The List: Best RPG

Got a favourite DM type game? Enjoy Eye of the Beholder? Adore Amberstar? Cherish Captive? Discuss these and more here!
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glecko
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The List: Best RPG

Post by glecko » 31-Jul-10 11:11

It is absolutely unbelievable to me , that after all these years, there is still such a short list of compelling , addictive, immersive games. I am an old ST user.
The list until recently remained unchanged for over 20 years!!!
1 Dungeon Master
1A Chaos Strikes Back
3 Ultima IV
4 Moebius
Next Tier
5 ultima III
6 Ultima 6
6a Ultima 7
Next tier
8 Dungeon master 2
9 Ultima 5
10 Ultima 8
It is sad that other games of such potential never reached these games on the funmeter. I have tried game after game from this forum searching for that combination of compelling story, addictive and immersive game play.
Not so much.
Close, but not quite grenade close. some near misses.
Then, out of the blue, a game that easily makes top tier. TOWER OF CHAMPIONS , written on the rtc engine by Adamski.
There is another clone that I am trying to like. Conflux III . I will not give up on it. I am tennacious if nothing else.
Please let me know of other games of any genre that meet the big three components.Addictive, Immersive, compelling.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by Gambit37 » 31-Jul-10 13:33

What are your criteria for defining "RPG"? There are all sorts of different styles of game that describe themselves as "RPG" these days -- some FPSs are RPGs for example, point and click adventures could be described as RPG, etc. etc.

Are you talking about old-school style gameplay, or simply anything that could pass as RPG?

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by sucinum » 31-Jul-10 15:29

Quite argueable list... ;)

A lot of people like Baldur's Gate or Planescape Torment, they are generally seen as highlights of the RPG genre. I personally like Neverwinterwinter Nights very much, especially the each 1st Add-On (Shadows of Undrentide to NWN1 and Mask of the Betrayer of NWN2). There are even fans of Elder Scrolls (Morrowind, Oblivion) and Gothic! I wouldn't generally shun the RPGs of the last 20 years.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by Trantor » 2-Aug-10 05:13

Speaking of classic RPGs, I always liked Amberstar and the old SSI D&D games (Pool of Radiance, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Champions of Krynn etc.) more than the Ultima games. Might & Magic 3-5 were also pretty good, as were Wasteland or Dragon Wars.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by Zyx » 2-Aug-10 14:09

Dragonflight, though flawed, was good.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by Sophia » 2-Aug-10 18:14

It's pretty subjective. About the only agreement you'll probably be able to get is that around here people will say Dungeon Master belongs at the top, and that's kind of tautological given where we are. ;)

Your list has a lot of Ultima on it. I personally never got into Ultima and wouldn't have included it. I had fun with Black Crypt way back when, and I'd also add some of the Japanese SNES RPGs like Final Fantasy 4, 5, 6, and Chrono Trigger.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by babebridou » 3-Aug-10 07:00

"Best" is indeed subjective.

I'll sort them by the amount of fun I've had with them. You can't go more subjective than that ;)
1. Chaos Strikes Back
2. old school World of Warcraft
3. Might and Magic VII
4. Baldur's Gate & Throne of Bhaal
5. Diablo 2 LOD

As for the objective "best" RPG, I'd go with Dragon Age. Mediocre gameplay but extraordinary characterization and very epic feeling throughout the game.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by zoom » 3-Aug-10 08:23

nethack could be something for this list for some

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by glecko » 3-Aug-10 09:57

Ultima IV is a classic and by far the best ultima game. I believe anyone who gives this game a play will enjoy the experience!!
Chrono tiger was not very intuitive. I gave up fairly quickly
Might and magic sounds good, but one of you says 3-5 and another says 7. But 2 people naming this game is nearly a quarem.
What does tautological mean? I do not think I have ever seen this word.
I found all the D & D games to be cumbersome and lacking in the area of addictiveness or addictivity or whatever you call that part.
Baldurs gate became tiresome. I will try it again though. I will try torment as well. Thanks

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by beowuuf » 3-Aug-10 11:35

Tautology: good old wikipaedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology. I always trhink of it as something that is 'proven' true based on the presumption it was already true. "I'm right, because I'm always right." Though it seems not quite.


