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Default Top 10 CRPGs of all time

May 11th, 2014, 21:22
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Top 70 Codex list with user reviews:

The list.


Good read & artwork (click on the banners for high resolution screenshots) for all CRPG enthusiasts.
Excellent!
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May 18th, 2014, 20:20
And here are my favorites as of 18.5.2014
I made two lists however. The first list contains 6 games which I would play and recommend even today, the second list consists of 10 games which have a place in my heart but which I would not necessarily play today or recommend to a modern gamer.
I also don't take MMOs into the list.

Favorite "modern" Games:

Jagged Alliance 2 (in a version supporting a resolution of 1024 x 768)
One of the very few games I come back to again and again. I love the 60+ characters with their individual personalities, likes, dislikes and traits. Love the humor and most of all, the turn based combat system

Avernum: Escape from the Pit
Gigantic game with the hardest fights I have seen in RPGs yet. Tons of great written dialogues which don't come with walls of text. Several choices with impact on the story. Tons of changes in dialoges after events happened not seen in bigger games. Weakest point: Horrible background loops (can be disabled), no music

Dragon Age: Origins (Excluding the Ostagar DLC and the Expansion which was horrible)
While I dislike the combat system, (realtime with pause) which forced you to pause every 1/2 seconds or so, this game had great storytelling, though the choices felt rather gamey than realistic.

Drakensang: River of Time (Excluding the Expansion as well)
Also had a bad combat system (realtime with pause) with different problems than Dragon Age. In this game the aggro system works quite bad making a big mess out of combat. But it offers a great atmosphere and story.

Mass Effect 2
Another Bioware game with great storytelling. Combat works but isn't particularily outstanding. Stuff which didn't work in ME1 was cut/simplified. Most of the fun are the dialogues and the situations which can happen (e.g. bringing Legion to Talis Ship)

Fallout 3 New Vegas
Though I prefer the Setting and Story of Fallout 3, this game has the better game and quest design. Still, the non-retroactive skill system bothered me. This game offers tons of interesting quests and choices. But while you had to look up Skyrims quests in a Wiki due to bad quest design, you had to look up F3 NV quests in a wiki due to being bugged so often. But I played at release and guess that's fixed already.

Old Games:

Jagged Alliance 1 & Deadly Games
Again tons of characters with own personality, traits, strengths and weaknesses. Like in the first game (compared to JA2) that you had to fight in all sectors, the sneak-sectors were great and loved the daily recap. Deadly Games was a Multiplayer version of the game with further developed characters where you could start an campaign against/with another player and could create your own maps. However a great Deadly Games experience only comes with own maps and plaid with a friend.

Stonekeep
Simply one of the most atmospheric games I played. Otherwise a linear Dungeon Crawler. Was nice to only control the main character and let the party members do their thing. Also had several situations with nice humor.

Lands of Lore 1: Throne of Chaos
Love the westwood style of graphics and sound. Great mix of "Dungeoncrawler", Story and places to explore.

Realms of Arkania 1, 2, 3 (German Versions, no idea which changes were made to the English ones by Sir-Tech)
If I had to chose one, it would be the second game StarTrail. First game offered a huge world you could freely explore but the world itself wasn't too detailed. With the 2nd and 3rd part the detail went up, and the size went down until the 3rd game shadows over Rive was completely linear. The second game StarTrail is a nice compromise. The luck based character system felt horrible though and coted tons of lime for save/load spam.

Fallout 1 & Fallout 2
Free, open world, turn based combat, postapocalypse. What can you want more? If I had to chose I would go for Fallout 2. Just overall bigger and better.

Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall
Horribly buggy game but it felt like being in an actual digital, huge world, where you could settle down in a town no other player in the world actually might have visited yet. Also liked the big and difficult dungeons - if they weren't as broken.

Albion
Did a great job to immerse you in an alien world. Great atmosphere, the turn based combat was also quite decent as far as I remember.

Planescape Torment
Also very atmospheric and very deep texts in a very unique setting. In comaprison to BG it completely focused on the story, had no problems with the combat system here.

Might and Magic 4+5: World of Xeen
Big world which was very fun to explore. Quite colorful game with it's own whacky humor.

