It's difficult to make a list like this, because If I mention that I like a certain game, people will say that I must suck because I like it - and if I fail to mention that I like (or dislike) any major RPG release, some people will take issue with its absence. because of the highly critical nature of the internet: if I put anything out there, the howling savages that populate it will quickly rip it into a million tiny pieces, like piranhas skeletonizing a cow. But I strongly believe that certain games have a quality that endures that rigorous bashing that any game released in the iGeneration Era automatically receives, and I think that my favourites fall into that category.
(Introduction borrowed from RPG Codex, and edited, pretty well sums up my thoughts exactly)
Note: I'm using Australian game release dates, where applicable, and my decade is starting January 1, 2000, ending December 31, 2009. When I refer to the '90s, well, you probably get the picture.
Note 2: There may be a few 'oddballs' in the list, where I couldn't recall whether the game was from the 90's or the 00's. Teenage years, drugs, alcohol, you do the math ;-)
Note 3: Long blog post WARNING >:-)
My top RPG of the last decade:
ES IV: Oblivion (with expansion & additional content) - With its problems I still think that it's a decent RPG. See Oblivions entry in my top 15 list below.
My top 15 RPGs of the last decade (in no real order)
Fallout 3 (With all DLC) - Some say that this is just a stripped down Oblivion with guns, I agree, My list isn't in an order and I don't feel that it's a terrible RPG. It's a fairly good one, with _some_ replay value, with all DLC. There were a few bugs, some DRM related, others due to graphical configurations, even more due to the game engine itself - seeing the same bug in three different games is rather disturbing. I am, however, looking forward to Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4, hopefully the developers learn from their mistakes of the past and bring forth something that will be the best RPG of all time.
Note: Fallout: New Vegas isn't developed by Bethesda, but by Obsidian, some of Obsidian's developers worked on some of the original fallouts.
Baldur's Gate II (and expansions) - Developed by Black Isle Studios, I felt that BGII and its expansion were a worthy successor to Baldur's Gate and had (in my opinion) more to offer than its predecessor. Still worth picking this game back up and playing, if you can find a copy and get in running.
I used to play this game in my final year of high school - which probably accounts for my poor marks in that year, Or was it my internet addiction? However it didn't affect me too much If I'm now the Manager of the company I work for, eh? (Take that!)
Neverwinter Nights (and expansions) - To not put Neverwinter Nights, Another D&D game, in my list would not be my best move, as I played it almost religiously throughout 2003-2006. I even had the pleasure of creating at least 5 modules and other resources, playing countless user created modules, DM'ing a few games with people from around the globe and making a few friends while doing it. I just didn't really think that much of its sequel, however.
ES III: Morrowind (and expansions) - Some might say that putting Morrowind before Oblivion in any 'Top RPG' list is Sacrilege (spelling?), but I enjoyed the fact that it was so open, even more so than Oblivion and I enjoyed the overall setting of the game. There were some annoyances though, like crashes and other issues, however it's still a decent RPG.
And who can resist running around as a Werewolf, or a Vampire?
ES IV: Oblivion (with expansion & additional content) - Oblivion came out in 2004, I must've played this one for nearly 150 hours - Not all recorded on my X-Fire profile, It's a decent RPG, but I ranked it lower than Morrowind due to the consolization of the user interface and the limited voice actors. I do, however, love the setting. There's quite a lot of room for improvement, so Bethesda, bring on ES V: Skyrim I say!
Mass Effect - You just cannot go past Bioware to deliver a decent RPG, like they did with Neverwinter Nights, this shooter/rpg is definitely worthy of being in my top thirteen, after playing for more than 100 hours. I did feel that there was not enough quests in the game though. I can't comment on the sequel as I haven't yet had the chance to play it just yet.
