Sometimes, you want to play D&D, but you don’t have a campaign going or the right group of people to play with. Enter: video games. While Baldur’s Gate is great, chances are you already know about that BioWare x D&D collaboration. These video games will scratch the highs of Dungeons & Dragons—in-depth character backgrounds, high battle stakes, epic adventures, companionship, and, of course, treasure—when you’re in the mood.
In honor of November 5, National D&D Day, here are five great video games for Dungeons & Dragons lovers that aren’t Baldur’s Gate!
1. Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! Parts 1-4
This delightful series takes the joys of pen-and-paper gaming and turns them into a highly repayable choose-your-own-adventure saga. The studio Inkle! is a master of interactive novels (they made 80 Days and Overboard!).
Sorcery! features beautifully rendered line drawings of a world where you must escape from prisons, gamble with goblins in seedy pubs, and seek fame and fortune. You’ll meet friends along the way, develop skills, collect mysterious keys, and all that good stuff. The narrative unfolds over the course of four full-length games, so it’s perfect when you want an epic D&D single-player campaign.
Where Can I Play Steve Jackson’s Sorcery?
The Sorcery! series is available on Nintendo Switch (all parts bundled together for $24.99), as well as individually or in discounted bundles on iOS, Android, Mac, and PC.
2. Divinity Original Sin 2
Part of the magic of D&D is getting to go on an adventure with a group of friends (and not just NPCs). Divinity Original Sin 2 empowers that feeling by allowing 2-4 players to go on an adventure together via couch co-op or online multiplayer!
Players can create their own unique characters, and take control of NPCs they recruit to the team. The game is filled with classic fantasy elements: spells, time travel, crabs that talk, wizards in pubs, gross monsters in dungeons hiding treasure, cool swords, etc. The worst thing about it is that it’s incredibly detailed and conveys the sense that it can go on forever. Punished Backlog staff writer Kei Isobe told me he has an 80-hour campaign with some friends they still haven’t finished.
Where Can I Play Divinity Original Sin 2?
Divinity Original Sin 2 is available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac, PC, and Android, typically retailing for around $15.
3. Disco Elysium
For the depressed and socio-politically-inclined, Disco Elysium is, in my opinion, an almost perfect game. Players take on the role of a community corps detective who has lost his memory after an epic bender as he tries to solve a murder in a city in the midst of riots. He’s luckily aided by a volunteer from a neighboring precinct: the put-together, chic, and brilliant Kim Kitsuragi.
This fully voiced game is gorgeous, exciting, thoughtful, and heartbreaking. Players choose the detective’s starting skill points, then must invest carefully as the game has you identify clues, explore new areas, and win over new allies. The game uses a dice-check system like D&D to determine whether the detective can clear whatever challenge they’ve attempted. Sometimes you’ll find yourself hoping for failures because the narrator will make a variety of perfectly acted jokes at your expense.
Where Can I Play Disco Elysium?
Disco Elysium is available on PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and X/S, Mac, PC, and Nintendo Switch for an MSRP of $39.99.
4. Citizen Sleeper
Citizen Sleeper perfectly scratches the cyberpunk itch that Cyberpunk 2077 tried (and failed) to satisfy. This interactive novel has you choose from one of three starting classes, each of which puts you in the role of a human-turned-robot on the outskirts of space as they try to escape a life of corporate servitude. The writing is beautiful and efficient, and the art is mesmerizing. The game has a great core mechanic: You understandably only have so much energy in a day (especially at the beginning, when you’re struggling to find resources and allies), and your success at activities is shaped by a set of dice you auto-roll at the start of each day.
It’s incredibly easy to spend hours in Citizen Sleeper. I played multiple times, exploring every potential route to escape (and there are many!). Each character is written with care, and you’ll find yourself wanting a better life for them all. Plus, a free new DLC just came out! Citizen Sleeper is ideal for D&D players who want a solo campaign set in a cyberpunk world.
Where Can I Play Citizen Sleeper?
Citizen Sleeper is available on Nintendo Switch, Mac, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox X/S for an MSRP of $19.99. (As of writing, it’s also free on Game Pass!)
Wildermyth made waves with its indie debut in 2019. The game is a procedurally generated story that follows heroes over their entire careers/lifespans (yes, from humble origins all the way into old age and/or death!). Just like in D&D, you’ll have moments of absurd silliness and deep emotional resonance.
This single-player adventure has you manage a cast of characters through tactical combat and story decisions that will shape not only the lives of the party, but of the world.
Where Can I Play Wildermyth?
Wildermyth is available on Steam for PC and Mac for an MSRP of $24.99. A Switch port is currently in development.
Honorable Mention: For the King
For the King captures the simple delights of D&D (“Throw a fireball at that guy!” and “Can I kill that zombie for treasure?”) and puts them into a colorful, polyhedral style world. Players embark on an adventure to fight giant baddies, moving their characters over a tabletop-inspired realm on a hexagon-tiled board. You can choose to play either solo or with friends (both couch and online co-op are supported).
For the King isn’t the greatest game in the world, but it’s simple and sweet, easy to pick up, and fills in nicely when you’ve got that D&D itch. Hint: Play it on the easy mode; the “normal” and “hard” modes simply aren’t fun for casual gamers.
Where Can I Play For the King?
For the King is available on Nintendo Switch, Mac, PC, Xbox, PS4 for an MSRP of $19.99. (It’s also on sale for $4.99 until 11/19/2022!)