Have you ever started a game only to be sucked into an incredible campaign that you couldn’t put down? Yeah– us too. That’s because the best story games take you on a grand adventure. They invite you to assume the role of a fledgling hero as he ventures forth to explore the endless possibilities that the world has to offer. And, they provide unparalleled immersion for unrivaled entertainment.

Stories play an integral part in each of our lives, and the best story games capture a narrative’s unique ability to immerse us in breathtaking detail. In addition, there’s an excellent story game to suit every taste with crossover genres ranging from RPGs to shooters and more. To help you narrow the playing field we’ve curated this list of awesome story games. The result? Less time researching and more time playing! Let’s get to it.

10 Best Story Games of 2019

We’ve curated this list of top story games to give you an overview of the best titles on the market.

1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro

Our pick for one of the best story mode games

  • Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Developer: FromSoftware
  • Release: 2019

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an action-adventure title with immersive gameplay and an epic storyline. The narrative follows Wolf, a 16th century Shinobi who embarks on a grand quest to take revenge on a clan of dastardly samurai. Assume control of Wolf as you explore Feudal-era Japan, taking down enemies and battling against dark mystical forces. The game was developed by acclaimed Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki, and it’s achieved critical acclaim across the industry.

2. The Last of Us Remastered

Last of Us

Our pick for one of the best story games PS4

  • Platform: PS4
  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Developer: Naughty Dog
  • Release: 2014

The Last of Us is an action-adventure title that incorporates survival and horror themes alongside a detailed storyline. Assume control of Joel, whose job it is to safely escort little Elle across the United States. But it’s much easier said than done. Hostile forces are out to get you, and it’ll take cunning, skillful combat, and a whole lot of luck to make it through alive. Hop into the game world and make the trek, if you believe you’re up for the challenge.

3. God of War

God of War

Our pick for one of the best story driven games

  • Platform: PS4
  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Developer: Santa Monica Studio
  • Release: 2018

If you’re a fan of the God of War saga, we’ve got some exciting news. The 2018 version recently hit the shelves, and things have been taken up a notch. Take control of Kratos, son of Zeus, as you embark on a quest through the chapters of Norse mythology. Journey your way to the peak of the Nine Realms, and stand your ground against monsters, spirits, and the Scandinavian Gods themselves. God of War is an exciting addition to the series lineup, and it’s available exclusively on PS4.

4. Journey

Journey

Our pick for one of the best story games PC

  • Platform: PC, PS4
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Developer: Thatgamecompany
  • Release: 2012

Journey has achieved some of the highest ratings in the genre, and it’s packed full of rich narratives, artistic graphics, and game-changing mechanics. Released in 2012 to critical acclaim, Journey follows the story of a robed wanderer who embarks on a grand adventure to the site of a fallen star. Using your endless fortitude and mystical rune powers, you may just make it in one piece. The game is wordless, and it makes extensive use of beautiful cutscenes to craft a truly compelling story.

5. BioShock Infinite

Bioshock

Our pick for one of the best story games on Steam

  • Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, PS3, Xbox 360
  • Genre: FPS
  • Developer: Irrational Games
  • Release: 2013

If you’re a fan of first person shooters, BioShock Infinite may be the best story game for you. Set in 1912 in a steampunk-style city known as Columbia, players assume control of Booker Dewitt as he embarks on a rescue mission. You’ll need to fight your way through a series of levels, using an assortment of tools, weapons, and makeshift components to assist you. It’ll take a lot of strategy and a bit of luck if you stand any chance of succeeding. Up for the challenge? Check out BioShock on Steam today.

6. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

Assassins Creed

Our pick for one of the best story games Xbox One

  • Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Release: 2018

Set in 431 BCE, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey takes place during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. Choose your side and carry out missions to unlock gear, advance your skills, and take down the opposing factions. The game features an exceptional storyline that’s been lauded as an excellent addition to the Creed Saga. Best of all? It’s available to play on PC, major consoles, and via Google’s Stadia platform.

7. Bastion

Bastion

Our pick for one of the best RPG story games

  • Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Developer: Supergiant Games
  • Release: 2011

Bastion is a role-playing story game that has players assume control of The Kid as he journeys across the fantasy map to explore, quest, and take down enemies. The apocalyptic calamity is near, and it’s up to you to collect the shards and restore the Bastion before it’s too late. In addition to exciting mechanics and a wonderful story, Bastion boasts vivid, eye-pleasing maps that span the entire game world.

8. Titanfall 2

Titanfall

Our pick for one of the best single player story games PC

  • Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Genre: FPS
  • Developer: Respawn Entertainment
  • Release: 2016

Respawn Entertainment decided to add a single player campaign to Titanfall 2 after the original title was criticised for its lack thereof. The result? Phenomenal. While the campaign can be completed in a few play sessions, it features some of the most exciting tactics-based and story-driven mechanics on the market. Swap between pilot and titan mode to complete your objectives and drive home victory for your squadron. Titanfall 2 is available for PC and console at an ultra affordable price.

9. Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman Asylum

Our pick for one of the best adventure story games

  • Platform: PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One
  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Developer: Rocksteady Studios
  • Release: 2009

If you’re a fan of superheroes, Batman: Arkham Asylum is heralded as one of the best story games in the DC Universe. The premise? Joker and pals are at it again, and you’re Gotham’s only hope. Take control of Batman, and use his combat prowess and stealth skills to take down the bad guys and restore peace to Gotham City. While the game is slightly older, it’s been ported to newer consoles and retains a dedicated following.

10. Life is Strange

Life is Strange

Our pick for one of the best iOS story games

  • Platform: PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
  • Release: 2015

Life is Strange is a point-and-click adventure title that’s widely recognized as one of the best story games for android and iOS. Why’s that? The simple interface and episodic graphic levels make it the perfect way to get your video game fix on any device. Gameplay revolves around a time-travelling mechanic that incorporates puzzles, quests, and an immersive overarching storyline. Make your decisions carefully as you navigate the narrative, and don’t be surprised when life is strange.

Top 3 Upcoming Story Games

Check out the top 3 upcoming story games slated for a 2019 release:

1. Jedi: Fallen Order

Jedi Fallen Order

  • Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Genre: Action-Adventure
  • Developer: Respawn Entertainment
  • Release: 2019

Jedi: Fallen Order is an upcoming single-player adventure game that’s set in the Star Wars universe. It takes place just before the beginning of the 4th episode, when the galaxy is under control of the Sith. Play as padawan Cal Kestis and embark on a grand quest to preserve the Jedi Order and bring back hope to the galaxy. Jedi: Fallen Order is slated for a Q4 2019 release.

2. Twin Mirror

Twin Mirror

Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Genre: Adventure
Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
Release: 2019

If you’re a fan of episodic adventures similar to Life is Strange, Twin Mirror by developer Dontnod Entertainment is sure to be a hit. Players take control of Sam, an investigative journalist whose on the hunt in West Virginia, USA. Swap between the physical world and Sam’s Mind in this unique twist on puzzle-based adventure gaming. Think you can unravel the mystery? Twin Mirror is set for a 2019 release.

3. The Last of Us Part II

Last of Us 2

  • Platform: PS4
  • Genre: Action-Adventure, Survival, Stealth
  • Developer: Naughty Dog
  • Release: TBA

Originally announced in 2016, the Last of Us Part 2 is still in the earlier stages of development with no official release date. That said, you can be certain that it’s one worth waiting for. Joel and Ellie are back with a whole new storyline filled with thrilling twists and turns. Think you can survive another playthrough?

What are Story Games?

Story games, also known as narrative games, use the narrative arc to immerse players in the game world. As such, players assume control of a fledgling hero near the beginning of a quest or adventure. The character hasn’t developed yet, and they’re just beginning to understand their powers and/or purpose. There’s a call to action or inciting incident from which they journey forth towards a grand climax, i.e. a boss fight. Throughout the journey the character is rewarded with experience, items, and access to new content that aids their progress. By the end, the character has developed a profound sense of mastery.

The best story games take note of the protagonist’s motives to create a compelling and believable narrative that resonates with the player. Naturally, some genres are better suited for this, but any game can incorporate an overarching storyline that follows the player through their journey. It follows that the genre remains incredibly popular across the board, and there are countless new story titles in the works.

Best Story Games

General Thoughts on Story Games

We’ve penned our thoughts on the story genre to give you a deeper look at its defining mechanics.

1. Character dynamics add realism.

Whether it’s between the main character and the final boss, or simply between in-game NPCs, character dynamics add realism to the story and get the player emotionally invested in the outcome.

2. Interactivity is important.

In order to classify the game as, well, a game, the player must interact with the environment. The way this plays out is different depending on the game, but story titles always include an element of exploration and curiosity in relation to the main questline.

3. Side quests fill the void.

Most story games feature an overarching main storyline, but side-quests and mini stories are a popular way to pass the time and flesh out the lore.

4. Experience and unlockables are common mechanics.

Just like a book or movie, the character begins the game with a limited understanding of the adventure ahead. By the time it’s over, they’ve gained vast amounts of experience and unlocked maps, items, and new understandings of the world.

5. Worldbuilding begins with the story.

Stories are the heart and soul of many video games, and development can’t even begin until the main narrative arc has been fleshed out.

Further Reading

Did you enjoy our list of awesome story games? If so, be sure to check out our other game roundups for more immersive titles: