As many of you know, Matt Barton has been writing a massive history/critique of role playing games. We’ve looked at the first two parts in The Way Things Were and The Way Things Were Part II. Matt has now completed the series with Part III.

The last article covers the years 1994-2004, which he designates the “platinum age”. In this era, he considers the three most important games to be Ultima Underworld, Diablo, and Daggerfall. Personally, I’d drop Diablo for Fallout.

However, that’s prejudice on my part. As Matt rightly points out, Diablo had a big impact on the industry.

As with the previous two articles, this one is quite long – 12 pages – because he does such a thorough job. Nevertheless, it’s well worth reading the whole thing.

In the conclusion, Matt ponders the question of whether the MMORGs will overshadow the stand-alone CRPG as we know it. I don’t think so, myself. There are a number due out this year, mostly from smaller companies. That may be the future for the games as single-player products.

In any case, check out the article:

History of CRPGs Part 3 on Gamasutra