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July 23rd, 2014, 23:40
I wouldn't call it a lack of imagination so much as a tool for immersion. Part of being in the world is seeing how other characters react to actions and others and party banter can do that. They have their own motivations and desires and sometimes trying to bring opposites together has combustible results (much like real life).
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July 23rd, 2014, 23:50
Indeed, but those 'characters' are going to be the exact same characters every single play-through, and you have no personal choice over those characters.

You're just playing what someone else thinks would make for entertaining interaction. If you personally can't stand the key characters your going to be travelling with it can put a huge downer on every other aspect of the game, even if the game is, otherwise, gorgeous.

The ability to have varied sexuality for the same characters is a good start, but it's kind of just a tip of the iceburg really, a kind of apologetic cosmetic compared to true variety, the characters will still be 'shifty carismatic thief' and 'heavens to goodness with a dark secret healer' etc.
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July 24th, 2014, 00:08
Different strokes for different folks.

How much of an impact it can have on replayability can be highly variable (as is people's willingness to replay the game anyway). Some games keep the required plot important characters down, some have lots of potential companions, others the same character will not be exactly the same on another play through depending on choices (Anomen in BG 2 for example) or even a mix of those things.

For me, roleplaying the characters myself lacks a sense of surprise. I think that's part of the appeal of Martin, characters simply aren't safe. There's always a chance for something unexpected to happen which isn't the case for many other authors.
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July 24th, 2014, 11:04
Originally Posted by greywolf00 View Post
I wouldn't call it a lack of imagination so much as a tool for immersion. Part of being in the world is seeing how other characters react to actions and others and party banter can do that. They have their own motivations and desires and sometimes trying to bring opposites together has combustible results (much like real life).
Exactly this. For me a great part of roleplaying means, that I let my charcter(s) perform actions in the game world, which in turn somehow reacts, where these reactions are not under my control. Combat is an action (where the gameworld's reaction is quite straight forward) as well as dialogs. With a game like vanilla IWD the gameworld's reaction is too shallow for my taste. Fleshed out companions could change that.

And of course I could roleplay 6 characters on my own. But a game like IWD imho lacks the framework to do so. If you take a look at NWN2: Storm of Zehir or of course now D:OS, you have party dialog systems where you can let the NPC actually interact meaningfully. Of course I could do all of that in my head, but for me that's not satisfying. I need some scaffolding here.

Originally Posted by MinorityReport View Post
Indeed, but those 'characters' are going to be the exact same characters every single play-through, and you have no personal choice over those characters.
Right, that's why I only replay games some years later (if at all).

You're just playing what someone else thinks would make for entertaining interaction.
Yep, and sometimes someone is dead on here, you have entertaining interaction and you just love the characters! And if you don't like them, in most games you can select from a variety of companions, so you can chose the ones you like. Of course with this IWD mod (or games like Blackguards) you indeed might have this problem.

If you personally can't stand the key characters your going to be travelling with it can put a huge downer on every other aspect of the game, even if the game is, otherwise, gorgeous.
Yeah, but I think that's quite the same with every other feature of the game. If you don't like the combat/crafting/music/visuals/etc. it can put a huge downer on every other aspect of the game, even if the game is, otherwise, gorgeous.

My current personal favorite approach would indeed be a sophisticated version of D:OS's AI personalities. Imagine if you could create some companions on your own (race, gender, class etc.) and then could add some backgrounds (e.g. like for the main character in DA:O), personalities, traits, quircks etc. and the game generates an actually consistent character from it, where dialogs/banter and general behaviour are derived from the given presets.
Of course this is quite hard to implement properly, but I think it would be a lot of fun.
Last edited by Morrandir; July 24th, 2014 at 14:44.
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July 27th, 2014, 10:19
My top 10 rpgs

1) Baldurs Gate 2 not including throne of bhaal
2) Betrayal at Krondor
3) Fallout 2
4) Starcon 2
5) Divinity Original Sin
6) The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind
7) Ultima 7 first part
8) Quest for Glory series excluding 3 and 5
9) Fallout New Vegas
10) Baldurs Gate + expansion

Notable up and comers to challenge this:
Wasteland 2, Pillars of Eternity, Shadowrun Returns Dragonfall HD, Torment: Tides of Numenera, Legend of Grimrock 2
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September 1st, 2014, 09:02
You can rank games in many ways:

