Total Nerd The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever  

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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
+ - 3,407 1,794
Mass Effect 2 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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2
+ - 3,246 1,885
BioShock is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
BioShock 2007

3
+ - 3,047 1,591
Mass Effect is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

4
+ - 4,137 1,002
The Last of Us is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

5
+ - 2,799 1,114
Star Wars: Knights of the Old ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

6
+ - 2,988 1,214
BioShock Infinite is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

7
+ - 2,444 934
Red Dead Redemption is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

8
+ - 1,779 1,380
Half-Life 2 is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

9
+ - 2,306 1,166
Final Fantasy VII is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

10
+ - 2,071 1,250
Fallout 3 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Fallout 3 2008

11
+ - 2,055 1,070
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

12
+ - 2,066 1,010
Mass Effect 3 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

13
+ - 1,802 882
Dragon Age: Origins is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

14
+ - 2,164 1,202
Assassin's Creed II is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

15
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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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16
+ - 1,990 1,202
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

17
+ - 1,631 935
Portal 2 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Portal 2 2011

18
+ - 1,625 1,102
Heavy Rain is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Heavy Rain 2010

19
+ - 1,183 1,184
Half-Life is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Half-Life 1998

20
+ - 1,597 721
Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

21
+ - 1,540 842
Batman: Arkham Asylum is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

22
+ - 1,094 642
Chrono Trigger is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

23
+ - 1,235 790
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

24
+ - 1,348 993
Portal is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Portal 2007

25
+ - 1,023 684
Silent Hill 2 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

26
+ - 1,397 717
Final Fantasy X is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

27
+ - 1,031 501
Fallout: New Vegas is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

28
+ - 1,058 697
God of War is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
God of War 2005

29
+ - 941 557
Shadow of the Colossus is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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30
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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

31
+ - 1,105 672
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

32
+ - 1,236 772
Assassin's Creed is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

33
+ - 1,060 460
Star Wars: Knights of the Old ... 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
+ - 871 428
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Ki... is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

36
+ - 989 579
L.A. Noire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
L.A. Noire 2011

37
+ - 879 393
Tell Tale's The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Tell Tale's The Walking Dead

38
+ - 771 401
Fable is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Fable 2004

39
+ - 725 466
Final Fantasy VI is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

40
+ - 758 563
BioShock 2 is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
BioShock 2 2010

41
+ - 725 475
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

42
+ - 1,041 836
The Walking Dead: Survival Ins... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

43
+ - 709 535
Resident Evil 4 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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44
+ - 725 553
Deus Ex is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Deus Ex 2000

45
+ - 719 535
Alan Wake is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Alan Wake 2010

46
+ - 670 425
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

47
+ - 769 506
Max Payne is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Max Payne 2001

48
+ - 617 427
Silent Hill is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

49
+ - 522 330
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowi... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

50
+ - 587 375
Spec Ops: The Line is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever