20 Best Gaming Cutscenes Ever

Incredible cutscenes that blew gamers of every generation away.

Tom Butler

Contributor

Square Enix
Square Enix

Video game cutscenes can exist to serve a number of purposes. Beyond just being a convenient way of progressing the story, particularly impressive cutscenes can serve as a reward for player progress or even just to immerse them further into the atmosphere of the game.

While cutscenes have traditionally been pre-rendered, animated or live action, advances in graphics technology means that many modern video game cutscenes are rendered entirely in-game. Typically, a cutscene completely removes control from the player, although a select few grant a certain amount of interactivity. In particular, the God of War series became known for its use of cinematic cutscenes.

Pac-Man is the game most commonly cited as containing the first ever cutscene, in the form of its intermissions featuring the ghosts chasing Pac-Man and vice-versa. The term itself was originally coined by Ron Gilbert in reference to the cutscenes in his adventure game Maniac Mansion.

While some gamers, including director Steven Spielberg, have criticised cutscenes for taking players out of the game, many of these sequences have become legendary through gaming history. From incredible technical achievements to heartbreakingly emotional sequences, this list takes a look at 20 of some of the best ever video game cutscenes.

 

20. Super Smash Bros. Brawl – Character Introductions

It might be a silly, cartoony game, but the mechanics behind Nintendo’s classic brawler have never been anything less than solid. The awesome opening cutscene does a perfect job of introducing the roster of Nintendo favourites, while getting players pumped up for battle.

 

19. Diablo III – Act II

Blizzard are known for their talents in creating incredible cutscenes and, despite disappointing many gamers in other departments, Diablo III was no exception. This introduction to Act II of the action RPG features an amazing encounter between the angels Tyrael and Imperius.