This time around I noticed there are more console titles and the SNES especially is getting a good start. Unfortunately, most of those titles don’t belong on a top 5 list. Sure, games like Mystic Quest and Soul Blazer are fun, but out of all the rest? Ha, no. Not too surprisingly, there are a lot of great PC RPGs this time around, making it pretty hard to call it in some cases. There are 22 titles this time, so let’s hop into it!
#5 – Ultima Underworld
For those of you that have played this, you’re probably wondering why #5. I’ll level with you. Most of the console RPGs of this year were just okay, one being pretty terrible, and another being pretty damn good. This was a revolutionary RPG that inspired titles like System Shock, Deus Ex, and so on. However, looking back on it now…well, it just kinda looks like a crappy version of Doom.
Maybe that’s not very fair, but as long as we’re being honest, it also has the same problems as System Shock and Deus Ex: far too many things the developers are trying to have you do, therefore weird ass mapped controls, and the inventory system kinda sucks. Even still, this was the first RPG I know of to try this method and as a result, it’s responsible for some of the most awesome PC RPGs in history.
#4 – Arcana
…Therefore, a lot of you may be wondering why this scored higher. Well, Arcana is a lot of things. Firstly, yes, it’s a dungeon crawler RPG. However, the different developing styles of the characters as they level up, the awesome card style of combat, and overall simplicity is what really won me over. This is a game that’s super addictive to the point of just eating all your day away.
Nevermind that it’s made by Hal, the same studio that did Kirby and went on to do Earthbound. Therefore, the animation was pretty good too and definitely different from a lot of games at the time.
#3 – Wizardry 7
…But this one was much better. To be honest, Wizardry was one of those series that kinda went under my radar for a while until this one popped up. There’s a lot of depth and complexity in character creation for this one, yet it’s kept simple enough that anyone can figure it out and get exactly what they want in their party. The story’s pretty cool and kinda medieval/sci-fi this time around, which is always interesting.
The graphics, animation, cinematics, music, and presentation all around are fantastic for this one. Honestly, this is a PC RPG I would recommend for people that either don’t like PC RPGs or just don’t get into them normally. Very fun, easy to pick up and play, and pretty interesting overall.
#2 – Quest for Glory 3
…But another Quest for Glory came out. There are two reasons this isn’t #1. For starters, it’s one of the meh QFGs and technically should never have existed. Let me explain. Originally, QFG was a series based on seasons, elements, mythologies, and so on. It was to be divided into 4 different, unique titles. However, the jump from 2 to 3 seemed like it would be a bit much, so they bumped 3 to 4 and added this one as a “tweener.”
There were a couple of problems, however. First, the ending of QFG2 just got fucked up as a result. Second, this one didn’t have quite the same charm as the others since it wasn’t following suit. And finally, the story and characters weren’t as strong and clearly more parodied than previous titles. Even still, it is an entry in the QFG series and at least it’s not nearly as bad as the 5th.
The other reason this didn’t take #1?
#1 – Darklands
…THIS. If you’ve never heard of or played Darklands, I’m not surprised. Honestly, I hadn’t heard about it until probably 7 years after it was released. Everything and anything in Darklands is new, innovative, and different. From initial customization of your characters to combat to plot to overall setting, it’s an amazing RPG. Even stranger, it’s one of the most traditional RPGs I’ve played as well, which doesn’t always work for me when it comes to PC RPGs.
Very few PC RPGs will be able to be as interesting as Darklands, in my opinion. And now that you’ve heard about it, GO FIND IT.
Though there were more console RPGs this year, it really wasn’t a good year for them especially with titles like Lagoon and Warriors of the Eternal Sun. This was also the first year I could list a hentai RPG and while it definitely earns points on the innovative sex games front, it wasn’t a very good RPG in general. Still, most of these were good RPGs and well worth checking out.
Buck Rogers – Matrix Cubed
Dark Queen of Krynn
Eye of the Beholder 3
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Magic Candle 3
Might and Magic 4
Order of the Griffon
Spelljammer – Pirates of Realmspace
Treasures of the Savage Frontier
Warriors of the Eternal Sun