A relatively new one is dwarf fortress. It uses the old nethack/rogue ASCII art idea, but has lots of fun complexity in the engine for the AI. So you build your fortress, but there seems to be such an incredible amount of procedurally generated oddness that websites have sprung up woith stories, read by people that don't even play!

And, of course, for straightforward and deadly fun, nethack or rogue!

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by zoom » 3-Aug-10 12:01

so what does being nearly a quarem mean?

I should try out dwarven fortress ;)

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by babebridou » 3-Aug-10 17:41

glecko wrote:Might and magic sounds good, but one of you says 3-5 and another says 7. But 2 people naming this game is nearly a quarem.
The whole Might and Magic series is not entirely good:
1 : crap.
2 : same crap as 1
3 : revolutionary for its time. Fairly decent.
4 & 5 : epic, truly epic.
Might & Magic 4 = Clouds of Xeen : quest through the world of Xeen and find an artifact Sword with the power to destroy the evil self-proclaimed Lord XEEN.
Might & Magic 5 = Dark side of Xeen : quest through the dark side of the world to free the Dragon Pharaoh from the clutch of evil magelord Alamar
Might & Magic 4 & 5 = World of Xeen : do both 4 & 5 at the same time, kill Xeen, free the Pharaoh, fulfill the Great Prophecy and litterally unite the world of Xeen.

At the end of "World of Xeen", the saga keeps going in the "brand new" world of Enroth that the player starts discovering with the Heroes of Might & Magic series, then with Might & Magic 6-7 which are both good ones. I picked "7" because I had tons of fun playing it. It's not the best of the series, it's my particular moment of choice. If I were to advise you to pick one of the games, definitely play 4&5 together.

Might & Magic 8-9 aren't as fun.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by Trantor » 3-Aug-10 17:47

I agree with Sophia that classic Japanese RPGs shouldn't be forgotten. I'd say that Final Fantasy 6 and 7, Chrono Trigger and Xenogears are the best, but since you, glecko, already said you don't like Chrono Trigger, I don't think any of the other games will really do it for you.

As for D&D games, I didn't really like the newer ones like Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale. Planescape Torment uses the same troublesome engine, but it has a highly original and fantastically executed plot and atmosphere. Neverwinter Nights was fun, but the endless dialogues eventually bored me. I still prefer the old "goldbox" games, with Pool of Radiance and Pools of Darkness as my favourites.

Concerning Ultima, I only played parts 4, 5 and 6. Ultima 5 was actually my very first RPG when I was 12, and I played it for months. Never managed to finish it though. Of those three games, I agree that Ultima 4 is the best part. I tried to play it again a few years ago, but I cannot stand the combat system anymore. With only one step OR attack per turn, it takes long as hell just to reach your opponents, let alone kill hundreds of them.

Another great classic RPG is Wizardry 6 aka Bane of the Cosmic Forge. It's not pretty, but has a very deep plot, fiendish puzzles, interesting fights and great atmosphere. It's also great how diverse the classes, races, spells and skills are. I just replayed the game last year, and it was just as fun as it used to be 20 years ago.

Oh yeah, and Diablo 2 is fantastic as well, if you count it as an RPG.

Regarding newer games, Fallout 3 looks quite interesting. It's close to Morrowind and Oblivion, but somehow, it fascinated me more than those two.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by alandale » 3-Aug-10 18:42

I like the old Phantasie games I played on my Atari ST. These are even older SSI games than the gold box games. The first one is my favorite. The third one was pretty good too, but number 2 was definitely the weakest. I like the wide variety it had, from races you could choose from (trolls, minotaurs, orcs, etc.) to the colorful sprites for characters and monsters. Party death is handled interestingly, where you get sent to the Great Demon who decides to destroy, resurrect, or turn characters undead.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantasie

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by Sophia » 3-Aug-10 19:17

"People who think that Dungeon Master is a great RPG think that Dungeon Master is a great RPG," is what I was getting at. ;)

