Top 10 Video Game Franchises with the Best Story

The Top Ten Video Game Franchises with the Best Story

1 Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid is the most cinematic game ever made by far, overcoming even a 300 million dollars movie.

There is no game I have played in which whose plot is so brilliantly and intricately developed. A series of plot twists, revelations, and just a general high quality of script writing, this is one amazing game. My all time favorite

Never before have I been so emotionally attached to a video game character than with just about every character in the cast of the Metal Gear Solid franchise. I grew up with this game, even from a very young age I was always desperate to watch my older sister play the first MGS. I remember the final scene of MGS4 vividly, and how it literally caused me to tear up. It's a deep and powerful storyline. One that should go down history as the best of all time. Keep it number one on this list, heh.

Metal Gear Solid will always remain the best and most emotional story ever, it just has a sense to it that is absolutely amazing. Never have I cared so much about characters like; Big Boss, Revolver Ocelot, The Boss, and so on.

2 The Legend of Zelda

This is the type of game that the side-quests sometimes can have a better story than the main story itself.

Legend of Zelda has such a complex, fantastic, yet relatable story... The almost 20 games in the series, while at first seeming unrelated, are all connected with a story that spans the centuries and dimensions, creating a rich history full of grandeur. LEGEND is right.

And not only that - the emotion of each game, the poignant details, make us form a connection to the story. There is such a strong attachment to the land of Hyrule, the story of the fight of good against evil, because WE are in it. WE are Link, and we are in his world - each and every time.

What's best is that everyone can relate to these games. They aren't overly violent or inappropriate. Yet at the same time, there are very mature themes, subtle messages, that give the story such meaning. Both kids and adults - really, people of all ages - can appreciate the fine and detailed (and EPIC) storytelling of the Legend of Zelda.

I believe this deserves to be first on the list. The story is fantastic. It is filled with mystery, magic, and teaches values. It is heart-warming and so emotion filled. It is complex yet easy for the player to understand. It teaches that everyone has a story to tell. That are also clues in the games that foreshadow. For example, in Ocarina of Time, still considered one of the best games of all time, there's a drawing on Link's tree house of a boy fighting what appears to be a giant dinosaur. In Skyward Sword, you fight The Imprisoned, a giant beast that resembles a dinosaur. 13 years later. This game in incredible and everyone can relate to it in some way. - ZeldaStorm

Adult Link learns the Song of Storms from Guru-Guru, the windmill guy. Guru-Guru mentions a kid who played it 7 years ago and messed up the windmill. After playing it, Guru-Guru gets angry. Link then goes back in time 7 years to when he was a 9 year old kid. He goes back to the windmill and plays the Song of Storms for Guru-Guru. The windmill gets messed up. But ig Guru-Guru only knew the song because 9 year old Link played it, and 9 year old Link only knew it because adult Link went back and time, and adult Link only knew it because Guru-Guru taught it to him, then where did the song originate from? It is a bootstrap paradox.
It's things like these that make The Legend of Zelda so complex, yet so amazing. There is another similar paradox in Skyward Sword regarding the Gate of Time, but it would take way too long to explain. Vote Legend of Zelda. It obviously has the best story.

3 Mass Effect

You can have sex with a Alien if you want to, story decisions here just don't have limits.

A DEFINITE blockbuster... Mass Effect is as good as a third person shooter gets; a wonderful story that branches out to have mild or severe consequences depending on your choices no matter how small.

Mass Effect should definitely be in the top ten. This game has so many choices in it that you could play it multiple times with a different outcome and story to it every time

A game series that makes you care about your companions, and really care about the choices you make, that should be enough proof

4 BioShock

Bioshock's story is so precise about every little detail, that the story seems to be told through every single thing in the game. The symbolism is uncanny, and weaves together such a beautiful statement about humanity, that it leaves me floored every time I play it. Even the main plot of the game is absolutely brilliant, and contains within it one of the single greatest plot twist ever made. The game is a masterpeice, and when taken in combination with the story of Bioshock: Infinite and its story DLC, you are presented with the single, greatest franchise story in the history of gaming. This deserves to be number one hands down. The fact that its under Grand Theft Auto makes me want to cry.

Well the voting here seems to be terrible? Resident Evil? Halo? Zelda? Well if you like basic uninteresting stories in games not about story then this isn't for you. This game is deep, original, jaw dropping and creepy in just the right amount. It's so intriguing and makes perfect use of audio logs and the random characters you can get to know through them and exploring the destruction of Rapture has to be one the most interesting, engaging and best experiences I've had in gaming, and that goes for gameplay too.

