Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Best Roleplaying Games of the Aughts

The Aughts were a great decade for the role playing game industry and for the game player/collector. The wide array of creative and original content to come out during the decade is quite remarkable -- and I believe surprising. I had entered the Aughts believing that there would be no way that the new decade could compete with the 90s with regard to exciting new ideas/settings/rules in roleplaying games, but left the decade finding myself pleased to be wrong.

The 90s had seen the release of the World of Darkness games by White Wolf Publishing, Feng Shui by Daedalus and later Atlas Games, The Marvel Adventure Game by TSR, Brave New World by Pinnacle and later AEG, Deadlands by Pinnacle Games, and Hero 4th Edition. That list of games, games that expanded the appeal of roleplaying games beyond the small community of gamers that existed at the time, only scratches the surface and leaves out many excellent products. The 1990s saw a new generation of game designers releasing products into the marketplace that not only improved gameplay, but improved production values and saw the beginnings of a "professionalization" of the industry.

I could spend a long time writing about the trends of the roleplaying game industry in the Aughts, but that would be worthy of a series of posts and isn't suited as a preface to a list of great games.

Instead, I'll get to the list as promptly as possible. Below are my 10 (actually 11) favorite roleplaying games to come out in the Aughts. These aren't the only great games to come out during the decade, but they are the ones that I find myself most frequently reading, playing, and enjoying. Future posts will include discussions of why these games are so remarkable.

1) Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition (and 3.5)

2) Savage Worlds

3) Burning Wheel

4) Trail of Cthulhu

5) Hero System 5th Edition

6) Dragon Warriors

7) Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition

8) Spirit of the Century

9) My Life with Master

10) Scion: Hero, Demi-God, God

11) Fireborn

1 comment:

Geek Gazette said...

A couple of the games I don't know anything about, but otherwise great list.
I had thought about making a list like this on my blog, and if I had I would have added Pathfinder, which you kind of covered with 3.5. Paizo not only kept 3.5 alive, but initiated the largest playtest I've ever heard of by making it open to everyone. Not just a select few "insiders". Of course I am biased as I have been a fan since the days they published Dragon mag and think they are very fan oriented and have some of the best customer service in the industry.
Mutants & Masterminds is another game I would have added. Not necessarily my favorite game, but still a very good take on the d20 system. Since the list appears to be as much about quality as popularity I would probably have added Hollow Earth Expedition and Truth & Justice, both really good, under rated games.