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In considering which games to include in this list of the top five best RPG LAN games, I thought of my own experience in hosting LAN parties and which games my friends seemed to enjoy the most. I also took into consideration the general favor and attitude toward the games as well as how they have ranked in gaming magazines and forums.
Here is the list of what I would consider to be the best RPG LAN games, although there are many more that come very close:
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Diablo ranks in among the best RPG LAN games of all time. I would include the entire Diablo Battlechest (Diablo, Diablo II, and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction) in this recommendation. Although its graphics are a decade old, the addicting storyline in the game and the easy-to-use interface makes this something that gamers still play with their friends (who are all anxiously awaiting Diablo III). As an RPG game, this goes down as one of the best. If you're looking for a LAN game that is the quintessential RPG, Diablo II will allow you and your friends to battle through monsters and dungeons together or engage in some intense PVP action. It can be played directly through a LAN connection as well as through Blizzard's Battle.net. You can use your single player character to enter into legendary battles and adventures with your friends.
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As a blend between ancient mythology and modern graphics and gameplay, Titan Quest is battle after battle with epic creatures such as centaurs, minotaurs, gorgons, and skeletons. Although the multiplayer feature is limited to 6 players per server, this still ranks as one of the best games for (small) LAN parties. You can play either through Gamespy over directly through a LAN connection. If mythology is your thing, you will definitely appreciate Titan Quest.
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Although Borderlands was just released in late 2009, I feel comfortable including it on this list as it has received great reviews and is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Although it is arguable whether this is an RPG or an FPS, I'd classify it as the former because the essence of this game is its role-playing functions: completing missions, attaining better weapons, armor, and mods, and improving character skills. You get to choose between four characters (Soldier, Siren, Hunter, and Beserker), but with the endless number of guns, class mods, grenade mods, and skill tree combinations, no two characters are really alike.
As a multiplayer LAN game, this game is fantastic for four friends who want to do missions together, do arena battles, and just explore Pandora together. You can utilize a party chat feature to talk to one another while you're playing, which is very helpful. Once all of the missions are completed, you begin a 2nd playthough in which all of the missions restart, but the skags and bandits begin at level 34. There is also a 3rd playthrough, so there are many hours of gameplay and fun.
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World of Warcraft
If you haven't at least heard about World of Warcraft, you must either (1) not be an rpg gamer, or (2) be living under a rock! Aside from questing and leveling together with friends, which can be very fun for a LAN party, World of Warcraft offers instances, high level raids, and PVP battlegrounds that can make for interesting LAN play as well. This MMORPG is truly based on teamwork, which makes it very appealing for 2-5 friends to play together. World of Warcraft is an online subscription game, and can only be played online. You can either use the in-game chat box, a 3rd party headset chat program that runs in the background, or, my personal favorite, a WoW LAN party in which everyone is in the same room killing murlocs and dragons. Blizzard offers a 10-day free trial of the game, so give it a try!
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If you're looking for a game to play with a larger group of friends in a more medieval, D&D style of play, then Neverwinter Nights I & II are what you will want to look at. Supporting over 75 people on a server, Neverwinter Nights functions much like Dungeons and Dragons in which one person takes the role of Dungeon Master and guides the rest of the characters through the story, wielding supreme power over the environment and monsters that inhabit it. As one of the most immersive RPG games available (on the same level as WoW I would say), this game has tremendous potential to provide an endless number of battles for LAN play, each one unique.
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Other Games . . .
The danger with making a list like this is that I am certain to leave some great games out. Feel free to utilize the comment feature below to share what your favorite RPG LAN games are, whether they include some of the ones listed above or not.