Top 10 Video Game Franchises with the Best Story

The Top Ten
1 Metal Gear Solid

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.

There is no doubt that Metal Gear Solid has the greatest story in all of video gaming. It's complex, the characters are extremely well developed and the ending is just brilliant. What can I say about this brilliant franchise?

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.

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

2 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.

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.

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.

Ocarina of Time's story was so good! I thought it couldn't get any better! Then Skyward Sword came out, and answered so many questions about Zelda lore (Skyward Sword is a prequel to Ocarina of Time). We learned how the Master Sword was created, why there was Ganondorf Link and Zelda, and a ton of other stuff. It just made the story of the franchise that much better! Not to mention, Zelda has Majora's Mask, Windwaker, A Link To The Past and Twilight Princess, all of which had incredible stories in their own rights. I really like the whole idea of alternate universes where different events happen depending on what happend in OoT. Vote for this. It isn't even close.

3 Mass Effect

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

In over a 100 games, this is the best game I've ever played
It was simply perfect. A masterpiece
in my opinion it had no flaws
It was just great in every way

Mass effect should be in the top ten it has one of the best stories I've ever seen in a video game.

4 The Last of Us

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.

Overhyped and most probably overrated, I've heard so much about it and watch so much about it, that I'm quite sure when I end up playing it, I'll probably be disappointed. There are so many games that I have played with excellent storylines that aren't even on this list. Games that were well written and different. The last of us just seems like another story that uses the typical human attachment and emotion to get its praise, which for me is very lacking.

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

I've had my fair share of emotional video games. From the heart wrenching Heavy Rain to TellTale's The Walking Dead. And still, none of those games have made me feel the way this game has. Right at the emotional start, I knew this was going to be an amazing adventure.

5 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.

Their plots are long, intruiging, and most of all you get a real connection. its characters are all unique and every game has reached one of the best of its time, eg. FF7, FF10, FF6. Not only is the rpg style great but it is the openness and freedom that each game allows you

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

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

6 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.

By far the best game I've ever played. I've played it so many times through already and every time I'm in love with storyline. The DLCs make the game even better. The connections that are made to the previous games just tie everything together to make one hell of a story. Not to mention the gameplay is flawless and so much fun once you get good with the guns and vigors.

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.

7 Halo

There's no other series with with such a beautiful, action packed, emotional, and deeply connected story as halo. I love halo because the story connects realistically. You can actually imagine the story in real life, and the novels were, in my opinion even better than most of the games. No other game ending can beat how Halo 3 ended the trilogy. Every game has something beautiful inside it much like the Zelda series, but nothing else is as deeply and richly connected as halo! RIP to my favorite characters (fallen heroes) --> Cortana, Sgt. Johnson, Captain keyes, Miranda Keyes, All of Noble Team (Jorge, Six, Catherine, Carter, Thom, and Emile), to novel characters Kurt and Samuel. When these characters fall in the series, you feel like you've lost your best friend. And the end to the trilogy Halo 3 ends it in a way that makes these characters lives so meaningful! It gives you goosebumps all throughout the credits. But you don't realized the epilogue after the credits will leave you ...more

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.

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 was once a beacon of storytelling in the video gaming world. Bungie's Halo games have aged well and retained their position as one of the best stories told.

Unfortunately, Bungie no longer makes Halo games, and the series is controlled by 343 Industries, whose games are extremely sub-par. Halo 1-3 along with Reach and ODST were fantastic. Do not play Halo 4 or beyond.

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 Legacy of Kain

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.

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

Marvelous. The best video game story ever. Brilliant, philosophical, articulate and restless.

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.

10 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.

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.

A big improvement of the first Red Dead Redemption.

The Contenders
11 Uncharted

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.

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

It was a great game. Had lots of fun

12 Resident Evil

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

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

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

This game is one of the best stories ever, due to different endings.

13 Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

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!

Not only the best Star Wars game, it has one of the most complex stories and makes the Original trilogy look like cliché Sci-Fi. Also, it has the one of the greatest twists in the history of video gaming.

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

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

14 Grand Theft Auto

This should at least be in top 3. It has such an awesome story about one's conflict with his group and his personal life development. Everyone was right is their perspective and that includes Big smoke and Ryder. The only antagonist is Officer Tenpenny. Awesome characters like CJ, Toreno, Sweet, Kendl, and Cesar made the story line epic. It starts off from carl having just $350 and then wanted to do something with his useless life(That is not the case in every Grand Theft Auto games). I think Rockstar must make another story on CJ as the protagonist(maybe a sequel or prequel).

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

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

It has lots of secrets and mysteries and tons of twists.

15 Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts story is the best,
its storyline is better than any other storyline and
feels like an anime.
This is the only game where I've ever had emotions for.
Especially that it has its amazing soundtrack, which fits to all of its cutscene perfectly.


Its like an anime and Disney crossover.
In addition, the shipping for Sora and Kairi is one of the best in all video games.

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.

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.

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

16 God of War

You need to play the entire series to get the whole feeling of the game, the previous games are what make this new Kratos so good.

17 L.A. Noire

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.

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

18 Fallout

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.

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?

19 Heavy Rain

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.

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!

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

20 Assassin's Creed

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

Especially Assassins creed 2. That deserves its own separate spot

21 The Saboteur

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.

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

22 Mafia

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..

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

23 Mother
24 Silent Hill

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!

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

25 Undertale


The monsters and humans live in peace, but the humans fear the potential power of monsters, so they go to war. The humans win, and they seal the monsters under a mountain with a spell. A human, Chara, falls into the underground. The prince, Asriel, finds them and takes them in as one of them. The royal family lives happily with Chara. One day, Chara dies, and Asriel absorbs their should, making him super powerful. He crosses the barrier between their worlds to let Chara see the golden flowers of her village. The humans, seeing Asriel with Chara's dead body, think that he killed them. They attack Asriel. Chara wants Asriel to fight, but he holds back, taking blow after blow. He walks away peacefully, stumbling back home. He dies, and the dust of his remains spreads across the flowers of the underground. Toriel, the queen, and Asgore, the king, are very upset, having two of their kids die in one night. Asgore, in rage, declares war on the humans. Toriel, ...more

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?

Great story. Especially since there are three choices, pacifist, neutral, and genocide.Also love the aus. In pacifist you're the hero of the story and have a happy ending(sorta).Of course asriel does die but yeah.In neutral you kill a bit of monsters but that's fine.Now, in genocide you get really curious and start murdering everyone in the underground and finally kill sans(technically chara kills him) and chara takes you over.

This game made at least half the people who played it cry. Anywhere from complete genocide to a tragic backstory and lots of friend-making, it's all in here.

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