David is an avid gamer across multiple platforms such as consoles, handhelds, mobile phones, and PC.
RPGs for the iPad
With the release of the Apple iPad, role-playing games have been cropping up on the mobile tablet device. New and original games have been released to make use of the iPad features. Games released on other platforms have been ported over to the iPad with updated features since the iPad has stronger technology than some of the older console systems.
RPG's can be very time consuming, and if you stop playing them for awhile, it can be difficult to pick up where you last left off. The iPad has made that easier since it is a device that can be taken almost anywhere. Rather than being tied down to your computer or console, you can take your iPad with you so you can continue playing the game. Also, since a touch screen is used, accessing menus, issuing commands, etc. couldn't be easier.
Games by Square-Enix on the iPad
RPGs by Square-Enix for the iPad
You can't say "role-playing game" without mentioning the company of Square-Enix. Ever since the release of Final Fantasy, when the company was first known as Squaresoft, they have been the foremost company in RPG's. Like with other systems, Square-Enix has ported some original games as well as developing new games for the iPad. Their prices may be high, but they are also very much worth it. In the following two sections I will cover both games that were ported, as well as some of their games strictly made for the iPad.
RPGs Ported to the iPad by Square-Enix
The World Ends With You
Despite not being a Final Fantasy title, this game is one of the most celebrated RPG's of all time. This game was first released on the Nintendo DS. When the game was ported to the iPad, it was called the "Solo Remix". This game has a modern story, fun gameplay, and catchy music.
Final Fantasy VI
This game was originally on the Super Nintendo as Final Fantasy III. It's probably one of my favorite RPGs. The story was cleaned up a bit and the gameplay is still engaging. The only thing I don't like is some of the changes to the graphics. They aren't bad, but people who used to play the game have an issue with it. If that doesn't bother you or it's your first time with the game, then give it a go. The story alone is well worth it.
Final Fantasy Tactics
One of the most popular RPG's released on the Playstation system was Final Fantasy Tactics. It was ported multiple times to various systems, with improvements added in "The War of the Lions" version, which was also ported to the iPad. This game is a fantasy tactical RPG, which had a very deep, emotional, and political story. The gameplay and music are incredible. If you have a lot of time to sink on a RPG, then this is the one for you.
There are other great RPG's by Square-Enix on the iPad, and the company is always pushing out more. Below is a table that outlines just some of those games.
The World Ends With You iPad Review
Final Fantasy VI iPad Review
Final Fantasy Tactics iPad Review
Other Games by Square-Enix on the iPad
Final Fantasy I
Final Fantasy III
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy V
Final Fantasy VII
Dragon Quest I
Dragon Quest VIII
Adventures of Mana
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
RPGs Made for the iPad by Square-Enix
Final Fantasy Dimensions
Square-Enix assisted in the development of this game for the mobile platform. What is unusual about this fantasy game is that you control two parties - one on the light side and one on the dark. The game also uses the "job" system which is standard in some of the earlier Final Fantasy games and the graphics are 2D.
Chaos Rings Series
These games were made for the iOS and in some ways considered superior than some of the console RPGs that have been released. The 3D graphics are stellar on the iPad, as well as the gameplay. All of the games in the Chaos Ring series are well worth the price.
There are other games that Square-Enix has made for mobile devices, but it's hard to recommend them. A lot of them have micro-transactions, which I don't touch due to the monetary investment. However, they can be quite addicted if you don't mind the money and time sink.
Final Fantasy Dimensions iPad Review
Choas Rings iPad Review
Other Great RPGs for the iPad
This game became an instant hit when it was released on the iPad. The game features randomly generated dungeons and three playable classes. It allows for consistent replayability since dungeons will always be different. There is a massive amount of loot to sort through as you dungeon crawl as well. Since it's an older game, the price point has gone down, making it a must buy.
This action RPG is considered to be one of the most graphically stunning games ever developed for the iPad. Not only that, but the game encourages multiple play-throughs, as that is the purpose of the story itself. The tap controls are spot on, allowing for near instant responses once the screen is tapped.
This tactical RPG is based on Norse mythology was originally released on the PC. The music, art, and gameplay is incredible. Your choices in the game actually mean something, making the story that much more in-depth. The combat can be tricky on the iOS when you press on the iPad, but it's manageable. The difficulty can spike at unusual times as well.
A difficult, old school RPG reminds me of the game Secret of Mana. You hack and slash through various areas while finding different kinds of equipment that alters the gameplay experience. The controls are done well, which can be rare for an action game on the iPad. The developers previous game, Mage Gauntlet, inspired some of the mechanics in this game.
In this game you don't directly control your adventures. In fact, you build a village for the adventures. You can give them gear, tell them when to explore dungeons, etc. It's a great RPG in its own right that has some strategy and city building elements as well. The second game, which came out recently, is even better!
Pocket RPG iPad Review
Infinity Blade iPad Review
The Banner Saga iPad Review
Wayward Souls iPad Review
Dungeon Village iPad Review
I come back to this article every so often to update it, but I find myself not wanting to change the list since I still enjoy these games. New RPGs come out, but I always end up going back to what I consider to be the classics.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 David Livermore
David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on September 04, 2017:
I believe Secret of Mana is, unsure about Chrono Trigger. Though both are great classics.
Alexis on September 04, 2017:
Great list! I've played a couple RPG's on my iPad, including several listed here. Isn't Chrono Trigger on the iPad and Secret of Mana? The Dragon Quest games are also great.
hiwaka on March 11, 2014:
I love playing RPGs and MMORPGs. They take a lot of time to complete but it's fun all the way ^^
David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on December 19, 2012:
I don't have that much time either, but when the time is right (such as long trips), sitting down with a Final Fantasy game has always made the time go by that much faster. Thank you for your comment!
Kas from Bartlett, Tennessee on December 19, 2012:
As someone who owns and games on an Ipad 2 at times, I can appreciate this. I'm a fan of RPG's as well although I rarely have the time to play them as much anymore. I really enjoyed the article as it provides more insight into games I haven't seen before. Voted up man! Have a great day!