Top 25 Best PC RPGs Ever

Playing computer RPGs is a life-long hobby of mine that I consider a guilty pleasure. Considering that even the smallest ones take about 30 hours (and some well over 100) to complete, I've probably wasted more than a few 40-hour work weeks on this geeky hobby. Here are some of my personal favorites through the years. To narrow down the list, all of them are single-player games and only for the PC (MS-DOS/Windows) platform. These great games are hard to rank internally, so I've sorted them by year:

Original Ad for The Bard's Tale
Original Ad for The Bard's Tale

1. Bard's Tale (1985)

The first Bard's Tale is probably only remembered by geeks 30+, but those that do remember it do so fondly. It was originally released for the Apple II, but was ported to all other platforms too eventually. With its revolutionary grid-based 3D dungeoneering the game looked amazing at the time. By the way: the 2004 Bard's Tale is neither a sequel or remake of the original series, although it's a pretty amusing parody of classic RPGs.

2. Pool of Radiance (1988)

Pool of Radiance was the first PC RPG to use real Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules. It also introduced computer gamers to the Forgotten Realms setting - the fantasy world created by Ed Greenwood in the 60s that has been polished to perfection ever since in fantasy novels by R.A Salvatore and several other great writers. The game was obviously a rather archaic experience by today's standards, but compared to what was available at the time it took PC gaming to a new level. Pool of Radiance was followed by the equally great Curse of the Azure Bonds and others. There's also a rather uninspiring sequel from this decade (2001) - Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor.

Pool of Radiance in-game screens
Pool of Radiance in-game screens

3. Eye of the Beholder (1990)

A Beholder is a classic D&D monster composed of a disgusting heap of flesh and floating eyes, and it's also the antagonist in Eye of the Beholder--a classic that made its debut on the PC, which was still a low-profile gaming platform in 1990. It's a classic dungeon crawl based on 2nd Edition D&D rules. The lords of Waterdeep (a city in the Forgotten Realms) hire you to investigate some strange ongoings beneath the city. Once you enter the sewers to take a look, the walls collapse behind you and the only way forward is down through a vast series of caves. Trivia: Westwood, the developer of Eye of the Beholder I & II, later left SSI, D&D and the Forgotten Realms to create the miserable Lands of Lore series.

4. Ultima VII. The Black Gate (1992)

The Ultima series creator Richard Gariott - aka "Lord British" - has always been a committed and virtuous gentleman, which is why I won't mention the utter failure of the concluding part of the saga (IX: Ascension) but focus on the masterpiece, Ultima VII. It was divided into two parts: The Black Gate and The Serpent Isle, each of them with their own expansion packs. It's an amazingly well-balanced RPG with equal emphasis storytelling, exploration and open-ended gameplay.

5. Betrayal at Krondor (1993)

Unlike most RPGs from the same period, Betrayal at Krondor doesn't rely just on leveling up or reaching the next dungeon to spur players on. It's divided into chapters much like a book--as a matter of fact it is based on Raymond E. Feist's Riftwar novels.The 1998 sequel Return to Krondor was also well received and worth a look.

6. Fallout (1997)

Fallout isn't just one of the best RPGs, it's one of the best games ever made in any category. Sure, the graphics in the original are a far cry from Bethesda's multimillion dollar third installment, but the heaps of gore and melting bodies are easy enough to distinguish, and as any true masterpiece it stands the test of time. The game is presented in an isometric perspective, and the combat is fully turn-based (those were the days). Just like the latest version, the first Fallout also centers around a Vault Dweller who has to leave the safety of the Vault (aka fallout shelter) and go into the untamed post-nuclear wasteland of the early 22nd century.

War, war never changes...
War, war never changes...

7. Might & Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven (1998)

The Might & Magic series has been around for a long time--the first game appeared in the late 80s for 8-bit platforms (including the NES). Except for some of the later outcroppings, such as Dark Messiah and Crusaders of Might & Magic (what a piece of trash!) all of the games have been turn based and all of them presented in lush 3D. Might and Magic 6: The Mandate of Heaven breaks away from the grid-based confinement of the previous games to offer a completely free-roaming world. It doesn't have much of a plot, but it is also (perhaps for the same reason) about as non-linear as a game gets--you can take your four characters and wander off to the last dungeon right away. Obviously you'll be killed before you get there, but still.

8. Baldur's Gate (1998)

Baldur's Gate is a benchmark for story-driven role-playing games. In my opinion, BG 1 & 2 really only compete with the Fallout games for the top spot of the best RPG series ever made. Baldur's Gate has living, breathing characters with a history and personality of their own, and It draws on the intricate lore of the Forgotten Realms setting to give it even more depth. You get to keep the same characters throughout the whole series, via the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion to Baldur's Gate II and the concluding Throne of Bhaal. It's even possible to export your BG character to Neverwinter Nights and continue on from there. Trivia: Don't confuse the original Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 with the console Dark Alliance spinoffs, which are just unoriginal hack-n-slash action RPGs.

9. Final Fantasy VII (1998)

Although it was originally a PlayStation game and the PC conversion is a half-assed effort at best, Final Fantasy VII is still one of the best RPGs ever created and clearly worth including. It is also one of few Japanese RPGs to reach the PC platform--usually they're all console affairs. Unfortunately Square didn't make an effort to tweak the game to use the much more capable PC hardware. FFVII should have been even better on the PC, but at least it is equally great.

10. Planescape: Torment (1999)

For Planescape: Torment, Black Isle tweaked the Infinity Engine from Baldur's gate and adapted it to the popular Planescape D&D setting. The game tells a story about the Nameless One--an immortal who wakes up in a morgue somewhere in the Planescape city of Sigil. The protagonist is immortal and can't be killed permanently, but whenever he is brought back from the dead he remembers nothing of his former lives, and this is what the story revolves around. Just like Baldur's Gate, it's a highly story-driven RPG, but there's still a liberal amount of fighting using AD&D 2nd edition rules.

11. System Shock 2 (1999)

Lots of games try desperately to be original, but System Shock 2 is undeniably unique. The game borrows its 3D engine from the successful "sneak 'em up" Thief, meaning that it has very effective and spooky light management considering its age. The game is a sci-fi RPG/FPS hybrid that takes place on the abandoned starship Von Braun, which has been struck by some alien infestation (sound familiar?). Recently System Shock 2 got a sequel - at least in spirit - in Bioshock. Both games have a lot in common, especially the atmosphere but also in certain power-ups that can be gained throughout the game, such as hacking and psionic abilities.

12. Icewind Dale (2000)

Following in the footsteps of Baldur's Gate and using the same Infinity Engine, Icewind Dale puts you in the northernmost regions of the Forgotten Realms. Unlike Baldur's Gate and Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale lets you create an entire party before setting out to kill goblins and orcs. The game is more combat-focused than said games, but it still has an interesting storyline with some obvious references to the Salvatore trilogy with the same name and setting.

13. Deus Ex (2000)

Deus Ex has a lot in common with System Shock 2; it's a futuristic RPG/FPS hybrid that lets you take the game in different directions by augmenting your character's abilities. Although it can be played more or less like a regular first-person shooter, skills like hacking and stealth allows for completely different ways of approaching the game, like any good RPG should. In Deus Ex you play the more "conventional" hero JC Denton who works for a UN anti-terrorist unit in a relatively near and dystopian future. As the game progresses Denton gets mixed up in a more sinister conspiracy involving the Illuminati and some other shadowy organizations.

14. Diablo II (2000)

The first Diablo became an instant trademark of addictive gameplay, and Diablo II merely improved on the winning concept. Although the game mechanics are extremely simple, you just can't put your mouse away until you've leveled up again or reached the next dungeon. There are too many shameless clones to list here, but let's just say that Diablo I and II has "inspired" a great deal of other action RPGs. The single-player mode is highly addictive, but the most rewarding part of Diablo II is playing it online.

The well-balanced Diablo II character classes: Amazon, Necromancer, Barbarian, Sorceress, and Paladin.
The well-balanced Diablo II character classes: Amazon, Necromancer, Barbarian, Sorceress, and Paladin.

15. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (2000)

I guess my weak spot for these old BioWare it's fairly obvious by now, but this was sadly the last BG Infinity Engine game [edit: no it wasn't, Icewind Dale 2 was the last one/thanks commenter Relayer71]. Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn picks up after the Tales of the Sword Coast Expansion--your character is imprisoned by a mad (elf) scientist in Athkatla, south of Baldur's Gate, and coincidentally so are some of your old friends. The plot continues to explore your character's divine heritage and takes you across a huge and beautifully hand-drawn world until it's time to face off with your nemesis. The Baldur's Gate saga eventually concludes in the mandatory Throne of Bhaal expansion, where you have to make the final decisions about what to do with your godly heritage.

16. Wizardry 8 (2001)

Apparently I've come this far without mentioning the Wizardry series, and omitting it would be an embarrassment. The first Wizardry game - Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord - came out as early as 1981, and the early parts of the series has inspired many of the classic RPG series like Might & Magic and Eye of the Beholder. Wizardry 8 was the last part of a trilogy including 6 and 7, but it was released much later after a long and tumultuous development process. Combat in Wizardry 8 is turn-based and there are lots of stats and character classes to play around with--the game is a must if you enjoy classic RPGs. Barring a small miracle, this will most likely be the last part of this long-running series.

17. Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura (2001)

Arcanum is a wonderfully unique game set in a not-so traditional fantasy world that happens to be in the middle of the industrial revolution--it's frequently referred to as the "Steampunk RPG". In spite of being extraordinarily buggy at launch (I was unable to finish it on the first try,) the game was praised by nearly all critics for its immersive atmosphere and fallout-style turn-based gameplay. After a few hundred MBs of patches - some unofficial fan patches since the developer went bankrupt - the game is fully playable nowadays and should be tried by anyone who enjoys a great RPG.

18. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (2002)

Arena, the first game in Bethesda's The Elder Scrolls series was innovative but not overly successful. Daggerfall offered a taste of what was to come with a huge game world and free-roaming gameplay, but it also had a fair share of game-breaking bugs. With The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Bethesda all but perfected the concept. They also put the futuristic and powerful grapics cards of 2002 to a stress test with some amazing visuals, including pixel-shaded water. Basically, Morrowind realizes the grand ideas behind the previous games, but with less bugs. Including the expansion packs Tribunal and Bloodmoon, Morrowind is a massive game--only the in-game text is said to comprise six average novels.

19. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003)

In my humble opinion, KotOR is still the best Star Wars game ever (not that the competition is that stiff, but still). On the other hand, one expects nothing less from a BioWare logo on the box. The game's role-playing elements are similar to the 3rd edition D&D rules, meaning that the combat is divided into rounds and may be auto-paused at the end of each round (optional) to assign new actions. As the title implies, the game takes place before the Empire--some 4,000 years before to be precise. Depending on your choices in the game, you will gradually lean either toward the light or the dark side of the Force.

20: Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines (2004)

The Vampire: The Masquerade PC games are often overlooked for some reason, but there's still no better way to role-play as a vampire on your computer than Bloodlines, which is set in the mature Vampire: The Masquerade world from the original pen and paper RPG. Bloodlines is a sequel to Vampire The Masquerade: Redemption from 2000, but uses the much more modern Source engine from Half Life 2. When starting the game you pick your Vampire clan, and this is only the first of many choices. The game's storyline is highly dynamic, and there are several different endings depending on the paths you choose.

21. Gothic 3 (2006)

Gothic 3 was loaded with bugs upon release, but was still relatively well received--maybe because of its high ambitions and good intentions. Now that it's been patched up a number of times it is a much better game. It's a few years old now, but it still looks great. Or rather, now it looks great that there's hardware capable of playing it. The third part of Gothic takes up where Gothic II left off, but now our Nameless Hero has arrived on a new continent only to be greeted by a bunch of ugly orcs closing in for the kill. The rest of the story is open ended--you can side with different factions or none at all, instead roaming the countryside killing and looting whatever comes your way until you get bored. In terms of free exploration, Gothic 3 is similar to Oblivion, albeit on a smaller scale.

22. Neverwinter Nights 2 (2006)

Neverwinter Nights 2 is a great RPG all by itself, but a huge bonus is the included toolset that provide the building blocks to create your own adventures. There are lots of excellent community modules that can potentially add hundreds of hours to the game. The Neverwinter Nights games are spiritual successors to the Baldur's Gate series, but take place on the northern end of the Sword Coast. Like its predecessors, it has a major focus on the story, which is very well written and divided into separate acts. NWN 2 uses D&D 3.5 Edition rules, and all the classes, spells and abilities that comes with it.

23. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006)

Oblivion is an amazing game in many ways, but the most impressive parts is its sheer size (16 square miles) and the fact that you can just ignore the main quest and go out and explore a seemingly infinite number of dungeons. Similar to Morrowind, you don't level up in the conventional way by gaining experience points through completed quests or kills, but by using the skills that you want to improve. To say that Oblivion is a game with depth and a complex game world would be an understatement. If you - for some reason - haven't played the game already now is the time, but make sure you play it on a PC and not the choppy, sub-par 360 version.

24. Mass Effect (2008)

Yet another BioWare game that will go to the books as a classic; Mass Effect takes place in a future where humanity has finally - through the discovery of technology left by an extinct alien race - been able to move out into the galaxy, make contact with alien races, and establish space colonies. You take on the role of Commander Shepherd--an either male or female character that you can customize to your heart's content. The game is somewhat similar to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, but is built around a proprietary combat system, and of course, takes place in an entirely different setting. The Mass Effect universe has no problem standing on its own legs though--the game world is appealingly complex and the storyline would do well in any comparison with Star Wars.

25. Fallout 3 (2008)

And so Fallout 3 finally saw the light of day. It was pretty farfetched that Bethesda would be making it, and many feared that it would just be an "Oblivion with guns". Thankfully those fears were allayed when the game was released. Fallout 3 stays true to its sexy post-apocalyptic roots but makes the move to a great-looking 3D engine. This time it's set on the east coast, also known as the Capital Wasteland. There are a whole lot of new places to go and people to mutilate.

Update: Bonus Games

Long overdue update: People are still reading and commenting on this page, which is awesome, it's just that it was published more than a year ago, and these things get dated fast. At the very least, a couple more game should be added to the "Best Ever" list:

(if you have any other suggestions, please add them to the comments below. Thanks for reading!)

26. Dragon Age: Origins

With Dragon Age: Origins, the Awakening expansion and lots of considerably-better-than-average downloadable content, Bioware has yet again created a world class PC role-playing experience. While it's a bit sad that they have moved away from the Forgotten Realms setting, Dragon Age offers an immersive atmosphere and rich mythology that can easily stand on its own two feet. The game takes you through a complex world where not everything is black or white; as in any true RPG there are many choices to make, paths to choose, and there are different outcomes to all of them.

