Top 10 PC Video Games With Awesome Magic Systems (2017-2020)

Top 10 PC Video Games With Awesome Magic Systems (2017-2020)


Top 10 Games with Awesome Magic Systems Swords and bows are great, but no weapon can tie into the lore of a game setting as well as magic, and nothing but magic lets you bend the laws of reality itself to obey your will. And let’s be honest, no bulging bicep is veiny enough to stop a fireball to the face! With all that in mind, we have prepared a list of games which do magic better than others. The games are listed in no particular order, but if any of the magic systems presented is your #1, let us know in the comments! Divinity: Original Sin has earned its position on this list thanks to spectacular spell combinations, allowing you to detonate a poison cloud with a fire spell or electrocute a group of enemies after casting a rain spell on them to put them all in a puddle. However, the sequel blows it out of the water completely, with some certifiably devastating combos creative players have discovered – some of them even allow for infinite loops of damage.

It doesn’t hurt that the game is designed specifically to let you play around with its systems, providing alternative routes to success should you go overboard and destroy a seemingly vital part of a quest. And then there’s skill crafting, which provides yet ANOTHER layer of complexity and flexibility to the mix. Dragon’s Dogma is much more rigid when it comes to the spell system and doesn’t allow for much creativity – but the sheer joy and feeling of power that comes with casting a big spell makes it a must have position on this list.

It may take half a minute to cast, and you may need your NPC followers to guard your posterior from damage while you try to conjure it, but when the spell drops, it DROPS. So while you don’t have as much flexibility as in other games, you will be able to show your enemies why making a wizard angry is a really bad idea. Before Fus Ro Dah, there was Aarn Yok Tar. As you explore the world of Arx Fatalis, you will discover runestones corresponding to specific words in an arcane language. Then, you will be able to combine them into spells – the tricky part though is that you have to draw the individual sigils by hand every time you want to cast a spell. It helps if you actually understand the meaning of those runes – for example, the fireball spell “Aarn Yok Tar” translates to “Create Fire Missile”, and you can easily change it into an ice blast by exchanging Yok with Fridd, which stands for ice.

Playing a spellcaster in Arx Fatalis makes it clear, why wizards in most systems need time to cast their spells properly – and why it’s not a good idea to be on the receiving end of their wrath. We love Skyrim, but we don’t love it’s magic system. Magic should be more than just another projectile – that’s why Morrowind is our pick for best magic in an Elder Scrolls game.

Not only did it expect study and devotion on your path as a wizard, it also allowed you to actually create your own spells out of all the formulas you learned. The only thing you had to pay attention to is how much gold you had left and what you’re realistically able to cast, as your mana isn’t a bottomless wellspring. The system allowed for some crazy combinations, and provided ample room to tweak the specific numbers as well. It was a spellcrafting paradise. And if the dated appearance of Morrowind is a problem for you – don’t worry!

It’s nothing a couple mods can’t fix. Despite its relative obscurity, Two Worlds II earns its spot on this list thanks to its card-based spellcrafting system. There are three types of cards which have to be combined to create various effects: the effect cards are responsible for the main feature of the spell and are split between five schools with several branches, like Air or Fire. The carrier cards define how the spell works: an enchantment, a missile, or maybe a summon.

Finally, the modifier cards improve or change effects of the spell, for example increase the damage, change the duration, or make missiles ricochet off your target. The number of possible combinations is huge, and it includes things like an anvil tornado, projectiles which summon creatures, or automatic revives activating when you die. Messing around and testing new combinations is a ton of fun, and provides a great incentive to look for new cards in the world. What do you get when you mix a first-person shooter, an Excel spreadsheet, and powerful magic? The answer is Lichdom: Battlemage.

On the surface, it looks like a magic-focused RPG like here with some truly awesome-looking effects, allowing you to craft various spells based on elemental sigils in your possession. The spellcrafting system is much more complicated than what meets the eye though. Sure, you can create all range of effects, such as projectiles, beams, explosions, traps and so on, but the most important element here is math and great memory.

Do you set up a combo with a Mastery spell to maximise the damage of a Destruction one, or grab a Mastery-Control combo to give yourself some breathing room for a second? You have to keep the complex math and synergies in mind, but when it all comes together, the ludicrous gibs fall like it’s a rainy season. Most games have a limited amount of spells, as envisioned by their creators.

But in CodeSpells, you are the creator, and the game allows you to come up with your own spells and effects – as long as you can code them. Not to worry though – this project started as an application to teach programming to kids, so even if you have no experience with coding, you should be able to get a hang of it quite fast. Create any spell you want while learning how to program – what’s there not to love? The game is currently in Early Access, but there are plans to turn it into a full-blown MMO, with all the creative wizards roaming the world together showing off their custom spells. It’s a shame that Tyranny didn’t get more attention – especially since its spellcrafting system is truly amazing. To create a spell in Tyranny, combine four types of sigils together: Core sigils defining the school of magic, Expression sigils controlling how it manifests, Accents improving its individual parameters, and Enhancements applying a single additional modifier.

Each of these sigils has a cost levied against your Lore skill, so a powerful bookworm mage with Lore 200 can add more and stronger accents to their spells than a petty dabbler with Lore 40. The effects defined by Expressions range from short-range bursts and long-range projectiles to auras, devastating multi-hit Area of Effect strikes, and large-scale debuffs. And one of the best things about Tyranny’s magic system is that it really is rooted in the lore of the setting. Each of the 11 Core sigils available in the game is created by studying Archons, who created a given effect. For instance, Sigil of Emotion was developed by studying Sirin, the Archon of Song.

For once magic’s existence isn’t handwaved. This is a welcome change. Both Magicka and its sequel have quite a nifty magic system.

There are eight basic effects, and a few more you can get by combining the basic ones, and you mix and match the to create powerful effects. The fanbase has created some certifiably devastating combinations over the years, in a way turning spellcasting into a Quick Time Event, but you can go far with a big ol’ blazing boulder too. There’s also logic to the game world, so you can use your frost element to freeze for yourself a narrow and somewhat slippery path across a river, or launch yourself into the air with a mine.

And please, make sure you are dry before casting lightning spells. In Verbis Virtus is possibly the only game where shouting curses into a microphone won’t get you kicked from the game. Instead it works wonders for immersion. A part of a barrier between your character and yourself is stripped away, because you don’t just “Press F to cast spell”, you’re actually speaking the power words. The idea is stellar, and the game makes it easy to imagine what it actually feels like to be a wizard casting a spell.

So, that’s our proposition for best magic systems in games. Do you agree with our list? Do you think we missed anything? Or are you a hard-core fighter-slash-rogue who doesn’t care for all those silly fireworks? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel for a regular dose of gaming inspiration!


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