There's a lot of discussion on "How can I make a successful RM game?" and "Can I make a successful game with RM engine because everyone seems to think the engine is limited/bad?" I thought it'd be interesting to look at how RM games are actually doing in the market to see if we can gain any insight into these questions. So I did a simple analysis with these few rules: 1. In Steam searched for "RPG Maker". 2. Sort by "User Reviews". The reasoning goes that the more user reviews a game has, the more people played this game, and therefore the more "successful" this game is. Okay, okay, I know it's not a very scientific metric, but it is one way to measure it. OBVIOUSLY this is a VERY SIMPLE AND LIMITED research that may or may not mean anything. And to be honest I played nearly none of the games on this list so I may be wrong about some of these games. But let's see what turned up: So what conclusions can we make from this list? Here's some of mine: 1. Some games aren't even RM games. In fact the top two results "Princess Remedy" and "Choice of Robots" don't seem to be RM games at all. And we all know the wildly successful Stardew Valley isn't a RM game (I think? Unless someone knows otherwise.). Why these games turned up on a RPG Maker search is really weird. I guess the creators tagged them with RPG and Maker tags? 2. So removing Princess Remedy and Choice of Robots the top game on this list goes to "Meltys Quest"... which appears to be an adult themed conventional RPG starring a big chested and scantily clad heroine. To be honest I have not actually played this game. I can only say looking at the screenshots it doesn't look to be very innovative in the gameplay department. The game that follows Melty is "Mirror Bundle", which also appears to be a collection of adult games. So TAKEAWAY 1: Adult games, even with mediocre gameplay, work. Adult games seem to do very well. This is actually not very surprising. According to an article, the best seller indie games on platforms such as Patreon are adult games. This is not to say that we should all go into the porn business, but simply a fact that a rather significant part of the market likes to play naughty games. 3. Next we have the horror line-up: "Trick&Treat", "Noel", "CCDB", "Witch's House", "Damned Daniel", "Hello Charlotte", "Angels of Death". Some are more lighthearted like Corienne Cross, which was an IGMC winner and a fantastic game. Others are heavier on the blood and gore side. Regardless these are horror adventure games that rely mainly on the strength of their story and less on gameplay. TAKEAWAY 2: Horror themed adventure games with good stories work. Most successful RM games seem to be horror adventure games. 4. In the list is "Doom & Destiny", a very popular and funny game about 4 nerds saving a parallel world. I don't think this was actually made using an RM engine? (someone enlighten me here.) But it does look like it uses a lot of RM elements. This game appears to be a solid RPG with LOTS OF CONTENT (200 special powers, 300 enemies, 500 items, 700 locations, etc.). TAKEAWAY 3: A conventional RPG with LOTS OF CONTENT and a solid story work. 5. Lastly are "The Shell of Permafrost", "Helen's Mysterious Castle", and "Mothlight". From the comments it seems these are games that have innovative gameplay. Maybe someone who's played these can talk about why they worked? EDIT: As reminded by @slimmmeiske2 , I also put in a search using the keyword "RPGMaker" no spaces. The list turned out to be mostly the same with the addition of Freebird's very successful and famous "To the Moon" and "Finding Paradise" as well as "OneShot" and "Rakuen". topping the list. (Yes, Melty's still there, right below them.) Anyway, these games have superb writing and moving stories. TAKEAWAY 4: Proof that the engine does not matter as long as your game delivers a moving experience. Great writing always work. So what do you guys think? Feel free to agree or disagree with my opinions. Any other insights you see from this list?