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Best Narrative Games

Narrative video games focus on telling a story about characters, worlds and themes. Learning from the power of books and films, these games string together interactions not for excitement or competition but for storytelling beats. The best examples intertwine gameplay and storytelling, rather than interspersing short films ("Cut Scenes") between levels.

Games can use Adventure, Action and Role-Playing to communicate elements of story to players. Less obviously, games can also communicate narrative through how they Simulate the world, what needs solving in Puzzles or even the Strategies players need to employ.

The narrative of video games is not usually told (link in books) or shown (like in films) but overheard. Half caught sentences from passing characters. The architecture of the buildings. The way that levers and buttons interact. How other characters (and the world itself sometimes) reacts to your presence. What is broken in the space the game creates, and how/if it can be fixed.

DetailsList Details

Era: 1983 - 2022
Total Games: 519
Total Likes: 6,303
 

 

Nuts

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/01/2021

Platforms: PC, Switch and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Simulation

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Joon Turbo (@JoonTurbo)

Players: This is a single player game

Nuts is an adventure game where you play a rookie field researcher. You use your camera, caravan, GPS and map to investigate the depths of the enigmatic Melmoth Forest. As you study the local squirrel population you uncover a strange mystery.

Florence

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/02/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Developer: Mountains Games (@MountainsGames)

Players: This is a single player game

This is a little puzzle game that tells the story of a relationship, following the usual stages of loneliness, meeting, dating, falling for and moving in with another person. At first, the puzzle interactions seem trivial and the game doesn’t change...

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11-16 year-olds

Release Date: 21/08/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Ember Lab (@EmberLab)

Players: This is a single player game

Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an adventure about a young girl who travels to an abandoned village in the hope of finding a sacred mountain shrine. To get there she must find and grow a team of charming spirit companions called the Rot, enhancing their...

Halo (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 10-16 year-olds

Release Date: 15/11/2001, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Halo (@Halo)

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 16 players online

Halo is the longstanding sci-fi shooting video game series that started when Halo: Combat Evolved launched alongside the Xbox in 2001. The franchise has featured on every Xbox platform since then, with Halo 5: Guardians serving as the latest entry in...

It Takes Two

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 26/03/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 21 features

Developer: Hazelight Games (@HazelightGames)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

It Takes Two is a running, jumping and exploring game that tells a story of a young girl, Rose, whose parents are divorcing. The girl creates two dolls to represent her parents, which unexpectedly trap the clashing-couple in them. You and a friend...

Lake

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 01/09/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: Gamious (@Gamious)

Players: This is a single player game

Lake is a narrative adventure where you play Meredith Weiss on a career break in 1986 while she returns to her hometown and ends up delivering the mail. As you talk to locals, meet up with old school friends and even fan a few romantic flames from your...

Unpacking

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-14 year-olds

Release Date: 02/11/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 34 features

Developer: Witch Beam Games (@WitchBeamGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Unpacking is a meditative puzzle game where you unpack belongings into a series of either spaces, each representing a stage in life. You get to know the owner of the objects by their possessions and circumstances. To finish a level you need to work out...

Rainbow Billy

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 8-12 year-olds

Release Date: 05/10/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Platform, Rhythm and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 32 features

Developer: We Are Mana Void (@WeAreManaVoid)

Players: This is a single player game

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan is a role-play adventure where you save the world from a colourless darkness. Unusually, battles are won through listening and conversation rather than traditional attacks. It combines the excitement and...

The Long Dark

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 22/09/2014

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Hinterland Games (@HinterlandGames)

Players: This is a single player game

The Long Dark is a thoughtful exploration-survival game where you have crash-landed in the icy Canadian wilderness after a global disaster and must find a way to survive. Through exploring, crafting and fighting you must look after your body...

Hoa

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 24/08/2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Accessibility: 17 features

Developer: Hoa The Game (@HoaTheGame)

Players: This is a single player game

Hoa is an adventure game where you walk and jump through a hand-painted world as the mysterious main character. You solve environmental puzzles and meet magical creatures while trying to find your way back home. It's unusual because of its handcrafted...

The Last Of Us Part II

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Skill Rating: 16-18 year-olds

Release Date: 19/06/2020

Price: 36% off

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Role-Playing, Shooting and Stealth

Accessibility: 49 features

Developer: Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog)

Players: This is a single player game

The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game set five years after The Last of Us. You control two characters in a post-apocalyptic United States. Ellie is out for revenge after suffering a tragedy, and Abby is a...