27. The Witcher

The Witcher is based on a series of fantasy novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski about the genetically enhanced monster slayer Geralt of Rivia. It's an action RPG that uses a heavily modified version of BioWare's Aurora engine from Neverwinter Nights 2, although this is hardly noticeable (The Witcher looks a lot better). What separates this game from the rest of the genre is that it doesn't shy away from excessively rude language and gratuitous nudity. This aspect alone makes it worth checking out. There's also an "Enhanced Edition" available with improved textures and some new adventures.

28. The Witcher 2 - Assassins of Kings

Sequels sometimes fail to live up to expectations (Dragon Age 2 comes to mind), so it's refreshing to see that some developers continue to raise the bar instead of the other way around. At this writing, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is just about the best-looking game ever made. Other than the visual bliss, it manages to balance an engrossing storyline with free-roaming, traditional western RPG gameplay, which is where loads of games fail. Except for an unnecessarily steep learning curve, this game is great on all counts and one that all RPG fans should play. It's worth mentioning that the story picks up right after the first game, so it helps to have played the original.

29. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Skyrim is an exceptional game and perhaps Bethesda's best yet. In spite of its console interface and the fact that PC users get more or less the same graphics as those playing it on their 5-year-old consoles, it is still up there among best PC games ever made, not just counting RPGs. In other words, this game is an absolute must-have--not only for the RPG enthusiast but for everyone and his uncle. On my wishlist for next year is an illegitimate love child between Skyrim and The Witcher 2.

Comments 407 comments

Cnovak42 profile image

Cnovak42 7 years ago from Ravenna, Ohio

You sir are awesome! I just finished a hub on why Fallout 2 is better than 3. Good too see another fan of old pc games.

gazook profile image

gazook 7 years ago Author

Finally someone who agrees with me =) All of my gaming buddies are put off by the oldish graphics and the turn-based play in Fallout 1+2. But there's so much more charm in the old ones. Oh, and great article btw (just read it)!

brodie8288 profile image

brodie8288 7 years ago from Trenton, NJ

Awesome article, man. Lot's of good choices.

gazook profile image

gazook 7 years ago Author

Thanks brodie!

caffeene profile image

caffeene 7 years ago

I played many of those games. It is hilarious to see the graphics and how different they look. I remember playing Betrayal at Krodor and thinking how fantastic those graphics are! Now it looks like my kid painted it. :)

gazook profile image

gazook 7 years ago Author

@Caffeene: Absolutely :) but the 2D games haven't aged as much as the 3D games in my opinion. Some of those old hand-drawn games still look awesome.

The Grey Wolf profile image

The Grey Wolf 7 years ago

I'm an RPG nut myself and apart from you putting Oblivion on the list I heartally agree with your choices. To few people apreciate the classics these days. Kudos for that. On the other hand Bioware and Bethesda are the best RPG makers in the biz and they haven't been around as long as some others. Though I am surprized you didn't add Fable or Fable 2. Lionshead is broadly underrated.

SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 7 years ago from NJ, USA

Wow this is not good - I have owned and loved every one of these games - wow I am such a geek! The original Bards Tale series was my favorite - I remember there was a creature called a 'Fred' I think - on its own or in twos it was OK - but get four together and it was nearly impossible to kill the group - I think I spent about 8 hours on one battle against them - I think they kept respawning other Fred's - the XP I gained was mssive!!!

Thanks for the nostalgia - great hub!

gazook profile image

gazook 7 years ago Author

@Gray Wolf: I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've missed out on the Fable games. Guess it's about time to check those out.

@SimeyC: LOL, I know what you mean. There's a scary amount of hours there when you start counting :) Thanks for reading!

gamerjon profile image

gamerjon 7 years ago

I have played most of the games here, the one that I liked best is still Final Fantasy.

mrpotavin 7 years ago

No Wasteland?! It had a great non-linear storyline, an excellent skill based leveling system and radioactive rodents. Fallout would be nothing if Wasteland did not come out first.

gazook profile image

gazook 7 years ago Author

@gamerjon: I agree, FFVII is definitely a masterpiece. Too bad that the PC conversion didn't improve on the graphics. But hopefully a remake comes along eventually. Maybe for PlayStation 4 or 5 :)

@mrpotavin: Good point. I missed out on that one back in the day.

shadow20 7 years ago

Great article! I'll be sure to check out a lot of those games.

gazook profile image

gazook 7 years ago Author

Thanks for reading, shadow20!

bloggerad1970 profile image

bloggerad1970 7 years ago

Well written. I also am an old-timer who grew up playing most of these games and ended up being an RPG freak.

I would have added Ultima IV Quest of the Avataar. That was one hell of a game.

gazook profile image

gazook 7 years ago Author

Thanks, and yeah, most of the Ultima games up to 8 were really good. Too bad the 9th was a disaster. In retrospect, this hub was a bit too focused on BioWare games...

bloggerad1970 profile image

bloggerad1970 7 years ago

Well, Ultima IX looked very good for its time. It was everything I imagined while playing Ultima IV. Unfortunately I played only the first few hours. Maybe after that, it got very boring and everyone hates it because of that.

Rom 7 years ago

Great list!

Now looks like a good time to jump in on the Ultima bandwagon. Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny is still my favourite game.

I think you're being a little hard on Ultima IX - I've played through it again recently, and despite the hackneyed story, pointless combat, horrible character models, the bugs and the fact that you need a 2005+ PC to run it smoothly ... I still enjoyed it. The sense of exploration is intact, and some of the locations, dungeon puzzles and cookies are great.

Not that I'm suggesting that it has a place on your list - it can't hold a candle to most of these games!

gazook profile image

gazook 7 years ago Author

Yes, maybe one of the biggest problems with Ultima IX was the huge expectations. But I also quit after a few hours because of the general bugginess, so I probably shouldn't condemn it based on my experience. Maybe now after about ten years it's been patched enough to be fairly playable and it's time to give it another try :)

Outdoor Toys profile image

Outdoor Toys 7 years ago from The Netherlands

I played a lot of them and must say that the "Dungeons and dragons" styled game type are very addictive.

My Favorite titels are the final fantasy games

bawynne90 7 years ago

Good article i am also a fan of old games lol take ryl as an example.ryl is a very old game played on pc and people still play it online these days.

bulletbutter profile image

bulletbutter 7 years ago

I am an RPG freak but I simply can't stand games that share a UI similar to Baldurs Gate. Call me crazy...maybe I missed the fan boy boat but I couldn't get into Baldurs Gate and I played 80% of Bladurs Gate II.

rogerdv profile image

rogerdv 7 years ago

Excellent. I Im a hardcore fan of RPGs, since I managed to underestand Fallout 2 interface. I still misss th eold isometric style and Im trying to revive it in my game project. But I disagree with Arcanum being one of the best, Troika made a sloppy work there. Vampire 2 was a bit better.

does somebody else thinks that Fallout 3 should have been made by Obsidian or Troika Games?

Routs 6 years ago

Great list! Many of these games are near and dear to my heart. I can say that it was the BG series that really got things going for me. I am currently playing through The Witcher and I would say that it definitely deserves a mention though. Outstanding game and really good story so far.

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, guys. Yeah, BG and all those isometric games, either you love them or you hate them i guess. I have a couple of friends who can't stand them, but personally I'd like to see a 2D isometric revival. Probably not gonna happen ;)

@Routs, thanks! I agree with you on The Witcher, it was a surprisingly good and gritty game. Hoping for a follow-up.

rogerdv profile image

rogerdv 6 years ago

Im playing The witcher too, after reading the books (I strongly recommend them!), but I left it stucked in Wyzima, waiting for some boy that will talk to me at some moment.

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

Cool that you should mention the books! I was clutching one of them at my local book store couple of days ago, but when I checked it up it was the second one in the series. Now both of them goes on the next geek-shopping list for sure =)

getitdone profile image

getitdone 6 years ago

Fallout 3 is set in Washington DC, which is on the East Coast.

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

Yes, Washington DC is indeed located on the east coast. =) Thanks for the correction. Updated.

jfrench623 profile image

jfrench623 6 years ago from NY

How is world of warcraft not on this , I know it an MMO but come on its a blizzard RPG and its most certainly the best.

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

jfrench: Like it says in the first paragraph it's single-player games only. Otherwise it would certainly be here, but I made it a little easier on myself by narrowing it down :)

Anderson 6 years ago

Can't believe you mentioned the terrible Gothic 3 e skipped the Gothic 1 and 2, both fantastic (specially the 2nd).

Vandelay profile image

Vandelay 6 years ago from United States

Great list! I am surprised to find others that also liked the Gothic games. With the community patch Gothic 3 was a great game, but I do agree with Anderson that 1 & 2 were amazing!

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

Anderson, Vadelay,

I can't argue with you on Gothic 1, I actually started out with the 2nd, which was a great game for sure. Have to agree with Vandelay that Gothic 3 was (and is) a great game after all the patches. The sad part is that out of the JoWood games I've played, every single one has been riddled with bugs at launch :|

Relayer71 6 years ago

"this was sadly the last BG Infinity Engine game."

Incorrect - the last would be Icewind Dale 2 released in 2002.

Geekazoid 6 years ago

Wow, great list, these games are all time favorites of mine, and I have to agree on the JoWood games there, a prime example is Silent storm 2, great game, but bug ridden to the end.

Shadow Seeker 6 years ago

I know I'm bending the point of the post a little but if your willing to get an emulator (of course you have to own the game or it will be illegal) you can get the best game ever: Chrono trigger. I recently downloaded the rom to this game after my cartridge got soda on it. Has to be the best game ever in music and the fact that its the only game to get time travel right with no inter-dimensional impossibilities.

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author


"Incorrect - the last would be Icewind Dale 2 released in 2002." Thanks for the correction. Added it to the article.

Thanks Geekazoid! Silent Storm brings back memories. What happened to all those turn-based games?

Shadow Seeker: I won't speculate on the legal issues with downloading ROMs, but I can confirm that Chrono Trigger runs fine on the vSun SNES emulator for Symbian ;)

Piglitza profile image

Piglitza 6 years ago from South Africa

I Agree with your list 100%. All the games listed are legendary, and I would not hesitate to play any of them again. Specifically FF7, best game of all time. Thank for the listing! Came across one or two games that I have wanted to try out for some time, now I will definatly go out and get them.

lender3212000 profile image

lender3212000 6 years ago from Beverly Hills, CA

Cool article, some great games on that list! I'd love to see some of those older ones redone with modern graphics.

ANDR01D profile image

ANDR01D 6 years ago from Hell

System Shock 2 is one of my favourites of all time. It blended RPG with FPS elements, and it was just so atmospheric. I dreamed about being on a starship for about the next ten years.

mattdadragan profile image

mattdadragan 6 years ago from Clay City, IL

Nice! I grew up playing RPGs like Diablo, Neverwinter Nights, Ultima, & Fallout. Although recently I have been into Elder Scrolls, the newer Fallout, Dragon Age, & Fable. Final Fantasy is ok but the others are way better in my opinion.

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

Thanks for all the comments!

@Andr01d: I agree, I loved all the little details like the minesweeper clone "Swinekeeper" :) Allegedly the Von Braun was initially named "Eva Braun" in the development stages.

Lezales 6 years ago

Nice article.

I'll take a moment to ask something to everyone here. I've been a fan or RPGs for quite a time but I started played video games around 2000 and missed the boat for those games. There's a lot of 2d games I enjoy but most of those... I can't appreciate them.

I got Icewind Dale 1 & 2, Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 and Planescape Torment from a friend. Installed all of them. Tried them, they seem like games with a lot of depth but I find the "controls" very sloppy and I have a hard time getting in it and really appreciating it.

I'd like advices because those are incredible games, everyone says so, so I'd like to experience them.

betherann profile image

betherann 6 years ago from Montana

Nice list! My favorite game on here is KOTOR.

Ryan 6 years ago

don't forget about Shining Force!

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

betherann: Thanks a lot!

Ryan: was Shining Force available for PC? Wasn't that an old Sega game?

brandyBachmann profile image

brandyBachmann 6 years ago

great hub..gosh I miss those old PC games, I don't know why but old PC games used to be so fun compared to the games today even if they had poor graphics.

Romam 6 years ago

OMG, I grew up with all 3 bards tale games, ultima 4 and wasteland. Loved the Baldurs Gate series, and would like to see that style of engine used in new rpgs.

Dave 6 years ago

Great list, thanks for bringing back some good ol memories of staying up till 4am despite school the next day. I'm semi-surprised Dungeon Siege II didn't make the list, it may be a "Diablo Clone" but the gameplay is immaculate. I continue to play it to this day.

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

Thanks guys! Romam: Yes! I've been saying it for years, I think lots of us "old-time" gamers would gladly buy games based on those old engines.

jayjay40 profile image

jayjay40 6 years ago from Bristol England

A lot of hard work has gone into this hub. Well done it was informative,easy to read and understand. A great piece of writing. Thanks for sharing

GamerBoy 6 years ago

Wow, really detailed and interesting articles... It sure give me a lot of ideas and gaming tips. thanks for the great article.. I will sure coming back here :)

The poetic child 6 years ago

Yh nice list, but what about red alert?

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

Thanks a lot, jayjay40, GamerBoy. Thanks for stopping by!

DavitosanX profile image

DavitosanX 6 years ago

Nice list! I'm a retro gaming fan too, and personally, I would've added Rogue at the very beginning of the list.

Bobby 6 years ago

what is Gothic 3 doing there?It was a good game despite all the bugs,silly quests and thin storyline but it's still a fail...Gothic 1 was a fantastic game and deserve a spot here...and Gothic 2 was LEGENDARY but underrated because you americans appreciate a game for it's commercial superiority budget and popularity...Gothic 3 is a little piece of shit compared to 2 but you've still put it on your list cuz you actually played it...cuz it had a better commercial campaign and higher budget...The Witcher was also good....

Rpger 6 years ago

this is the first time i have herd good of gothic 3. You should play 1 and 2 they are really fun better than fable. Mount & Blade is fun too you should try it. also Arx fatalis came out around the same time as morrowind and if you can get used to the magic system you should try that game too.

6 years ago

Oh and nice list I have enjoyed most of those games.

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

Calm down you guys, it's just a list of games ;) And absolutely, it's just from my point of view, there are heaps of great games out there and I'm greatful for all the tips in the comments here.

