Best Games To Keep You Busy Till Baldur’s Gate 3’s Launch
We’re finally nearing the full release of Larian Studios’ highly-anticipated RPG Baldur's Gate 3, but it still feels like August is a million years away. Perhaps you’ve already taken the plunge into the Forgotten Realms with the game’s Early Access content, or maybe you’re waiting until launch to experience it all at once. Either way, you might be looking for another title with just enough Baldur’s Gate 3 vibes to make the final stretch bearable.
Whether you’re interested in turn-based combat, an epic fantasy adventure, memorable companions, satisfyingly evil choices, or need more Dungeons & Dragons-based videogames in your life, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find a great mix here, and hopefully, whichever one you pick makes the time pass in a blink!
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
When it comes to excellent storytelling with plot twists and great dialogue options, you can’t go wrong with BioWare’s fan-favourite RPG Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. You’ll play as an amnesiac soldier of the Galactic Republic as you embark on a journey across the galaxy in which you can determine your alignment to the Light or Dark Side, visit familiar Star Wars planets, and engage in fun combat mechanics with lightsabers, dice-rolls, and more. There are multiple endings to discover and a plethora of side quests to complete, so you’ll definitely have your hands full while waiting for Baldur’s Gate 3! Keep in mind, these games are quite old, and I highly recommend referring to the dedicated KOTOR subreddit for resources on running the game on modern machines!
Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition
Developed by Black Isle Studios, Icewind Dale hit the shelves in 2000, bringing players a high fantasy experience set in D&D’s Forgotten Realms, just as the first Baldur's Gate did in 1998. If you’re looking for fun, challenging battles, minimal story beats, and great music, this one is absolutely worth playing! The combat is real-time with pause, featuring a wide variety of class choices, weapons, and spells to experiment with, which makes customising your party from scratch especially enjoyable. The Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is your best modern option for playing the game today, as it includes the classic campaign, two official expansions, and new quests that weren’t included in the original release.
Currently in Early Access, Stolen Realm is a dungeon-crawling RPG that blends fast-paced action with turn-based combat, which you can enjoy solo or through online co-op as you explore its beautiful low-poly world. The game allows you to mould your custom character however you like, allocating attribute points and selecting abilities in a mix-and-match fashion that redefines what it means to be a Thief, Paladin, Wizard, and more! There’s not only a ton to explore in terms of class customisation, but there are also six difficulty levels you can challenge yourself with — plus a Hardcore Mode if you love the thrill of permadeath!
Dragon Age: Origins
It’s always a good time to try out a Dragon Age title if you haven’t yet. If you like RPGs with silent protagonists, a dark high-fantasy setting, and nuanced choices, Dragon Age: Origins is a great entry point into the series. Playing as a Grey Warden, you’ll set out with your party members on a perilous journey to stop hordes of terrible monsters from destroying the nation of Ferelden: your home. In terms of party interactions, dialogue, and camp mechanics, Dragon Age: Origins is very similar to Baldur’s Gate 3; it’s a nice full-circle moment, considering the series was heavily inspired by the original Baldur’s Gate back in the day!
Hades, developed and published by Supergiant Games, is hard to put down once you start playing it. In this Greek mythology-themed action roguelike, you’ll fight your way out of the Underworld as Zagreus, the persistent, rebellious son of Hades. You’ll die a lot, but like any good roguelike, your deaths are an opportunity to upgrade skills and experiment with new builds. You also get to meet a variety of Olympian gods, including Athena, Poseidon, and more, receiving their blessings to help you on your runs. It’s such a fun title to dive into, from its fluid combat to its top-tier voice acting. You won’t regret giving it a try.
Divinity: Original Sin II
Larian Studios also has other excellent titles to offer if you’re intrigued by tactical turn-based RPGs, particularly Divinity: Original Sin II. It has a fantastic narrator along with a well-written story, interesting sidequests, and detailed environments. With the turn-based combat, you’ll be precisely managing your action points alongside party member positions and using your environment in unique ways to synergise with your abilities. Overall, Original Sin II is a great entry point for newcomers to the Divinity games as it tells a standalone tale that doesn’t require a deep knowledge of previous lore, and it’s widely available on multiple platforms. In fact, we gave it an outstanding 10 here at GameGrin if you’d like to check out our review of its launch!
Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning BioWare’s Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. While their enhanced editions still show their age, it doesn’t make them any less fun to play, especially if you enjoy being able to recognise any callbacks, easter eggs, or lore mentioned in the latest instalment. With that said, Baldur’s Gate 3’s story and gameplay are extremely approachable for those who don’t know much about D&D and/or if it’s your first game of the series, so it’s entirely up to you whether you want to dive into the first two titles before launch or maybe revisit them sometime afterwards.
I could stay here all day recommending great games to play during the countdown to August. In fact, this list was a whopping 15 titles long before I had to make some heartbreaking cuts, but I’m certain the seven listed here are the best of the bunch! Are there any other games you’re playing while you wait for Baldur’s Gate 3? Let us know in the comments below!