I’m only going to add one more element to the mix because I just wouldn’t reach a conclusion if I allowed myself to point out every requirement of the best role-playing games. As I stated before, the important factor is immersion. A real deal breaker for me is the inability to develop the type of character I want. I’ve encountered this more often than not in games where you have no choice over the skills that you character can develop.
Of course, this is the worst scenario and there are many games that allow limited development but there are only a handful of games that allow a real sense of development. A truly great role-playing game has to allow players to develop in any direction and compensate for this flexibility by incorporating multiple paths through the game.
There’s no point in creating a computerized role-playing game if the character does the same thing in every single
play through of the game. The most annoying of these issues is a game where you can have a spell wielding character but they develop the exact same spells at exactly the same point in every run of the game. It’s a little more forgivable for warrior types but even in this case there are many games which allow for dozens of different fighting styles.