Games that let you role-play as a bard

Sometimes the best way to fight a world-ending plague or intergalactic conflict is not with swords or guns, but rather through the performing arts. Bards excel in this category, because not only do they inspire their comrades in the heat of the moment, but they also look cool doing it. Unfortunately, few games allow players to take on the role of the magnificent minstrel.

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There are only a handful of games that allow players to be colorful in battle as bards. Most of them tend to be RPGs, as bards have been a staple of the fantasy genre ever since.Dungeons and Dragonspopularized the class and the profession. Still, gamers will want to check those games that allow them to play the role of bards just to show those rude warriors and nerdy wizards how it’s actually charisma that saves the day.


8 Divinity 2: Original Sin

  • Release year
    : 2017

  • Platforms
    : Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, Nintendo Switch, iPad

Divinity 2: Original Sin is often considered one of the best CRPGs to date thanks to its expansive gameplay that feels more like a video game refinement of the Dungeons and Dragons formula. Of course, bards are also a class in the game, and they tend to be magic-inclined.

Players don’t even have to create their own custom bard as one of the characters, Lohse is canonically a bard and the default class during character creation. Either way, don’t expect to throw guitars or juggle magic stones as the game’s bard gameplay isn’t quite as deep, unless modding is counted as a possibility.

seven Baldur’s Gate 3

  • Release year
    : 2020 (early access)

  • Platforms
    : Macintosh operating systems, Google Stadia, Microsoft Windows

Currently under development by the same guys who made Divinity: Original Sin 2, Baldur’s Gate 3 is available as an early access title (at the time of writing). It has similar gameplay to the studio’s previous game but takes the more traditional Dungeons and Dragons set of rules.

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The gameplay is turn-based and yes, this time around there’s some real bard class to the character creation. This bard therefore has the same abilities and dispositions as that of the dungeons and dragons fifth edition set of rules. Players can dive right in or wait for the official release.

6 Pillars of Eternity

  • Release year
    : 2015

  • Platforms
    : Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems

The first one pillars of eternity was a love letter to all old and hardcore CRPG fans. It has added its own twist and created its own charming and deep game world, so there is no shortage of cool novelties here for RPG lovers. Bards, by the way, are also welcome here, and they are extremely unique when it comes to bards in RPGs.

They have their own separate gameplay mechanic where they can recite poems and songs like how wizards open their spellbook to be effective in battle. This party-based game also has a sequel in the form of Dead fire, so there’s a lot of content here for bards.

5 monster hunter world

  • Release year
    : 2018

  • Platforms
    : PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows

Monster Hunter World, in a way, was one of the franchise’s biggest leaps since it’s one of the few games in the series to be cross-platform. Moreover, it has the best graphics of all monster hunter titles, even compared to the last.

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As for the bards, there is a weapon in the game which is actually a musical instrument. It’s called the hunting horn, and it allows players to play sequences of notes as combos; these can be used to achieve different results such as healing, stunning the monster, or improving damage. This is one of the most fun ways to play as a prehistoric themed bard.

4 Dragon Age: Origins

  • Release year
    : 2009

  • Platforms
    : Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac OS X

Dragon Age: Origins is no different from old and new CRPGs. It relies on its own system, but it is still based on a Dungeons and Dragons set of rules. This means for bards that they have plenty of toys and tools for their combat maneuvers and spells.

Heck, there’s even a character whose profession is canonically a bard, Leliana. Fortunately, she joins the party, because otherwise she would have been a formidable opponent. Either way, one of the rogue specializations allows players to be a bard, with some cool skills and abilities suited to the playstyle.

3 Warframe

  • Release year
    : 2013

  • Platforms
    : Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S

War is a cooperative multiplayer RPG about mercenary space ninjas and their eternal war against the various factions that want their power. How do bards fit into the equation? Well, one of the warfames in the game is designed with bard gameplay in mind. Her name is Octavia and she uses the power of music to enhance her allies and decimate her enemies.

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All of the game’s warframes are unique, but Octavia takes the cake with her fun and musical abilities. She can even make herself and her allies invisible using a specific musical ability, while also providing funky, customizable tunes for the entire squad, so they can carry out mass alien genocide in style.

2 The story of a bard

  • Release year
    : 2005

  • Platforms
    : PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows, iOS, OS X, Linux, PlayBook, Android, Ouya, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Players don’t have to put too much effort into roleplaying as a bard in The story of a bardthe game does it for them all the time. The story of a bard is a 2000s classic that defies the conventions of typical storytelling standards of the era.

Players don’t control the stereotypical goody-two-shoes hero here. They embody a weary, cynical, self-aware bard, tired of side quests and rat-infested dungeons. The game has several different endings and humor appropriate to its time.

1 The Lord of the Rings online

  • Release year
    : 2007

  • Platforms
    : macOS, Microsoft Windows, classic Mac OS

The Lord of the Rings online remains to this day one of the most successful video game adaptations of the Tolkien franchise. Part of its success is how it offers many different styles of play for players. They can even be minstrels if they wish, and they function similarly to bards.

The minstrel class in The Lord of the Rings online mostly functions as everyone’s favorite medium. They are some of the best party healers and the best part is that they can also bring a musical instrument into battle. If players wish, they can accompany the minstrel’s style of play with Pippin-level chants while the heads of enemies are crushed like cherry tomatoes between Lord Denethor’s teeth.

More: Video Game Characters Who Use Musical Instruments As Weapons

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