10 Best Video Game Openings NO ONE Talks About

9. Final Fantasy 9

Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic 2
Square Enix

Final Fantasy 9's first disc is all about lulling the player into a false sense of security as to the game's tone and story, setting up this cutesy, Saturday morning cartoon aesthetic, only to pull the rug out from under you right when you're most comfortable with it. And the first hour of this game is the perfect encapsulation of this illusion.

It's notable that the game starts you off playing as Vivi, the wide-eyed innocent little black mage who just wants a ticket to see a play, switching back and forth between him and the real protagonist, Zidane, whose story isn't much darker.

In fact, his story is downright, well, storybook, wanting to kidnap the princess for unknown reasons.

The first hour of this game is so lighthearted, that when you look back on it at the end, after all its twists, turns, existential dread and political scheming, you will likely wonder if you were playing the same game you started with.


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?