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5 Best Quick-Time Event Games, Ranked



The Quarry: 5 Best Characters

QTEs are commonplace in video games these days, that much is true. And indeed, much like any other feature, they too have become globally accepted and sewn into the woodwork. This isn't to say that every game and its accompanying spin-off is perfectly capable of making them work, though, as many games have come to prove since the prompts first came to light. But there are, of course, plenty that have gotten it just right, and just a select few that have made them less redundant, and more instrumental to the gameplay experience overall. Question is, which games have honestly perfected the QTE formula?

5. Heavy Rain

Quantic Dream is a dab hand at developing immersive quick-time events in video games, particularly ones that lead to drastic consequences if missed or ignored. An example here would be Heavy Rainwhich is hands down one of the studio's greatest choice-based action-adventure games in the book. Like the studio's other works, its QTEs help tailor a narrative, which can either end up with a hearty conclusion or an abysmal one with unwanted deaths or morals.

Heavy Rain casts you as Ethan Mars, an architect who wakes up with a vague memory of the day before, and an old shoe box with nothing but a few origami crafts and an unfinished address stapled to it. With your son held captive in a drain and the city's water levels rising, you must embark on a series of sinister quests in order to find the missing letters of the address. How you go about obtaining said letters, unfortunately, all boils down to your ability to execute QTEs in a timely fashion.

4. Until Dawn

Supermassive Games has become something of a staple in the survival-horror world, and even more so in the QTE realm, too. And yet, even with countless choice-based games under its belt, nothing has come quite as close to harnessing the same level of perfection as Until Dawn, the episodic adventure that sees players going toe-to-toe with the dreaded Wendigo over a painfully enduring tribulation on Blackwood Mountain.

In Until Dawn, every button prompt bears a consequence, and can either lead your tenacious collective down the primrose path towards their salvation, or towards their imminent deaths. For every QTE there's either a lesson to be learnt, or a moral to be embraced. It's your goal, as the curator or stories, to write a nightmare that can have multiple outcomes. The ultimate question you're trying to answer: who will survive until dawn?

3. Fahrenheit

Fahrenheit is a prime example of what QTEs can achieve if implemented in the correct locations. Unlike a great deal of Quantic Dreams' later works, the murder-mystery classic relies heavily on such prompts to execute its most dramatic scenes, which includes cat-and-mouse chases, action-heavy rooftop brawls, and deeply disturbing illusions with threats sewn into the tapestry.

Fahrenheit hurls you into the boots of Lucas Kane. Set during the aftermath of a local murder in which Lucas unknowingly commited while possessed, you must both conceal the truth from the authorities, and figure out a way to halt the demons from making you commit further acts of violence. With time against you and the whole city searching high and low for the culprit, you will need to decipher a way to kill two birds with one stone, knowing full well that one mistake could very well lead to your downfall.

2. The Quarry

The Quarry, much like Supermassive Games' other projects, pans out in a similar fashion, with QTEs making up for nearly half the experience. Although mostly driven by dialogue and exploration, it's the last-minute on-screen prompts that determine the outcomes of your survivors. And in a game like The Quarry, there really isn't a whole lot of leeway with your characters' mortality, meaning every QTE can single-handedly bring your heroes to their knees without warning.

The Quarry has you pulling the strings of the remaining councilors at Hackett's Quarry, a summer camp that has a long-standing history of attracting hunters between peak seasons. With one final night left in the cards and a looming presence that could just raise a few life-threatening issues for your team, you must do all in your power to survive the twilight hours and live long enough to see the break of dawn. If you happen to miss a QTE, however, then it's back to square one with you. No pressure.

1. Telltale's The Walking Dead

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As far as emotionally gripping stories go, Telltale's The Walking Dead really hits the nail on the head, as does most of its choice-based episodic adventures. But the video game adaptation of Robert Kirkman's globally recognized franchise hits different, and it's mostly down to the fact that you and you alone pull the strings and decide who lives and who dies. And it's the obstacles sewn between, too, that transform a relatively straightforward out-of-the-box game into a fully immersive theatrical experience.

Its QTEs may not be as in-your-face as, say, Supermassive Games' long line of survival-horror titles. That said, the ones that do appear are often lumbered with real choices and real consequences, all of which effect a much bigger picture that's completely out of your control. With the apocalypse serving as the epicenter of the narrative, though, it is you who bears the right to say who can live to see another day, and who falls to the back of the collective. So, if it's a quality story-driven experience you want with countless choices to boot, then look no further than Telltale Games' award-winning saga.


So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there any QTE-heavy games you'd recommend playing? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.