3. You've Got It Backwards - Braid
A delicately graceful game with an equally ambiguous story, Braid’s time based puzzles twisted the minds of players up until the final stage of rescuing the classic damsel in distress. The sting in the tale was discovering that time is actually flowing backwards, and the princess is actually trying to escape from you, not be rescued.
While it’s the subject of much debate, a widely believed theory (due to the Kenneth Bainbridge quote it contains) is that the protagonist Tim is actually a scientist who worked on the atomic bomb, with his quest to “rescue the princess” being a figment he created in order to repent for the guilt he feels about his work.
While others believe that the game is more of a meta-analysis of video game design in general, whatever the actual truth may be, it was certainly a surprise to find out on the final level that Tim was in fact the “monster” that was stalking the “princess”.
More than a simple plot twist, Braid’s narrative style paired with its unique art direction made players question their actions not only in that game, but for all games.