Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

The Ten Best CRPGs?

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 4, 2015

FalloutCoverBrainyAndNerdy has an article about the ten best (Computer / Console) RPGs you must play.

Now, a part of me really wants to rail about the games that are missing from the list, the lack of “indie” titles (unless you count The Witcher and Divinity: Original Sin), or the ordering. But you know, it’s a pretty decent list. He limits it to games that aren’t so dated that they really need a remake for today’s gamers, which I could take issue with, but… yeah, whatever. I still play those old games, and yeah, they take some getting used to. I love them, but… yeah. And the article cheats… most of the games listed are actually series (which is why I suppose the Final Fantasy series gets named in spite of many offerings being very dated).

But quibbles aside, it’s a good list. There are a lot of great memories there. Some of them are more recent than the age of the game would suggest. I love today’s world where so many titles are available digitally, emulated, in remakes, etc.   While some of the older titles are clunky to play today, they are still solid, fun titles. I’ve been tackling some old favorites lately, and man… they are still fun.

Of course, my own list would include Frayed Knights, but I’m a tad biased, maybe.

Picking only ten is kind of like picking your favorite child. For me, the most recent (and not “dated”) Final Fantasy titles have left me a little cold. And Mass Effect didn’t feel much like an RPG. And I couldn’t list any “best of” roleplaying games without including the Ultima series, the Might & Magic series, the Wizardry series, or the SSI “Gold Box” D&D series. And I remain extremely fond of Persona 3 & 4.

In fact, I recently took advantage of the releases on GOG.COM (even though I already had the series on CD-ROM from a long time ago… including paper documentation and cluebooks) to revisit the Gold Box games, and HOLY CRAP the games are still fun. Yeah, the earliest titles have some clumsy and time-consuming interface issues. The need to consult paper documentation is kinda lame today, but it allowed a lot more story to be told on technology with tight memory constraints. In retrospect, I’m considering these games a bit more highly than I used to.

I feel it’s still a bit early to see how newer games stand the test of time, but in addition to Divinity: Original Sin, but there’s a new-and-improved version of Wasteland 2 out now, Pillars of Eternity is a worthy heir to the Baldur’s Gate series, and I’ve got high hopes for the recently-released Age of Decadence.

I just started playing Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, which is very JRPG and pretty conventional right now, but I’m led to understand that it and the second chapter are pretty amazing with detail, dialog, characters, story, and a metric buttload of side-quests.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking stabs at making these lists, as inherently flawed as they are. I read lists like these and think, “Oh, man, I’ve gotta get back to playing some games on my back-burner.” There’s a lot of great stuff fun experience. But no matter what, the whole “best CRPGs EVAR!” or even “recommended to play now!” list for Computer RPG fans should definitely a living document. Now’s a great time to be a fan, and there’s a whole lot of great stuff to play.

But if I were to take a stab at this, right now, it’d be (in no particular order, and cheating as much as I could):

  • Frayed Knights (Okay, that’d be #1)
  • Ultima series (including Ultima Underworld 1 and 2, so I can get a 2-for-1)
  • Might & Magic series (including Might & Magic X: Legacy. It’s good)
  • The Infinity Engine games (Baldur’s Gate series, Planescape: Torment, and the Icewind Dale series)
  • Final Fantasy series (mainly 4 – 10)
  • Persona 3 and 4. Because they are weird and cool
  • Gold Box D&D series (Pool of Radiance, Champions of Krynn, etc.)
  • Divinity: Original Sin (though I haven’t played the enhanced version yet)
  • Fallout series
  • Wizardry series (particularly 6, 7, and 8)

Oh, crap, are we at 10 already? I wanted to include Pillars of EternityChrono Trigger, the Eye of the Beholder series, and The Elder Scrolls. And maybe Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2. And.. and… and….

See? I can’t do it.


Filed Under: General, Retro - Comments: 5 Comments to Read

  • Andy_Panthro said,

    That’s always my problem with “top 10” lists, it’s too easy to think of things you like and before long you’re making a “top 20” list, and then a “top 30” list…

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Yeah, and what would belong on the list changes not only based on what’s released, but on my mood. It’s like, “What’s better, supreme pizza or a freshly grilled hamburger?” Ummm…. ummmm…..

  • Modran said,

    Chrono Trigger \o/ !
    This is one of my favorite RPGs, and one of the only ones I did several times !

  • Xian said,

    These lists are always subjective, mine is not going to be the same as anybody else.

    If I had to pick the best, I usually pick titles that were the first in their class. They had the original wow! factor even though later games built upon them.
    For example:
    Dungeon Master, the initial first person perspective step-by-step game that I played. Sure, Ultima III had wireframe dungeons, but DM took that a lot further and led to many imitators

    Ultima III, the first true open world game that I played

    Ultima IV for introducing a morality system

    Ultima Underworld, the first 3D game I ever experienced. As soon as I started it, I knew this was the next big thing, the future of gaming

  • Burt said,

    Zelda, Zelda: ALTTP, Secret of Mana, Morrowind, Asheron’s Call. Yeah, one is an MMO and three aren’t for the PC and might not even meet a lot of peoples’ definition of ‘RPG’. Whatever. I’m a level 29 Necromancer, I don’t care.