I haven't seen one of these being done in a while, so i figured that i would make one myself. I've always enjoyed to read about what games people like and it has helped me find some amazing games i haven't played myself, both mainstream i never bothered to get or hidden gems that i didn't know about.
It's up to you how many games you put on your list, but i would like you to write a few lines about the game and why you placed it on your list. For this list BG/IWD is the same as BG:EE/IWD:EE, I'm just naming the original name.
Here is mine, i'll throw out a 20 games list. This is the short version.
1.) Planescape Torment
2.) Fallout 2
3.) Baldur's Gate 2
7.) Dark soul
8.) Silent Hill 2
9.) Baldur's Gate
10.) Fallout New Vegas
11.) Final Fantasy 9
12.) Vampire Bloodlines: Masquerade
13.) Icewind Dale
14.) The Last of Us
15.) Deus Ex
16.) FInal Fantasy 10
17.) Resident Evil Code Veronica X
18.) Septerra Core
20.) Might & Magic.
And now for the longer version.
1.) Planescape Torment: The undisputed king when it comes to gaming for me. The only flaws this amazing games has is the poor combat and that it pigeon holes you into playing a certain type of character to fully enjoy the game (WIS,INT,CHA). The story and NPC's are one of a kind and you won't find any other games that can spin a tale like this one can. It also let's you play evil without feeling that it wasn't a part of the game.
2.) Fallout 2: The options are endless! There is so much you can do in this world and so many different paths you can take. Want to complete the game in less than 30 minutes? You can do that! From a gameplay view the S.P.E.C.I.A.L system is awesome and the turn based combat is both entertaining and challenging. The reason i placed Fallout 2 here instead of Fallout is that it has more content. While it does have certain flaws, i feel that the game is an overall improvement over Fallout.
3.) Baldur's Gate 2: Here we go! While there are games out there that are better at certain parts than Baldur's Gate 2 (Torment = History, Arcanum = World, Fallout = Options). The thing that makes Baldur's Gate 2 stand out is that while it doesn't excel at one thing, it does everything exceptionally well. It's a wonderful blend of good gameplay, immersive story, well written NPC's and much more. With the exception of the difficulty for new players and the requirement of a manual, this game doesn't have any flaws in my opinion.
4.) Fallout: This is where it all started, and this is the reason we have games like Fallout 2 and Arcanum. Here we have a game that showed us how wonderful and exciting an apocalyptic wasteland can be. The atmosphere in this game is incredible and it belongs in any top 10 list.
5.) Arcanum: This pick might be a little bit controversial. Arcanum is a flawed gem, no doubt about it. This game has the worst combat system out of any game i have played, it is lacking a story and it came with so many bugs that it took a miracle to get it to play properly. Even with some very big and glaring flaws, this game succeeded in delivering an open and interesting world where you could play a revolver wielding bandit, dwarven smith, elven beauty pagan or a mage using an elephant gun. The crafting system in this game is also amazing and it makes it seem natural for you to scavenge every single trash bin in the game for spare parts.
6.) Morrowind: Here we have another game that has quite a few glaring flaws, but the things that it succeeds with still haven't been beaten in any other game to date. This game does not hold your hand, it has no arrow to guide you to where you go, you walk out the door of the census office and you're on your own PS: love your journal, cherish it and even touch it when you're alone in the dark, it's your most important tool. You literally get dropped into this world with the clothes on your back, a few gold coins and some table spoons you stole from inside the building without anyone noticing. If we look at some of the bad sides we'll see the horrible combat system, it's dice rolling without seeing the dice. If you don't have a good combat skill you'll swing 10 times with your sword and be happy if you connect once. The level up system is an abomination and it forces you to play the game a certain way so you won't ruin your character (good thing is that you can download a mod for this). And the dialogue you have with people aren't dialogues, they are wikipedia windows with information. But while this game does have some rather huge flaws, it also delivers the good stuff. You won't find a bigger or more well done world in any game than you have in Morrowind, it even puts Oblivion and Skyrim to shame. You also won't find any game with as deep lore as this game has, if you do read the dialogues and pick up a book or two, you'll get surprised how much lore and information there is in this game. Last but not least the roleplay options in this game are ridiculous. This game doesn't hold your hand or point for you where to go, this gives you a free reign of your character, what s/he will do and where s/he will go. You don't even have to finish the main quest, there is so much content in this world that you can pick where to go, play it for 30 hours and still have only explored 10% at the most. Also plus points for one of the best magic systems in any game.