1) overall rank (very subjective -> maybe a mix from points 2) to 5))
2) rank in their own era (more objective and fair) -> top 5 games every 5 years: 1976-1980; 1981-1985; 1986-1990;…
3) playability today (can it be run/emulated on modern computers?; is gameplay still fun?)
4a) historical value gameplay (invented/implemented new gameplay elements)
4b) historical value technology (invented/implemented new technologies)
5) influence to the genre (has this game many (game)-followers? Has it become a blueprint?)
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Default My top 10

September 11th, 2014, 00:14
1. Wasteland
2. Ultima 4
3. Pool of Radiance
4. Baldur's Gate
5. Fallout 2
6. Fallout
7. Ultima 7
8. Ultima 5
9. Legacy of the Ancients
10. Legend of Blacksilver
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September 12th, 2014, 09:41
1. Gothic 2
2. Morrowind
3. Baldur's Gate 2 EE
4. System Shock 2
5. Ultima Underworld 2
6. Ultima 7 Part 2
7. Planescape Torment
8. Fallout 2
9. Fallout 3
10. STALKER SoC

Last 3 could be switched out with KOTOR, Witcher 1 and Arcanum maybe, hard to say which i liked best

Edit: also, this and the "top bottom RPG's" should be in the Polls section, no?
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September 17th, 2014, 02:18
My list

1.Mask of Betrayer - fantastic story, for some reason i enjoy it even more than Planescape: Torment. Really love the way they implement the dark side in this game.
2. Planescape: Torment - no need any explaining.
3. Fallout New Vegas - how i hope i can play this as a top-down game…
4. Baldur Gate 2 : very good story, great NPC intereaction + art style.
5. Fallout 2.
6. Vampire: The Masquerade - great atmosphere, very creativity quest + intereaction.
7.Divinity : Original Sin - i like this game more and more each day.
8.KOTOR 2 : the Sith Lord - great story, ton of bug but thank to the wonderful community almost all of them are fixed.
9.Shadowrun return + dragon fall - really like the atmosphere.
10.Arcanum.

Edit : sorry for including New Vegas, though it was about top 10 RPG
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September 17th, 2014, 02:41
Hard to say what my top 10 would be.

Ulitma 3 will always be dear to my heart as I got a disk doctor copy of it in grade nine for my C64. No books, a few scribbles on a page of the spells and my and my best friend spend 6 months on the phone figuring it out after school.

I did like Bards tale back in the day and there were a few others back in the day.

Loved both the Witchers and Dragons age.

Then this little gem called D.OS might have took over as my number one.

So many games back in the day and about a 10 year lay off where schooling and work took over.

Anyways sorry no top ten but those are a few games I really loved.

PS there was a game in the late 80's that I have been trying to remember where you lived in tree tops. It was more like a story book, I would l know what it was called.

Edited notes: if anyone remembers disk doctor it was easy to go though the code and find out how to make spells after finding where it was located…..

Second edit: in the late 90's I got into counter strike so bad…though I hated that sort of game I got very good at very very good. Guess that is what happens when you want to crush your friend at something.
Last edited by CelticFrost; September 17th, 2014 at 02:54.
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September 25th, 2014, 15:37
Originally Posted by VTTRoseRed View Post
My list

1.Mask of Betrayer - fantastic story, for some reason i enjoy it even more than Planescape: Torment. Really love the way they implement the dark side in this game.
2. Planescape: Torment - no need any explaining.
3. Fallout New Vegas - how i hope i can play this as a top-down game…
4. Baldur Gate 2 : very good story, great NPC intereaction + art style.
5. Fallout 2.
6. Vampire: The Masquerade - great atmosphere, very creativity quest + intereaction.
7.Divinity : Original Sin - i like this game more and more each day.
8.KOTOR 2 : the Sith Lord - great story, ton of bug but thank to the wonderful community almost all of them are fixed.
9.Shadowrun return + dragon fall - really like the atmosphere.
10.Arcanum.

