Help me choose one of these RPGs

So I finished up with Anno 1800 for now (see that thread if you want pics) and I’m feeling like an RPG. Like everyone else I have a bit of a backlog, but I’m having trouble choosing one. Can I have some help? Here’s what I’m considering:

Recent-ish:

  • Age of Decadence
  • Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut
  • Icewind Dale: EE – played through the base game and ran out of steam, thinking about doing the expansion now.
  • Skyrim – never made it all the way through, thinking about trying the stealth sniper route.
  • Transistor – Is this an RPG? I liked Bastion.
  • AC Unity or Syndicate – I liked Odyssey, almost more for the setting than anything else.
  • Witcher 1 – I really should probably get Witcher 3 at some point.
  • Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark – I guess I can get this in the humble choice thingy. It looks… JRPG?

Old school:

  • Avadon 1, 2 or 3
  • Eschalon: Book 1

Just old:

  • Might and Magic 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.
  • Akalabeth: World of Doom (just kidding)

Others:

  • Any of the Epic freebies (which I’ve been pretty assiduous about collecting) or the Humble trove or COVID-19 bundle (which I shamefully still haven’t looked at).

(I think I got most of these for free, somehow.)

Or just throw out some other suggestions. That’s cool too.

Big fan of AC Syndicate here, so thats my vote!

The last RPG I played and really enjoyed was Battle Chasers. It’s a JRPG style by a western team (former Darksiders devs) and what I appreciate about it is how cleanly designed it is. It does things that I think a lot of serious RPG fans don’t like but that I do like: Fixed characters with different roles, strict skill trees, steady progression without a lot of grinding. It’s not a game about deep story or lore, but more about a colorful world and interesting characters in that world. I just generally think it’s really well-made.

If you’re looking for an old RPG, my recommendation is Martian Dreams. AKA, Ultima Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams. A Warren Spector-helmed classic adventure-game-in-RPG-clothing. It’s free on GOG.

https://www.gog.com/game/ultima_worlds_of_adventure_2_martian_dreams

I personally would pick either Witcher 1 (it’s a bit clunky but IMO it’s the best gameplay the series has offered) or Avadon 1, which I loved - it’s a little more linear and character-centric than Spiderweb’s usual, though.

Dragon Quest 11 if you haven’t played it, great game, one of the best to be sure.

Fell seal is more of a tactics game. Grid based, turn based, big party etc. It’s sort of FF tactics-ish. (if I’m remembering the right game).

As for the others, they vary pretty wildly style wise so hard to call. I found Witcher one to be pretty obtuse and clunky. Icewind Dale can be ok, but there are some things that bug the crap out of me in all the games that use that engine, might be different for you. Skyrim? …well, you can mod the crap out of it and make it a fairly interesting game.

Dragon Quest 11 is amazing though, really one of the best games I’ve played in the last number of years.

Fell Seal is a straight-up homage to the original Final Fantasy Tactics. It’s pretty darn polished and well-balanced, but the story and characters are sophomoric at best. At least it’s not edgelordy, just thoroughly mediocre.

Icewind Dale EE is delightful. Highly recommended. I am a big believer in the QoL stuff brought in by the Tweakpack like unlimited arrow stacking, but the base EE is solid on its own if you don’t want to dink around with a (very easy and solid) mod.

Witcher 1 is going to be really weird to get into. I’d probably skip it.

The old-school M&M games live permanently rent-free in my heart, but I’m not sure they hold up super well. Probably go with Xeen (4+5) as the best of the lot if you’re really feeling it.

Skyrim is probably a top-3 game all-time for me. I’m in the middle of another trip down the rabbit hole as I type this. Do mod it, though, for the love of all that you hold dear. That’s probably for another thread, but I play with a light and well-curated list that serves me very well.

If you want some real RP in your RPG, try Disco Elysium. That’s a game that really says “yes, and…” to your ideas on how you want to play your character.

My whole life leveled up when I finished Skyrim a few years ago. That was a toothache of guilt that felt so good to pull out.

I have to throw a couple of my fav’s out there, since not mentioned yet:

Wizardry 8 - Truly an underappreciated classic for party based RPGs. Holds up pretty well too.

Arx Fatalis - A unique and entertaining RPG that I replay every couple of years.

For the previously mentioned, my vote is:
Skyrim - Can’t go wrong with that one. And stealth/bow is the way to play it.

Definitely finish Skyrim. I’ve started re-playing Skyrim on the PS4 Pro and it’s such a great RPG (I picked it as my game of the decade). Even after all these years, it’s still a beautiful world to role play in.

From that list I’d go with Witcher 1. Very intense atmosphere, interesting story, solid mechanics (you need to play on hard to get the full experience). I recently installed it and was surprised by how well it has aged.

Was Battle Chasers a freebie on the EGS? It’s great as well. Although one needs a bit of patience for all the (sometimes quite samey) battles.

There are very different experiences behind all the games you listed. What are you looking for? ; )

If you don’t go with Skyrim (it sounds like you’ve put a fair amount of time into it already), I’d probably go Witcher 1, though the first area takes a long time (or at least it did for me). It appears as if there are some mods for it that may make it a bit better on modern systems (I’m looking at the texture, UI, and text size mods listed here, but I haven’t tried them:

However, I never finished Witcher 1, though I really enjoyed my time there, and I liked the slow-click combo method, but I suffered from Decision paralysis in Chapter 3 (I think), unsure of the impact large decisions would make and eventually getting paralyzed by one and not going back to it. Still wish I had, however.

As to Skyrim, I always get bogged down in modding it, and never played it enough. Had fun doing that tho :) Usually with the STEP mods.

Hard, hard, hard second on this.

I would recommend Age of Decadence or (not on your list) ATOM RPG.

ATOM is better than Wasteland 2, that’s for sure.

Have heard good things about Disco Elysium and Fell Seal but I have not played them. I got worn out by Final Fantasy: Tactics and never finished it so YMMV with Fell Seal.

Thirded.

Sixtyninthed. With cream. And sparrows. And a unicycle but only half a hippopotamus.

I love The Witcher series and I’m not sure how Witcher 1 holds up but it is worth a try.

AC Syndicate: I’m not a huge AC fan, but I liked the atmosphere enough in this one to enjoy it more than most of the others.

Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut: I didn’t play a ton of this one but liked what I saw of what I did.

I didn’t like Avadon much at all and quit midway.

I’ll be the dissenting voice on this one and say I have very mixed feelings. Some was really good and other parts I found very boring. Also I hit some kind of roadblock or bug so I couldn’t progress.

What was it, out of curiosity (with spoiler tags, obviously)?

Not really an RPG, but I loved it myself. The tone, sound, etc are all fantastic.

Also its quick. Not like Skyrim. You can finish in probably 6-10 hours.

I’d pick this one for all of the above reasons.

Upvotes here for Skyrim or Assassins Creed games.
Downvotes for Disco Elysium.

If you’re thinking of Disco Elysium then I’d recommend watching 20 - 30 mins of a let’s play first. It might be an amazing game but it’s slow as molasses. I literally can’t play for more than 15 mins before it sends me to sleep. Your character even walks slowly. Even just thinking about playing it makes me… ZZZzzzzzz