I think the golden age of RPG's ended slightly more than a decade ago, not saying we're getting bad games these days but the old ones had something special to them, something.....hardcore.
I've started Planescape: Torment just 3 days ago and just yesterday I forgot what the sun looks like, have probably spent 8 hours on the game. The last time I got this stuck on an RPG was when I played Witcher 1 for the first time last year, I spent 2 weeks going through it.
There are very few games that I can call RPG these days. The genre has been simplified to accommodate today's gaming generation in a sort of way, which leaves the old school ones a bit in the dark.
Luckily this year promises some great titles for rpg fans. Aside from Witcher 3, I'm also highly interested in Pillars of Eternity which will be available on GoG as well.
Well, the thing to think about is that the upcoming Planescape: Torment successor from the original game's creators--a very successful Kickstarter project--as well as of course Witcher 3, and several others, simply would not have been possible
10-15 years ago. That's what I mean about "golden age"--it doesn't necessarily mean "original" as much as means "the best"...;) At least to me, anyway. I think that with RPGs the best is yet to come. The old games are great, I agree--no question about that at all--I have about all of 'em ever made that were in the "great" category. But that kind of game, let's face it, has *always* been rare--that's the way it is with really memorable, great games. We remember them as well as we do because they stand out so much much from the sea of mediocre games being published at the time of their original releases. IE, when Planescape: Torment originally shipped it was "one in a million." There's no reason that games with great stories &
great sound tracks, graphics, voice acting, etc., cannot be made and I think we will see a lot more of them in the coming years because of the fact that the PC has at long last absorbed the "game console", and because of services like Steam and so many successful Kickstarter projects the PC has once again established itself as the dominant gaming platform, imo.
I think the PC-centric gaming industry is about where the movie industry was in the 1960's. The best is definitely yet to come. I think the future is bright. But, yes, I surely agree that the really great games are always going to be relatively rare.
An interesting link
on the subject.