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11-18 year-olds

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Stealth

Accessibility: 12 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single player game

This game departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and the passage of the sun and moon...

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 12/11/2020

Price: 21% off

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Stealth

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Insomniac Games (@InsomniacGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is an action-adventure game based on the Marvel Comics superhero Miles Morales. It is similar to the first Marvel's Spider-Man game in mechanics although Miles Morales extends this...

Before Your Eyes

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 08/04/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Goodbye World (@Goodbye__World_)

Players: This is a single player game

Before Your Eyes is a narrative game you play with a webcam. It detects each time you blink and advances the story. In this way you work through different scenes from your life, looking around with the mouse and choosing interactions by blinking. It...

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 5-10 year-olds

Release Date: 11/12/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Us Two (@UsTwo)

Players: This is a single player game

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is an adventure game where you play as a young girl who starts a wildlife conservation club. When Alba visits her grandparents on a Mediterranean island, she is excited for a summer of exploring with her friend Ines. But when...

Raft

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 23/05/2018

Platforms: PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Redbeet Official (@RedbeetOfficial)

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Raft is a survival game where you work to build a raft while stranded at sea. You start the game on a small raft with only a hook made of old plastic, with which you use to pull in floating barrels and planks of wood.

Pokémon Cafe Mix

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds

Release Date: 15/12/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Switch and iOS

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Nintendo (@Nintendo)

Players: This is a single player game

Pokemon Cafe Mix is a puzzle game. Similar to the icon-connection challenge of Disney Tsum Tsum, you play as Eevee and delivering orders in a cafe by linking Pokemon icons in a ring. It's a low pressure puzzle with a swirl-to-connect interaction that is...

Stardew Valley

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Concerned Ape (@ConcernedApe)

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to...

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 10/04/2020

Platforms: PS4

Genres: Action, Narrative and Role-Playing

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: Square Enix (@SquareEnix)

Players: This is a single player game

Final Fantasy VII Remake is an action role-playing game set in a decaying cyberpunk metropolis. It is the first in a series of games that remake the 1997 PlayStation game Final Fantasy VII. You play the role of a mercenary named Cloud Strife who joins...

Roki

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 23/07/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Poly Treehouse (@PolyTreehouse)

Players: This is a single player game

Röki is a Scandinavian folklore point-and-click style adventure game where you play Tove on a journey to save her family. As you help her to come to terms with loss, you explore deep into a snowy fairytale landscape with strange locations and creatures.

Penrose

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 01/09/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, Web and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Creative and Narrative

Accessibility: 19 features

Developer: Double Speak Game (@DoubleSpeakGame)

Players: This is a single player game

Penrose is a text adventure, where you don't only read the story and choose its next step, but can go back into the text to change it in all sorts of mind-bending ways. As the develop describes it, "Penrose is a non-linear narrative adventure game about...

Firewatch

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Release Date: 20/09/2016

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Camposanto (@Camposanto)

Players: This is a single player game

Firewatch is an explorative adventure where you play a fire lookout in America’s Shoshone National Forest. It has a relational and conspiracy undertone similar to the podcast/radio drama and Netflix show [link to...

Marvel's Spider-Man (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/09/2018

Price: 60% off

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Stealth

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: Insomniac Games (@InsomniacGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Marvel's Spider-Man is a series of superhero adventures where you swing through an open-world city fighting crime and advancing a film-like story. There are also many side quests and missions you can take along the way.

Assemble With Care

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 6-9 year-olds

Release Date: 19/11/2019

Platforms: PC and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Us Two Games (@UsTwoGames)

Players: This is a single player game

From the makers of Monument Valley, this puzzle game is a unique way to consider how physical objects become meaningful and hold our memories. You play a restorer who repairs people's favourite possessions: from family heirlooms to broken statues to...

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 10/11/2020

Price: 30% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Stealth

Accessibility: 40 features

Developer: Ubisoft (@Ubisoft)

Players: This is a single player game

Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the twelfth game in the Assassins Creed Series, an open world action-adventure that takes place over several main story quests as well as many optional side missions.

Call of the Sea

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 12/08/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Point-and-Click

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Out Blue Games (@OutBlueGames)

Players: This is a single player game

Call of the Sea is a narrative adventure set in the 1930s. You explore an island in the Southern Pacific to find your missing husband. As you do you discover what happened and revisit memories of being there before.

