Fallout co-creator Tim Cain has shared his top 5 role-playing games of the 21st century that fellow developers can learn from. Baldur’s Gate 3 has already made the list despite only launching a few months ago.
In a new video titled “Top Five Modern RPG Masterclass,” Tim Cain opened up about five titles released in the 21st century that can teach other people certain aspects of RPG development.
“They do what they do better than anyone else,” he noted, adding that game creators should pay attention to them whether they like them or not.
Baldur’s Gate 3, which Cain managed to play recently, made the list because he was happy that turn-based combat is “back in vogue” and pure D&D is now considered fun again thanks to Larian Studios. He also praised the game’s rich character customization and the fact that there are a “lot of player choices and a lot of reactivity to those choices.”
But what Cain loved the most about Baldur’s Gate 3 is that it managed to prove all the critics wrong, including those who declared classic computer RPGs dead. It is living proof that you can make a great game that appeals to a mass audience even in a genre that has been widely considered niche for many years.
Last year, many developers expressed concern that Baldur’s Gate 3 shouldn’t be a new baseline for RPGs, saying that there were several factors such as Larian’s team size and experience in the genre make it an anomaly in the industry. However, Cain believes that BG3 shouldn’t be seen as the exception, but as the rule.
I love it when industry know-it-alls — I'm talking about developers, critics, fans — get proved wrong. When they say things like 'RPGs are dead' or 'turn-based is boring' or 'D&D is niche,' Baldur's Gate 3 comes along and just goes, 'Nope, you're wrong.'
game developer, co-creator of Fallout
To people thinking that BG3 is just the exception that proves the rule, Cain said: “No, it’s the rule. The problem is that nothing is really gone: adventure games aren’t gone, PC gaming isn’t dead. These things are as good as what the games are that are made for them. And Baldur’s Gate 3 proves that turn-based D&D computer games can be great.”
Here are other RPGs on Tim Cain’s list and why he considers them a masterclass:
- World of Warcraft — “It wasn’t the first MMO and maybe not even the best MMO, it did prove that if you make the games easier, they’ll be more fun”;
- Elden Ring — “A perfect example of an RPG where ‘harder’ makes it more fun,” Cain said, also praising its open world and the use of status gauges;
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim — “An absolute masterclass in exploration,” he noted, adding that the game is also a masterclass in art and level design;
- Fallout: New Vegas — “It is a masterclass in taking an older game and bringing it into a new era.”