5 Story-Focused Games That Should Be Played with Friends

If you are looking for a story-driven experience to share with a group of friends or a significant other, you can't go wrong with these five games.

Half of the fun of enjoying a great story-focused game is discussing it with friends. Trading stories, forming theories and debating qualities about a game’s story is one of the central parts of enjoying many games in this industry. One of the best ways to do this is to play through a story with friends beside you. While most of these games are designed for one player, they all are enhanced by grabbing a few friends to crowd around the screen and share in the experience.

Story-Focused Games That Should Be Played with Friends

Until Dawn

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Everyone knows that the best way to experience a campy slasher horror film is with a group of friends, a box of pizza and an abundance of beer and/or soda. If this is true, why should a campy horror video game be any different?

Until Dawn is a horror adventure game designed to play like a B-horror film where a group of teens are trapped in a secluded house, slowly being hunted down by a mysterious menace. The player must make choices for each character, and depending on their actions, each character can live or die.

While Until Dawn is a single-player game, it’s very easily converted into a group activity by assigning characters to each of your friends and passing off the controller whenever that character appears onscreen. Playing this way instantly turns Until Dawn into the perfect party game and leads to unforgettable moments when your friend slips up and gets multiple characters killed. Until Dawn was one of the highlights of 2015, and with how often the game is on sale, this is an easy win for a fun night with friends.

Story-Focused Games That Should Be Played with Friends

A Way Out

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If you’re looking for a story-based game to play with a significant other or a friend, this year’s A Way Out is an excellent choice. In A Way Out, you play as Vincent Moretti and Leo Caruso, who were arrested for murder and theft respectively, as they break out of prison and pursue a thug named Harvey who is responsible for both of their arrests.

The game is designed for couch co-op, with many creative mini-games and activities that require two players to work together. These cooperative activities are mixed with a wild and gripping narrative that unravels slowly and features some of the most charming and lovable characters we’ve seen in a long time. A Way Out is a memorable experience. You will laugh with each other, shout at each other, high-five each other and, ultimately, have a ton of fun.

If you want advice on which character you should play as, click here.

Story-Focused Games That Should Be Played with Friends

Life Is Strange

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Few story-focused games tackle the themes and perspectives that Life Is Strange does and that’s probably why few games have a fan base as passionate and dedicated. Life Is Strange follows Max Caulfield, an 18-year old girl who returns to her hometown of Arcadia Bay, Oregon and into a world of confusion and guilt that revolves around Chloe Price, a troubled and rebellious childhood friend who she lost touch with. Things get far crazier when Max witnesses Chloe’s murder and discovers that she possesses the power to rewind time, though not without a price.

As a decision-based adventure game like Until Dawn, Life Is Strange is easy to convert into a multiplayer experience by debating decisions and experiencing the story as a pair or a group. This is a game that tackles heavy themes such as suicide, gun violence, depression, anxiety, and abusive relationships, all from a young adult perspective. With topics like these, I found comfort and enjoyment from discussing and sharing my thoughts with friends and talking about how we saw ourselves in the characters.

With Life Is Strange, Life Is Strange: Before The Storm and the upcoming Life Is Strange 2, there are plenty of hours of charm, emotion and enjoyment ahead of you.

Story-Focused Games That Should Be Played with Friends

What Remains of Edith Finch

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If you like the more emotional tone of Life Is Strange but you want a story-focused game that’s a little more artsy, or just something short enough to beat in one night, What Remains of Edith Finch is a perfect fit. What Remains of Edith Finch tells the curious story of the Finch family, a notoriously unlucky family that, for generations, has had nearly every member die a bizarre and premature death. The story of each family member’s death is told through separate vignettes, triggered once you enter that person’s room.

The storytelling in What Remains of Edith Finch is highly unique and playing with someone else can give you the opportunity to speculate and piece together the bizarre and tragic story with someone else’s input. Also, the nature of the vignettes makes the game easy to turn into a multiplayer experience as you can simply trade back and forth for each story.

Clocking in at just two hours on HowLongToBeat.com, and with numerous awards including Best Narrative at the 2017 Game Awards, What Remains of Edith Finch is a special experience, perfect for knocking out in one sitting with a friend by your side.

Story-Focused Games That Should Be Played with Friends

Doki Doki Literature Club

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Doki Doki Literature Club is a prime example of why you shouldn’t judge a game by its cover. If you missed this game last year and you don’t know anything about it, you should try to keep it that way. Just know that while it may look like the most generic dating sim ever, it’s actually something completely different. The first hour or so isn’t great, but once you get through the beginning, you’ll be glad you gave this a shot.

This game is one of those wild rides that is best experienced with a friend so that you can react together, or at the very least offer each other comfort. Also, even if you’ve played the game before, presenting it to a friend who has never seen it is a whole different experience that will surely create some memories. The game is completely free on steam and only takes 3-4 hours to beat, making it an obvious choice for a game night with a single friend or a group.

Fair warning, though: Doki Doki Literature Club is one story-focused experience that contains some disturbing imagery that might not be suitable for all audiences.

About the author

Darby Hallman

Darby is a graduate from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. Loves games and just wants to be able to talk about them every day. He has a soft spot for RPGs of every type, narrative-driven games and PS2 mascot platformers. Patiently waiting for the Final Fantasy VII remake.