Being a huge fan of the RPG genre since the day I became a PC gamer (and that was a long time ago) I played a huge amount of RPGs. I hardly skipped any titles from this genre in the past ten years so I thought it is a good idea to write a top of my favourite RPGs of all time and the reasons I’ve chosen them.
So here is my list of RPGs I’ve enjoyed the most:
10. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
The Witcher 2 is an action RPG developed by CD Projekt RED and released in 2011 with an Enhanced Edition containing all DLCs released for free in 2012.
The game is a sequel to The Witcher from 2007 and continues the story of Geralt of Rivia in his quests to find out what happened in his past and to find his lost love, from which he is stopped because he is accused of killing the king of Temeria. Geralt escapes from prison and embarks in a journey to clear his name and find the truth behind the assassinations of Northern Kingdoms kings. The story is presented in three acts, with the second being split in two parts with different story and action based on the players choices at the end of first act of the game. The story can be predictable at times, but is very well presented and has lots of choices that carry on through the entire game and possibly to the next title of this series.
The Witcher 2 received a lot of improvement and modifications compared to its predecessor. The combat system had a complete overhaul, with Witcher 2 being more action oriented and with a combat that penalizes mistakes, but because the game was developed for consoles as well, the combat can be frustrating on the PC version.
The graphics of the game are amazing, even today Witcher 2 is one of the best looking games on PC, showing how much developers care about their game and their fans on each platform.
On top of everything Witcher 2 received many DLCs and updates, including a level editor and all free of charge.
This game is not only one of the best RPGs in the lastest years, but also stands as proof that developers can release content for free and have a game without DRM in this age.
9. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
Lord of Destruction is the expansion for Diablo II developed by Blizzard North released in 2001.
The expansion brings to the core game an additional act with a total of five, two additional classes and lots of new monsters and items.
Besides the additions to the gameplay and story, Lord of Destruction fixes a lot of the balance issues and bugs of Diablo II also introducing a higher resolution of 800×600.
The player follows in the steps of the Dark Wanderer, the warrior of the first game, which spawns in his wake hoards of demons in order to stop you from reaching him. The world and the story of the game is very grim and dark and is shown to the player from the eyes of a traveler that follows closely to the Wanderer.
The game is an action RPG or a hack and slash as named by the fans and its main focus is killing hordes of enemies in order to find better items and trying to reach the maximum level of the game which is 100. This game is very hardcore by design, penalizes the player for each death and every mistake can rapidly result in a death.
Lord of Destruction is an improvement to an already very good game and is played even today, over a decade after its release. This series has redefined the notion of action RPGs, we can say that a new genre was born: Hack and Slash!
8. Vampires: the Masquerade – Bloodlines
Bloodlines is an action RPG developed by Troika Games and released in 2004. It was the last game developed by this studio before it was shut down.
The game is set in the White Wolf universe called World of Darkness, a world full of dangerous night creatures and magic.
The story is presented from the persepctive of a vampire from one of the seven Camerilla clans, an organization that unites vampires and with a main policy that vampires should hide and live among humans. As a dangerous relic from old times is brought to Santa Monica, the city of Hollywood becomes more dangerous then usual and as the game progresses more secrets will be revealed from this twisted, bloody and dark world. The main questline is unpredictable and the side quests are few but absolutely insane.
In order to survive in this game you have to consume human blood, the more humans you kill by drinking all their blood the closer you are to become a feral creature by losing your humanity and makes it even harder to control the thirst for blood.
Even if you play as a vampire in this game this doesn’t mean you are free to do anything you want in this world, if your actions put in danger the Masquerade you can be penalized up to a point where you can lose the game.
By being a vampire I always thought I won’t feel fear anymore, but not even vampires can escape the terror of ghosts and other dark creatures. Bloodlines has some of the most intense and thrilling moments I ever experienced in a video game, all this without actually being a horror game.
The combat system allows for both first person and third person action and the skill system is varied and has unique traits for each clan of vampires. There are a lot of different types of weapons to use in this game and you will need them in order to face the creatures of the night which are not only vampires and werewolfs, but demons, gargoyles, zombies and even fanatical vampire hunters.
Source Engine gave life to this game and it looked great at the time of release and many years after that, but sadly there were many optimization issues and camera problems which affected the combat. The reason this game is not higher in the top, even if it deserves it, is because it was so buggy when it was released, and after Troika Games went bankrupt it took the community a few years to fix and balance the game.
Despite everything that happened back then with the game and the studio that created it, this game remains a reference RPG, with an unpredictable story development and immersive action set in one of the best universes created by human mind. This game depicts the world of vampires better than any other media about these fantasy beings and I look forward to the MMORPG set in the World of Darkness.
To be continued…