Gunman 6 years ago

Most of my favorites are on your list. But what about Gothic 2? Gothic 3 was a horrible disappointment to me after playing 2. Also, yes, Oblivion had some brilliant technical features but it was a boring/flawed/dumb game. Also what about fallout 2 and KOTOR 2. I thought both of these were superior to the originals. Sorry to sound like hater. Much Love.

matt 6 years ago

wheres fable? how can you have oblivion up there but not fable. lionhead studios is so underated.

Jay1773 6 years ago

Nice list! I have played most of these and have only fond memories of all of them. Just wanted to mention a few good ones from the early days that I played. I know someone mentioned Wasteland. Just a great game. Sentinel Worlds 1, Mines of Titan, and World of Xeen. All great games to me. I also liked the Ultima Underworld games. Thanks for the list and all the good memories it has stirred up.

bocaperro 6 years ago

Excellent choices, i miss dark heart of uukurl or bloodwych, but the list is really good.

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

Thanks all for the comments and tips. It's probably about time to update this list and make it a top 250 =)

captainchris profile image

captainchris 6 years ago


Man you got a lot of comments on this one!!:)

It was a very good post and as you can tell people will not always like what you say but you have to stick to what you know is right.:)

gamefan 6 years ago

I really enjoyed reading this list. I haven't had the pleasure of playing all of them, but i have played much of what you have mentioned. System Shock 2 is probably right up there as one of my favorites of all time, any platform. I am going to have to try the gothics if they will run on my new pc.(doubtful) Oh and to the racist guy, Bobby, you must be a really worldly person to know what an entire country's idea of good entertainment is. I think the beginning of this list is proof to the opposite of what you say, considering none of those are known for their budget or mass popularity. in fact only the elite few old-timer pc gamers would even recognize them. You probably suck at games anyway dude.

Smerkol 6 years ago

You forgot Gothic (1999), the best rpg I have ever played (I have played a lot of 2000+ made RPGs), Gothic 2(2002), one of best sequels ever, and I don't really know why you put Gothic 3 on the list... It is one of the worst sequels I've ever seen. Compared to previous Gothics - otherwise its a good game.

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

Thanks captainchris, gamefan and Smerkol! It's always fun when the debate gets started, whether it's games, books or anything else of a 'personal taste' nature. :) There's always a few favorites that really sticks with you.. for me one of them is definitely the Baldur's Infinity Engine games. System Shock 2 was also really memorable. FF7 is a classic, but it could have been done better on the PC, IMO.

gamey gamer 6 years ago

i like this list but i think fallout 3 beats all the games for i am a graphics whore!

just a guy 6 years ago


you rock

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

Just a guy: LOL, it took a while for the A:/pool reference to sink in. It's been a while :)

Mutee 6 years ago

Every year or so I dust off Fallout 2 and create a new character to demonise the wasteland with :)

Loved the way this game responded to your actions. A real trail blazer.

Great list.

Bruce 6 years ago

Thanks for writing such a great overview. I think we all have our favorites and you hit most of mine. I do believe that Ultima Underworld and Ultima Underworld The Stygian Abyss were two of the best ever made. Like you note, their graphics were primitive but they were first person and had wide open gameplay. I can still remember the world I spent so many hours in 20 years later.



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danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Stellar Job!

CurtisN profile image

CurtisN 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Nice list! I have to admit that I won't play a game without decently okay graphics, so some of these games appealed to me more than others. Thanks for the great job!

themist profile image

themist 6 years ago from London

Great list, nice to see someone else who knows about oldschool rpgs. I used to play those games when I was 7 years old!

dr.dre 6 years ago

Nice overviews of the games!

I am a longtime racing+fighting games guy, and except for heroes of might and magic series, ff viii+x, disciples iii (what a bug-infested title) and some persona, i was lost in this world of rpgs.

Now turning 30, i would like to cross the border and try more roleplay. Since i think people here know a lot more than i do, i'd like to ask what rpg title or series that has most diverse creatures and while so, beautifully drew them too? I always like that kind of game. I'll play it as soon as i got the answer. (heroes iii+v, disciples iii came to mind...)


gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

Hey dr.dre and welcome to the RPG universe. If you don't mind older games, one of my personal favorites that I would recommend is the Baldur's Gate series, but it's quite different from Heroes. If you're into turn-based strategy, there's also a recent remake of King's Bounty that is pretty good (the forerunner to Heroes of M&M).

dr.dre 6 years ago

check: baldur's gate.

well thanks a lot, gazook! I really don't mind at all playing older games. In fact, there's this sentimental feeling from playing games we played when we're younger that can't be topped by their later counterpart.

This hub is very useful and informative. Keep up the nice work!

ZeVizard 6 years ago

I am 15 years old, and I enjoy older games more than the new I different from the others?

I first played Fallout 3, then decided playing the 1st one...and gosh what a difference! The 1st one,frankly, has more depth.

All of the games in this list, need to be remade!

Imagine playing Ultima in CryEngine 3...(wouldn't work, but...meh)

Many people this day, are fooled by flashy effects.

But I guess it's the same as people...if they are stars, they are loved...when they age they are forgotten...

Do I sound like a total moron?

Necal 6 years ago

Is it strange that I have played everyone of these?

I don't agree with certain placements, and believe that FF should be stricken from the world, but I have played all of them.

Josh 6 years ago

Impressive list, i have also played most of these games, including a bards tale. i remember when that game was made, god i'm old.

but i love rpg's. oblivion was good, but morrowind was epic. maybe its the leap in next gen that attracts us or just the simple old text rpg. but its all about the journey... the escape into a world and being something else. thats what attracts me. better than a book to me.;)

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evvy_09 6 years ago from Athens, AL

I absolutely love Morrowind. I'd still be playing it if my xbox still worked. Oblivion is awesome and probaly my second favorite but in morrowind it feels like you are building up this huge legend about your character

wow.  6 years ago

I see no half life.

Kyo 6 years ago

Couldn't find a choice I disagreed with. Good list, and well done being aware enough to include Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines.

One of the best games I've ever played, and I've played most on your list.

Justin 6 years ago

One game I'm surprised you didn't bring up was "The Realm Online"... It was the first online MMORPG game to ever exist... and was very impressive for its time.

Chris 6 years ago

@ wow.

Half Life is not an RPG. It's a great game but it doesn't belong on this list.

sean 6 years ago

Ultima Online was only 2 years later than the realm online and was much much much better. Then EQ of course came by and blew it away. Either way the point here was single player RPGs and id like to make a comment for a few

Dragon Age (I know it wasn't out at the time)

Arx Fatalis

Jade Empire (the only good martial arts RPG/adventure game)


2 Worlds

Fable: The Lost Chapters

The Witcher

I grew up playing games like Champions of Krynn, betrayal at krondor, fable, but for me they should stay in the past and be remember how good they were for their time. Theres nothing wrong with liking the new RPGs that are being made. If we get a few more like Dragon Age the world of PC RPGs is gonna be outstanding in the future

Archangel 6 years ago

Where da hell is Dragon Age Origins????????

Wasteland and Fountain of Dreams 6 years ago

Are basically Fallout 1 and 2. These are the official prequels. Im thoroughly enjoying the crappy graphics and excellent gameplay of Wasteland for the firs time right now!

Ya know, it seems to me that the more developers focous on 3d graphics, the less "options" there are to do in games. Another excellent pseudo/action RPG I would list is Blood Omen 1 for PS1. Just compare it to BO2 for ps2. Inferior graphics, yet superior gameplay. Just so much more to do.

Rawgrim 6 years ago

Great list! I pretty much agree with every game on it. Small correction though, you can`t import you Baldur`s Gate character onto Neverwinter nights. It was supposed to, but the 3rd edition rules came out, and stopped that bit.

Ablaize 6 years ago

I am hoping that one of you might be willing to help me out. My husband loves RPG's. A couple that I know he has played are WOW, D&D, Diablo (original & II). We want to get a game that we can play together, and he wants me to pick it. I have minimal experience, he has played for 20+ years. Any suggestions?

The Claw 6 years ago

Dude, what about the Witcher?

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

@Ablaize: That's some great entertainment for couples that more people should try :) I'm not sure about any newer multiplayer RPGs though (except for MMORPGs), but otherwise Dragon Age is probably a safe bet. Or Mass Effect if you're into Sci-Fi.

Ablaize 6 years ago

Sorry, I meant MMORPG's. (I have a lot to learn!) Thanks for replying.

melancholyverde 6 years ago

I would trade FF VII for Fable, not Fable II though, I think Final Fantasy VII is just VI in crappy 3D just look at all the parallels in plot, after the SNES Square lost a lot of it's creativity and charm, which is why we have games like Kingdom Hearts. As for Fable II, it took all the clunkiness from I and made it longer. I think Fable was good as was, besides II is console only, hoping Fable III won't disappoint. If you're going to put a JRPG on the list, Grandia, it's everything that was good about JRPGs.

SamIAm999 6 years ago

I've played a lot of these, although not all. This is right on the money. Eye of the Beholder was my cocaine, and Ultima VII my crack.

TonyShepard profile image

TonyShepard 6 years ago from Dallas Texas

What a fantastic article Gazook. You have really shined

the light on those outstanding old and new games that were always ahead of their time. I loved many of these rpgs when I was growing up and still do to this day. I still play Diablo II, Baldur's Gate, Oblivion, and Morrowind just to name a few.

gazook profile image

gazook 6 years ago Author

Thanks a lot Tony =)

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kookoo88 6 years ago from Cripple Creek

Baldur's Gate is #1 IMO. NWN is better than 2. :)

SmokeyDave 5 years ago

A great list which really brought back memories ...... like The Bards Tale where you walk into a room with 200 berserkers (I think it was 200).

I've been playing RPG's since the lowly days of 8bit computers & agree that the RPG really came of age on the PC. My absolute favourites were the Baldurs Gate trilogy, I can still remember the excitement when I heard Throne of Baal was being released and you got to find out why your character was so special.

Other RPG's not on the list I enjoyed were Nox & Arx Fatalis.

XbrutaledgeX 5 years ago

Ijust finished playing Dragon Age: Origins. You bet correctly that it can be added to the lsit. Amazing game.

Gab 5 years ago

I take it you didn't like Dragon Age?

gazook profile image

gazook 5 years ago Author

Gab, Oh yes. Just added :)

Bryceton 5 years ago

I never knew fable was released on pc.. And The Witcher definatly deserves a spot on this list. First rpg I've played in a long time that I've truly enjoyed.

coste 5 years ago

" ("this was sadly the last BG Infinity Engine game.")

Incorrect - the last would be Icewind Dale 2 released in 2002. "

Incorrect - Lionheart (2003) was the last one.

Khaoz 5 years ago

was it supposed to be done in order of time of release or the amount you liked it? it seems it could fit both

Sezo 5 years ago

I agree with everything up to and including number 21 Gothic 3.

Fallout 3, DAO, Oblivion and NWN 2 are definitely not in my top 25 list.

Mass effect is OK I guess.

And wtf man you put Diablo 2 in the list but not Diablo 1? Diablo 1 is a legendary game. At nights I can still hear the butcher saying "Ah fresh meat" :P

I would also add Mount and Blade in the list. More action oriented than RPG oriented but a very special and unique game.

I like it that you 've done it in a chronological order and not in order of preference because it is hard and unfair to compare games of this caliber.

gazook profile image

gazook 5 years ago Author

@coste: hmm.. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that Lionheart used the Infinity engine.

Kreation 5 years ago

Elder Scrolls FTW

coste 5 years ago

gazook: Just googled, seems that i was wrong, sorry. They say its not true Infinity, just something very simillar.

Brian 5 years ago

Mandate of Heaven is such a killer game. You clearly have great taste!

Glunn11 profile image

Glunn11 5 years ago from Idaho

Great hub! I loooooove Betrayal at Krondor, and Wizardry 7 was actually the first RPG I ever played. Just finished it last year :D

I'm going to get Wizardry 8. Can't wait to check it out.

Angela 5 years ago

Some other decent RPGs that aren't on the list: Jade Empire, The Witcher, Risen, and here's an old one... Exile (I thought it was good :P).

Anonymous 5 years ago

Will download all of these nao

Deepakufo 5 years ago forgot to mention 2 mind blowing rpg games:

1.Revenant 2

2.Evil Island-curse of the lost soul

plz..add them,thanxx!!

TheLemon profile image

TheLemon 5 years ago from Sheffield

Excellent work! Some good memories in that list.

FFVII, Deus Ex and Baldurs Gate probably set my social development back about 3 years.

It also seems that everytime BioWare release something it sets me back another 6 months...Roll on DA2!

gazook profile image

gazook 5 years ago Author

Thanks for all the great tips! Revenant 2? didn't even know there was a sequel.. Have to check that out.

@TheLemon: I agree, those folks at BioWare owe me for some low grades, not to mention my workplace for all those calling in sick days ;)

Xephyr 5 years ago

sad to see Freelancer left off this list.

NecroNikk 5 years ago

The Witcher is top one in my opinion! This game just need to be played. So many sleepless nights I've enjoyed it. And when it finished I felt such an emptiness in me.Two months after I could not play anything else. May 17, 2011 will be released "The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings". And it is expected to be something verey Big...

Jake 5 years ago

Great list! Have you ever played Anvil of Dawn? It has got to be one of my all time favorites... I think you would enjoy it as well.

Krothmort 5 years ago

I agree with all the games on this list, with the exception of oblivion. >_> And being a sci-fi fan as well, might I recommend Hellgate London? It's probably not worth it now but, back when it was multiplayer my friends and I had a blast

Heather 5 years ago

Thanks for the Vampire the Masquerade & Arcanum shoutouts, two of my all-time favorites (aside from Baldur's Gate). RIP Troika, not a day goes by that I don't miss you... ;)

Slias Brennee 5 years ago

A lot of good games. What about Darklands?

Henrik 5 years ago

How can you not have Modern Warfare 2 in this list, hahah such a noob! (J/K for those who are infantile)

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Tahamtan 5 years ago

Great List. Brings back lots of memories.

myke 5 years ago

Hey, how 'bout XCOM: UFO DEFENSE and TERROR FROM THE DEEP series?

Crabapple 5 years ago

Good list. Ultima underworld is the glaring ommision. imo that set the standard for pretty much all free roaming rpgs that followed.

StrangeCat 5 years ago

Are you crazy you didn't Mention The Witcher! by far one of the most impressive rpg's on the PC. Dark and Mature!

