20 Great Storylines In Video Games
Gaming has been evolving rapidly over the past five years. The development of head-gear’s such as ‘Morpheus’ and motion-sensing software have given gamers plenty to be excited about. Although gameplay is the one facet most developers seem to be most focused on, the storylines in games have also gotten progressively richer and deeper. Most games have turned to the concept of open-ended story telling, where players are forced to constantly make tough decisions during the course of the game and face the repercussions of their actions in the end. This allows every players to experience a unique narrative on each run of the game while also substantially raising the replay value of the game. Here is a list of 20 games that deliver on compelling story lines while simultaneously creating a rich gameplay experience.
The Bioshock series has managed to deliver on a dystopian series of epic proportions. From the seas to the skies, the setting for these games have always been unique and highly detailed. Bioshock Infinite was definitely the best game in the series and that in itself is an accomplishment considering how well scripted the first Bioshock was.
Red Dead Redemption
This open-world Western classic has been widely recognized as one of the most enjoyable games ever created. The storyline is quite intense and takes you through every imaginable scenario you would expect from the wild west. From gunfights to wild coyote’s in the desert, Red Dead Redemption is undoubtedly the best western story ever told within the context of a video game.
Silent Hill 2
The Silent Hill franchise has steadily deteriorated in terms of quality as the series progressed. The second instalment of the franchise however, was an unbelievably good game with an intriguing story line to keep you hooked till the end. The story of James Sunderland exploring the mystery of his murdered wife has become an urban legend of sorts and it is completely justified considering the mind-blowing final act awaiting the gamers.
Metal Gear Solid 5
The Metal Gear Solid franchise is an iconic part of gaming culture and has contributed in creating some of the best gaming moments of all time. Solid Snake is a widely recognized character who has taken us through some amazing storylines over the course of five games. The themes in the games have been very strong, ranging from government surveillance to the after-effects of being involved in combat.
The Last Of Us
The Last Of Us is considered one of the greatest games ever created on the PlayStation 3. The gameplay is stellar from start to finish but what makes the game truly stand out is its realistic take on an apocalyptic world and the budding relationship between its two lead characters. Add to that some stunning visuals and a satisfying reward system and you have yourself an ‘all-time great’.
The Walking Dead
Most adaptations from film or television do not translate effectively into the realm of video games. The Walking Dead series is the exception that proves the rule. The gameplay is fairly intense but the game stands out purely based on the intense story line that does justice to the brilliant source material it borrows from. The characters and setting are completely new but you always have the sense that you are within the world of ‘The Walking Dead’.
Elder Scroll Skyrim
This game is widely considered to be one of the greatest open-world games ever created. The intense modification system in place allows you to morph your gaming experience to your liking but that is not the reason Elder Scrolls is as popular as it is right now. With over 200 hours of gameplay on offer and a world that is almost as realized as our own, players can easily lose themselves in the world of Skyrim, and that is the true potential of a great game.
Portal 2 does an excellent job playing off the success of the first game and taking the gimmick to the next level. The unique puzzle-based system makes the game engaging through and through but the game shines brightly mostly because of its humor and tight plotlines. Playing Portal can be a distinguished experience as you are made to laugh and think almost simultaneously.
Mass Effect 3
The world of Mass Effect is probably richer and better developed than our own. The scale and magnitude of the series is of epic proportions, waging wars between solar systems and intergalactic species. Your character is highly customizable but Mass Effect takes things to the next level by allowing you to decide your character’s back story as well. This includes deciding where your character was born, his/her experiences in battle and even the depth of the mental scars they carry from their battles. All these decisions affect your broader story making you feel more in control of this marvelous game.
No game lets you see the immediate effects of your decisions the way Dishonored does. You play the role of the royal guard in a kingdom where the queen you protect has been assassinated. Those conspiring the death of the queen make sure that the blame lands solely on your head. You have to make several decisions in Dishonored that determine the growth of your powers but also the fate of the kingdom. Take a brutal approach, and you will see a rat and plague infested empire falling apart because of the political unrest. Take the way of the silent assassin and the people will be unaware of the new era you help usher in.
Far Cry 3
Although Far Cry 4 was released recently and it was a top notch game in all, it is not nearly as good as its predecessor, Far Cry 3. This game had nearly everything going for it, from a well-developed antagonist to a budding protagonist with everything to lose. The psychedelic experiences in the story make for entertaining bits within a highly engrossing game. You know a game has done its job right if you are squatting in the middle of a jungle hoping to attack a gazelle in order to create utilities, only to be taken down by a crouching tiger.
The Crysis franchise is as big as big can get. It got there on the back of creating a long and engaging storyline that would spawn across numerous installments, constantly getting more engaging and adaptive in the process. The dialogue in the series is some of the best of all time, trying hard to get the players into the mind of a mortal who gives up everything, including his own humanity, to become ‘The Prophet’ and save his species.
The Assassins Creed Series
The Assassins Creed series is probably one of the most thoughtfully designed open-world games ever created. It masters the balance between taking the characters to historically significant era’s and highlighting the importance of that journey in the real world. Playing a masterful assassin becomes an absolute thrill when you also get to relive some of the greatest events in the world, retold in a brilliant way to fit within the context of this game.
The iconic and fittingly named Max Payne is widely considered as one of the greatest and probably saddest story told in a video game. Although the adaptation featuring Mark Wahlberg failed to capture the angst and desperation of the character, the video game created a much-awaited and thoroughly engrossing third installment to satisfy long time fans of the series.
Final Fantasy Series
The Final Fantasy series has been dissected and studied around the world in highly reputed universities. The game is considered less of a video game and more of a work of art by those who understand what the series has managed to accomplish. If you think of the fantasy genre, there can be only one name that takes top honors thanks to some insane consistency over the years.
The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a lesser known name in the gaming community but it deserves a lot more accolades than it actually receives. The game takes a bold step in moving away from traditional narrative styles to unfold its story. Instead, players are simply dropped into an incredible open world and left to uncover the point and purpose of the game on their own. As the game mentions clearly during the opening credit, it does not hold your hand and take you forward. It is up to you to do it yourself.
The Uncharted series is less of a game and more of a high-value, full-fledged, Hollywood Blockbuster. Except, unlike most Hollywood blockbusters, this series has gotten even more engaging and entertaining as it progressed from one installment to another.
The Grand Theft Auto series has a lot of fans and a lot of detractors around the world. All of them, however, have to bow down and admit that the fifth installment of the series is a fantastic game overall and managed to single-handedly raise the bar on video games in general. The story allows you to control three distinctly different characters with their own set of unique motivations and quirks. Apart from that, the world in GTA 5 is so enormous and well-realized, that you can practically do anything your heart desires in this game. Go ahead and test it out, it will not disappoint you.
The Witcher series is quickly gaining traction as one of the most intriguing games in the world. Players have a massive open-world on their hands and it is filled with realistic consequences that can take time to fully absorb for new players. This political, medieval-fantasy RPG has nearly everything going in its favor. It is greatly boosted by engaging dialogues that feel like they belong on the pages of a novel.
Arkham City allows you to do one thing that no other Batman game has managed to do so far, and that is come very close to being ‘Batman’, warts and all. The series is excellent overall, but the second installment is truly spectacular. The story is very well-scripted and lets you fight your way through an entire super-prison called ‘Arkham City’ while engaging some of the most famous Batman villains in the process.