3) BioShock 1
BioShock 1 is nothing but one big awesome narrative that packs in an amazing twist many gamers never saw coming until it hit them in a face with a putter. From the moment your plane crashes and you find yourself traveling to an underwater city in a bathosphere you’re inundated with questions about what could be happening such as is Rapture real, how did Jack end up there, and other motivational questions that kept you battling through Rapture and its cracked out splicers until the end. The whole Big Daddy and Little Sister motif is also captivating, leading you to seek out the truth behind their inclusion in Rapture. Obviously finding out that Jack was created to kill Andrew Ryan by Atlas only makes BioShock 1’s narrative more memorable. To this day you can always identify a BioShock fan based on their response to “Would you kindly,” which is a testament to the power of this game’s characters, world, and story.
2) Halo 2
Halo 2, especially in the new anniversary edition, still stands out as having the most intriguing narrative out of the Master Chief-centric titles. This entry introduced new characters like Miranda Keyes while fleshing out minor ones from the first game like the Sarge. It also provided the first look at Covenant society and its political caste system helmed by the diminutive Prophets. Not to mention it introduced the Arbiter, a righteous character and important one to Halo lore, who helped to bring the Elites and humans together to combat against the lies and deceptions of the Prophets and their new Brute protectors. Gravemind is also introduced, which is an organism that plays a major role in Halo’s lore even if his history is a bit confusing to follow. Halo 2 just managed to take the Master Chief and the momentum built in the first game and make him an even more legendary video game character than he already was, while also cementing the Halo franchise’s rich lore as some of the best to be ever featured in a video game.
1) BioShock Infinite
To this day the ending of BioShock Infinite is still the most eye opening, brain busting, conclusion to a FPS game of all-time. Period, enough said! The plot leading up to the shocking revelations dropped on you at the end is also very engrossing thanks to the glimpses into Elizabeth’s powers you get, as well as the curious interactions with the Lutece twins, who could be the most memorable NPCs to ever be featured in a first person shooter. The detail and care that Ken Levine baked into BioShock infinite’s smart narrative are what make it so indelible to gamers who experienced it. The reveal that the BioShock universe is one that features multiple interconnected multiverses is something you’d expect to find in a Stephen Hawking novel, but somehow they were perfectly explained in a video game, which is why BioShock Infinite takes the top spot on my list. To this day I can’t remember any video game ending that has left me more shocked and eager to learn how other gamer’s interpreted it to see if my own thoughts were valid or completely bonkers. Whenever a story, regardless of medium, can manage to pull you in to learn more about it outside of the medium it’s presented in, has to be very special, which Levine’s final BioShock opus truly is.
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