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Games with good writing

GOGmix by Lafazar's avatarLafazar 442votes

Planescape: Torment

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Considered by many as the best story told in the medium of videogames with great plot, characters and dialogues, Planescape: Torment is a very unique CRPG where most obstacles can be overcome with dialogues and reading is a large part of playing.

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Jane Jensen's writing for the Gabriel Knight series is superb. Interesting characters who actually develop over the course of the story, original scenarios and an impression that actual research on the subject was done make these games very unique.

Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: This goes especially for GK2 which features one of the most original scenarios in gaming. Entertaining as well as educational, this is a very engrossing story with innovative (and still sensible) use of adventure and full motion video game elements.

Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred...

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: The third GK game gets a lot of flak for the mustache puzzle (and it deserves it) and the early 3D graphics (it deserves that, too), but the strong, high quality Jane Jensen writing is still present and this makes it possible to enjoy it nonetheless.

Deus Ex™ GOTY Edition

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: This is interactive storytelling at its very best with almost every player action supported by the game world. Lots of subplots and over 400 NPCs make the world believable and varied, due in large part to lead writer Sheldon J. Pacotti.

Betrayal at Krondor Pack

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Written by established fantasy author Raymond E. Feist and set in the fantasy world of his Midkemia novels, the game features a cast of well-developed characters and an intriguing storyline.

Broken Sword: Director's Cut + The Or...

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: George Stobbart's dry humor and witty retorts really are the heart of this dialogue-heavy game. Add an excellent, well-researched story, a great cast of interesting characters, natural puzzles and you get one of the best adventure games of all time.

Broken Sword 2: Remastered + The Orig...

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: While the overall story is undeniably weaker than in the first game, the dialogues with the wacky characters and the witty comments by George are still a lot of fun.

Broken Sword 3: The Sleeping Dragon

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Again a little weaker and in unwelcome 3D, but still full of enjoyable characters and situations and witty dialogues.

Last Express, The

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Written by Jordan Mechner and Tomi Pierce, this is a beautiful game with a great story in a really unique setting, memorable, mysterious characters, lots of well-written dialogues and a very unique real-time gameplay.

Baldur's Gate: The Original Saga

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Nowadays Bioware have a reputation for good writing, and they built up that reputation by games like Baldur's Gate. Not only the quality of the writing but also the sheer quantity impresses. But what really makes the game is the interparty banter.

Baldur's Gate 2 Complete

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Baldur's Gate 2 is even larger, with more memorable characters, places, events and situations than you can possibly remember. Again, the bantering between the party members is the undisputed highlight of the game.

Alan Wake

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: The story is fairly complex, full of mysteries and contradictions and with lots of metaphors for the creative act of writing itself (à la Stephen King). Unfortunately the story and character interaction get spread far too thin in all the action.

Realms of the Haunting

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: What makes this game great (apart from the good story and fantastic atmosphere) are how the heroes may comment on every single thing in the game world and event in the story. Their bantering is fun to listen to and really makes their characters.

Psychonauts

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: This game gets a lot of praise for its original ideas and concepts, and it deserves all of it. From scenario to characters to actual dialogue this is a uniquely inventive game as is typical for Tim Schafer of Grim Fandango fame.

Zork Nemesis: The Forbidden Lands

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: A well thought-out, somber story that is brought to life by good acting (especially for video game standards). Actually, the story is so dark that it simply won't fit in with the otherwise cheery Zork series, but that is not a bad thing at all.

Scratches Director's Cut

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Making much with simple means, this game simply tells an interesting story. The plot is carefully crafted to leave open just the right amount of questions to linger in one's mind after experiencing the ending.

Myst: Masterpiece Edition

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: I hesitate to praise the Myst games for their writing, simply because they focus so much on visuals and atmosphere and not on dialogue or text. But what little there is is so original and inventive that it puts wordier games to shame.

Real Myst

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: From a content perspective RealMyst is pretty much the same as the original Myst: A very original story and world and a game with a strong focus on visuals and atmosphere. But the ability to walk around freely makes navigation a lot less confusing.

Riven: The Sequel to Myst

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Again there is little actual writing or dialogue that can be read or heard in the game itself, but the story and characters are quite unique. I strongly recommend to read the accompanying trilogy of books to get the full picture.

Beneath a Steel Sky

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Dry English humor combined with an excellent cyberpunk story with a few surprising twists and turns. The only flaw is that the main character remains pretty much a blank slate throughout the adventure.

Prince of Persia®: The Sands of Time

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Written by Jordan Mechner himself, the designer of the original Prince of Persia game. While the story itself is very basic, the prince is a well-written character with a satisfying character arc from a spoiled brat to an understanding man.

Longest Journey, The

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Great characters and lots of little details contribute to a believable and fascinating world that mixes fantasy and science fiction elements in an original way. This makes it easy to forgive the "chosen one" and "save the world" tropes

Sherlock Holmes: Secret of the Silver...

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: The game was adapted from an unpublished pastiche novel by Jalil Amr which imitates the original SH stories nicely. Unfortunately this results in a case so complicated that only Holmes is capable of solving it, while the player is forced to watch.

Outcast

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Tethering nicely on a fine line between an earnest sense of duty and mocking flippancy, Cutter Slade's dialogues with the inhabitants of the strange world he finds himself in make his character and exploring said world a very enjoyable experience.

