The Dungeons & Dragons tabletop RPG has had a huge influence on video game mechanics since the 1980s.
D&D helped popularize concepts like distinct classes, racial bonuses, levels and experience points, hit points, critical damage, and so much more. These all remain core concepts in many video games today.
But then there are RPGs that are specifically founded on D&D rulesets. These aren't just video games inspired by classic D&D systems—these are video games that translate D&D systems into digital format.
From epic solo campaigns to online multiplayer adventures, there have been dozens of licensed Dungeons & Dragons video games. But which ones still hold up? Here are the best D&D video games of all time.
10. Baldur's Gate 3
It might be surprising to see a game that hasn't officially been released on this list, but the Early Access of Baldur's Gate 3 has shown enough for me to believe it will be one of the best D&D video games ever made.
Developed by Larian Studios—known for the Divinity series—using the 5th Edition ruleset, there's true potential for greatness here. We'll have to wait until it's officially released to see if it climbs higher on this list.
9. The Temple of Elemental Evil
This is one of the few Dungeons & Dragons video games set in the Greyhawk campaign setting, which is both to its benefit and its detriment in many ways.
The plot is paper thin and doesn't take advantage of the most memorable locations in Greyhawk, but the game is largely saved by a great implementation of the 3.5 Edition ruleset.
Plus, a host of fan-made content and mods make this fun game even better, preventing it from being forgotten altogether.
8. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2
While most Dungeons & Dragons video games rely on turn-based or tactical combat, the Dark Alliance series was a hack-and-slash affair that had players cutting down waves of enemies.
Baldur's Gate 2: Dark Alliance was a marked improvement over the first game in the series, with more impressive combos and spectacularly challenging boss fights.
Unfortunately, the combat—while fun—doesn't really evoke the feeling of a D&D game, which drags it down on this list.
7. Icewind Dale 2
The combat mechanics in Icewind Dale 2 are some of the most fun you'll find in a Dungeons & Dragons video game. However, the visuals were dated even by 2002's standards, which is a shame.
The lack of exploration and the shallow plot also keep it from reaching the same heights that even earlier PC games managed. Icewind Dale 2 may not be a bad game, but it does feel like a missed opportunity.
6. Dungeons & Dragons Online
There's still no video game that's quite like the experience of gathering around the table and playing D&D with your friends, but developers have long been trying to capture that with an online game.
Dungeons & Dragons Online remains the best of these attempts, as evidenced by the fact that the servers are still going strong despite the game debuting in 2006.
Set in the fan-favorite Eberron campaign setting and using an adapted version of the 3.5 Edition ruleset, D&D Online can scratch that itch for players looking to play the tabletop game online.
5. Neverwinter Nights 2
Made by Obsidian Entertainment in 2006, Neverwinter Nights 2 is an improvement on the original in almost every way.
The graphics are excellent (considering the age of the game), but the story is where this game stands out.
Players can recruit a colorful cast of party members in their quest to overthrow the King of Shadows and his minions.
Set in the Faerun campaign setting and using the 3.5 Edition ruleset, Neverwinter Nights 2 is an adventure that has held up well over the years.
4. Neverwinter Nights
Wait a minute! Didn't I just say that Neverwinter Nights 2 was an improvement on Neverwinter Nights? Yes, but Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition dropped in 2018—and it's very much worth it.
Other Dungeons & Dragons video games have had remasters over the years, but none have benefited as much as Neverwinter Nights did.
The multiplayer options—with one player setting up a dungeon for others to battle their way through—is a great addition to the title, plus all the re-released expansion packs and story content that gave players freer rein to explore the Forgotten Realms setting.
While the original Neverwinter Nights was playable to a degree, the updated version is where this game truly shines.
3. Baldur's Gate
The original Baldur's Gate helped make BioWare one of the biggest names in PC RPGs, and it remains a landmark entry in the genre.
The Sword Coast of the Forgotten Realms setting is yours to explore as Gorion's Ward, who must come to terms with the incredible dark power lurking just beneath the surface.
While you'll run into some familiar faces from the Forgotten Realms—including Drizzt Do'Urden and Elminster—it's the 25 recruitable party members who steal the show here.
2. Planescape: Torment
While exploring the multiverse, you'll come across countless strange creatures. In Planescape: Torment, taking on the role of The Nameless One, you must unravel the mystery of why they seem incapable of dying and how they lost their memories.
Nearly every conflict can be resolved through dialogue rather than combat, and party members include a floating skull. Planescape: Torment is weird, but that's what makes it so special and memorable.
1. Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn
A direct sequel to the already beloved original Baldur's Gate game, Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn uses the 2nd Edition ruleset but took care of the heavy mathematical lifting required by that version.
The result? Players are free to explore a rich world and interact with some of the best party members of any Dungeons & Dragons video game ever.
To this day, Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn is as close as you'll get to the actual experience of playing D&D with friends, distilled into video game format. That's why it sits at the top of our list.