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My Top 5 Influential Games

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tibbon said...
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1) Ultima Online - Totally broke the mold and pushed for a world of immense freedom and flexibility. I feel they screwed it up later on. I miss the anarchy of 1997's beta.

2) Betrayal at Krondor - Photo realism + 3d (well as far as the early 90's did it). While it was a tad linear, it felt very open and free. Amazing depth for the time and only recently are we getting close. A killer example of American/European RPG.

3) Final Fantasy II (US) /IV (JP)- While FFIII and VII normally get all the press and fanfare, this one really set things apart at the time and I loved it. While I'd played RPGs prior (Dragon Warrior, FF I, Zelda (action/rpg), Ultima II) this one really hit home with me. It wasn't overly hard and arbitrary like Ultima II, but rather pushed forward with a killer story and just the right difficulty and openness. Probably Chrono Trigger is the only JRPG that I enjoyed equally.

4) Baldur's Gate - I've alwayed loved D&D and this was the best story, questing, and rule implementation that I ever encountered. Zero grinding, but complex battles and awesome difficulty. This ate much of my freshmen year of college.

5) Quake - While other FPS games that I'd played prior (Doom and Wolfenstein) were good, Quake took things up 100 notches. The speed, ruthlessness, monsters and multiplayer were perfect. Brings back memories of Null Modem connections, coax 10 base-T network cables running through the house and carrying my desktop to a friend's house to play on a small LAN.
Ultima Online

Ultima Online (PC)

Genre/Style: Role-playing/Persistent World Online RPG
Release Date:
Baldur's Gate

Baldur's Gate (PC)

Genre/Style: Role-playing/Isometric Action RPG
Release Date: 17/NOV/98

Quake (MAC)

Genre/Style: Shooter/First-Person Shooter
Release Date:
Final Fantasy II

Final Fantasy II (SNES)

Genre/Style: Role-playing/Third-Person 2D RPG
Release Date:
Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger (SNES)

Genre/Style: Role-playing/Third-Person 2D Action RPG
Release Date:
Betrayal at Krondor

Betrayal at Krondor (PC)

Genre/Style: Role-playing/First-Person RPG
Release Date:
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I need to take a step back in time and try most of these. Growing up I seem to have missed a few big ones...only one of the 5 of you picked I actually played, which is Quake.

I actually own Ultima Online...new and still sealed in wrapper. I won it in at one of the ctrl-alt-del lan parties a couple years ago...but figured it's one of those games that was amazing for its time, but just wouldn't translate over the years.
@colliny2k Krondor is now freely downloadable (legally) online somewhere. I tried it out again and it is impressive, but it does show its age quite a bit. If you can get past that, its pretty damn good still.

Baldur's Gate is still freaking amazing. Another great one (maybe even better?) is Planescape.

I'm not sure how well UO has translated. Its still maintained and they just released another content pack, so that's pretty cool. They also have a 3d-hybrid client that I think is supposed to work pretty well.

And FFII is still well worth playing.

One thing I've noticed about older games is that they are actually hard! New games step you through simple tutorials, have tons of carebear stages and easy monsters. Everything is also intutitive and well explained. Older games (for better or worse) don't have this and aren't as welcoming to new users always.

I'm playing Fallout 1/2 right now and DAMN, those are 100x harder than Fallout 3. Fallout 3 I didn't die until I was out of the vault and ran into a super mutant while all I had was a crappy rifle. Fallout 1, there's a good chance of dying on your first monster.
Quake blew me away. I ran it on a very low end PC, slow LAN and it still looked great.
Man, some RPG madness in there. I keep trying to put together my top 5 but that is a small list :)
@a2nt Yea, I remember that it was the de-facto lan party game because it could run on nearly anything unless you had a 386SX or 286.

I also remember when Sony came out with their first netbook like computers in 1996 dreaming about getting a tiny computer to run Quake on and travel.
@ChangeAgent Yea its definitely RPG heavy, but I was really thinking about what influenced me. I've been really happy to see a lot of newer games incorporate RPG elements (levels, skills, etc) even if they aren't RPGs.

I had an NES/SNES and C64 when I was a kid, but never got as much into the newer systems until recently. I missed the N64/Playstation thing and was entirely PC then. Zelda 1 was influential on my imagination more than anything else, but not as much for story, depth or gameplay.

Other things that were big for me were Nethack, Braid, 7th Guest and early Sierra games.

I'm REALLY enjoying playing through the new Monkey Island game too. I <3 Steam.
Baldur's Gate = teh awesome. Can you say 'Butt Kicking for Goodness'?

I'm glad you also included Betrayal at Krondor. One of the best RPG's of the 90's, but mostly forgotten. Great game. They tried to make a sequel but forgot about everything that made the first one so good...
@Tarinth Krondor was also one of the first games that offered a fully voice acted script if you bought the CD (I didn't, so I missed on it).

The sequels (there were actually two) were definitely bad. I did however get a bit into Feist's books in my early teens, which were fun.
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