46. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (2011)
Perhaps it's the European storytelling influence, steeped as it is in the darkness and grime of traditional fantasy folk tales, from before the days of Tolkien or Disney. Perhaps it's The Witcher's literary origin in a series of adult fantasy novels. Whatever the reason, The Witcher 2 (along with its precursor) looks, feels, and almost smells unlike any other RPG series out there. Genuinely adult far beyond gaming's traditional maturity, this is a gritty, meaningful, poop-encrusted tale from the real world, given pointy ears and the ability to hurl fireballs.
Its startlingly relatable world is a place of choice, responsibility, and moral grayness, with long-lasting, unexpected repercussions that you won't be able to sneak around with a quick reload. Just as satisfying is the game’s weighty, deliberate combat, which demands deeply tactical play far beyond mere button-mashing. There are immense crafting and customization options too, and you’ll certainly need to use them if you’re going to stand a chance. The Witcher 2 is a hardcore RPG in all senses.
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Representing: The Witcher series