Angelika 5 years ago

There can be no RPGs list without WITCHER

MattSG 5 years ago

Damn good list from someone who's actually played these games! I will be checking back for updates :) ! I guess gothic 4 can't really be added (lack of depth maybe) but I'm playing it now and am enjoying it. Also you're forgetting Fable: The Lost Chapters and Fable III (Q1 2011), both playable on PC, the correct platform for any good RPG!!! Really digging the old school list of titles. I'm an all round gamer (no specific genre preference), but might try my hand at a few of those that you mentioned.

RPGsRock 5 years ago

Man great list, but i agree in the sense that Fable: The Lost Chapters is a must in this list. It is one of the best RPGs ever created.

Runinicus 5 years ago

Two games that i didn't see anyway mention was Alternate Reality: The City and Alternate Reality: The Dungeon. I played these on the C-64 (I believe they were also available for other platforms as well.)

The Dungeon was pretty cool, with the guilds and all. The only issue with the game was that when you accumulated a certain amount of equipment, the Devourer would attack you (and it was tough hombre).

I believe these two games were the first two in a series that was never completed.

Ed 5 years ago

Great and useful. There a lot I haven't played on this list. Arcanum looks very appealing. My one grumble is your handling of Daggerfall. Although by modern standards it is a hideous thing to look at, for the next 5 years after it was released it was in a class by itself. And obviously Morrowind is a better, prettier, more epic, and functional game, Daggerfall can beat it on a couple of fronts: customization and size. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and state that Daggerfall has got to be the largest 3D environment in the history of gaming (literaly twice the size of Great Britain). True, vast stretches of this massive world are empty, and it was constructed haphazardly by a repetitive random generator, but the awesome size of the world give you a feeling that no other game can. It is unfair to thing of Daggerfall as an unrealized shadow of Morrowind. Morrowind represented a different approach- instead of taking shortcuts, they woud build their world meticulously and craft everything by hand. Also they would try to carefully balance the game and work out any bugs. Ultimately this is the best direction for the series, but Daggerfall's approach of massive randomness, freedom, a dangerously unbalanced gaming world created a unique and exciting experience of its own that you can't get anywhere else.

Chris 5 years ago

Great list. I remember Bard's tale when I was a kid. Grandia 2 was a great game that would be worthy for the list, Oblivion was good for freedom of choice though I got it on console and would like to play it on PC 5 years ago

You should also add Risen and gothic 2

Phil 5 years ago

No love for The Witcher?

skitzo 5 years ago

to tell ya the truth ive never played any of these...until i seen this ive played every 1 and now i see why there rated the top ones.....i love them all...

Elder mole 5 years ago

Anyone know what skyrim's gonna be like?

Citizen0 5 years ago

A lot of good games on here, excellent work. I've played through a lot of these and I still feel as though the Fallout series- excluding 3 capture the role playing experience the best. It saddens me these days that the newer games focus more on visual effects instead of content, creativity, and atmosphere. I believe it boils down to the money making machine that mainstream video gaming has become. Fallout 3 for example, follows more in the footsteps of its modern counterparts- mostly seen in games that sold well like Oblivion- instead of keeping with their lineage like the highly addictive, but not so flashy games like Arcanum and Fallout. I don't see any luck for change in the future. Your thoughts?

pablo 5 years ago

played most of these, Dragon Age is the best in my opinion

gazook profile image

gazook 5 years ago Author

Thanks for all the new tips and comments! Those mentioning The Witcher are absolutely right, I just hadn't played it yet but it's awesome.

@Citizen0: I agree, although IMO there are a number of games that are both great-looking and original (like the BioWare games and The Witcher for example). But in an ideal world we would see more original and low-budget 2D projects like those from Spiderweb Software

AtrotosGreece 5 years ago

And the best game for me lineage 1 (1998) lineage 2(2004)

Zeal 5 years ago

Yes that top is nice, but I have not seen one awesome game which is 2x better than Diablo 2. That game is old abandoned Westwood's studios - Nox, true first version relase date was 1998 because my daddy bought it for me at 98's, but Wikipedia shows relase date 2000 It's fake I can tell. Diablo 2 is relased 1999 and everything is completely copied from Westwood Nox.

Nox is still available to play online and every day you can see 2, 3 servers with 6-20 players. The best is to play quest, because 32 players at one server can play, you can not imagine how much better Nox is than Diablo.

ficus 5 years ago

What about Dragon Warrior / Dragon Quest? Those games on the NES introduced a lot of people to what were very good RPGs.

callisto123 profile image

callisto123 5 years ago

What a great list, one I agree with even!

GothicFanNr1 5 years ago

it is false Gothic must be first game here

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Thomasoliver2 5 years ago from England

@ ficus you've got a good point but this a list for pc games so he wouldn't include them.

ChrisS 5 years ago

Dude, you need to go back further than this because you COMPLETELY missed some of the most important early RPGs. Games like Ultima III were instrumental and loads of fun to play. Graphics be damned, Ultima III launched the the rpg genre for many people. Also, am I one of the few who remember Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves on the Atari 800? I would play that game constantly. Ed also makes great points about Daggerfall. You must have only read about them because anyone who actually played Arena and then Daggerfall know how dang good and ground breaking they were regardless of glitches. Morrowind might be prettier but I didn't like it as much as Arena or Daggerfall.

gazook profile image

gazook 5 years ago Author

@ChrisS: Thanks for the comment! I'm sure you're absolutely right, only i'm slightly too young to have experienced those early Ultima games.

gregorik 5 years ago

it's a testament of the quality of your hub that comments are still coming in 1.5 years later. good list! and this is coming from a gamer who started it in the late 80's.

so i think you nailed it, but there might be some glaring omissions:

NWN (2002)

Ultima Underworld 2 (1992)

Anachronox (2001)

Darkness over Daggerford (2006) -- a free module for NWN that is more epic and better than 80% of all rpg's out there.

humn 5 years ago

Anyone like FCOM?... That was more strategy I guess... Kinda felt RPG'ish as everything gained experience..

AMAZING list man. Good stuff here.

faceinthecrowd 5 years ago

Thanks for the list, I have decided to procure nvw2 as a result of ur list. Btw Mass effect 2 needs to be added in!

random 5 years ago

Great list! One thing I think you're missing in the classic RPG list is Dungeon Master! I'd call it one of the true originals, like Baldur's Gate or Diablo I.

Anyway, that's just my two cents.

P3R50N 5 years ago

You sir are full of awesomeness.

Ethan 5 years ago

Fantastic list. I think I'll start making my way through the games which I haven't played yet. :) Good additions at the end too!

Rikurai 5 years ago

Great list, I'm definitely going to play Baldur's Gate now. I also went through all the comments which convinced me to get the Witcher and Gothic 2. I'm going to have to call in sick for the upcoming 2 or 3 weeks I'm afraid :P

Isaac 5 years ago

It's funny when i see people use the term "old time gamers" and such because I becoming a gamer around my 6-7th b-day (2001-2002) I was born passed most of those great games but I play the older classics even dos games are On a heart to heart with me and im 15 gonna be 16 in march ah ultima exodus I LOVE YOU!!!!

TuTz 5 years ago

Dragon Age for the win!!! so love it!!

Dragon Age II will be released this march, better get your copies. :)


ol' fart 5 years ago

Thanks keep up the geekin and updates

wykeok 5 years ago

I like dungeon siege II

Bob 5 years ago

Great list - I've played and loved most of them, especially the Baldur's, but...

...Planescape was so good it's burned into my mind forever :) Such a fantastic story. And the most interesting and unusual characters.

Macros 5 years ago

You sir are awesome if I can quote Cnovak42's comment from 17 moths ago. These games have a place in our history. And if you look at the number of comments of the overall idea gathered from all these people, I'm blown away by this gaming genre. Thanks for "Top 25 Best PC RPGs Ever".

gazook profile image

gazook 5 years ago Author

Thanks everyone for all the new comments and tips! Have to go check out Darkness over Daggerford now :)

Dan 5 years ago

This list is null and void without at least one Ultima game. Shame on you.

Gavin 5 years ago

Nice list Gazook - I've played a lot of them.

I fully understand, that it's Gazook's TOP25, however I would like to tempt you to try (already mentioned) oldies:


Ultima Underworld 2

Then, perhaps, you re-evaluate the list (or extend). :-)

Also, as a lot of others, I do not quite understand listing Gothic 3 as primary and not 1 or 2. Would you please share your opinion on G3 primacy here?

Anyway, good work.

ripred47 5 years ago

Great list, nice to find a list that includes old school classics and newer games. I really enjoyed the elders scrolls series (Morrowind still kicks ass). Fingers crossed for Skrym.

jebus 5 years ago

all good choices, but you need some might and magic in there. mm2 and mm6 are particularly spectacular.

gazook profile image

gazook 5 years ago Author

Thanks Gavin and ripred! @jebus, Dan: I think you need to revisit the list ;)

Amanda 5 years ago

Awesome list, makes me want to go back and replay some of the older ones that I miss!

In my opinion, the Elder Scrolls series is the pinnacle of the genre. Oblivion gets a lot of hate, but the first time stepping out of the sewer and realizing that you can go ANYWHERE in this bright gorgeous world is definitely one of the best moments in any RPG.

Can't wait for Skyrim!

gazook profile image

gazook 5 years ago Author

Thanks Amanda. I agree, a fully open game world where you can go anywhere and do anything is the crowning achievement of an RPG. The Might & Magic series was great that way (from VI onwards). IMO the only "problem" with Bethesda's games is that they are TOO balanced to your character's level, so you rarely encounter impossible enemies.

Btw, nice blog! I just enjoyed this post:

rpgssss 5 years ago

for me it's a tie between baldur's gate 2 and final fantasy 7 .. i give the nod to bg2 since ff7 is not an original pc game. unique choice by putting bg1 ahead of 2 on the list.. was this simply because it was more "revolutionary" or because you found it to be a better game? almost every rpg fan agrees bg2 is the better overall game.. just curious.

Raph 5 years ago

Great list Gazook.

Deus Ex and Diablo II were mentions that shone nostalgia at me; although nostalgia's probably not the right word considering I get them back out every 6 months.

Arcanum was a neat little universe too, with the whole magic/technology vibe, so credit for putting it up.

And to any that haven't played Fable, get on it!

Boby 5 years ago

Great list guy.

I just bought some oldschool games at ebay like icewind dale and arcanum and was looking for more greate RPGs to buy. I think i will buy some of the games you mentioned here as well. Thanks for this list.

Infinity Engine ftw.^^

The only game i am not agreeing with you is gothic 3.. I never played the game after they fixed the bugs but there were not only technical problems in the game. I think Gothic 1 would be the better choise for the list.

joeyz97 5 years ago

cool list gonna get a couple that are mentioned here out of the ones on this list tht i have id say the witcher is the best

Mattjew 5 years ago

Baldurs Gate 2 is easily the best RPG ever.

Mark 5 years ago

I still consider Wasteland as the number one of all time. :)

Kingdon 5 years ago

one to put on your list ios going to be Skyrim. gunna be one of the best rpg's in console(probably not pc) history. Been a RPG geek for a few years now and seeing classics, ive missed alot. Favourite RPG's are Morrowind, Oblivion and Mass Effect's atm. been wanting to play the Dragon Age series but not got round to it yet.

Thorin 5 years ago

Fallout would definitely be my favourite with Arcanum coming in as a close second. The game was fun and thete were quite a few mods for it.Besides the main storyline itself was worth hours of gameplay. Not to mention the combat was quite interesting and the plots were....well you get the drift. Arcanum was just unlucky. Good game though.

dr. dre 5 years ago

Meet again, folks & gazook!

After reading & commenting on this hub several months ago, now I got Baldur's Gate series, Planescape: Torment, and Arcanum: oSaMO on my hand. Well, Baldur's Gate is firm, Arcanum is beauty (aside from freakish, messy, and intimidating interface IMO), but Planescape: Torment, now that's a whole different level of RP-ing altogether! Very engaging, storyline-driven, and unique (Arcanum is unique too after its steampunk ambience). I found I couldn't get my hand off my trackpad and eyes off my display after I installed it. Kudos, Black Isle!

Now, Gazook, do you have something to tell me about those Ultima titles you like? Thanks for pointing me the way!

@rpgssss: please read the introductory paragraph again. The writer of this hub listed the games according to their release years, not because the previous titles is somehow better than the later ones. This because he himself found it harder to list them that way, as these games are the best manifestations of RPG ideals (in different aspects).

cray 5 years ago

Wasteland definitely deserves to be up here. Groundbreaking classic precursor to fallout.

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gazook 5 years ago Author

Nice to see you again dr.dre! Sounds like you've been busy :) Yes, Arcanum is a real gem, it's too bad it's also really buggy. Even with all the patches it's easy to get stuck or caught in some endless loop. A remake would really be worthwhile, especially with steampunk themes on the rise these days. I'm a little behind on the Ultima series, only played them from 7 Black Gate up to the horrific number nine. 7 and 8 are nice old DOS games though (and 7 is also available on SNES if I remember correctly). Another commenter also mentioned Ultima Underworld 2 as one of my glaring omissions, so that sounds like something to look into. After Dragon Age 2 perhaps...

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dabspalalabs 5 years ago from Philippines

you are really one old school gamer gazook! really nice hub!

weeper 5 years ago

Great list. Played almost all of them. I actually go back a little farther than you with some titles. The ZORK series. All of the Sierra game series. Many of these early games used a 'typing input' interface. Some old timers may remember the original ADVENTURE game. All words. No graphis at all. M

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gazook 5 years ago Author

Thanks dabspalalabs and weeper! ZORK? That one was worth looking up. I'm too young for that one, but it sort of reminds me of the early King's Quest games where you'd type "go west", "look at desk" etc. So that's where they got the idea...

Xen 5 years ago

After the release of Final Fantasy VII, the series started to downfall by allot.

Artemis 5 years ago

so i think you made a big mistake ultima 8 pagan is best them ultima 7 in my opinion is best RPG made ever needs a 3d version

Yoburi 5 years ago

Damn you really know PC RPG i mean i didn't know about Bloodlines or Arcanum or even the epic Torment so i just read your list and start looking for these brain canyds, so i must say they make many rpgs cry after playing these games like DA2 or Fable3 look like junk not only they lose to there originals but they get raped by the ggames on this list.

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gazook 5 years ago Author

@Xen: They certainly did, didn't they? To be fair (to Square), number VII was a hard one to top.

@Artemis: Yes, a 3D version of Black Gate or Pagan minus the bugs in the latter (not to mention Ascension) would really be something.

