Publisher: Interplay Entertainment (developed by BioWare)
Original platform: Microsoft Windows
Baldur’s Gate and its sequel, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (2000), as well as its spin-offs Planescape: Torment (1999), Icewind Dale (2000), and Icewind Dale II (2002), are often considered the second “Gold Box” games. They shared the use of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules (now the Second Edition), the Forgotten Realms setting, and party-based game play. The player only created their own character, though, and the other members of the party were pre-made characters (NPCs) that the player met during the game and could invite to join their party. Many players grew attached to these characters, particularly in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, as they had unique and interesting personalities. The game also featured a hybrid approach to real-time game play. Even though the game was mostly real-time, the player could pause it using the space key to issue commands at any time, providing a fast option for smaller, easier battles, while retaining a tactical option for larger, harder battles. The games are often considered to be the best adaptation of tabletop role-playing game rules to date.
Picture courtesy of MobyGames.com.