The Most Popular Tabletop RPG: Ranking the Leader of the Genre

Choose the Game you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:18 (Updated on Dec 3, 2023 09:25)
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinions truly matter! Are you ready to embark on an epic quest to determine the most popular Tabletop RPG of all time? Join thousands of fellow adventurers, dungeon masters, and dice enthusiasts as we roll our way through the realms of fantastical worlds, tactical encounters, and immersive storylines. Cast your vote for your all-time favorite or rally support for a hidden gem that deserves recognition. The fate of this grand ranking lies in your hands, brave traveler! So, gather your party, sharpen your wit, and dive into the thrilling journey of discovering the ultimate Tabletop RPG. Let the adventure begin!

What Is the Most Popular Tabletop RPG?

  1. 1

    Dungeons & Dragons (D&D)

    Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson
    This is the most popular tabletop RPG of all time. It has been around for over 40 years and has influenced countless other games. It has a huge following and is played by millions of people all around the world.
    Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a tabletop role-playing game (RPG) that allows players to create characters and embark on thrilling adventures in a fantasy world. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR) and later acquired by Wizards of the Coast. D&D is known for its open-ended gameplay, where players use dice to determine the outcome of their actions and interactions with non-player characters and the environment.
    • Genre: Fantasy
    • Editions: Multiple (1st to 5th edition)
    • Player Count: 2+
    • Gameplay Style: Cooperative, storytelling
    • Dice System: Polyhedral dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20)
  2. 2
    Pathfinder is a popular tabletop RPG that is based on the rules of D&D. It has a huge following and is known for its complex character creation system and its detailed world-building.
    Pathfinder is a highly maneuverable robot legend in Apex Legends, known for its incredible mobility and ability to traverse difficult terrains. It is equipped with grappling hook technology that allows it to effortlessly swing across the map and access otherwise inaccessible areas. Pathfinder's charming and optimistic personality adds to its overall appeal, making it a fan-favorite among players.
    • Tactical Ability: Grappling Hook - Pathfinder can shoot a grappling hook, enabling it to quickly reach high or distant places.
    • Passive Ability: Insider Knowledge - Pathfinder can scan survey beacons that are scattered across the map to reveal the next ring's location.
    • Ultimate Ability: Zipline Gun - Pathfinder can deploy a zipline for itself and teammates, allowing for fast and efficient movement across difficult terrains.
    • Mobility: Pathfinder has a fast base movement speed and can use its grappling hook for rapid repositioning.
    • Versatility: The combination of its grappling hook and zipline abilities makes Pathfinder a versatile legend, capable of quickly adapting to various situations.
  3. 3

    Call of Cthulhu

    Sandy Petersen
    Call of Cthulhu is a horror-themed RPG that is based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft. It is known for its atmospheric gameplay and its focus on investigation and exploration.
    Call of Cthulhu is a horror-themed tabletop role-playing game based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft. It is set in the 1920s and revolves around investigators uncovering dark mysteries and facing cosmic horrors beyond human comprehension.
    • Genre: Horror
    • Setting: 1920s
    • Inspiration: H.P. Lovecraft's works
    • System: Basic Role-Playing (BRP)
    • Player count: 2-6+
  4. 4
    Shadowrun is a popular sci-fi/fantasy RPG that is known for its unique setting and its blend of magic and technology. It is set in a dystopian future where magic has returned to the world and corporations rule everything.
    Shadowrun is a science fiction and fantasy tabletop role-playing game set in a dystopian cyberpunk world. It combines elements of cyberpunk, magic, and fantasy creatures such as elves, orcs, and trolls. In the game, players take on the roles of shadowrunners, skilled mercenaries who undertake shadowy jobs for various clients, navigating a world of mega-corporations, hackers, magic-wielders, and dangerous criminal organizations.
    • Setting: Dystopian cyberpunk with a mix of magic and fantasy
    • Genre: Science fiction, fantasy, and cyberpunk
    • System: Dice pool system with a target number mechanic
    • Character Creation: Extensive character customization options with various races, classes, and skills
    • Game Master Role: Provides narrative and game structure, controls non-player characters and events
  5. 5
    Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is a gritty, dark fantasy RPG that is set in the Warhammer world. It is known for its brutal combat and its focus on roleplaying and character development.
    Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is a tabletop role-playing game set in the dark and grim fantasy world of Warhammer. It is designed to immerse players in a gritty and perilous world filled with chaos, corruption, and constant danger. The game provides a framework for players to create characters and participate in thrilling adventures as part of a group of adventurers.
    • Genre: Dark fantasy
    • Setting: Warhammer Fantasy world
    • Role-playing system: D100 system
    • Editions: 4th Edition, 2nd Edition, 1st Edition
    • Publisher: Games Workshop
  6. 6
    The Masquerade is a horror-themed RPG that is set in the World of Darkness. It is known for its complex and immersive world-building and its focus on social and political intrigue.
    Vampire: The Masquerade is a popular tabletop role-playing game (RPG) that explores the secret world of vampires. Set in a modern Gothic-punk world, players take on the roles of vampires navigating the intricacies of vampire politics and their eternal struggles for power.
    • Genre: Horror, Vampire
    • Release Year: 1991
    • System: Storyteller System
    • Setting: Gothic-punk
    • Number of Players: 2 or more
  7. 7
    GURPS is a universal RPG system that can be used to play any genre or setting. It is known for its flexibility and its focus on realism and simulation.
    GURPS (Generic Universal RolePlaying System) is a popular tabletop role-playing game designed to accommodate any setting or genre. It was created by Steve Jackson Games and first published in 1986. GURPS aims to provide a flexible and comprehensive gaming system that allows players to create unique characters and engage in exciting adventures in diverse worlds. Here are ten important specifications of GURPS:
    • Genre Versatility: GURPS can be adapted to suit any genre, including fantasy, sci-fi, historical, horror, and more.
    • Point-Buy Character Creation: Players have control over character creation through a point-buy system, allowing for customization.
    • Modular Design: The system consists of various sourcebooks and supplements that provide detailed rules and settings for different genres.
    • Flexible Skill System: GURPS uses a skill-based system that covers a wide range of abilities, allowing characters to specialize or be well-rounded.
    • Advantages and Disadvantages: Characters can gain advantages or disadvantages to reflect strengths, weaknesses, and unique abilities.
  8. 8

