Videogames have delivered countless stories, told in many different ways, in many different genres. If anything, they have provided scenarios that even blockbuster movies would be jealous of.
In the following list we picked what we consider the best storylines throughout the gaming history. Picking only ten of them will definitely leave out a lot, so this list is our own personal opinion. I mean we couldn’t have played all the games in the world, right? Read without worries, it’s spoiler-free!
Last but not least, the following games are not listed from best to worst but rather just our top 10. Let’s begin:
10. BioShock Trilogy
I was fortunate enough to own the whole BioShock series when I started playing the first one, so I watched the whole story unfold without being interrupted.
The intrigue was high enough from the beginning of the game and the first glance of Rapture, the under-water city where the game takes place. A city built without political, social or moral constraints.
As the story unfolds, you learn the painful secrets of this otherwise beautiful city and its founder’s dreams. Told in an amazing narrative.
The counterpart in BioShock Infinite was Columbia city. A city in the clouds rather than the bottom of the ocean. A story that will make every single player think about existence and possibilities of every decision we make.
A bonus for those of you that played the DLC of BioShock Infinite was how Rapture connected to Columbia.
Overall the story of the BioShock series is breathtaking and gives a lot of food for thought. We personally recommend the series to everyone that’s looking to go on a journey and not just play a videogame.
A man chooses. A slave obeys.
9. Metal Gear Saga
“Kept you waitin, huh?”
Metal Gear is THE game when reffering to the espionage genre. A franchise that has spanned more than 30 years, since its launch in 1987. To this day they remain some of the most recognised and critically aclaimed video games.
What makes an espionage tale so special though? It’s unique story and perfectly developed characters.
Witness how the world is run in the shadows and where it all began. How warfare hides a whole economy. A tale of loyalty, betrayal and sacrifice. All told in the narative only a master could deliver: Hideo Kojima.
If you think this is another spy game or has a storyline equal to Call of Duty you are completely wrong. The story spans many decades and will instantly captivate you. Well, how could it now with our protagonists being two badass soldiers, Big Boss and Solid Snake.
To grasp the full experience, it is recommended to play the games in chronological release order and have full attention. Every cinematic has something to say, there are no trivial stuff in the Metal Gear saga.
Those of you who have played the games, I think you will agree. To those that have not, well what are you waiting for? Even if Hideo Kojima is not with Konami any more and therefore away from the Metal Gear franchise, his legacy must be honored. And you are in for a treat anyway, so win-win situation.
A legend is nothing but fiction. Someone tells it, someone else remembers, everybody passes it on.
8. The Last Of Us
Be honest. When you clicked on this article you were expecting to see The Last Of Us. And we would be commiting a crime not to include it.
We can all agree that Naughty Dog has always been delivering good games, even from the times of Crash Bandicoot. The Uncharted series was also a massive hit. But no one can recover from the shock and awe of playing The Last Of Us.
The game hits you hard as early as the Prologue. If you have played it, you can understand. The storytelling is fantastic, creating a perfect post-apocalyptic atmosphere.
You get so attached to the characters, that every development hits you like you are actually them. Somewhere around here we should give huge props to Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson, who incarnate Joel and Ellie respectively.
The whole story is a “feels” journey. One you should take. We are here, patiently waiting for the sequel that has been announced and see how deep the story evolves.
You know, as bad as those things are at least they’re predictable. It’s the normal people that scare me.
How far can an honest man go when he is wrongly accused of crimes he didn’t commit?
Dishonored delivers an excellent narative that explores betrayal and loyalty, as well as the thin line between good and evil.
It is up to the players’ choices that determine the ending of the story, with a good and a bad ending available. Should you take the road of revenge or the high road, it’s entirely up to you.
The character of Corvo Attano is well written, there are no plot holes in the story whatsoever. Soundtracks are one the best out there.
Set in a steampunk Victorian setting and a gameplay much similar to the BioShock series, Dishonored managed to blend already-seen elements into a unique story that will instantly captivate the player.
Strange how there’s always a little more innocence left to lose.
6. Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 1
Based on the critically acclaimed comic, Telltale’s The Walking Dead debuted back in 2012 and since we are fans, we instantly played it. We can’t say enough how much the story impacted us at the time.
The series main protagonist is a young girl named Clementine, who is found alone by Lee Everett, another survivor. While the game introduces many characters along the way, the only ones that really stick out are the two aforementioned ones.
The storyline is affected by your choices, which are not gonna be easy since you are holding the lives of characters on your hands.
So hop on this journey into the post-apocalyptic world we already know from the comic books and the television series. Explore a side of survivors told in the a great narative and get prepared to get your feelings all mixed up and let your emotions out.
Because if anything, the game will take you on roller-coaster of feelings.
Unfortunately as of now, Telltale filed for bankruptcy and had to let go of all but 25 of their stuff members. The game’s final season is currently being launched, with the last two episodes being overseen by Skybound Entertainment, Robert Kirkman’s (The Walking Dead creator) company.
