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Best Adventure Games

13. Heavy Rain

For its ambition and genuinely exciting moments of tension, Heavy Rain is a game worth trying. It had enough tools to be something truly spectacular, but its developers were unfortunately not up to the task. There is disposable fun to be had with the game, and that’s not without value – it’s just a shame Quantic reached for the stars while barely being able to scale a ladder.

Ultimately, Heavy Rain is an experiment that both succeeded and failed, when it could have been a total success if the brains behind it weren’t trying so hard to be smart and cared more about providing a sensible plot as opposed to a shocking one.

As a game, Heavy Rain is entertaining and not without its high points. It’s damn lucky it isn’t the movie that it wishes so badly to be. Still, it’s a fantastic game and classic in its own right.

12. Beyond: Two Souls

Beyond: Two Souls, is about a girl called Jodie, played by Ellen Page, which is important to note as Jodie is also every character Ellen Page is typecast into playing. She screams, and is sarcastic, and does that half-smile thing, and that’s more or less all there is to her personality.

She also has more personality than almost every character combined.

While Beyond has a cast of archetypal and terminally uninteresting characters, it has to be said the writing is noticeably better than it was in Heavy Rain. Dialog is slightly more believable, scenes are less awkward, and there are fewer glaring plot holes or embarrassing pseudoscience. The game itself, is a confusing but emotionally charged roller coaster.

11. Gone Home

Gone home is a beautiful story told with talent. The total immersion and storytelling brings a sense of renewal in the world of video games. Unfortunately, its lifespan is too short: two hours are enough to see the end.

While Gone Home’s experience is rather short, its characters will stay with you for days after you’ve finished the game – despite you never meeting them.

 

10. Tales From Monkey Island

Tales of Monkey Island chronicles the further adventures of Guybrush Threepwood–Mighty Pirate–as he pursues his often-imperiled wife, Elaine, and tries to vanquish his nemesis, LeChuck. Yet this tale is no heroic cliche, and it takes some amusing twists and unconventional turns. The relationships between lead characters are the engaging heart of the story, while the supporting cast and wacky environments provide ample opportunity for humor.

This clever, humorous tale unfurls its sails and becomes a thoroughly entertaining swashbuckling adventure!

 

9. Tales from The Borderlands

Legacy concerns still plague this game like they have been doing for the last half-decade. However, dialogue options feel the most cohesive they’ve ever been and the combat adds a few new wrinkles while fixing what didn’t work before. The story crafted here isn’t just a fine Borderlands sequel, but one of the most enjoyable sci-fi adventure stories in recent memory.

Whether you’re already a Borderlands fan or not, Tales From The Borderlands delivers an emotional, entertaining, and downright fun episodic adventure title. It can easily compete against the hottest contenders on TV, not just on account of its writing, but also its cinematic, artistic beauty.
 
8. Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse 

Overall, Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse brings an amusing story, with great writing, and mixes that together with some terrific, innovative game play.
It clearly establishes a repeating theme of Max gaining and then exploiting ridiculous new psychic powers with each episode, something that, because the quality of the execution stays where it is,  makes for a fun adventure.

7. Day of The Tentacle

Insane, mutant tentacles. A frozen hamster. Three distinct playable characters. Time travel. Fake barf. Truly, this game has it all. One other thing Day of the Tentacle has in no short supply is charm. It’s got that in spades. Everything about this game just comes together beautifully.

Call me an adventure romantic, call me crazy, but I love Day of the Tentacle and still think it is one of the best adventures ever made. Modernized in exactly the right spots and with an added developer commentary and alternative controls this is a masterpiece with beautifully crafted puzzles.

6. To The Moon

To The Moon is one of those games you instantly fall in love with. With it’s simple, but elegant design, incredible writing, and thrilling, heartfelt tale, To The Moon is more story than game, but what a story it is.

Although the game mechanics are very simple, the story is truly something, that bigger players of the business should take a look at. This game brought tears to my eyes. It’s truly magical.

5. Grim Fandango

The large cast of characters is unforgettable. Although for the most part they are skeletons in 40s garb, with mask-like faces that can be attributed to Day of the Dead festivities, their personalities render them as distinct and memorable as members of an extremely diverse cast from any fine film.

Everything in the game reeks of excellence. The characters are good, the story is intriguing and the Land of the Dead is a wonderful place.

4. Batman: The Enemy Within

It was worth it. Enemy Within presents one of the most well-realized depictions of the Clown Prince of Crime regardless of medium, and my playthrough’s Vigilante Joker easily places a strong second to Mark Hamill’s virtuoso run as the Ace of Knaves.

The Enemy Within lets you shape and navigate your way through not only an entire relationship, that being the one with John Doe, but also in the direction and creation of The Joker.

When you factor in that the Joker is perhaps almost as iconic as Batman, that Telltale was able to execute this progression at all, let alone imbue it with emotional weight – makes The Enemy Within essential for fans of the caped crusader.

It should come as no surprise, given the praise of it all season, that The Enemy Within is one of my favorite Batman stories, and the life they gave to the greatest of his enemies by making Bruce more than just the catalyst to his change should forever change the way the Joker is written and explored. Same Stitch is a fantastic end to a killer season. Batman: The Enemy Within is, without a doubt, one of the best superhero stories ever written.

3. Life is Strange

Life is Strange really cannot be described. It is a totally unique EXPERIENCE, that in unbelievable way deceives and its magic can only be experienced firsthand.

