The opening of a video game determines the depth of the storyline and novelty of the game. Therefore, a good video game opening should leave fans in both astonishment and anticipation. It adds to the growing desire players have to participate in the unfolding events of the game. Similarly, openings help establish the game context, base of conflict and the protagonist's attitude towards the situation surrounding the narrative. In just a few minutes, the audience is able to grasp the depth of the game's lore.
An impactful opening is crucial to the success of a game; it excites players to proceed to the next step. When it comes to this, only a number of games have managed to meet and even surpass expectations. With that said, let's take a look at the five best openings in video game history; keep reading to find out if your favorite video games made the list.
5. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
How The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim opening starts makes it hard to anticipate the splendor that follows. Seeing it for the first time will have you holding your head in awe. It starts off very quiet, as the protagonist rides alongside other rebels on a cart to their execution. Things already look bad at this point but are about to get worse.
Soon after they arrive, one of the rebels gets their head chopped off, and that's when the full gravity of the situation reveals itself. However, just before they almost slay the protagonist, a massive dragon appears on a nearby roof and releases a wave of inferno all over the place. It is this magnificent display of visual genius that places Skyrim's opening among the best openings in video game history.
4. God of War 3
All the intros to the God of War franchise have always strived to amaze fans. However, God of War 3 set the bar a bit higher with one of the most epic video game openings. In this scene, players witness a brewing brawl between the Titans and Gods Of Olympus. It begins with a capture of Zeus doing a voiceover meant to incite other Gods to assemble in defense of Mount Olympus. The camera moves across the peaks showing several mighty Titans climbing over gigantic cliffs toward the top of the mountain where the Gods await to fight.
Kratos appears crying out to Zeus, declaring his vow to bring Olympus to destruction. The turn of events that follow leave you hyped up to fight in the concocting battle. The Gods begin to drop one after the other, down the mountain to face the climbing Titans. What's more exciting is it only escalates from there.
3. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
Not only does Star Wars: The Force Unleashed have one of the best openings in video game history, but the most memorable. Watching it only builds up one's expectations over the potentially badass game that follows. The camera moves purposely to provide the audience with the best angles of each floating vessel and the world below.
A few ships approach a planet where they land and immediately initiate an invasion. From one of the landing ships, out comes Darth Vader, in his glorious black robes. As he marches forward, we get a view of the exchange of fire between the invaders and the locals as both sides suffer casualties. This is the kind of opening that sets players in the mood for some Star Wars action.
2. Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 2 has an opening like no other and looks like a scene out of a movie. The effects and quality of the animated graphics are off the charts. Anyone watching the intro for the first time will be amazed by the work developers put into the details. It starts peacefully with the Normandy crew going about their operations as they discuss a recent alien attack. Just as they get comfortable, the aliens in question launch an unexpected ambush. Their alien vessel appears just ahead of the Normandy and fires at the ship, blowing significant sections of it.
It is up to the game's main protagonist, Commander Shepard, to rescue crew members from the disintegrating ship and get them to the escape pods. The scene gets more intense as fire spreads and blows up some parts of the ship, causing fatal injuries to crew members trying to run to safety. A couple of pods launch, and some members escape; however, Shephard gets sucked into space through an opening on the ship. A grim disposition fills the scene as he floats away, gasping for air through his leaking spacesuit. This makes it one of the best openings in video game history, if not the most intense.
1. The Last of Us
The opening to The Last Of Us is one that can push even those who don't play video games to seek out the intro. It gives off a powerful movie-like momentum with an emotional scourge that is on a whole other level from similar games in the genre. This is the kind of opening that sticks with you long after you have begun and progressed through the game. The scene begins with some touching daddy-daughter moments as Joel comes home to his sleepy daughter Sarah, who presents him with a birthday gift before dozing off on the couch. Sarah wakes up a few hours later in her bed to a disturbing phone call from her uncle, Tommy.
It is at this point in the intro that one starts to anticipate the incoming chaos. This tension grows more as Sarah walks around the house calling out for her dad, who is nonrespondent and is nowhere to be seen. Joel then runs into the house to meet a confused Sarah; he asks her if she's okay because something weird is going on. Almost immediately after, an infected neighbor pops through the glass doors and tries to attack them. Joel is forced to shoot him before the two catch up with Tommy. They try to flee using a car, but the unrest is too intense to get through. It tragically ends when Sarah dies from a gunshot wound from when some guards shoot at them, thinking they too are infected.
Which game from the list above do you think has the best opening in video game history? Share your pick with us in the comments below or over on our socials here!
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Evans I. Karanja is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything technology. He is always on the lookout for interesting topics, and enjoys writing about video games, cryptocurrency and blockchain and more. When not writing, he can be found playing video games or watching F1.