Edit : sorry for including New Vegas, though it was about top 10 RPG
You have KOTOR 2 > KOTOR 1? That game crashed hard for me at two different points beyond the 15 hour mark that forced me to restart the entire game. Plus how do you top the first one's epic story? I can't disagree with your Baldur's Gate 2 ranking though - how do you go wrong with Minsc in your party?
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September 25th, 2014, 16:29
Originally Posted by anakin57 View Post
You have KOTOR 2 > KOTOR 1? That game crashed hard for me at two different points beyond the 15 hour mark that forced me to restart the entire game. Plus how do you top the first one's epic story? I can't disagree with your Baldur's Gate 2 ranking though - how do you go wrong with Minsc in your party?
I've always been conflicted about KotOR vs KotOR2, and I understand people in both camps.

KotOR was smooth and had a proper Star Wars story. It really felt part of the universe, which very few games and novels do (let's be honest, they're mostly rubbish).

However, KotOR2 has more interesting characters (Kreia being the best example) and quite a few engine upgrades (once fully patched, prior to that it's just buggy). It also makes use of skills to a different degree, which is good fun for people who like tinkering around with non-combat stuff. And you actually get to start out as a Jedi instead of wasting 8 out of 20 levels that could've been Jedi levels. Then again, you have to spend a lot of time digging around for lightsaber parts before actually being able to wield one.

I replay them both annually, usually more than once, but I can never decide which one is my favorite. It keeps changing. Needless to say, I enjoy them both.
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September 30th, 2014, 05:01
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
I've always been conflicted about KotOR vs KotOR2, and I understand people in both camps.

KotOR was smooth and had a proper Star Wars story. It really felt part of the universe, which very few games and novels do (let's be honest, they're mostly rubbish).

However, KotOR2 has more interesting characters (Kreia being the best example) and quite a few engine upgrades (once fully patched, prior to that it's just buggy). It also makes use of skills to a different degree, which is good fun for people who like tinkering around with non-combat stuff. And you actually get to start out as a Jedi instead of wasting 8 out of 20 levels that could've been Jedi levels. Then again, you have to spend a lot of time digging around for lightsaber parts before actually being able to wield one.

I replay them both annually, usually more than once, but I can never decide which one is my favorite. It keeps changing. Needless to say, I enjoy them both.
now you make me want to apologize to my KOTOR 2 disc and play that again - seriously though, good post. to me for RPGs storyline is just about everything, so that first KOTOR will always rank a little higher than it's sequel; i just felt that the storyline itself in the first was better than some of the actual, more recent movies (I & II at least), which is really saying something. that being said, i agree with you on the starting off as a jedi route in K2 - i just wish it wasn't so crazy buggy.
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November 18th, 2014, 00:19
I wish I could have included more of the out-and-out classics, but the following list is more of an emotional thing:

10. Final Fantasy VII
I know the plot is silly and unskippable… I know how easy the game is if you indulge in a few side battles and I know how hard it should be to describe this as a role-playing game in the first place, but just listen to that soundtrack! Also contains about three hundred random encounters all with model and skinning work so bizarre I find them much harder to forget than the dialogue itself.

9. Morrowind
Probably spent a squillion hours playing this game on the strength of its unique and tense setting, so it deserves a space on the list, but nowadays I look at the box and groan. The game world seems to contain everything but fun - the fantastically and eccentrically populated island of Vvardenfell is a joy to explore but a slog to defend. Also I really am not a fan of soaring, traditional fantasy RPG soundtracks so being told how superlative this one is can chafe. =P Way too short a soundtrack for a game with such scope.

8. Angband
Yeah, Angband! I've poured so many hours into being bad at this game that it creeps onto the list by default. Should probably pick something other than hobbit rogue but it feels so correct… a very balanced rogue-like which stays grounded in the Silmarillion and kills you with small gnome people instead of cosmic uberdragons.

7. Hard Nova
Not a game that time's been kind to, but it hits my weak spot - futuristic setting and with a main character who has some bite. Once you get a hang of how the game actually works, though, it's over in hours. The gritty dialogue and lack of cloying moralist characters saves it for me. Someone gave me a bunch of copied disks for Atari ST back in the day, as was common practise, and this was one of the gems among them. Fun minimal chiptune soundtrack, too.

