Skip to main content

The best story games to play in 2024

If you're looking for a game with a story that will captivate you, check some of these out.

Image credit: VG247
Update: We expanded our honourable mentions section, because there are just too many titles we couldn't bear to leave out.

The best story-based games are ageless. While gameplay can become clunky with the passing of time, an enthralling narrative is just as gripping whether it came out in 2004 or 2024.

Because sometimes, when it comes to choosing a new game to play, you just want to dive into an stellar story. The type of story to whisk you away into an alternate universe, where fantasy is real, or you can simply place yourself in someone else's shoes for a while.

Storytelling in video games is just as important as gameplay is, in most instances, and it can truly make or break whether you connect with the game on a personal level. The list below is made up of a mixture of games from various genres, but they all have one thing in common: a memorable story that lives long past the end credits.

To help you tick off some of gaming's great stories off your backlog, here are some of the best story games you can play today, in no particular order.

Persona 4

  • Developer: Atlus
  • Platforms: PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

If you fancy throwing yourself into a high-school RPG where you’ll end up solving a complicated murder-mystery and crawling through dungeons galore, Persona 4 is just that. While the other Persona titles also offer great story-based experiences and charming (sometimes weird) relationships to develop, Persona 4 undoubtedly shines as one of the best in the series.

Persona 4 sees you socialising, battling, and solving mysteries. | Image credit: Atlus

And with dozens of hours of content to get through, you’ll find yourself enthralled as to what will happen next in Persona 4; relationships will blossom with the characters you spend everyday with, and new twists and turns will keep emerging in its story that, forty hours later, still make it hard to put down. When you eventually do reach its end, you’ll likely wish you had even more adventures to go on with this crew of quirky characters.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

  • Developer: Konami
  • Platforms: PS2, PS3, PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox 360

Back when Konami was a good developer, it released Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater in 2004. Described to me by VG247 guides editor James Billcliffe as “one of the best Easter egg games going” in our list of the best PlayStation 2 games, Metal Gear Solid 3 acts as a prequel to the series, set during the 1960s Cold War, and is packed with pop culture references and ridiculous one-off systems.

You're telling me you've never beaten a boss by tricking them into eating a mouldy squirrel before?

Image credit: Konami

In Metal Gear Solid 3, you’ll step into the shoes of protagonist, Naked Snake, as he attempts to sabotage the Shagohod: an experimental nuclear-armed tank that could end the war. That’s only putting it simply, though, as this Soviet jungle is packed with fourth-wall breaking humor, and plenty of strange events that you’d only ever see in a Hideo Kojima game.

A Plague Tale: Innocence

  • Developer: Asobo Studio
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch

A Plague Tale: Innocence and its sequel, A Plague Tale: Requiem, are both deserving of this list. However, we’ve opted for the former solely for chronologies sake. A Plague Tale: Innocence tells the harrowing story of two siblings in 14th century France while the Hundred Years War and black plague are ongoing.

Amicia and Hugo's adventure is a harrowing one. | Image credit: Asobo Studio

This isn’t all, however. Throughout A Plague Tale: Innocence, you’ll play as 15-year-old Amicia (for the most part), who is desperately trying to find her younger brother, Hugo, a cure for his unusual disease all while evading soldiers. This strange disease sees him able to commandeer rats to his heart's content, but ultimately, his powers only mean more trouble for the duo.

A Plague Tale: Requiem only expands on the story of the two siblings, and plenty will argue that it’s much better than A Plague Tale: Innocence. That said, for the full experience of the perils of Amicia and Hugo, you should play Innocence first.

God of War

  • Developer: Santa Monica Studio
  • Platforms: PS4, PC

God of War (2018) was the reboot of the beloved franchise which has since been hailed for its intimate action-packed story. Throughout, the abrasive Kratos is on a journey to honor his late wife's last wish and spread her ashes at the highest peak possible, all while in the company of son, Atreus.