Dark Sun 1: Shatered Lands
Quite atmospheric game in a very unique setting. Fighting as slave in the arena alone was quite entertaining. Nice turn based combat system. I also remember it as one of the first/ oldest games I played with Dialogues and Choices ("Why did you kill him???" - "I was in mood for it…")
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May 18th, 2014, 20:31
@Kordanor:
Good List - like them all, only Mass Effect 2 wouldn't be so high in my book.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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May 19th, 2014, 01:05
@Kordanor
Nice list.

I like your idea of the two lists. For years Wizardry 1 was in my all time top ten list. It was fun when it first came out. Wiz came out right when home computing was making its first major splash. And playing an RPG without any mates was pretty special at the time. I played it on an Apple 2. And even to this day, it still holds a special place in my RPG heart. I mean finally getting those final level spells like Titlowait was like a badge of honor (it would probably be an achievement in todays steam world).

But that game contained no auto map. A real need to manually and carefully graph your progress (remember spinner squares??). And real perma-death. As in you had to invent a party to rescue you dead party that died in the dungeon - coupled with stat decreases.

(Think a moment how problematic that could be - your level 9 party dying on dungeon level 5, so you have to send some young pups to rescue you. That means you had to train them up. Perhaps you thought ahead and already had some guys ready to go, but I doubt they were trained up as high as your now deceased party. yucky yucky yucky. . . .

Another Wizardry game feature was that whenever you leveled up some of your stats "could" go down . . . yikes. The way I tried to beat the game was to copy my save game on 2 floppys, and if something really did bad happen, I reloaded from my other save game floppy. I swear, if you computer gamed back then it involved really understanding how your computer, your operating system and the game itself functioned.

So while I do have some fond memories of my gaming sessions with Wiz. Wizardry 1 could never go on any all time CRPG list that I am making today.
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May 19th, 2014, 01:22
Oh boy, that sounds quite painful.
I was born 82, so I wasn't even around when that happened. In adidtion I doubt there was a German version and until I started having English in school it were the 90s already. And at that point, game design already developed so far, that this wasn't necessary anymore to do stuff like that.
For me it was already enough to just mess with the autoexec and config sys to get Eye of the Beholder 3 to start.

But this also shows quite well, how much more accessible games are today. You don't need to know the interior of a computer anymore to be able to play games on it.
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May 19th, 2014, 03:52
Kordanor: Nice list Glad to see I'm not the only one who enjoyed ME2! But strange to see DA:O on your list but not BG 1/2 I enjoyed DA:O myself but I think it was not as good as BG. There were only 2 things I preferred DA over BG - mana over spell memorisation and threat/tank system.

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May 19th, 2014, 04:12
I didn't like BG very much. Didn't like the combat system which was also badly balanced. I spammed skeletons with 2-3 clerics, then the framerate dropped completely and after a slideshow I won the fights. Also the story wasn't very good and while I finished it I lost interest after about 2/3. That's also the reason why I didn't even buy BG2, the Icewind Dale series, and the NWN Series.
Then I bought Dragon Age Origins (and Drakensang), enjoyed the story and looked back…bought NWN2 and could not stand the combat with it's insane AI, really drove me crazy. And half a year ago I also bought BG2 - but now even in HD it looks ugly, I don't like the combat and before the story could hook me I dropped it already.

Pausable Realtime Combat and Me…we just don't get along well in most cases.
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May 19th, 2014, 06:11
That's too bad because the Infinity Engine games are superior to Dragon Age in almost every aspect. DA is basically a more modern version of Baldur's Gate except that it's dumbed down in a lot of ways. - i.e. Less characters, smaller game world, less variety of weapons, items, magic, etc., much smaller and less varied bestiary, less freedom, etc. etc….
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May 19th, 2014, 07:20
Well, I'd say the writing of Dragon Age is FAR superior to Baldur's Gate, which is - at best - quaint. That includes story, lore and the characters.

That's pretty significant, unless you don't care about writing.

But I agree that the gameplay is inferior in almost every way.

I was particularly underwhelmed by the class system, which is but a pale comparison to D&D.
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May 19th, 2014, 10:04
Dart, are you talking about BG 1 or 2?

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May 19th, 2014, 10:05
Originally Posted by purpleblob View Post
Dart, are you talking about BG 1 or 2?
BG1 - as I haven't played much of BG2.

