When it comes to video games, the age old debate of whether gameplay or story is king has only grown more prominent over the years as voice acting and motion capture technology has become more and more sophisticated. But whichever side of the fence you fall on, there's no denying that the medium is in the unique position to tell some of the most interesting interactive narratives in all of fiction.
Sure, although the industry is still populated by your Duke Nukems and your Marcus Fenixes, for every knuckle-head space marine trying to save the world there's a well-written character embarking on a narrative never before seen on console or PC (and even then, the latter looks to be getting the depth and complexity he always needed in the upcoming Gears 4).
But as the most popular games have proved, well-told stories are not necessarily required to be successful - yet top-tier developers keep striving for more sophisticated and accomplished storytelling without ever receiving the fanfare they deserve.
And now that we're over halfway through the 2010s, it's about time we sat down and appreciated the very best gaming plots that have stuck with us the most over the past six years.
**And naturally, spoilers abound!**
20. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Perhaps a controversial way to start this list, considering that Metal Gear Solid V was almost certainly rushed out in an unfinished state in order to get it on shelves last year. But even factoring in all those problems, the final (probably) game in the MGS series also boasts the best story.
Going down a slightly darker and more surreal route than other games in the franchise, MGSV perfectly blended heavy themes with the campy MGS humour. Skipping in a heartbeat from contemplations about the importance of language as a political tool to 20 foot tall mechs with guns for penises sounds ridiculous on paper, but it worked so well in practice.
But it's the final twist that really cemented MGSV as a modern classic. Although everyone assumed they were playing as the series' protagonist (and sometimes antagonist) Big Boss, the final mission reveals that you've been nothing but a body double the whole time; a brainwashed pawn sold out to be a proxy while the real Big Boss worked from the shadows.
Sure, people guessed a twist like this would be coming at some point, but the problems that come with that predictability and the fact that this final mission comes out of nowhere don't matter once that final twist is revealed and the opening bars of "The Man Who Sold The World" kick in.