25. Black & White
EA Games | LionHead Studios | 2001
Control an up-and-coming deity as you cultivate a collection of loyal believers by being a evil, sadistic bastard, or a compassionate and nourishing do-gooder
What made it so great?
Black & White managed to successfully mix city-building, pet-raising and real-time strategy elements with a "good" or "evil" gameplay mechanic that went above and beyond anything we'd seen before - making it one of the most memorable PC titles ever.
It got rid of the usual icon-filled menus by mapping most of the controls to your mouse icon - in the shape of a hand. With the hand, you could drag yourself around the landscape to adjust the camera angle, pick up and interact with objects, or perform miracles to amaze - or strike fear into - your townspeople and enemies.
Depending on how you exercise your godly powers, your town and the landscape will transform into a hellish nightmare, or an Eden-like garden of paradise. But although managing the growth of your believers with cruel or noble actions was fun in itself, it was Black & White's creature system that really set it apart from the crowd. Training your creature with the game's ingenious "slap or stroke" system made raising your ape, cow, or sheep from an adorable munchkin to a hulking beast of Godzilla proportions enjoyably addictive.
Get ready to play
Whether you're busy slapping your pet as it cries and moans for mercy, or kindly performing water miracles to help your believers' crops grow, expect the hours to fly by as you win over the hearts and minds of the populace with your newfound powers.
Been there, done that?
Although Fable failed to deliver on all its promises to fans, this groundbreaking sandbox RPG had more options than Bill Gates' stock portfolio. Almost every aspect of your character was customizable from his weapons and spells, to the girls (and or boys) he chooses to marry.