Top 10 Role Playing Games 1997-2007

Neverwinter Nights 2
Following the success of Bioware's prequel and expansions, Obsidian Entertainment decided to try their hands in this new installment. Improving on every aspect from the first, NWN 2 has a deep enriching storyline, decent enough graphics for today's standards, and a great soundtrack that will give any player hours upon hours of enjoyment no matter how many times they play through it. With the selection of the races, classes, and feats within the game, the replay value through character creation alone is quite amazing. Not to mention the fact that also like its prequel, NWN 2 gives players the ability to create their own modules and adventures for their friends to play. Most of the big time mod makers from the first installment have already divulged plans for some pretty epic modules already. And add the fact that you're still able to have a live DM preside over his own adventure in the game, and this game could be the pc game that takes over your weekly Dungeons and Dragons tabletop get together.
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
Coming off the huge success of its predecessor, Shadows of Amn takes the adventure even further. With the ability to take your character from the previous game and level them up even further, while gaining worthwhile companions that only add to the overall storyline, Baldur?s Gate II took everything that was great about the RPG genre and made it better. Making the pen and paper gameplay of Dungeons and Dragons come alive on the computer screen, giving the modding community all the tools of the developers, there just weren?t enough hours in the day. With hundreds of modifications being made throughout the next few years after its initial release, players were able to enjoy this game for years to come and even now today. The pre-rendered backgrounds shine even when compared to some of the artistic style of games today.
Planescape: Torment
Considered by most to be the best role-playing game of this generation, Torment gave players depth, a creative setting, and a storyline who you actually cared about the companions you traveled with and how you wanted them to live through to the end. Not just because you wanted to beat the game, but because you wanted to see them grow. Some players were turned off by the immense amount of dialogue while others reveled in the atmosphere that was not only told through the beautiful pre-rendered background, but also through the detailed description of each area and character within the dialogue boxes. In one of the strangest Dungeons and Dragons settings, who would have thought such a cult classic could have been developed that would have a following years after its release
Fallout II
No one could have guessed that a post-apocalyptic world could bring so much joy to so many people. Stemming from the success of its previous installment, Fallout 2 took the series to new heights with some graphical improvements, deeper story, and the ability to have a longer gameplay experience not having to be pushed along to get the main quest done in a certain amount of time. With a larger game world that comes alive, even with the dated graphics engine, Fallout 2 gives the player more cult references, and a more fine tuned, quality experience from beginning to end all wrapped up in a non-linear game where there is an abundance of replayability because of not only the character creation system, but also through different dialogue trees with NPCs throughout the massive world.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
In a setting 4000 years before the Star Wars movies take place, Knights of the old Republic breath new life into not only the RPG genre, but also into the Star Wars setting. With some great dialogue options that provide for an engaging storyline, KOTOR is a game that has you hooked all the way until the end. With decent graphics to display the world around you, you?ll be roaming the galaxy building your legacy through the choices you make whether you want to be an evil Sith Lord of a powerful Jedi Knight. With some interesting companions to help you throughout your travels and some atmospheric environments where you?ve seen Luke Skywalker travels many millennia later, Knights of the Old Republic gives every player a great experience from beginning to end.
Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: Game of the Year Edition
Coming from long standing developer Bethesda, Oblivion is a game that any role-playing gamer can enjoy. For your non-linear role-playing game experience, look no further because Oblivion offers players miles upon miles of lush outdoor environments to traverse as they build their character up how you would like. With hundreds of quest to find and complete, guilds to join, and homes to purchase across the many villages of Cyrodiil, and a full expansions pack to add, you have literally over 200 hours of gameplay to be had with this just one game.
The Witcher
Coming out of nowhere from a first time developer, The Witcher brings back the role-playing game genre with force. With an amazing storyline, engaging combat system and an alchemy system that?s unparalleled in any other game, CD Projekt took a license created by Andrzej Sapkowski, a Polish writer, and made a very impressive role-playing game. Hours of engaging gameplay are yours to be had, not only because it?s a lengthy game, or because of the replay value with multiple endings and different dialogue trees, but also because of the toolkit and the mods that fans will be creating for this game. Made from an Advanced Aurora Engine, the same engine that ran Neverwinter Nights, the developers breathe new life into this aging graphical engine and makes The Witcher shine in the mist of the some of the best looking games coming out today.
Fable: The Lost Chapters
A mix between action and role-playing, Fable gives role-playing fans a breathing world. Peter Molyneux, although promising much more than what was actually delivered, came up with a game where being evil actually meant being evil including making your character actually look evil. Whether it?s through the tattoos that adorn your body or though the flies that periodically buzz around your character, or even the horns that may protrude from your head, as you progress, you?ll see these little details throughout the game and it shows how much time the developers put into the overall gameplay experience.
Arx Fatalis
Pretty much defining the dungeon crawling experience in the role-playing genre, Arx Fatalis, Arkane Studios wanted to pay homage to the dungeon crawlers of the mid 90s and it does so with class. There are quite a few details spread throughout the game that give it quite a bit of charm, such as using your mouse to trace the outline of a spell on the screen instead of just pushing a spell button. But paying attention to the little details that the developer instilled in the game will pay off as you will find that they will help you along the non-linear path that you?re able to take through the labyrinth that you?re dropped in from the get go. There?s just a lot to this game, such as full speech audio, a giant detailed labyrinth of tunnels to traverse, a decent storyline, and some good looking visuals that will keep you engaged from the start to the finish.
Gothic II: Gold
Being an unnamed hero tends to be the trend in a lot of role-playing games, and the Gothic series is no different. Throughout the entire series, you play as the same character, one that you can?t customize with different colored hair, or body size, or even facial features like every other RPG out there, but while playing, you never really care because of how you instantly get sucked into the wonderful atmosphere and environments that you?re subjected to each time around and Gothic II: Gold Edition is perfect example of just that. A fun, expansive, adventure across vast stretches of detailed lush lands for you and your character to gain levels, powers, and abilities as he progresses through a non-linear storyline that could take as many hours as you want to put into it.