Diablo 2 official artwork

While the original Diablo was a great game, its sequel transcended into something else entirely. Not only did Diablo 2 heavily set humanity back by devouring hundreds of productive hours from people across the globe, but it was designed and crafted with such love and care that it remains the primary influence for every single new ARPG, even twenty years after its original launch!

So in order to celebrate its momentous legacy, Blizzard has now released a brief retrospective, along with some comments from the various Diablo team members. You can find the full retrospective over at the Diablo website, but for now, here's a little taste of what it has to offer:

"When we set out to create Diablo II over twenty years ago, the goals were seemingly simple: fix the biggest issues in Diablo and expand upon the original game’s formula," Blizzard explains. "And while its developers didn’t set out specifically to turn the action RPG genre on its head or influence game design for an entire generation after it, Diablo II ended up doing just that anyway."

"The development team wanted Diablo II to be bigger, better, faster, and stronger than its predecessor. A story divided in distinct acts with massive, explorable outdoor zones replaced the claustrophobic Tristram cathedral. Five new character classes like the whirling Barbarian and pious Paladin (with two more added in the Lord of Destruction® expansion, the Assassin and the Druid) expanded far beyond the basic Warrior, Rogue and Sorcerer archetypes from the first game."

"These new classes, in addition to featuring greater gender and ethnical diversity, each feature 30 unique skills to choose from instead of the single shared spellbook from Diablo. Certain abilities like the spin-to-win Whirlwind, the Paladin’s beneficial auras, and the Necromancer’s summoned minions would become staples in many of our games after. Finally, more powerful items, with bigger stat variety than ever, allowed everyone to truly express themselves through their choices in character class, gear, stats, and skills."

"Many of us here at Blizzard have fond memories of playing Diablo II. To us it represents childhood memories, friendships created, endless entertainment, and it inspired many of us to join the video game industry as we grew up."

While Diablo 2 is unfortunately not currently on sale, the good news is that it's only $10 these days on the Blizzard store. So if you're a fan of ARPGs but you've never given the original classic a try, I'd say it's well worth looking into. After all, it's not every game that manages to stand the test of time like this!

And if you're curious about what's happening with Diablo 4, it's also worth mentioning Blizzard has just released a lengthy preview going over the story, open world gameplay and multiplayer. Enjoy!