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Mass Effect, Fallout, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Pokemon, Baldur's Gate, Final Fantasy, Ultima, and The Elder Scrolls round off The Escapist's list of "The Greatest RPG Franchises of All Time". There are some glaring absences, but I can happily say that they were spot-on with at least a few of these:
With a fifth Fallout game coming next week, it's not hard to believe that the post-apocalyptic series made the cut. Fallout drops you into an unforgiving wasteland and challenges you to not only survive in it, but to thrive. You'll need to master combat, conversation, and a wide variety of other skills to get by. You'll negotiate, cajole, and threaten your way into alliances that let you achieve your goals. With a wide array of character customization perks and items, Fallout lets you make the character your own. It's a shining example of a great RPG.
Although there had been plenty of RPGs before the Baldur's Gate series came along, their appearance was a watershed moment in the genre's history. The first game included numerous technical advances, including being the first game released on the Infinity Engine. Both titles offered an immense amount of customization to players, alongside a storyline that was varied enough to allow for replayability. Both titles had strong effects on the genre, and sparked a run of great isometric RPGs, including both the Icewind Dale and Neverwinter Nights series.
In the early 1980s, Ultima was the computer RPG industry. The series dominated the market as it established many elements that are still in use today. They were some of the first games to use written narrative to tell a large story, as well as being one of the early pioneers of morality systems. The series spawned not only nine core titles, but also the World of Ultima series, the Ultima Underworld series, and of course, Ultima Online.
Thanks Thomas, via RPGWatch.