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5 Best Story-Driven Games on Xbox Series X & PS5

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Best story-driven games

Story-driven games are among the richest and most emotive game genres. Because, like movies, they strive to immerse players not only in the story and characters but also in the world and overall atmosphere. The greater challenge for video games is to make the player feel as if they are walking in the shoes of the protagonist rather than simply watching it. It's no easy task, but these story-driven games stand to do it best on both PS5 and Xbox series X consoles.

Now that we've brought it up, getting your game published on both consoles could be equally difficult. You know, Xbox and Playstation are always fighting for those sweet, sweet, exclusives. That is why we are grateful that these games allow us to experience their captivating narratives regardless of our system. So, if you're looking for games that will have you invested, you've come to the right place because these are the best story-driven games on both next-generation consoles.


5. Grand Theft Auto V

GTA V - Official Story Trailer

GTA V is perhaps best known for its rampart and frequently chaotic online open-world of Los Santos. However, that's most likely because the game came out nine years ago and is closing in on a decade. What's, even more, is that the game has spanned three generations of consoles. Besides the point, when GTA V was first released, what had people raving the most was its story-driven mode. Because it was the majority of players' first impression, it truly captured the essence of the game.

You play three distinct criminals, each with their own unique story about committing risky but profitable hesitating around Los Santos. Each of the characters, Michael, Trevor, and Franklin are highly likable, however, each in their own way. We're talking about wanted criminals, after all, so you can bet there are some loose screws, particularly with Trevor. As you get to know each character, their stories begin to intertwine and eventually unfold full circle. Giving us one of the most gravitating stories in a game we've ever seen.



4. A Plague Tale: Innocence

A Plague Tale: Innocence - Official Story Trailer

A Plague Tale: Innocence, is a title that most people blindly looked over at launch. And it took a while for the game to get the credit it deserved for the brilliance it displayed in its story. Based on the notorious Black Plague, A Plague Tale: Innocence perfectly develops its own fictional story, which is as gripping as it is grim. The game set's in 14th century France, where you control Amicia and her ill brother Hugo, as they escape the inquisition and plague.

We don't imagine most things back in 14th century France to be too peachy, unless you were of royal descent. Unfortunately, our two main characters are not of royal descent, but rather nobles, and they are fighting for their lives in order to protect the only thing they have left, each other. The game is by far one of the most emotionally gripping story-driven games of our time, and will most likely have constantly holding back tears. There's also never been a better time to get into it, as A Plague Tale: Requiem, the sequel, released on October 18th, 2022.



3. Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium: Final Cut Trailer | Game Awards 2020

Disco Elysium isn't exactly a party despite its name. In honesty, it's a highly immersive role-playing murder mystery, with a lot of dark subjects and themes at play. The game is also a little slow-playing, in that, there's no combat in the game whatsoever. Well, there isn't any you control but a few knuckles still get tossed here and there. Instead, the action is centered around skill checks and dialogue trees. For this reason, the game is definitely meant for a more patient audience, but it doesn't detract from the story and rather thoroughly develops it.

You play as a seasoned veteran detective called in to investigate a single murder. With so many leads, the story begins to reveal far more than you expect. The best part is that the choices you make in-game completely determine how your story will unfold. You can develop your character's ideologies and personality traits through the “Thought Cabinet,” which affects how they act in-game and give you different dialogue options and story paths. That makes solving the murder mystery, one highly engaging tale, that can go many ways.



2. Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village Trailer | Resident Evil Showcase

If you're looking for a thrill, Resident Evil Village is a story-driven game that will definitely deliver. The Resident Evil series has always consisted of thriller and horror tropes, but notably, Resident Evil Village executes them the best. Set three years after Resident Evil 7, the game fly's out of the gates with its story and then basically dumps you off at the starting point. We don't want to reveal too much, but the action and intensity levels are already high.

You are constantly forced to make frantic decisions, the action is steady and never dull, and the overall feeling is that you want to get out of the Village as soon as possible. However, with each step, you drag yourself deeper into the story, and as you do, the thriller and horror levels begin to ramp up. Particularly with its cast of lovely, yet horrible, gruesome, and downright disturbing characters. If you want a story-driven game to raise your hair, Resident Evil Village is the best bet.



1. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - Official Reveal Trailer | PS5, PS4

Even if you're not a fan of Marvel and its bad track record with previous games, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy undoubtedly succeeds. Perhaps not so much in terms of original gameplay, but there is an original story that is distinct from the movies, albeit along similar lines. You know, the usual saving the universe nonsense. However, it's rather thought out in the game and still an intriguing narrative, especially with its cast of characters.

Which after all is the bread and butter of the Guardians of the Galaxy. They are a group of misfits and the game captures their relationship beautifully, which in turn, really brings the story to life. Each interaction is unique and engaging, but it also comes with a number of difficult decisions to make, as you are Captain, Leader, Crewman – Starlord Peter Quill. And if you want to step into his shoes, you must be able to make the calls.


So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there other games story-driven games that we should know about? Let us know in the comments below or over on our socials here!

Riley Fonger is a freelance writer, music lover, and gamer since adolescence. He loves anything video game-related and grew up with a passion for story games such as Bioshock and The Last of Us.