Story-driven single-player video games have always been the crown jewels of the gaming world. Narrative-driven titles can elicit a range of emotions from the player, immersing them in the experience. These products provide hours of entertainment while delivering an engaging plot that keeps players coming back for more.
The depth of the narrative is where the strength of these video games lies. Even though gameplay and progression in them can sometimes be linear, gripping storylines and compelling characters keep players on the edge of their seats.
These video games are timeless classics and worth playing 2022
1) Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar Games are masters of crafting story-based experiences. Over the years, it has provided players with multiple genre-redefining video games that set the standard for other developers to meet. Released in 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of Rockstar's finest offerings.
The game follows the life and adventures of Arthur Morgan, an outlaw, as he tries to find his place in the world while looking out for his companions. Players can choose Arthur's path as either a cold and ruthless mercenary or a gunslinger with a heart of gold. The game offers a vast open world full of compelling characters and NPCs that Arthur can interact with, which helps further develop his character.
The narrative of the title ensures that by the time the story concludes, players will have developed an intense connection with all the main characters in the game, especially Arthur. The emotional journey is complemented by a beautiful and serene soundtrack, making the experience even more immersive.
Red Dead Redemption 2 was nominated for Game of the Year in 2018 and is truly a timeless masterpiece.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC
2) Last of Us
Often described as one of the best video games of all time, Last of Us set the industry bar on how to deliver a masterful story-driven experience through linear gameplay and progression. Developed by Naughty Dog, this PlayStation exclusive won the Game of the Year award in 2013.
The title presents a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by infected zombie-like creatures. Players assume the role of Joel Miller, the protagonist, as he accompanies a teenage girl named Ellie, escorting her to a safe destination. Throughout their journey, they develop a strong bond and grow to understand each other, filling the void in each other's life.
Despite lacking the open-world aspect of a game like Red Dead Redemption 2, this title still provides an equally immersive and emotionally compelling experience.
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4
3) Life is Strange
Released by Square Enix in 2015, Life is Strange is a choice-based adventure game that allows players to choose the direction in which the narrative progresses through their in-game decisions.
The title chronicles the experiences of Maxine, the protagonist, as she discovers that she has the ability to rewind and manipulate time. She uses these abilities to save her friend Chloe from being shot. The two friends then embark on a journey to find Chloe's missing friend Rachel while also navigating the troubles of teenage life.
The episodic plot of Life is Strange branches into separate storylines based on the decisions made by the players. This makes the story incredibly immersive as every choice has consequences.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows PC, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch
4) Detroit: Become Human
Released by Sony Interactive Entertainment in 2018, Detroit: Become Human is another choice-based adventure game. It is set in a dystopian world where androids assist humans with their day-to-day activities.
Players experience the story in this game through the perspective of three different androids as they struggle to come to terms with their identity in a world where they are deemed as subservient objects. The choices made by players shape the plot of the title, with some of them having fatal consequences.
Video games such as these provide the greatest level of immersion, as the players are responsible for how the story develops. Detroit: Become Human relies entirely on quick-time events and the choices made by the player, making it one of the most engaging single-player video games of the last decade.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows PC
5) Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a dark horse on this list of narrative-driven video games. Released by Ninja Theory in 2018, the title follows the journey of Senua as she travels to the realm of the underworld to rescue the soul of her beloved.
The story is one of love, sacrifice, and redemption. Throughout the course of the journey, Senua is haunted by her own troubled past and challenged by Hela's minions. Driven by the power of love, she has to overcome Hela as well as her own inner demons.
The story depicted in this title is gut-wrenching and empowering at the same time. The bittersweet ending is the perfect conclusion for one of the most underrated video games of all time.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch
6) God of War (2018)
With the release of God of War: Ragnarok just around the corner, players will be doing themselves a favor by revisiting this Game of the Year winner from 2018.
The title is a soft reboot of the series, as the focus shifts from Greek to Norse mythology. Kratos is no longer the vengeful demigod consumed by hatred, as he has a son to look after now. The dynamic between Kratos and his son Atreus is heart-warming and wholesome. Even though the journey is tough and their relationship faces challenges, they overcome all odds and grow together as a father and son.
God of War is one of the best video games on the previous generation of consoles and earns its spot on the list as one of the most engaging storytelling experiences of all time.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC.
7) Half-Life 2
Released in 2004 by Valve, Half-Life 2 is considered to be one of the best video games of all time. Set seventeen years after the events of the first game, players assume the role of Gordon Freeman as he struggles to adapt to a new futuristic dystopia.
The story in Half-Life 2 sees Gordon Freeman battling the alien colonizers known as the Combine. His character arc is extremely engaging, as he goes from being an outsider from another time to being humanity's messiah. It offers an immersive narrative and combines it with gameplay mechanics and visuals that were impressive for their time.
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Windows PC, Mac OS, Linux, Android
8) Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Another Naughty Dog entry, the fourth installment in the Uncharted series of video games is often regarded as the best in the franchise as this action-adventure title encapsulates everything the series is known for.
The story of the title follows Nathan Drake, a former treasure hunter who is convinced to come out of retirement by his brother Samuel. Together, they enlist the help of Nathan's former partner Victor and embark on a journey to find a long-lost treasure.
The relationship between the various characters forms the crux of the plot here. These people struggle and grow together as the narrative progresses, adding a humanizing element to the fast-paced action of the game.
The title was recently re-released on the latest generation of consoles, making it an ideal title to revisit this month.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC
9) Mass Effect 2
Developed by BioWare and published by EA in 2010, Mass Effect 2 is a title adored by both critics and players. Mass Effect video games are known for their storytelling and immersive world designs, and the second installment in the series represents the peak of the franchise.
Players take on the role of Commander Shepard in a futuristic depiction of the galaxy, battling an invasive alien species. The title received praise for its role-playing elements and complex characters, as well as the relationships between these characters. The interactive choices made by players influence the narrative of the game and define the direction of the plot.
A seamless blend of admirable storytelling, cinematography, and gameplay mechanics makes Mass Effect 2 one of the best role-playing video games of all time.
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows PC
10) Horizon Zero Dawn
Developed by Guerrilla Games and released by Sony Interactive Entertainment in 2017, Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the finest action RPGs in the previous generation of consoles.
The game is set in a post-apocalyptic depiction of the 31st century, where nature has reclaimed the land, and people have resorted to a primitive and tribal way of existence. Most importantly, the world is dominated by machines in the form of wild mechanical beasts.
The protagonist, Aloy, must traverse the land to avenge her tribe while uncovering the truth about her own past, as well as the secrets of her world. The unique world and the brilliant narrative in this game make it one of the most entertaining and engaging experiences. A sequel to the game was recently released, making this the ideal title to revisit before moving on to the next one.
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows PC
Note: This article is subjective and reflects the writer's opinions.