10 Games Where The Gameplay Is Better Than The Story, According To Reddit – Screen Rant

A good game should have a balance between story and gameplay, but Redditors feel that these exceptional games are lacking in a strong story.
Every gamer has their preference about whether story or gameplay is more important in a video game. A game with a great story but poor gameplay may feel more like an interactive storybook than an actual video game. While this is the experience that some people are looking for, others would rather have fun game mechanics and challenging puzzles or battles.
When Reddit took up this debate, a great many users agreed that a game is easier to enjoy if the gameplay is good and the story is bad rather than a good story with bad gameplay. To back up their point, these Redditors gave a few examples of games, such as platformers like the Super Mario games, that create an excellent gaming experience, despite falling short when it comes to a good narrative.
Hitman: Blood Money is a stealth video game released in 2006 by IO Interactive. It has a similar premise to Metal Gear and follows a cloned assassin as he works to bring down a rival agency.
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Redditor DavidZzzztone stated that while playing this game, they did “not really [follow] the story very much at all,” but that it is still one of their favorite games. Compared to other narratively heavy games, Hitman just doesn’t add up, but it makes up for it in satisfying gameplay.
Platform games will typically have just enough story to keep audiences interested. Mario games of the NES days had very little, with a majority of the game focused on just making it through fun levels.
Today, Mario does include quite a bit of storytelling, but that is still not the main focus of the games. In the case of Super Mario Galaxy, which is one of the best Mario games, one Reddit user pointed out that they don’t play because they “care about Mario and Peach’s relationship,” but that they instead find platform gaming fun.
Plenty of fans enjoy the plot and lore of Skyrim. However, if the story was stripped away, the fundamental aspects of the game would still stand. This is often true for open-world games. Since they do not follow a linear narrative, the story can be easy to miss.
DavidZzzztone said, “it took me a few missions to figure out what the story was even about, and I was completely fine with that.” If the gameplay is good enough, like in Skyrim, the player won’t even miss the story. While some players may enjoy learning about the Dragonborn, it isn’t necessary to have a great gaming experience.
A game doesn’t need plot twists and cliffhangers to be good. Redditor Notsoinsaneguy pointed out that for a game to be enjoyable, it just needs to have the “potential to be very immersive,” which is something a lot of games lack.
The game Fallout 3 is a good example, since the world is so large that gamers can work off the simple premise for hours upon hours, simply enjoying the challenges that the world presents. Fallout is full of hidden details and fun concepts that keep gamers entertained, without telling any tales.
Grand Theft Auto has seen great success with all 16 of its games. It is regarded as one of the most violent classic video games, making it a guilty pleasure for many. The gameplay of these titles typically focuses on stealing cars, shooting enemies, as well as completing several side missions. It has an open-world concept, and while it does have a story, most Redditors agreed that that was not why they played the game.
Tonythetiger1 said that they love the game, “like any other gamer,” but never felt invested in any of the main characters. “I couldn’t give a sh*t less if the protagonist lived or died,” they said.
Tales of Symphonia was an action role-play game for the Nintendo GameCube. It was released in 2004 and follows Lloyd Irving and his friend Coletter Brunel as they attempt to save their world.
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Redditor Cereal_bawks considers this game one of their favorites but feels that the narrative was nothing special. “In my opinion,” they said, ” [it] didn’t have a great story.” They went on to state that this example proved that a game can survive without cohesive storytelling, but that if the gameplay fails, then it can’t be a good game.
Portal is an unforgettable puzzle-platform game that was released in 2007 for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. To play, players must solve puzzles by moving the player character or an object using the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, which can create portals on flat services. The player is taunted by an AI during these puzzles, which makes false promises of cake.
Redditor ChrisHaze said that they “don’t get why” people think Portal has a good storyline. “I didn’t even realize it had one until people kept mentioning it,” they said. While the game is memorable for its great puzzles, the story is mostly forgettable.
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is an action role-playing game created by Arkane Studios. In this game, gamers control a wizarding apprentice on a journey to retrieve something called the Skull of Shadows.
Redditor tryrannoAdjudica described it as “really fun,” but added that “the story didn’t interest [them] in the slightest.” It has a lot of classic fantasy factors, but what makes it enjoyable is the sheer number of ways that players can engage in combat, all depending on how they develop their character.
Limbo is a platform video game that is a perfect example of a great title with virtually no story. The main character is never even given a name, but players must solve difficult puzzles to lead him to find his sister.
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One Reddit user explained that they loved the game despite its “complete lack of a story.” Limbo has a very unique look and gameplay style. It has a grainy, noir-type aesthetic. The gameplay matches this, and often leads players the wrong way on purpose, punishing them with a gruesome death for their character.
Redditor Unkie described this game to have a “silly story with over-the-top gameplay, but it doesn’t pretend to be anything else.” The story follows a character named Grayson Hunt who is a former black-ops soldier who wants to get revenge on his former superior who had tricked him into committing war crimes.
Bulletstorm is a first-person shooter and is sort of a self-aware guilty pleasure. It does all it can to be over the top, and very little energy was put into creating an interesting story, but this adds to the charm of the game.
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Angel is a Senior List Writer at Screen Rant, specializing in Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and other book-to-screen content. She holds a bachelor’s degree in language interpreting and is passionate about all things culture, linguistics, and communication. Currently, Angel lives in Michigan with her husband, three sons, two cats, and a rambunctious dog. Angel is deeply in love with any form of storytelling, whether it be books, movies, TV Shows, or video games. She loves diving deep into lore (the more complex, the better) and finding the hidden meaning behind a character’s smallest actions. Even more than that, Angel loves sharing her finds with anyone who is willing to listen, which makes Screen Rant the perfect place for her. In her free time, Angel can typically be found binge-watching comfort shows, hanging out with her guild of nerdy friends, playing any Zelda game, or teaching her kids about the fantastical worlds of fiction.

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