|developer/publisher||BioWare/Black Isle Studios/Interplay Entertainment|
|past years||2018: #12|
Baldur's Gate is one of the best attempts to bring a Dungeons&Dragons round to a video game. it had D&D license and made a lot of stuff very truthfully to the source material. For this game the Infinity engine was developed, which was the base for a lot of similar games, including the sequel Baldur's Gate II, but also Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale.
As in a D&D round you gather a party of individual adventurers and step out in the world to exterminate evil… or get rich… or both. You create your main character, following the D&D rules, but the other characters you find in the game and include them into your party, if you want. But once they are part of your group, you control them all directly. In combat things happen in real-time and you can give orders. If you are overwhelmed (and probably a good idea at the start of battle), you can pause the action to give direct orders. This can be in very fine detail, including which enemy to target, which spell to cast or which weapon to use.
Also outside of battles the game uses D&D rules, for instance for stealth, for pickpocket or for other interactions.
The characters are also great in this game. Who doesn't remember Minsc and his miniature giant space hamster Boo? Look, how lovely they are:
Modern games like Pillars of Eternity, Torment: Tides of Numenera or Divinity took inspiration from this games and the follow-ups.
The game got an Enhanced Edition some time back (also including console versions), which probably is the best way to play it these days.