games The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

170k votes 15k voters 272k views 278 items 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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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

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

6
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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

8
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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
+ - 1,986 1,163
Fallout 3 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Fallout 3 2008

11
+ - 1,943 1,008
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina o... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

12
+ - 2,048 1,117
Assassin's Creed II is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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+ - 1,947 928
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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Heavy Rain is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Heavy Rain 2010

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

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

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

21
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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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Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

23
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Portal is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Portal 2007

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

25
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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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Silent Hill 2 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

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

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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

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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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Dead Space is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever
Dead Space 2008

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Shadow of the Colossus is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Compelling Video Game Storylines Ever

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

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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

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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

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

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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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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