11. Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood
Certainly the most random game BioWare has made in recent memory, Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood took one of the fastest characters in gaming and slowed him down so much he became turn-based.
Exploration of the game’s world was interesting, occasionally taking advantage of the blue blur’s speed, and a Sonic game with an in-depth story was something new, but it did little to differentiate itself from other RPGs coming out at the time.
10. Dragon Age 2
Dragon Age 2 was set to capitalize on the success of the original game, but what we actually got was a game that felt rushed. The story was much more focused, the world smaller and less diverse. Combat was still fun, and tearing through Darkspawn never lost its luster, but the vast fantasy world we enjoyed in Dragon Age: Origins was gone.
Most of the dungeons were little more than copies of one another with slightly different configurations. The narrow scope was disappointing, to say the least, and it didn’t move the series forward in any monumental way.
9. Baldur’s Gate
Baldur’s Gate is a genre-defining game, instrumental in creating the isometric RPG. Its deep lore and engrossing world are still fun to explore, but the gameplay doesn’t hold up quite as well today.
Exploring the world, conversing with citizens and hacking apart demons means there’s never a dull moment. However, the gameplay is slow-paced and full of grinding. Nevertheless, it still set the stage for the gameplay style that would epitomize BioWare games in the years to come.
8. Star Wars: The Old Republic
The only MMO in BioWare’s catalog, Star Wars: The Old Republic expands the ancient Jedi world first introduced in the 2003 game. It’s a standard MMORPG. The only thing that truly sets it apart is that it allows players to explore the Star Wars universe.
The main campaign was fun to work through, but with almost no post-game to speak of, there was little incentive to keep exploring. This has been improved in recent years, but it still cannot rival the single-player games that remain BioWare’s specialty.
7. Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 is by no means a bad game, just a disappointing end to such an amazing trilogy. While Mass Effect 2 moved the series forward, the third installation merely built upon the improved foundation and brought the story to the end.
Aside from the addition of multiplayer, Mass Effect 3 expanded the story, and gave us new scenarios to shoot through and comrades to recruit. Yet the gameplay was almost identical to ME2, and the game’s ending had been an awful letdown prior to being fixed post-release.
6. Dragon Age: Origins
Developing a beautiful fantasy world and filling it with deep and fulfilling character interactions, Dragon Age: Origins marked a great start to BioWare’s new franchise. With a variety of classes and races to choose from, becoming the savior of the world was an incredibly diverse adventure.
It was still a little rough around the edges, though. It was never the prettiest game to look at, and some of its systems and storylines could have used a little more polish. That said, it was a fantastic first effort that offered a game refreshingly different from Mass Effect.
5. Mass Effect
Mass Effect was a true marvel when it was released. It was a space opera that introduced players to a dazzling new universe filled to the brim with fascinating races, bizarre technology, and complex stories to unravel.
The game’s biggest problems arose when it tried to balance its RPG and action aspects. There was a lot of inventory management that didn’t exactly go hand in hand with the fast-paced shooting and constant firing of flashy abilities. It introduced BioWare to the modern masses in style.
4. Jade Empire
Building upon the fantastic combat introduced in KOTOR, BioWare set about making an original title with even more dynamic action. The result was a game that explored the depths of Asian culture and combined the world with beautifully stylized Kung-Fu combat.
It still holds up well today, highlighting a setting that very few games have tackled. The story and relationships are also top-notch. It’s a BioWare game in every sense of the word, providing fantastic RPG gameplay at a time when the studio was in its prime.
3. Dragon Age: Inquisition
The most recent Dragon Age game is also the best. The world is more fleshed out than ever before. Combat is a joy to jump into. You can’t simply rush in; each encounter requires careful thought and quick decision-making.
The sheer size of the world makes it all too easy to get lost in, and recruiting your forces is a greater challenge than you might think. It takes work to dominate this vicious world. Normal enemies are tough enough, but the dragons that roam the wild are pure machines of destruction. Taking down these giants makes for some of the most satisfying moments in gaming.
2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Everyone likes Star Wars. That’s pretty much just an accepted fact at this point, but the games based on the interstellar world haven’t always been fantastic. Yet, when fans are debating which game is the best, Knights of the Old Republic almost always stands at the top of the list.
Not only do we get to see a side of Star Wars we haven’t before, we also get to choose what kind of person we want to be. Jedi and Sith are obviously two options, but there are also less obvious routes, such as a smuggler or a bounty hunter. The options are incredibly varied, letting players shape the Star Wars universe as they please.
1. Mass Effect 2
The first Mass Effect had trouble balancing the RPG and shooter mechanics that made up its core gameplay. ME2 fixed this problem by refining the RPG elements and creating a much more responsive shooter. The result was one of the most thoughtful action RPGs we’ve ever seen.
There are dozens of worlds and characters to discover, incredibly poignant missions to embark on, and plenty of action-packed moments. It’s also the darkest in the trilogy, setting it further apart from the other games.