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 as 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 in 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?

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 heartwarming and so filled with emotion. It is complex yet easy for the player to understand. It teaches that everyone has a story to tell.

There 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 treehouse 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 is incredible, and everyone can relate to it in some way.

3 Mass Effect

A definite blockbuster, Mass Effect is as good as a third-person shooter gets. It has 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 every time.

In over 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.

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 storylines 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.

5 Final Fantasy

FFX, one of the most powerful stories ever, could really be a standalone 12-hour film itself. You also get a great (though pretty dated turn-based system) game! Would love to see it as a live-action miniseries.

Their plots are long, intriguing, 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, e.g., 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 has awesome storylines. Not to mention the consistency.

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 twists ever made.

The game is a masterpiece. 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 it's under Grand Theft Auto makes me want to cry.

7 Halo

There's no other series 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), and novel characters Kurt and Samuel.

When these characters fall in the series, you feel like you've lost your best friend. The end of the trilogy in Halo 3 concludes in a way that makes these characters' lives so meaningful. It gives you goosebumps throughout the credits, and the epilogue after the credits will leave you even more speechless than the ending itself.

Every Halo game is awesome. (Halo 4 may not have been the best, but even that has something great in the story.) Halo 3 will always be the best game, Ghosts of Onyx the best book, and Halo will forever be the best story I've ever experienced.

8 Chrono Trigger

Are you serious? Chrono Trigger is number 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 extremely well, and the time travel is executed perfectly.

Seriously, this is one of the best games ever made. Its 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 16-bit era.

9 Legacy of Kain

Better than all or most of the games higher on this list, there have been very few games that have touched this one when it comes to storyline and lore. It's so well-written and represented that it's shocking to be so low on the list.

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

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

10 Red Dead Redemption

This game's story starts out making you think it's not to be taken seriously, 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 the Mass Effect series, Bioshock, and MGS series.

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 the beginning of this. Had a great time playing and watching!

For the first time, I've ever felt completely immersed in a video game's story. It's 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 puzzles to sort of get you through the times.

12 Resident Evil

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

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

Deeply inspired by Terminator, Alien, and George Romero movies. What could go wrong?

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, but it also has one of the most complex stories and makes the Original Trilogy look like cliché sci-fi. Also, it has 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.

14 Grand Theft Auto

This should at least be in the top 3. It has such an awesome story about one's conflict with his group and his personal life development. Everyone was right in 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 storyline epic. It starts off from Carl having just $350 and then wanting to do something with his useless life (that is not the case in every Grand Theft Auto game). I think Rockstar must make another story on CJ as the protagonist (maybe a sequel or prequel).

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 because it has an amazing soundtrack, which fits all of its cutscenes perfectly.

It's 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 storylines 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.

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 were a movie, we'd call it one of the best noir 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 Heavy Rain

How this is only number 19 is a question that I may never know the answer to. Great original story. I cared about all of the characters. It's very intense and 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 are 17 different endings in Heavy Rain, with hundreds of story decisions and more. All this while losslessly crafting a really good story.

19 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 (aside from the god-awful 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 and 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.

20 Assassin's Creed

Assassin's 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, Connor, 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 series of in and out of the Animus looking for the Pieces of Eden. Beats Grand Theft Auto.

21 The Saboteur

Who needs Resident Evil when you can have The Saboteur? You get to play as Sean Devlin, an Irish race car driver turned saboteur as he causes chaos against the Nazis.

Potentially a one-man Inglourious Basterds.

Blowing up fuel depots, zeppelins, 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 an awesome plot... Awesome... Epic. Every comment is less to express this one.

No other game is as good as Mafia 2 is. No one can go up to 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 an 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 soul, 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 children die in one night. Asgore, in rage, declares war on the humans. Toriel, disgusted, divorces Asgore. Between then and now, Asgore collects six more human souls. Now, Frisk, the playable character, falls into the underground. Now you decide - do you spare them all and set them free? Do you kill them all and erase the world? Or do you kill and spare and escape alone? That is Undertale for you.

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