Myst – I like Myst now, unfortunately it was responsible for initially putting me off the series (and point and click games as a whole). Why? Well, it is a very short game, something I did not realise until I replayed (and finished) it. On first play I got through most of it then got stuck at the music/space ship puzzle, which is very glitchy. This was frustrating. I felt I was stuck at the beginning (when actually I was close to the end)! It took me 10 years and a friend to talk me into Riven. After that I had another go… and got stuck in exactly the same place! Fortunately (technology having come on somewhat) I now had access was the wonderful internet to (a) help me and (b) make me realise I was not alone. So I got past it, and realised Myst was pretty good on the whole. (I played REAL Myst the second time around which was probably an improvement). But Riven…
Riven – WOWIEEEE! Dang fabulous game (but in 2nd place, keep reading)! Great puzzles and plot, tremendously beautiful and atmospheric. Amazing world-building mythos, plus the villain, Gehn, is fabulous. You really want to watch the alternate endings just to see how evil he can be. Myst is full of ideas and potential; Riven fulfills it.
Exile – This is my favorite. Why? Saavedro. He is fantastic. I like to get inside the heads of individual characters and this is a game where you really do. He leads you on a tour, you understood exactly how f***ed-up he is and how he got there. The actor, Brad Dourif, (the same guy who played Grima in LOTR and Suder in Voyager) does a truly superb job.
Revelation – This one is good but not a stand alone, and there were some bits that were annoying game-play wise. I was often left with no clue as to what I should be doing next, and spent a lot of time stumbling through the forest randomly poking things; for this it slips into 3rd place. But you’re hooked in here by Atrus’ children, Sirrus and Achenar, and discovering what happened to them after Myst. Having played the previous games I was invested in the characters and therefore really wanted to help, and understand.
End of Ages – Um. Yeah. The actors were CGed in this one, very good CG but I think it took away a lot of what made Myst so unique, appealing and realistic. I have not finished End of Ages, but so far I have found it pretty dull. Atrus isn’t there, nor anyone you recognise (the original actors were not involved with this project). The gameplay in all of the Myst series is slow, but they had me interested. This one didn’t. If I finish it I suspect it will purely be for completeness of the series.