What game has your favorite story?

Turnip Knight

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I love story based video games. Games have something that a writer dreams of having. They can actually make a world and put you in it, with all the choice and immersion that entails. Not all games utilize this ability for story telling, but some exemplify it.

What game has the best bold and enticing story? NO SPOILERS! Share your favorite stories with us and help is enjoy some quality storytelling (and gameplay.)
 

PyriteFool

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Oh man, I love story driven games, and they have improved SO much in the past several years, imho. Though for me it’s kind of impossible to pick a favorite because there are so many different ways for a game to tell an amazing story. Anything from text driven CRPGs (Tyranny is currently my favorite story in that realm) to entirely environmental games (like Journey or the Souls/Borne titles. Without exaggeration I think Bloodborne is the best Lovecraft-inspired story in any medium).

Gah, there’s too many good ones! Dragon Age: Origins was one of the first games I really got into, and I still love its story, and shout out to Inquisition for character writing even if the plot was not their best, imho. Portal and Portal 2 are incredibly well written, plus shout outs to one of the greatest antagonists ever. Witcher 3 blew me away, and if you ask me is way better than the source material. The new Spider-Man game was amazing. Persona 3, 4, and 5. Oh Lord, the JRPGs.

But I think we all need to take a moment and appreciate the greatest, clearest, and most cohesive story in all of gaming:
Kingdom Hearts
 

lilyWhite

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Anything by BioWare sits right at the top of the list. Plenty of good stuff in JRPGs, too. Most of the Final Fantasy series, but I have a soft spot for the Lufia games.
 

Turnip Knight

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Clearly. The Kingdom Hearts series was written with a single story line in mind, and they executed it. I'm sorry? No, I'm not sure I know what sarcasm is...

Truthfully, I love KH. I thought KH3 was good and I was flabbergasted that they made all those disparate stories whe into one. It wasn't seamless, but it worked out and that's just plain impressive when you count how many balls they had in the air.

Portal was great, but Portal 2 was beautiful. Wheatley is one of the best characters ever written in any medium. He manages to pull off a variety of emotions and personas without muddling the character.

One of the few games that actually made me cry was Crisis Core : Final Fantasy VII. The end of that game made me bawl like a baby. It's a beautiful blend of mechanics and story. That said, the rest of the game is kind of tedious from a mechanic's standpoint.

That said, the best video game story of all time, for me, was Bioshock. In that game, everything started to make you feel like a part of the story. Not you the character: You. It was beautifully written and intertwined and it only could have been told in that way.
 

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Hell yes to Bioshock. That game is a masterpiece. I’ve never had that same story/gameplay experience. It blew my mind, and I’ve yet to see anything like it again. Nier does have some moments that get close, though. And Nier: Automata is also fantastic.

And fear not, I mock KH only from a place of love. As someone with mental health struggles and a lifelong love of Disney, it really resonates with me. I’m just starting to really get into the series, so I haven’t played KH3 yet, but let’s just say I’m glad I found some lore-videos before fully diving in.
 

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Not to be a Dark Souls guy, but Dark Souls. I really enjoyed the jacked-up world, obliqueness, environmental storytelling and endless mysteries.

And Final Fantasy 6, which dates me. #TEAMKEFKA! FF4 doesn't quit hold up as well, but, as someone who remembers it from 'the Day', it was pretty revolutionary.

BioGames games have the best dialogue and characters, natch.

And, oh hai Earthbound.
 

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I agree with Portal 2. One of the neatest, most well integrated narratives in video games, entirely told in situ through voiceover and environment without any cutscenes or interruption to play, and incredibly funny.
 

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Dragon Age: Origins was pretty darned solid all around, with a nice cast and stories for everyone, from the player through the main arc and the peripherals and sidekicks.

I will always have a soft spot for Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, though... Just one of those worlds you could fall into, with so many side quests and interesting characters with their own arcs and details. (And you could talk the bad guy into surrendering, if you mastered in persuasion and hit the right dialog options. What RPG even thinks that way these days?)

I got distracted partway though the first Witcher, but liked what I saw of it, even if I prefer building my own character to playing a preassigned role. (Keep meaning to get back to it and the Fallout series... Also have the first Witcher book on Kindle, which I also need to get to one of these days.)
 