Kratos' journey is a perilous one.

Of course, the journey is a perilous one. Kratos will not only come face to face with ghastly, hostile creatures, but a few of his own demons too. As he strives to honor Faye’s final wish, Kratos is also forced to consider his relationship with son, Atreus, which is only developed further in the sequel, God of War: Ragnarok.

This is a blockbuster experience where the quieter moments are as engrossing as the spectacle set-pieces, so it's not hard to see why the God of War series has become one of the brightest jewels in Sony's first-party crown.

Red Dead Redemption 2

  • Developer: Rockstar Games
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Red Dead Redemption 2 is technically a prequel to Red Dead Redemption, but it’s easy to argue that the story of cowboy Arthur Morgan is much more than that. As a member of the Van der Linde gang, Arthur Morgan and co. are simply trying to get their hands on enough money to finally retire. And surprise, it’s not going to be easy whatsoever.

Step into the shoes of Arthur Morgan. | Image credit: Rockstar Games

You could look at this open-world adventure through multiple lenses: the overarching story of desperate outlaws trying to survive in a world that is increasingly against them, or via the smaller, individual stories that its characters have to share, and your impact on them. Either way, the magic of Red Dead Redemption 2 is just how much there is to unpack in this wild-west adventure, and the games ability to be equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is yet another game for fans of fantasy and buff male protagonists, but its peerless wit and expectation-subverting charm means it's anything but rote.

Plunging you into the role of the legendary witcher, Geralt of Rivia, this series was born from the fantasy novels of Andrzej Sapkowski, and if you find yourself a fan of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, there’s no shortage of The Witcher content to delve into.

In this story, you'll be helping Geralt protect Ciri from the Wild Hunt. | Image credit: CD Projekt Red

During The Witcher 3, Geralt finds himself once again reluctantly in the middle of a kingdom-spanning conflict. So, on the trail of the Emperor's missing daughter, who he has a strange and storied past with himself, Geralt sets out to do what he does best: slay monsters, romance patrons, and generally get stuff done.

The depth of The Witcher 3's world makes its characters feel more vibrant than almost anything else, and taking on the incredible diversity of unmissable side quests only makes this open-world feel even more lived in. There’s no shortage of things to do, and if it all becomes a little overwhelming, you can sit down and play a few rounds of the in-universe card game, Gwent.

Final Fantasy 7

  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Platforms: PS2

Many of the Final Fantasy games deserve a spot on this list, it's true. So depending on your experience with the series, you may very well think the likes of 6, 9, or 12 is your favourite story of them all. So, for the sake of clarity, if you’re thinking of visiting Final Fantasy for the first time, I’d take a look at each and decide which narrative appeals to you the most.

Image credit: Square

Final Fantasy 7 is the title I often hear fans talk the most fondly of, and also marks the series’ transition to 3D graphics. It was a pivotal moment for Square Enix, that’s for sure. Delving deeper into the stories of Cloud, Sephiroth, and Aerith, Final Fantasy 7 tells an emotional tale that ultimately revolutionized the genre.


  • Developer: Toby Fox
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS Vita, Nintendo Switch

Where do I even start with Undertale? I don’t know how I managed to go multiple years without anyone spoiling this game for me. When I finally picked it up after enough friends telling me I had to play it, one long, sleepless night followed as I found myself enthralled by its bizarre story.

Undertale is a strange game, but it's well worth experiencing... more than once! | Image credit: Toby Fox

What starts out as a simple game with charming dialogue, an exceptional soundtrack, and the sweetest of characters soon becomes so much more than that as you dive deeper. Ultimately, Undertale hides many secrets that I daren’t spoil here, but all I’ll say is this: think carefully about your choices.

To put it simply, Undertale has got one hell of a community for a reason. Developed by Toby Fox and Toby Fox alone, there’s a lot to admire here.

