12 Best Short RPG Video Games You Can Finish QuicklyThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Role-playing games are sprawling, involving, and epic adventures that demand a lot of focus.
And usually tehy take a lot of time to complete.
Contrary to common belief, not all them are like that.
There are some excellent RPGs that are easy to get into and still epic, not wasting a single second to get into the thick of the action.
Taking between 10 and 20 hours to complete, the following games are the ones you want to pick if you want to enjoy an epic journey without having to give up hours of your life. For estimating playtime I’ll be using the How Long To Beat estimates which curate real data from players.
Avg. Time To Beat: 12.5 hours
No one is born a hero. It takes time and effort to build a reputation that will endure the passage of time.
Unless you play Fable.
Hero simulator is the only way to properly describe Fable.
Starting out as a young boy, you follow your character throughout all stages of life, guiding his actions and facing their consequences.
While it does take less than 15 hours to see where your path leads, they are filled with so many activities to complete, enemies to fight and locations to explore. It will really feel like a lifetime has passed since you moved your first steps out in the great unknown.
11. Half-Minute Hero
Avg. Time To Beat: 8.5 hrs
There’s no time for level grinding, important strategic decisions, and complex customization when you must save the world in 30 seconds.
Talk about pressure!
Half-Minute Hero is the true definition of a short fast role-playing game.
Chosen by the Time Goddess, the hero embarks on a whimsical journey to defeat the Ultimate Evil Lord. This is an evil being who has the power to destroy the world in just 30 seconds, a power he shared with many of his minions.
As such, you will be rushing from one end of the stage to the next completing objectives, fighting monsters in a simple battle system, and generally try to stay ahead of the most powerful enemy of them all: the clock.
Avg. Time To Beat: 20 hrs
If you thought that managing a dozen of party members is stressful, imagine managing 108 of them.
There’s a good reason why you get so many companions in this classic Japanese role-playing game.
Controlling the son of Imperial general Teo McDohl, you will become the leader of the Liberation Army that seeks to depose the Emperor and restore peace to the land.
While most of the characters don’t get more than a few lines of dialogue, Suikoden does its very best to make you feel like a real revolutionary leader, having you deal with both personal troubles within the army and the bigger political struggle.
All this while you explore a colorful world and defeat enemies in a basic, but extremely functional, turn-based battle system.
It’s definitely worth a try.
9. Illusion of Gaia
Avg. Time To Beat: 13.5 hrs
Young boys who set out on grand adventures eventually become men.
Or rather, burly men armed with fierce scowls and mean broadswords.
There’s something that makes Illusion of Gaia so memorable.
It’s not exactly the story, an enjoyable yet predictable coming-of-age story that sees young Will set out to find his lost father.
It is not exactly the gameplay, a standard action role-playing experience featuring dungeons inspired by real-world locations like the Great Wall of China and Angkor Wat whose dangers make Will awaken to his latent powers, turning him into the powerful knight Freedan.
And this game isn’t great for one specific thing… it’s not the simple yet engaging combat system. It’s not the characters, who manage to be charming even with the limited development they get. It’s not the subtle somber tone that permeates the whole journey.
It’s the masterful combination of all these elements into one spectacular RPG.
Avg. Time To Beat: 16.5 hrs
A nuclear holocaust may sound scary, but it wouldn’t be all that bad.
According to Fallout, at least.
Unlike the most recent entries in the series, the original Fallout is a straight and to the point game, requiring around 10 hours for a full playthrough.
Heading out of the Vault to find a replacement chip for a water recycler, players will discover that the post-apocalyptic Wasteland is a strange place combining 50s Cold War American culture with early computer age aesthetics where strength is the law.
Featuring good character customization for the time, great humorous writing, and excellent combat, Fallout is just perfect if you’re looking to get into computer RPGs and not have to invest an inordinate amount of time into one of them.
7. Parasite Eve
Avg. Time To Beat: 9.5 hrs
If Resident Evil and Final Fantasy could have children together, what would they look like?
Like the alluring and terrifying Eve, most likely.
Parasite Eve is a role-playing that masterfully combines elements from the two series for an experience that is unlike any other.
