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Top 10 story-driven games on PC as of 2020

Top 10 story-driven games on PC as of 2020
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Top 10 story-driven games on PC as of 2020

We’ve prepared the list of top 10 best story-driven games that guarantee the escape from boring reality.

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Bykasumikasumi

Video games are no longer mere means of entertainment. They became an efficient storytelling tool that can stand in the same row with books, theatre and cinematography. Especially that you have the luxury of literally taking control of the character and his destiny, giving a new depth of immersion. 


Everyone loves stories. We’ll never get bored of jaw-dropping plot twists and we’ll never get enough of likable, charismatic protagonists going on adventures that challenges and changes them forever. That’s why we’ve prepared the list of top 10 best story driven games that guarantee the escape from boring reality. 

 

Life Is Strange (+ Life Is Strange: Before the Storm)


Release Date: 29 January 2015 

Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Android


Dontnod Entertainment was in the breach of bankruptcy, but with the help of public funding and Square Enix, it delivered their best-selling episodic adventure. Life is Strange stole the hearts of millions with its unforgettable atmosphere and peculiar concept. You immerse into a pretty normal life of Max Caulfield, who discovers an ability to travel back in time.


The graphics remind of an artsy camera filter put over everything, which beautifully depicts boarding school in provincial America, while music makes you feel cosy and angsty at the same time. The characters and dialogues are almost ripped out of our reality, which makes you even more emotionally invested in their fates. Such attention to details truly makes you relive a teenage girl’s journey of school drama, emotional shocks and unexpected turns, even if you’re a man in your late twenties. 


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Yes, Your Grace


Release Date: 6 March 2020

Platform: PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch


Just because the life of a monarch is full of challenges and difficult choices, doesn’t mean it’s a burden not worth carrying, especially when it’s delivered in a fun and comprehensible manner. Yes, Your Grace is a charming kingdom management simulator wrapped up in a tasteful pixel graphics. You play for Eryk, the King of Davern, who has a lot on his plate: no male heir to the throne, the army of barbarians marching towards the castle, the struggle of finding the allies, petitioners constantly asking for help. And, of course, managing your gold and supplies sensibly, while keeping your people happy. 


You really start feeling for poor Eryk and his grim situation, so you become emotionally invested in his royal family. In hopes of getting a happier ending, you do everything possible, get genuinely frustrated when you lack resources to achieve your goals. And it’s heart wrenching when the scenario suddenly goes against you in Game of Thrones fashion. 


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Detroit Become Human


Release Date: 24 April 2018

Platform: PC, PlayStation 4


It gives a whole new definition to the story rich game genre. You play for three androids who live in a dark sci-fi Detroit, where machines are becoming self-aware and start rebelling against its masters. Even though Detective Connor's storyline is universally considered the most interesting, you don’t stay indifferent to the destinies of Kara and Markus, especially when all three storylines start crossing over closer to the end.


But the setting and characters aren’t the only things that made Detroit: Become Human phenomenal. It’s the mind-blowing amount of alternative outcomes of the story that just keep branching out like centuries-old oak, meaning choices matter indeed. The story can take you in any direction and it’s only up to you which side you want to follow. It’s strongly recommended to play through more than one time in order to try out different choices to explore all the dramatic turns Quantic Dream has prepared for you.


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Kentucky Route Zero


Release Date: 7 January 2013

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch


Kentucky Route Zero manages to be simple and deep at the same time. It's a dead easy point & click adventure, where instead of solving puzzles you click to progress the story about a truck-driver Conway delivering antiques to a seemingly nonexistent address.  Your dialogue options not only move the plot forward, but determine the backstory of Conway and people he meets along his journey, making you the game's co-writer. 


This new perspective creates a unique, slow-paced and thought provoking experience that other story-driven games can’t match. As you pick your response out of other masterfully written texts you start self-reflecting as to why you have picked this option. The prepossessing graphics which remind of Edward Hopper’s paintings creates splendid atmosphere for further contemplations.


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Disco Elysium


Release Date: 15 October 2019

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch


Character development is one of the key elements of a good story, and Disco Elysium takes it to a next level. This detective RPG introduced a breath of fresh air into tabletop role-play games, which are mostly about epic battles, beating monsters and creating a perfect fighter that will complement the abilities of the party. Instead, you invest your points into characteristics that will assist you in your main quest.  


