games The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever  

175k votes 16k voters 278k views 281 items Follow Embed

List Rules Only games with great narratives (graphics and gameplay not considered).

Video game stories range from the extremely simplistic to the staggeringly complex. While early games - and many contemporary ones focused on gameplay - treat the plot as a loose outline filled in by action or puzzles, some games have tried to push the boundaries and tell emotionally gripping, cinematic stories with elements of interactive control and player choices that forward the storyline.

The advent of so-called "sandbox" games, which give players more freedom in choosing how to explore the environment, which missions to embark upon and what order to progress in has also served to make games more character-driven and involving. ("Fallout 3," for example, builds up a karmic profile of the player based on decisions in how to advance through missions.) These best storyline games build on the gameplay and graphics with genuinely good stories. 

Currently at the top of the list of the best video game storylines are the Mass Effect games with BioShock, The Last of Us, and Half-Life 2 all in contention for the number one spot. Gamers will also recognize other popular video game franchises like Metal Gear Solid and Assassin's Creed, which feature twists and surprises in their storylines. 

This list collects the games with the most entertaining and involving storylines. Vote for your favorite games on the list, and build your own version to add more suggestions that aren't already ranked! There is no shortage of games with amazing stories.

1
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Mass Effect 2 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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2
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BioShock is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
BioShock 2007

3
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Mass Effect is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

4
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The Last of Us is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

5
+ - 2,715 1,066
Star Wars: Knights of the Old ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

6
+ - 2,853 1,167
BioShock Infinite is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

7
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Half-Life 2 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Red Dead Redemption is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

9
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Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

10
+ - 2,014 1,193
Fallout 3 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Fallout 3 2008

11
+ - 1,982 1,031
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

12
+ - 2,082 1,152
Assassin's Creed II is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

13
+ - 1,982 962
Mass Effect 3 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

14
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Dragon Age: Origins is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

15
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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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16
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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

17
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Half-Life is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Half-Life 1998

18
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Heavy Rain is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Heavy Rain 2010

19
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Portal 2 is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Portal 2 2011

20
+ - 1,547 697
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

21
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Batman: Arkham Asylum is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

22
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Chrono Trigger is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

23
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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

24
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Portal is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Portal 2007

25
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Silent Hill 2 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

26
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Final Fantasy X is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

27
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Fallout: New Vegas is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

28
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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

29
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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Assassin's Creed is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

31
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God of War is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
God of War 2005

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old ... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

33
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Shadow of the Colossus is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

34
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Dead Space is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Dead Space 2008

35
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The Witcher 2: Assassins of Ki... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

36
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L.A. Noire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
L.A. Noire 2011

37
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Deus Ex: Human Revolution is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

38
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The Walking Dead: Survival Ins... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

39
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Fable is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Fable 2004

40
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Tell Tale's The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Tell Tale's The Walking Dead

41
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BioShock 2 is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
BioShock 2 2010

42
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Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

43
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Deus Ex is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Deus Ex 2000

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Resident Evil 4 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Alan Wake is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Alan Wake 2010

46
+ - 745 493
Max Payne is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Max Payne 2001

47
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Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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+ - 600 416
Silent Hill is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowi... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Final Fantasy VIII is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever