Dungeons & Dragons has had something of a resurgence in recent years, thanks in part to shows such as Critical Role and stranger things. While getting together with your friends and playing D&D in person is always the ideal way to experience the game, it’s not always possible. As such, we’ve compiled a list of the best Dungeons & Dragons video games. This way you can continue your role-playing adventures even when you’ve been separated from the rest of your companions.
Developers have been making D&D games for decades, and there are plenty of entries to choose from. As such, this list focuses on titles you can play on modern PCs and consoles. GOG is a great source for older games, while you can play some of the newer ones on Steam, PS5 or Xbox series X. And remember: you must gather your party before venturing out.
Shard Basin (1988)
While Pool of Radiance wasn’t the very first D&D electronic title, it’s probably the first that people would recognize as an authentic tabletop game adaptation. You create a party of adventurers using advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules, selecting their race, moral alignment, attributes, and more. Next, you’re off to the Forgotten Realms, where you’ll face bandits, undead, and various other D&D mainstays. By modern standards, the gameplay is a bit tedious and the plot is a bit thin. But if you want to experience the D&D history of the great epic computer RPGs from the start, Pool of Radiance is worth checking out.
The Eye of the Beholder (1991)
One of the most remembered D&D games, Eye of the Beholder demonstrated that the tabletop franchise could excel in a digital format. Like many other adaptations, Eye of the Beholder lets you customize a party, explore dungeons, level up your characters, and more. The game’s first-person exploration, puzzle-rich dungeons, and intricate gameplay have earned the game numerous accolades, as well as two direct sequels: The Legend of Darkmoon and Assault of Myth Drannor. Although the game had a simple story and ended with a whimper, it was a great blueprint for more ambitious D&D games that would follow in its footsteps over the next three decades.
Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance (2001)
Not every tabletop D&D adventure is an epic quest with a complex story and an unforgettable cast of characters. Sometimes all you want to do is get together with your friends and smash a bunch of monsters. Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance is the digital equivalent of one of those simple dungeon crawls. In this hack-and-slash action/RPG game, you’ll take control of an archer, witch, or fighter while battling hundreds of increasingly difficult monsters. You can play solo or with a co-op partner, and it’s good, clean, and fun either way. Just be aware that this isn’t really part of the much more complex Baldur’s Gate series.
Icewind Dale II (2002)
Icewind Dale II was the right game at the wrong time. It was released in 2002, just two months after the ambitious Neverwinter Nights. Running on the outdated Infinity Engine and sporting sporty isometric 2D graphics, IWD2 does not compare favorably to NWN’s brand new Aurora Engine or its full 3D presentation. However, of the two games, IWD2 has aged much better. You recruit a whole party of adventurers and guide them through a thoroughly decent story. It’s also one of the few games to use the simplified Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 ruleset, which gives you a ton of variety in character creation. And as if that weren’t enough, the incomparable Peter Stormare plays the villain.
Neverwinter Nights 2 (2006)
The early Neverwinter Nights provided players with an impressive toolkit, but the single-player campaign left something to be desired. Neverwinter Nights 2 remedied that, delivering a great story from the start, then continuing the trend in three ambitious expansions. Like most other D&D computer games, you create an avatar by customizing its race, class, skills, and attributes. As you explore the Forgotten Realms, you’ll recruit a group of like-minded adventurers and battle a whole bestiary of monsters. What sets NWN2 apart from many other adaptations is that it uses Dungeons & Dragons 3.5’s polished ruleset, which is still a fan favorite today.
Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition (2013)
Probably the quintessential D&D video game, Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn is everything a computer RPG should be. The game picks up where the first Baldur’s Gate left off, allowing you to import your character and any narrative decisions you made. From there, you set off into the Forgotten Realms, on the trail of a sinister wizard called Jon Irenicus (played by David Warner, of course). With dozens of party members to recruit, areas to explore, and magical items to collect, BG2 is a deep and polished experience, with an unforgettable story that puts your choices first.
Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara (2013)
While most D&D video games are faithful RPG adaptations, every once in a while you get something completely out of left field. Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara brings together two Capcom games from the 90s: Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara. These games were bright, colorful, fast-paced beat-’em-ups that lived in arcades rather than home consoles. In this remastered collection, the games feature sharper graphics and online cooperative gameplay. Up to four players can team up to battle bandits, trolls, dragons, and other D&D mainstays. The game can be quite demanding, depending on your difficulty settings, but at least you don’t need an infinite amount of neighborhoods anymore.
Never Winter (2013)
While Neverwinter wasn’t the first D&D-based massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, it’s probably the most accessible. The game is free to play and does not limit any story content behind a paywall. You can play the entire game solo or recruit a group of friends to help out. Combat takes place in real time and varies greatly depending on the class you play. The game has been live since 2013, and since then it’s added tons of new story material, taking players through familiar tabletop tales, from the Tomb of Annihilation to Storm King’s Thunder. It is also one of the few D&D games available on the PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles.
Lords of Waterdeep (2017)
Dungeons & Dragons has been around for almost 50 years. As such, it has had many spin-offs, both digital and analog. A popular D&D adaptation is Lords of Waterdeep: a strategic board game, in which players compete to control the titular city. It’s a seductive mix of diplomacy and resource management, challenging players to forge tenuous alliances while keeping as much treasure as possible for themselves. Lords of Waterdeep has a simple and faithful video game adaptation, which essentially lets you play the board game in a digital form, with local or online multiplayer. Try it for your next board game night.
Planescape: Torment: Enhanced Edition (2017)
One of the weirdest games on this list is also one of the most beloved. Planescape: Torment is not a high fantasy adventure. There is no great evil force to contend with. You’ll do a lot more reading than fighting, and you can solve just about any situation, up to and including the final boss, through dialogue choices. Planescape: Torment is set in the steampunk city of Sigil, where you take control of an inscrutable protagonist, The Nameless One. The amnesiac Nameless One cannot die, having renounced his mortality for reasons he cannot remember. He unravels the mystery while recruiting a group of bizarre party members, including a floating, talking skull and a chaste succubus.
Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition (2018)
First of all, if you enter Neverwinter Nights expecting a memorable single-player campaign, you’ll come away disappointed. But if you treat Neverwinter Nights as a design program rather than a standalone game, you’ll never run out of new adventures. When NWN debuted in 2002, it wowed players with a comprehensive toolkit, which allowed them to create their own characters, dungeons, and scenarios. You can even act as a live dungeon master, running other players through your creations in real time. Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition comes with the base game, the two (much better) expansions, and plenty of smaller scenarios, which should give you plenty of inspiration for creating your own adventures.