. It’s a CPRG based on the Dungeons & Dragons SRD 5.1 ruleset. It feels like someone turned their personal Dungeon & Dragons world and campaign into a full-fledged video game, but then gave players as many tools to customize their adventure within those parameters as possible.
Solasta even includes a dungeon and campaign creator, so it’s possible to create Dungeons & Dragons campaigns with custom dungeons, enemies, merchants, and other NPCs within this game. If you’re looking for something on Xbox to match the tabletop-game-come-to-life feeling that Baldur’s Gate 3 gives, then Solasta: Crown of the Magister is one of your best choices on Xbox Game Pass.
Torment: Tides of Numenera feels like a classic CPRG through and through. It’s a successor to the excellent 1990s CRPG Planescape: Torment, which is set in the Numenera RPG universe. Developed by the now-Microsoft-owned InXile Entertainment, this is a science-fantasy CRPG that places a great emphasis on its narrative and story. It’s one of the best in the genre at that, with a unique Tides system that swaps out the alignment systems that are standard in Dungeons & Dragons for something much more dynamic throughout the adventure.
Combat in Torment: Tides of Numenera isn’t quite as fun as it is in many of its CRPG contemporaries, but thankfully, the story is very good, and players can talk their way out of most combat situations if they want. If the fact that Baldur’s Gate 3 is bringing back a classic CRPG franchise makes the new game most appealing to you, then you’ll find that Torment: Tides of Numenera scratches a similar itch.
Before Baldur’s Gate 3, there was Dragon Age: Origins. When it launched in 2009, Dragon Age: Origins was one of the most ambitious fantasy RPGs to ever make its way to consoles. Even today, it’s still pretty fun and offers plenty of player choice and intriguing worldbuilding that’s typically appealing about CRPGs. It spawned a franchise too, so you have two more games to play after you beat this (and a third on the way). Still, Dragon Age: Origins stands as the best of the series thanks to its compelling writing, memorable characters, and inherent replay value because of its many possible character origins.
If you’re curious about what an RPG with similar ambitions to Baldur’s Gate 3 looked like over a decade ago, we’d recommend checking out Dragon Age: Origins on Xbox Game Pass if you haven’t played it already. Like Fallout: New Vegas, the Xbox 360 version of the game can now be played at 60 fps on Xbox Series X/S with the help of FPS boost.