Recommend me a game with a great story

cdfgku

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Jan 2, 2015
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Hi all,

Please forgive me as I am sure you see posts like this every day but I was wondering if you lovely Escapists would be kind enough to recommend a new game for me.

I am looking for a game that has a particularly good and immersive story, while being fun to play ofcourse. I play all sorts of games but RPGs would probably be my favourite genre. I have a particular soft spot for JRPGs and, despite knowing the reaction I'll get from this statement, I love FF7. While JRPGs are generally full of cliches with fairly linear stories, I like it when it has an overall story from the start that is well paced.

Ideally I'd like something with a modern or futuristic setting. I could go for fantasy but am a little bored of the standard Tolkien style fantasy affair at the moment so preferably something that doesn't fit that. I seem to have a bit of a thing for Cyberpunk settings at the moment as well.

Games I have really enjoyed in the past are:

FF7
Shadowrun Returns
Mass Effect 1 (after 1 I personally felt they went downhill)
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Jade Empire
Tales of (there is quite a few to choose from but I'll say Abyss)

I have a 360, PS3 and good spec'd PC.

I've played almost all the FF series (didn't like 13 at all), all the Tales of games I can (Xillia's story didn't seem to kick in for about 20 hours so I haven't enjoyed that one as much as the others), Valkyria Chronicles, Star Oceans, Nier, Last of Us, KOTOR 1 and 2, Crono Trigger, Spec Ops, etc. The list goes on a long way, but these are the main ones people seem to suggest when I have looked up others asking this question.

Graphics aren't too big of a deal for me. Obviously I'd prefer better graphics but still happy playing SNES era games.

Please bear in mind the game list above is my personal preference and any recommendations are also someone's personal preference. If you don't like a game that someone else liked, let's be happy for them for finding something they enjoyed and vice versa.

Thank you very much for your time.
 

Papadam

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Apr 9, 2009
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There is probably a lot of people who will say this too - Planescape torment. Gameplay not that great but the story is in a league of it's own. Fantasy but not generic Tolkien fantasy.
 

Fieldy409_v1legacy

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You mention Shadowrun Returns but are you aware of Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall? I only just discovered the expansion was a thing and had a great time with that.
 

Sniper Team 4

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Hm...I am digging through my brain but I can't think of any that you didn't already mention. The only game that is popping into my head is Suikoden II. Now that it is released on the PSN store, I suggest you give that game a shot.

Might I offer BioShock Infinite and its DLCs? I loved the story in that game, even if it took a hard right turn about two thirds of the way in. Others will tell you that the story is junk, but I think it's great.

Have you tried the Dragon Age series yet? That one is also very divided, with some loving the story while others hate it. I fall into the camp of love it, even if Inquisition decided to start telling a different story two hours away from the ending.
 

cdfgku

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I hadn't actually heard of Planescape Torment before today but it has appeared on a few lists of "best game stories ever" so I will def pick that one up soon.

I have gone through Dragonfall as well, which was awesome. I need to get back to it and do the Director's cut but I played Dragonfall only a few months back and need a bit more of a gap.

Suikoden II I'll look into shortly. I've done Bioshock Infinite and all the Dragon Age games. Again Dragon Age is one of these game series where I really enjoyed the first but didn't get on so well with the second or third.

Thanks so much for the suggestions so far. Happy to take any others.
 

ninja666

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Are you into survival horror games? If yes, I'd like to suggest Silent Hill 2. It has one of the best and most mature storylines I've ever seen in a video game.
 

Fieldy409_v1legacy

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Wasteland 2 has a pretty good story, but samey combat. If the story is what you are after. Its a sequel to an ancient old game Wasteland 1 that was the inspiration for the Fallout series. Legend of Grimrock 1 and 2 are pretty good dungeon crawl rpgs. No story but good gameplay.
 

RJ 17

The Sound of Silence
Nov 27, 2011
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In looking at your list, I notice a distinct lacking of any mention of any Elder Scrolls games. As a disclaimer I should mention that the base-stories in these games are only "decent", but with the freedom and openworldness of them, if you enjoy creating your own story/RP/canon, they're really fun worlds to do so in.

