Many of the games on this list borrow elements from the cinema that, in turn, make them cinematic, but Until Dawn is on this list because it basically is a movie.
Heavily (and we mean heavily) inspired by 80s tropes of your favorite thriller-horror movies, Until Dawn is a game about a group of teenagers staying in a cabin where just a year prior, they said goodbye to friends they loved after a gruesome death.
Wanting to return to face their fears and learn more about what happened, literal movie stars Rami Malek, Hayden Panettiere and others lead the cast in this choice-based adventure game that really feels like a movie from the 20th Century.
On top of the great albeit cheesy story contained within, you, the player, will get to dictate exactly what happens from character to character.
Because of Until Dawn’s choice-based butterfly effect style of gameplay, finally, you’ll get to tell the teenager on-screen to not open the door and definitely run away, something movies that this game is based on have never allowed you to do.
Call of Duty: WW2
When Saving Private Ryan was released to movie theaters years and years ago, it was praised for its guttural depictions of war, specifically its D-Day beginning.
D-Day has been faithfully recreated in video games time and time again, but its latest depiction also happens to be its best, thanks to star-studded action (looking at you Josh Duhamel), realistically cinematic visuals and Call of Duty: WW2’s perfect gunplay.
Released in 2017, Call of Duty: WW2 might be the most cinematic video game about World War 2.
Making you feel like you’re really there, or perhaps like you’re watching footage from those who were; if you’re looking for an engaging romp through 1944, Call of Duty: WW2 is it.
Taking place exclusively in the western theater of World War 2, you’ll storm the beaches of Normandy, infiltrate Nazi headquarters, take Berlin and live out the war scenes you’ve seen in movies for as long as you can remember.
Detroit: Become Human
Detroit: Become Human is Quantic Dream’s latest choice-based video game and like those from this developer that came before it, it’s less like playing a game and more like watching a movie where you decide what happens on screen.
By utilizing celebrities like Jesse Williams and Minka Kelly, as well as other top-notch actors, each choice you, the player, makes on-screen, is all the more cinematic when these stars do exactly what you tell them to do on-screen.
It doesn’t hurt that the game is a familiar sci-fi android revolution romp we’ve seen on the silver screen many times before.
Familiarity aside, the game’s on-screen direction or whatever the video game equivalent of cinematography is great. Regardless of how you feel after rolling credits, you’ll never forget some of the visuals this game presents.
Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriot
Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriot might be the most literally cinematic video game on this list and that’s because it features over nine hours of cutscenes.
While the game is quite long, a lot of your time with this title will feel like watching a movie because, in many instances, that’s basically what you’ll be doing.
In fact, the epilogue for this game is a cutscene that clocks in at over an hour in length. It’s this cutscene that landed it a Guinness World Record when it was released back in 2008.
Cutscenes aren’t the only thing cinematic about this game, though. Like every Hideo Kojima game before it, Metal Gear Solid IV features some iconic shots and stealth-action that in some instances puts even the best of the best, like Sam Fisher, to shame.
It’s a bit tough to get your hands on these days without pulling out an old console from your closet, but if you can, this isn’t a game to leave unplayed in your backlog.
The Last of Us
Naughty Dog is known for a lot of things — excellent games, incredible visuals and more — but chief among those things is their quality of storytelling.
With third-person shooter gameplay they’ve perfected after multiple releases using this type of gunplay, and top-notch visuals paired with excellent voice acting work, there aren’t many video games that pull of storytelling better than The Last of Us.
A story so good that it’s coming to the actual silver screen one day, The Last of Us might still the peak of video game storytelling. It’s this story of Joel and Ellie’s relationship with each other and the harsh world surrounding them that make this game feel like 2017’s Logan.
With its PS4 remaster, the game has grown to be even more cinematic than it was when it originally released thanks to some excellent 4K and HDR implementation.
You also now have the option to play it in 60 frames per second and while that’s gorgeous in and of itself, it removes the more cinematic feel from the game as most movies are shot at 24 frames per second, which is much closer to the game’s standard 30 frames per second.
In what could be considered The Godfather of first-person shooters, the first Halo is an achievement in gaming impossible to forget.
Perhaps the game that brought video games into the conversation of cinematic storytelling, Halo introduced the world to, at the time, the best first-person shooting mechanics ever made.
It didn’t stop there, though. These mechanics were paired with a story that left millions begging for more.
Since its original release in 2001, the series has received numerous sequels, animated tv shows and is soon to receive its first big-time tv show (that is, if they can find a director).
With over-the-top action moments, a fantastic story and one of the best sci-fi worlds in the medium, Halo will always deserve a spot on a list of the most cinematic video games.
The Order 1886
Perhaps to its detriment, The Order 1886 is a Victorian game about werewolves err lycans, vampires and more that is extremely cinematic.
The cutscenes are gorgeous and life-like. The visuals are breathtaking and the characters are great. Hell, the game is even viewed in a letterboxed format, which tells you exactly what the developers were inspired by –the silver screen.
Unfortunately, where the game excelled cinematically, it failed to capture much interest due to its boring gunplay and rushed story. That’s okay, though, because the game is a short eight hours so even if you don’t find yourself enjoying the actual gameplay, you’re never too far away from the end credits.
Easy to pick up these days for less than $10, this game is worth it alone just to view its cutscenes and presentation.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Released in October of last year, Red Dead Redemption 2 captured the video game industry at large and delivered one of the most cinematic, expansive and life-like journeys through the Wild West yet. It remains tied with Ocarina of Time as the most critically acclaimed game of all time on Metacritic and for good reason.
Featuring beautiful cinematics, jaw-dropping scenery, some of the best characters ever written and a heart-wrenching story to (cowboy) boot, Red Dead Redemption 2 is like watching your favorite Western in all the right ways.
Because its story missions are never in-your-face or forced, save for one small section, you can live out the cowboy slice-of-life you’ve watched John Wayne or Clint Eastwood do dozens and dozens of times.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is everything you’d ever want in an Indiana Jones-like action adventure game and it rests on the foundation of the Uncharted games that came before it to give fans not only one of the greatest franchise send-offs of all-time but one of the best experiences available on PS4.
Uncharted 4 has it all: pirates, action, adventure, suspense, twists, turns, drama, romance and more. Like watching an 18-hour Indiana Jones movie, we’ll miss this franchise dearly.
We’re not sure how this movie will turn out, but thanks to an excellent remaster of the original trilogy and an always-cheap price for Uncharted 4, playing through this franchise is easier than ever before.
God of War (2018)
Do you remember the infamous hallway scene from Netflix’s Daredevil Season 1? How about the one from Old Boy? Surely you remember Birdman?
If you said yes to any of those questions, it’s likely that you remember them because of the way they were shot, which was in one single continuous shot (or at least made to look that way in Birdman’s case).
It’s this feature that has ingrained these famous shows and movies into our brains and it’s one of the many reasons why 2018’s God of War did the same.
Developed to look and feel like the entire game is one continuous shot, no game has ever put you, the player, into the scene like God of War or done so for so long.
This continuous shot paired with the game’s beautiful scenery and incredibly impactful storytelling cement God of War as perhaps the most cinematic video game of all-time.
That’s it for our 10 most cinematic video games. Which video game do you believe is the most cinematic? Let us know in the comments below!
For more information about any of these games, like God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2 or Halo, be sure to search for them on Twinfinite. There, we cover news, previews, reviews, quizzes, features, guides and more about all of your other favorite games too.