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March 10th, 2013, 13:51
Originally Posted by Elel View Post
I really want to take a glance at masterpieces of the old days. But without being turned off instantly by my modern experiences.

So far I decided to look at Ultima and Wizardry series, they sound like they're considered masterpieces. The question is: which games should I pick from these series to start with? I don't want to miss out on a lot of backstory and content, but I suspect that the earliest games in those series would be unplayable for me.

And please tell me that it's worth it. Because there's a lot of talk about how RPGs used to be better, but I have no idea if that's actually true or nostalgia. So I hope you'll recommed an old game that can prove the point.

Just to portray what would capture my attention for sure, I love games with complex battle mechanics (not click-click-click), plots, and realistic characters. Once I attempted Eye of the Beholder and gave up on it, as it had no plot or characters, so maybe something more fitting to these categories would be better.
No single older game is going to have all the things you want.

The games you enjoy today are the result of the developers picking and choosing the best ideas from a handful of classic games that came out between 1988-1994. That said, there are a few games from that time that were truly revolutionary, the main one being the Ultima series.

But again each game in the Ultima series only focused on one aspect of what you're interested in, and to appreciate them you need to understand this.

For overall Good vs Bad vs Gray-area "Bioware style" morality choices Ultima 4 is the best one, but the downside is the primative graphics and combat.

For great strategy, combat and simple great story Ultima 5 is the best. You have full control of your party and can equip them in any way you desire. It's a really satisfying game. The downside is the world interaction isn't that great and the characters are not as fleshed out as the later Ultimas.

For pure storytelling standpoint Ultima 6 is probably the best. Ultima 6 is also the first 256 color VGA Ultima, and the world interaction takes a giant leap forward. The downside is that the interface is clunky and there is LOTS of not so great combat to slog through.

Ultima 7 is the overall BEST game in the series for a newcomer and was really the first functional "living world" game to be created. Bethesda has been copying it ever since with their various games. It also features world interaction that has yet to be replicated by any 3D game. Nearly every object you see can be interacted with and placed in your inventory/fiddled with/combined with other things if you have room and the strength to lift it. The complexity of all stuff is astounding to this day when you think about it. It also has the best written characters in the series. It's weakest point was the combat system, but this isn't a big deal.

If I were you I'd start with Ultima 5, but make sure to actually read the actual manual and spellbook PDFs and maybe even the official hintbook. Back in the days before in-game help these were critical information sources.
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