Other than that, I know that FF4 is on Steam and I'd argue that has one of the best stories in the franchise. Beyond that, if you can find FFT and a system to play it on, I'd highly recommend it...as it has the best story in the franchise if you ask me. :p

Sniper Team 4 said:
Might I offer BioShock Infinite and its DLCs? I loved the story in that game, even if it took a hard right turn about two thirds of the way in. Others will tell you that the story is junk, but I think it's great.
Personally I'm one of the people that thought the story was crap...just because it utterly falls apart due to the subject matter. Considering Elizabeth's power and the implications there-of, you can quite literally just make up plot-holes off the top of your head and they're perfectly valid. :3

What I find rather humorous is that the Levine/BS:I Fanboys will swear that BS:I is absolutely brilliant, so incredibly deep and intellectual! The story is perfect! And yet they turn around and crap all over BS2, saying its story is absolute garbage...purely because Levine wasn't involved in making it.

Interesting note: the plots for BS2 and BS:I are almost identical on a point-by-point basis. :3
 

SaikyoKid

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Sep 1, 2011
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If FF7 did it for you, absolutely check out Legend of Dragoon on the PS1. I'm not terribly sure how it may stack up for most people as far as story goes, but I loved it to death. You're definitely going to find (probably more than) a few cliches but no more than Final Fantasy I'd say.

Also from that era, see if you can't weasel yourself a way to play Crono Cross as well. It's definitely different from Trigger, but the story is definitely outstanding and the game itself is quite fun.
 

Buzz Killington_v1legacy

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Aug 8, 2009
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cdfgku said:
I hadn't actually heard of Planescape Torment before today
Holy shit. I'm simultaneously astounded and a little envious. You're in for an experience. Go out and get Planescape right away.

Be sure to mod it, though, for things like higher resolution support, fixed quests, and restored content. There's a decent guide here [http://thunderpeel2001.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/planescape-torment-fully-modded.html]. A couple of those links are broken, but you should be able to Google the files you need and download them--that link's mainly useful as an installation guide.
 

Mikeybb

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Aug 19, 2014
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Papadam said:
There is probably a lot of people who will say this too - Planescape torment. Gameplay not that great but the story is in a league of it's own. Fantasy but not generic Tolkien fantasy.
This person speaks a great deal of truth here.

Torment is worth the effort.
 

sleepypanda

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Jan 28, 2015
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If you like JRPGs you should give the Persona games a try. Gameplay can be a bit repetitive, but the stories are good and the games, as a whole, are incredibly immersive.
 

saxman234

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Nov 23, 2011
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Mother 3!! If you have access to a gba emulator I would strongly recommend Mother 3. There is an english patch that was pretty easy to set up and the story and dialogue are phenomenal. Mother 3 also has some of the best sprite artwork of any game I have played. Definitely one of my top 5 games ever(although almost no one has played it because nintendo is lame).

I would also recommend Xenoblade Chronicles if you can get Dolphin emulator. I am only about 20-30 hours in so far but the story is very interesting, plus some fans made hd mods that make the game gorgeous.

Both these games do not have typical fantasy settings.

If you wanted some broader options, I second Silent Hill 2's story being great, the various metal gears are a treasure trove of corny but kind of fantastic drama (definitely recommend mgs3 first), Azura's Wrath if your like anime, witcher 2 (although very tolkieny fantasy), hmm binary domain had an interesting story. Can't think of other great stories at the moment, but I definitely recommend Mother 3.
 

TakerFoxx

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Give Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines a shot. Gameplay's so-so and graphics are a bit dated, but the writing, voice acting, and atmosphere are all top notch.
 

Fox12

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Jun 6, 2013
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Ha, FF7 is my favorite game. Unpopular opinions unite.

The Persona series is the obvious place to start, if you haven't already played those games. They have a very unique style to them, and they should be available on PSN for $10 each. Those games are very story heavy. The game is split between the "real" world and whatever the "Persona" world is in that game. You spend about half of the game going through your day to day life, and learning about the characters, and the other half dungeon crawling. The game lets you set your own pace and schedule. As a result, the game is built around a central location. It's definitely not an epic travel narrative, like FF7, but you become pretty intimately attached to the setting, since you spend so much time there. I would recommend playing P3 Fes and Persona 4. If you like those, then you can go back and play P2, which is more of a traditional RPG. Just for the record, P3 had one of my favorite endings of all time, and P4 has one of the best casts in JRPG's.