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Hell yes to Bioshock. That game is a masterpiece. I’ve never had that same story/gameplay experience. It blew my mind, and I’ve yet to see anything like it again. Nier does have some moments that get close, though. And Nier: Automata is also fantastic.

And fear not, I mock KH only from a place of love. As someone with mental health struggles and a lifelong love of Disney, it really resonates with me. I’m just starting to really get into the series, so I haven’t played KH3 yet, but let’s just say I’m glad I found some lore-videos before fully diving in.

I still need to play Nier. If I know me, I'll like it. Heh, KH is kind of amazing. I'd like to pretend like I didn't play the hell out of those two game and not get sucked in. Dunno, it captures something about memory and identity and nostalgia that gets to you.

I agree with Portal 2. One of the neatest, most well integrated narratives in video games, entirely told in situ through voiceover and environment without any cutscenes or interruption to play, and incredibly funny.

Oh, that ending.

Does anyone remember Xenogears? I'm tempted to say that was my favorite story in a game; bizarre and overly complicated with ridiculous twists and laden with existentialist themes and religious symbolism. Just my speed! Sadly, the game ended up being incomplete, with the whole last half being narrated. :( If ever there was a game that deserved a remake.
 
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Turnip Knight

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I still need to play Nier.......

Does anyone remember Xenogears? I'm tempted to say that was my favorite story in a game; bizarre and overly complicated with ridiculous twists and laden with existentialist themes and religious symbolism. Just my speed! Sadly, the game ended up being incomplete, with the whole last half being narrated. :( If ever there was a game that deserved a remake.

With those two statements alone, you need to play Nier Automata. You'll enjoy it. Robots and philosophy, oh my.

Xenogears was super cool, but I never finished it. I tried more than once.

You probably have, but I'll suggest it anyway. Have you ever played Star Ocean : Til the End of Time? If you liked xenogears and fun JRPGs, then you'll probably enjoy it. The story is cool with an interesting plot twist that it'd honestly be pretty hard to see coming.
 

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I played one of the earlier Star Ocean games, but not that one. I remember thinking the relationship system was fun, but wished it actually took place in space.
 

Turnip Knight

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I played one of the earlier Star Ocean games, but not that one. I remember thinking the relationship system was fun, but wished it actually took place in space.

That's the one to play. That is the absolute best that Star Ocean has to offer IMO. The game is fun and a good mix of fantasy and futuristic. Another cool thing is that the party isn't guaranteed. Depending on how you play, you'll get different characters, and it never feels like you're choosing between two. I highly recommend it.
 

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I like all of Fractional's games - the two Amnesia games and their spiritual sequel SOMA. I haven't finished Penumbra, so don't know if it's as good. SOMA in particular had an engrossing, if depressing, story that tickled all my paranoid, existential SF gloom buttons, but A Machine For Pigs is probably the best written (note: not the best game. It's kind of dull as a horror game, and might have been better as explorative, immersive fiction, in the manner of Dear Esther, which had the same writers).
 

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I'll have to consider others, but the first game that comes to mind for me is Dead Space. The amount of backstory and world-building they did in addition to the game was absolutely amazing, the twist at the end, the originality in the the creatures, it all adds up to an amazing game that I would recommend to any kind of horror fan. Dead Space 2 is equally as good, if less of a horror game and more of action, (omg, the first time I walked into the elementary school....shivers). Dead Space 3 was much more of a money-grab than a game meant to build upon or take advantage of the first two though.
 

Earthling

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The one where the characters feel like real people to me is Stardew Valley. Even though the quests are mostly as arbitrary as any other game, it also feels like the player's actions have a real impact on the community and the characters' lives.
 

Turnip Knight

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I'll have to consider others, but the first game that comes to mind for me is Dead Space. The amount of backstory and world-building they did in addition to the game was absolutely amazing, the twist at the end, the originality in the the creatures, it all adds up to an amazing game that I would recommend to any kind of horror fan. Dead Space 2 is equally as good, if less of a horror game and more of action, (omg, the first time I walked into the elementary school....shivers). Dead Space 3 was much more of a money-grab than a game meant to build upon or take advantage of the first two though.

I only played Dead Space 2 and 3. It sounds like I missed out.
 

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The one where the characters feel like real people to me is Stardew Valley. Even though the quests are mostly as arbitrary as any other game, it also feels like the player's actions have a real impact on the community and the characters' lives.

