My current character is named Qen. Since I wrote about him recently, I’ll just refer you to that page. What I’ll write today instead of that summary is this. My favorite RPG PC games.
Why computer? Am I including console games? Nope. And I’ll tell you why. Because you can’t play a good RPG, a REAL RPG, using a D-pad. I’ve said it. I won’t take it back. And if you wanna argue with me, don’t bother. You are wrong, and clearly wrong, yet no amount of proof will ever be acceptable to you. And don’t even get me started on the Mac.
Nor will I include MMORPGs. I’ve played most of the popular ones. They can be mildly enjoyable as action games, but not one of them has ever measured up as an RPG with their endless, repetitive fetch this quests and raids. At least not yet.
Neverwinter Nights 2
This is the game that got it all right. Everything. Well, eventually anyway. When it launched it was a mess. It was full of bugs, crashed frequently, and didn’t even come close to the promised features list that had originally been promoted. They got most of it right by the end. The story-line, the characters, the voice acting, the game-play. It was all amazing. And when the Mask of the Betrayer was added, it reached new heights of insane goodness. Even today it is a fantastically enjoyable game that holds up against ANY modern RPG game.
Fallout & Fallout 2
While the sequels have mostly all been great action games, nothing compares to the RPG chops of the original and it’s successor. I remember many fond hours customizing every aspect of my character, then starting again just to try something different. These were perhaps the first games where I really felt like my decisions, both in character creation and in gameplay, actually had an effect on the world around me.
Baldur’s Gate 2
While not quite as good as Neverwinter Nights 2, BG2 and it’s expansions had fantastic story-lines and great game-play. I have played and replayed this game so many times I’ve lost count. This is the game where I first got to know Minsc. And it has forever stuck with me. “Now Minsc leads! Swords for everyone!”
Knights of the Old Republic 2
The only Star Wars RPG that’s worth playing. Unlike the cookie-cutter crap that Disney puts out today, it has an actual story and actions actually have an effect on the game. Especially when you add the Sith Lords Restored mod, this game is endlessly fun and re-playable.
The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind & Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion
These are the two shining stars of the Elder Scrolls series. Skyrim is fun to play, don’t get me wrong, but I think it lost a lot of the flavor and feel of III and IV. I think Oblivion is the first game I came across where I just got on my horse and just rode and rode. The graphics were amazing for their time and the stories for both III and IV felt compelling and constantly drove me onward. That was lost with Skyrim.
Pool of Radiance
There were two games that kept my interest in D&D alive during the late 80’s & early 90’s. The first is this game. I played this game so much I wore out the floppy disk and had to buy the game again. This was the game made me learn how to use DOS extenders, memory managers and boot discs for our 286 PC, later 386 PCs.
Death Knights of Krynn
This was the second game that kept my D&D love alive. I had been a fan of the Krynn setting since reading the first Dragonlance novel. Being able to play in that world on my PC as a Solamnic Knight or a mage of the white or red robes was just amazing. While I also loved this games’ predecessor, Champions of Krynn, this one always seemed more fun to me.
DragonAge: Origins & DragonAge: Inquisition
Pretty much every DragonAge game is well done. Great, compelling stories. Fantastic combat. The feeling that what you do matters, especially in your character interactions with your companions. I wish, however, they were more open world. All too often they have a very railroad feel to them.
There you have it. My favorite REAL RPG games of all time. Yeah, a lot of games have RPG aspects to them, but just because your game has different scores for strength and dexterity and you can customize their clothes or armor, doesn’t make that game and RPG.