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The Most Emotionally Involving Games I've Played

This list is for games which try (and in many cases succeed) to tug on your heart strings or otherwise inspire strong emotions. It is not ranked by the overall quality of the game but rather a meter of "how much did it make me feel". Generally this stems from excellence in writing, cinematography and sound design amongst other things.

Note: I have not played Journey.

List items

  • This game made me cry. Straight up, face-waterfall motherfucking-bawling-like-a-baby cry. Some of those tears were of sadness, others happiness and once I even cried out of sheer melancholy. Man.

    The strengths of this game are solid writing, good pacing and above all, an amazing original soundtrack.

  • Hard swings from number 1, this game made me feel empty inside when it ended. Dejected, horrified, but also with a sense of understanding of what the characters and their motivations were. If it connects with you, this game will not make you happy, but it will leave you impressed to your toe nails.

    Major strengths of The Last of Us? Well, it's up there in one of the greatest all-round games ever made in my estimation. So everything. (For those who disagree, I can understand why but this is where I stand)

  • Happiness. Other games on this list made me cry, made me empty, made me connect with characters in ways I wasn't expecting, but this game makes me happy. It reminds me of my best highschool days and making new life-long friends. This game is my single favourite game of all time and it's because when I play it, I can get lost in another world where I can hang out with Kanji, Teddie and Yosuke and relive my journey with them over and over.

    But this game speaks to ME - as such, who knows if it is really as good as I think it is. But, as such, it almost by default makes it onto this list.

  • Interchangeable with Uncharted 2 on any given day.

    I felt closer to some of the characters in this game than any other game bar Persona 4, The Last of Us and Mass Effect 2. When things happen to them, you feel it in your guts. You feel heart break, despair, love, sadness, joy - all through empathy with what is happening on screen.

    To be fair, though, the game has had 3 preceding instalments to build rapport.

    Oh, and it almost goes without saying to anyone else who's finished this game, that Uncharted 4 made me feel awe unlike any other game. The environments, set pieces, etc, etc, etc, are unlike anything else. Very few games inspire that feeling and this is truly the highest among them.

  • I can't say much about this game as there is so much to spoil. But it made me connect to a family of characters, get to know them, and see a brief glimpse into their lives. With that glimpse, it gave me a very memorable experience and made me shout "YOU GO GIRL!" out loud at my computer screen. That's pretty cool.

    The voice over work in this game is the star of the show, but beyond that other strengths are a nice soundtrack, unique storytelling methodology, and an incredible attention to detail.

  • This game made me tear up with a button press. Sure a lot of it is predictable, the characters are flat and it isn't particularly mechanically interesting (even over its short run time), but it has that single outstanding moment to hold the whole thing up in my mind.

    Strengths are the visuals, a unique control scheme, a couple of very emotive music tracks and that it doesn't overstay its welcome.