    Savage Worlds

    Shane Lacy Hensley
    Savage Worlds is a fast-paced, action-packed RPG that is designed to be easy to learn and play. It is known for its cinematic style and its focus on fun and excitement.
    Savage Worlds is a popular Tabletop RPG that emphasizes fast, furious, and fun gameplay. It is designed to be a universal system that can accommodate various genres, from fantasy and sci-fi to westerns and horror. The game places a strong focus on storytelling and allows for quick character creation and action-packed combat.
    • Genre: Universal
    • Gameplay: Fast-paced
    • Character Creation: Quick and flexible
    • Combat: Action-packed
    • Setting: Versatile - supports various genres
  9. 9
    Fate is a narrative-focused RPG that is designed to encourage creative storytelling and improvisation. It is known for its flexible rules and its emphasis on collaborative storytelling.
    Fate is a popular tabletop role-playing game that emphasizes collaborative storytelling and character-driven action. It provides a flexible framework for creating and playing out adventures in various genres. The game aims to give players agency and agency over the narrative, allowing them to shape the story through their character's choices and actions.
    • Genre: Flexible, can be used for any genre
    • Dice System: Fudge dice (d6 with plus, minus, and blank sides)
    • Character Creation: Aspects-based system with customizable skills and stunts
    • Collaborative Storytelling: Players are encouraged to contribute to the narrative and world-building
    • Narrative Control: Players have agency in determining the outcome of their characters' actions
  10. 10
    Legend of the Five Rings is a samurai-themed RPG that is set in a fictional world inspired by Japanese mythology and culture. It is known for its immersive world-building and its focus on honor, duty, and loyalty.
    Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) is a highly popular Tabletop Role-Playing Game (RPG) set in a fictional feudal Japan-inspired fantasy world. It combines elements of samurai, fantasy, and political intrigue, offering players a rich and immersive storytelling experience.
    • Genre: Tabletop RPG
    • Setting: Feudal Japan-inspired fantasy world
    • Themes: Samurai, fantasy, political intrigue
    • Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
    • First Published: 1995

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Ranking factors for popular Tabletop RPG

  1. Sales figures
    It's important to look at the sales figures of the game over a given period of time. Sales figures can help you determine the popularity of the game.
  2. Active player base
    How many people play the game? More active players usually mean that the game has a larger following and is more popular.
  3. Critical acclaim
    How well has the game been received by critics and reviewers? Positive reviews and awards can indicate the game has a broad appeal and a strong fan base.
  4. Community engagement
    How active and engaged is the game's community? You should consider things like forums, social media, and conventions to help determine community engagement.
  5. Longevity
    How long has the game been around? A game with a long-standing and loyal player base is usually an indication of a popular game.
  6. Influence
    Has the game had a significant impact on the industry or popular culture in general? Games that have led to new trends or inspired other games can help to make them more popular.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Tabletop RPG. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Game is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 184 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Game once every 24 hours. The rank of each Game is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular tabletop rpg

Tabletop RPGs, or role-playing games, have been around since the 1970s and have since become a beloved pastime for many gamers. The genre involves players creating and controlling characters in a fictional world, with the outcome of the game determined by a combination of dice rolls and the decisions made by the players. Some of the most popular tabletop RPGs include Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and Vampire: The Masquerade, each with their own unique rules and settings. With the rise of online gaming and virtual tabletops, the popularity of tabletop RPGs has only continued to grow, providing endless opportunities for players to explore new worlds and engage in epic adventures.

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