Top 5 Best Video Game Stories of 2019
We had games about bridging America; saving loved ones; road trips; memory loss and more this year, but this is the Explosion Network’s Top 5 picks for best stories of 2019 in games.
The following Top 5 list was compiled by Dylan Blight, Ashley Hobley and Ciaran Marchant.
I had some technical issues when Days Gone released but in my review when it came to the story I wrote:
The reason I pushed through several near rage-inducing bugs was because of the story. Sam Witwer as Deacon and his relationship with Jim Pirri as William ‘Boozer’ Grey really just grew on me. As did a lot of other characters including Courtnee Draper as Sarah, Nishi Munshi as Rikki and Eric Allan Kramer as Iron Mike. I even teared up in a scene and shed a single tear in another.
Seven months later, one of the first games that came to my mind when considering my favourite stories of 2019 was Days Gone. It’s haunting and dark world really stuck with me all year, as did its characters. The story of Days Gone is one of revenge, love, triumphant and hardships. One of 2019’s best.
– Dylan Blight
Yes, there is an epic journey to be had through the Halcyon system to save your people; yes the sake of the entire galaxy is at stake for your adventure, but throughout The Outer Worlds it is not this adventure that places it among our pick for Best Video Game Stories of 2019, it’s the smaller moments that happen throughout the game. Taking your crew member out for a drink so they can drunkenly stress over their love life, helping a friend screw over their parents who have been greedily profiting off their death and even finding someone that can speak french. These small moments create bonds between the player and the characters of The Outer Worlds. It’s these smaller moments that fans will look back on with a smile in years to come.
The Outer Worlds is filled with stories to find and characters to get to know, you just have to go looking for them, which is a joy in itself.
– Ciaran Marchant
Since the release of Kingdom Heart II in 2006, there have been 5 spin-off games before the release of Kingdom Hearts III. Each of those introduced new characters, lore and canon that needed to be addressed in KH3, despite the majority of players having no knowledge of any of it. Kingdom Hearts III somehow manages to meld all those requirements into a tale that is generally easy to follow and is filled with some really special moments.
While the Disney worlds that let you replay the plot of their movie (Frozen and Tangled) are fun, its the worlds that expand on the films and tell a new story that is really special. I don’t think that Kingdom Hearts III is perfect by any means, but very few stories hit me emotionally and wowed me this year like this.
– Ashley Hobley
It’s taken a year but we reached the end of the road for Life is Strange 2 this year and I loved it. It’s a brave, loud necessary story that’s not afraid to pull its punches. In a world where most developers are afraid to touch on anything political for fear of upsetting customers, the team at Dontnod just bash that door right down.
Seeing Sean and Daniel’s road trip take them across American and through many harsh environments, with harsher people, it truly felt like a journey. A journey I was ultimately glad to play spread out over such a long period of time.
We’ve been discussing each new episode of Life is Strange 2 in our podcast, Beyond The Strange, if you want to hear more of my thoughts.
– Dylan Blight
I’m not a huge Kojima fan. I have no attachment to the Metal Gear franchise. But when Death Stranding’s credits started rolling and all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place I just cried. The game hit me out of nowhere. I went in expecting weird Hideo Kojima characters and a crazy plot involving Troy Baker in a mask, and what I ended up with was a really intriguing character piece on two particular characters that brought the whole game together.
– Dylan Blight