…or their Top 50 cRPGs as voted on this year. I’m very surprised to see that I’ve played all of the top ten noted on the list and had a lot of fun with them, especially the Fallouts. Gothic 2 was also a lot of great fun and I still have fond (and frustrating) memories on confronting Demogorgon in Shadows of Amn’s Throne of Bhaal expansion. The packaging for most of those are still around here somewhere, too, including Arcanum’s fantastic manual which hearkens back to a day when retail packaging gave a damn on presentation.
It’s a massive, massive list covering nearly more than 30 years of RPG goodness on PCs with some surprising results (the oldest game on the list was Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar which came out in ’85). Interestingly, neither TES: Oblivion or TES: Skyrim made the list…period…while others such as Dark Souls (at #14) and KOTOR II (at #19) did. The horrendously buggy (but apparently very solid once those are worked through) Temple of Elemental Evil actually made the list at #21 along with Alpha Protocol at #29.
Dragon Age: Origins made the list at #33 edging out Ultima VII at #34. It was also nice to see a number of Gold Box AD&D titles from SSI on the list such as Champions of Krynn at #66 and Pool of Radiance at #36. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Planescape: Torment snagged the top spot at #1. And despite its massively buggy debut, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (not Redemption which Deuce Traveler clarifies below…if you’ve played Redemption, you’ll understand why), made the list at #6. That really is a great game despite the technical issues which seems to be the same sentiment shared with the Temple of Elemental Evil.
While you might not agree with all of their choices, it’s still an impressive breakdown and a nice walk on through CRPG history all in one spot. They even break the list down into pre and post 1995 lists to focus on “older gems” such as Betrayal at Krondor and Ultima Underworld I. The post 1995 list skews more towards how the overall rankings broke down, though the pre-1995 list looks very different reflecting an interesting distribution of tastes (or fond memories).
So if you have a chance, check it out along with the pretty pictures lining up all of the favorites, runners up, and other chosen ones following more than three decades of incline. Good stuff.