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.
Such varied games as The Last of Us, BioShock, Mass Effect, and the Kingdom Hearts franchise have gained devotion for their storytelling as much as their gameplay, if not more. Vote up the best video game narratives, and build your own version to add more suggestions that aren't already ranked.