The grueling battle between New York police officer Aya Brea and the mysterious Eve is narrated with a cinematic approach that gives it a distinct flavor that is also enhanced by light RPG elements and a battle system that does away with some of the trappings of turn-based systems.
Like any good movie, Parasite Eve ends way too soon. But your short time with it will be horrifyingly sweet.
6. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Avg. Time To Beat: 17 hrs
Super Mario and RPGs are a match made in heaven. Or rather, in Mushroom Kingdom heaven.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars brings everything that makes Super Mario great up a notch.
The world is more colorful than ever, filled with puzzles and secrets to find.
The characters are quirkier than ever, never failing to make funny remarks at every possible turn.
And the combat is more involving than ever too. It introduces interactive elements in an extremely solid traditional turn-based system that’ll keep you coming back.
The RPG mechanics may not be particularly deep, but if you’re looking for a short RPG with plenty of charm, it is time to put on your overalls!
5. Ys: Oath in Felghana
Avg. Time To Beat: 10.5 hrs
Ancient ruins, treasure, giant gatekeeper. Just a day in the life of Adol Christin, adventurer extraordinaire.
Despite being a remake, Ys: Oath in Felghana feels nothing like the original.
Controlling the famous adventurer Adol, you get to explore the small nation of Felghana, search masterfully designed dungeons for treasure, defeat an army of monsters in a full-on action battle, and contend with massive bosses that require memorization patterns to crush them.
An incredibly tight package that will also not fail to rock your socks off with its amazing soundtrack.
4. South Park: The Stick of Truth
Avg. Time To Beat: 11 hrs
Nothing is sacred in the world of South Park.
Not even role-playing games with their epic journeys, great evils, and powerful artifacts.
South Park: The Stick of Truth does not take anything seriously. From character creation to turn-based combat, to story.
I mean, who would ever take a virus that turns cats into Nazis seriously?
It’s arguably one of the better RPGs of the modern era and certainly one of the best South Park games ever made. These crazy ideas, combined with great RPG mechanics and the typical South Park satirical writing, make the quest for the Stick of Truth a journey to remember.
Even if this mythical artifact is, at the end of the day, just a stick.
3. Vagrant Story
Avg. Time To Beat: 23 hrs
Only the toughest soldiers are ready for undercover missions.
And only the toughest role-playing gamers are ready for Vagrant Story.
Vagrant Story’s fame as a great RPG is totally deserved.
In the game you accompany Riskbreaker Ashley Riot as he uncovers the mysteries of the abandoned city of Leá Monde, eventually getting entangled in a conspiracy that could change the world.
Armed only with his special training, this one-man army has to fight hordes of monsters, corrupt knights and powerful magicians in a unique battle system that provides immense strategic depth by combining real-time and turn-based elements.
If this doesn’t make for a great RPG, I don’t know what does.
Avg. Time To Beat: 6.5 hrs
Undertale feels like comfort food at the start, lulling you into a false sense of security.
But it doesn’t take long to subvert your expectations.
Undertale expects you have played most of the best role-playing games released in the past couple of decades. It expects you to know your way around turn-based combat.
It also expects you to forget about all this.
Battles are not mandatory, and violence comes with consequences, but also with quite a bit of fun as the system requires you to finish several engaging mini-games.
With its tight combination of excellent narrative and combat mechanics, Undertale is a short and to the point experience that hits you right in the feels like a train.
1. Chrono Trigger
Avg. Time To Beat: 22 hrs
Chrono Trigger is not only the best quick-to-beat RPG that you can play right now, but it’s also among the best JRPGs ever made.
Chrono Trigger sees silent protagonist Crono embark on an epic journey to save the world together with a colorful and personable cast – the beautiful Marle, the nerdy scientist Lucca, the anthropomorphic knight Frog, the robot Robo, and the prehistoric clan chief Ayla.
The charming cast and the excellent story, which features absolutely no filler, are just two of the reasons why the game is regarding as the best JRPG of all time(especially by SNES fans).
With a tight turn-based battle system, a special ability system that allows characters to combine their unique skills to unleash combination techniques, and massive replay value, you will come to the game for its tight pacing and thrilling story.
But you’ll stay with this title for a long time.