Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Metal Gear Solid has always been a series known for long cutscenes and elongated storytelling, but Metal Gear Solid 4 seriously took it to another level. The game constantly brings the action to a halt with long exposition scenes, introducing new characters, and paying homage to the series.
At one point, Metal Gear Solid 4 also held two different Guinness World Records for the length of its cutscenes; the longest cutscene at 27 minutes and the longest sequence of cutscenes at 71 minutes.
That’s right, MGS 4 basically has a whole damn movie at the end of the game that you’ll need to sit through. Now don’t get us wrong, MGS 4 is great and the story is a fantastic end to the saga of Solid Snake, with many of the gorgeous cutscenes supporting this.
However, anyone and everyone that beat MGS 4 can think back to sitting through that ending movie and wondering when it’ll end, so you can get on with the rest of your day.
Star Ocean: The Last Hope
Star Ocean has always been a story-heavy JRPG series, but The Last Hope really took a shine to having long cutscenes, really long. The game is a space opera story that chronicles humanity’s first expedition into deep space, following Edge Maverick and Reimi Saionji, inaugural members of the Space Reconnaissance Force.
Originally releasing on the Xbox 360 in America, The Last Hope had three different discs it was so long, and some of the cutscenes could literally last 20-30 minutes. Because the game was on the Xbox 360, this would mean that the controller would automatically turn itself off before the cutscene was over.
If you add up all the cutscenes, like in this YouTube playlist, it’s almost 10-hours worth of footage. That’s basically an entire season of Game of Thrones.
You might notice a trend of JRPGs and long cutscenes, and the Xeno games (i.e. Xenogears, Xenosaga, Xenoblade) always have incredibly long and dense stories. Xenosaga is the most extreme of them all, though, looping in tons of religious and philosophical themes to make for one convoluted, but absolutely fascinating story.
Each of the Xenosaga games are incredibly heavy on cutscenes, with the story really taking center stage over the gameplay, at least in the first two games. All in all, the cutscenes in the first Xenosaga come out at just over 7 hours.
What’s even more fun, however, is that the first game has a cutscene that’s so long the game actually asks you to save halfway through it, before jumping right back in. At least the game had the sense to let you take a break.
Max Payne 3
It’s not just JRPGs and Japanese games that sport lengthy cutscenes, as plenty of Western games have the same fascination. Max Payne 3 takes roughly 10-11 hours to beat, and three and a half of those hours are just cutscenes.
The game pretty much plays a cutscene after every single firefight, throwing story and context at you at every opportunity. Max Payne 3 is a great sendoff to the iconic character, but it’s clear Rockstar really wanted to show off their tech and try their hand at some linear storytelling.
In a way, you could almost view this as the precursor to Red Dead Redemption 2, another game filled with huge cutscenes and story exposition.
Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy XIII is probably the game in the series with the longest cutscenes, unless of course, you count the MMOs like Final Fantasy XI and XIV. Like many of the massive JRPGs on Xbox 360, Final Fantasy XIII came on two separate discs, and if you’ve played the game you know how dense its story can be.
Early on the game is littered with cutscene after cutscene, explaining what L’cie, Falcie, Focus, and everything else is. The number of cutscenes definitely gets toned down a little later on, but it’s still a very story-heavy game.
In total, Final Fantasy XIII’s cutscenes total just over eight hours; the equivalent of watching four Marvel movies.
Yakuza games are extremely long, not just because of the dramatic main stories but the wealth of side content and activities as well. Still, when talking about that main story you’re getting into some pretty lengthy cutscene territory, especially in Yakuza 0, the prequel to the series.
This prequel takes place in the 80s, giving players a look at the early lives of Kazuma Kiryu and Goro Majima, and boy there’s a lot of story to tell. The first couple chapters of Yakuza 0 are extremely cutscene heavy, with scenes that can sometimes last 10-15 minutes.
Thing do open up later on, but if you’re looking to follow the main story you’ll be watching a lot of crazy and hilariously dramatic scenes. But that’s all part of the charm of Yakuza, right? In total, the game’s cutscenes come to just under 5 hours, which is basically like watching Avengers Endgame one and a half times.