One of the things that can draw you into a game is a phenomenal story. Over the past decade, we've seen several amazing plots that have sparked joy, caused us to think, or brought tears to our eyes.
1. Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Stories are built on connections with characters, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses has a multitude of personalities for players to bond with. With a charming cast of characters, murderous plots, religious zealotry, and twisted scientific experiments, Fire Emblem: Three Houses provides one of — if not the most — compelling story of any Nintendo exclusive of the past decade. Best of all, due to your experience changing depending on your chosen house, it's got three different stories to offer. -Samuel Tolbert
2. Child of Light
Child of Light is a beautiful love letter to classic JRPGs. Players take on the role of Aurora, a child who wakes after dying from a mystery illness who must take to the sky to return home. Told entirely in rhyme, this touching, yet simple coming of age story is filled with a colorful cast of unique characters, interesting twists, and heart. Aurora is not alone in her misfortune, and the companions who join her have detailed motivations of their own. Together, they face the trials set upon the world of Lemuria and unite to rebuild what was lost. It's a fairytale in the form of a game, and it is a treat to play. -Sara Gitkos
3. Night in the Woods
Night in the Woods is a horror game, but not in the way you might think. The main character, Mae, goes back to her small mining hometown after dropping out of college only to find that things aren't as she remembers them. A lot of people are out of work, her friends are working dead-end jobs, and she has to figure out if there is or isn't a cult kidnapping people. Whether there's a cosmic horror living under the town is irrelevant, but the existential dread that Mae feels day-to-day is. It's a game with lofty ambitions and a large story that still feels intimate and real, even when it gets into supernatural territory. Plus, it's just hilarious while still being one of the saddest games I've ever played. There aren't enough words to describe how good Night in the Woods is. Just play it. -Carli Velocci
4. What Remains of Edith Finch
People who know me personally are probably sick of hearing me describe my affinity for What Remains of Edith Finch. This is a title that caught me completely off guard and devastated me in a way no other video game has. Playing through this fairly short experience is not only hypnotic but somewhat therapeutic for those looking for self or family reflection. What Remains of Edith Finch takes you on a haunting journey through the tragic history of one truly unfortunate family. I highly recommend setting aside a few hours with a massive box of tissues to experience a prime example of how video games as a medium can deliver experiences that can't be achieved through any other form of art. -Miles Dompier
5. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
The Zelda franchise may not have the most unique or deep stories to tell; however, when it comes to scale, Ocarina of Time is classic. A young, displaced hero on a journey, a cast of interesting characters, sprawling landscapes, and classic good versus evil are all wrapped up in this epic. With excitement, humor, and just a touch of suspense, this game captures all the elements of a good story. There's a reason why it's considered one of the best games of all time and the characters in this tale stick in your memory; some for better or worse. (We're looking at you, Navi.) OoT raised the standard of story-telling for Zelda, and each entry since has tried to capture the experience. -Sara Gitkos
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