games 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.

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

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The Last of Us is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Mass Effect is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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BioShock Infinite is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old ... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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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

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

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Fallout 3 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Fallout 3 2008

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Assassin's Creed II is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Mass Effect 3 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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

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Heavy Rain is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Heavy Rain 2010

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

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Half-Life is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Half-Life 1998

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Metal Gear Solid is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Portal 2 is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Portal 2 2011

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

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Silent Hill 2 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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

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

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Final Fantasy X is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Chrono Trigger is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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

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

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Assassin's Creed is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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God of War is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
God of War 2005

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The Witcher 2: Assassins of Ki... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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

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

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L.A. Noire is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
L.A. Noire 2011

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old ... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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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

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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The Walking Dead: Survival Ins... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Max Payne is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Max Payne 2001

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

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

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Fable is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Fable 2004

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

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Silent Hill is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Resident Evil 4 is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Alan Wake is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Alan Wake 2010

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Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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Life Is Strange is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Life Is Strange

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