Top 100 Games of All-Time: #62

Fallout 2

Release Date: October 29, 1998

Platform Played On: PC

2018 Placement: #54 (-8)


What It Is:

The sequel to the original irreverent RPG by Black Isle, Fallout 2 is a wonderful apocalyptical satire in turn-based, CRPG format. Before the apocalypse was chic in video games, the two Fallout games set the standard for having fun in the aftermath of the world nuking itself. From Super Mutants to the Brotherhood of Steel to ghouls to power armor, there are so many classically “Fallout” things that were established in these games.

The story of Fallout 2 is you are sent out from your village to find a “GECK” – Garden of Eden Creation Kit – to revitalize the village and keep it from dying out. Throughout your journey to find it you come across many strange characters and stories you can choose to either be a part of or ignore completely. You can customize your character and roleplay any way you want to, from being a fast-talker to someone who sneaks and steals, or a low-intelligence gunslinger who just blasts everyone on sight. It’s a true “RPG” in the sense you can play it however you want to and the game accommodates you. It’s a blast.

Why It’s Important To Me:

I was a firm console gamer for a large portion of my life growing up and only gravitated to the PC for the specific genre of point-and-click adventures (and Doom). It wasn’t until high school, where my friend gave me a bunch of “completely” “legal” “bought” “copies” of PC games that I tried out other games that I’d never even thought of playing before. It took me a while to get around to Fallout 2 because I tried it and was turned off by the start of the game (the visuals and starting dungeon were very not indicative of the rest of the game) so I shelved it for a while.

I came back to it later and actually gave it a chance past the starting area and my life was changed. It was the first CRPG that really grabbed me and enraptured me. I loved the in-depth customization and how I could play my character however I wanted. I loved the humor of the game. I loved the different weapons and how you could approach combat in many kinds of ways. This was the game that made gaming on my PC really “click” for me and I dove headfirst into expanding my horizons after this.

My Strongest Memory:

There’s a story I tell very often about Fallout 2. One weekend morning I got up around 10 AM and after breakfast went over to my PC, intending to play a little bit of the game as I was in the midst of my campaign and the game fully had its hooks in me. Next thing I knew, it was 10 PM at night and I’d played Fallout 2 straight for 12 hours. I didn’t eat, I didn’t move from my chair, I probably went to the bathroom but the entire day was just a fog of Fallout.

Ironically after that day I never touched Fallout 2 again because I was worried about my health and gaming addiction and knew I couldn’t fall down that sort of rabbit hole ever again. But that’s how good this game was to me and how well the universe pulls you in. Just remember moderation, kids.

Why It’s #62:

Fallout 2 is a classic CRPG that’s a great place to start if you haven’t played any of those kinds of games. It has some of the best humor writing in all of gaming and the customization is off the charts. I think it’s a great example of the timelessness of the RPG format and even though I got a little “too” into it, I still revere it as a high quality game and have fond memories of the antics I got up to. Maybe one day I’ll be brave and return to it with a little more self-control.