10 Best Video Game Beginnings
It’s said that the ending is the most important part of any story. But what about beginning? If something has an awful beginning, you probably won’t make it to the end, regardless of how amazing it could be. A great beginning asks questions, and the only way to find the answers, is to explore and play on.
Below you’ll find our list of the 10 best video game beginnings:
If you’ve ever played this N64 classic, then you’re very familiar with the amazing opening level. After zooming into the back of the legendary James Bond’s head, you’re free to shoot your way through the military facility, then bungee jump off of a dam. This might not seem like much by today’s game standards, but back in the N64 days, this just about blew a player's mind. It wouldn’t be a complete list of the 10 best video game beginnings without Goldeneye.
9. Uncharted 3
The Uncharted series has always had strong opening sequences and the third outing in the series is no different. You’re treated to a fantastically acted cut-scene of a deal gone wrong and flung into the action without a gun. After fighting through a couple quick-time events, you’re treated to an all out bar brawl. It’s a perfect way to throw you into the action and story all at once. Plus you get to knock out a big brute with a toilet seat.
8. Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X was one of the finest entries to the Final Fantasy series. It looked incredible and the story was fun and engaging, if a bit weird. After a bit of a tease of things to come, you’re thrown into the game as a famous Blitzball player in the fantastically futuristic city of Zanarkand. After signing a few autographs and making your way to the stadium, you’re treated to an incredible cinematic of a Blitzball game and the destruction of the whole city. For pure mesmerism and epic scale, Final Fantasy X makes it onto our list of the 10 best video game beginnings.
One of the most memorable beginnings in video game history, we will always have a soft spot in our hearts for this game's opening. We know that it was just a train ride, but it set up just how deep into Black Mesa players were descending. Never before had a game done so little, but was still able to bring you into its world so effectively.
6. Fallout 3
Every RPG starts out with your standard character building and tutorial. Fallout 3 shuns all of the out of context menus and instead starts your character off at birth. You select your physical attributes as a baby and throughout your childhood learn, through the events in the game, how to survive. You learn to take your first steps and play target practice with a rat. Also, Liam Neeson is your dad. How cool is that?
Like most of the Elder Scrolls games, you start off under arrest. You go through the standard character building after a nice cart ride to the nearest authorities. There you choose who you will be just before you’re execute. Seems like a waste of time and game over? Wrong. A huge dragon swoops in and wreaks havoc on your captors and anyone else within fire-breathing distance. You barely escape with your life and are given the whole land of Skyrim for you to wander. A dragon attack was sure to get your game on our list of the10 best video game beginnings.
A game that doesn’t want you to think it’s a game, Journey shuns the clear delineation between menus and gameplay. The sunset at the menu bleeds right into you waking up in a vast desert with a huge mountain in the distance. So you set off through the desert, climbing the sand dune ahead of you. On reaching the top you’re treated to a fantastic vista and the title card for the game. Thus begins your Journey.
3. Ocarina of Time
After being treated to one of the best theme songs in video game history, you are given visions of the near future. But even more memorable was the fly-by ride-along with the fairy Navi. There is no better way to show off the world in which you’re immersed. Of course, that annoying little fairy has to wake you up from your sleep, but if she hadn’t you’d miss all the adventuring.
2. Uncharted 2
A couple of the games on our list of the 10 best video game beginnings start in medias res, but none do it better than the Uncharted 2. It starts off with Nathan Drake dangling and bleeding inside a train car hanging from a mountain cliff. If that doesn’t get you into the story straight off, then nothing will. After scrambling up the shuddering car, Drake passes out in the snow and you’re travel back in time to find out how he made it there. It’s time to sit back and shoot your way through to find out what’s going on in Nathan Drake’s world.
Nothing comes close to the incredible beginning to Bioshock. After surviving a plane crash, and swimming your way to a strange spire in the middle of the Atlantic, you are first shown the looming face of Andrew Ryan over a banner that says “No Gods or Kings. Only Man." La Mer by Django Reinhardt is playing over a tinny speaker as you enter the bathysphere and descend into the sea. As you listen to the propaganda filled film, the screen lifts to give your your first glimpse of Rapture. It is truly awe inspiring and unforgettable. That’s why we’ve stuck it at the top of our list of the 10 best video game beginnings.
And that brings us to the end of the beginnings. Now is around the time where you should be picking up your controller to check out some of the games mentioned above. Go ahead, we’ll wait. Then you can drop us a line down in the comments and let us know how you liked it.