Video games are interactive art. Through the magic of games, developers can put you in the middle of a story, and experience an epic adventure in a completely unique manner. Unlike a movie where you’re passively watching the action unfold on screen, you are in charge in a video game. The protagonist moves when you want them to, and fights how you want them to.
In this list, we’re going to look at the video games which have the best stories. These are the games which took us on emotional journeys, made us laugh, cry and feel attachment, sorrow and glee.
Without further ado, here are our picks for some of the best video game stories of all time.
Half Life 2
Valve, if you’re reading this, please give us Half Life 3 already. We know you’re making a gazillion dollars, so just give some to a couple folks and get them working onthis thing yeah?
Half-Life is one of the best FPS games of all time, and features a great story that keeps you thrilled from beginning to end. And HL2 picks up right where the original left off and gives us another Gordon Freeman adventure that is absolutely chock-filled with all the spectacle and brilliant combat you expect from the series, but does so within an equally compelling narrative.
Gordon’s journey through the world of HL2 is truly epic, and watching how the story unfolds as you’re dealing with the horror and scope of the task you have to accomplish is an experience all gamers must have.
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VII might be more hailed as a commercial success (and it was a great game), the roots for what allowed it to be great started with FFVI. For the first time in the history of the series, the story wasn’t set in the comfortable medieval sword and sorcery setting. The plot for FFVI took players on a journey through a completely new, imaginative steampunk world filled with memorable visuals and represented a complete shift for the series.
Some of the most iconic characters in the series come from this game – Kefka and Umaro to name a couple. The team you fight with felt like a coming together of true comrades, and not a generic RPG collection of random people with different abilities. FFVI’s vision of the world after it’s been overtaken by industry and war is beautiful to behold.
Planescape: Torment has a story that will have you thinking about it for months after you’ve played it. Touching on some incredibly profound themes such as the nature of existence, life, death and everything in between, this was an RPG that was something completely unique.
You play as the Nameless One, a tortured soul who seems to be caught in an endless cycle of death and rebirth and is struggling to hold on to his memories of each life. The surreal setting of the game is perfect for exploring some of these heavy themes. Your character has a simple goal – die in peace. Unfortunately, things keep happening to him. He’s constantly haunted by ghosts of the people who died so that he could be reborn. Sound like your cup of tea?
Bioshock is an absolute classic, and a shining example of the power of video games to weave a compelling narrative. The drowned world of Rapture is spellbinding to look at, but the mysteries you find lurking within are even better. The game satirizes and holds up a mirror to many of the practices and customs human beings practice today, and shows a dark glimpse into what might happen.
Who could’ve thought it was possible ponder complex philosophies on one hand as you’re shooting ghastly creatures in the mouth? Thank you, Bioshock.
When you step back from the controller and truly ponder the scope of Mass Effect’s story, it is staggering. BioWare’s epic adventure puts you in the shoes of Commander Shepard, who’s trying his best to unite the rest of the galaxy against a threat that wants to destroy it. You’ll come across a massive variety of characters, each of whom have their own rich backstory and personality. Even the various worlds you’ll visit on your travels seem lived in and have their own political and economic problems. The game puts you in control at several key moments. So, the decisions you make along the way will affect who lives and dies.
You know what they say – heavy lies the head that wears the crown.
That’s it for our list! What did you think about the best video game stories we put on here? We would love to know which games you think have the best stories in the comments.
Until next time, happy gaming!