Gamasutra has up an article, giving out 'awards' to titles that made a genre what it is. Today, they have memorable and impactful role-playing games; a top five with five honorable mentions. They're all very worthy titles, but I'm not sure about their placement on the list. None of the Ultima games make the top 5? Really? From the article: "Ultima V - The Ultima series allowed the player a level of freedom found only in a few games today. Through the origins of the series, the game had fits and starts where some ideas worked and others did not. By V, however, the central core of the game was completely worked out and many games today are 3D versions of this ground breaking title: Elder Scrolls comes to mind. Though other games at the time were similar, Bard's Tale for example, they did not have the scope of story and adventure, nor did they encompass so many technologies of the time. -James Edwards, Microsoft"
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