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10 Best Episodic Video Games, Ranked By Metacritic | ScreenRant – Screen Rant

Telltale Games’ The Wolf Among Us is about to get a much-awaited sequel next year. Belonging to the episodic video game genre, The Wolf Among Us was primarily the result of the experimentation of game devs and their desire to create a more interactive narrative. Essentially, episodic video games are relatively shorter titles that are meant to be a part of a continuing series.

In the last decade or so, episodic video games have consistently been in demand in the gaming market as they were able to hook gamers and keep them wanting more, due in large to their narrative-driven gameplay and innovative storytelling style. But from the countless titles under the episodic video game category, which ones were best-received by the public?


10 Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 1: The Order Of The Stone – 77

Minecraft Spin Off Games Story Mode

Released on the Xbox One in 2015, episode 1 of Minecraft: Story Mode was appreciated by longtime fans of the sandbox games, as well as those who weren’t familiar with the global gaming phenomenon. In the game, players assume the role of Jesse, who is at the center of a group of builders in the Minecraft world.

Related: The 15 Greatest Video Game Narratives, Ranked

Reviews noted that Patton Oswalt’s voice acting and the game’s action sequences were a great start to the series. However, they also raised the fact that the game’s narrative and pacing were not as great as they expected from a Telltale Games title.

9 Song Of Horror  – 79

Song of Horror Episode 4 Church

Song of Horror is an inventive thriller title from developer Protocol Games. Players are tasked with investigating a paranormal mystery in Song of Horror, but unlike other games where they’re just stuck with one protagonist, the game will have the player take on another character if their selected character dies.

The game’s perma-death aspect has made it a great horror game that makes it seem like the player is defenseless. However, each character has their own quirks and unique investigation approach that can change the odds of the game, something that players should look forward to in case their chosen character succumbs.

8 Detroit: Become Human – 80

Connor looking serious in Detroit: Become Human.

In Detroit: Become Human, players will get to take over the lives of three androids in a futuristic world where humans and anthropomorphic robots coexist. The storylines of the three characters are intertwined and the choices the players make can strongly impact the lives of the characters days before a world-changing event.

The game’s three incredible stories are partnered with grandiose and breathtaking visuals. The moving narrative also holds a lot of surprises for the players, including one of the worst acts of betrayal in a game wherein a friend becomes a foe. With more than 30 hours of content, it’ll take gamers a while to complete and fully appreciate the story of Detroit: Become Human.

7 Alan Wake – 83

Alan stands in front of twinkling lights on Alan Wake Remastered

Recently remastered in 4K, Alan Wake is a classic episodic video game that contains a lot of action, adventure, and narrative-driven fun. Focusing on the titular character who happens to be a bestselling horror writer, Alan Wake is split up into six episodes where the protagonist tries to unveil the true reason for his wife’s disappearance.

Apart from being guided by the main story, Alan Wake is also an open-world game with plenty of space for the player to explore. Transcending genres and game mechanics, Alan Wake is truly one of the best episodic horror games released in the last decade.

6 Life Is Strange – 85

Life Is Strange More Games

Developed by Dontnod Entertainment, Life is Strange is an episodic video game that’s centered on a photography student who learns that she has the power to turn back time. However, each of the choices the player and protagonist make in Life is Strange has a butterfly effect that molds the narrative of the game.

Related: The 10 Best Characters In The Life Is Strange Franchise

Players and critics enjoy Life is Strange due to its well-developed characters, unique art style, interactive plot, and engrossing voice acting. But many gamers do acknowledge that there’s a lot left to be desired in terms of the dialogue, graphics, and consistency of the game. Despite its cons, Life is Strange still has a lot to offer for gamers who want a relaxed, but intriguing, story-driven title.

5 The Wolf Among Us – 85

How Wolf Among Us 2's Story Connects To The First Game

The Wolf Among Us is one of Telltale Game’s most popular titles. Based on the Fables comics by Bill Willingham, The Wolf Among Us is about Bigby Wolf, a sheriff of a town with various mystical creatures, and his journey towards figuring out a string of murders in his beloved town.

At the time of its release, many critics and players were raving about The Wolf Among Us’ polished graphics, well-written dialogues, and faithfulness to the source material. Fans of the game are more than excited to play the sequel which is set to be released in 2023 for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

4 Blues And Bullets -86

Blues and Bullets main character Elliot Ness holding a gun

Fans of crime-noir games will surely enjoy Blue and Bullets. With its visuals and visuals that are reminiscent of the beloved comic-book series Sin City, Blue and Bullets successfully immerses the player in a world full of crime and mystery.

Aside from being able to create the smoky and gritty atmosphere that is prominent in noir-themed media, the game also has a compelling and great script. Those who choose to play the game are in for a moody, comic-book-inspired game that doesn’t rely on cheap tropes and clichés.

3 Hitman 3 – 87

Agent 47 looks at the Dubai skyline in Hitman 3

The third chapter in the Hitman series has garnered the highest score on Metacritic. Developed by Io Interactive, the series is about one of the best, genetically-enhanced video game assassins who aims to get to the bottom of random killings. What players like the most about the franchise is that it features open-ended sandboxes where their characters can move around and choose freely how to conduct their missions.

Hitman 3 manages to outscore the first two installments by including a myriad of challenging missions in interesting locations, as well as legacy content. What’s more, critics note that the game has significantly higher replayability and more captivating gameplay compared to the other World of Assassination titles.

2 The Walking Dead – 94

Clementine and A.J. in The Walking Dead: The Final Season.

Telltale Games has been a treasure trove of episodic video games, but it is their 2012 offering The Walking Dead that gained the most praise on Metacritic. While it features some of the beloved characters from the TV adaptation of the famed comic book series, the game is not at all related to the long-running AMC title.

Related: 10 Best Games To Play If You Like The Walking Dead 

But just like the TV show, Telltale Game’s creation has plenty of gut-wrenching moments and suspense-filled episodes that will undoubtedly command the attention of those who play it.

1 Half-Life 2 – 96

poster for the game Half-Life 2 featuring the main characters Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance

Fans of the Half-Life series will never stop begging Valve for Half-Life 3. Split into two episodes, Half-Life 2 chronicles the journey of human Gordon Freeman to freeing the planet from a tyrannical alien kingdom.

Featuring a perfect balance of first-person shooter combat with a good amount of engaging narrative, Half-Life 2 deserves all the praise it gets from critics and gamers alike. It also helps that the graphics engine used to create Half-Life 2 was able to render it realistically, allowing the game to more effectively draw out emotion from those who choose to play.

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