PC Gamer’s Best RPGs of All Time 2016 Edition

People love “best of” lists. Knowing this, PC Gamer has provided a timely update to their best RPGs of all time list. The criteria are nebulous at best, and the genre itself doesn’t do them any favors, but this is what the editors at PC Gamer ultimately managed to agree on. It goes from South Park: The Stick of Truth to Planescape: Torment and includes a wide breadth of titles in between. Curiously enough, there are quite a few 2016 additions, such as Darkest Dungeon, Tyranny, and Dark Souls 3.

Here’s what they have to say about the crown jewel of RPGs:

Planescape: Torment

There is no other story in gaming like the Nameless One’s. His is a tale of redemption in the face of countless sins, a tale of not knowing who you are until you become the person you’re trying to be. The tattoos the Nameless One wears are marks to remind him of who he is, who he was, and who he wants to be.

That open-endedness is central to what makes Planescape: Torment so captivating. At a literal level, you spend the game trying to discover who the Nameless One is, but your actions also help to define him. It’s one of many RPG tropes that Black Isle sought to subvert—others include the fact that rats are actually worthy foes, humans are often worse than undead, and you don’t have to fight in most cases. Most importantly, that your goal is not to save the world, as in countless other RPGs. You simply need to figure out who you are.

The Nameless One’s companions are some of the best written, most enjoyable NPCs ever coded. Most have been affected by your past incarnations: pyromaniac mage Ignus was once your apprentice, though it’s more impressive that he’s constantly on fire. Or Dak’kon, who swore an oath of loyalty to you, even though you’re not sure why. Others are just interesting, well-rounded characters: Fall-From-Grace is a succubus cleric who prays to no god and, though a creature of evil, wants to do no harm. The best is Morte, a floating skull whose sarcastic wit is sharper than his bite attacks (skulls can’t equip swords, of course).

These characters would be odd in any normal high fantasy world, but Torment uses the Planescape AD&D campaign setting, the strangest world TSR ever designed. And so it’s fitting that Torment is light on conflict and heavy on story—though when combat does erupt, BioWare’s Infinity Engine handles as well as in the Baldur’s Gate series. This is the one role-playing game we’d recommend to anyone interested in the genre, a game that best represents what we love about RPGs.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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