Hey there, fearless readers. If you’re anything like me, you value a good story. Most of the great video game stories come from single player games, and unfortunately, it often feels as though single player story driven games are somewhat a thing of the past.
But I’m here to tell you to cut it out with that talk. There are plenty of great stories waiting to be experienced on the Xbox One. Here are my personal top five.
5. Battlefield One
Okay, so I’m already failing at the single player thing, right? Battlefield One is primarily known as a multiplayer game, and well it should be, the multiplayer action in BF1 is superb.
But there’s single player too. It’s the best Battlefield has ever done in it’s often overlooked story mode, and it’s a group of levels that stuck with me long after I played the game. Instead of trying to stretch a thin story to an appropriate narrative length like Battlefield 4 did, BF1 shakes things up by telling five smaller bite-size stories. Each story features you playing as a different person, and while they also each stick to a BF1 style of play (this one teaches you how to control a tank! This one has you flying a bi-plane!) the stories themselves are intriguing and often emotional enough to tug at your heart strings.
I don’t want to get too in depth into any of the stories I’m listing here because discovering the twists and turns in any good narrative as you play through a game is a true joy that I don’t want to take away from my readers but suffice to say, Battlefield One surprised me with the heart in its single player campaigns, and judging by how often it got mentioned in reviews as one of the strong points of the game, it surprised a lot of others too.
4. Ryse: Son of Rome
I know, it’s not the most popular game in the world (the harsh reviews were a little unfair in my opinion.) but I’ll be damned if I didn’t love playing through the game. The story really pulled me in, as cliche as it was. (I mean, surly protagonist vows to avenge the death of his family, isn’t that the plot of like, a million stories?)
You play as a soldier named Marius through the eight or so hour adventure, and again I’m staying vague to keep from spoiling everything, but the story features enough twists and turns to keep you invested and intrigued. A late stage death was one of the most satisfying things I’ve seen so far on the Xbox One, and it’s grand and grotesque and a great visual to boot.
Really, while the reviews hit some things right on the head, Ryse rises (heh) above its faults (repetitive gameplay) and shines in the story department. I should also mention that it’s easily one of the best-looking games of the current gen, on either console. It really is gorgeous.
3. Alien Isolation
So to be completely honest with you, I’m a horror fiend. I really do love it, and horror games are right up my alley. And so it wasn’t a surprise when I fell in love with Alien Isolation.
What did surprise me is that I was pulled so deeply into the story. When I had first heard the gist of the story I wasn’t impressed. Sure, we know from a deleted scene in Aliens that Ripley had a daughter, but what are the chances that she gets caught up in some Weyland Yutani Alien BS herself? That’s like Han and Chewie stumbling upon the Falcon after years of searching right after Rey and Finn take it levels of eye rolling coincidence.
But holy crap, the game sells it. It’s a simple story of a daughter looking for answers after her mother goes missing. There’s murderous robots, a-hole humans, and one very angry alien looking to push his inner mouth through as many faces as possible. It’s top notch horror, and it’s a compelling story.
This is one I want to speak the least about. If you don’t know anything about this game, PERFECT! That’s the way to play it. That’s how much I knew going in: absolutely nothing. That’s how it should be. Just get your hands on this indie gem, alright?
1. Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
So I’m biased. I know that already. Resident Evil is my favorite franchise of all time. But hear me out:
RE7 is scary. RE7 is well plotted. The voice acting is top notch. (In an RE game? That’s almost sacrilege!) And it actually gets you to think about villains in a way few games ever have. It’s tragic all around. The people who are to blame aren’t the people you’re killing (or more often, hiding from). It’s kind of a bummer.
I could speak about this game for years it seems. It reinvigorated my favorite game series, and the future looks bright for Resident Evil. Just make sure you don’t miss this one. For more info, check out my review right here.