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#8 Baldur's gate played on PC, released 1998

Baldur's gate is the rpg with the best memories for me. The gameplay mechanics were firmly rooted in the tabletop AD&D ruleset, and it was all the better for it. Magic was still something special instead of repeatedly flinging firecrackers at the enemy. Each character could only memorize a few spells each day and using the right spell at the right time could turn the tide of a losing battle.
The battles were far fewer then in todays games and all the more memorable because of it. They were a tactical affair, with boss fights turning into delicate puzzles of who to position where and what ability to use at what specific time. Being able to pause the action and cue actions ahead was essential and added a lot of depth to the gameplay. The overhead view was also perfectly suited for this group based gameplay style.

The story was great with lots of twists and turns. The sword coast is a beautiful place to explore. The city of Baldur's gate is initially overwhelming in it's size. There are lots of things to do and tons of places to visit. Truly one of the greatest cities in rpgs.

The characters in the game are well written. You're always looking forward to who you'll meet next and try to get them to join your party, then feeling an emptiness when they decide to leave you again. Since it was based on AD&D you always had to take the characters alignment into account, which added another interesting layer.

Baldur's gate is still the best full rpg experience for me. It was the start of a great run of rpgs including Icewind Dale, Planescape torment, Neverwinter nights and eventually leading to Dragon Age: Origins. Hopefully Dragon Age 3 will go back to a more tactical approach instead of the misstep that DA2 was. Dragon Age: Origins was already a bit too heavy on the action side for me. Slow it down, loose the cannon fodder, make the battles more memorable again please.

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