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Best writing/story in a video game:

 1 RL Nice, Mon, 17th Jan '11 7:23:03 AM from a computer.
Bigfoot Puncher
Mass Effect has a truly amazing writing team.

Also, Dreamfall, the sequel to The Longest Journey and most of Blizzard's games, even if they do rip a lot of their elements from other works.
A fistful of me.
 2 Blueeyedrat, Mon, 17th Jan '11 7:28:37 AM from nowhere in particular. Relationship Status: Mu
The story is pretty basic, but Sonic Colors has some impressive writing.
"I've come to the conclusion that this is a very stupid idea."
 3 Arilou, Mon, 17th Jan '11 7:29:28 AM from Quasispace
Taller than Zim
Planescape: Torment

Thread closed.
"No, the Singularity will not happen. Computation is hard." -Happy Ent
 4 Major Tom, Mon, 17th Jan '11 7:50:59 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Warcraft series pre-World of Warcraft. (The story in World of Warcraft is quality but heavily clashes with the continuity to the point of incomprehensibility and unfollowability even to dedicated fans who know the universe inside and out.)

Starcraft is another.

Then you have the Halo series. Amazingly well written despite whatever opinions you may have over its fans or gameplay.
"Allah may guide their bullets, but Jesus helps those who aim down the sights."
 5 Mukora, Mon, 17th Jan '11 7:51:03 AM from a place Relationship Status: Love is an open door
I'm going to second the O Ps Mass Effect.

Also, Red Dead Redemption is simply marvelous. No other game has made me feel such a... conflicting range of emotions.
 6 Journeyman, Mon, 17th Jan '11 7:52:29 AM from Here and there.
It's the Over Lord!
Second Sight was very well written, especially the exposition.
When the hammer falls and your world shatters, I'll be there to cut the handle and pick up your pieces.
 7 Playedforkeeps, Mon, 17th Jan '11 8:02:54 AM from Not ur damn bussiness
Editor among edits!
Epic Mickey had a very good story, with a minor exception that there were a few cliches
"I am what I am"- Popeye
Left Eye
Planescape: Torment

Though Vagrant Story is a personal favorite.

Also writing and story are not necessarily the same thing.
The Final Fantasy Tactics story itself is very good, whatever opinion you may have about the quality of either of its translations.

@Major Tom: I hope you mean the story itself and not the writing. I've seen kid's cartoons with better writing than any Warcraft game.

 10 Sparky Lurkdragon, Mon, 17th Jan '11 10:03:37 AM from Southeastern Oregon, USA
I thought Shadow of the Colossus had a good story without really telling much of it to us. It told a story as only a game can: by making the player experience it.

Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion were also both awesome in completely different ways: Prime with its Scrapbook Story and Fusion by way of Samus the Warrior Poet, and some tense wordless bits with the main antagonist.

edited 17th Jan '11 10:04:23 AM by SparkyLurkdragon

Now Playing: Skyrim
What Arilou said.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
if everyone owned a horse, the country would bea lot more stabilized
 13 lalalei 2001, Mon, 17th Jan '11 11:35:48 AM from At my computer. Relationship Status: I <3 love!
The Phoenix Wright games and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon 2? ^^;

edited 17th Jan '11 11:50:27 AM by lalalei2001

The Protomen enhanced my life.
Kirby Squeak Squad

The storyline is: The squeaks stole Kirby's cake. Go beat them up and get back that cake!
Deus Ex and System Shock 2.

And heh, Mass Effect has good writing. It's pretty standard shallow scifi stuff.

edited 17th Jan '11 12:56:04 PM by Talby

Well, the Mario RPG series and anything by Nippon Ichi has really brilliant writing. The plots aren't always the greatest, but the writing makes them absolutely fantastic.
One of my few regrets about being born female is the inability to grow a handlebar mustache. -Landstander
System Shock 2 is also pretty standard shallow sci-fi stuff.

I mean, hive mind alien squick guys and an AI that goes evil? How original.

edited 17th Jan '11 1:04:35 PM by Scardoll

 18 Ralphrius, Mon, 17th Jan '11 1:22:18 PM from Neo-Holland
Unwinning Ranger
Ghost Trick did a very good job in executing its many amnesia-related mindscrews and putting together the entire plotline of that one night. It was brilliant.
 19 Otogi, Mon, 17th Jan '11 1:27:37 PM from Around...
The House of Void/Hiphop
Surprised nobody has mentioned Silent Hill 2 yet.

That's because Silent Hill 3 was better.[/controversy]
Good writing and original writing aren't the same thing. An archetypical story told well is better than a unique story that's boring.

The writing in SS 2 is effective at maintaining the atmosphere the designers were going for. The audio diaries tell the story in an interesting way, by showing you glimses of the bigger picture through the experiences of the crew - often having little mini-arcs following a particular character trying to survive a hazard or accomplish something. It improves the gameplay experience rather than detracting from it.

The writing in Mass Effect isn't terrible or anything, just boring and average. Most of the characters have no personality and the villain doesn't even have a clear motivation.

edited 17th Jan '11 1:40:05 PM by Talby

"Good writing and original writing aren't the same thing. An archetypical story told well is better than a unique story that's boring."


Which is what many people thought Mass Effect had in its in-depth conversations. You might have thought the characterization was boring and average, but many others liked the little details.

edited 17th Jan '11 1:43:04 PM by Scardoll

Not Actually Indie
Seconding Final Fantasy Tactics for the story.

Also, Xenogears was a flawed game in many ways, but I can't think of any other game that comes close to matching it on its strengths.
...eventually, we will reach a maximum entropy state where nobody has their own socks or underwear, or knows who to ask to get them back.
 24 Marioguy 128, Mon, 17th Jan '11 1:45:41 PM from various galaxies
I thought Iji had good story and writing.
You got some dirt on you. Here's some more!
 25 Known Unknown, Mon, 17th Jan '11 1:46:11 PM from Here. There. Everywhere.
Fresh For 2014
Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven will always be my favorite game storyline-wise.
"My final prayer: O my body, always make me a man who questions!" — Frantz Fanon
Total posts: 159
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