What's your favorite cRPG?

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Sarafan

Community Contributor
Leaving aside the Renaissance era RPGs (Infinity Engine games, fallouts, arcanum etc) I spent the most time with Daggerfall, my favourite elder scrolls game. It seems like that was the one where every big idea of the series was born. Vampirism and lycanthropy, horses and carts, house and business ownership, guild membership and heirarchy, all of these mechanics were either introduced or refined in Daggerfall.

The game was ahead of its time. It probably has the biggest world in the history of open worlds. Yes, it's procedurally generated, but that's still an achievement given the hardware limitation from the time of its release. Even to this day however the game is also unfamous for its bugs. It was almost unplayable when it was released.

Also, big shout out to the library of classic RPGs from Jeff Vogel at Spiderweb Games. I'd love to see more of them make the jump to android.

I never played any of the Spiderweb Games. Didn't like the art style.
 
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Jan 14, 2020
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I would say Gothic 2 (maybe nostalgia speaking), but Witcher 3 got a new first place for me, it's just great in so many ways. Btw, I'm talking here about computer RPGs in general.

Other than those, there are so many other RPGs that i'd consider amazing, including: Deus Ex original, Elder scrolls series, Fallout series by Bethesda, Dragon Age: Origins, Witcher 1 and 2, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Mass Effect, Might and Magic 7-9, Risen, Pillars of Eternity, Two Worlds 2 etc...
 
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Sarafan

Community Contributor
I would say Gothic 2 (maybe nostalgia speaking), but Witcher 3 got a new first place for me, it's just great in so many ways. Btw, I'm talking here about computer RPGs in general.

I never really understood the Gothic phenomena. The game is quite coarse for me and I never got engaged in it. Especially the controls are very demanding even for year 2000 standards. The game doesn't even utilize mouse - a feature incorporated in very old cRPGs like Eye of the Beholder (1990).
 
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I feel I should pre-emptively clarify that my "favorite" isn't necessarily what I'd consider the best. Because I played the crap outta Neverwinter Nights, including all of its DLC and many mods, but I wouldn't claim it was the all-time best cRPG. I've heard Baldur's Gate II deserves that honor, but I've never actually completed it (I KNOW!) so I'm not certain.

The cRPG I have the fondest memories of, however, was the first Fallout. It wasn't too long, and had some cool elements I hadn't seen before. It was far from perfect, and Fallout 2 did a lot of things better, but Fallout 1 will always have a permanent residence in my Nostalgia Cortex.
 
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OsaX Nymloth

Community Contributor
Jan 29, 2020
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Way too many to list! But I will try, at least the ones I remember from the top of my head
- Fallout 1 and 2
- Baldur's Gate saga
- Icewind Dale
- Planescape Torment
- Evil Islands: Curse of the Lost Soul
- Pillars of Eternity / Tyranny / Torment: Tides of Numenera
- Pathfinder: Kingmaker
- Dark Souls series / Sekiro
- Witcher series
To name "just a few"
 
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Jan 13, 2020
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If our definition is not limited to top-down titles only, my vote goes to Dragon Age: Origins, without hesitation. Otherwise, I have to say that no game pulled me in as much as Baldur's Gate 2. I still get wistful thinking of Jaheira...

Of course I love the Witcher 3 above all others; I just don't think it really fits the conventional definition of an RPG since you're limited to playing one character—but what a character he is!
 
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OsaX Nymloth

Community Contributor
Jan 29, 2020
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If our definition is not limited to top-down titles only, my vote goes to Dragon Age: Origins, without hesitation. Otherwise, I have to say that no game pulled me in as much as Baldur's Gate 2. I still get wistful thinking of Jaheira...

Of course I love the Witcher 3 above all others; I just don't think it really fits the conventional definition of an RPG since you're limited to playing one character—but what a character he is!
Ah right, Dragon Age: Origins! I forgot about it. Remember when it released and it was praised like a messiah of the genre have arrived. In retrospect it's still good, but not as much as some other games that arrived later - altho I have this recent urge to play it again one day.

PS - Aerie > Jaheira, fight me ;)
 

Sarafan

Community Contributor
Of course I love the Witcher 3 above all others; I just don't think it really fits the conventional definition of an RPG since you're limited to playing one character—but what a character he is!

It's an RPG alright. Planescape Torment also has a defined character and it's a full-fledged cRPG. It's not the character what defines a role-playing game. It's gameplay. Games can have a defined character and still be a standard representative of the genre. I agree however that creating your own character may be an important part of the game from this genre.

Ah right, Dragon Age: Origins! I forgot about it. Remember when it released and it was praised like a messiah of the genre have arrived. In retrospect it's still good, but not as much as some other games that arrived later - altho I have this recent urge to play it again one day.

The genre was in a serious crisis when Dragon Age: Origins came out. That's why the game was praised. It was the first classic representative of the genre since KOTOR2 was released.

