Plot twists can be a gamer's best friend. They keep us on our toes, guessing at what might happen next, and make us eager to see how the games will resolve themselves. These plots make up some of the most unforgettable moments in video game history. Developers who put in the effort to execute such events in their games deserve credit.
Throughout the decades, these developers push through the normal depths of their game narrative to tell amazing stories. These are the kinds of plots that manage to flip our expectations with cleverly executed twists. Here are five of the best plot twists in gaming history, ranked from “oh wow” to “wait, what?.” Keep in mind that some of these revelations may be spoilers for those who are yet to play these titles. With that said, let's dive in.
5. Resident Evil [Wesker's True Face Is Revealed]
We begin with the first entry of Residents Evil, a game that truly broke the ground with its tale execution. That is, of course, aside from the outdated controls and terrible voice acting, which can well excuse considering the game came out in 1996. The game developer, Capcom, however, managed to salvage the title in regards to story execution. Fans were thrown on a spin to the reveal that the head of the S.T.A.R.S. department, Albert Wesker, was secretly collaborating with the Umbrella organization the whole time.
Although some fans had suspicions about the guy, this reveal played a major role in exposing Welker's plan to use the Tyrant to extinguish the rest of the S.T.A.R.S. members. The double agent is eventually killed, and the player proceeds to battle the Tyrant. The game also features multiple endings depending on whether or not the playing character defeats the Tyrant. Who in this case, is the final boss.
4. Silent Hill 2 [James' Subconscious Guilt]
The Silent Hill games are already as thrilling as a survival horror game can be; adding a plot twist to it is a bonus the fans can appreciate. That's what the developers of this 2002 classic did in Silent Hill 2. This sequel went a notch higher from the nightmare-infused narrative featured in the first game to deeper, disturbing content. The plot is centered around our main protagonist, James. Jamees is constantly haunted by the circumstances surrounding the death of his wife; all while grieving her loss. Based on his deeply manifested guilt, he begins to unravel repressed grief that takes him through unimaginable horrors.
All this leads to a heartbreaking revelation, which James runs into in the form of a videotape. This tape depicts James smothering his ailing wife with a pillow as a form of euthanasia to death. From this point, he faces various haunting events that have manifested in his psyche due to his guilt. There are up to six endings players can explore in Silent Hill 2, all of which are as disturbing as they are interesting.
3. Fallout 4 [Shaun Is Behind It All]
Although some aspects of Fallout 4 may have come up short, this entry in the Fallout series is one of the best to come out of the franchise. The story is centered around Nate, a desperate father trying to find his son, Shaun. The boy had been prematurely stolen from a cryptofreeze by two strangers who also killed the protagonist's spouse. Shortly after these events, Nate is forced into cryogenic sleep and only wakes up when the machine malfunctions. Lost and disoriented, he sets a course through the Commonwealth wasteland in search of clues that may help him find Shaun. He is unaware of how much time has passed while he was in cryosleep.
Most of the world is in ruins, and everyone thinks Nate is the “sole survivor.” Imagine the shock he gets when he finds out that Shaun is not only alive but also the one behind the notorious organization responsible for flooding synth androids into the Commonwealth. This event in Fallout 4 makes for one of the best plot twists in gaming history. It also places the player in one of the most challenging positions when it comes to decision-making. All possible choices seem to have an inevitable, drastic outcome.
2. BioShock [Jack Is Merely a Pawn]
From video game creator Ken Levine comes another block-buster-worthy plot twist in 2007's BioShock. The series is known for the most exciting game narratives, and since BioShock is the first entry in the franchise, it deserves the most credit. The game is revolves around the story of determination against a corrupt force rampant in the futuristic society of Rapture. An underwater city hidden from the surface world. When Jack, finds himself in Rapture, he sets off to put an end to the violent practices the settlers face.
Jack is immediately finds himself in the war between two top dogs in the system; Fontaine and Ryan. Who is revealed to be is his birth father. We also learn that Jack is not acting of his own free will but rather has been under Fontaine's hypnotic control. Sadly, he is brainwashed into killing Ryan, which prompts Fontaine to take over the whole system and leaves Jack for dead. It is only after this revelation that Jack chases Fontaine into his evil lair to seek revenge. There are a lot more plots in the BioShock storyline, but this event is the most compelling.
1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic [Darth Revan's True Identity]
Number one on the list for best plot twists in gaming history goes to Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic. As one of the most shocking and impactful plot twists to ever feature in a video game, it would be unfitting to rank it otherwise. At the beginning of the game and well through its course, we learn of the evils of a former Jedi, Darth Revan. We get to believe that he joined the dark forces and gone rogue, waging war against the Republic.
The big reveal is something that can undoubtedly weigh heavy on any player. After a series of events, we find out that all along, the player is Darth Revan. However, this is unbeknownst to him as a result of his mind being wiped by the Jedi. After spending a good portion of the game cleaning up the mess left behind by Revan, one can only imagine the shock of finding out about this all along. Very few games have been able to march up to the same kind of critical twist as Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
Which one of the video games above do you think features the best plot twist in gaming history? Share your pick with us in the comments below or over on our socials here!