@Yoburi: Thanks! Well DA2 isn't bad but it didn't quite live up to expectations...

dr. dre 5 years ago

And they say Diablo III will be ready for RPGamers this Q3 of 2011.

anttimies 5 years ago

YOU EARNED MY RESPECT FOR FALLOUT AND FF7! i love FF 7 even nowadays! the storyline is amazing! greetings from Finland

fallout3! 5 years ago

fallout 3 is awesome. i guess it's "cooler" to like less popular games but i actually thought fallout 3 was better than the first 2. also, while not a pure rpg i've actually had the most fun and time spent on borderlands this gen. if diablo is on this list then borderlands definitely deserves a spot as well !

Rich 5 years ago

Ultima Underworld 1 + 2, took away a large chucnk of my life way back in the day.

Matt 5 years ago

Great games list, I agree with you almost 100%. You got me wanting to get the Witcherm really wanna try that game, especially since dragon age 2 was such a dissapointment, one of the weakest most hodgepodge rpg storylines in recent memory.

nh 5 years ago

Anyone missing Dungeon Master in the list?

How about Ishar? And Realms of Arcania?

f99 5 years ago

Great list, you should keep updating it.

Things I miss on the list:

System Shock 1

Sure, the graphics are outdated nowadays. But at the time it was the creepiest RPG I had ever laid my hands on. Preferably playing it during night time you might suddenly get the feeling someone is standing behind you.

Eye of the Beholder 2 "The legend of Darkmoon"

In my opinion the best title in the series.

You also mention "Assault on Myth Drannor" to be a sequel to Pool of Radiance. But I am quite sure it was the third installment of Eye of the Beholder. But I have to agree Myth Drannor was not worth the space it occupied on the hard drive.

The Witcher part 1

I actually haven't played part two yet, but I can really recommend the Wicher 1. There are many game where your choices affect the story line, but I think the Witcher takes it to another level. Especially because it is not devided into the typical black and white categroies. Actually there is one kind of black and then there is the other kind black.

tork 5 years ago

I have to state that Dragon age: Origins was not as good as I expected. Actually the game play felt quite the same using different origins.

I guess all the advertisement rose expectations too high. In the end is is a rather static game, where you can choose in which order to solve different quests.

I for one prefer the Witcher....

And besides this issue I agree with your awesome list of time steeling software

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peterhark69 5 years ago from Canada

Some great games, I enjoyed baldurs gate/arcanum a lot back in the days. KOTOR was also a more modern rpg that I liked. The last one I really enjoyed was mass effect I think, sadly dragon age wasn't too good. The witcher has a great story but I just can't get into the gameplay...

Marcus 5 years ago

KOTOR was tons of fun, Darklands was the most inventive, Fallout 2 had the best atmosphere. But my all time favorite RPG is Paper Mario for N64.

Simmox 5 years ago

note a mention of Drakensang titles,europeans make ok RPG too,worth checking out.

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gazook 5 years ago Author

Yes, Drakensang was a surprisingly good one (you say titles, are there several?)

HtbG 5 years ago

It got some pretty bad ratings, but I liked Hard to be a god...

whitewolf86 5 years ago

two worlds is a fun game, two worlds 2 for ps3 is really bad, still fun. but some features are not there like fighting when on your horse, and the cam is hard to get use too.

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Veneficus333 5 years ago from United States

Awsome list. The Baldur's Gate series has to be one of the best ever. I spent sooooo many hours playing those games.

kingmaker 5 years ago

Simply amazing list. Scary how right on you are. Wow

Okamiii 5 years ago

The one thing wrong with this list is that it has NWN2 instead of 1. What the heck? NWN 1 is far FAR better than 2.

Witcher than you 5 years ago

Awesome: Keep this list updated, please.

saintt 5 years ago

In my opinion (o r for what i have played, at least):

Risen -A good combat system

Gothic 2

The witcher

Gothic 1


Two worlds

saintt 5 years ago

people, let's not forget the ASSASSIN'S CREDD series, beautiful game

m.g 5 years ago

the list is interesting i recognized most of the titles even though a lot were before my time (started playing in 1998)^^

as for the Gothic series i liked gothic 1 and 2 better game-play wise and the atmosphere . but truth be told Gothic 3 hat the best music.


I really liked assassins creed but i wouldn't say it is an rpg.. But i admit it has certain rpg elements

Vladimir 5 years ago

I am very glad that you pulled out Arcanum. It is a great game but, as you said,it had some bugs so lot of people didn´t get it. I am a fan of futuristic RPG's so Fallout (1,2,3) is high on my list.

I would like if someone would made some Battletech RPG (something like BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception) but 25 years improved...

Grimey 5 years ago

Although I must say my exposure to a broad range of RPG titles is extremely limited in comparison to some of you, I'm sure but my passion for them is as great I can assure you. Let's just say public school failed miserably in regards teaching one to command the English language....Thankfully this fine genre of games decided to give back to the community as far as I'm concerned and made a great substitute. Thank you play along storybooks!

rowan 5 years ago

Fallout 2 < 3 any day

Sebas 5 years ago

I haven't played all games on your list, but for me these two stand out as being most creative and original:

Betrayal at Krondor

Planescape: Torment

My favs, easily.

Anonymous 5 years ago

@rowan "Fallout 2 < 3 any day"

Let me fix that for you:

"Fallout 2 > 3 any day"

No need to thank me.

anonymous 5 years ago

Awesome list, man. Big thanks.

Moronicus 5 years ago

Diablo 2 kicks all them games' butt.. anytime

until d3 comes out

tho i enjoyed reading ALL (yeah i know.. i need a life..) the comments and remembered many of those games.. and sure enjoyed playing most of them and i'll make sure to try some of them when i find the time

but d2 is a class of its own.. of course diablo 1 is awesome too but sort of boring once you tried d2

even FFVII (which at that time was a mindblowing game and i still sigh nostalgically when i think of it) can't hold a candle to d2

heck i spent my young days waiting for d3 but the idiots spend their time milking the kids with WOW for years.. not much time for diablo? waiting for better pcs? wth is wrong with blizzard >=|

another 2 games that i love with all my heart is HOM&M 3&5 (heroes of might and magic)

and i have to point out that arcanum was.. really awesome despite all the bugs killing the fun and i really could shed a tear for the lack of a sequel but oh well..

however.. awesome review, tho i miss some oldschool games.. i am an oldie who grew up playing all sorts of games, mainly RPGs, my productivity at work and my success at school and college sure suffered because of my gaming addiction lol

!!can't think of any of the missing titles right now!! damn drugs and alcohol.. but i am talking mainly about older 2d games.. YOU SHOULD PROBABLY REALLY MAKE A TOP 250!! maybe then i could find em xD

stubbled upon this review when i was looking for the old titles to refresh my memory.. was disappointed to see many old games missing even after reading all of your guys' comments :( meh time for me to shut up and continue browsing ^^

at any rate compliments for such a nice review triggering such a long lasting discussion, might even come back with some titles :D

btw i hope i didn't sound too ignorant or even arrogant but i had to emphasize the superiority of D2 :P


Paolo 5 years ago

Hi! Great post, I'm a nostalgic player, and a huge fan of the BG seriesm which remains my favourite together with FF VII. I think it is worth mentioning Drakensang, which even though is full of cliches it is still a very enjoyable rpg!


alexb 5 years ago

Love the list, I agree with almost all of it!! Two games that have a special place in my RPG'ing past (that didn't make your list) would be: Ultima Underworld, and The Summoning. The latter was a very unsung RPG by SSI that was a single-character isometric view game. Graphics weren't astonishing, and the story wasn't fantastic, but for some reason it was really fun. UU was a phenomenal game as well - best Ultima game IMO.

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joawmeens 5 years ago from Hopewell, Ohio

....I have played 12 of the 28 games on your many hours....totally worth it!

Great hub, I liked it.

Francesco 5 years ago

This list is really great!!!

I'm a HUGE BG and Icewind Dale fan, I've played them more then once and I loved them so much!

Lately came to me the idea to start playn' again some RPG... I've heard good stuff abou Morrowing, Oblivion, Gothic 3 and Dragon Age: Origins.

What I really loved about baldur's gate were 3 things:

1-all the characters that might join your group have a strong personality, past stories and side quests

2-you are totally free to follow the main quest or search around for side quest and explore the world

3-you could play it in multiplayer with a friend

Does any of the previously mentioned game have these 3 stuff? :P or what would u suggest to play?


Francesco 5 years ago

I forgot to mention Planescape: Torment and Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magik Obscura... :)

Thomas 5 years ago

Hah, The Bards Tale - thats a true legend. I remember finally finding out how to get into Mangars Tower through ... well that would be a spoiler. Fantastic game. All these years later I can still draw a crude map of Scra Brae from memory. Amazing.

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gazook 5 years ago Author

It's really fun to hear everyone's stories about all those old RPG's. Makes you feel less alone in having wasted so many hours on these things :)

@Francesco: Out of the games you mention, the only relatively linear game is DA:O, but it's still good. Wish I could say the same for part 2...

Andrew 5 years ago

Im a big of rpgs, but i really only know the new ones me being only 17 haha. But i played diablo 1 and 2 not to long ago and loved it. I am definnetly going to try many of these games listed. I am currently downloading Arcan and am going to try it out! Thanks a lot for this list, i will finally have something to talk about with all you old timers :P jk

Andrew 5 years ago

Arcanum* not arcan

jorge 5 years ago



DAKIDD 5 years ago

MANDATE OF HEAVEN AND QUEST OF THE AVATAR..BARDS TALE ...FF..BEST GAMES EVER MADE FOR GOD i go back to the bbs micros and commodore 64..APPLE 2 C platforms..captain goodnight,autoduel,conan,karateka.....ive played witcher 2(awesome game),dragon age 2(kill em hawke)and elder scrolls(massive)...funny thing is even with the corny graphics the plots of the old school games still give me the biggest buzz ...harcore bandicoot for LIFE!!!!

Trap 5 years ago

Check out Path of Exile if you haven't already. In Beta. Free. And shaping up to be the spiritual successor to D2.

Ansengrinth 5 years ago

Great list. I've played even the old ones (Betrayal at Krondor as my favourite).

Gothic II The Night Of The Raven is my favourite and missing here, though :)

I'm looking forward for Skyrim and Risen II ;)

Baldric 5 years ago

wow, excellent list gazook! Most of these games, I have not played, but do consider myself a general all-round RPG-fan :)

Was just thinking back though, to the days of playing the old DarkSun games... anyone else remember those? (think there were just two...)

JanoThemano 5 years ago

A few missing Is THE DRAGON WARRIOR SERIES FOR THE NES which was epic. I remember subscribing to nintendo power magazine which came with dragon warrior free. This weas my RPG start in about 1994.

MY Favorites list is

Dragon Warrior Series

Final Fantasy 3

Diablo Series

Borderlands was amazing

ruddles 5 years ago

I think that Dreamfall The Longest journey should be mentioned in this also. It is a sequel to The Longest Journey, but the story line was amazing.

Arantor 5 years ago

Really nice list.

I used to play the Might & Magic serie a lot. Good "bread and butter" games.

But i lost my heart for ever to Fallout 1&2, the Baldur's Gate trilogy and Planescape: Torment.

Fallout 2 has everything you want: alcohol, drugs, monsters, evil guys, crazy religious fanatics, great atmosphere, nice sound/music!, a fantastic character system, funny NPCs, violence, prostitutes, mean sonofabitches, bitches, a great story, totally freedom, tons of humour, funniest dialogues ever seen in a game, aliens (Wannamingos^^^), cool weapon animations, racists, mutants, foul ghouls, dynamic quests, multiple endings, high replayability and it has a Pip Boy 2000!

Even 13 years after release i'm STILL finding new miniquests or different ways to solve them although i've played the game countless times.

You get it: I'm a totally Fallout 2 fanboy and nerd.

BG 1&2 ... fantastic and outstanding games in every single way. (Hey Sarevok ... give brofist)

I love them!

Planescape: Torment is a small "nerdy" jewel even amongst RPGs. A very deep, atmospheric story, with walls of text!, a fantastic music/sound and a flying skull (Morte)!

One of the most - if not THE most - emotional game ever.

I've played most of your listed games ... and almost all of them are damn fine games. Sadly the "good times" are over. Not a single really good game was released for years now ( don't start with crap like Fallout 3 ...).

Personally i would rate Vampire: The Masquerade Redemption above Vampire: Bloodlines. The story was better and the big jump over the centuries felt much more "epic".

And finally a small hint: All of you who're looking for another good ol'game from the early 90's ... you should give Dark Sun: Shattered Lands a try. Based on (modified) D&D rules and settled in the Dark Sun universe, published/developed by SSI. The deserted and wasted world Athas is ruled by powerful wizard kings ... and you start the game as one of their slaves ...

A much underrated game in my humble view:P

Madman 5 years ago

These are some of the best all time. Sooooo.... Many though its hard for me to rate some above others. From Death Knights of Krynn, Dark Queen of Krynn and Champions of Krynn to Baldurs Gate, Oblivion, and the like just makes it hard to rate some of them.

Lotus 5 years ago

The fact that, out of the series, you picked Gothic 3 leads me to believe that you didn't actually play the first two.

darkcolonist 5 years ago

why is there no Last Remnant here?

BUDA20 5 years ago

Deus Ex : Human Revolution

10drxtc 5 years ago

any list without phantasy star online which was one of the first if not the first online mmorpg

Relayer71 5 years ago

Still a great list - the latest additions are great. However, it's strange that you have ONE JRPG on there. I know FF VII was an important game (though I don't think it was as great as most; FF IX, FF IV, FF VI and FF XII were better games, imo) but it doesn't make sense to have it on a list littered with classic PC or Western styled RPGs.

That spot should go to another PC RPG. If not, then you should definitely include Chrono Trigger, Persona 4, Suikoden 2, Final Fantasy XII, Phantasy Star II or IV... of course then it gets a bit harder to include all the really great games.

So why not do a separate list of top 25 JRPGs?

jeem 5 years ago

still playing diablo 2 :D.

Smith 5 years ago


final fantasy 7 was for the pc while the games you listed with it are not.

wat 5 years ago

Including hack n slay games, first person shooters,Oblivion with its broken skills and horrendous leveling-system and level-scaling of enemies and items, mentioning Gothic 3 but not even looking at the superior sequels.

What the fuck am I reading?

Raiser 5 years ago

I think Gothic 3 is a better game than 21. It should be min. on 10.

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gazook 5 years ago Author

@BUDA20: Working on that one, looks awesome.