7.) Dark souls: You play this game because of the atmosphere and the gameplay. There is no RPG out there that does combat better than Dark souls, you won't even find a game that does it equally as well. This game should be played for the gameplay and enjoying the atmosphere, it gets 10/10 in both categories. If you actually take time to read the item descriptions you'll find out that it does have a nice story filled with some obscure lore you really have to search for to find. This game is difficult as well, at least when you start out. There is a reason there is an edition of this game called Prepare to Die and you should listen to that, because as a newcomer you will die, a lot.
8.) Silent Hill 2: The king of horror games. Calling a game the king when it's in the same league as other incredible games (Resident Evil, Fatal Frame, Amnesia, Last of Us, etc) is an achievement in itself and shows how amazing this game is. The atmosphere, characters and story in this game are phenomenal and every single piece of paper you read leaves you with a sense of dread while your imagination runs wild. This game stands as a beacon that you don't need graphics to make a scary game, you don't create a horror game, you write one.
9.) Baldur's Gate: And here we have our dear Baldur's Gate. As with Fallout i feel that the Baldur's Gate 2 takes the good parts from Baldur's Gate and improves on them. This doesn't make Baldur's Gate a bad game though, it's an amazing adventure and there are certain things this games does better than its sequel, like exploration and having you start on level 1. It might be nostalgia but i hold this game closer to my heart than its sequal and do spend more time playing it.
10.) Fallout New Vegas: What is this? The third installment of Fallout on the list? While this is a Fallout game it's completely different than its predecessors with the exception of the world you play in and the S.P.E.C.I.A.L system. It changes the game from an isometric view to first person and introduces first person shooting into the mix. This game has an unique game world with a ton of items, easter eggs, quests and even small settlements hidden and ready to be found by an explorer (You!). It Introduces you to two main factions and several small ones in the game and it let's you decide what route to take. Want to help one faction? What about two factions? What about changing your mind in the game and backstab your old one? You could also play the other factions against each other and take the throne for yourself. The choices are many and the dialogues are well written, there aren't many white or black areas in Nevada, just a lot of grey.
11.) Final Fantasy 9: For an JRPG this game does everything right. It has stable combat, great characters, an immersive world and an amazing story to follow. It takes a more old school approach to the genre and goes from realistic (Final Fantasy 7 & 8) to surreal. You'll find a ton of different races in the game that make you raise your eyebrow in confusion, but in this world it doesn't seem odd at all, the unrealistic approach seems perfect for this setting. This is an amazing, solid and well written JRPG with few flaws (trance system).
12.) Vampire Bloodlines: Here is another flawed gem that seems to be unknown to many people. Let me put this game into perspective by using one word: Atmosphere. It does have many flaws like a bad combat system, original game being unplayable because of bugs, very combat heavy ending and a few other things sprinkled on top. But what it does great, it sure as hell delivers on. The atmosphere in this game is 11/10 and you'll have a hard time finding a game that does it better. It also has many ways to handle and complete every quest, the dialogues are well written and persuasion is an awesome skill that should not be missed out on. Would also like to mention the unique vampire 'races' you can pick which sometimes let's you play a completely different game (Malkavian, Nosferatu)
13.) Icewind Dale: This game often gets described as being Baldur's Gate with less story and dialogues, with more focus on combat. While this is somewhat true, there is so much more to Icewind Dale than just that. Yes this game was created to be a dungeon crawler that let's you make your own party, but this doesn't mean that it's a bad game compared to Baldur's Gate, it just means it's different. It does actually improve on Baldur's Gate when it comes to combat, music and atmosphere.
14.) The Last of Us: Between the new Silent Hills and Resident evil, this game showed us that you can make a new mainstream horror game that is actually - good. This game is an enjoyment to play from start to finish with some great characters, awesome voice acting, incredible intense combat and a world that you get to experience through an entire year with different seasons. If you haven't played this game, GO DO SO! I would buy an PS3 just to get this one game.
