Role-playing video games can be a mixed bag when it comes to storytelling. Scripts that look great on paper might not translate to spoken word very well, or at all, given the nature of fantasy settings. Worldbuilding and exposition can be incredibly shaky, or conversely, so straightforward that they lack the depth needed to make the price of the game worth it for the consumer. The writing could just be bad and the actors poorly cast or not invested in the project.
Thankfully, this isn’t always the case. Some RPGs feature a perfect storm of voice acting, writing, graphical and artistic choices coupled with gameplay mechanics that are effortless in such a way that gamers can fully dive into the narrative. Vote up the games that have the best dialogue.
Considered by many to be the greatest Star Wars games of all time (especially considering the lackluster development schedule post-Disney), the KOTOR games provide something that fans of Star Wars wanted after the lore dump that came in the form of The Phantom Menace: 4000 years of history. The politics of the Jedi and Sith, the magic of the Force, and the power to go down the paths of light or darkness make players perpetually conscious of the decisions they make in a galaxy far, far away.
Lovers of science fiction collectively rally around Mass Effect 2 as one of the best games of the past decade. Dialogue options, loyalty missions, morality, and the ability to interrupt conversations allow players controlling Commander Shepherd to weave a multitude of stories and relationships as they travel across the stars.
Like its predecessor, Dragon Age II, Dragon Age: Inquisition utilizes a system called the Dialogue Wheel which allows players to choose generalized emotions to respond to conversational prompts. With 20 potential ways to respond to scenarios, in addition to a handful of romantic options, Inquisition has a good amount of replayability to it before storylines begin to feel stale.
As a monster hunter in a high fantasy setting, The Witcher 3 goes the route of most RPGs and offers a pretty solid narrative with straightforward dialogue options. Interesting to note, the dialogue system itself informs players which dialogue choices will be impactful to the greater arc of the story by highlighting them specifically in the prompt. Many times throughout the game, even choosing to disengage with character dialogue will affect the narrative in some capacity, and seemingly uninteresting choices can have massive story ramifications hours later.