Hey Poor Player Holiday Buyers Guide 2021 – RPGs

These Games Leveled Up

Holiday Buyers Guide

Welcome to the Hey Poor Player Holiday Gift Guide. From Monday, November 8th through Friday, November 19th, we’ll be bringing you a guide to all the games, accessories, systems, and other hot items players will be looking for this holiday season. With Black Friday and other Holiday sales set to start in the coming weeks, we thought now was the perfect time to help draw attention to just what you players should be looking for in the coming weeks. So whether you’re looking for a gift for someone else, or maybe something for yourself, we’ve got you covered. Please keep in mind that as we move into our individual game lists, we’ve limited each game to one list to help spread the word about more great titles released in 2021. So if a game you love shows up on a genre list but not on one for a system, it doesn’t mean we didn’t love it. It just means that let us showcase more great titles.

Today we’re taking a look at some of the role playing games released in 2021 worthy of your time. Its crazy to think that just a few years ago people were wondering if the genre was on its way out. Now RPGs are everywhere with prominent series rising again and new ones emerging. This was one of the hardest lists to narrow things down for, but we’ve got a list of games that should have something for most players.


Dodgeball Academia


Holiday Buyers Guide

Platforms: Switch (Our Review), Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PC

Price: $24.99

Sports RPGs have been a hit at least since Camelot wondered if leveling up might make a portable Mario Golf more interesting. Dodgeball Academia follows in its tradition, but with its own unique feel thanks to the excellent dodgeball based combat. Here’s what I had to say about it earlier this year:

Dodgeball Academia is a joy to play with hard-hitting, balls-to-the-face action. The tone of the story may be a bit too hyperactive for some, a shame when we’re talking about an RPG, but there’s still enough joy and genuine laughs to be found to be worth your time.”


Loop Hero


Holiday Buyers Guide

Platforms: PC (Our Review)

Price: $14.99

Loop Hero does all kinds of interesting things to help it stand out form a crowded pack. It puts you in control of the environment and not the hero directly, allowing for different levels of interaction, all while mixing roguelike elements into the mix. It makes for a game with a truly unique feel. Here’s what our own Heather Johnson Yu had to say about it earlier this year:

Loop Hero is a fascinating roguelike that will excite fans of the genre and entice those burned out by it to come back and fall in love all over again. Its beautiful art style and addictive core loop will cause players to lose track of time, not realizing hours have passed between loops as they slay the day away.”


NEO: The World Ends With You


Holiday Buyers Guide

Platforms: Switch (Our Review), PS4, PC

Price: $59.99

Despite a strong reception at the time, The World Ends With You seemed destined to be one of those Square Enix games we never hear from again outside of a rerelease now and then. It certainly wasn’t something we expected to get a sequel to 14 years later. Here it is though, and if you were a fan of the original this is a must play. Here’s what I had to say about it:

NEO: The World Ends With You does a lot right. It provides incredible style and a solid combat system. The story is entertaining, and the characters almost feel like old friends after how much we’ve been through together. Its many systems may seem daunting at first, but they provide a lot for you to chip away at. While I wish it did a better job of respecting the player’s time and that certain elements offered a bit more variety, any fan of the original will want to beat a quick trip to Shibuya.”


Shin Megami Tensei V


Holiday Buyers Guide

Platforms: Switch (Our Review)

Price: $59.99

We may not have waited fourteen years for the latest in the Shin Megami Tensei series, but it sure felt like it at times in the nearly five years since the game was first announced for the Switch. Shin Megami Tensei V pushes the series to new heights, combining much of what fans love about the series with modern style. Here’s what our Kenny McKee had to say about it:

“It’s not a stretch to say that Shin Megami Tensei V has set a new standard for JRPGs. It’s amazing to see how far along this series has come since the initial inception of Megami Tensei, and the fact that ATLUS can continue to improve the series without compromising its core features. Shin Megami Tensei V has been a long time coming, but the wait has absolutely been worth it—and I’m more excited than ever to watch the SMT franchise continue to grow.”


Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi


Holiday Buyers Guide

Platforms: Switch (Our Review), PS4, Xbox One, PC

Price: $59.99

Now for something a bit different. If you like your role playing to be more of a dungeon crawler, this creepy title is right up your alley. Our own Daymon Trapold was impressed by the game:

“There’s just not a lot to criticize about Undernauts. Experience has taken their standard formula and improved upon it once again. Exploration is engaging and addicting, there’s tons of customization options for your team, challenging quests and enemies, and a flair for the creepy and disturbing. If you need a solid dungeon RPG, look no further.”


Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been writing about video games for nearly twenty years, contributing to publications such as DarkStation, Games Are Fun, and the E-mpire Ltd. network. He enjoys most genres but is always pulled back to classic RPG's, with his favorite games ever including Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Phantasy Star IV. Don't worry though, he thinks new games are cool too, with more recent favorites like Hades, Rocket League, and Splatoon 2 stealing hundreds of hours of his life. When he isn't playing games he's often watching classic movies, catching a basketball game, or reading the first twenty pages of a book before getting busy and forgetting about it.

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