15.) Deus Ex: Here we have an obscure game that barely anyone knew about before one of its sequels (which is actually a prequel) hit the market in 2011 (Deus Ex: Human Revolution). But while it has had a few sequels and spin-offs ranging from different qualities, the first game is where it all started. It's hard to explain what Deus Ex really is, some people are still discussing if it's mainly a shooter or RPG. But if you're looking for a good game that is unique and flavorful, you should definitely get this game. I have a soft spot in my heart for Deux Ex as it's one of the games i randomly found when i was bored, i got into the game with low expectations and my mind was blown by the interesting story line, surprisingly deep dialogues and many amazing RPG elements. Who doesn't like to use his technical skills to rob an ATM?
16.) Final Fantasy X: Right up there with FF7 this is the most known and played Final Fantasy game. It was the first one to be released on the PS2 and it had revolutionary graphics back then. There are many Final Fantasy games out there and so you have to question why i placed this one here. There is one thing that this game does better than every single other Final Fantasy title, and that is the game play. The game play and combat in this game is incredible and for the first time ever in a JRPG i wasn't bored by random encounters. The monsters are all unique with different flavorful racial abilities and passives. You have a ton of options between how you chose to play out the fight and how you want to level your characters. This game is a solid game with very few flaws that has incredible game play. While the remastered version comes with better graphics, it really isn't needed as the original has aged very well, and no the remastered sadly doesn't come with a skip cut-scene button.
17.) Resident Evil Code Veronica X: Now if you're into the Resident Evil series you might question yourself why i picked this title to put on the list. It's actually pretty simple, while other games in the series did things better, this is the one i enjoyed the most. It had improved combat over its predecessors, it had a great story, interesting characters and it was a large game. If i could i would want to put every resident evil game up to 4 on this list, but i can't. This is the one game in the series that i found the least flaws/frustration in, and enjoyed the most.
18.) Septerra Core: What is that? A hidden gem that is a JRPG and produced in the west, played on the computer!? What kind of sorcery is this!? Yes it's actually a really good JRPG that was developed by Valkyrie Studios. When it comes to JRPG they have a lot of competition, there are so many good JRPG's released in Asia that you'll have a hard time choosing which one to play. I bought this game from a bin in a local store once and was going to take it with me on a trip to visit some family, play it on my lap top over the weekend. Let me tell you right now that my family didn't see much of me that weekend. It's a really immersive and fun game with some great characters (both playable and non-playable) along with some rock solid voice acting. The combat isn't the best and might take some time getting used to and it gets very heavy on combat the last 5% of the game. But up until that part you have a unique world with several large cities to explore and some really neat adventure game aspects that have you scratching your head for clues. It's one of those games that don't leave areas behind, you'll be flying across the world between the different cities doing small or large quests all the time. Aaand the villains look AWESOME with some SWEET voice acting! It's also one of those games that have villains join you, but i won't spoil any more!
19.) Geneforge: Now you might ask yourself, what the hell is Geneforge? Then you'll probably wikipedia it and say "Damn, this game is old" and then you'll see a screenshot from the game and once you look at the UI you'll most probably want to vomit. But if you can get past this then you got a really solid game with some unique and out of the box story, world and game play. It's a rough gem but if you can get into it you'll find it very entertaining and surprisingly well written. And if you did enjoy it, look up spiderwebs and you'll find 15+ games just like it, that's an entire gaming world that just opened its door for you.
20.) Might & Magic 6: Oooh the fun I've had with this game. For its time this was an incredible game that delivered on so many fronts. I'm sure we've all died to that sneakily placed dragon in the starter area, the one that you had to escape, the same dragon you probably died 20 times trying to kill, and if you're into challenges and pretty hardcore you might actually have killed it. It would take me an article to explain this game and its game series, so I'll just say that if you're going to start with M&M then pick this game to start your adventure with. I would also like to mention that while 8&9 might not have been that good, the last one released (10) is very good in my opinion.
So this is my long and flawed list, took me around an hour to write in one sitting! I do know that certain titles got a tiny descriptions while others got a larger one, but it's just to give an idea about the games from my point of view and hopefully get someone interested in one of these games.
Feel free to add some of your own games, could be your top 3/5 games, or even your top 10/20. But it would be nice if you wrote something about the game and why you enjoyed it. It also doesn't have to be RPG games, we're here to talk about games that we love and perhaps get people to try them out.
[Edited] : Grammar and a short version.