Have you ever finished a good book or TV show and had the story stick with you after the climax? You sit there on your chair or sofa and just think about the story that transpired. Oddly, there is another medium that can pull of a similar feeling of making you think. That’s right folks, video games can make you think as well. It might be hard to believe, but it’s all too true.
Video games have grown in the world as unique forms of narrative experiences. However, unlike books and or even films, video games let you live the story and playthrough the tale first hand. That’s why when you complete a thought provoking story, it leaves an even longer impact on you. Here at Honey’s Anime, we have taken some of our favorite games that made us think and wish to share with all of you readers. Welcome to our Top 10 Games That Make You Think list.
- System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, OS X, Xbox One, PS4, PS Vita, iOS, Android
- Publisher: Playdead
- Developer: Playdead, Microsoft Game Studios
- Release Dates: Jul 21, 2010
Set in a monochrome world, Limbo has you take control of young boy in an odd situation. In a dark forest, the young boy must search for his sister who seems to have mysteriously disappeared. However, within these dark woods there are dangers lurking. Will the young boy escape this nightmare or die to the numerous things that lurk in the forest? Find out in developer Playdead’s work known as Limbo.
In 2010, developer Playdead released quite something interesting to the indie game world. Limbo seems like a simple game with 2D adventure and puzzle elements but behind this simplicity is a truly unique story. Many gamers have beaten Limbo and truly wondered what is the true narrative being told? Is the boy trapped in a purgatory—which would explain the title Limbo—or is this Hell? There are numerous theories online for Limbo and many still wonder which is correct. That’s why we here at Honey’s Anime love talking about Limbo, it’s a game that keeps you talking and thinking about it even after 8 years have passed since its release.
- System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Mac OS X, iOS, Xbox One, PS4
- Publisher: 2K Boston, 2K Australia
- Developer: Aug 21, 2007
- Release Dates: Aug 21, 2007
Andrew Ryan was a man with dreams and goals in life. Ryan knew that he wanted an ideal world free from the status quo set on the world above the sea. Thus, Ryan created the world of Rapture an underwater city filled with joy, prosperity and new opportunities. However, Rapture became something else once EVE and Plasmids were introduced. Now Ryan’s Rapture is anything but pleasant and a man named Jack is about to experience it first-hand…
BioShock is a very well-known title in the world of video games. Recently, a remastered version of BioShock—which includes the sequel and BioShock: Infinite as well—let players remember the classic 2007 title and the few who haven’t played it before. This, in turn, allows gamers to lose themselves in the underwater horror that BioShock world has and the themes that you unravel as you play. Then, when you reach that moment where BioShock surprises you—BioShock fans know what we’re talking about—your mind just begins to turn. The beauty of BioShock is that from the beginning of the game to the end, you’ll constantly be thinking about the story, characters and lore of BioShock and we won’t complain about that.
- System: PC, OS X, PS4, Xbox One
- Publisher: Frictional Games
- Developer: Frictional Games
- Release Dates: Sept 22, 2015
From developer Frictional Games—known for the popular Amnesia series—comes Soma. Set in a sci-fi world, players assume the role of a brain damaged man named Simon Jarrett. Told that he could be fixed by a new breakthrough experiment, Simon jumps on board to undergo the operation. However, something goes quite haywire during the experiment knocking out Simon and leaving him to later awake in a strange underwater lab. Simon soon learns that something dark has befallen those in this underwater facility and he must find a means to survive this nightmare and learn why he’s here.
Just like BioShock, Soma is set in an underwater world but these two tales are quite different. Soma aims for a more psychological experience making players wonder why they’re in this underwater facility—known as the PATHOS-II—and what’s going on in this nightmarish place. You’ll be thinking about these themes during your several hours playing Soma, but then something else happens near the end of the game. Soma shows the player the true nature of Simon and the world leading your mind to shatter in utter surprise. Trust us, folks, Soma is one of those games that for weeks you’ll be wondering what you just played making Soma perfect for our Top 10 Games That Make You Think list.
7. Red Dead Redemption
- System: PS3, Xbox 360
- Publisher: Rockstar San Diego
- Developer: Rockstar Games
- Release Dates: May 18, 2010
There’s an old saying that best describes John Marston, a family man who wants a simple life: The past will always find a means of catching up to you. Marston experiences this first hand when a bunch of agents for the Bureau of Investigation show up to meet him. They tell Marston his old gang from when he was a lawbreaker need to be taken down and they want Marston’s help. With the prize of getting his past crimes removed, Marston arms himself and heads towards his past friends as their new enemy.
Not every game on our list of the Top 10 Games That Make You Think need to be creepy or dark themed games. Red Dead Redemption takes place in the wild west allowing gamers to experience the dangerous world of cowboys first-hand. While you might believe this is what we are talking about a game that makes you think you’d be wrong. The ending of Red Dead Redemption left you speechless. After the tale of John ends, you end up playing a new character. This new character kills a cowboy and reveals himself to be John’s son leaving you in shock and awe. Be prepared to sit there contemplating the title and the true meaning of Red Dead Redemption for a few days after beating the single player.
6. Gone Home
- System: PC, OS X, Xbox One, PS4
- Publisher: The Fullbright Company, Midnight City
- Developer: The Fullbright Company, Majesco Entertainment
- Release Dates: Aug 15, 2013
Katie Greenbriar arrived home to see a note left on her door from her sister telling her to not look into the what happened with their family. Despite the warning, Katie opened the door to her home and began her mission. Within Katie’s family home, something happened and she must learn what that something is. With small clues left around the home, Katie will begin to understand this mystery. However, will Katie be okay with what she finds?
