We all love a good adventure. That’s evident in the money we spend on seeking out ways to lose ourselves in other worlds in order to avoid the humdrum of everyday life. The rise of role-playing games has allowed us to do that like never before. PCs have been largely the primary medium which has brought us into the world of role-playing games – though that’s changing with the improved development of consoles. It might surprise you to know just how popular these games have become. Here are the ten best-selling RPG PC games of all time (or as we like to call it – the Diablo game list.)
10) Baldur’s Gate — 2 Million Copies
Baldur’s Gate was released by Bioware in 1998 and it was fantastic! The game was based on the popular Dungeons and Dragons pen and paper role-playing game and set in the Forgotten Realms. It allowed players to build a party of individuals and set out on various quests, much like a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Part of its popularity was that the game was rather open-ended with side-quests and other distractions that might or might not have had anything to do with the main storyline. You could play the game straight through, but with all the side-quests there were hundreds of hours of gameplay available to dedicated gamers. Subsequent sequels sold very well and the game remains iconic and popular even today.
9) The Witcher — 2.1 Million Copies
Released in 2007, The Witcher is a dark fantasy RPG published by Atari for the PC. The game itself is based on a book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Players control one of the last Witchers, a monster hunter who travels the world and kills stuff. It’s a pretty epic game and one that introduces gamers to the idea of morality. Decisions you make in the game affect how the rest of the game plays out and how computer controlled characters react to you. This game also features a lot of choices which are outside the realm of black and white decisions. Often hard choices had to be made – and it was one of the more popular aspects of this game which has spawned one sequel and a third on the way.
8) The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings — 2.2 Million Copies
The follow-up to The Witcher, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings has been equally popular. It was released in 2011 on PC and Mac and in 2012 for the Xbox 360. The combat system was revised from the original and most of the PC controls were modified. There’s more depth to this game, a new stealth system which means that combat isn’t the only way to solve your problems, and several new mini-games to enjoy. The Witcher 2 might have been even more popular if it wasn’t plagued by so many support issues when it was initially released. Many consumers had issues with video card compatibility. Some complained the combat system was too clunky – but overall The Witcher 2 was a rousing success and was rated as one of the better games released in 2011.
7) Diablo — 2.5 Million Copies
Diablo is a hack-and-slash RPG which was released in 1996 by Blizzard. In it players control a lone hero who goes out to battle all the awful things in the world – eventually taking down Diablo himself. The game was immensely popular and spawned several expansions and sequels. Diablo is less of an RPG and more of an action game than some of the other entries on this list. There’s not a lot of choices to be made and the storyline is relatively straightforward. That being said, the game spawned a generation of imitators who tried desperately to capture the magic of an overhead action RPG.
6) Guild Wars 2 — 3.5 Million Copies
Guild Wars 2 is the sequel to the popular (and unsurprisingly titled) Guild Wars. It’s an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game.) Unlike other popular titles, Guild Wars 2 doesn’t require a monthly subscription fee. Guild Wars 2 borrows a lot of features and traits from other games, but it does include a responsive AI which alters the gameplay based on your in-game decisions. This is relatively common to single-player RPGs but almost unheard of in MMOs. This allows a bit of a ripple effect in the game and makes for differing experiences each time you play. Guild Wars 2 also features a dynamic combat system that advocates teamwork with your companions.
5) Everquest — 3.5 Million Copies
Everquest was released in 1999 and it was one of the first and most popular MMORPGs available on the market. Everquest was a 3-D themed game, meaning you never saw your own player but played as if you were looking through your character’s eyes. It was one of the first games to make the major leap from text-based MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) to fully graphic and dynamic interactive RPGs. Everquest still remains a popular game and the 12th expansion for it was just released in 2013. It might be one of the longest running online games in existence.
4) Diablo 2 — 4 Million Copies
Diablo 2 took everything that Diablo did well and made it better. Released in 2000, the game was easily one of the most popular titles to emerge at the turn of the century. Diablo 2 introduced players to online gameplay and allowed other characters to hop into your game at a moment’s notice. You could play with your friends from the comfort of your own home free of charge. Gameplay remained largely unchanged from the original – though the addition of new characters and talents made for a rather entertaining experience, and a later expansion contributed additional content. Diablo 2 remains one of the best games ever made and its popularity is evident in the sales of the third installment of this series.
3) Guild Wards — 6.5 Million Copies
Released in 2005, Guild Wars was an MMORPG that did a lot of new things (at the time) which made it extremely popular. Developers designed a game that instanced most areas meaning that each time you entered the area it was treated as a separate entity for you and your group – thus allowing for smoother gameplay and areas that re-spawned frequently. It also focused heavily on player versus player (PVP) combat. There were no subscription fees, and players could also play cooperatively if they chose. The graphics were spectacular for their time and the system requirements were relatively light. Millions of people flocked to this game and its success led to an expansion pack and a best-selling sequel.
2) Diablo 3 — 12 Million Copies
The success of Diablo 2 was enough to build up massive hype for Diablo 3, which was announced in 2008 but not released until 2012 – despite numerous complaints by fans. Diablo 3 tried to do a lot of innovative things. They even attempted an auction house style economy which players could use real money or in-game currency to buy weapons and upgrades, but this strategy was eventually abandoned after numerous issues. Diablo 3 contains similar gameplay and features found in its predecessors but new content and characters has proven enough to satisfy the masses. Already the PC version has sold 12 million copies and it was just released as a console game – which should draw in a whole new generation of fans.
1) World of Warcraft — Estimated 14 Million Copies
There’s only one undisputed king of PC role-playing games: World of Warcraft. The hugely popular MMORPG was released in 2004 and based in Azeroth, the world featured in the real-time strategy game Warcraft. It does everything well – and boasts a subscription base in the tens of millions despite a monthly fee. Warcraft players benefit from great support, a lot of expansion and end-game material, and continual changes to better the game experience. Despite being around for ten years the game remains as popular as ever and no other MMORPG has even come close to knocking World of Warcraft from the top of the heap. Blizzard has hinted in the past that they’ve been working on the next game to follow WoW once it finally dies off – but there’s no telling when that will be.