@Relayer71 and @Smith: Yes, JRPGs are mainly console stuff (unfortunately), but a top 25 JRPGs is not a bad idea!

groggy_cat 5 years ago

Age of Empires 1,2 and 3

Age of Mythology .. i think those should be added too ! :)

Baisho 5 years ago

PC RPGs...

Witcher 2 is the last heir of a good bloodline. There´s no need to make a Witcher 3, but to make another well thought RPG based on novels. Imagine Game of Thrones... or The Name of The Wind...

Also I´d say Skyrm will be a fair contender.

Mass Effect is good, but more of an FPS game, mostly in it´s sequels.

KOTOR 2 could have been a great game . I still see so much room for RPGs in Star Wars.

D&D is an overused base for RPG, so meh.

Dragon Age is good, well driven. Screw the sequel.

Jort 5 years ago

How about Torchlight and Dungeon Siege 3?

Niko 5 years ago

I think you've missed the best RPG game ever created.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption -

Elf Hunter 5 years ago

I also think that Redemption is much better then Bloodlines.

Hans 5 years ago

Where is Gothic 1&2???

Hans 5 years ago

And while we're at it, where's Diablo 3 or Risen?

Red dead redemption is also great!!

Pls update the website!!

Zoso 5 years ago

no gothic 1 and 2....mutch better than 3...

DMT_dave 5 years ago

Excellent List, Friend. I've enjoyed many of the great games in this list. Actually playing through the entire BG saga again with the same character. Currently just imported my char from BG to BG2 and am 10percent through....then its off to Throne of Bhall. Epic Epicness. Decided to let my 360 gather layer upon layer of dust, as many of the games these days lack soul...just my opinion.

Torment is my all time Favorite though....

Thanks again for the great list, and to the community for the great comments..its bean a great read.

Good vibes to you all from Texas :)


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gazook 5 years ago Author

Thanks Dave! Yes, Epic Epicness is a good description :) I've also been through the whole thing twice with totally different characters and endings. That kind of replayability is hard to find these days.

john 5 years ago

i think diablo2 should have been higher in the list. yea it is rather short, and streamlined. but everything else is amazing.. even the audio soundtrack is epic.

sicingkota 5 years ago

Great article .. but i just like vanderlay say.

I think Gothic I and II (night of raven) is quite worthy to put into this list .. they more hardcore than Risen, Gothic III even Arcania.

but I can not argue, this is your list :) :)

Anyway thanks, this list will be my benchmark

Samvk 5 years ago

What no Dungeon Siege

Quiett42 5 years ago

Great list, brings back lots of memories. Bard's tale was one of the first RPGs I played. I noticed alot of people checking out some of the older games that they never played. Here's a few more really good older games you may have missed.

Darklands (Historical RPG set in Midevil Germany)

Phantasie 1-3. (3 was the best imho)

And if you're Really not into graphics at all, Try a version of either Rogue, NetHack, or Angband.

bobbycuckoo 4 years ago

Thanks for this list. I've just been given a pc to use personaly (I've always used a phone or consoles before.) Anyhoo I am quite a retro handed and now I have a few rpgs to find. Think I will start with diablo II. Great stuff. Loved bards tale and I had I on a poor old sinclar spectrum

Kjetil 4 years ago

Haven't played most of the 90's RPGs, but ofc I love Fallout 1-2, BG 1-2, IWD 1-2, etc.

Must say that DA was a huge let down. Was looking forward for that game for ages. I expected something like BG, but instead I got something of lesser quality than NWN 2. And NWN 2 sucked ;p

Either way, I like your list :D

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j-u-i-c-e 4 years ago from Waterloo, On

This is a seriously great list! I have a lot of these games, but I haven't had time to play them all. I've probably wasted a few hundred hours on Oblivion and Fallout 3, though. Mods make everything better. :)

Spiff 4 years ago

quote :"Sezo; Diablo 1 is a legendary game. At nights I can still hear the butcher saying "Ah fresh meat" :P"

Wow what a memory , i struggled with the butcher seweral nights my self. Epic !!

DH Cross 4 years ago

You didn't mention the original Wasteland from the 80s!

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gazook 4 years ago Author

Thanks all for all the new insightful comments and tips. There are definitely some that I'd like to try out after my current 200-hour or so Skyrim playthrough :)

Literaturoved 4 years ago

What about Realms of arcania? though a bit buggy, i consider it to be one of the best rpg's ever, for it could offer everything one could possibly want, from climbing mountains, bar browls and equipment destruction.

and also, there is a great rpg from russian developers Rage of mages, or Allods, it features unique levelling system and is very addictive, for a game developed in 1999.

Dylan 4 years ago

Thanks for the best article I've read in a long time. So many of these are so nostalgic for me. I do feel the original Diablo deserved a place though. Even more so than its sequel.

greekfreak 4 years ago

elder scrolls V is the best

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gazook 4 years ago Author

@Literaturoved: Haven't played Realms of Arcania, but it looks like it's worth a try. Parts 1 and 2 are available on

@Dylan: Thanks for reading! You may be right about Diablo 1. I believe it was the first game I played that used the then brand new DirectX technology. And it had a great deal of atmosphere. That butcher in one of the first levels still gives me the creeps.

Arantor 4 years ago

Yeah Realms of Arcania (original title: Das Schwarze Auge) is definitively worth a try. Part 1 is a bit chewy though due to the old interface. Part 2 and 3 are great. One of the main developer (Guido Henkel) was involved in the development of Planescape Torment.

Who 4 years ago

Skyrim is an awesome game, no doubt, but it is bug-ridden still.

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gazook 4 years ago Author

Is Skyrim bug-ridden? I've played it for about 50 hours with no apparent bugs. My only complaint is the clunky console interface and that it doesn't take advantage of modern PC hardware.

Anon 4 years ago

I, for one, am glad you decided to have Oblivion on your list. Despite Skyrim being out, I'm still playing it. Why?

Because moding is overpowered. Getting bugs? There's a mod for that. Don't like the leveling system? There's a mod for that. Don't like the way you look? There's a mod for that. Don't like how the NPCs look? There's a mod for that. Don't like playing the game altogether? Heck, there's complete overhaul mods that fixes this too (morroblivion anyone?).

Often, it's the community that makes the a game great, and the Elder Scrolls community is one of the best. Can't wait to see what people do with Skyrim when its construction set comes out.

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gazook 4 years ago Author

I take back what I said about no bugs. The thing started to crash to the desktop randomly, far into the game. Fortunately there was a mod for that :)

Igor 4 years ago

Nice list - yet incomplete for my taste; I agree Gothic 1 & 2 are far better that parts 3 and 4 of the series; I'd add Divine Divinity and its more modern sequel, Divinity II: Ego Draconis to the list. Anachronox was another title I liked very much too.. well I could add dozens more if I keep remembering :)

I too have a long list of favourites, it's probably over 50 games, maybe I'll post someday an article with that :)

Skyrimdoesnotbelongthere 4 years ago

Skyrim doesn't belong there, it's a shallow "hit dungeons ,standard bandits,monsters, return" quest. It's SOULLESS, everything is the same thing and very uninteresting.

Smoke 4 years ago

I love RPG's, but sadly, I have a lot of trouble getting into games that use an isometric view. :(

Morrowind is probably my favorite here, tons of replay value, especially with mods, I'm still playing this game. (Oblivion\Skyrim = Meh.. I'd pick Daggerfall, or MW over either of them.)

Kotor is great too, I spent a lot of time with this game.

Kotor2 is better than Kotor, I don't get the hate, so the ending was rushed a bit, the rest of the game is awesome. (And for the uninformed, most of the missing content is on the disk, but not implemented, a mod exist which fixes this, it's called TSLRCM(TSL Restored Content Mod), check it out..)

NWN2 is pretty good, much better than NWN, mainly, because as I said, weird views ruin games for me. (The cam hack for NWN helped, but I still prefer NWN2.)

FF7 is also a good pick, it's become trendy to hate on this game, but whatever. (Also, there is a great mod community hiding out there somewhere, they don't like a lot of attention, but trust me, the PC version can be much better than it is.)

FF8 is much better than 7 in many ways, some ppl don't seem to agree, in fact most don't, but whatever, it's a great PC RPG. (Would love to see 9 on PC.)

Fable TLC is a pretty good game, a bit shallow, but still, I had fun with it.

Bloodlines, excellent pick, and you are correct, many, many ppl missed this little gem. (There is a mod for it too, it adds tons of cut\new content. PlanetVampire (fileplanet sub site) should show you the way..)

Oh, don't forget about Breath of Fire 4, it's a pretty good PC rpg as well.

Sigh, so many good games, but, still not enough, I need some Kotor3 right about now. (Damn you SWTOR...)


A few good non-PC picks

Star Ocean 2&3, are some really interesting RPG games, I prefer 3 myself, but 2 is really good.

FF6(J), I loved this game, it really got me into RPG games. I still give it a go occasionally.

Chrono Trigger, is another classic RPG that really got me into the genre.

Chrono Cross, can't believe there are ppl who dislike this game, it's brilliant, and an excellent sequel to CT.

Tales of Symphonia\Abyss\etc, are some really good games too.

Zelda, not quite an RPG, but, the original is what started it all for me. :) FF\CT games took me down the RPG path, but Zelda led me there.

Arantor 4 years ago

Although there are fine non-PC RPGs for sure ... they simply don't belong to this thread. It's about PC games after all.

Smoke 4 years ago


I mentioned various PC games, and a few non-PC games, so what? You're way more off topic than I was, at least I actually mentioned some PC games, all you did was pretend to be a moderator. (Great contribution..)

My retort?

This topic is for the discussion of PC RGP games, NOT for criticizing other peoples post, that simply doesn't belong here, it's about PC games after all..

Arantor 4 years ago

Yet you criticize me as well:)

But you're right: it doesn't belong to this thread - so does a list of non-pc games^^.

Luv 'ya and merry christmas!


Mordwyr 4 years ago

I have thoroughly enjoyed most of the titles here, and I'm glad to see you include Mass Effect 1; however, I do not see why Mass Effect 2 was not listed, nor Dragon Age 2. Both of those games are highly enjoyable. I started my RPG experience with NWN 1 and IWD 2, have been playing RPGs ever since. Also, Deus Ex: Human Revolution should be on the list. That game was a very faithful return to the Deus Ex 1 roots, unlike DX:IW.

Smoke 4 years ago


Not really, I simply turned you own words against you, in terms of chess, that was a checkmate. (And your cue to be quiet.)

My response was mainly intended to point out the sheer ridiculousness of you going completely off topic to tell me that I was slightly off topic.

In other words, I wasn't really criticizing you for going off topic, I was making a point, and handily defeating you in intellectual combat. (Which you initiated with your irrelevant post.)

Jeff 4 years ago

Great list indeed. I played 16 game in this list and most of them are in my favorite game list.

Pool of radiance : Very nice D&D (second ed.) game. I played the nes version many times.

Ultima VII and VII part 2 : Serpent Isle : I prefered the second part of this game, so good. A classic. I am pretty sure many ppl would still enjoy this game and it can run on Windows with Exult project.

Fallout 1 & 2 : Very good post-apocalyptic game.

M&M 6 : If I remember correctly, magic was not well balanced in this game. After lvl 30, magic stayed same but monsters increased in strength.

BG 1, 2 & ID : Nice D&D (second ed.) rpg there. Dont forget the expansion Throne of Bhaal !!!

Arcanum : Very similar to fallout. Still very good game.

KOTOR 1 & 2 : Very good RPG. A must for any star wars fans.

Vampire the masqurade bloodlines : This is indeed a little rare gem. A must for vampire fans.

NWN 2 : Real great D&D (third ed.) RPG. Profound story. With The extension Mask of the bettrayer it's even a nicer game !!!

I would add Vampire the masquerade Redemption which was great (with outstanding graphics) for a 2000 video game.

I would also add NWN 1.

Richard 4 years ago

I'm a fan of old RPG's and BBS's as well. There is a charm to them you don't see in modern games, much like Indiana Jones has a charm to it which new movies don't. Technical perfection isn't everything (although it can help with a good story behind it). Personally, especially speaking older games, Chrono Trigger is one of the best RPG's I've played. And other than that? Nethack. Amazing for its time, even with ASCII graphics, which is the only version I played. Don't mess with the Keystone Cops man! :)

Nackers24 4 years ago

Wiked list Brosuf! Although I amn ot sure if anyone has mentioned it there is a wiked game out there called Eschalon book 2 (there is a book 1 but book 2 is better). it's a grat gme and one of the only RPG's I have finished more then once. It's available through Steam as well. anyways if you get a chance to play it you wont be dissapointd.

CZCZCZ profile image

CZCZCZ 4 years ago from Oregon

Loved reading through this hub. I have played many of these game titles over the years. Loved playing the Baldurs Gate series of games as well as Elder Scrolls. Skyrim has been an enjoyable game to play recently.

Stealth.SLI 4 years ago

Hey just wanted to say that I loved your post, I found it very nostalgic and I think im going to go give pool of radiance a whirl again, one of my first computer RPGs i ever played lol. Also I have no clue on what you may or may not be looking into but, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is really looking impressive in my eyes, it seems like the answer to all my hopes and wishes for RPG games in the last 5 years. Anyhow I hope it makes your list down the road, it releases Feb 7th :D Cheers

Ancillotti profile image

Ancillotti 4 years ago from Brasil, Vitoria - ES

fantastic, talk about Zelda and missed Chrono Trigger

gazook profile image

gazook 4 years ago Author

Thanks everyone for the great comments and tips!

@Ancillotti: Yup, those are epic games, but this list is restricted to PC games, or it would probably have had to be a top 250 :)

luppo 4 years ago

Fantastic list for the most part I was raised on bards tale and the ultima series btw this a pc list not console list

Coroner117 4 years ago

Note how the release date are rising whilst the game's visual quality also rises, but are at a lower ranking in the list. A perfect example that more and more studios put more effort in graphics than gameplay and storyline.

Seto Wardono 4 years ago

i love magic candle series ^^

Bobbity 4 years ago

Ah, some lovely old school games here. I've wasted many hours on a lot of those games, but today had a rare opportunity to immerse myself in Diablo 2 again... I must say I enjoyed it very muchly :)

Ron 4 years ago

Where are Krono Trigger or Ultima 6???

Valentyn 4 years ago

What happened to all the turn based game genera? Fallout one and two were amazing, and so was The Templeof Elemental Evil. And even if I go off of rpgs into strategy games like Disciples two. I would sure love to see more new RPG games coming out with turn based style. Btw, awesome list, I have played all of them except Bards Tale and FF7. Is FF7 really that great?

Amerelium 4 years ago

Long live Baldur's Gate!!!

