Before there was Dragon Age, before there was Mass Effect… there was Jade Empire. The game drew heavily from features established in BioWare's previous game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Players could choose their gender, romantic interest, and moral affiliation. There was also a choice between six different characters, granting the player different attributes, such as a focus on strength or magic. Battles were a refreshing blend of spells and martial-arts-infused action RPG combat.
The game was set in a fantastical kingdom that drew its inspiration from ancient China to breathtaking effect. A host of NPCs, a wealth of decision making that had a direct influence on events and a beautiful world to explore all make Jade Empire essential even seven years after its initial launch. It remains a prime candidate for a world that's definitely worth expanding on with a sequel.