What Remains of Edith Finch

  • Developer: Giant Sparrow
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

What Remains of Edith Finch is a short exploration game that can be finished in a single sitting, making it perfect for those of us who want a story-driven experience that doesn’t require you to dedicate at least 20 hours of your time to it. That said, you may want to mentally prepare for this one.

What Remains of Edith Finch is a magical, eerie tale of a cursed family. | Image credit: Giant Sparrow

The game is relatively unsettling, with a level of magical-realism to it that will often see you doubting the memories you’re uncovering. You’ll play as a character who is visiting the ancestral home of the Finch family, accompanied by Edith Finch’s journal, reliving the troubling history of the family through various vignettes. And without spoiling any major plot points, let me assure you that this walking simulator, if it manages to grip you, will no doubt have you enthralled by its eerie goings-on from start to finish.


  • Developer: Campo Santo
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Firewatch is a through and through "walking simulator", but it’s a riveting one at that. You’re placed into the position of Henry, after his wife develops early-onset dementia, as he takes a job in Wyoming as a fire lookout. In a bid to take some time to himself with his thoughts, Henry instead finds himself uncovering strange secrets while becoming closer - over the walkie-talkies - with his supervisor, Delilah.

Firewatch takes place in the beatiful setting of Shoshone National Forest. | Image credit: Campo Santa

It’s a strange story that will pull at your heartstrings, and before you assume which direction it’s going in, don’t. Firewatch is as deeply unnerving as it is emotional, with the isolated Shoshone National Forest making you constantly question Henry, as well as those whose stories he encounters.


  • Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Pentiment comes from Obisidian Entertainment, directed by Josh Sawyer, one of the many wonderful minds we have to thank for Fallout: New Vegas (which is, of course, also on this list). Pentiment is very different from that of typical Obsidian RPGs, however, and has a much narrower scope, in a good way.

Pentiment is more than just a medieval whodunnit. | Image credit: Obsidian

Put together by a team of 13, Pentiment is a ‘medieval whodunnit’ of sorts. It’s a game for those of us who like to read, and be whisked away into other time periods and worlds. As Andreas Maler, you must determine who committed a God-awful crime in this town, but the game isn’t solely about that.

If anything, it’s about the characters you meet along the way, and what you learn from them. However, it’s also about what decisions you make, in typical Obsidian-fashion. Ultimately, Pentiment is “a wonderful tapestry of historical intrigue.”

Disco Elysium

  • Developer: ZA/UM
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

Disco Elysium is an interesting game, being a dialogue-heavy RPG without a morally clear-cut character at the forefront. Protagonist, Harry, is a cop, and you get to choose what type of cop he is. What does that say about you, though?

The town square in Disco Elysium, the best adventure game on PS5

Sometimes detectives don't just solve murders, they have to find their own trousers while mulling over the intricacies of radical politics as well.

In Disco Elysium you argue with children, sing karaoke and hunt down imaginary creatures, all while investigating the details of a grisly hanging behind a pub in a run-down old seaside community. It's more fun than it sounds.

This is one the densest and most intricate stories you'll find in games, bubbling with lore, subtext and symbolism, as it grapples with weighty theoretical concepts and the heaviest subjects you can imagine with an inscrutable intensity that's truly unique.

Until Dawn

  • Developer: Supermassive Games
  • Platforms: PS4

Until Dawn was Supermassive Games’ first true venture into narrative horror, and it was fantastic. Its success inspired the studio to follow up with The Dark Pictures Anthology, which has now wrapped up its Season One after four games and has a Season Two on the way; and The Quarry, a standalone game which is nevertheless Until Dawn 2 in all but name. We can recommend all of these if this style of game is your jam.

A slasher tale where you're the director of events. | Image credit: Supermassive Games

Until Dawn still sticks out as the favourite among them all, however. We're suckers for a slasher film here at VG247, and Until Dawn proved to be the perfect interactive one, taking inspiration from cult classics such as Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II, and the Resident Evil series. Playing out like a movie, it’s up to you to make pivotal decisions and perform various QTE’s to progress the story.