Genshin Impact

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 27/09/2020

Price: Free

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4 and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World and Role-Playing

Accessibility: 20 features

Developer: Genshin Impact (@GenshinImpact)

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Genshin Impact is a role-playing adventure set in a fantastical open world you explore by walking, climbing, swimming and gliding as necessary. Like the Zelda games, you can collect items, and craft new weapons. However, in this game to create a party...

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 11/03/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: Moon Game Studios (@MoonGameStudios)

Players: This is a single player game

Both Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps place you in control of a diminutive elfish spirit called Ori. You run, jump and solve platforming challenges to progress through the world. As you do new powers are unlocked that allow you...

Thousand Threads

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 30/07/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Developer: Threads Game (@ThreadsGame)

Players: This is a single player game

Thousand Threads is an open world game of consequences. You are free to interact with the world, animals and people however you like, give, take, save, kill, inform, hide, befriend, betray. But how you do this will have ongoing and unavoidable...

Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulnes‪s‬

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 2+ year-olds

Release Date: 14/02/2020

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Accessibility: 14 features

Players: This is a single player game

Moshi: Sleep and Mindfulnes‪s‬ is a narrative experience designed to aid sleep. Children can select stories, sounds, meditation or music and calm colours to help them drift off to sleep quickly. Once started the original stories and sounds play with...

Five Nights at Freddy's (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 23/07/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Simulation and Stealth

Accessibility: 2 features

Developer: Steel Wool Studio (@SteelWoolStudio)

Players: This is a single player game

Five Nights at Freddy's (FNaF) is a series of puzzle horror games with jump scares rather than blood and gore. You play the night-guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and have to survive the night while in your office, checking the cameras and closing the...

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 10/06/2021, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Creative, Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 42 features

Developer: The Banov (@TheBanov)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Chicory: A Colourful Tale is an adventure where you play an everyday dog thrust into the role of wielding a magic brush. The world starts black and white and you paint to solve puzzles, help your animal friends and restore colour. It looks like a...

Venba

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 28/11/2021

Platforms: PC

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: Venba Game (@VenbaGame)

Players: This is a single player game

Venba is a narrative-cooking game about an Indian mother who immigrated to Canada in the 1980s. You cook various traditional Indian dishes and restore the lost recipes which were damaged in the move to Canada. As you talk to your mother's family you...

Endling

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: Herobeat Studios (@HerobeatStudios)

Players: This is a single player game

Endling is an exploration platform game where you struggle to survive. It's a game about extinction with a strong ecological conscience. You are the last fox on earth, trying to survive a world ravaged by the human race.

Paradise Killer

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 04/09/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Narrative, Open World, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 41 features

Developer: Kaizen Game Works (@KaizenGameWorks)

Players: This is a single player game

Paradise Killer is a detective game set in the open world of Paradise Island. It's a strange place with quirky characters and an alien obsessed, demon worshiping world. You are an exiled investigator brought back to solve the mass murder of the island's...

Marvel's Avengers

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12-18 year-olds

Release Date: 04/09/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Narrative

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Crystal Dynamics (@CrystalDynamics)

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Marvel's Avengers is an action-adventure game based on the Avengers. You control the heroes from a third-person perspective on your own or with friends. Together you assemble a team of heroes to take on the game's main storyline, where you must clear...

Gris

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 06/10/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Accessibility: 14 features

Developer: Nomada Studiobcn (@NomadaStudiobcn)

Players: This is a single player game

Gris is a platform game where you guide a young girl through a crumbling world. Through beautiful metaphoric landscapes and soaring music, the game touches on emotions of loss and longing but doesn’t resolve to a firm narrative. Although not hugely...

Spiritfarer

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Release Date: 18/08/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Platform and Simulation

Accessibility: 31 features

Developer: Thunder Lotus (@ThunderLotus)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Spiritfarer is a boat building exploration game. Unusually though, you play Stella, ferry master to the deceased and the boat you manage takes them to the next life.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12-18 year-olds

Release Date: 15/01/2019, updated in 2019

Price: 64% off

Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Shooting

Accessibility: 24 features

Developer: Respawn (@Respawn)

Players: This is a single player game

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a fighting-adventure game set five years after Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and 14 years before Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Young Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis is hunted through the galaxy by the...

Moonglow Bay

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Release Date: 07/10/2021

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Role-Playing and Strategy

Accessibility: 23 features

Developer: Coat Sink (@CoatSink)

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Moonglow Bay is a role play game where you play a rookie angler. Unlike other slice-of-life games, fishing isn't tucked away as a side quest here, it's front and centre. Set along the Canadian coastline in the 1980's, you live in a fishing town that has...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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