Old school ARPG

So the game type I love doesn't seem to exist anymore.

The game type where the entire aim of game is to make best character possible and use it on multiple different run throughs of the game for as long as you like.
The arch type of this is Diablo 2, I played it so much it got to stage I would load game and hate it... it is bad when you love something to death.

It took me years of searching after Diablo 2 to find anything like it.
The Sacred series (1 & 2) - These are the closest I came, the second game had over 1000 quests and you could spend weeks on end just doing side quests and totally ignore the main quest until you war ready to open up a new area of map to explore again. Hand drawn map, so many places to explore, many totally unessential for story. I think max lvl is 200 but highest I got was 115. It had multi player but I always play these games alone. Me against game.
I only stopped playing it now because its a 10 year old game and it doesn't scale well on a 4k monitor. There is a community patch that fixes that. The company that made game went out of business in 2009 and the community of players released an expansion for it that added many new areas. That is commitment.
There is a part 3 but its an insult to the series and I refuse to even look at it. Its not the same kind of game.

Torchlight series was fun, but I always thought story line was too short.
Path of exile - Its probably just me but I don't like how the characters control... I should give it another chance once part 2 is out.
Grim Dawn

Are there any others I should try?

(notice I didn't include Diablo 3? Its not really the same kind of game anymore. It was made by the people who made WOW, whereas Torchlight was made by the team who actually made Diablo 2. The inclusion of AH in base game was all you needed to know)

edit: Description of Grim Dawn changed due to inaccuracy
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  • Titan Quest
  • Torchlight Frontier (2020)
  • The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing
  • Victor Vran (never did play it much, but might be in the spirit)
  • Tales of Maj'Eyal
  • Nox
  • Divine Divinity
  • Lost Ark (had my eyes on this for years now)
Not all are precisely what you are looking for, but they all share some traits with the Diablo universe and I managed to ease my own Diablo itch from playing the majority of them. Maybe you will also. Also, I like to add two games called Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem (releasing 13.02) & Last Epoch (2020). I have not read much about them, other than a lot mention similarities to PoE/Diablo.
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Yes, I played Titan Quest, a few times, I had forgotten about it.
I have the Van Helsing one, it isn't memorable.
I found a game between D2 & Sacred that was Japanese warriors similar in style to Diablo (but I don't remember its name now, I did find it a few years ago on youtube).

I was waiting for Unbended but it stopped being produced in 2016. It was being made by same team that made Sacred 2 but I think one of the main people died.
Jan 1, 2020
Grim Dawn - I liked this until I found you cannot use same character in next difficulty.

That's not a true statement. You most definitely can carry over your character through all three difficulties. You main your level, gear, and shrine points.

Matter of fact, the only way to continue playing with your character is to increase the difficulty as it's the only way to reset the world and all the quests for that character.
Jan 22, 2020
Victor Vran has been mentioned, and it's a damn fun game as well as being playable with a gamepad which is an option I love. Unfortunately it's a little light on customisation and loot. Special abilities are equipped in two slots or come with weapons I believe, rather than being tied to progression. Only one outfit slot, and only eight outfit types. If you're in it for the loot and character building I'd look elsewhere, but for a twitchy, arcadey ARPG experience you could do far worse. Plus, Doug Cockle voices the PC and it's the only ARPG I've played with a jump button.

Honestly though, just get Titan Quest plus the DLC. I don't think it's ever been done better, but then I was never a Diablo guy.
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Jan 17, 2020
I can't say for sure yet, and it's been in development hell... but Wolcen might be what you're missing. The skilltrees are certainly well considered, the loot pool is always growing, and the graphics are solid. I bought it years ago and it seems like this might finally be the year it gets a final release. Watch it on steam.
Feb 14, 2020
I've played and finished Titan Quest withnall extras. Probably the hardest ARPG game I've played (and no, Diablo 2 was harder on difficulty front, TQ was just hard because it was frustrating at times, so it was rather hard to really spend more time with it.)

The one I'm having the most fun with however is definetly Grim Dawn
Mar 2, 2020
The game that sort of got me into ARPGs is probably "Sacred". There was just something about the game and the character classes that drew me in. Although it might be dated by now.
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Jan 13, 2020
I've played and finished Titan Quest withnall extras. Probably the hardest ARPG game I've played (and no, Diablo 2 was harder on difficulty front, TQ was just hard because it was frustrating at times, so it was rather hard to really spend more time with it.)

The one I'm having the most fun with however is definetly Grim Dawn

I need some help sharing the love of Grim Dawn - for some reason, I'm having a harder time with it about 1/3 way in and am just stuck. I don't know why. I'm not having a hard a time as I do with Path of Exile, which feels like a deep hole of nerding but graphically kind of janky. And after Titan Quest, Diablo, and Torchlight, which all have some degree of polish, Grim Dawn feels a little bit less intentional. Is that just part of the charm? Or am I doing it wrong?
Sacred Gold is in my opinion still the best Hack & Slash game. It works great in multiplayer too, if only because there is no requirement for players to stay together so everyone can just go out and do whatever they want. The only major downside is that skeletons stop dropping their heads as loot in multiplayer for some reason.

There's a ton of side quests, a giant open world, interesting loot, a good dash of humour and most importantly, just a great gameplay feel.
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Staff member
Nov 25, 2019
Path of Exile is exactly what you're looking for.

It's a blast, is free and hews a lot closer to Diablo 2 than most. It's well worth a quick download to see if you enjoy it.

The narrative is really strong too.
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Sacred 2, 600+ quests, I helped them collect screenshots for the wiki. I still have it installed, I even have the community patch around here somewhere. It doesn't scale well to 4k screens, I did try... you can see too much and get swamped as things can see you from further. Not ideal in some areas. I have 22 characters, most of whom acted as banks as I never threw anything away another character might use.

Max lvl is 200, I think I got to 115. 6 difficulty levels. Easy was too easy, normal was as well. The map is so big with hidden areas off to edge of map you don't need to go to for story, if you stick to story map you see about 15% of map. As game gets harder its when you start exploring the world, and it could take days just to clear 1 area of quests before moving main story along to get another new area to clear. There were entire zones just there to fill in the map... bonus bosses to kill. You got more experience the longer you stayed alive. So by lvl 115, dying would reduce the lvls and exp of all the monsters around you making a fun game a grind until you could possible get exp rating up again or (cheat) and load a previous save. BUt you would always know in mind he died.... my guy died to a glitch and I was not amused.

You do a quest in game for a metal band and reward (apart from items) is an actual video clip of band, and music for game changes from then on. Can't say I seen that in games since.

Community patch added entire new continents to explore.

I miss that game, maybe I buy a smaller monitor and play it again.
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