Gone Home is one of those titles that truly makes you feel like you’re a detective. The main premise of the game is to do just that. Go around Katie’s home and find clues. Each clue found in turn reveals what happened to her mother, father and sister while she was away. That’s why Gone Home is a perfect thinking game. If you want to learn the truth of the Greenbriars’ fates, then be prepared to keep your mind open and constantly thinking.
5. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
- System: PS4, PC, Xbox One
- Publisher: The Astronauts
- Developer: The Astronauts
- Release Dates: Sept 26, 2014
Paul Prospero—a paranormal investigator—received a strange letter. Written from a 12-year-old boy named Ethan Carter, Paul reads the letter and finds himself taking a trip to Red Creek Valley, Wisconsin where Ethan hails from. Immediately, Paul feels his investigator senses come forth as Red Creek Valley seems abandoned and haunted. What happened to Ethan and what secrets lie hidden in Red Creek Valley? Paul’s tale begins here in The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.
Adventure games like The Vanishing of Ethan Carter are truly one of a kind tales. Making you question what is real and what is fiction is one of the best elements to be found in The Vanishing of Ethan. Each new story found—as there are multiple stories to tell in The Vanishing of Ethan Carter—leads to new thoughts and theories about the world Paul has entered. Then once you learn of the ending and how Paul/Ethan fit into it, you’ll be truly mystified. Needless to say, we loved The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and if you want a truly mind tingling tale you’ll love it too.
4. The Last of Us Remastered
- System: PS4
- Publisher: Naughty Dog
- Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Release Dates: Jul 29, 2014
Joel and his daughter Sarah had a mostly normal life living in Austin, Texas. Then something changed during one night in September 2013. The city of Austin filled with chaos and people became infected with an odd fungus known as Cordyceps. Joel and Sarah tried to escape but in the process, Sarah was killed leaving Joel along with his brother Tommy. 20 years pass and the world has shifted leaving humans struggling to survive against the growing infection. Joel’s life has been mindless survival as well, but with a mission coming his way, Joel’s life will finally find some meaning in it once again…
The Last of US Remastered is an updated version of Naughty Dog’s PS3 version but the story and gameplay remain the same. The Last of Us Remastered truly makes players feel as they play leading them to wonder about every action they take and what a father’s struggles could be like in a post-apocalyptic world. Thinking in games doesn’t always have to be about how you’ll handle a situation or how to solve puzzles. In The Last of Us Remastered thinking is about emotional investment and that’s what will be on your mind far after the game ends.
3. Heavy Rain
- System: PS3, PS4
- Publisher: Quantic Dream
- Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Release Dates: Feb 23, 2010
Heavy Rain is a third person narrative title that throws players into the role of several characters. While none of these strangers know of each other, their fates are about to revolve one peculiar incident. The so-called Origami Killer and his reign of terror. Will the Origami Killer claim more victims or will these random souls with different missions in life end his killing streak? It’s time to enter the world of Heavy Rain and find out as you guide them to their various fates.
Coming at number 3 on our list of the Top 10 Games That Make You Think is Heavy Rain. Developer Quantic Dream aren’t strangers to making thought provoking titles. Indigo Prophecy—one of Quantic Dream’s earlier titles—left you in constant though at its complex narrative. Heavy Rain isn’t too different but adds emotional elements and more mystery based themes to its tale. Who is the Origami Killer, why are these various souls cursed to endure hardship and why are they all important to the narrative? These are questions we here at Honey’s Anime won’t spoil even if Heavy Rain is nearly 8 years old.
- System: Xbox 360, PC, OS X, PS3
- Publisher: Number None
- Developer: Number None, Microsoft Game Studios
- Release Dates: Aug 6, 2008
Heroes are one sided, aren’t they? They save the land and rescue the princess. Tim is doing this himself, too. The princess has been taken by some dastardly villain and Tim races against the clock to save her. However, is Tim really a hero or is the story here not so simple?
Braid is a very simple game to explain to most gamers. Run around, use time to manipulate puzzles and collect puzzle pieces to get to the ending of Braid. Though if that was the case then you might wonder why would Braid be so high on our Top 10 Games That Make You Think List? The answer to that question is that Braid is a tale with different meanings and interpretations. Tim’s quest isn’t very simple and behind Braid’s old-school gameplay design lies a title that will make you wonder about every relationship seen in older games. Are heroes always the one you play as or are you secretly playing as the villain in disguise?
1. The Walking Dead
- System: PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, OS X, Android, iOS
- Publisher: Telltale Games
- Developer: Telltale Games
- Release Dates: Apr 24, 2012
Lee Everett should be teaching a class, but instead, he’s is in the backseat of a police cruiser. Committing a crime, Lee is being led to a prison in his home city of Atlanta, Georgia. Though, fate has a different path for Lee to take when the police cruiser spirals off the road after the officer avoids a man walking in the middle of the highway. Lee soon realizes this man isn’t a man at all but something else nightmarish. Escaping, Lee ends up in the backyard of a little girl named Clementine and together the two try to survive in the now zombie infested Atlanta…
For many fans of The Walking Dead telltale games, they know the tremendous amount of thought it takes to play. Lee’s every decision has consequences and changes the world you play in. Will this person die because of your choice or will they survive? The Walking Dead makes you wonder what events would transpire if you did this differently or said that differently and that’s what makes it the ultimate thought provoking title. Trust us, folks, we have replayed The Walking Dead dozens of times and we always get that feeling of thinking as we wonder how our choices will change the story this time.
A good story is meant to make you think and make you feel in equal measure. The games above accomplish that so when you see the credits roll your mind is still processing what you witnessed. That’s why if you need a game that makes you truly ponder things in life, the games above are perfect for you. Have you guys played any of the games on our list of the Top 10 Games That Make You Think? Tell us in the comments down below and for more articles like this, be sure to keep returning to our hive here at Honey’s Anime.