As a result, it’s your decisions that determine how the story plays out, who lives and who dies. It’s a lot of pressure to put on a person, and that’s why Until Dawn is just so effective. Even in its moments of comedy, Until Dawn applies the pressure and forces you to feel tense, and fearful of what’s to come.

Silent Hill 2

  • Developer: Konami
  • Platforms: PC, PS2, Xbox

This would not be a list written by yours truly if I didn’t find a way to wedge in one of the best horror games of all time: Silent Hill 2. Another game from Konami’s golden era, Silent Hill 2 is the best of the bunch and can be thoroughly enjoyed without having played Silent Hill.

James Sunderland speaks to Angela Orosco in Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill 2 might be over twenty years old, but it's still creepy.

Playing as the widowed James Sunderland, Silent Hill 2 starts with the widow receiving a letter from his late wife, telling him to come to Silent Hill. Anyone in their right mind would probably query how the hell we’ve received a letter from beyond the grave, but the troubled, grieving James Sunderland doesn’t bear this a second thought as he sets off.

From there, James embarks on a horrific journey as he confronts his own trauma, guilt, and inner demons in the form of Masahiro Ito’s abominable creations, including the iconic Pyramid Head.

The Last of Us Part 1

  • Developer: Naughty Dog
  • Platforms: PC, PS5

The Last of Us is often hailed for its heart wrenching story, which saw it turned into a TV adaptation for HBO, which was just as much of a hit. The grueling story follows Joel as he travels across a post-apocalyptic United States, riddled with those infected by the Cordyceps fungus; throughout it all, his main priority is keeping young companion, Ellie, safe.

Ellie wields a crossbow in the remake of The Last of Us part 1
TLOU will tug at your heart strings constantly.

And it’s not because he wants to. Joel quite clearly would rather have nothing to do with Ellie, but that’s just part of what makes The Last of Us so enthralling. That said, don’t get your hopes up for any sort of happy ending here, as The Last of Us will toy with your heart constantly before finally beating it to a pulp.

If you have the emotional energy to continue this tale after The Last of Us’ Part 1, there’s also The Last of Us Part 2.

Half-Life 2

  • Developer: Valve
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3

Half-Life 2 first released back in 2004, and 22 years on, many players are still hailing it one of the best games ever made and are desperate for a conclusion to its story. A conclusion that we may never receive. Don’t let this put you off, though, as Half-Life 2 is packed with memorable moments that will still impress you even two decades later.

Image credit: Valve

At a glance, the plot of Half-Life 2 isn’t the most riveting: as former Mesa Black scientist, Gordon Freeman, you’re woken up by G-Man twenty years after the events of the original game. You’ll then work alongside Alyx and Eli Vance to put a stop to the ever-expanding alien empire, Combine, who wish to destroy a now-dystopian earth in the Seven Hour War. Alas, you still won’t forget this game in a hurry.

If you’re hungry for more Half-Life after Half-Life 2, there’s always Half-Life Alyx for those fortunate enough to have a VR headset.


  • Developer: Sam Barlow
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X/S, iOS and Android via Netflix

Immortality is from Sam Barlow, who also happened to be the mind behind Her Story, and Telling Lies, which are also worth checking out if you enjoy interactive story games. Immortality is a haunting love-letter to the silver screen, but it’s also much more than that.

The grid in Immortality for players to sift through clips
Immortality hides many secrets.

Playing out like a disjointed movie, you’ll find yourself scrubbing back and forth through the filmography of the mysterious Marissa Marcel. Put into the shoes of a detective of sorts, this game truly makes you feel as though you’re sat in a dimly-lit room, sifting through evidence, figuring out exactly what happened to Marissa Marcel.

And that’s when you see it, and realise there’s so much more to this particular narrative than you first thought. Just trust me on this one.