Sanitarium

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: A good story well told, Sanitarium features some great ideas and ties them together in a coherent whole. And that is saying a lot, considering the story is about an amnesiac in a mental asylum. Sadly, the beginning is by far the strongest part.

Dragonsphere

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: The detailed descriptions of everything your mouse cursor can touch really bring this admittedly pretty standard fantasy/fairy tale world to life. The story is also much more interesting and twisted than it first appears to be.

Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time,...

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: The story is a nice hard sci-fi tale, but the actual star of this game is Arthur, your sidekick. Make sure you pick him up as soon as possible, since his hilarious comments on everything are a real highlight.

Thief™ Gold

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: The three different factions of this weird steampunk world are defined by their style of writing as much as the content of that writing. This and the word "Taffer" that was invented for use in this game hint at a playful way with words.

Beyond Good and Evil™

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Again a pretty basic story that is made great by good characters (that help offset the pretty stereotypical bad guys). The writing clearly plays second fiddle to the fine French art direction, though, which is the undisputed highlight of the game.

Zork: Grand Inquisitor

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Way over the top acting makes exploring this bizarre fantasy land a real joy. Add a lot of ingenious and original ideas to the mix and you can be thoroughly entertained by this comedy. Look out for the death messages in classic text adventure style.

Whispered World: Special Edition, The

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: Aside from the divisive ending, which you will either love or hate, this is simply a good story with lots of sharp dialogues, interesting and original situations an characters and a unique constant shift between really funny and really sad moods.

Zork Anthology, The

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Well, considering that these games consist of nothing BUT writing, it better be good. While not being literary masterpieces (like some Infocom games can claim to be), the Zork games feature a very unique kind of dry humor that is hard to resist.

Little Big Adventure (Relentless: Twi...

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: One easily gets the impression that the writing in this game is poor, but that is mainly due to it being a translation from French. What's great about this game is the storytelling that manages to flow quite nicely even though the game is nonlinear.

Lands of Lore™ 1+2

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Heavily focused on storytelling (admittedly not so much on writing, though Patrick Steward's voice sure helps to add a certain theatrical gravitas) and exploration, both games manage to constantly make the player wonder what's around the next corner.

Syberia

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: A game that focuses much more on visuals than on writing (which also suffers from being translated from French). Yet it deserves to be on this list due to the character development of the main character, something seen far too rarely in game stories.

Syberia 2

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Even though the writing lacks subtlety with its clearly defined characters the story is refreshing because it is not about saving the world or winning a war but simply about a journey of discovery and personal achievement.

7th Guest, The

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: This game features heavy-handed and overly theatrical writing. So why is it on this list? Well, this is one of the first popular instances of intentionally nonlinear/disjointed narrative (which actually has a purpose in the story) in a video game.

Return to Zork

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: Admittedly not very coherent and really campy, but delightfully deranged and full of original ideas that tether on the brink of insanity, this game is full of memorable places and characters and lots of references to its text-based predecessors.

Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy)

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: If only the story could have kept the coherence of the first half of the game, it could have been great (though even then it was admittedly cliched). Unfortunately the story falls completely apart near the end. Still, this may be interesting to some.

Vampire The Masquerade - Redemption

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: I have not played this game myself yet, so I cannot comment, but story and writing are praised in quite a few reviews I have read, so I included it on this list for completeness sake.

Advent Rising

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: I have not played this game myself yet, so I cannot comment, but story and writing are praised in quite a few reviews I have read, so I included it on this list for completeness sake.

Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: I have not played this game myself yet, so I cannot comment, but story and writing are praised in quite a few reviews I have read, so I included it on this list for completeness sake.

Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obs...

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: I have not played this game myself yet, so I cannot comment, but story and writing are praised in quite a few reviews I have read, so I included it on this list for completeness sake.

Witcher: Enhanced Edition, The

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: I have not played this game myself yet, so I cannot comment, but story and writing are praised in quite a few reviews I have read, so I included it on this list for completeness sake.

Witcher 2: Assassins Of Kings, The

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: I have not played this game myself yet, so I cannot comment, but story and writing are praised in quite a few reviews I have read, so I included it on this list for completeness sake.

Little Big Adventure 2 (Twinsen's Ody...

Lafazar's rating:
250

Lafazar says: I have not played this game myself yet, so I cannot comment, but story and writing are praised in quite a few reviews I have read, so I included it on this list for completeness sake.

Broken Sword 4: The Angel of Death (S...

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: I have not played this game myself yet, so I cannot comment, but story and writing are praised in quite a few reviews I have read, so I included it on this list for completeness sake.

Thief™ 2: The Metal Age

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: I have not played this game myself yet, so I cannot comment, but story and writing are praised in quite a few reviews I have read, so I included it on this list for completeness sake.

Anachronox

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: I have not played this game myself yet, so I cannot comment, but story and writing are praised in quite a few reviews I have read, so I included it on this list for completeness sake.

Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time,...

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: I have not played this game myself yet, so I cannot comment, but story and writing are praised in quite a few reviews I have read, so I included it on this list for completeness sake.

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

Lafazar's rating: not rated yet
250

Lafazar says: I have not played this game myself yet, so I cannot comment, but story and writing are praised in quite a few reviews I have read, so I included it on this list for completeness sake.

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