PS - Aerie > Jaheira, fight me ;)

Say what you want, for me it's Viconia > Jaheira > Aerie. :)
 
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I'm most definitely dating myself by saying Dungeon Master! It is near and dear to my heart and was a technical marvel when it arrived in the 80s. I, and Dragon magazine, where smitten by it instantly.
 
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Lauren Morton

Staff member
Yes, "C" stands for "Computer".

I'm still petitioning for the "C" to, now in these days, stand for "classic," the style of "cRPGs" before we just shortened to modern RPGs. But that's just me being an upstart.

For a modern game that's classic in style I know I'm far from the only one to say Divinity OS2 but dang is it good. It really captures the freedom to do what you want, experiment, and explore that I found in the classics.

As for my actual favorite, Dragon Age: Origins, for sure. I was 18 when it came out but it still feels like a formative experience for me. I love it for being the weird genetic link between Infinity Engine games and our action-skewed RPGs of today.
 
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Sarafan

Community Contributor
I'm still petitioning for the "C" to, now in these days, stand for "classic," the style of "cRPGs" before we just shortened to modern RPGs. But that's just me being an upstart.

I think that we still need a distinction between computer and non-computer RPGs. That's why I'm still using the "c" as a shortcut for "computer". But the proposition to use it as a shortcut for "classic" is very interesting.

For a modern game that's classic in style I know I'm far from the only one to say Divinity OS2 but dang is it good. It really captures the freedom to do what you want, experiment, and explore that I found in the classics.

I didn't have to occasion to play D:OS2 yet. I was discouraged by the first D:OS, which was too linear for my liking. Yes, you could go anywhere, but if you do so, you'll encounter enemies that are way too powerful for your characters. The game punishes heavily if you try to do a playthrough other than intended by the developers.

As for my actual favorite, Dragon Age: Origins, for sure. I was 18 when it came out but it still feels like a formative experience for me. I love it for being the weird genetic link between Infinity Engine games and our action-skewed RPGs of today.

I have good memories about DA:O. It's the last truly classic BioWare RPG title. Things got only worse after its release.
 

Lauren Morton

Staff member
I didn't have to occasion to play D:OS2 yet. I was discouraged by the first D:OS, which was too linear for my liking. Yes, you could go anywhere, but if you do so, you'll encounter enemies that are way too powerful for your characters. The game punishes heavily if you try to do a playthrough other than intended by the developers.

I had the same experience with D:OS! It was very frustrating. D:OS2 is a lot more permissive. There are still boundaries that you'll struggle to cross if underleveled but the game makes it much more obvious what other things you could be doing to level in the meantime. There are also so many neat systematic interactions between skills and such. And ways to cheese some of the game's abilities. When it came out many folks were comparing it to playing a ttRPG with a fun, permissive GM and I feel like that holds up.
 

Sarafan

Community Contributor
I had the same experience with D:OS! It was very frustrating. D:OS2 is a lot more permissive. There are still boundaries that you'll struggle to cross if underleveled but the game makes it much more obvious what other things you could be doing to level in the meantime. There are also so many neat systematic interactions between skills and such. And ways to cheese some of the game's abilities. When it came out many folks were comparing it to playing a ttRPG with a fun, permissive GM and I feel like that holds up.

The first D:OS was also famous for its interactions between skills and I liked this part. I'll certainly try D:OS 2 some day. Everybody praises this game, so it has to be good. I'm also waiting impatiently for Baldur's Gate 3. I hope Larian will meet the high expectations. They certainly have enough experience to develop it. Today Swen Vincke posted on Twitter that he's playing BG3 while waiting on a plane. So probably they already have a large part of the game playable. A release date in 2020 maybe?
 
And what about games like Eye of the Beholder or Might & Magic series? These are not top down games, but are considered to be a full-fledged cRPGs. I think there's no reason to exclude these titles from the list. RPG is a wide term... :)

This just reminded me of a conversation I had the other day with a friend. I mentioned that I didnt think he was an RPG type guy, and he said I play a lot of Path of Exile and have played thousands of hours of Diablo, as well as Fallout 4. When I said I don't really consider those RPG's he replied '... no true Scotsman'... And he was right!

There are hardly any games anymore that don't include RPG elements of some sort.

Also, is there a reason no one has mentioned Disco Elysium yet?
 
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Sarafan

Community Contributor
There are hardly any games anymore that don't include RPG elements of some sort.

That's true. The character progression system is implemented in almost every game these days. This shows how big is the influence of the genre on the whole gaming industry.

Also, is there a reason no one has mentioned Disco Elysium yet?

Disco Elysium is currently in my backlog. It's quite a unique experience with almost whole gameplay focused on dialogues. Not everyone likes it that's for sure.
 

Lauren Morton

Staff member
Also, is there a reason no one has mentioned Disco Elysium yet?

Disco is a great pick! One of my favorites from last year. It may be a little early to say if it will stand the test of time but I believe it will. I think the reason I didn't mention it comes down to what I said in another thread about Disco. It is a cRPG but I don't think this is the genre it will have a lasting impact on. I think it's more likely to skew the future of visual novels and adventure games than the huge family of RPGs.
 
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