Shadow of the Colossus

  • Developer: Bluepoint Games
  • Platforms: PS4, PS5

Shadow of the Colossus (2018) is a remake of the 2005 game of the same name for PS2, developed by Japan Studio and Team Ico. The game has had a lasting impact, later inspiring the likes of God of War 2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Elden Ring.

The player aims their bow at a large enemy in Shadow of the Colossus

In Shadow of the Colossus, you’ll play as the troubled Wanda as he explores a beautiful open-world in the search of maiden, Mono. The narrative itself is rather minimalistic and dialogue isn’t at the forefront of this game, yet it tells an incredibly memorable story of Wanda’s grief, anger, and guilt.

With a high-definition remake and a short runtime of around 6-8 hours, it’s worth giving a try if you own a PS4 or PS5.

NieR: Automata

  • Developer: PlatinumGames
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

How about a story game that has 26 different endings? Not just that, but a story game whose story - arguably - hasn’t been fully experienced unless you have achieved all of those endings? It’s a daunting feat, but do not fear, NieR: Automata is well worth it.

NieR: Automata takes place in a beautiful but troubled world full of great music and fun combat.

You’ll be diving into the fourth-wall breaking story of androids 2B, 9S, and A2, as they go on one long, perilous journey to reclaim the world from hostile machines. The world you end up exploring is beautiful, accompanied by a breathtaking soundtrack and characters that you’ll both love, and loathe.

The blend of action and RPG elements here feels almost pristine, and in terms of accessibility, there’s little to no hurdles when it comes to tackling NieR: Automata. Auto-mode definitely got me through some hand pain amidst tougher battles, and it’s generally great for newcomers to work out exactly what they should be doing.


  • Developer: BlueTwelve Studio
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5

Stray was a game about a nimble ginger cat that took the world by storm. VG247 even became the face of ‘cat-hating propaganda’ when we let Siobhan Casey talk all about how the game would’ve been better with a dog. Anyway, you’ll be glad to know that we quite like cats here, too.

The Outsider, a cat, speaks with Sojiro at a fast food stall in Midtown in Stray.
Stray is full of fun references to other media, too.

I like cats so much, in fact, that Stray made me quite emotional on a number of occasions. It’s another walking-simulator style of game, relying on you - the four-legged protagonist - to jump into places only a cat could reach, solve puzzles, and ultimately, find your way back home.

The personalities you encounter along the way and the stories they tell, or even send you on, are what make Stray so striking, however. Paired with a lovely cyberpunk aesthetic, Stray truly worms its way into your heart, much like an adorable, four-legged feline could.

Kingdom Hearts

  • Developer: Square
  • Platforms: PS2 (Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix is available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)

Kingdom Hearts released on the PS2 in Japan during 2002, but was later remastered and released globally for the PS3 in 2013. If you’re hoping to play either Kingdom Hearts or Kingdom Hearts 2 today, your best bet is the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 1.2 Remix that’s available for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Kingdom Hearts artwork
Battle as Sora alongside Donald Duck and more.

Kingdom Hearts blends JRPG mechanics with fan-favourite Disney, Pixar, Final Fantasy, and The World Ends With You characters. Ultimately, it results in a strange fever-dream of a universe, but once that novelty wears off, you’ll find yourself on an incredibly wacky adventure that sees you playing as the iconic Sora and going face-to-face with villainous Maleficent.

Fallout: New Vegas

  • Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

You could argue that at its core, the story of Fallout: New Vegas is not particularly special. Alas, it’s still a fantastic RPG from Obsidian Entertainment, the same minds behind Grounded, The Outer Worlds, and another entry on this list, Pentiment. It’s well worth trying, especially given that it’s on Xbox Game Pass.

