While there's a million possibilities as to why a video game might stick in your memory for years to come, one of the simplest and most common reasons is because it had a killer opening level to set the tone for the rest of the experience. If a game can grab you by the throat within its very first level, act, or mission, it's bound to be one of the best games out there. This theory is bolstered by the list below, an eighteen game parade of the medium's heaviest hitters that all happen to have some of the most memorable intro levels in gaming.
Whether it be an unforgettable musical theme, insane narrative twist, or utterly impressive gameplay section, all titles on this list know exactly what it takes to hook players right from the get-go. The question is: Which among them is the most captivating? That's for you to decide. Vote up the most memorable opening levels on this list and establish which games truly stole the world's attention with nothing more than a killer intro.
- 9276191Photo: Namco
If there is one game that just about everyone on the planet earth can recognize, it's Pac-Man. And even though the first and last levels are near indistinguishable to the average person, it means nothing.
All that matters is that most human beings have seen the opening level to Pac-Man and can more or less remember it; meaning, that as a quantifiable, statistical fact, it is one of the most memorable levels of all time. Chomp on, Pac-Man.
- Photo: Square Enix
Human Revolution's intro is memorable because it kills you. Not metaphorically – it literally kills you. After introducing you to a brave new world full of cool cybernetic technology and a host of interesting characters, the first mission builds to a fever pitch until you, the player, are forced to watch the protagonist get murdered by a band of mercenaries.
You're then treated to one of the most unforgettable cutscenes in all of gaming, as the protagonist is rebuilt from the neck down as a cooler version of Robocop. All in all, it's an extremely memorable opening level that more than earns its place on this list.
- Photo: LucasArts
Surpassing the visuals of any game prior, Star Wars: the Force Unleashed II set a new bar for immersion via graphics. Couple that with iconic Star Wars music and some of the coolest lightsaber gameplay ever (all debuting on the aesthetically stupefying oceanic planet of Kamino), and TFU2 had all the ingredients for one hell of an unforgettable opening level.
- 12247179Photo: Ubisoft
Some might argue this opening level is only memorable because it lasts three hours. Well, they're wrong. While that is one facet of what makes AC3's intro so special, the reality is that it's the series's boldest attempt to tell an interesting story to date. That's because for the whole first three hours, you're playing as the villain – but you don't know that yet.
Only at the end of this cleverly-disguised prologue do you find out you've been playing as the game's antagonist, wherein a very apropos achievement appears and a moment of utter amazement is bestowed upon you, courtesy of Ubisoft.