The Shin Megami Tensai games are pretty good, if you like Persona. The settings are some of the most original I've ever seen in a series. They're more dungeon crawling based then story based, though.

The first Dark Souls game actually has a brilliant story, if you can get into it. It's not told to you, though, you have to piece it together. If you like Greek Tragedy, or Dark Fantasy, then you may enjoy this title. It's pretty cheap now. If you buy it then check out the lore videos while your playing it. It's brilliant when you realize how much absurd detail they put into the game. It's one of the most original fantasy stories I've ever seen. If you like Berserk, then you'll like this series. If you don't know what Berserk is, then why are you reading this? Go read Berserk.

You mentioned Spec-Ops? If you liked it, then try Silent Hill 2. Like Dark Souls, this is a very subtle game with genius attention to detail. Both are very slowly paced, and have a lot of symbolism. If you like that, then its worth a shot. Just don't get the HD collection. Just for the record, this is probably my second favorite game.

The Telltale games are quite good, and not too expensive. Really top notch writing in every genre.

I've heard great things about Xenogears, if you like FF7, but I will confess, I haven't played it myself. It should be worth looking at. Vagrant Story and Parasite Eve get good reviews as well.
 

SlumlordThanatos

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Aug 25, 2014
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Buzz Killington said:
cdfgku said:
I hadn't actually heard of Planescape Torment before today
Holy shit. I'm simultaneously astounded and a little envious. You're in for an experience. Go out and get Planescape right away.

Be sure to mod it, though, for things like higher resolution support, fixed quests, and restored content. There's a decent guide here [http://thunderpeel2001.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/planescape-torment-fully-modded.html]. A couple of those links are broken, but you should be able to Google the files you need and download them--that link's mainly useful as an installation guide.
I see lots of people saying this, but I've always felt like these people are wearing rose-colored glasses.

Planescape: Torment does have a problem, and it's a big one: it's obtuse and difficult to play. The game itself isn't hard, but it's difficult to actually play. I'm not sure if it's the isometric viewpoint/controls or if it's because the game refuses to hold your hand, but I could never get into the game. I mostly just ran around the starting area, couldn't figure out how to proceed, and dropped it.

For me, it probably comes from having never played any of the Infinity engine games (Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Icewind Dale), and without that experience, it makes it hard to go back and play it. Just something to keep in mind.

Anyway, Persona 3 and 4 are fantastic if you like your JRPGs; Persona 3 is filled with twists and turns that make the combat tolerable, while Persona 4 fixes the combat problems of 3 in exchange for a slightly weaker (but still fantastic) story. The stories are largely independent, so you don't have to play them in order if you don't want to, although I'd still recommend you do.

Dust: An Elysian Tail is pretty good to pick up as well. Finally, just in case you haven't played it, Jade Empire.
 

HardkorSB

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If you like jRPGs, try Parasite Eve.
It's a horror themed jRPG made by Squaresoft between FF7 and FF8 with an interesting story, a fun battle system and a weapon modification system that will give you hours of fun.

Also, Chrono Cross, a sequel to Chrono Trigger, is pretty good.
Instead of different eras, you have different dimensions.
What's really neat is that you have a ton of characters and you can't even get them all in one playthrough.

From other genres, I recommend Alan Wake.
Good story, good graphics, good gameplay.
 

MysticSlayer

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There is the BioShock series. Their stories aren't particularly great in the same way that Final Fantasy or Tales can be, but at least with the Irrational-developed ones (first and Infinite), they throw a lot of interesting ideas around that are enjoyable to pick out and think on.

I also found the first Witcher game to be good from a writing perspective. I wouldn't put it anywhere near the same level as the first Mass Effect or some of the Tales games, but it still had a decent story with some clever, albeit occasionally preachy and immature, writing.

And while it might be an unpopular opinion, I'd also include L.A. Noire. The overarching story takes a really long time to get going. Still, the early sections of the game do a good enough job of character building and developing a theme that I at least stayed interested, and it all pays off rather nicely once things really get going.
 

Soda Spider

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Dec 15, 2014
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If you can deal with quirks in design Alpha Protocol is great story wise, and your actions actually change a good deal in the game
 

RedDeadFred

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May 13, 2009
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Bastion has an excellent story. It's told through a narrator as you play. The story involves some fairly complex themes that many games don't really get into.

It has the best ending of any game I've ever played.