Fallout: New Vegas is full of wacky characters and events that you can shape. | Image credit: Obsidian

What’s truly great about this game is the story that you, the player, actually create and all the side adventures you can embark on. Thrown into a desolate world consisting of three different factions, it’s up to you who you side with and how your character will evolve. Tap into that head-canon (and later, install some amazing fan-made mods) and Fallout: New Vegas is one of the best RPGs of all time.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series

  • Developer: Telltale Games
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One

The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series consists of four seasons that are made up of various episodes. If you’re at all familiar with the TV show of the same name, you’ll know that this episodic graphic adventure game starts with zombies, and it all unfolds from there.

Image credit: Telltale Games

Telltale’s The Walking Dead starts with the character of Lee Everett, who meets Clementine and is tasked with protecting her amidst the apocalypse. A lot more than this happens over four seasons of content, but it’s not worth spoiling here.

As for gameplay, Telltale’s The Walking Dead primarily focuses on the story and character development, and you’ll be granted important decisions (and quick time events) to make when forming relationships with an array of characters that you will come to both love and loathe.

Life Is Strange

  • Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
  • Platforms: PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android

Though often spoken of in the same breath as Telltale's The Walking Dead thanks to their similar decision-based gameplay styles, the world of Life Is Strange is much more like our own — at least on the surface. It's a world where ordinary American kids find themselves blessed — or cursed — with extraordinary powers, giving them new ways to tackle the problems they face every day, but bringing with them a host of potential consequences.

Chloe drives Max through town in her truck, with a soft sunset light through the driver's side window illuminating the scene in the cab.
Image credit: Dontnod Entertainment / Deck Nine / Square Enix

Max Caulfield is a high school senior attending a prestigious private arts academy, but over the course of a single week, this meek hipster sees her whole life turned upside-down. What begins as a chance reconnection with her estranged childhood best friend quickly takes a surreal turn when Max discovers that she can rewind time and change the outcome of events. And it becomes apparent that the sleepy and idyllic Pacific Northwest town where they live hides some incredibly dark secrets.

Since its initial 2015 release, Life Is Strange has grown into a whole franchise encompassing multiple stories in a loosely connected anthology style, with four main games plus three sizeable DLC stories, as well as comics and novels if you like your sprawling fictional worlds to go multimedia.

Baldur's Gate 3

  • Developer: Larian Studios
  • Platforms: PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S

Baldur's Gate 3 has been praised endlessly for its incredibly detailed world packed to the brim with lore to unravel. And for good reason. Arguably one of the best games released during 2023, this turn-based RPG sends you on an epic journey in which you'll slay goblins, rendezvous with Mind Flayers, and maybe even find love... if you like your RPG's with romance mechanics and steamy cutscenes.

Karlach ragin' in Baldur's Gate 3
Oh, lovely Karlach | Image credit: Larian Studios

It can be a daunting game to approach, with its endless hours of content and ability to eat into your free time with ease, but it's well worth it. Each interaction feels special in Baldur's Gate 3, and you'll stumble upon so many small, enchanting stories while committing to the more pressing quest at hand. Characters are well-developed, the world is intricately detailed, and there's a level of immersion like no other. A must play for Dungeons and Dragons fans, but equally a must-play for anyone with the slightest interest in fantasy or RPGs.

Honourable Mentions

As ever, we can’t fit every single game into this list that we think has a great story to it. So, here are some additional honourable mentions that didn’t quite make the cut, but are still well worth checking out:

Grim Fandango, Her Story, Somerville, Portal 2, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Kentucky Route Zero, Doki Doki Literature Club, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Season One, Mass Effect, Batman: Arkham Knight, To the Moon, Gears of War, The Outer Worlds, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire, Divinity Original Sin 2, Deus Ex, Transistor, Hades, Halo Reach, Halo ODST, Chrono Trigger, Gone Home, Horizon Zero Dawn, BioShock, Ace Attorney Turnabout Collection, Prey, The Quarry, Tell Me Why, Lost Odyssey, Heaven's Vault

Read this next