Your favorite Stories in games?

Sep 21, 2020
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Title kinda says it all. For those of us that love a great story, they can often make a game shine beyond mediocre gameplay. For me the prime example of this is Dragon age II. The story was so much better than the game in some ways it would of made an even better visual novel. I wanna know what games had stories that really blew you away, or that you just found wonderful.


I'll start with some more obscure titles that i found by chance.

Remember me. As a huge Dontnod fan with the life is strange and before the storm i found this little title. while the game play was a very simple, linear fight game it had this really engaging story about memories and memory dealers and such. the game also had this really neat mini game puzzle that you had to figure out a way to alter memories to change things. I was a really neat mechanic, and despite the boss battles that i did not find all that interesting and even the game as a whole. (fight games aren't my thing) the games story was a great sci-fi expericance despite the obvious tropes, I just loved it

Highway Blossoms. If you just want a sweet, day in the life road trip adventure of a person roaming around the mid west then this is for you. I don't know how else to describe it other than it is just a happy and well told story with characters you want to learn more about and keep you engaged the entire ride. I am looking forward to playing the expansion "the next exit" But the game is just great. The art is also very high quality.

Serena. Ok this one is strange, It was made as a demo for a game that is still not out and has been in development for like 8 years. It was made by the person that made scratches with help from friends. It is a very shot game, (2 hours or so) But the concept of the way it's told, exploring a little cabin was really well done. The game doesn't have save feature, so just play it through. I'm sure there will be some surprises so i don't wanna spoil anything. It really opened my mind to a new way of telling a story.


So what are yours?
 
For me the prime example of this is Dragon age II. The story was so much better than the game in some ways it would of made an even better visual novel.

The story & characters in DA2 are really what the game was about. I wasn't a huge fan of the combat, and exploration/discovery was almost non-existent the way Bioware reused the same maps over & over.

As far as what I feel was the best story, it was the entire story arc of Mass Effect from ME 1-3. Each game built on what happened in the previous game, your character & his/her choices carried over, and most of the characters/companions were with you throughout the entire series. I've played all 3 games numerous times over the years, and am just still amazed at how everything all weaves together. I don't think we'll ever see a trilogy as strong as ME1-3.
 
I enjoyed the Bioshock rapture backstory quite a lot, all things considered it was just a disaster story just waiting to happen and rapture's downfall was pretty much guaranteed. But the many delicious side stories, characters and ideas did bring the whole thing together.

Oh and props for the best ending. it did make me feel like a true hero. The other time i can recently remember feeling like that was in Mass Effect where sovereign dies in a horrible death on the might of the human fleets guns.

There are probably more games but i can't think of them tbh. Its just one massive blur when i play games these days.
 
Bioshock 1 and Planescape Torment are two that I always call out for best game story, for very good reason.

More recently Disco Elysium gets added to that list, just incredible passages of writing in there and the world really felt to me that it was living and breathing beyond what you experience in the game. All without resorting to a million lore books lying around in cupboards to read.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Best story? Witcher 3. The main story, the side quests, the DLCs, the side quests in the DLCs... If I made a list of the best 100 stories I've encountered in games, I'm pretty sure Witcher 3 would account for about half of them. I really loved the way that they had multiple endings which all felt like good endings.

Runner up: Final Fantasy 7.

Honorable mentions...
  • Bioshock 1: best twist ever
  • Dragon Age 1: most stirring speech
  • Mass Effect 3: best ending that I liked but most everyone else hated
  • Baldur's Gate 2: best story that I've now forgotten because it was too long ago (or maybe it was Planescape: Torment...?) ;)
 
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Sarafan

Community Contributor
Jan 14, 2020
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There's a lot of games with great stories. Here are my favorites:

Planescape: Torment - a story about personal redemption, not saving the world.
NWN 2: Mask of the Betrayer - for most of the time it follows the lead of Planescape Torment, but in the end it gets really epic. And it's not a downside!
Pillars of Eternity 1 and 2 - makes you feel like a pawn of higher powers.
Deus Ex series (the old and new ones) - it gives you a sense of how the world could look like if the conspiracy theories would be true.
Torment: Tides of Numenera - underappreciated game by most of the gamers. Maybe it doesn't rely so heavily on personal redemption like the original, but the story is great and refreshing nonetheless.
 
Y'all have mentioned the big ones I can think of, so a couple of small ones:

Syberia 1&2, interesting adventure/puzzle games from 15+ years ago with a cyberpunk base.

Her Story, very nicely done murder mystery. The entire game is video clips of a female suspect being interviewed by the police. You search thru the clips database to find further clips, trying to piece the story together.

The Talos Principle, an excellent puzzle game, has quite an interesting and philosophical plot.

I usually go for a book or TV show if I want a good story—if there's one in a game, it's a welcome bonus but not something I look for. I want to write my own story in games, which is why I like strategy like Civ or C&C, or open world shooters like Far Cry.
 
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