...and Deus Ex and System Shock 2

And on that note; DX: Human Revolution is really good.

Free9 4 years ago

Valentyn, Go get FF7 now! FF7 and monkey island are the two games i loved when i was a kid.

Valentyn 4 years ago

Thanks, I will put FF7 on my list. And long live Baldurs Gate!

Olaguma profile image

Olaguma 4 years ago from Slovenia

1. Nice list

2. There are 29 (not 25) gamea listed, add 1 more and make it a top 30 list

3. Voted up!

gazook profile image

gazook 4 years ago Author

Thanks Olaguma! Hmm, what to add to make it an even 30? :)

Strike105X 4 years ago

How can you mention Gothic 3 and not 1 & 2 ? which where pretty cool and unique at their time both being a lot better then what 3 turned up to be... (Gothic 1 being the best).

Regarding FF7 4 years ago

There is a graphics upgrade that is fan made on i think is the site. new high poly models and HD support. Makes FF7 that much better as it also improves the AI

StanleeWannabe 4 years ago

The list is right on target until #21. It completely falls apart there.

CBentley 4 years ago

No Jade Empire?

Greg 4 years ago

Ultima 5: Warriors of Destiny is the greatest game ever made. And 2nd...Star Control 2

eff 4 years ago

In what universe is Bugthic 3 better than NwN 2?

Theboydave 4 years ago

Mount and blade series is worth a shout not strictly rpg but still worth a shout.

yon 4 years ago

I think underage children should be banned from internet :-)

nick 4 years ago

from where can ai download the series Mass Effect 1-2

Solus77 4 years ago

KotOR is by far the best game on the list, and the best game of all time. Morrowind comes second. Then all the rest. RPG are art, everything else is just entertainment.

Drek 4 years ago

Great games! Baldur's Gate games are simply the best RPG series ever. I just wished some indie developer would try to recreate the magic of old but beautifully crafted 2D RPGs. And put in a great story rather than using 90% of the space for graphics voice acting (not that voice acting is bad, just limited).

PS. IMHO Gothic 2 are far superior to 3, and maybe there is place for Risen in your list? Not the greatest game, but the vast amount of mods available and the fact it was made by the same people who made Gothic 1,2,3 might score some points for it.

Also Divine Divinity was a good game, and not really a diablo clone.

Will 4 years ago

No Final Fantasy 2 or 3? (4 and 6 in Japan)

veldrane 4 years ago

No Dungeon Master (DM1&DM2) in the list ?!! :). And what's about Ultima 8 Pagan ?

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jamesmuia 4 years ago from Broadway, Virginia

Great list! I like all of the games on here! Betrayal at Krondor is probably my all time favorite!

anas 4 years ago

annoying list !!!

where is morrowind?

Giannis 4 years ago

Bioware didn't want to pay any more to Wizards of the Coast and thats why stop to create D&D games.Also Obsidian is a company created by some members of Black Isle after the disband of the company.But as always Obsidian didn't deliver any serious game.NWN 2 was not so good as NWN 1 by far.Also Bioware after she got bought by EA is not the same company of the past.Many games created by Bioware lately are just Dragon Age 2,Star Wars The Old Republic,Mass Effect 2.Bethesta also did good job only in Fallout 3:Las Vegas and Skyrim is not the game that all expected.To be honest,its a good RPG,but not far at all to be named as legendary.Same goes to The Witcher 2,exept the amazing graphics,the game is short,has bad story and silly combat system

Jm 4 years ago

shit yeah i played 90% of these games. another good one was lionheart

Eric A. Smith 4 years ago

DeGorro 4 years ago

None believe me, but I finished ultima 8 in my 14 years old, and I'm not even UK or american, which mean I'd to play the game half blinded because my english vocab were just basic. The game was hard for me but challenging, especially when the hero has to jump from a platform to another when the avatar need to meet the wind guardian. ;)

Quiett42 4 years ago

Just trying to spread the word on this. Hope I don't offend anyone.

It's worth checking out if you enjoyed the original wasteland.

Sherlock 4 years ago

Totally missing the Drakensang series in this list. Both Drakensang games (Drakensang: The black Eye and Drakensang: river of time) are top RPG games and are in my opinion far better than the Dragon Age series.

j-m-g 4 years ago

Witcher 2 and Skyrim are the 2 best games ever :D

XHunter 4 years ago

Where is Demons and Dark Souls? O_o

They are just my favorite RPGs (and i played lots of them)

XHunter 4 years ago

Best "PC" RPGs... i feel dumb :P

Anyway, Dark Souls will have a PC port with new bosses (confirmed), so get ready to add it ;)

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gazook 4 years ago Author

@quiett42: Very cool! Looks like it's doing pretty well.

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Khal Blogo 4 years ago from A gas station on the yellow brick road

Diablo 2 is on the 14th spot... Dude, seriously... Diablo 2 is the best RPG ever made, there is no competition...

Rawgrim 4 years ago

Seriously, says clearly that the titles are sorted by year. Also, Diablo 2 is arguably NOT an rpg. The only thing rp about it is that you level up. You have zero conversation choices, or choices on how to finish missions. The only thing you get to chose is how to deal damage to respawning enemies.

Khal Blogo profile image

Khal Blogo 4 years ago from A gas station on the yellow brick road

Missed the "sorted by year" part... My bad.

Nightstyle 4 years ago

Gothic 3 doesn't belong. It was a failure in so many ways, and Gothic 1 & 2 were superior in anything but graphics. Seeing how many older games make the top of this list, it's pretty much a crime to list Gothic 3 here.

AM Hanson profile image

AM Hanson 4 years ago from Mankato, MN

I can't believe you have Arcanum on one I talk to has ever heard of it, but it is one of my all time favorites growing up! Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale too?? Definitely a great list of games and I agree fully!

Dudicle 4 years ago

Yeah, Arcanum FTW! I'd love to see another game set in that world, but with less bugs and balance issues.

Tim 4 years ago

oblivion and no morrowind? what a crappy list.

John 4 years ago

How did you not see morrowind?

Boronguy 4 years ago

the fact that gothic and NN was in there just made me cry out of happiness (best games evah)

uri 4 years ago

[quote]"Long overdue update: People are still reading and commenting on this page, which is awesome, it's just that it was published more than a year ago, and these things get dated fast. At the very least, a couple more game should be added to the "Best Ever" list"[/quote]

Then Update your danged web page seriously.... I'm not saying "do it every day." But honestly once a month at least... People read these top of lists to get an idea of what games they may have missed or recommendations in genre's that appeal to them more.

If you cant keep it updated then remove the page altogether. There's no purpose in it, If its just old and worthless...

I believe I can honestly say, That newer games vastly improve on the older games. No, not just with graphics also with game-play and interactivity. A great Story is a great story and i value that.

I also highly value being able to control a character well and being able to tell the difference in a characters gender and the clothes/weapons a character can change, the amount one can wear and or use.

The fallout Series, The mass effect series, The baldurs gate series. Vampire the masquerade is a great game but its not a great game on its own the only reason its even a great game now a days and so widely known now is that Fans patched the hell out of it and fixed what the developers could not or would not do.

Considering Also, That you have Action Rpg's on here why not put Kotor 1 ,2 ?? there others even that are just plain not listed that should be or possibly removed i guess if it was not your intention to add action rpg's like V.T.M.

Something to think about when making a list like this.. (is it a Solid RPG or is it more? if so should i make it a broader list?) Just saying.. i see to many of these Hodge podged lists. It gets annoying when your just trying to look for game suggestions.

These are things to take into account when making a top of list however... not just remember games fondly from your youth back when you were wearing those rose colored glass's and had an extremely jaded view of the world.

I fail to see how Bards tale or D&D held up to the test of time they may have been great games back in the late 70's - mid 80's but were in 2012 now...

You could do a top list of the 1980's to put them in but theres lots to take into account when doing a top list of anything and while i agree with some of what's on here I believe that if your going to do something do it right or plain and simple don't do it.

I'm sorry if you fill my post is offensive. I believe I am right and possibly ranting a bit... You can put The Fallout series for example instead of just Fallout. Considering that theres 1, 2, 3, Fallout tactics.. and most recently new Vegas.

776568 4 years ago

how about dragonfable

boodoo 4 years ago

Thanks for the info dude. Loved diablo 2, played baldur's gate 2 but got a bit tired of it after a while. keen to try witcher bro, looks awesome. the only fable i liked and clocked over and over was the original. that game was doooope!! the others (including lost chapters) seemed to be a dulled down, not as raw version that i enjoyed alot less.. :)

Clickypen 4 years ago

Huge FF fanboy here. FF6 and 7 were the pinnacle of the franchise and it's gotten progressively worse in quality since then.

With that confession out of the way, I'm not sure it belongs on the list as a 'best pc rpg'. It seemed like a quick-port afterthought to make more money for those who didn't like consoles.

It's akin to adding Halo in a list of the best PC shooters.

HAHAHA 4 years ago

First of all, no Arcanum. For a PC snob that you are that should be a priority game. Than, after all, you've ONLY played on PC a.k.a you've missed around 5000 Japanese RPG's including Tactical and Action ones. At least you should place Dark Souls.

But I don't blame you, it's not like you grew with both PC and console systems.

Bap 4 years ago

I'm 30 years old and I'm still having dreams about "Maniac Mansion". Indiana jones and monkey island also are captivating. If you died in these, you had to go all the way to the beginning

brianjensen666 4 years ago

A lot of those games are good, but BG1+2 and planescape:torment are classiscs.. The Dragon Age Origins was made, the only good game since those imo... modern 3d gfx with wonderful combat mechanics (pressing space planning the combat like BG series and MM6).. They've tried to make RPG games into arcade games like DA2 with machine gun hitting mages and teleporting scouts to backstab.. RPGs is about depth, not hack and slash arcade action.

Stop making shallow, 3D games that bore you after 100-200 hours of gameplay.. Having played all through BG2 with all character classes and and various grp setups, DAO + awakenings 15-20 times and never being bored shows what games should be about.

1: Gameplay and in-depth story and well-mde characters works

2: Neglecting everything apart from gfx makes for a game without longevity.. If you're bored with a game after 50-100 hours, the game sucks

wytse 4 years ago

Skyrim is in it but oblivion isn't..

Is a bit off by my opinion

Skoobaba 4 years ago

Oblivion IS in it...maybe you should read more closely...

Both Drakensang games should be on the list, though. Classic rpgs both of them. They look alot like Neverwinter 2, i guess. Damn good games.

Locust 4 years ago

I would have to say this is a decent list. I still play all these games to this day. Also, I like to add that if you can get a PS emulator to work, like I did, FF8 graphics looks superb. Alot better than PS1. Icewind dale, heart of winter, and Icewind dale 2 I'm playing now, still. Reading all of R.A. Salvatores books helps with that. Baldurs gate is still fun to play, but it makes you made that you can talk to Drzzt only... damnit. They have Magic:The Gathering also on PC. I still got my cards... all 10000 of them... haha yeah I know. Honestly in my opinion, these 3d games now-a-days can't hold out to the stories of the classics or gameplay. Yeah ooooo 3d cool... um who remembers playing zelda link to the past? hmmm? Non 3d. Addictive. Awesome story. Didn't even need 3d. If it had 3d it would've taken away room for gameplay just for looks?? booo. I do like the 3d however on some games, but not all. It takes up too much memory. World of Warcraft wasn't mentioned I see. that's a prime example. 3d... neverends basically, always something new, play with friends world-wide, similar to Diablo2 and Icewind dale or a cross of both. Good story. Quests. Seasonal. Real time. Holidays I mean come on the list goes on...

boyet 4 years ago

diablo 3 must be included, although it's on process of fixing bugs. :-)

Babuya 4 years ago

BG2 is No.15 ????

You got be kidding me !

AC 4 years ago

@Teppik Diablo is a RPG, plain and simple. If it was a hack and slash, it would have been made like Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden.

diverko 4 years ago

I think it's time to add Deus Ex: HR :)

Skratt 4 years ago

Awesome List !!

as others have said the fact that it is still up and running/getting veiwed after so long is crazy cool.

one game i think you should add is Divine Divinity... it was released in 2002 and is similar to the BG and NWN in that it is turn based and can be paused. it is FAR more expansive in plot and overall size of world than the BG and NVN games though. with truly impressive depth to the story as well as genuinly hilarious and well done voice acting

it was originally released only in europe so it took a while for people in the US to catch on to it.

thankfully it recently became availiable for purchase and download on steam for only 6 bucks! WIN

Renzore101 4 years ago

diablo 3?

Renzore101 4 years ago

Also, I would like to address some peoples claim that diablo isn't an rpg but merely a hack-and-slash game. What is an rpg to you? In my mind any game that has some sort of level progression and skill tree/character building/inventory management is an rpg.

jb 4 years ago

Agree with the list (have the same probs many others do with picking Gothic 3 but not 1 or 2 - as I recall when Gothic came out, it had to compete with the much more visible Morrowind - comparisons were pretty harsh, but what the series invented was a new way of looking at RPGing, particularly with the emphasis on relationship-building and territory.)

Anyway, I don't personally see Diablo/Torchlight/Borderlands as classic RPGs, they are action-RPGs, which is a great genre, just not really the one this list really accentuates. You also don't find MMORPGs on here, that's another category of game and has it's own very distinct flavor. For classic RPGs, I am delighted to see the old Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games on here, Bard's Tale (of course), the Bioware chest, etc.

A few sleepers I'd like to mention (a few others may have mentioned as well, I couldn't possibly read all the comments) - the Drakensang series is good and flew way under the radar. Also, the Divine Divinity series is good, and I think will make a big resurgence (or maybe just be noticed for the first time ever) since Steam is featuring Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga at a really low price. This latter series was an exceptional experience, and still holds up mighty well even against the powerhouse releases (Skyrim, Witcher 2) of the day. There was a lot going on, particularly in Divinity II - the ability to build up a small army of followers who collected resources for you, the ability to mindread almost any NPC in the game and gain valuable information or even skills, the ability to transform into a dragon for a unique experience - all this plus great looking visuals, a hilarious sense of humor, some pretty decent puzzling - this is a game that will one day be respected for what it did, without anyone noticing. Great game.

Great list. I hope you keep updating it.

Skoobaba 4 years ago

Babuya....if you read the list. Really closely. Check the top of the list. Really closely. Read slowly. You will notice that the list is sorted by YEAR, not by score.....Thats why BG2 is at 15th place.

