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320 comments

  • mothbanquet - July 13, 2013 2:18 a.m.

    I mostly agree with this list, with the exception of FFVI and ME2. Mind you, many of the story analyses on this list seem to be focused on characters, not the actual story of the games themselves... ME2 did a good job making the player invest themselves emotionally in the experience but it was entirely down to the characters (and even then, that was down to the sterling job the first game did in introducing them), not the plot. I distinctly remember coming away disappointed, thinking there surely had to be 4 games in the saga, because ME2 didn't offer nearly enough exposition in relation to the first one to be a middle-segment of the overall story. And while I can certainly understand certain aspects of FFVI's story to be superior, I found Kefka to be overly-cartoonish and frankly quite annoying, with nary a glimpse of his true motivations throughout the game. I'm firmly in the FFVII camp on this one, simply because it enthralled me from start to finish like few other stories have in any medium.
  • Sinosaur - July 13, 2013 6:33 a.m.

    The biggest reason why FF6 has taken lead from FF7 is that Square has spent the last decade making overall mediocre to bad additions to FF7 that make people forget that even enjoyed it. Also, I genuinely like Kefka a villain than Sephiroth, even though they're essentially the same archetype: a soldier broken by science/magic testing that's trying to end the world. Apparently Square really liked that origin. And I feel that a story can be good simply from its characters, because even if the overall path might be "we have to save the country/world/galaxy," that can simply be the framework of a story about how this affects these characters if their stories are good enough.
  • mothbanquet - July 13, 2013 6:48 a.m.

    True enough on all points, though as ever, it all comes down to personal taste. I do feel thought that a great story should supported by great characters, not defined exclusively by them. They should be a part of the glorious whole, not a crutch for it.
  • BladedFalcon - July 13, 2013 8:19 a.m.

    Well, I'd argue both the story as a whole, and the characters all hold up pretty damn well in FFVI, and way better than they do in FFVII in my opinion. The whole of the story is still more interesting to me in FFVI, because they spend the first half building up this world, and their characters and different towns and idiosyncrasies... And then the plot has the balls to turn it all on it's head and destroy it halfway trough, and then you have to see how everything has gone to shit, and even if you succeed in your second attempt to defeat kefka, things will never be the same again. FFVII?s story definitely has strong points as well, I won't deny that. And for as much as people now make fun of Aeris's Death, it became so iconic for a reason, they pulled it off well. But even with that, I do think FFVII's story is still a much more conventional, traditional one, and doesn't really transcends other stories similar to it. At the end of the Day, Sephiroth doesn't really accomplished much more beyond killing aerith, and his plan to ultimately destroy the world fails. He's is killed, and the world is safe and happy once again. Again, not necessarily a bad thing, but not as bold or as poignant as FFVI. At least for me. At any rate, even though I disagree with you, I respect your opinion, and I will say that FFVII has more merit to be in this list than Chrono Trigger, for example. Also, you're wrong regarding ME2. Think about all the stuff that happens in ME3, and think that all of it is deeply related to the character's individual stories. The main set-pieces revolve around curing the genophage, resolving the Geth-Quarian War, Fighting the reaper turned AArdat-Yakshi, destroying a cerberus experimental facility run by Miranda's father, and invading the Illusive Man's headquarters. None of that would have had nearly as much resonance as it did, had all of those things been previously connected to the personal stories of the characters we met in ME2
  • mothbanquet - July 13, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    I get what you are saying about ME2 but the examples you give are just bullet-points in a plot that is quintessentially 'big bad aliens invade and man/woman saves the day (I was going to add unites the galaxy but the level of unification actually needed to get the job done is inconsequential). Those are all very deep, impactful scenarios but the basic formula is the same. The hideously inconsistent treatment of those characters in ME3 prove that; in essence the characters in ME, while some of the best in gaming and storytelling in general IMO, where hardly intrinsic to the larger story. ME was a franchise about personal connections to me, and whether Shepard was fighting Reapers or going shopping for groceries, it would've been the same thanks to his company. Me2 was essentially a black sheep in narrative terms and I maintain that we got attached to the game not because we gave a shit about stopping the Collectors, but because we wanted to get through the game with our favourite characters still breathing. And if I honestly had it my way, both FF Vi and Viii would be on the list as they're both utterly superb. Two storytelling landmarks across two generations.
  • BladedFalcon - July 13, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    If you ask me, perhaps you're seeing the ME story the wrong way. Perhaps the real story is meant to be that which you form yourself with those characters you meet. Perhaps the whole Reaper invasion is just meant to be a backdrop to tie it all together, but the REAL story is that of your interactions, connections, and what every personal story, yours, theirs mean. I mean, you agree that every character's, not just their personalities, but their own stories are in themselves pretty good, no? Then why wouldn't those count when we're talking about the storytelling of the game overall? There's many properties in media in which the main, overall story isn't that special, but it's mainly used to string along these individual, more special and interconnected stories, which is what ends up making it great. I just feel that nay person that recognizes that the individual stories are great, but claim the game's story is subpar just because the overall, "main" plot isn0t that special are kinda of missing the point. Like you said, the point of the game was that we wanted to get trough the suicide mission with those we cared about,because we wanted to protect them. Isn't this a sign of superb storytelling in itself?
  • mothbanquet - July 13, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    I would call an overall story composed of excellent characterisation and individual tales against a pretty humdrum and cliched backdrop inconsistent. Anyway, the ME games are some of my favourite but for the purpose of this specific list there are better examples. Put it in the 'best cast' list instead.
  • hunter-payne - July 13, 2013 12:40 a.m.