There are a few moments in which game play takes center stage, but it ends up being crushed by the intensity of the story and the development of the characters. Having said that, in order to really enjoy the experience, you better play the complete game, as it gets better with each chapter. There’s so much depth, symbolism, solid character development, and wonderful interactions.

2. The Wolf Among Us

The Wolf Among Us is a game that exceeds expectations, providing an intriguing, painful, and thought-provoking journey that everyone should experience at least once. Bigby Wolf is the perfect protagonist for this shocking Telltale adventure in the Fables universe, because of the convincing way you can mold him into a good or bad wolf.

Yes, Wolf is focused on the admittedly fantastical plight of refugee fairy tale characters trying to carve out a secret existence in the real world. But the story’s good versus evil tale – and the degree of control that players get to exert over how each of those opposing sides is defined – is very much grounded in the ethical landscape that we know and interact with in real life on a daily basis.

Every single detail just clicks and its like an ancient clockwork doing its magic perfectly!

1. The Walking Dead

wwwwwwwwwwwwwww

From the very beginning, The Walking Dead sinks its teeth in and never lets you go. It’s a journey in the truest sense of the word, replete with tragedy, heartache, tension, fear, and even brief moments of catharsis. Calling The Walking Dead a work of entertainment almost seems like a misnomer, considering the heavy tone and general lack of sentimentality in the writing.

This is a sad game that will weigh heavy on you long after you’ve completed it–it even wrung some honest tears out of me on a couple of occasions. But you’ll suffer through the emotional swings because they’re ultimately worth it. No matter how depressing, gut-wrenching, or flat-out horrifying The Walking Dead gets, you will want–nay, need–to finish it. It’s just that good.

The story for The Walking Dead Game might be a little outrageous. A man convicted of murder awakes out of a car accident to a full-blown apocalypse, and stumbles along to find a little girl, they band together and the rest is history. The duo of Lee and Clementine managed to create one of the most memorable gaming experiences in gaming history.

The Walking Dead represents a jewel in the realm of episodic adventures. This game will shock you. It’ll make you cry and curse.

The Walking Dead deals in a spectrum of emotion that few other games dare to take on, and it does so with aplomb. It’s utterly triumphant, crafting a narrative that proves the power of the medium by embracing what makes it unique, leading to one of the most memorable gameplay experiences ever created.

The art, too, is wonderfully realized, both making the world a dangerous but curious place, and giving a great deal of life to the characters. Just look at Clementine’s expressiveness even without words. It plays right into the hands of its comic book counterpart, even surpassing it! Experiencing this game is anything but lifeless.

But the reason that The Walking Dead earned the rank of being the “Best Adventure Game” from us isn’t just that it is a great story, or because it was able to genuinely illicit an emotional response from us – as all great art does. No, it received a perfect score because this game could change everything. With game development budgets on the rise and technical sophistication becoming almost synonymous with the quality of a game, Telltale Games managed to sneak up and remind everyone that you don’t need all of that to have a memorable gaming experience. You just need to challenge what we know and except, then take us in a new direction that is honest.
When I finished the final episode of The Walking Dead, I buried my face in my arms, eyes welling up with tears.
Behind her smile is a hurting heart… behind her laughter she’s falling apart… and though she be little… she is strong and fierce and smart.

The Walking Dead: Season Two

 

This horrific, heartbreaking, emotional roller coaster is a dire reminder of how the cruelest monsters aren’t the undead, and that the worst is always lurking around the corner.

Clementine is living in a world that is far from black and white, and her decisions reflect the shades of grey she herself is growing into.
 
With Clementine out on her own, Telltale explores some very dark places. Clem – through you, the player – makes her own choices this time around, but it’s always in the context of a brutally unforgiving world. Sometimes you’ll go with a course of action at a critical moment and then watch your expectations shatter as something you never planned for occurs.
 
Other times you’ll make a seemingly innocuous choice that, in hindsight, changes absolutely everything. It’s like this from moment one.
 You’re probably going to cry at some point. Deal with it.
 

Clementine is the most realistic depiction of a child in gaming. She encouraged you to genuinely care, because you were directly responsible for her life in this dreary, walker-ridden world. Real life kids can’t fight legions of zombies by themselves (although Clem was doing decently before Lee showed up).

Clementine was a three dimensional character that you emotionally invested in. That’s rare with video game characters, let alone child ones. She always tries to stay optimistic, she has a bit of comedic relief, but most importantly she always steers others in the right direction. She was sweet, strong, brave, adorable, and surprise-surprise-a great shot! She has grown up in this world and it is irrevocably changing her, we are witnessing the evolution of humanity in this young girl and it is as scary as it is hopeful.

The Walking Dead: Season 2 is a triumph of interactive storytelling. Video games simply have not seen its equal. The scope of what’s been accomplished, not just over this season but in the story as a whole, isn’t fully clear until the credits roll on the finale, but the realization leaves you breathless. It’s a truly masterful fusion of plot and play. The Walking Dead: Season 2 may kill your friends, may leave you alone, wounded and helpless, in an unforgiving world, but it never loses sight of the fact that Clem’s destiny, Clem’s humanity, is always in the player’s hands. As it should be. 

The Walking Dead certainly isn’t a “fun” game. You won’t walk away laughing. It is dark and often disturbing, and beautiful and heartbreaking. It is an important game, and will be remembered for what it is: a masterpiece.

The best and most beautiful things in the world can not be seen or even touched… they must be felt with the heart.

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