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All games offer you agency. You can win or lose. You can complete them or stop at any time. But there are some games that offer a story that genuinely branches. Where you end up will be different from other players. This not only makes your actions really matter but also gives you a reason to play them again.Setting aside games that evolve through simulation, or games where once you die it's game over, these branching narrative games tell a story that ends in a certain way because of the choices you made. This list includes 212 games from the last 34 years, with 3,253 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to control how the story ends.
Release Date: 01/09/2021, updated in 2024
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Lake is a narrative adventure where you play Meredith Weiss on a career break in 1986 while she returns to her hometown and ends up delivering the mail. As you talk to locals, meet up with old school friends and even fan a few romantic flames from your...
Release Date: 14/09/2004
Out Now: Mac, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World
Fable is an adventure role-playing game set in a fantasy world where your interactions with the world and villagers, and decisions about your use of magical power, substantially alter the story and the environment.
Release Date: 23/03/2023
Out Now: Mac, PC and Switch
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made
Storyteller is a puzzle game about building stories. You use a set of icons to match what is happening in each frame of the story. It's a simple challenge that gets the mind-stretching as you construct some of history’s greatest stories using building...
Release Date: 16/08/2021
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Road 96 is a narrative adventure where you play a teenager trying to escape an oppressive, authoritarian country by reaching the border. Through a series of vignettes, you experience the most important and poignant parts on an epic road trip through a...
Release Date: 11/12/2018, updated in 2023
Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World
Outer Wilds is an exploration space mystery about a solar system trapped in an endless time loop. After twenty minutes of game time, you must start again – but each time brings a new opportunity to learn how you ended up on the planet and solve the...
Release Date: 31/01/2023
Out Now: PC, PS4 and PS5
Season: A Letter to the Future is a narrative adventure about a young woman sent out from her secluded community to explore the world for the first time. She is tasked with documenting life in a local valley before a mysterious cataclysm washes...
Release Date: 02/06/2021
Out Now: Android, PC, Switch and iOS
Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On, Hand-Made and Text
Overboard is a murder mystery narrative game played in reverse. You murder your husband at the start of the game and then try and get away with it. It's played on a ship where the characters are affected by your choices and changes their actions...
Release Date: 26/10/2017, updated in 2020
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Text
Bury Me My Love is a narrative adventure game where you play the husband of a Syrian woman, Nour, travelling to Europe. Play involves receiving and sending simple messages where Nout tells you how she is getting on and you influence her choices. It...
Release Date: 23/09/2021
Out Now: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Open World and Weather
Sable is an adventure game where you play a young girl, Sable, alone in the world, but bravely exploring ancient monuments, ruined architecture, and fallen ships to uncover her place in it. It's an adventure without combat that calls you to find your...
Release Date: 14/06/2020, updated in 2021
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 2D Side-On, Cards and Hand-Made
Griftlands is an adventure game where you use cards to fight and negotiate your way through a broken-down sci-fi world. You will die or fail often, but then use your knowledge and growing deck of cards to have a better chance of survival on your next...
Release Date: 31/07/2014, updated in 2019
Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS
Components: 2D Overhead and Day and Night
80 Days is a travel and culture discovery game set in 1872, where decisions about your journey around the world impact the course of the story and characters. You play be deciding where to go next and talking to the people you meet to find the right...
Release Date: 29/08/2023
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On and Cartoon
Goodbye Volcano High is a high school coming-of-age adventure set in a world of anthropomorphic dinosaur characters. You play as band members, non-binary Fang and best friend Trish as they navigate the last days of high school. It's a mix of making...
Release Date: 15/06/2021
Out Now: PC
Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Hand-Made
Wildermyth is a medieval role-playing game about diverse heroes and themes. You take on evil in a number of stories, each with different heroes and settings. The focus is on the characters as much as their adventures, who are believable, diverse and...
Release Date: 07/10/2019, updated in 2022
Out Now: Apple TV, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On, Cards, Cartoon and Hand-Made
Pilgrims is an adventure game where you collect cards to help the characters you meet. As you progress you assist them to complete their little stories by offering the right cards to the right people. It's a little like Scribblenauts but with less focus...
Release Date: 15/09/2022
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Hand-Made
Wayward Strand is a narrative game about Casey Beaumaris, an intrepid teenage journalist. You visit an airborne hospital, uncover the airship's mysteries, and explore the lives of its inhabitants. It's a Tintin-style point-and-click adventure with a...
Release Date: 20/07/2021
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One
Cris Tales is a role-playing game where you see how your actions in the present affect the past and future. You play as Crisbell in a cartoon-looking adventure through four Kingdoms in a bid to stop the powerful Time Empress and rewrite the future of...
Release Date: 05/05/2022
Out Now: PC, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon, Dice, Grid and Text
Citizen Sleeper is a role-play game set in the ruins of interplanetary capitalism. You are an escaped worker exploring a lawless space station, making friends, and (ultimately) trying to escape your past. Each cycle you roll dice and decide how to spend...
Release Date: 21/12/1998, updated in 2023
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS5 and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D Third-Person, Dice and Open World
Baldur's Gate 3 is a role-playing game that recreates the Dungeons & Dragons experience in a digital world. You explore the world and fight enemies by rolling dice and weighing up your stats to see what happens. But...
Release Date: 12/10/2023
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS5 and Switch
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Day and Night
Saltsea Chronicles is a point-and-click adventure where you sail the sea to rescue your ship's captain. You explore the flooded world discovering islands, meeting characters, and managing the relationships between your crew. Unlike other sailing games,...