Fallout 2 - Now Fallout 2, A game I spent many weeks playing in my younger days, like Fallout 1. It departs a little from the theme in Fallout 1 but I still feel that it is a decent RPG. Like Fallout 1, this game featured multiple endings based on your actions. One thing I liked about this game other than the setting was New Reno! Gangsters, brothels, casinos and the shady culture ;-)
Planescape: Torment - Again, I spent countless hours in this one, and is a worthy, if overlooked game in its own right. The game features multiple endings based on your actions. The setting, is however rather depressing, at least in my opinion. Still worth picking this game up and playing, if you can find a copy and get it running.
Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura - I remember buying this game soon after it came out, I was attracted by the Steampunk nature of the game. I feel in love almost instantly. One of the things I liked about the game was that it featured multiple endings based on your actions, like other games in this list, and you could create just about any type of character you wanted. I also liked that you could craft weapons , ammo and just about everything else.
There were rumours of an expansion in the works, before Troika went under, but even after reading about it in an old magazine, I suspect that's all they were - rumours.
Fallout 1 - I must have spent several months on this and it's sequel Fallout 2. The whole retro-50's sci-fi Post Apocalyptic setting appeal to me, as do the RPG elements. The game features multiple endings based on your actions. One thing I liked about this game other than the setting was that it had the ability to 'hold' my attention, something that very few games do these days.
Diablo II (and expansion) - Made by Blizzard Entertainment in the previous decade and released in the early part of the last decade. I wasted many waking hours in this sequel to my fav game of the 90's (Diablo) in single player and on Battle.net. How could I not include this one?
Temple of Elemental Evil - Another fairly decent RPG, which gave me what I wanted: Turn-based combat in a D&D 3.5 setting. I bought it being a fan of D&D. It's another RPG that I feel didn't really get the attention it deserved. At times it was buggy though. It was made by the same people who made Arcanum.
I clearly remember half my party being eaten by giant frogs. They still give me nightmares.
Deus Ex - This game set in a dark place with a massive conspiracy as a part of the plot, Is one of my top 15. I felt that the sequel lacked some of the RPG elements that the original held dear, and as such doesn't make the list, while the original does. I still play it from time to time, and so I say that it is worth picking this game up and playing, if you can find a copy and get it running.
Dragon Age: Origins (With all DLC) - It's a very decent RPG. Like Mass Effect, it was made by Bioware, one of the (very few, sadly) leaders in the western RPG market. The only thing that really lets it down is the 'smallness' of some of the areas, and the little areas to explore there are. Overall though, I still consider this a good game.
I haven't seen the expansion yet to make an opinion on it, so it isn't with DA:O in the rankings.
Icewind Dale II - I did enjoy this one, as I enjoy all RPGs with the D&D branding, being a mix of the 2nd and 3rd edition rules and being set in a place I've read about in the Icewind Dale trilogy of books. It didn't really do well sales wise, but it's a fairly decent RPG at best.
Neverwinter Nights II - Fairly decent RPG, but I had numerous game disc issues with this game. In the end I gave it up, as the disc issues were beginning to cost me several times more than the cost of the game. I haven't tried either of the two expansions. It would have made the Top 15, but I just have played too many games (And, It is said that I have far too much pride) :P
Fallout 3 (Van Buren) tech demo - Based on the demo and all the design documents I've seen, this could have been a great game, now if only it saw the light of day.
Final Fantasy XII - I do enjoy the final fantasy games, but this one doesn't rate on my list as I felt this one didn't compare to Final Fantasy X. That said, it would make a top 20 list.
Dungeon Siege (and the expansion) - It's been called a major time waster, Bland as hell, even an Interactive screensaver... Yet I still played and enjoyed it, and the expansion to a slightly greater extent. It would be at the bottom of my RPG of all time list though.
I never really played the sequel beyond the demo, I've heard that it isn't fit to be a drink coaster.
I might do a (my) top 5 MMORPGs of the decade list as well, I'd need to maybe play some more to get a decent feel for them... However, that said, right now I can safely say that WoW (well...) and Fallen Earth are on that list.
Okay, I'd better stop here, or I'll be here all day, no, all week.
Thanks for reading this entry. Yes I know it's long, If you're reading this line as well, I thank you too :-)
Back to my break from the Internet, Computers and all things technology ;-)