My GF was giving me flack for playing it an one point, and I forced her to listen to my spiel about Shane's depression and substance abuse and how the game covers IRL issues and topics in a way I've never seen before, while still delivering on it's promise of crafting a fun, happy experience. Maybe a slight departure from my usual fare, but all the better for it.

Sometimes I feel being an adult gamer is like chasing nostalgia from your childhood, trying to recapture a feeling you can never get back because you're not at that place anymore, so you tend to favor game from your heyday as inherently better. And 90's games were dope. But some of my best gaming experiences have been from the the last four years or so.
 

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I love Stardew Valley. I generally play it to help me relax when I can't shut my brain down.
 

Earthling

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I did wonder if people in this thread would laugh at me for mentionting Stardew Valley. ;) There are some great storylines and arcs in there.

I play Minecraft when I'm feeling particularly anxious (I have GAD). Something about the repetitive smashing of rocks is very calming.
 

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I did wonder if people in this thread would laugh at me for mentionting Stardew Valley. ;) There are some great storylines and arcs in there.

I play Minecraft when I'm feeling particularly anxious (I have GAD). Something about the repetitive smashing of rocks is very calming.

Yeah, I've sunk a lot of time into Minecraft. It can be very zen, especially in peaceful mode.
I can't imagine laughing at someone because they find depth in any game, even if I don't. You might find the story of Angry Birds compelling. Good for you.

My go to relaxing game is tetris. It gets fast paced, but what calms me about it is taking chaos and instilling order. I have really bad depression, so the idea that no matter how messed up something is, it can be made right with enough time and effort is very appealing to me.
 

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What game has the best bold and enticing story?

World Of Warcraft has one of the most immersive storytelling experience; it's deep if you want to spend time reading what the characters say. True fans say it's not a game, it's an investment... I'm eager to see the old classic version's comeback.

I have fond memories of everything Roberta Williams (King's Quest) and the old LucasArts games (Manic Mansion, Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, Loom, Indiana Jones). I also remember playing Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell ad-nausea until I could find the one path that made me go through the entire game without killing anyone.

Fun. Fun. Fun.

-cb
 
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Roxxsmom

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I loved the story in Planescape Torment.

I thought the Dragon Age games had very immersive stories too. Bioware may have technical glitches and bugs in their games (and in the last game, black hair=blue and dark brown=greenish brown, ugh, and almost impossible to give characters brown eyes that didn't turn gray in bright light, while offering a dozen shades of red and blond and blue and green), but they employ good storytelling, imo. The Elder Scrolls games have better open world play, but their stories aren't as intriguing to me.

Someone else mentioned the World of Warcraft. There were some good stories in that game also. I enjoyed the whole line with Thrall.
 

Kjbartolotta

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I did wonder if people in this thread would laugh at me for mentionting Stardew Valley. ;) There are some great storylines and arcs in there.

I play Minecraft when I'm feeling particularly anxious (I have GAD). Something about the repetitive smashing of rocks is very calming.

There must be an internet rule somewhere that any positive discussion of gaming turns into an SDV love-fest. I've mostly let go of Minecraft, in part because I don't always love the culture surrounding its dev and some fans. But I daydream about it constantly, have a massive city I've been working on for four years and it might call me back some day. Depends on if some mods get updated soon.

I have fond memories of everything Roberta Williams (King's Quest) and the old LucasArts games (Manic Mansion, Monkey Island, Grim Fandango, Loom, Indiana Jones).

Hard agree. The Indy games were the best, Fate of Atlantis is canonically the fourth movie, as far as I'm concerned. And I looooved punching Hitler in Last Crusade, tho getting him to autograph your transit pass is a better move.

I loved the story in Planescape Torment.

Another that always get brought up, I mentioned it recently in the Game You Played thread. The successor is every bit as good, as long as you accept once it's more an interactive novel than a game.
 

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Some excellent games with excellent stories here!

Though I loved the Witcher series personally, since the games were based on books, do they qualify? :D

Warcraft had (has?) some fun story elements and more than a few great characters. And being able to play a part in a story much bigger than yourself was awesome. Then there's stuff like KOTOR and Mass Effect that really pushed the limits of game story telling.

But the best story-in-a-game for me has to be Final Fantasy VIII. It took me a few playthroughs to put everything together, but when it clicked, it was a mind explosion.