GameSpy - The 10 Best Action RPGs Between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3
GameSpy looks at what they consider the 10 Best Action RPGs Between Diablo 2 and Diablo 3. It's not a terrible list as far as these things go; here's the first entry:
Divine Divinity - 2002
Divine Divinity managed to splice Diablo's hack 'n' slash DNA with the more complex aspects of RPGs like Baldur's Gate and a refreshing dab of humor -- something most fantasy worlds fail to invent while constantly fretting about Ends of Days and Chosen Ones. Skill trees, for instance, are shared among all character types, so hybrids of all shapes and sizes are viable if you know what you're doing. (And if you don't, well, you probably made the mistake of playing a Summoner.) The world, meanwhile, is impressively non-linear, and most NPCs react realistically when faced with a blade to the face. That is to say, by dying. Unfortunately, however, there is NPC clone of the person who decided to call the game Divine Divinity.
While we're at it, sister site IGN explains Why Diablo II Still Rules:
Unmodded and running at 800 x 600 resolution, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction is still my favorite action role-playing game. I've tried many other Diablo-style games since, from Titan Quest to Dungeon Siege to Torchlight (made by several of Diablo's creators) to Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, some of which improved on Blizzard's design with less restrictive skill systems, better interfaces, more advanced visuals and added conveniences for travel, item storage and looting. But I've never played one and thought, without a doubt, that as a whole it established a higher standard than what Blizzard North achieved in the very early 2000s.