For most video games, when you open a specific chest or defeat a specific boss or go to a specific store, you can only acquire a very specific or specific set of items. In fact, there are whole guides that can tell you exactly where to buy or find every item in the game. But for a rare few games, every piece of equipment in the game is generated randomly. This means that there are randomization tables that are used to put together the item, but that each such item put together will have unique characteristics based on the random seed used to generate it. These types of games are rare and particularly rare as single player games. The following are the best single player games with randomly generated equipment.
Disgaea – The loot in Disgaea is only semi-randomly created. There is a loot table of specific items, but it is then modified by rarity and items residents. These items can then be further modified by the player in a variety of ways, including fighting through a dungeon inside the item. It is possible for two identical items to be generated, including residents and exact rarity value, but it is incredibly unlikely and you can never predict where any such item will be found since stores, chests, and award tables are all randomly generated. As for the game itself, it is a beautifully animated, sprite-based, tactical role playing game that has mechanics based on near infinite customization and advancement of characters. The game practically defines the term “overkill” and randomly generated equipment just builds upon that.
Diablo 2 – While Diablo 2 has a multiplayer mode, it also has a fully fleshed out and well written single player campaign. Items in this game are created through loot tables of base items, suffixes, prefixes, gem slots, and rarity. There are millions of potential combinations, and even unique or set items can vary in the details. The eternal hunt for loot is a major facet of this action role playing game, where the best items can allow you to face the might Baal on the highest difficulty setting. There are whole websites devoted to the potential items of this game, which just goes to show how popular it was and still is.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning – Described as essentially a single MMORPG, Kingdoms of Amalur uses a mix of pre-set items and randomly generated items. Specific chest and shops will have the same items on each playthrough, while other chests and enemies will drop fully randomized items. The latter are usually the best items of the game, with the exception of item sets and even set items will occasionally drop randomly. The game itself has an unbelievably rich narrative and story penned by one of the greatest fantasy authors to have ever lived. It is an enjoyable ride and randomly generated items help really differentiate your character, even when playing identical builds.
Torchlight 2 – This game is a Diablo clone that came out after Diablo 2. It stands out particularly because it improved on the formula in just about every way. Released at roughly the same time as Diablo 3, it lived up to what fans of series wanted even more than the actual sequel did. Randomly generated items are particularly great in this game because of a rather brilliant feature that allows you to easily sell the junk ones even while you are in a dungeon. The biggest flaw of the Diablo series was that you always had to return to ground to sell loot, which could make actual looting frustrating. By removing that flaw, this game makes the system of item generation into the fun lottery it is supposed to be.
Borderlands 2 – According to the game designers, the randomly generated equipment in this game can potentially have billions of permutations. Equipment generation is about as freeform as possible, which means the odds of finding any two identical pieces of equipment are infinitesimally small. The game itself is a hybrid role playing game and first person shooter that has mass appeal to fans of both genres. While the game does have a multiplayer mode, it is not required to enjoy the game or unlock any meaningful content. This single player campaign is long and addicting. Between six different characters, 18 different skill trees, and billions of weapons, you could play this game for years without ever experiencing exactly the same game twice.