Category: News ArchiveHits: 1978
The second part of IGN's Top 100 RPGs has been revealed. Entries 61-80 include a disproportionate number of Japanese games with several notable exceptions. Here are some of them:
Icewind Dale II - 76
Compared to other games in its genealogy — like Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment — Icewind Dale II is much more focused on action. So while it mostly ditches side quests and puzzles that were common in its predecessors, it zeroes in on deep character creation tools and tons of combat variety. You start out by creating a party of up to six adventurers, selecting their class, gender, and race. Once that’s done, you begin your adventure, customizing your team with an array of weapons, abilities, and spells along the way. Combat mechanics are only useful when you have something to fight, so it’s good Icewind Dale II doesn’t skimp in the enemy department. It presents you with mummies, skeletons, bugbears, orcs, goblins, giants, and a whole mess of other fantasy beasts to slay. In 2002, Icewind Dale II was the perfect chaser to its sprawling, meditative predecessors. It even holds up today.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - 73
The first Witcher game, based on Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski’s novels, was great in its own right, but the sequel, Assassins of Kings, exploded the series out of its niche and into the mainstream. The game was bigger and better in every way, with improved combat, celebrated graphics, and much more player freedom (though the series hadn’t gone full open world yet, like it would with The Witcher 3). Like the series’ other games, The Witcher 2 is renowned for its fantastic writing and characters, including a narrative fork that can set players on two very different paths, making Geralt one of gaming’s most iconic heroes.
Neverwinter Nights 2 - 72
Development on the Neverwinter Nights series passed from BioWare to Obsidian for the full-fledged sequel in 2006, but the game didn’t exactly suffer for it. Following an orphaned adventurer investigating relics called Silver Shards, NW2 improved on the first game in marked ways, especially in its narrative. More importantly, it featured online co-op and a development toolset with which players could create their own scenarios for the game, both of which helped ensure Neverwinter Nights 2 would have an avid following to this day.
Pool of Radiance - 66
An “official Advanced Dungeons & Dragons computer product,” Pool of Radiance cast you as a band of heroes battling monsters and other enemies in and around the town of Phlan. It was the first adaptation of Advanced D&D, helping set the precedent for western RPGs for the last three decades, from Baldur’s Gate to The Witcher 3. It even let players export their characters into later games in the series, another precursor of things to come.