As anyone who has written a school essay would know, an introduction needs to do two things: 1) offer a preview of the essay’s content, and 2) set the appropriate tone. Extra points for putting in a joke or two to build anticipation.
When it comes to art, such as video games, there are an infinite number of creative ways to do this, and even more ways to get it badly wrong. Too much exposition and the intro will be regarded as dull; too little and it will be confusing. Too much action and it will tire the player out; too little and you will lose them. It’s a delicate balancing act and developers need to work jolly hard to successfully walk the line.
Still, it can be done. Other lists have already provided us with some outstanding examples, from Bioshock’s iconic reveal of Rapture, to DOOM 2016’s action-packed shotgun to the face of an opening, to The Last of Us’ slow build-up of terror and emotionally crushing conclusion.
But there are other intro sequences just as good, if not better, which you’ll struggle to find on such lists. Time to put that right, and show some love to sequences that have long slipped under the radar but deserve to take their rightful place among the greatest.