6. Grimrock II
Even if the presentation of this game was of 1989 quality, the puzzles and dungeon layouts would still be incredibly rich. Combat is surprisingly tense without making you feel like an idiot - it's the clever traps that make you feel like an idiot! =P Loving the piercing sound design that never strays into Epic Fantasy Drama, and generally leaves me inspired that an RPG dungeon-crawler almost totally lacking in dialogue can still work as a modern game.

5. Planescape: Torment
Some of the best dialogue ever in a game, far out-weighing the downfall of others like this - the combat. The dark humour doesn't really ever become overbearing or repetitive and the soundtrack is wonderfully dirty. I don't really ever bother to finish this game, just delve in when I feel the need to relive the depravity for a few hours.

4. Arena / Daggerfall
In the minds of its creators, the best roleplaying games of all time! =P Also the music is intimate and moody instead of, well, you know..

3. the idea of Shin Megami Tensei - none of the actual games, just the sheer mad idea that it exists. in three decades of absurd, power-mad RPG ideas, SMT still has the silliest set-up of all

2. Captive
You're a prisoner controlling four droids through a brief-case with which you plot to break yourself out of jail. One
of the strangest Dungeon Master variants, with levels generated procedurally and packed full of some very nasty
hazards. Made practically by just one person! I've enjoyed countless hours failing over and over again in the same scenarios and I hope more people have enjoyed this bizarre game.

1. Ultima Underworld
I remember weekend after weekend of painstaking progress through this game with my family, playing in a very careful style because reloading felt so game-breaking. We had maps and rune combinations and dialogue snippets all written down on a folder full of scraps of paper and they never quite added up to a complete solution of the game. I blame the Cup of Wonder, of course. If you revisit the game now you can barrel through it in a few nights because having played a lot of games makes you very incautious and resistant to traps, but at the time, UU was as scary and as puzzling as hell. The sequel rules too but had lots of annoying compatibility errors and somehow managed to feel much more linear despite the eight worlds gimmick. A simple conceit, a very well-made dungeon, a handful of believable NPCs, the best early 2.5D engine and some very memorable tunes easily conspire to maintain this title as my favourite game, beating out Doom II and lots of other classics.
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August 4th, 2015, 00:25
Codex top 74 list
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August 4th, 2015, 08:03
*thumbs down*
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August 18th, 2015, 02:24
I've updated my top 5 about a year ago and it's hardly changed. I would love to say it's because those 5 games were unbeatable for me, but I'm sad to admit that it's because I didn't have time to get into games lately. The few I've actually played only disappointed me (DA:I and PoE).

Anyway, here are my top 5 along with 5 honourable mentions

1. Baldur's Gate 2: SoA + ToB - I honestly don't think this will ever change. It just ticks every boxes for me!
2. Icewind Dale 1 + NPC Mod Project - Love the atmosphere and music in this game. I could not get into game without the mod due to "quietness". In wilderness, it felt like I'm slashing my way through enemies alone, with 5 human shields/weapons. With NPC mod though, it's like BG2 all over again, in a different area!
3 & 4. Mass Effect 1&2 - It was refreshing to play and enjoy something other than fantasy setting. It took me by a surprised that I was capable of enjoying any other setting. I fell in love with setting, lore and story of ME1, while ME2 was like I'm playing interactive movie, somewhere in between playing games and watching movie. I really liked The Illusive Man and most of my companions.
5. NWN: HotU and various of other mods - This is something I got fond of almost 10 year after NWN was released. Terrible OC, clunkiness, blocky graphics and my lack of knowledge in 3rd Edition prevented me from playing this previously. I'm just hoping DDO or The Legend of the Sword Coast will be upgraded version of NWN1.

Honourable mentions:

Divinity: Original Sin - While I enjoy this game a lot, I find it rather time consuming to get into (Once wrong move, everything goes to sh*ts and have to start combat again! Yes, I'm not very good with the whole combat thing). After reloading few times, I feel like I've hardly achieved anything and it was a bit of waste of time. Also, there is not much interesting things going on other than combat.

Dragon Age: Origins - This was a strange one. Not a bad game, I really enjoyed it when it was first released. I find though, the more I play it, the more mediocre it gets. As felipepepe mentioned in Codex top 70 games, this is mediocre done right. Easy to get into and fun. Results of mixing spells was a pleasant surprise, fun stuff!

