Everquest was an enormously revolutionary game because it was the first MMORPG to bring forward elements from both successful CRPGs and MUDs into a cohesive gaming experience. It was the first MMORPG that felt more like a game and less like a "social experiment". Everquest was a gigantic and rewarding world that successfully combined challenging combat with a necessity for social interaction. It's THE video game that defined MMORPGs as we see them today.
Everquest took the player out of the godlike perspective of UO and Balder's Gate and, by adding first person perspective, created a level of immersion that the no other RPG had yet achieved, either single or multiplayer. Its marketplace success spawned dozens of look-alike games and established the MMORPG as a genre in and of itself. No single player or non-massive multi-player RPG has come as close to defining the genre as EQ did. And no subsequent game has taken the genre to the "next level" in quite the same way. The "next level" seems as yet undefined.
I think playing an RPG game is like writing a book with an epic story. Baldur Gate II had a great story, great characters, great humour, great action, great mechanics (D&D 2ED), great graphics...
Baldur's Gate 2 allowed players to make decisions which will affect the outcome of the ending, allow a variety of party combinations which allow for multiple subplot quests, in effect - a near infinite number of variations when you play the game.
-Jarrod Loidl, Monash University