    I'm so tired of Portal 2 being on everyone's list...it is the most overrated series in gaming
  • BladedFalcon - July 13, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    Says the most overrated commenter in the Internet ;)
  • Mr.YumYums - July 16, 2013 1:37 p.m.

    blah blah blah *emoticon* yeaaaaaaah
  • Zeos - July 12, 2013 11:52 p.m.

    Sad to say, I still haven't played Silent Hill 2.
  • Fenriff - July 13, 2013 2:54 a.m.

    You need to fix that. I finally played it about a month ago (the ps2 version) and while there's not much to the gameplay, the story, characters, and the symbolism and imagery are nothing short of amazing.
  • Mr.YumYums - July 13, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    I have a PS2, bought it just to play Shadow, do you think it's worth buying Silent Hill 2 for the experience?
  • Fenriff - July 13, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    Definitely, I can't imagine a ps2 copy would be very expensive.
  • Guardian88 - July 12, 2013 11:25 p.m.

    My top 10 stories 1. The World Ends With You 2. Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City 3. Sleeping Dogs 4. Fallout 3 5. Final Fantasy X 6. Bastion 7. Injustice Gods Among Us 8. Ni No Kuni 9. Persona 4 10. Deus Ex Human Revolution FYI these titles are in no particular order
  • bebl09 - July 13, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    I'm guessing you haven't played The Last Of Us yet ;)
  • obviouslyadouche - July 15, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    Glas to see another WEWY fan, that game is very underrated
  • bobob101 - July 12, 2013 9:25 p.m.

    While I know no one in GR has played it, I would like to submit Dangan Ronpa for consideration. What is it? A group of 15 high school kids, who each fully encompass a certain stereotype (the delinquent, the nerd, the Gothic Lolita high-roller) are trapped in a school with one way out: murder your fellow class mates without being caught. What follows is a series of murder mysteries hosted by the creepiest thing to ever enter your nightmares: Monobear. Seriously, look it up, since it will soon be getting an US release for the Vita.
  • BaraChat - July 12, 2013 9:13 p.m.

    I've never played Silent Hill 2, so I can't comment on that. But otherwise I quite agree with your top games on this list. I've always felt, since finishing the game for the first time 5 years ago, that Bioshock had the best story in any video game, ever. It's not the most complicated one with zillions characters and races and clans and various stuff like in other epic games like Mass Effect or Fallout, but what it does, it does brilliantly. I can vividly remember my jaw dropping when the famous plot twist came around. I think this was the first time in my "gamer" career that a game surprised me so much with its story that I was shocked. And I would put "The Walking Dead" second on that list. It's a masterpiece of storytelling and insanely good writing. I'm about 5 hours and 40% into "The Last of Us" and, so far, it looks like a solid challenger for the top 3 best stories ever as well. And I'm also glad that Infinite, Read Dead Redemption, ACII and Portal II made the list. Great stuff GR. Very interesting!
  • TaserLime - July 12, 2013 7:46 p.m.

    what did it take to get @henereyg on board with braid? tetris #
  • BladedFalcon - July 12, 2013 10:16 p.m.

    I believe they probably had to promise him that Final Fantasy VII wouldn't be even NEAR this list :P (I do believe he hates FFVII even more than he hates Braid. And with Braid, i think he mainly hates Jonathon Blow, the creator, not so much the game itself.)
  • pl4y4h - July 12, 2013 7:24 p.m.

    Snake Eater was the first mgs solid game i'd ever played and i was marveling over the story the entire time. It was a great experience
  • awesomesauce - July 12, 2013 6:58 p.m.

    I felt like BioShock Inf & The Last of Us were rated a little too high. I get you guys like Bioshock Inf but after playing it i didn't feel that it had the Emotions you claim. While I'll admit it did have shocking curveball ending; i felt that Elizabeth went too quick through the motions. Like when Sh*t hit the fan all of a sudden she was strong enough emotionally to tackle what was necessary. It didn't feel gradual to me. I actually stopped playing for almost a month halfway though because the story did not interest me.
  • CabooseJuice - July 12, 2013 8:01 p.m.

    I felt like the Last of Us was just trailing on the coattails of The Walking Dead, and the story came out to be a rather blatant mix of that and Children of Men. Just because the story hasn't been completely done in a videogame before, doesn't make it innovative or original if it's been done better in another form of media. The characters and their interaction were well done, but if all the plot twists were pretty par for the course as far as zombie movies go which makes it so they can't go anywhere interesting with the characters.

Showing 101-120 of 320 comments

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