Skyrim - When I'm in a mood, I can't stop playing this game. So much freedom (I haven't had a fair go at Morrowind and Oblivion, so please do not point arrows at me), very pretty surroundings. But the downside is, once I stop playing (which was like a good year ago), I just can't go back to it. While freedom is fun and all, there is nothing I'm really attached to make me go back to the game.

Diablo 3 - This is my go to game when I don't have much time (which is almost everyday) to play games but want to let out some stress. I love the fact Blizzard continuously update the content, despite it is a SP game. Keeps it fresh! (it's like a mini WoW in a way).

World of Warcraft - I will probably never go back to this time sinking hole. But I loved it. So many good (and bad) memories with this game. All that time I've spent on my toons is a sheer proof how much of a love/hate relationship I was in with this game!
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October 19th, 2016, 22:40
I have the strange Urge to update my List again:

1. Realms of Arkania I (DOS-Version)

I replayed the Game a few Months ago; the Magic was back. The Game is clunky, repetitive and slow. But man, it has Soul like no other Game. Use your Brain or die - and be patient but don't dally. The "HD-Update" was a big Scam, I haven't bought it, but they seem to have patched it to a tolerable state now. I've returned to my first Love

2. Temple of Elemental Evil

Best Combat ever. If the Rest of the Game would only be near to the Quality of the Combat

3. Neverwinter Nights 2

It's still fun to devise Parties and see how they fare in the different Community Modules on very hard Level of Difficulty. A Bit of Knowledge of the Toolset is required for this Experience. Unfortunatly the Community seems to be dead.

4. Vampire: Bloodlines

Once again a Game with Soul. The Atmosphere is just awesome - the Gameplay is still barely tolerable, even after gazillions of Tries form Wesp.

5. Drakensang: The River of Time (german Version):

Not as clunky as the earlier Incarnations of TDE, but still repetitive and slow. And the Combat is bad, most of the time really on a pop-a-mole level. But it is one of the most atmospheric Games ever. It draws alot of Atmosphere from the perfect Voice Acting, wich is not as good in the english Version.

6. Dungeon Master

Perfect Balance, still fun.

7. World of Warcraft Classic

This Game was great. The few times when I found a Group of Roleplayers to play the Content were some of the best experiences in my Gamer-Life. But they were very rare. Back in the Days you still had to be mindful when playing, but the Game seems only popamole-streamlined-stupid now. When Blizzard forced Nostalrius to close, they really triggered me

8. Baldur's Gate 2

The epic Scale and the Mods make the Game still something special. A Pity that a lot of Mods don't work on the enhanced Edition.

9. Baldur's Gate 1

The Prologue to BG 2

10. Planescape Torment

Awesome Story and Writing, bad Gameplay.
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October 20th, 2016, 00:10
It must be almost Halloween, raising a thread from the grave like this:

10) Divinity: Original Sin
This was what Ultima VII wasn't. Unfortunately, it was still missing some of the things Ultima 7 was. Hopefully Part 2 will fill those holes.

9) Baldur's Gate 2:
If you want a good story RPG, this is it. Dragon Age was pretty good too, but not enough to get on this list. I have a feeling this will get bumped off though when I finish The Witcher 3.

8) Knight of the Old Republic:
The first (and maybe only?) RPG to get Star Wars right. I think the only other Star Wars game I had more fun playing was Jedi Knight (Dark Forces II).

7) World of Warcraft - Vanilla/BC/Wrath:
When I found myself at the end of the Deadmines, playing with my friends, this was how we felt:



You dun gud. Took me about 4000 (/played) hours to stop.

6) Skyrim:
You'll either love it or hate it. Some really need an enticing story. Some people are perfectly content to have no story, as long as they can make their own. I'm that person. Skyrim was good at that. Let me run around and explore another world for hundreds of hours. I'm ok with that.

5) Dungeon Siege:
I honestly can't explain this one. It was way too linear (the MP map was better). It played itself if you wanted it to. It basically had no story. The battles were tedious. But it's a game a remember playing a lot of. I think a lot of it had to do with the immersion at the time (pretty graphics for it's time, always finding new areas, the great sound and music, no loading screens, a badass donkey, and cool loot).

