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May 20th, 2013, 19:06
What makes an RPG to me is the following. I did this quickly so I may be forgetting some stuff.

Advancement - Level advancement, skill advancement, feats, talents, any sort of character advancement system.

Loot - Inventory management. Lots of stuff to pick up, tinker with and ponder over.

Exploration - Some form of exploration. Hidden chests, hidden areas, things to see off the beaten path, etc.

Questing - Some form of questing system that sends you on various tasks.

I realize many games have these features, but the games that have all these features would be RPGs in my eyes.

I wouldn't consider Xcom an RPG. It has some advancement and loot mechanics, but there is no exploration. I would call it a strategy game with some RPG elements.

Far Cry 3 is an RPG, in my opinion.
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