10 Best Video Game Openings NO ONE Talks About

KOTOR II is criminally overlooked.

Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic 2

You never get a second chance at a good first impression, so the opening moments of your game are crucial. It's your one chance to effectively communicate to the player exactly what they're in for.

From the tutorial, to the opening cinematic, to the layout of the first level, it all plays a part. A bad opening can sour the rest of the experience, like how Xenoblade Chronicles 2 gets most of the hate it does due to how awful its tutorial is at telling you about vital game mechanics.

Conversely, when done right, it often cements itself into gaming history, like how Super Mario Bros famously teaches you how to play within the first 10 seconds.

However, there are some great opening moments that have fallen by the wayside or have been forgotten with each new generation of gamers, that belong in the hall of fame alongside greats like Super Mario Bros and Mass Effect 2.

Whether they're opening cinematics or tutorial levels, these opening moments let you know that you were in for a wild ride.

10. Megaman X

Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic 2

Classic games, particularly of the SNES era, have cemented themselves in the subconscious of an entire gaming generation, but some have since fallen by the wayside in the conversation.

While not completely unknown, it isn't said nearly enough how brilliant a first-level Megaman X has.

While later games in the X series would get caught up in their plots (which would've been fine if the plots were, ya know, good) the first X game drops you right in the middle of the action right away. And the whole first level is about subtly teaching the player how to play this very different interpretation of Megaman in as short a time as possible.

Through organic level design and enemy encounters, you're taught how to jump, shoot, wall jump, what kind of enemies await you in the game ahead, and how bosses work. It's a brilliant use of hiding tutorials within normal action, on the level of the original Super Mario Bros.


John Tibbetts is a novelist in theory, a Whatculture contributor in practice, and a nerd all around who loves talking about movies, TV, anime, and video games more than he loves breathing. Which might be a problem in the long term, but eh, who can think that far ahead?