Have played most of the games from this list and I can say most people have rated metal gear or zelda higher only because of it's long range of lifetime or those who haven't played Bioshock 1 or Infinite. Bioshock is definitely much better overall especially in story as it has a very gripping and intense environment as well as physiological issues which according to me no game describes better than this. All in all one of the best games ever, if not the best but definitely should be higher.

Bioshock and its 2 sequels are the kind of games that leave you thinking about the story every day for weeks if not months after beating it. The setting, the story, the characters; everything about this game is so striking and memorable. Bioshock is hands down the best. Words seriously cannot describe how much I love this game.

5 The Last of Us

This deserves so much more than 3rd place. I would honestly knock this off the scale. This game truly changed my life.

Best story ever created. So simple.

Unlike some games that are content to give you lore as 'interesting story', The Last of Us simply is. It's an amazing, touching tale that I wish I had just gone into blind. It's not about convoluted story lines or lore. It's about creating characters that you care about or don't for that matter, amazing characters that are believable and incredibly deep. You can feel meaning, pain and more behind the dialogue just like in real life and it helps that it's expertly written. If you do go into this game blind, prepare to be blown away.

I can't believe this game is only number 7?! The last of us is the most wonderful game storyline I've had the pleasure of partaking in. You really connect with the characters and are constantly hoping they survive the grim world they live in. The relationship between Ellie and Joel is what makes the whole game. From disliking each other in the beginning to forming a father/daughter like bond in the end. I promise anyone that plays this game will absolutely love it

6 Final Fantasy

FFX, one of the most powerful stories ever. Could really be a stand-alone 12 hour film itself, but you get a great (though pretty dated turn-based system) game as well! Would love to see it as a live action mini-series.

My first final fantasy was 8! Then I played 7...I enjoyed 8 way more then 7.

Everyone I've played have awesome storylines. Not to mention the consistency. - LadyLioness

Flawless game.

7 Halo

What can I say? It's Halo! Anyone who have ever played the whole franchise knows how big and amazing its story is. Even if the plot is on Master Chief's journey, there's a lot more. The Covenant, the Forerunners, the Flood, the old Humans, the Halo itself. There's too much great stories and it's a fantastic whole Universe. Have I mentioned that the story in the games represents less than half of all Halo story?

Halo is a very unique story, in that it involves a significant number of lore for a video game series, several books, a short film, and a T.V. series that will be premiering soon.

What's more is its ability to remain fluid throughout the series, each game offers a unique, interesting story that contradicts very little with it's lore, and predecessors (REACH excluded) whilst also offering a new game play experience each game.

Halo is a great storyline no matter what people say, unlike God of War which try to get me to sympathize with Kratos who dies in every other scene

Halo Reach to Halo 1 is a great storyline connection, everyone should seriously play Halo Reach, then play halo 1, and so on. The story is really impressive.

8 Chrono Trigger

Are you serious? Chrono trigger is EIGHTEEN. Absolutely pathetic voting. Chrono trigger has awesome characters, and the plot is brilliant. Each character has a background and a reason to fight. Magus is built extremly well, and the Time Travel is executed perfectly.

Seriously, this is one of the best games ever made. It's story is flawless. It's the closest game to perfection I've ever played

Great story with so many endings. I personally call it the crown jewel of the 16bit era.

It's actually based on the Bible. Who knew?

9 Grand Theft Auto

It's like a Martin Scorsese film inside a open-world video game.

The humor, the betrayals, the awesomeness, the drug dealing, its very interesting (I don't do drugs)! 1

The story of this Grand Theft Auto is really enjoyable and fun from the comedy from the betrayal from crazy things it's just suits the game ever so perfectly

This game is Gang Open world game which mean the best storyline games for gamers who love Guns and real life simulator

10 Kingdom Hearts

The Kingdom Hearts series has one of the best story lines in gaming. I've been playing games for 25 years, including most in the top 10, but no story is as deep, complex, and emotional as that of the Kingdom Hearts series.

This game is the best better then all the others its just awesome man I love this game who go kingdom hearts!

It's so complicated, great, and insane you have to think hard about it for it to make any sense! Now that is a good and complex storyline. - Jammer196

Square is very good at this exact list! I mean look at final fantasy!

