25. NieR: Automata
One of many games that deals with the subject of sentient artificial intelligence, NieR Automata’s approach couldn’t be more different to the likes of Detroit: Become Human. Essentially an open world action game, the title uses multiple playthroughs and overlapping characters to bring its story to life. It can, at times, be a slog – but stick with it right the way through to its third and final campaign, and you’ll be richly rewarded.
Please note that some links on this page are affiliate links, which means if you click them and make a purchase we may receive a small percentage of the sale which helps support the site. Please read our FTC Disclosure for more information.
A testament to the power of interactivity when it comes to story-telling, The Invisible Hours sees you play as a voyeur as a murder mystery unfolds in Nikola Tesla’s mansion. You’ll be following famous historical faces around the house, rewinding time to piece parts of the story together. The key mechanic is that you can only ever be in one place at any given time, so just because you’re witnessing a confrontation in the basement, doesn’t mean all is well upstairs.
23. Until Dawn
Schlock horror is the order of the day in Until Dawn, a surprise hit with a contemptible cast of teenagers who you can enjoy being gruesomely picked off one by one. The game twists and turns over the course of its ten hour runtime, and prior to Detroit: Become Human, it was the most malleable interactive drama you could buy. Campy acting paired with a laugh-out-loud script make this a must-play – even if the performance capture looks a little dated now.
You never expect much in terms of storytelling from a twitchy side-scrolling platformer, but Celeste bucks the trend with a surprisingly strong tale. Madeline's aim is to conquer Mount Celeste, but her inner demons are holding her back. With support from a charming cast of characters, her journey is an uplifting one that manages to tackle some important subjects. It's a simple yet effective story that doesn't outstay its welcome.
A prequel from a different developer: what could possibly go wrong? Well, in the case of Life Is Strange: Before the Storm, not a whole lot. While the game works from DONTNOD’s blueprint, developer Deck Nine constructed a spin-off story that’s arguably more consistent than the Parisian studio’s original. Protagonist Chloe’s whirlwind romance with Rachel Amber is poignant, and while the season is hurried to a conclusion, it’s lovely while it lasts.