#1 Edited by Aegon (5821 posts) -

According to you.

Pour moi, I'd say:

Okami.

This is, so far, the pinnacle of character action "Zelda like" games. The vessel for the story, the world of Okami, was crafted with so much care and detail. Each area feels unique and alive. The art and wonderful music (exhibits A, B, C, D, E, F) do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to building up the world and atmosphere, but it also has to do with how and whom the world is inhabited by.

Tobi

There are all kinds of creatures (human and not) to interact with and they don't feel like some filler AI meant to populate the world. Everyone is special and has something to offer in this world. A lot of them are funny, others are more somber, perhaps even depressed. Your interactions with them don't feel empty, which is so hard to say about most open world games. So as you travel through these unique pockets of the world with their own problems, you help out and solve some mysteries, which eventually weave into the main thread.

This game does grande and epic the right way. You'll meet the same characters throughout the game as they move from place to place on their own. Sometimes this'll be in a less significant capacity than others. For example, once while walking around a village, I found Susano, one of the main characters, passed out in some grassy area (probably drunk). He just shoes you away if you try to wake him up. You could've easily missed him, but he's there for you to find. He's there to let you know that he's a unique entity moving around in this world with his own will and purpose. This little detail added so much to my experience with the game, and he's not the only one you have these kinds of interactions with.

Lastly, I'd like to mention Tobi.

Spoilers, Tobi is a piece of paper. Tobi is a demon you meet on the island of the nine tailed fox. His purpose is to stop you. He does this by racing you through an obstacle course filled with spikes, blades, eyeball lasers, etc. You have to beat Tobi to advance. As you race Tobi through the courses, you get to know him. He's actually a pretty nice guy. You come to like him and treat the races more as an honorable rivalry rather than a fight with your enemy. Sadly, you learn that Tobi must say his farewells and depart, because he failed and lost to you.

I was sad about a piece of paper dying. This is the best game ever.

I wish I had a bouquet of flowers to present you at this farewell. But, alas, I must part with you empty handed.

Tobi

Tobi...It was more than a petty little race. Perhaps I wouldn't even have gotten this far without you. With that true spirit of competition you showed me, I can now face the biggest challenge of my life so far!

Issun

Honorable mentions:

  • Persona 3 and 4. For the unique and refreshing way that you developed a relationship with the world and characters, rather than for the main story arcs.
  • Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. Insanity, and not just for the sake of it. The twists and turns are amazing.

Maybe this should've been a blog....eh.

#2 Posted by TheBluthCompany (422 posts) -

Persona 3

Portal 2

Bioshock 2

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#3 Edited by RonGalaxy (3275 posts) -

Metal Gear Solid 2 and 4

come at me

Also, the last of us.

#4 Posted by TheBluthCompany (422 posts) -

@narujoe93: The only thing I remember about MGS 2 is accidentally shooting the President of the United States in the chest with a remote controlled missile.

Needless to say, people were unhappy with me.

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#5 Edited by RonGalaxy (3275 posts) -

@thebluthcompany: I don't know, the stories themselves aren't particularly amazing, but I love Kojimas sense of humor a lot. I like MGS3's story a lot too, but (to me) it feels insignificant compared to 2 and 4.

#6 Posted by normandshinsuke (4 posts) -

Silent hill 2 is pretty good, having the nightmarish horrors being apart of the characters psyche is element in games you don't see that often and makes for good psychological horror as you try to figure out what the hell these things are and what they mean.

Plus as a little note, i don't think looking at games as vessels for stories is the best thang; stories that are able to utilize the game to enhance the story is what we should be looking for imho. But whatevs, nothing wrong with watching movie games. They be good movies.

#7 Posted by Aegon (5821 posts) -

Silent hill 2 is pretty good, having the nightmarish horrors being apart of the characters psyche is element in games you don't see that often and makes for good psychological horror as you try to figure out what the hell these things are and what they mean.

Plus as a little note, i don't think looking at games as vessels for stories is the best thang; stories that are able to utilize the game to enhance the story is what we should be looking for imho. But whatevs, nothing wrong with watching movie games. They be good movies.

I was talking about a world that you can interact with and have a sense of discovery inside of, being the container for the story. Not video games in general.

#8 Posted by Jay_Ray (1127 posts) -

Persona 4

Red Dead Redemption

Mass Effect Trilogy

Dragon Age Origins

#9 Posted by normandshinsuke (4 posts) -

@aegon: title says otherwise :/ in any case then, i say any dark/demon souls game! (within the first few weeks of release) cause that thing is all about discovery. Both about its story and its mechanics. Until its all documented and you can just look up everything online /:

#10 Edited by GunstarRed (5448 posts) -

After replaying through Okami recently I fully agree with that game having an outstanding story. It's one of those games that people immediately go to the visuals when they talk about it, but it's a highly amusing game with some incredible story moments. There's a couple of sections where it meanders a little, but when that game gets going it is incredible.

Also, the non-Japanese HD version doesn't have Reset in the end credits. It was a real bummer after beating that final boss that takes close to 40 minutes... I sat back waiting for the song to start and then I got this boring drum music. Seems like a bizarre thing to remove.

#11 Posted by Aegon (5821 posts) -

After replaying through Okami recently I fully agree with that game having an outstanding story. It's one of those games that people immediately go to the visuals when they talk about it, but it's a highly amusing game with some incredible story moments. There's a couple of sections where it meanders a little, but when that game gets going it is incredible.