The Contenders

11 Legacy of Kain

Absolutely the best story ever. So complex, original, immersing and creative. Compared to this,though equally amazing, MGS is on second place.

This game has the most mature, intelligent, complex story in game history but it is unexesable to new players. No other game comes close to LoK.

Unlike many games here, this one has a creative plot. Not one of those classic "Save the world" or "Damzel in Distress" ones, rather a creative, well written and complex one

Better then all or most of the game higher on this list, there have been very little games that have touch this one when it comes to storyline and lore. It's so well written and represented that its shocking to be so low in the list.

12 Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

Better than the prequel trilogy and definitely better than the Disney trilogy, that's for sure.

This game has a better plot twist than "I am your father! " from Empire Strikes Back! In my opinion, it's the best Star Wars... Anything. The movies, books, games; this game has them all beat!

I wasn't really a Star Wars fan until playing this game.

Just play the game
You'll understand why I voted for him

13 Red Dead Redemption

This game's story starts out making you think it's not to be taken serious, but as it continues the twists, turns, and misfortunes hit you like a speeding bus. Arthur is probably the best written video game character I have ever encountered, and the wholesome moments of the game really warm your heart, while the dark moments reach into the depths of your soul. This game makes you FEEL, something a lot of games can't accomplish.

A big improvement of the first Red Dead Redemption. - Johnalove

So I see this list and I see that the last of us, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, God of war and numerous other games are higher than this beautifully well made game, all those games have weak stories that heavily rely on graphics to make them look better, red dead redemption has one of the best stories I've ever seen in a game, the only ones that should be higher are Mass effect series, Bioshock and MGS series.

Grand Theft Auto 5 has a story that is based on yelling at each other and optional endings while red dead has a ending where there's one great ending instead of one crappie ending a messed up ending and a sad ending. Red dead also has a variety of characters and half of Grand Theft Auto IV features come from red deads strangers and random events also the vareity of red deads landscapes outweighs mountain city desert and ocean.

14 Uncharted

The story is so enjoyable and filled with action, I also liked the graphics and players to sort've get you through the times.

Loved this game, had to have played it at least once and watched it many more times. Great pickup from the last one and the whole time I was trying to put together exactly what happened between the ending of the last and he beginning of this. Had a great time playing and watching!

First time I've ever felt completely immersed In a video game's story. It one of those factors that really pulls you in and makes you want to keep playing.

Wonderful game. Better than the third :) WHY no. 10?

15 Resident Evil

Deeply inspired in Terminator, Alien and George Romero movies, what could go wrong?

Resident Evil rocks. Its story is enough creative, catchy, interesting and intriguing. They should make more and more RE games - Magnolia

Wow, if Resident Evil isn't on this list, someone is obviously dumb cause RE is at least a top 10 series

Despite the cringe worthy and utterly laughable dialogue, Resident Evil does have a strong story.

16 God of War

The story of Kratos is unflinching and brilliant

Best series I've ever played

17 L.A. Noire

One of the best detective games I've played. The last missions were near perfection.

If this story was a movie, we'd call it one of the best noire movies of all time.
And the Black Dahlia Killer! WOW! The best case/missions/level I've ever played.

18 Heavy Rain

There is 17 different endings in Heavy Rain, with hundreds of story decisions and more. All this while losslessly crafting a really good story.

How this is only number 19 is a question that I may never know the answer too. Great original story, I cared about all of the characters, it is very intense. It's very emotional. If you haven't played it, play it and you'll change your mind. - ChickenKing

This was the first game I ever completed. I was so captivated by its amazing story. Different endings are possible, what do we want more? It's a game you have to play!

The best game I have ever played

19 Assassin's Creed

Wow at 75 and Call of Duty is on top of it wow

Assassins creed is deep, really taking place in the present age. (Spoilers! ) The story follows Desmond, a bartender captured by abstergo, the Templars of the present time. He was forced to go through the animus a machine that allows him to see the memories of his ancestors, a long line of assassins (Altair, ezio, Conner, maybe Edward ) and to locate the pieces of Eden, which is what the Templars use to take over the world. And so continues a long seirs of in and out of the animus looking for the pieces of Eden. Beats Grand Theft Auto.

One of my favorite trilogies in gaming.
The third game is pretty average, but the first two is just amazing

It is my favourite video game storyline. I think it should be at least in the top five

20 The Saboteur

Potentially a one man Inglorious Basterds.