I realise the writing is supposed to be better in BG2
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May 19th, 2014, 10:09
Oh, right yes, writing is much better in BG2

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May 19th, 2014, 11:01
While I agree that the Character System in DA isn't really good and complex as you can basically take everything and with some classes you even have points left, which you cannot invest in a useful way, I prefer that to the "real" D&D System you have in NWN2 for example. I am really not against complexity. But I am a Min-Maxer and I don't like to have to plan my character through even before I start the game so that I don't gimp it.

Can't really judge that for BG2 though.
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May 19th, 2014, 11:03
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
While I agree that the Character System in DA isn't really good and complex as you can basically take everything and with some classes you even have points left, which you cannot invest in a useful way, I prefer that to the "real" D&D System you have in NWN2 for example. I am really not against complexity. But I am a Min-Maxer and I don't like to have to plan my character through even before I start the game so that I don't gimp it.

Can't really judge that for BG2 though.
How can you be a min-maxer and not enjoy planning your character?!?!?

Anyway, to each his own.

I love the planning stage - and I'm so weird, I enjoy starting over a few times until I find the right build.

In singleplayer games, it's not something I fret over that much - but I hate playing gimped characters.
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May 19th, 2014, 11:15
Well, yeah. That may have sounded weird.
In case of NWN2 though you had to do exactly the right thing every level up, invest every point the right way, know all of the complex character system in order to make it work.

I mean I used a lot of time in M&M X to find the right way to skill my characters, but once you know it, it goes fluently. In NWN2 you need a list beside you which you use for every level up. Because if you don't do that on one level, you won't get the result you planned. You might even be unable to chose the advanced class you wanted. Started NWN2 two or three times before I gave up (due to the fights and the AI though, not because of the character system) and probably spent more than 10 hours reading through wikis and toying around with the character builder.
An additional problem in NWN2 is that you cannot use other characters for talking though. So…my barbarian had to be a character with the social skills as well…
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May 19th, 2014, 11:17
I'm only a Min-Maxer if it is really necessary to beat a game.

I enjoy to win with a non-perfect somewhat flawed group of chars, too.
(Jagged Alliance 2 - playing only with rebels or from the cheap mercenary organization -> great fun)

Character planning is always a fun thing to do and a big part of the roleplaying for me.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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May 19th, 2014, 11:20
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
Well, yeah. That may have sounded weird.
In case of NWN2 though you had to do exactly the right thing every level up, invest every point the right way, know all of the complex character system in order to make it work.

I mean I used a lot of time in M&M X to find the right way to skill my characters, but once you know it, it goes fluently. In NWN2 you need a list beside you which you use for every level up. Because if you don't do that on one level, you won't get the result you planned. You might even be unable to chose the advanced class you wanted. Started NWN2 two or three times before I gave up (due to the fights and the AI though, not because of the character system) and probably spent more than 10 hours reading through wikis and toying around with the character builder.
An additional problem in NWN2 is that you cannot use other characters for talking though. So…my barbarian had to be a character with the social skills as well…

True, 3-3.5 Edition does requite a lot of planning.

Usually, I use a character mod that allows you to create a max level character, so you can test it out before you actually play.

Without such a mod, it's a major pain to min-max characters in 3rd Edition.

I've played a LOT of PnP using D&D rules of all kinds - so I'm quite used to that kind of thing, but I can certainly see how someone who hasn't would suffer a major headache trying to create the right build.

The way feats/skills and multiclassing are interdependent makes it all but impossible for someone not deep into the rules.
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May 19th, 2014, 11:28
@HiddenX: I don't take the optimal character constellation as well. In JA2 I would never create a character without 85 Wisdom as Main character and especially with 1.13 it's important to take the right traits, but that's about it and it all comes naturally.

In NWN2 however…as DArtagnan says, it's a major headache. Doesn't really come naturally to mix the classes the way you have to (if you want to achieve the result I had in mind).
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May 19th, 2014, 11:41
I'm not a big fan of games where you have to min-max just to be able to beat the game. The only exception that I can think of is Gothic II.
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May 19th, 2014, 11:45
I don't think that there actually are many where this is really necessary.
But I just feel like "I should start over" all the time, when I realize mistakes in character development.
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