Chad 3 years ago

I can't believe the NES Dragon Warrior series or the Sega Master System and Genesis Phantasy Star series is not on this list

Justin 3 years ago

This was exactly what i was looking for. I set out on a nostalgic trip to uncover the best of the best from the yester years to torrent and download to add a nice collection and this definitely pointed some out for me and gave me other ideas. Wonderful page except for Skyrim, Skyrim was a disappointment at best saying that was the best of bethesda is like saying fat trailer park women coated in ketchup . sweat and cheap wine are the picture of perfection. ( my opinion)

gazook profile image

gazook 3 years ago Author

Thanks a lot for all the great comments! Yes, @uri, @jb and others, it's definitely time for an update. Deus Ex HR and Diablo 3 seem fairly obvious, but I'm open to suggestions. Just remember that it's PC only (so no Phantasy Star etc.) ;)

Duechtin 3 years ago

so i noticed daggerfall wasn't on here...loved it...actually still playing it endless fun.....@all the graphic sluts out there to be honest i would sacrifice graphics any day for quality game play now adays games focus entirely too much on graphics and miss what games are all about.....story and gameplay. Perfect example compare FFVII to any of its sequals still untouched in my opinion 8 9 & 10 were all right but i noticed the better the graphics got the narrower the games got i love endless worlds of constant adventure and blah blah Gazook well played sir there is a few on here i haven't got around to and it seems i have some gaming to do

dimsam 3 years ago

absolutely the best critic of game ever read,well done

zd84 3 years ago

I have come by dozens of these lists, just like many others. By fact this is the best list out there (most likely as it includes all my favourites). I read your lis a year ago, but didn't bookmark and have been looking for it ever since. Now it get into the bookmarks for sure.

Great job, thanks

LoLz 3 years ago

This is the cRPG list. Not a RPG list. What a load of bollux.

Pitrs 3 years ago

Nice list, thanks for it. If it was top 25+, other great games could be added. e.g. Dungeon Master, Lands of Lore I(!!!), Gothic series, Ravenloft(!!!) ... and dont forget the most popular MMO-RPG games (Ultima Online, WoW, Lineage..)

add Wizardry, I think that WVII is much better then 8 ... addiction guaranteed, but no offense

gazook profile image

gazook 3 years ago Author

Thanks for the tips and comments! @Lolz: It does say PC in the title ;)

Lynn 3 years ago

I would say that I'd put diablo 3 on there waaaay up top of the list, but then i came across places like this mannn...i just wish I didn't have to play with players who use that stuff.

Oh well, hopefully Blizzard will get it together. Awesome list anyhow and a BIG kudos to you for mentioning V:TM, that's one of my favorite games of all times!

Baisho 3 years ago

Diablo 3 ... no,no,no. In fact, I recommend Diablo 2 over it´s younger brother. Diablo 3 relies too much on equipment to make DPS... It´s not really bad, but it´s not comparable. The skill tree on D2 was excelent, as you could focus on habilities and sets, with a little calculation and planning of the leveling process. Really, a vicious game. D3, can be fun for hours, but it´s more washed.

Also. PC cRPGs. I must say I grew with the Baldur Saga, playing in multiplayer with friends of yester years. A real nice experience.

M&M VI. Darn good game. Great mix of party management, mastering progression, dungeon exploration, and also fantastic music to boot. The world of the game is HUGE, be aware of it.

I introduced Kotor 1 & 2 to a younger friend, who never touched RPGs. He´s hooked like hell to the story. So yah, kudos for mentioning these games. Very good, and accesible.

By the way, recently my brother has lend me Fallout 3 for PS3. I´m going to give it a try.

Aaron 3 years ago

Great list! Every one that I've played I agree with. I have to admit I haven't played most of these as I didn't really start PC gaming until about 10 years ago.

You mentioned Deus Ex HR. It was the last game I played. I was and am happy to see that type of game produced. Some of my all time favorite games (the KOTOR's and Mass Effect 1) are sci-fi RPG's and the genre is severely underserved. I enjoyed it, but sadly don't think it deserves to be here. Great story. Great acting. Pretty cool mechanics. You just don't feel as capable by endgame as I like to feel. The levels were a bit repetitive too and got boring by endgame.

For me Amalur deserves a spot. I know some people hated it. I just can't understand why. It was beautiful, free roaming, had a great story, superb leveling choices. I easily spent more time on that game than any other EVER. I can't remember better combat and it is absolutely a hardcore RPG. It was outstanding. Easily in my top 10 (or higher) and I've been gaming for 2.5 decades. The only down side is that the difficulty is too low by endgame, especially on the pure classes. But if you didn't have a problem force storming twice to kill everything in the room in KOTOR you won't have a problem here.

Also check out the Geneforge series, especially 3 or 4. Sucky graphics. Fantastic and original story and gameplay. Definitely deserves to be here if you can get past the look.

Ciobi 3 years ago

Where is Gothic 2???

Gastao 3 years ago

No Crono Trigger in the list? But have FFVII there instead of VI?

This list is worthless.

skrat 3 years ago

Shining Force is now availiable on Steam for 3 bucks !!

nick 3 years ago

nice list :)

" On my wishlist for next year is an illegitimate love child between Skyrim and The Witcher 2." Witcher 3 coming ;)

John 3 years ago

Great list. I'm a huge fan of BGs but also like the Icewind dales. I liked the FF7 and FF8 but the way the (random) fights were taking place was not my cup of tea. What I don't see from comments is one of the best RPG I've ever played in SNES and is the secret of mana.

Sup bra 3 years ago

Why y no put warcraft 1,2 and 3?:(

Gavin 3 years ago

Hi again, Gazook.

Since you've asked for input regarding incoming update, I would recommend you:

- Fallout: New Vegas (Obsidian made a good work of it and IMO it's a great game, with tons of fleshed-out, living and breathing characters and mature humour - something Bethesda obviously cannot do well. And, as always, mods make an already great game Epic.)

- possibly Star Wolves series (it's not in the league of BG/Torment, etc..., but it still did captivate me for some reason - perhaps it would do the same to you. And yes, it is in my personal top 30 cRPGs)

- possibly Mount and Blade: Warband (it's a rare bird at the genre's crossroad. But still, it has most of cRPG attibutes, except there is no main plot. I've played the Prophesy of Pendor mod and had greatly enjoyed it.)

- definitely Albion and Ultima Underworld II (yes, I haven't given up hope yet! :-) )

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Amber Myers 3 years ago

What!! Although i agree with your list, Dark Messiah was not TRASH. In fact, it was very satisfying and i enjoyed playing every minute of it. It could have been a bit more polished though and the ending was not good at all. At least the ending where you leave Leanna alive wasn't. It was too short and boring. 3 years ago

love fallout 2 (and one i guess) been playing the mods as of late owned both the originals before i even owned a pc some might dissagree but i'm surprised jagged aliance 1&2 wasnt on here, glad you clarified baldurs gate is different then the consoles i haven't played it yet cause thats what i thought it was

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ud1093 3 years ago from ?

witcher 2 is still one of the best but skyrim just bets it in some aspects looking forward to witcher 3

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ketage 3 years ago from Croatia

I used to be an avid gamer and have played all on your list accept for gothic and vampires masquerade , i surely do miss my gaming days. great list, brings back memories of the good ole gaming days :)

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toptendeals 3 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida

Mass Effect FTW! :D Would like to see Final Fantasy 7 on the list. I believe they released that for PC :D

Jimbojones 3 years ago

About time that Pool of Radiance and Eye of the Beholder got a little respect on a "top" list.

Estevacio 3 years ago

What about Albion the 1995 DOS game???

i loved that game , if you guys are fans of dungeon crawler,this is a must try

Shadeus 3 years ago

I agree with Estevacio. Albion was an awesome game. I didn't care for the combat so much, but it had a decent storyline.

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Hugo Furst 2 years ago from Australia

Awesome, awesome list, pal! Will make sure to check out some, if not all, of those RPGs. Thanks for sharing :) Voted up!

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Lex Neal 2 years ago

Great hub! really loved the Mass Effect Trilogy and the Final Fantasy series.

Abraham 2 years ago

Well..I'm not too fond of where the RPG games are going these days..I've never been fond of action me its not RPG, just a FPS game, or action game, or worse, fighting game..well, I guess if we go strictly by meaning, ANY game is an RPG..but for me, turn based is RPG..then again, I'm always fond of strategizing behind the scene, where it's pure tactics unmarred with adrenaline...I think in real life its important to be able to think calmly because you are more able to see different perspective when you do, and subsequently make better decisions..and these action games are not teaching children that way of thinking anymore..I see my 14 year old cousin playing mostly action games, and he would switch game every 15 minutes because hes bored, and im thinking..what will he be in the future with that kinda attitude..?

hughesy 2 years ago

Brilliant list, but bg1 was nails after the first hub area. My team of 4 got destroyed by a single wolf. Retried it a few years back and it happened again! Ff7 was awesome. All the mass effects great. In fact this list is the best! But those first enemies in bg1 took hard by far.

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Dreamhowl 2 years ago from United States of America

I love the original Fallout! I just got my hands on Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics for free and I am so excited to play again.

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ElPolloDiablo 2 years ago from Europe

I was hoping you had included Lands of Lore: Throne of Chaos. I searched the document for it, hoping to find a reference... only to find out that you think it's a miserable series. :P

Well, as a series... Lands of Lore is indeed miserable. But Throne of Chaos, the first one, just totally rocked in my opinion.

I have a special place in my heart for that game. It was one of the first games I played on a PC ever. The graphics, the music, the atmosphere... they all got me hooked in no time.

Now I understand that LoL had a very simplistic statistics mechanism. Some people don't even count it as an RPG. But at the time I was playing it, it was the first 'RPG' I had ever played. I never noticed that the stat system was too simple. I only learned that later, when playing Diablo, Fallout and others.

LoL's pixelated cutscene graphics are of outstanding quality for its time. The graphics designer behind it, Rick Parks, was famous for his pixel magic. Rick Parks has been dead for a long time already. This is a small tragedy to me, because I really enjoyed his work.

LoL1 was great!

LoL2 was playable, but couldn't hold a candle to Lol1 because of its outdated 3D engine and its crummy real actor cutscenes.

Lol3... never mind.

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ilikegames 2 years ago from Australia

Huge list of games! thanks for listing all these RPGs. Some of them are fairly new to me so I'll have to dig through them carefully to find my next game.

I'm glad to see Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura got an inclusion though since it's definitely one of my favourites!

Faerus 2 years ago

Wow, i thought i was the only one who knew about arcanum, glad to see it get recognition, it was the first game of its kind i ever played & enjoyed, i found its story, and unique quirky world more appealing then diablo 1 & 2, and the skills etc had a great setup.

hopefully at some point in the future someone tries to make a sequel, and makes it well, hint hint bethesda!

Kako 2 years ago

Having played most of these games i agree to the list! :D ...

Missing only, but as its been mentioned ; Shining Force, Geneforge and Exile ... while not mentioning Jagged Alliance as i think doesnt fit into this category.

Also, try outMount & Blade and Eschalon series.

Croc 2 years ago

Great list (but what do I know, I've even enjoyed Faery Tale 2 :)

My personal favorite is Might and magic 6, glad it made it into your list. But can't help to notice in every review or mention I've read, there are modified screenshots. At gamespot (they have the same as yours) not a single screenshot is from the original game. Why's that?

to Jeff's 2 year old comment (I can't help it :) You remember wrongly. You can always rank up in skill (even if you're already master), therefore spells can get more powerful at any level.

Zidane78 2 years ago

What a great list of games. I have only played few of the games you listed as i dont have as much time as i used to. I have finished fallout 3 few weeks ago and now playing deus ex human revolution. I reckoned deus ex hr should be on the list as well. It is an action rpg like skyrim but with gun in a futuristic setting. I am planning to play fallout 1 and 2 after this :)

Rpg lover 2 years ago

I like rpgs and have huge collection in many different platform like snes, gba, sega, playstation, ps2, wii, and most of all PC (i cant justify myself to invest in new consoles such as ps3 or ps4 or xbox 360 or one, i would rather upgrade my pc ^__^) anyway, as much as i like to love the elder scroll oblivion, i found the game very boring. I tried very hard to like it, i installed and reinstalled it so many times, but i always stop playing it after 3-5 hours. If you have any tips on how to enjoy this game, please let me know. Otherwise, you have a very nice list of games here. Please keep on updating it with recent games that you have played. Really enjoy reading this page and everyones comments :)

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jcgoloubev 2 years ago from Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa, Japan

Very nice list. I just reviewed Betrayal at Krondor actually..

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rustedmemory 2 years ago from Lexington, KY

A Bards Tale (the new one) was a entertaining game. Not a shadow compared to the original, tho!

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Juan Palomo 2 years ago

Great list, but I would included Divine Divinity instead of Diablo II and Fallout New Vegas instead of Fallout 3.

Alex 2 years ago

I disagree on The Witcher 1. It's gameplay was clunky and horrible. The Witcher 2 and 3 may be great, but #1 definitely doesn't belong in a top #25 ever list.

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Valeant 2 years ago from Syracuse, NY


Ron Wilkins 2 years ago

List is nice but I was under the impression FF was first released on NES. I remember playing it on NES

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Seanspage 2 years ago from USA

darnn! These are all awesome games. I have thoroughly enjoyed myself for thousands of hours on these gems. For people who loved playing games similar to Diablo II, Titan Quest is certainly a very strong recommendation. Anyways, thanks for such an awesome article Gazook!

SimilarSam profile image

SimilarSam 2 years ago from Australia

Love the list you've put together here, so many fond memories on many of these games.

reginatotheb 2 years ago

I have a ton of these games listed - like new in the box with instructions booklets and codes. A gaming place for people to play these went out of business and gave me most of their inventory (quite a lot) - I also have tons of other PC games new in box like half-life series and others I have forgotten the names of - but, a lot of the older ones that first came out. If anyone is interested in buying them (for cheap) - post me your email and I will get back with you.

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acouasm 2 years ago from Las Vegas

Great list, I especially liked that you included Baldurs Gate, those games were amazing and often overlooked.

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Game Gamut 2 years ago

Elder Scrolls Morrowind beat Oblivion and FF VII made the list. Really good list here sir. I think Diablo 2 deserved to be in the top 10, but when you consider all RPGs on the PC, it's all arbitrary within the top 15

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Royce S 21 months ago

Great list! Definitely have to study the classics on here I haven't heard about. Mass Effect For The Win!

Manuel Demis 21 months ago

Guys just sharing, I've found this interesting! Check it out!

You can check out a review here :

Eoin 7 weeks ago

Try Pillars of Eternity for modern BG style gaming

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