Speaking of which… As you play of amnesiac Detective Harrier Du Bois, you explore rotting city, you interact with its citizens  in order to investigate the murder and try to restore lost identity. The dialogues are precious in how well and witty they’re written. It’s genius how encounters and options described in text boxes can engage the player in the story better than some mainstream movies and TV series.


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Her Story


Release Date: 24 June 2015

Platform: PC, Android, iOS


If you are an exhausted, bored person who’s looking for easy story-rich fun, scroll down, because non-linear story-telling in Her Story requires your full focus, logic, intuition and commitment to the process. This game manages to turn the dull task of sorting out video archives into an engaging investigation. Ten minutes later and you obsessively start drawing the mindmaps to pursue the truth.


Your job is to search by keywords, watch, and put into chronological order 270 video clips that depict a conversation of police with a woman with the police in order to make sense out of what really happened. This indie detective game is soaked in love for TV series about the cops, crimes and investigation, and participating in this crime fiction from this unique perspective is a real catch for fans of story-rich games who are in for a challenge.


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Firewatch


Release Date: 9 February 2016

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch


Firewatch absorbs its players in its unique atmosphere with its beautiful design. Everything, from crisp audio and sounds to mesmerizing, juicy colours depicted Wyoming wilderness in its finest. That’s the place to which the main character, Henry, has run in an attempt to run away from a painful past. And, as per usual, mysterious things start happening around.  


As Henry takes on the job of a fire watcher, you roam around the forest, do your duties and explore mysterious details, while the only help and companion, Delilah, is on the other end of the radio. Not only their dialogues are well written, but also well-narrated. There’s a beauty in the fact that, despite not seeing protagonists, we empathise with their personal drama and adult problems, so you continue roaming through wild nature to hear what happens next.


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The Walking Dead: Season 1


Release Date: 24 April 2012

Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, Kindle Fire HDX


8 years after the release, the zombies hype might be gone, but not the feelings The Walking Dead: Season 1 gave to those who played it. From the first minutes you’re kept on edge as the zombie apocalypse in all of its horror unravels right in front of Lee Everett’s eyes. On his survival quest, Lee meets little Clementine, a cinnamon roll too good for this world, too pure. The quest instantly changes its course into protecting Clementine at all costs.


And that’s how Telltale revolutionised the adventure games genre: by creating powerful emotional bonds between Lee and Clementine, as well as between players and the main characters. You get absorbed into the hardships of the character, feel in danger whenever a new obstacle arises, feel gutted whenever the new betrayal is revealed. And, of course, feel heart broken whenever your dialogue option upsets Clementine. 😭


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The Wolf Among Us


Release Date: 11 October 2013

Platform: PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Android, iOS


It’s always intriguing to see familiar characters from children’s fairy tales in a mature amplua. The Wolf Among Us delivers this and much more. You find yourself in a noir, crime infested Fabletown, a hidden area in New York that became a refuge to folklore characters. You get into the shoes of Fabletown’s sheriff, Bigby Wolf (aka Big Bad Wolf), who, despite having a powerful antagonist’s charisma, has good intentions of helping the magical citizens. 


Do not expect lovely scenes and happy endings. It is a dark story about fallen society, where Bigby in his pursuit for justice is facing gruesome murder, violence, corruption and poverty. The noir atmosphere is wrapped up in edgy comics-like graphics, making it the most stylish interactive story-telling, beyond video games. 


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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy


Release Date: 17 April, 2014

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS


13 years since the debut of Nintendo DS best-seller, the adventures of a rookie attorney (not so ace, huh), who gets murder suspects to defend one after another. Each time you explore the locations in the game, search for the valuable clues and questions еуe witnesses. The most fun part of the game starts during the court hearing, where in a puzzle-like manner you must  present the right evidence at the right time to save your client. 


The charm of this visual novel is that it’s “A comedy of errors with a violence of Macbeth”(C). It masterfully balances between goofy jokes and death, “happy days” vibes and drama without turning it into complete chaos. It’s a well staged farce that is extremely entertaining to participate in. It’s the visual novel game everyone should give a try. 


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