Diablo's popularity fluctuates. Diablo 1 premiered in 1997, followed by Diablo 2 three years later and Diablo 3 twelve years later.
Blizzard delayed the fourth installment until June 2023, another twelve years.
Despite that, the second entry dominates Diablo mindshare. Reasonably so.
Diablo 2 seems like a studio at its peak, aware that they are making something great.
Diablo 2 had time to settle in, creating a fan following that still plays today.
Diablo 2 itemization is perfect. It's a key ARPG element that Baldur's Gate and Pillars Of Eternity have improved. However, Diablo 2 surpasses all other entries.
The hunt for items makes this horrific world feel more threatening. Some items have sockets for gems and magic jewels.
The Lord Of Destruction addon makes creating a Runeword by sequentially placing runes quite customizable.