Start your CRPG addiction with the 10 best CRPGS ever made
The CRPG has long been a favourite for those who value strategic planning over reflex times and precise execution. Here are our top 10 CRPGs, new and old.
But before we begin, a definition. CRPG used to mean ‘Computer Role Playing Game’, which helpfully delineated between tabletop role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and the video games that emulated their gameplay.
Nowadays, the meaning has shifted closer to ‘Classic’ RPG – games with a top-down, isometric viewpoint where the player gives a character commands (walk there, attack that), rather than executing the individual swings of their sword. For the purposes of this list, this will be the definition we’ll stick with.
CRPGs derived much of their appeal from their resemblance to their tabletop forebears, and the recent surge in the popularity of tabletop gaming has inspired plenty of developers to try to recapture the elements that make these games special.
The defining features of these games are some combination of deep characters, rich, meticulous narratives, and an emphasis on detailed battle-planning. The best CRPGs want you to care about every decision, because you never know which ones will make the difference between life and death.
Baldur's Gate II Vampire Bodhi CRPG
As a child of Bhaal, the God of Murder, you must select your team to pursue and defeat the prodigiously powerful wizard Jon Irenicus, literally to hell and back. Characters are fantastically individualised, with favourites including muscled powerhouse Minsc, and Boo, his pet miniature giant space hamster.
The game is packed with imaginative quests and wonderful voice acting, making Baldurs Gate II a must-play CRPG.
On the surface, it’s a detective story. Solve a murder, prevent a war. Simple. Oh, except that your detective is an alcoholic, drug addicted mess of a human, and the very skill points you invest into him become the voices in his head. No big deal.
Divinity: Original Sin II
Divinity: Original Sin II is generally considered to be slightly more polished than the original, but both are genre masterpieces. With up to four-player co-op, you and your buddies can band together to fend off the monstrous Voidwoken and, naturally, save the world.
Dragon Age: Origins
Dragon Age: Origins was also noteworthy, particularly at the time of release, for not pandering solely to the young-straight-male demographic, and has since become a favourite for female and non-binary gamers. With a wide array of romance options and a story that truly shifts in response to your choices, Origins is a game that any player will want to keep going back to.
In Fallout 2, the player must journey from their ailing, drought-stricken community to find a terraforming device called a Garden of Eden Creation Kit. Things go poorly, of course. Why isn’t life ever easy in a radiation-ridden nuclear apocalypse?
While the core game was solid, Neverwinter Nights truly shone when it was in the hands of its fervent community. Content packs added new models for monsters, gear and more, and servers delivered all types of gameplay, from arena battles to hardcore permadeath role-play.
Pillars of Eternity
It’s text-heavy and incredibly plot driven, which is hardly a bad thing for hardcore CRPG fans. While its combat offers incredible strategic depth, the game also takes care to award XP for quest completion and exploration rather than kills, making non-violent approaches more viable and satisfying.
Rather than an emphasis on combat, this game places its focus almost entirely on its central character’s story. As the immortal ‘Nameless One’, you must journey to different planes of existent to recover memories of your past lives, and discover the source of your immortality.
Tyranny is also a game about choice, and even the most minute can have far reaching effects. To reinforce this, your characters’ abilities are unlocked according to their reputational status with various factions, leading you to compromise between power gain and story outcomes.
Gone, however, is much of the sense of humour present in Fallout. Instead, Wasteland 2 focuses on the grim reality of human life in desperate circumstances, and is full of difficult decisions that’ll leave you struggling to achieve the least-worst outcome. It’s a powerful experience that will stick with you long after you’re done playing.
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nat Stringer is a music, tech, and gaming enthusiast from Sydney.