I can't say that I agree with all of their picks, but at least Forbes did enough research to ensure that the fourteen games listed on their "Most Revolutionary Video Games of All Time" feature stretch as far back as the mid-70's. Unfortunately, the only role-playing game listed is Ultima Online:
Fans of role-playing games remember fondly the Ultima series, which dates back to the original "Ultima I" from 1980. But when Electronic Arts took Lord British's empire online in 1997, it changed gaming forever. Gamers could now dial into (and back then they did indeed dial into) a game server and cross swords with thousands of other players in what became popularly known as massively multiplayer online games (MMOs). "Ultima Online" was not the first MMO--"Meridian 59" and others predate it--but it was the MMO that launched a million fantasy careers on the "World of Warcraft" (2004) and "Everquest" (1999).