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by babebridou » 3-Aug-10 19:27

alandale wrote:I like the old Phantasie games I played on my Atari ST. These are even older SSI games than the gold box games. The first one is my favorite. The third one was pretty good too, but number 2 was definitely the weakest. I like the wide variety it had, from races you could choose from (trolls, minotaurs, orcs, etc.) to the colorful sprites for characters and monsters. Party death is handled interestingly, where you get sent to the Great Demon who decides to destroy, resurrect, or turn characters undead.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantasie
Ah, thanks for the nice memories. Phantasie 3 was actually my very first game. The first one I got to choose at the store and it meant a lot. It was way too hard for me at the time (I learned english playing this game!) but I had tons of fun with it overall.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by Paul Stevens » 3-Aug-10 20:07

The whole Might and Magic :

2 : same crap as 1
Hmmmmm. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
I enjoyed it even if it was crap.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by sucinum » 3-Aug-10 20:24

Trantor wrote:Oh yeah, and Diablo 2 is fantastic as well, if you count it as an RPG.
I deliberately left it out to avoid starting that discussion. D2 might not have the dialogues of Baldur's Gate etc, but it has surely atmosphere and an exciting story. You always know why you slaughter hordes of monsters. ;)
The fact that it excels in other areas like item variety and class creation as well should not diminish that. It might not be the best game RPG-wise, but it surely is the best game that (also) counts as RPG.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by Ameena » 3-Aug-10 20:27

I've played a few of the Might and Magic games - we have MMV, but I didn't like it so much - didn't really get very far (ie not outside the first town or whatever) because I don't think I found the interface very intuitive or something - I can't remember, it was years ago. I'm not even sure where we got the disk from...maybe someone at my dad's work gave it to him or something.
MMVI is most definitely my favourite - even if you don't take advantage of the numerous bugs (which can be exlpoited to get vast quantities of exp and money, and get characters to learn skills they wouldn't normally learn - I regularly use a party of four Paladins, all of whom end up masters in every school of magic :D), it's great fun anyway, I think :D.
MMVII was less fun...I didn't like the way when you passed from one outdoor zone to another, you always appeared at the same point in the next zone, regardless of where along the zone line you'd left the previous one. I never finished this one, but I think my dad did.
MMVIII I liked a big better than VII, though again I didn't finish it - you got to have a wider variety of party members - while VI only allowed humans, and VII added in orcs, VIII included stuff like minotaurs, vampires, and dragons! :D There were also necromancers, the highest level of which was Lich, and at that point their graphic/icon would actually change to demonstrate thus :D. This one was also different in that you didn't create your party at the start and then stick with the same people the whole time - in VIII you only created one character, then ended up recruiting others at Adventurers' Guilds (found in pretty much every main town, I believe) or meeting them in your travels (any party member you didn't accept on meeting showed up in the Guild anyway, I think). I think also the party maximum in this was five people, rather than four as it had been in the previous games. All the races had various racial powers - vampires could take mistform (immune to physical but can't attack, I think) and could drain life, dragons could fly the party around and use stuff like wing buffet and a breath attack, etc. Maybe I should re-play this one some day - I can remember getting to quite a high level, but I know for sure I didn't finish the game. I tend to just mooch around random zones in these open-ended games, and zap mobs and do as many side quests as possible and stuff :D.
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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by Roquen » 4-Aug-10 05:14

Like movies, books, etc. my list would vary day-by-day. Today I'd say the only computer game that's remotely felt like an RPG to me is TES-3. I'm not saying that this would top my list of games that are 'called' RPGs..that's a different animal. It just almost feels like a pen & paper game.

Ask me later and I would probably talk about NWN-1. I found the provided modules (orig + expansion) very average, but with the literally tens of thousands of user dungeon: awesome bang for your buck. Over an 8 year period, I probably started a couple hundred of them. Most I quit really early since the quality was poor, but there are some pretty good ones. And some, "gasp", feel like they were written for adults! As a rough guess I'd say I played through 30-40. I don't even want to think about the number of hours.

