Every once in a while you come across a certain plot or character that’s so captivating, you can’t help but dive right in. Whether it’s an epic adventure or just a simple visual novel, some stories deserve your attention. These are 7 of the best games to play for the story, even if you hate story in games. These range across multiple platforms and genres, so you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.
7. Coffee Talk
This is probably the easiest going game on this list, but that doesn’t make it the worst. Coffee Talk is a visual novel set in a fantasy version of Seattle. You play a barista who listens to the concerns and problems of customers as you soothe their worries with tasty coffee shop delights.
It’s not the most exciting when it comes to gameplay, but it oozes with character and charm. Each character has so much life and personality it was hard not to become attached and invested quickly. Whether it’s a vegan vampire or hipster elf, learning about each of these unique and varied characters is a right treat. If you fancy something with a slower, more relaxed pace.
6. The Last of Us
Platforms: PS4 (Remastered Version)
Considered one of the best games of this generation, it wouldn’t rightly be a list of narrative games if I didn’t include this standout from Naughty Dog. If you’re looking for a gritty, grounded story about survival and struggle, The Last of Us has got it in spades.
The Last of Us is an action-adventure game that follows the story of Joel and Ellie, an unlikely duo in a journey across post-apocalyptic USA that’s filled with heartfelt and gut-wrenching moments. The twists and turns the story takes are nothing short of fantastic, weaving together themes of helplessness and despair with hope and perseverance effortlessly. It’s not the most cheerful story, but it’s certainly one of the most captivating.
5. Paper Mario Series
Platforms: Switch, Wii U, 3DS, Wii, GameCube, N64
Okay, so this one is a bit of a cop-out, but it’s hard to pick one when they are all pretty great. An RPG spin-off of the Mario series, these games pride themselves on being different; not least of all are their stories.
They may not be the most complex, but they are more engaging than some of the mainline games. Filled to the brim with humour and charm, each game’s story offers some whimsical, light-hearted fun with great characters and dialogue that’s sure to put a smile on your face. Those who fancy a new kind of Mario adventure, look no further than this stellar collection of games, especially the newest entry, The Origami King.
4. Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator
Yes, it’s another visual novel, but one that’s worth every second of your time. Dream Daddy has you play a single dad who, along with his daughter, move to a cul-de-sac filled with single dads, all with the potential for romance.
Top-notch characters take the centre stage here, with each so unique and fresh it’s hard to pick who to sweep off their feet. Great writing, dialogue, and character design make this a standout in the genre, whilst also celebrating inclusion, love, and having some great humour and soul to boot. Plus, it encourages multiple playthroughs, so you can keep coming back to experience new and interesting stories every time.
3. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Tackling serious subject matter such as depression isn’t always easy, but Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice does it with class and creativity unmatched. You play Senua, a Pict warrior who travels to Helheim in hopes of saving her lover’s soul whilst tackling her inner demons.
By combining Norse mythology, a mixture of themes such as mental health, loss, and grief, with a deeply personal plot, this game stands as a perfect example of how to be creative and respectful; whilst dealing with the serious subject matter. With some heavy subject matter and a blend of genres like exploration and psychological horror, it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. But if you’re looking for a more mature and thought-provoking story, Hellblade is a must-have.
2. God of War (2018)
God of War‘s plot is one of father and son told on a godly scale. You play Kratos, the Greek god of war who sets off to grant his wife’s final wish along with his son, Atreus, to scatter her ashes from the highest peak in all the realms.
Though the actual plot is relatively straightforward, it’s the incredible journey these two characters take realistically carries the entire game. Every cutscene and piece of dialogue from beginning to end is exceptional, but it’s the character development and their growing relationship that steals the show. Everything from voice acting to performance capture is spot on, and it makes this game’s story one of the best we will likely see for years to come.
1. Persona 5 Royal
Much like everything else about Persona 5 Royal, the story is amazing.
Set in modern-day Japan, this JRPG has you play a high school student who, along with his teammates, become the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, intending to reform society thanks to their persona’s, physical manifestations of their inner psyche.
Put simply, every aspect of storytelling, characters, and plot are perfect in this masterclass in gaming. The main plot cloaks in at easily over 100 hours, but at no point does it let up. With huge twists and plenty of brilliant characters, you’ll be engrossed into this mature and deeply rewarding story the whole way through. Not to mention the just as interesting side stories focused on nearly every character you meet along the way. Plus with Royal adding even more content, there’s even more to experience.
It’s not just a great story, but a great game too; one any gamer should make a point of playing ASAP.