Blowing up fuel depots, zepplin's and Panzers are just another day at the office for Irish saboteur Sean Devlin

Who need Resident Evil when youcan have The Saboteur. You get to play as Sean Devlin, an Irish race car drivr turn saboteur as he causes chaos against the Nazis.

21 Fallout

Take Las Vegas, a place hailed as Hell on earth. The Christian nightmare. Obsidian took the Sin City and answered everyone’s question: how evil can it get? This game is a rarity. A Great idea and a Great Story collide in this masterpiece of an RPG. 6 out of 5 stars

Is this even a question?

How is it possible that even David Cage garbage is ahead of this masterpiece of a game? The way they flesh out the world, something Fallout 3 never managed to do, makes it feel lived-in, like an actual place. The people (asides the godawful voice acting and hideous faces) act like real people with actual personalities. And best of all, the game doesn’t decide to write your backstory for you. They give you something vague, let your character become whatever YOU want, rather than a bland archetypical soldier. But even so, it’s in a position this low? This game is top 10 material, AT LEAST.

Good sotory

22 Mafia

This is one of my favorite recent games the only problem I have with the game is the lack of free roam and I feel the game could be longer, otherwise it's a great game!

None other game is best as mafia 2 is... No one can go upto the level of mafia 2

All games are fictional..
But while you are playing this one you will find it playing like you are almost the character and just can't stop playing...
Just awesome plot...
... Epic every comment is less to express this one..

23 Super Mario Bros.

I'm voting soley for Super Paper Mario. The game's plot is so good. I don't feel like explaining it, so just get the game yourself or watch a lets play. Probably the best Mario story there is. Even better then some Zelda games.

I'm really disappointed about this. Mario has a very generic storyline that everyone complains about, and yet the beautifully written RPG games like the Paper Mario and Mario and Luigi games are overlooked. I may be a bit biased because I love Mario, but the stories in these games are some of the best I've seen, including books and movies. That's how much I love these often overlooked games.

I liked Mario because it does not have a super complicated story line like some others on this list. It is a classic story of saving the princess from the evil villain. Mario keeps it simple and that is what I like about it.

I love the main series games, but the stories aren't legendary. I enjoy the rpg stories from Mario though. - HeavyDonkeyKong

24 Undertale

Let's not lie. We all love this game's story, even if we hate the game

Don't understand how this is 156 when its literally a perfect game. love it to bits!

You don't have to kill everyone, but you can. Filled with hilarious scenes and touching, tear-jerking moments, this is probably the greatest story-based video game. who knew pixellated skeletons and goats could cause so many feels?

The best video game of all time. I'm sorry, friends, but UT touched me in a way nothing has before or since.

25 Life is Strange

Simply, it should be in top 3

This game changed my life. I have never felt such an attraction to characters before. This for me has the best story in a video game. It is complex, beautiful, and you write it. You make your life in this game. You choose all of your actions. This game is a masterpiece and is very melancholic.

Best game ever I have played in my entire life. The story, characters, graphics, music, everything in this game is just perfect.

They should make this game into a movie the story is so good.

26 Max Payne

Guilt, Sadness and Rage.

Tragic story with revenge against the mafia, a "The Punisher wannabe" while extremely well crafted, a true classic.

27 Mother
28 Half-Life

Half-Life introduced a way to tell a well crafted story within the eyes of the character with Half-Life 2 being probably the most immersive game of all time.

Man half-life has the best story an awesome trilogy

Said to be one of the best games ever made plus it's a hell of a good sequal too

29 Silent Hill

Schizophrenia, Guilt, Fear, Isolation and Symbolism with infinitely debatable story with numerous interpretations.

I can't believe this. This story will send shivers down your spine. This game is the epitome of survival horror. What have you done with your life if you haven't played this!

30 Shadow of the Colossus
31 The Walking Dead

This should be Number 1. I haven't watched a film or T.V. show with as deep and engaging a story as this. The side characters don't feel like sides, and the main characters are so well portrayed that you won't be able to help thinking of them as real people. You'll cry when something sad happens to them, and like in real life when people make you feel emotions, these people will too. And as for the villains, you just instantly love to hate them.

Even moments where they did something that got on my nerves, I couldn't help but love them still or at least understand them. What other game out there actually makes you question everything you do, from a simple choice of dialogue to shooting someone? Many times has this game questioned my morality, made me make tough choices, made me cry and made me smile, made me depressed or made me happy.

