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The next batch of IGN's top RPGs is out. Entries 41-60 are available for everyone to see. By now it is beginning to feel like there is no RPG, only Zuul, ahem, I mean Japan. And since I know next to nothing about those, here are the brave few CRPGs that have managed to make the list, along with some of the more notable Japanese titles:
Final Fantasy VII - 52
What needs to be said about Final Fantasy VII? The game singlehandedly pushed RPGs to greater popularity in the western world than they’d ever experienced, thanks to its gritty tone, incredible graphics, revolutionary CG cutscenes, unimaginably huge world, and insane story. Practically every one of its characters has become an iconic hero or villain, and its legacy is immeasurable. Whether you think it’s the greatest game of all time or the most overrated, its influence and its innovations simply can’t be denied.
Dragon Age: Origins - 48
BioWare first made its name with fantasy RPGs, and Dragon Age: Origins marked a generally triumphant update to its tradition of pause-based combat mechanics and party micromanagement. But its chief strength was its grim setting in a dark fantasy world that married the high fantasy of The Lord of the Rings with the low fantasy of A Song of Ice and Fire, where elves are treated like trash and magic brought with it terrible prices. It's also a character-driven game in true BioWare fashion, with the standout performance coming from Claudia Black as the role of the witch Morrigan.
Demon's Souls - 45
As big as the Dark Souls games are today, it's still pretty easy to find players who've never even heard of their PS3-exclusive predecessor Demon's Souls. But the skeleton of what would come to define Hidetaka Miyazaki's later creations were already in place there, whether it's the minimal story, the high likelihood of death at every turn, or the ability to see how other players died from their blood pools.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines - 42
You have to dig under a pile of glitches and bugs in an unpatched version of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, but if you persist, you'd quickly find one of the most rewarding RPGs ever made. Set in White Wolf's vampire universe and more specifically in Los Angeles, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines isn't only about sucking blood wherever you can safely find it, but also about shaping your tale according to your actions, beliefs, and your choices. Few RPGs do this better. It's especially successful because few works in any media have ever captured a vampiric setting so well, and Bloodlines uses every drop of this atmosphere to add meaning to everything from fascinating rivalries between vampire clans to hungry hunts for rats in dirty alleys.