Release Date: 05/12/2023
Out Now: PC and Switch
A Highland Song is a narrative adventure where you explore a maze of crisscrossing routes through the hills of the Highlands. You are 15-year-old Moira who lives with her mum on the edge of the hills and receives a letter inviting her to come to the...
Release Date: 24/02/2023
Components: 2D Overhead, 2D Side-On and Day and Night
The Pale Beyond is a narrative simulation game where you captain an exploration ship stranded in the frozen Antarctic waters. You carefully manage and gather resources and keep your crew in good health to hopefully survive until the summer. It stands...
Release Date: 02/03/2023
King Of The Castle is a narrative strategy game where you play a monarch battling nobles for power in a kingdom. The twist is that the nobles are controlled by other players who also have their own factions and objectives. You play by making decisions...
Release Date: 12/08/2020, updated in 2020
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D Third-Person
Call of the Sea is a narrative adventure set in the 1930s. As Nora, you explore an island in the Southern Pacific to find your missing husband. As you do you discover that he went hunting for a cure for your mystery illness, but what happened after that...
Release Date: 21/01/2021, updated in 2024
Out Now: Android, PC and iOS
Strange Horticulture is an occult puzzle detective game where you run a plant shop. While you identify and sell new plants to your customers you discover and influence their interweaving lives. It's unusual because your power is in your knowledge of...
Release Date: 14/11/2014, updated in 2016
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On and Day and Night
This War Of Mine is a narrative strategy game inspired by the 1992–96 Siege of Sarajevo, this is a war game where you play the civilian trying to survive during the fighting. You face tough decisions on how to spend time and resources each day to...
Release Date: 05/03/2021
Out Now: Mac and PC
Components: 2D Side-On and Text
Closed Hands is a text adventure game set in the lead-up and aftermath of a terror attack in a fictional UK city. You follow five core characters brought together by the same event. It's a branching story that you discover and influence as you read and...
Release Date: 03/11/2009, updated in 2014
Out Now: Android, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Dragon Age series are narrative-driven role-playing games with an emphasis on combat and player choices. You play the hero in the medieval fantasy world of Thedas, exploring the world and using your power to stop the impending darkness spread across the...
Release Date: 15/03/2023
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
The Wreck is a narrative game where you play Junon, a mother at a crossroads. She's 36 but her career has stalled, she's emotionally numb, and her personal life is falling apart. It's not unfamiliar territory for a video game these days, but The Wreck...
Release Date: 30/01/2020
Components: 2D Side-On
Not For Broadcast is a narrative puzzle game where you control the National Nightly News just as a radical government comes to power. By deciding the angles, adverts, images and censoring in the show you control what the people see and determine...
Release Date: 05/03/2020
Components: 2D Overhead, Persistant World and Pixels
The Longing is a point-and-click adventure about waiting and loneliness. It's an intentionally slow game that takes 400 elapsed days to finish. It draws on the Idle Game genre, where you use minor interactions to incrementally advance. Here though, the...
Release Date: 25/08/2022
Components: 2D Side-On, Cards and Cartoon
I Was a Teenage Exocolonist is a narrative game about growing through teenage years on an alien planet. It's played by making choices about who to help or which skills to master over the ten years. This determines the course of your life on the colony...
Release Date: 18/08/2022
Components: 3D First-Person
We Are OFK is a narrative game about the indie band OFK. Reminiscent of Gorillaz's virtual personas, it's part video game drama and part music video. You play four friends, who are releasing their debut EP. You make choices about their relationships and...
Release Date: 22/07/2019
Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon
Elsinore is a mystery-adventure set in Shakespeare's Hamlet. You play Elsinore who repeats the same four days as she tries to find a way to avoid the tragedy that lies before her.
Release Date: 06/09/2023
Out Now: PC and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person, 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World
Starfield is a role-play adventure where you explore the galaxy and forge your own Dungeons & Dragons space story. You can travel to thousands of unique worlds, interact with characters, and fight enemies with guns and lasers. Ambition on this scale can...
Release Date: 08/11/2018
Out Now: PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Components: 3D Third-Person and Hand-Made
11-11 Memories Retold is a narrative adventure about two young men caught up in the first world war. A young photographer who joins the western front in Europe to impress a woman, and a German technician who's signs up in search of his son who is...
Release Date: 01/01/1999
King of Dragon Pass is a fantasy strategy game where you control barbarian clans settling in the dangerous frontier region of Dragon Pass.
Release Date: 30/09/2021
Components: 2D Overhead and Open World
Unsighted is an action role-play game where you race against the clock to save your robot friends. You play a robot called Alma who has lost their memory and lives in a ruined world after the human war. The inhabitant robots are low on energy and will...
Release Date: 25/05/2021, updated in 2022
Biomutant is an open-world role-play adventure about a Raccoon warrior in a large world filled with mutated animals. Exploring this living breathing ecosystem has the feel of a Zelda game, but in a broken-down steampunk aesthetic and with political...
Release Date: 16/12/2021, updated in 2023
Components: 3D First-Person and Day and Night
Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach is a survival-horror game where you explore a vast pizzeria and shopping centre while hunted by a murderer. In addition to continuing the intricate and multi-layered story of the previous games, this is the first...
Release Date: 23/07/2014, updated in 2019
Out Now: Android, PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Five Nights at Freddy's (FNaF) is a series of puzzle horror games with jump scares rather than blood and gore. You play the night-guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and have to survive the night while in your office, checking the cameras and closing the...