The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever Video Games

The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

101k votes 10k voters 288k views 284 items tags f p @

List Criteria: 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. 

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.
List Photo: user uploaded image
  • 70 ReRanks
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 2,103
    - 1,037
    Mass Effect 2 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    Mass Effect 2 2010

  2. 2
    + 2,169
    - 1,083

    the people's #1 & most listed
    2007

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,942
    - 953
    Mass Effect is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    Mass Effect 2007

  4. 4
    + 2,393
    - 496
    The Last of Us is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

    added by wiabux
    The Last of Us 2013

  5. 5
    + 1,920
    - 590

    ranked low on reranks & added by midnightq2
    2013

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1,211
    - 809
    Half-Life 2 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

    often listed
    Half-Life 2 2004

  7. 7
    + 1,433
    - 623
    Star Wars: Knights of the Old ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2003

  8. 8
    + 1,383
    - 664


    2009

    ;
  9. 9
    + 1,415
    - 453


    2010

    ;
  10. 10
    + 1,335
    - 684


    1997

    ;
  11. 11
    + 1,037
    - 459


    2009

    ;
  12. 12
    + 1,160
    - 611


    2010

    ;
  13. 13
    + 1,180
    - 613
    ;
  14. 14
    + 1,295
    - 680
    Fallout 3 is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    Fallout 3 2008

  15. 15
    + 848
    - 736

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    1998

    ;
  16. 16
    + 1,173
    - 516
    Mass Effect 3 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

    added by midnightq2
    Mass Effect 3 2012

  17. 17
    + 1,133
    - 519
    Portal 2 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    Portal 2 2011

  18. 18
    + 1,017
    - 349

    ranked low on reranks
    1998

    ;
  19. 19
    + 944
    - 577
    Portal is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    Portal 2007

  20. 20
    + 765
    - 421


    2009

    ;
  21. 21
    + 916
    - 501
    Batman: Arkham Asylum is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    Batman: Arkham Asylum 2009

  22. 22
    + 604
    - 301


    1995

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1,093
    - 667


    2011

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  24. 24
    + 656
    - 322


    2001

    ;
  25. 25
    + 763
    - 390


    2001

    ;
  26. 26
    + 599
    - 300

    added by JacobDay
    2005

    ;
  27. 27
    + 641
    - 412


    2005

    ;
  28. 28
    + 787
    - 457
    Assassin's Creed is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    Assassin's Creed 2007

  29. 29
    + 567
    - 320
    Dead Space is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    Dead Space 2008

  30. 30
    + 548
    - 206

    added by Choggner
    2011

    ;
  31. 31
    + 628
    - 404

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    2006

    ;
  32. 32
    + 651
    - 368


    2004

    ;
  33. 33
    + 674
    - 299

    ranked low on reranks
    2011

    ;
  34. 34
    + 837
    - 492
    The Walking Dead: Survival Ins... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct

  35. 35
    + 564
    - 244


    2010

    ;
  36. 36
    + 469
    - 232

    added by wiabux
    2011

    ;
  37. 37
    + 517
    - 252
    ;
  38. 38
    + 542
    - 319
    Deus Ex is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    Deus Ex 2000

  39. 39
    + 488
    - 153
    Tell Tale's The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

    ranked low on reranks
    Tell Tale's The Walking Dead

  40. 40
    + 370
    - 197

    added by midnightq2
    2004

    ;
  41. 41
    + 436
    - 244


    1994

    ;
  42. 42
    + 446
    - 311


    2005

    ;
  43. 43
    + 471
    - 331
    Alan Wake is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    Alan Wake 2010

  44. 44
    + 485
    - 326
    BioShock 2 is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    BioShock 2 2010

  45. 45
    + 410
    - 238


    1999

    ;
  46. 46
    + 345
    - 79

    ranked low on reranks & added by davis-lau
    2014

    ;
  47. 47
    + 369
    - 221
    Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever


    Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood 2010

  48. 48
    + 316
    - 193

    added by Hero
    1999

    ;
  49. 49
    + 546
    - 280
    Max Payne is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

    ranked low on reranks
    Max Payne 2001

  50. 50
    + 339
    - 250

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    2008

    ;
285 +

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