Mercenary life is full of dangers, surprises, and thrill. That’s why mercenary life offers the perfect story for role-playing video games. In most mercenary RPG games, you’ll start as a poor sell-sword that has nothing better to do. But after proving yourself by completing tasks and contracts, bigger and better paying jobs will follow.
Don’t be the chosen one or hero, simply be a mercenary trying to make a living. That’s the way of enjoying the best mercenary RPGs I’m about to mention.
So, let’s get this list started. Even I’m getting excited over some of the realistic games below.
15 games where you can role play as a mercenary:
Wartales is by far the best mercenary RPG of all times. It’s an open world RPG in which you lead a group of mercenaries searching wealth, glory, and fame. You can explore the medieval world, recruit companions, collect bounties, and try to survive.
It’s one of those games you are not the hero, but a normal person trying to make a living. That’s why Wartales is really fun.
In its harsh and hostile world, you’ll be faced with many hard decisions. Will you be an immoral thief and cutthroat or a righteous mercenary?
2. Mount Blade
Mount & Blade is a mercenary RPG franchise first started in 2008. Franchises latest game is Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord which is released in 2022 and it’s amazing because they perfected the game throughout years.
For those who don’t know the game, you create a character and start as a poor mercenary in the fictional medieval kingdom of Calradia. Then you start recruiting companions and expand your warband like Griffith from Berserk. In time, you can swear loyalty to one of the kings, climb the ranks of military, marry your way to nobility, and become a lord or even a king.
Overall, it’s one of those rags to riches games which is the perfect setting for a mercenary RPG.
3. Battle Brothers
Battle Brothers is basically Mount & Blade in turn-based combat. Though Battle Brothers have much deeper story, lore, events, backstory, and text descriptions. Only if you could mix the combat of M&B and story of Battle Brothers…
In Battle Brothers, you lead a mercenary company in a medieval fantasy word. As a leader, you’ll decide where to go, whom to hire, what contracts to take, and whom to fight. Since the game is open world, role playing, exploring and replayability aspects are huge.
Also with its Northern Raiders campaign, you can enjoy the story of old Vikings.
Kenshi is an open-world sandbox RPG set in a Dune like sandy fantasy setting. The game has no pre-designed role for the player. You will be more like a drifter trying to fit in.
Available jobs in Kenshi are trader, thief, rebel, warlord, adventurer, farmer, and more including mercenary.
There are many mercenary jobs available in the vanilla Kenshi. However, you can use Kenshi mercenary mod to expand job opportunities immensely.
5. Skald: Against the Black Priory
Skald: Against the Black Priory is a 2021 mercenary role-playing game made in retro-style. It’s specifically made for nostalgia loving old RPG fans, but people who are new to RPGs can enjoy it too.
The game features a rich branching storyline mixed with exploration. But beware, mercenary life is challenging in Skald’s Lovecraftian grim-dark fantasy world.
6. The Age of Decadence
The Age of Decadence is a hardcore RPG that is all about choices. It has rich story, extensive dialogue trees, and game changing classes. For example, you can start as a mercenary and join the imperial guards or start as a merchant and experience different story without even getting into any combat.
If you love RPG in general, don’t miss dialogue heavy RPG Age of Decadence. Over 600,000 words of rich dialogue will welcome.
7. The Guild 3
One of my favorite medieval RPGs is The Guild 3. The game is basically Sims focused on business in renaissance Europe. You start as a poor peasant, marry to build dynasty, and start building business.
There are many business options in The Guild 3 including mercenary. As a mercenary, you can extort money from other businesses or work for the city and earn money in honest way.
After acquiring enough money, your dynasty can climb the ranks of nobility and government which is the best part of the game in my opinion. Those who are in power can get away with anything in medieval times.
Stoneshard is a challenging hardcore turn-based RPG set in a medieval fantasy open world.
In Stoneshard you’ll play as battle-hardened mercenary who’ll travel across the warn-torn kingdom, complete contracts, and fight.
You can also experiment with 200+ abilities and 400+ equipment pieces without any restrictions. Freedom is the part I like the most about this game.
9. Shadowrun Returns
Shadowrun is a Cyberpunk RPG franchise in which you control a group of mercenaries.
You’ll be controlling a shadowrunner, which is the mercenary of modern cyberpunk era who uses fringe technology to get the job done, by any means necessary.
After completing Shadowrun Returns, you can also play the sequels called Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Shadowrun: Hong Kong.
Gloomhaven is a tactical RPG which is the digital adaptation of highes-rated board game. Of course, if you don’t play tabletop, digital adaptation means nothing to you. But you should know that the story and setting is amazing.
In Gloomhaven PC edition, you’ll be leading your band of mercenaries through unforgiving world of Gloomhaven. You can sell your sword to anyone who can afford it, may they be officials or evil cultists.
There are 17 unique characters to choose, each have their own skills. The game has total 1,000 different abilities to master.
11. Stellar Tactics
Stellar Tactics isa sci-fi role-playing game featuring the story of space mercenaries. You’ll be exploring space, equipping your ship and crew with best equipment, gathering more mercenaries and enjoying the rich story. It’s basically un-official Guardians of Galaxy role playing game.
The game is overall great, and its steam reviews are highly positive, but you should keep in mind that this is an early access game since 2016. The updates are coming but coming very slowly because Stellar Tactics is developed by one person.
Battletech is another mercenary game from the creators of Shadowrun series. But this time setting is less cyberpunk and more sci-fi.
In the game, the year is 3025 and the galaxy is struggling with a civil war. You take command of your mercenary company who are using unique mechs to fight. Be careful, your decisions during this journey will shape the destiny of galaxy.
13. Vagrus – The Riven Realms
Vagrus takes you on a journey across a realm forsaken by gods and devastated by a magical cataclysm. Your small warband must trade, fight, and explore your way for success.
Game features of Vagrus:
- Award winning RPG.
- Open-world exploration.
- Turn-based combat.
- Unique companions.
- Resource management.
- Fantasy setting.
14. Legends of Eisenwald
This is a game very similar to the Mount & Blade. Except its combat system is chess like turn-based and some find it challenging.
Take the lead of a small feudal army and try to defend your right to survive in this ruthless medieval world of old Germany.
15. Life of a Mercenary
Life of a Mercenary is a text-based RPG. You can also call it an interactive visual novel.
It features a story about leading a mercenary company seeking fame and fortune. You can be honorable and help defend the kingdom or take contracts paying the most for acquiring wealth.
So, if you like reading and have a good imagination, Life of a Mercenary is the game you’ve been looking for all these times.