Also, the non-Japanese HD version doesn't have Reset in the end credits. It was a real bummer after beating that final boss that takes close to 40 minutes... I sat back waiting for the song to start and then I got this boring drum music. Seems like a bizarre thing to remove.

I believe it's because the credits contain the Clover trademark, so they couldn't include them in the HD version after Clover was closed. I only every played the PS2 version (multiple times), so those memories are what I'm going off of.

#12 Posted by GunstarRed (5448 posts) -

@aegon: Yeah, I read that. It sucks a little that they removed the Clover logo from the beginning also, but at least there's clovers everywhere in the game that make the logo sound. The HD version is well worth playing. It looks incredible.

#13 Edited by csl316 (9413 posts) -

Vagrant Story, Mass Effect, Legacy of Kain series, Metal Gear Solid 3.

#14 Edited by believer258 (12177 posts) -

Persona 3 and 4, Mass Effect 2, Chrono Trigger, Half-Life, the first God of War, The Last of Us, and Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne are all video game stories that I've enjoyed. The plots of Persona 4 and Mass Effect 2 are both pretty flimsy, but they're held up by the characters that inhabit them. Nocturne is a weird one - its characters are mostly just plot devices, but the story they take place in gets pretty awesome there towards the end.

Whenever these threads come up, Bulletstorm is a game that keeps popping up into my mind. That game mostly surprised me by having a story that wasn't throwaway garbage. I mean, it's absolute pulp right down to its core, but it's not bad pulp and I did come to like the characters in it. It's a modern shooter where the main character actually grows some in a believable way.

#15 Posted by BigJeffrey (5170 posts) -

The Last Of Us.

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#16 Posted by SlashDance (1843 posts) -

Metal Gear Solid 2 was a mess, but one that always felt deliberate to me. At first glance it's just a dumb action movie with questionable pacing, but when you look more closely at what the game actually has to say, and what it does with its setting, it can be surprisingly thought-provoking. Some of the themes are even more relevant now than they were at the time. The way it describes social media for instance, for something that was written in 1999, is uncanny (granted, it's something that was already going on at the time, albeit in a wayyyy smaller scale). It's not the best story in games, not by a long shot, but it's my personal favorite.

My second favorite would be Planescape Torment. Amazing writing, great characters, great dialog, also a story that makes you think without spelling out answers, or even questions really. Great fun.

#17 Posted by spankingaddict (2735 posts) -

Okami , indeed !

#18 Edited by TheBluthCompany (422 posts) -

@believer258: Yeah, Persona 4 has better characters than 3, but the story in 3 is way stronger. Also the music is better.

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#19 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12102 posts) -

Planescape Torment seems an obvious answer.

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#20 Posted by Aegon (5821 posts) -

@believer258: I would like a sequel to Bulletstorm. Here's a weird thing that you may not get...Bulletstorm gave me Ratchet and Clank vibes. Childish humor, being on this planet with a robot lady constantly on the intercom, fighting aliens with crazy weapons, etc. It felt like a Ratchet and Clank game with potty mouthed humans.

#21 Posted by believer258 (12177 posts) -

@aegon said:

@believer258: I would like a sequel to Bulletstorm. Here's a weird thing that you may not get...Bulletstorm gave me Ratchet and Clank vibes. Childish humor, being on this planet with a robot lady constantly on the intercom, fighting aliens with crazy weapons, etc. It felt like a Ratchet and Clank game with potty mouthed humans.

Oh, no, I totally get it! The color pallet, some of the aesthetic options, all of those could remind someone of Ratchet and Clank. I wasn't, personally, but both of the Borderlands games continually reminded me of Ratchet and Clank despite not being that similar. Both are full of weird guns, both have tons of enemies with lots of health, both are super-colorful and distinct, and there were more things that I don't have time to list at the moment.

#22 Edited by ricky_alvarez_794628 (3 posts) -

Final Fantasy VII is a futuristic dystopian fantasy that features controversial themes (for its time) like mental illness, sexuality, reincarnation, and what happens when corporations are allowed to become more powerful than governments. It never pulls its punches and features an infamous series of plot twists.

Final Fantasy X is a simpler tale that, unlike VII, is expertly weaved. Its presentation of its story and characters is virtually perfect and it has one of the best video game endings ever.

Xenogears is complex to the point of convolution, and for good reason: It's an attempt at fitting six games worth of story into just one game. Xenogears' topics are so controversial that various religious organizations attempted to ban the game outright.

Xenosaga is a trilogy (downsized from 6 games, like Xenogears) with so much story that, to my knowledge, it holds the record for longest uninterrupted video game cutscene: 50 minutes. Xenosaga is based on Nietzsche philosophy and deals with the impending doom of the entire universe--which players get to explore much of.

Silent Hill 2 is like watching a very, very good horror movie. Short, sweet, and expertly crafted.

Far Cry 3 has a surprisingly great story. It's a modern retelling of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and is about transformation and what happens to people when they are faced with adversity.

And the Mass Effect series has a great story, despite changes to its literary team that kept it from being even better.

I could list a bunch more games with great stories. Perhaps just as important, there are also a lot of great games with amazing characters that fall short in the story department. I feel that great characters can keep a story afloat just as much as the plot can.

#23 Posted by captain_max707 (494 posts) -

Bioshock: Minerva's Den had a sidestory that I thought was very touching. Porter's relationship with the computer was very cool (and sad), and some great acting really helped it stand out.

#24 Edited by Vuud (2035 posts) -

Pong. I'm sure some wanker could write a whole book about the true meaning behind Pong's narrative.