Game designers have been incorporating a story into games for decades. Some are more popular than others, and other storylines are not as good. However, the best game with a story will always be the one you get immersed into because of a captivating plot accompanied by great gameplay. Many genres contain a story, too. Besides RPGs, you’ll see it in platformers, strategy, action, and adventure games where there is dialogue throughout the game or cutscenes between levels. The following list includes the top games that feature a story based on popularity and their gameplay and storyline quality.
1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an action role-playing game with a strong emphasis on story and character development. The game is available on Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation, and Xbox platforms. One of the main features of the gameplay is that there are no levels to gain. Instead, players must find equipment for Geralt, the main character, to become stronger. They can pick it up as they journey the world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Even when you think you’re powerful enough to take on anything, the monsters grow tougher. In this sense, it’s not about how many foes you can defeat but how quickly you dispatch them and how few hits you take.
2. What Remains Of Edith Finch
What Remains Of Edith Finch explores the history of a cursed family and their home, which has been in their possession for over 100 years. As you research the abandoned house, you’ll experience the tragic stories of all its past residents. You play Edith Finch, who returns to her childhood home one last time to uncover secrets about her family and finally try to move on from this unfortunate legacy.
The gameplay alternates between exploring the present day in third-person and reliving memories of the past by touching objects or interacting with other characters in first-person. To progress through each story, players must solve puzzles related to that character’s life, such as using items found around them or creatively using the environment.
3. Batman: Arkham Knight
Bruce Wayne has returned to Gotham City in Batman: Arkham Knight. Upon his return, he finds that Scarecrow has returned and leads an army of criminals from Arkham City to take over his city. Batman must team up with his allies, including Robin, Nightwing, Catwoman, and Commissioner Gordon, to stop Scarecrow and save his city. The game features an open-world environment for players to explore and introduces a new Batmobile, which players can use for transportation or combat. This game is an action-adventure set within an open-world Gotham City, which can be scoured freely by the player from a third-person perspective.
4. Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2 is a popular MMORPG PC game that received positive reviews from critics and gamers for its high-quality graphics, gameplay, and storyline. The title has also been praised for its unique features, such as the ability to play with others in instanced areas, which helps reduce wait times for players. The story takes place in the high fantasy world of Tyria. It follows the re-emergence of Destiny’s Edge, a disbanded guild dedicated to fighting the Elder Dragons. It is one of the best storylines in MMO games, and many gamers cite it as the reason they’re intrigued.
5. Life is Strange: True Colors
Life is Strange: True Colors is a game about time travel and friendship at first. The player controls Max Caulfield, a high school student who discovers that she can rewind time at any moment. Consequently, she can prevent things from happening or change events that have already occurred to alter what happens in the future. The story is mainly told from Max’s point of view, with occasional free-roaming segments where players control her character directly. Besides friendship, the story focuses on love, loss, and betrayal. You can treasure who you want and save your friends or let them go.
In Firewatch, you play as a fire lookout named Henry. Your job is to watch for fires in the Shoshone National Forest and report if you see any. The year is 1989, and your only contact with the outside world is via a two-way radio. Things turn for the worse when strange things start happening in the forest, and it becomes clear that someone or something is out there watching you. This storyline is delivered through events and conversations throughout your time in the forest. The game explores themes of loneliness, paranoia, and the fragility of human relationships.
7. Bioshock Infinite
BioShock Infinite is one of the rare first-person shooter games for PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PlayStation, macOS, and Linux driven by story. The player controls the protagonist, Booker DeWitt, from the aforementioned perspective as he explores the fictional floating city of Columbia to find a woman named Elizabeth. The game’s combat system features weapons that players can use in conjunction with special abilities called Vigors. Elizabeth also possesses supernatural powers, which she uses to help fight hostile forces and rescues Booker from death. Critics praised its story, graphics, setting, combat, and characters. However, some criticized its pacing and lack of player choice.
8. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy have been protecting the universe for years, but now they face their biggest challenge. This game is based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. Players will take control of Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot to battle enemies to prevent Ronan, the Accuser, from destroying Xandar. The game will feature an original story and several locations and characters from the aforementioned comics and movies. It has an enthralling plot, and the graphics are just mind-blowing. For fans of Marvel and what they do, this is a must-play game.
9. Disco Elysium
You’re a detective with a unique skill set and many problems. You’ve been drinking, you can’t remember what happened last night, and there’s a dead body in your room. It’s time to sober up and solve the case in Disco Elysium, an open-world RPG with turn-based combat and unique dialog options that let you shape your story. A new player can start playing without prior knowledge and easily get up to speed by following the tutorial mode.
However, players will need quick reflexes and sharp eyesight because they only have a few seconds before the next note appears. The gameplay is simple but addictive; as soon as you’ve mastered one level, another more challenging song will occur. With 100 levels per song, there are plenty of songs for beginners and experienced players alike.
10. The Wolf Among Us
Wolf Among Us is a point-and-click adventure game that focuses heavily on narrative. The player takes control of Bigby Wolf, tasked with investigating various crimes in the society of Fabletown. They can also make various choices throughout the game that impact the story. The title is heavily influenced by noir fiction, and as such, it features a dark and mature tone. The player must explore the game’s environment to uncover clues and often use quick-time events to avoid danger or defeat enemies. Wolf Among Us is a unique take on the Fable franchise and offers players an engaging and atmospheric experience.