Kid console RPGs: zelda, zelda, the secret of mana, zelda. Oh and zelda.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by babebridou » 4-Aug-10 05:42

Paul Stevens wrote:
The whole Might and Magic :

2 : same crap as 1
Hmmmmm. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
I enjoyed it even if it was crap.
I usually don't argue about things I don't like :) but I hated that beeping sound. Other games of its time such as The Bard's Tale or Le Maitre des Ames were much more easy on me in that respect.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by oh_brother » 4-Aug-10 10:32

I think from the age of 10 to 14 was a peak for RPG games for me (DM, Legend, Ishar) and then came a lull. Then BG at the age of 19-20 got me back into them, and this peaked with BG2 and NWN + expansions.

It is a very subjective list, not only from person to person but from time to time. Even in a short period of time I have changed my mind from a list I created in a "Game of the Decade" thread a while ago (I now think I would put BG2 or NWN ahead of NWN2).

So the list is subjective, but also based on incomplete knowledge - I have never played Ultima or Might and Magic games. I also never played the SSI games, even though I really wanted to as a kid (I read lots of reviews in ST Format and they looked great. Plus I loved DragonLance). The only Japanese-type RPG I played was Final Fantasy VIII - I found it good, but not great. I thought that it was a bit linear, and having the character built beforehand meant that it was harder to identify with him. Plus the content felt a bit cheesy and teen-y at times.

So my current list (also based on how much fun I had, rather than anything technical or innovative):

1) DM/CSB
2) Baldurs Gate 2 (plus Throne of Baal)
3) NWN (especially SoU, HotU and custom modules)
4) BG (plus some bits of Tales of the Sword Coast)
5) NWN 2 (plus MotB, though I had more fun with the Original Campaign).
6) Legend

I cannot think of anything else I would put in this tier, there is a big drop down to the next on the list (unless I am forgetting something). So looking at the list most have been in the past 10 years-ish, so I would also say that great rpgs are still being produced!

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by Gambit37 » 4-Aug-10 10:44

Either Glecko or oh_brother need to change their avatar! That was confusing!

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by beowuuf » 4-Aug-10 10:49

Can we have a mirror image version for one of them :D

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by oh_brother » 4-Aug-10 11:06

Lol, that would be great!

Must have been confusing, especially since Gleeko and I have very different opinions on RPGs, and just DM/CSB in common on our list.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by Gambit37 » 4-Aug-10 11:11

I still stand by my original question which Glecko didn't answer yet: what criteria is being used to define RPG? There are so many different styles of game that are RPG in some sense that it makes this quite a difficult conversation to add my voice to. I mean, you could argue that Monkey Island is an RPG since you're playing a role after all...

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by oh_brother » 4-Aug-10 11:15

Oh, and @Glecko - if you like Ultima IV I just saw that some people have made custom modules with NWN to re-create the game.

Maybe this is heresy to you, but the links are here and here. You can probably pick up NWN for half nothing now. The Official Campaign is not great, especially at the beginning (it gets better as it goes on). Plus as I said the add ons and the custom modules (including Ultima ones) are great.

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by oh_brother » 4-Aug-10 11:21

@Gambit - that is true. In almost every game you are playing a role. In Monkey Island you have lots of dialogue and interactions, in DM you have not, and yet I would class DM as an RPG but not Monkey Island. I don't know why. Maybe character advancement is an important element. Maybe some link to fantasy D&D type worlds helps. I don't know what Glecko had in mind.

But I doubt people would complain if you wanted to classify Monkey Island as an rpg!

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by Gambit37 » 4-Aug-10 11:36

I *am* being a little pedantic ;-) I think we mostly understand RPG to mean a game where there is some sort of character progression and where you have some kind of input into how the character grows. Point and Click adventures don't really offer that. But I'd still like to know what Glecko's criteria is (and for the record, I've never actually played Monkey Island, neither the original nor the remake!)

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Re: The List: Best RPG

Post by Rasmus » 4-Aug-10 18:31

Monkey Island was and still is are great game :D But I wouldn't call it rpg because of the same reasons gambit mentioned above. I would also like to add that a RPG for me is a game where the "improvement" of the character isn't too controlled.

Therefore I can say that I really loved the might & magic games, the freedom experienced there are great! In all games in this series the player had the posibility to fight a supperiour enemy right from the begining, the only thing stopping me from completing the game from the beginning is the level and items the characters have equiped (and maybe some quests). So might & Magic 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, was the greatest RPG games (for me) right after dm ;)

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