Some play a video game for its rewarding and addictive gameplay. Then there are those who couldn’t care less about game play or graphics and would rather invest their time in a compelling story that makes putting down the controller a near impossible task. The magic of video games is that they connect with us in personal ways, whether it’s engaging gameplay or a storyline that hits close to home.
We went over the last 30-plus years of releases to find the best written stories of all time. These narratives made us feel, made us think, and kept us glued to the screen until we reached the resolution. These games told stories that could only be possible in a video game, and if we want this medium to keep evolving, then this is the perfect time to celebrate them. With all that in mind, the following list will countdown the 10 best story lines in gaming and the features which made them such memorable experiences.
Halo 4 is the sort of game that many players will keep in their consoles for weeks on end, making it a great value for the grownup gamers it’s intended to entertain.
Missions are fast-paced and often spectacular, new enemies are smart and challenging, and online play is extremely habit-forming. The Master Chief’s long-awaited return manages to live up to the series’ daunting reputation, delivering an experience that feels very much like a classic Halo game while adding a few new elements to the formula. Plus, players finally get to peer a little more deeply into the Master Chief’s soul, thanks to a narrative that sees him fighting through hordes of deadly enemies to save his ailing digital friend Cortana. (Turns out he’s a bit of a softie when it comes to his long-time A.I. companion.)
One wishes the campaign to last a little longer, and that the co-op missions have more shape and a deeper narrative, but these are minor criticisms. Still it gives us no other option, but to place it in the counting.
9. Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has all of the elements to build an immersive Star Wars experience, power hungry Sith Lords, rag-tag group of heros, and a bucket-of-bolts spacecraft.
As an average crewman in the Republic Fleet, you’re tasked with finding the captured Jedi VIP, Bastila Shan, on the city-planet of Taris, which launches you on a quest that spans the galaxy. You’ll visit Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine, the Wookie planet Kashyyyk, the Sith planet Korriban, and other locales that take you deeper into the Star Wars lore than any movie or game has ever done before.
What bumps the game’s story to one of the best in video games is its ability to suck you into the new environment, allow you to explore rewarding backstories of the fascinating side characters, and surprise you with twists that rival the “I am your father” moments of the movie trilogy. Hence, it definitely deserves a spot it one of the best video game story lines of all time.
8. Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect is one the most successful gaming series, and for good reason. Assemble a rag-tag crew, achieve the impossible, save the galaxy. Neither it is hardly original sci-fi, nor particularly smart, but Mass Effect 2 taps into one of the all time classic adventure stories: uneasy allies versus overwhelming odds. Its Kurosawas Seven Samurai played out in space, replacing the bandits with ancient, titanic machines. Its every bit as “punch-the-air”,is satisfying when Shepard and friends smash through the games suicide mission climax.
The design not only adds hours of gameplay but it also forms a personal experience for the player. While the core story remains intact. It’s a well-oiled tactic in exploration games, but it pays off time and time again. And thus, deserves to be here in our list.