4) Diablo:
I burst into a room only to find it full of hundreds of skeletons, all out to kill me. I hacked here and there and everywhere until the last femur bone dropped to the ground. With a sliver of health left, I let out a shout of victory to my friend. Being in the next dungeon room over, he let out and arrow of victory in my honour. By some miracle it somehow hit me in the fucking head and I died. Ironically, I found that absolutely awesome!

3) Gothic:
When I first installed the demo, never even heard of the game before. Once I figured out the obscure control scheme, I realised this was the next evolution I had been waiting for since Ultima 7. Not perfect but damn good try.

2) Ultima VII:
This was the RPG that made me yearn for more open worlds to explore. That was the time when Origin truly did create worlds.

1) Ice Online - The Majic Realm:
An old early 90's local BBS MUD that was constantly updated by the devs. Unfortunately it no longer exists. I think i'd still be playing it today if it was alive.

If I was a bigger fan of Sci-Fi RPGs, then I would have added System Shock, Fallout, Deus Ex and possibly the original X-COM to this list. But i'll give them an honourable mention…
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October 20th, 2016, 12:07
Warning: This list may change during the next months, as I play more RPGs and a lot of great titles are already announced.


This is a very tough choice. So, in no particular order:

Realms of Arcania 3: Shadows over Riva
I know, many would name the second part here, but it has some parts in the story that are just a pain to play. RoA 3 was my first full experience with an RPG, though I never finished it due to a bug. RoA 1 is a very close second, though.

Baldur's Gate
And I mean both of them. To me, BG 1 and 2 with their addons are one long game, that's been divided into several episodes. But if you force me to chose, I'll go with BG 2.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
When I bought it, I thought I'd play it every now and then for a quick quest between other games, and finish it over time. Instead, I must have put a thousand hours into this game by now. It's so great and addictive.

Fallout 1
If I chose just one game from this series, this is the one. The world, the quests, the story… It's all so great. Yes, Fallout 2 was bigger, but I missed the bottle caps.

Arcanum
Again, the world was so rich and detailed. I could sell reports of my adventures to the newspaper. Give me the option to do that again, please. One of the plot twists was a real surprise to me. And I'll never stop loving the Stillwater Giant quest.

Arx Fatalis
An hommage to Ultima Underworld, this game took me three different approaches to get into the mechanics enough to actually master the game. It's not that tough, but it doesn't forgive any mistakes in skilling. The atmosphere really drew me in, and I love the freedom in this game so much. Finding out the spells you're not given automatically was fun, too. And solving the crypt puzzle was a great experience.

Planescape: Torment
No, I won't forget this one. How could I? This game's so weird and yet so amazing. I am, as you might have noticed by now, a great fan of well built worlds, and this one is among the very best. Add the freedom in character development and the truly unique story, and you get one of the best RPGs ever.

Anachronox
I've rarely seen such a good mix of funny and dark in an RPG. Mass Effect may be great for many people, but this one had the abandoned and newly inhabited alien city of unknown origin first. It's a shame that there'll never be a part 2 and 3, as originally intended. Add new graphics and make the arcade sequences optional to begin with, add a tiny bit more lore, and it'll stand up to Mass Effect easily. Plus it has Bipidri, the cutest alien race ever.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
It's dark, it's scary and it has vampires that don't glitter in the daylight. There's a lot of freedom in gameplay and skills, too. And it has a story that doesn't force me to become another superhero and save the world. Yes, it's definitely one of my favorites.

The Witcher 1
Again, a tough choice within a series, and I haven't even started part 3 yet.
This one is based on a book series, so it had a well built and rich world to begin with. The potions add a tactical component to the combat, and the story has enough room to develop in an unexpected direction. It even gets political in the end. Yes, I like this one.


Now, let me cheat a little and add some very important honorable mentions:

Wizardry VIII
I love it as much as I hate it. No game has ever brought me close to quitting out of frustration so many times, and yet I just couldn't. It isn't in my top ten, but it is a very special game to me.

The Witcher 2
A very political story. And you have to play it twice with different factions to get the whole story.

Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic: Sith Lords
KotOR 2 was unfinished. You can see that everywhere. But what shines through is the master piece this game could have been. I really have to play it again with the restoration patch, but someone spoiled a certain part of the end for me, and I just don't want to see that happen. *cries*
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Dragonfly

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