The world is bleak but beautiful, and always rich and never empty. You get lost in this game and never want to come out of it. Even the ...more

The story NEVER gets boring, it's so meaningful!. You'll always find yourself immersed in it. I was so attached to the story line I almost cried when I made Clementine shoot Lee. I felt the tears about to fall out. No game has ever come close to making such a good story line to the point where I would be so emotionally attached like that. It won game of the year for a reason!

I am incredibly shocked that this is #29! If people think Halo, The Legend of Zelda, and Mario have better storylines, they must've never played this game. While this game has gameplay that isn't as good as the aforementioned games, it has the most amazing storyline. I've never seen anyone NOT cry after playing this game who didn't have the ending spoiled.

Why is this number 30 under the likes of Halo, Mario, etc? There's nothing more to this game than pure story. I haven't seen a single gamer NOT cry at season one or two. This game deserves top 3 At LEAST

32 Call of Duty: Black Ops

Only a fool will ignore the plot of this game. The graphics, the flash backs, the actions, everything is just beyond being a computer game. It's really deserves number 1 position.

The best storyline ever!

33 Deus Ex

It was one of my favorites back in the day. I played it again last year and was amazed at how well it holds up. PC Gamer mag even gave it the best game of all time award. DX2 and 3 were mostly good, but not as good as the original masterpiece. X-Files meets James Bond meets Blade Runner.

Deus Ex in my opinion deserves to spot. I just love the conspiracy story combined with dystopian, cyberpunk setting.

the best I'll give you 1000$ if don't like d story or d game!

34 Batman Arkham

Batman Arkham has really one of the best stories, especially for a superhero game series

Arkham city has best ever ending

35 Beyond: Two Souls

Better than most movie, and even book storylines I've seen.

This is the best game storyline I've ever seen.

36 Chrono Cross
37 To the Moon

Perfectly mixed with funny moments and sad touching storyline

Who knew a pixelized game could have such an effect on you? A fantastic story and ending!

38 Mortal Kombat

No mortal kombat here? This franchise is awesome and its storyline is very interesting, catchy and just contagious. I adore MK. Just play konquest modes in Deception, Shaolin Monks, Armageddon and MK 9. Real entertainment - Magnolia

Great Story, even better than the movies

39 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

You really get connected to the charactars. I feel like it should be in the top 10. This series has been like a childhood firend to me, and as I grow up, the more I play, and the more I become connected. I'm going to hate the day they stop with the modern warefares.

40 Starcraft

Starcraft lore is the best, end of the discussion.
Kids who played only metal gear solid are funny, the story if this game is too awesome

41 The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
42 Dragon Age
43 Far Cry

The story is amazing. Played this game only for the story more than once.

Id say this or the walking dead

Far Cry 3 has the best story ever! Vaas and the other great characters makes the story great! This has to be top 10!

44 Shin Megami Tensei Digital Devil Saga
45 Spec Ops: The Line

One of the best storyline's I've seen.
It just hit's you so hard

46 Catherine

This is possibly the only storyline that can have every emotion at once sure twd was good but catherine was just a crazy game

47 Dark Souls

Should be in the top 10. One of the only series if not THE only series that still has a vibrant community around its lore.

Why is this on 114. The story is phenomenal

48 Fight Night Champion
49 Devil May Cry

Absolutely DMC, especially DMC 4.

50 Five Nights at Freddy's

This story is damn complicated...

Boy, this is going to get a LOT of hate. But here me out. The story is out of the roof amazing, mysterious, intriguing, and overall top notch. It can be annoying with its stupid kid lovers in the fanbase, and the quick jump scares, but the story keeps you playing. If any of you are unfamiliar with the game, (which your probably not), you are a night watch security guard at a pizzeria called Freddy Fazbears Pizzeria, (names vary throughout the games), and you are assigned to watch over five (numbers may vary throughout the games)animatronics come to life at night possessed by the children of the old restaurant who were lured into the office and killed by a man, who from FNaF 2 and 3 we know as Purple Man. We do not know his identity, but we do know he has killed 11 or more children, all possessing the animatronics. And other famed thing is the bite of '87 which was the reason for all of the games in the first place, but I will spoil no more. Play the games, don't join the fanbase, and ...more

Yeah...not a whole lot of story

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