-You are strong Clem, you can do anything
-But I am little
-That don’t mean anything
5. Red Dead Redemption
The first Red Dead Redemption was launched back in 2010, and at first glanse it was like Grand Theft Auto in the Wild West. That was to be expected since Rockstar was the production company. But what differs RDR and GTA is the story.
Set in the Wild West of 1911, the game follows the story of John Marston, an ex-outlaw that is sent by the feds to find and hunt down his former gang members. In return he would be granted amnesty and be able to return to his family.
As with all great stories, not everything goes as planned. The Wild West was famous for the many ways you could die back then.
The story is well-written, something to be expected from one of the most expensive video games of all times. Your choices do not affect the outcome of the story, so sit back and enjoy one of the greatest pieces of storylines the gaming industry has offered to this day.
If you ever find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.
Are you sure that you in you is really you? Confused? Well a playthrough of SOMA is food for thought if nothing else.
Released in 2015, SOMA (Greek word for “body”) is a science fiction survival horror videogame that deals with a much confusing ascpect of the human race: conciousness.
The game follows the story of Simon Jarrett, who is visiting a doctor for a brain scan after a traumatic car crash. Things go south soon, as after the brain scan, Simon wakes up in a facility, seemingly abandoned.
As the story unfolds and circumstances are being shown to the player, you are presented with a question that is pain for scientist for a long time: how much of you is really you?
Wanna see what I mean? Play the game. Although it’s not very long in terms of playtime, it sure delivers a very good story, tied with a great atmosphere of the underwater facility of PATHOS-II.
What SOMA lacks in innovative gameplay, makes up it for in story. So don’t let the occasional bugs and frame drop stop you from experiencing a great science fiction storyline.
P.S For full experience I suggest exploring and paying full attention in the, let’s say… “audio files” you come across.
If we could rebuild even a small part of ourselves, why wouldn’t we do that?
3. God Of War (2018)
God of War has been one of the most succesful franchises in the gaming industry. Undoubtely has some of the best game of the previous generation, yet what it lucked was a great story.
Don’t get us wrong, we love all the entries of the series, but the 2018 sequel (and kind of reboot) had us with jaws open.
The Norse setting captivated an amazing atmosphere and coupled with the much improved storyline, it gave us the Game Of The Year.
We see a much calmer and wiser Kratos, accompanied by his son. Issues between the two constantly arise and the development of the characters is smooth and interesting.
The climax of the story will leave players in awe and in high anticipation for the sequel.
Unfortunately God of War is an exclusive to the PlayStation 4, so not everyone has access to it, but is undoubtely one of the best games we’ve ever played and one of the best stories we’ve seen.
Do not mistake my silence for lack of grief.
2. Beyond: Two Souls
We couldn’t have made this list and not include a game that is entirely story-driven. Beyond: Two Souls is one of those game.
Developed by Quantic Dream and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, it has the same patern as its “predecessor”, Heavy Rain.
With a gameplay as simple as this, the player has the chance to follow the story uninterupted, given two options: follow the game chronologically or the way it’s meant to be played. We played it with the second option.
Beyond: Two Souls follows the story of Jodie (Ellen Page) who has an invisible entity she calls Aiden, following her and protecting her. Guided by Dr. Nathan Hawkins (Willem Dafoe) she starts a journey that only she and Aiden can complete.
As the story unfolds, more and more information on the entity is revealed, up to the climax of the story. Should be noted that while playing, we got a “Stranger Things” feeling all the time.
The game has multiple endings that are affected by people you save (or… don’t) during the story, and from choices you make at the end, all contributing to one of the best story experiences in gaming.
Page and Dafoe are excellent in their captures, succesfully delivering the feelings and personalities of the two protagonists.
Quantic Dream does an excellent job providing interactive story-driven games, and we can’t wait to get our hands on Detroit: Become Human
I was born with a strange gift, the ability to see what know human being has ever seen before. It’s all mixed up in my head. The images, the sound, the smell. I need to remember, put things in order right up to this moment. Remember who I am.
1. Life is Strange
I’m so overwhelmed and enthusiastic every time I speak about this game, that I really struggle to keep it straight and simple.
Life is Strange is an episodic adventure game, with beautiful hand-painted visuals, and an even more beautiful – yet intense – story line, driven by your choices and their consequences.
The story revolves around Max Caulfield, a senior photographer that’s doing her studies in Arcadia Bay’s Blackwell Academy. Max will soon discover her power to manipulate time, when she tries to rescue her childhood friend, Chloe Price.
Together they will try to find Chloe’s missing friend, Rachel Amber, but they could never imagine that these investigations would get them on revealing Arcadia Bay’s most well-hidden secrets.
The game is all about the choices you make, and every choice has a consequence. So, don’t let the beautiful music and graphics fool you. The story is way… way darker than you think!
You might not get this taste by the first hours of game-play, but trust me, this game can be devastating and mind-blowing beyond expectation.
I wish I could stay in this moment forever. I guess I actually can now, but then it wouldn’t be a moment.