Recently I asked the titular question on Twitter and Facebook. Everyone must be too busy playing RPGs to reply as I have only received three responses and one of them was in regards to rocket propelled grenades; I guess I should have been more specific.
One of the actual responses that I received (thanks Eric) was a vote for Dungeons & Dragons red-boxed Basic set from the 80’s. It is hard to argue with that as it is a classic, got many people into role-playing games, had easy to learn rules so players could jump right it, and left many decisions up to the group so that it didn’t feel restrictive. This vote was qualified that since games have changed so much since then, his new favorites are D&D 3.5 Edition or possibly Call of Cthulhu.
The other serious response I received came from Heidi who likes White Wolf’s Vampire. I also find it hard to argue against this vote. I spent many hours playing White Wolf games back in high-school. Although, personally, I always preferred Mage to the other games.
As for myself, the version of Rifts from the 90’s has to be my all time favorite RPG. It contained a good mix of modern setting and fantasy elements to allow for a very flexible playing experience. Player characters were extremely customizeable so it didn’t feel like e very character was picked for you; this is one of the few complaints that I have with D&D 4th Edition by the way. There was an extensive library of add-on material describing different locales in which to set campaigns including Europe, Mexico, and Atlantis. Rifts worked with every other game in Palladium’s system for even more extensibiltiy; thankfully the rise of D20 helped to move this feature into other games. Finally, the story lines in the published material were extremely well developed.
So, for all of you that missed the initial question – it’s not too late. What do you consider the best role-playing game of all time, and why?