The 15 Twists in Video Games That Amazed Us

The 15 Twists in Video Games That Amazed Us

Who doesn’t enjoy a good plot twist? This literary device goes back to a medieval Arabian Nights tale and still captures people’s hearts and attention in modern times. When discussing the best narratives in games you can’t discount the impact of a great twist. A great twist can take a good story and make it a masterpiece, or even take a mediocre story and make it great. So what makes a great plot twist? It depends on who you ask. Some people prefer a more predictable plot twist as it means the writing is tight and consistent. Others prefer a plot twist to be completely out of left field. No matter what side you fall on, we have you covered with some of the best twists video games have to offer.

Spoilers Ahead For The Following Titles

  • Disco Elysium
  • Doki Doki Literature Club
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
  • Metroid
  • Prey (2017)
  • Assassin’s Creed 2
  • Bioshock
  • Spec Ops: The Line
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Braid
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Silent Hill 2
  • Resident Evil Village

Disco Elysium: The Cryptid Is Real

Disco Elysium is a modern masterpiece and plays with player expectations pretty much the whole game. So imagine the shock on our faces when the game continually gas-lit us about a cryptid before revealing that the cryptid was real. The surprise doesn’t end there either, it talks and offers words of support for our pathetic protagonist Harry Dubois. A truly powerful moment in gaming that will be remembered for generations.

Doki Doki Literature Club: You Have To Delete Monika

Visual novels are a dying genre. Every time one comes out and becomes a smash hit it’s usually because it finds a way to flip the genre on its head. Doki Doki Literature Club is a fresh take on horror and dating simulators. The awareness of its main antagonist is fascinating and the fact that you have to alter the game’s code to defeat her is the perfect bow on top.

Final Fantasy VII: Cloud Is A Pathological Liar

Final Fantasy VII gameplay

I might be suffering from recency bias, even thoughFinal Fantasy VII is a game that’s older than I am, I just recently played it for the first time last year. The reveal that Cloud has been lying about his past for most of the game shook me to my core. I can’t remember a time that a game has just straight-up lied to me about something and I believed it. I can only imagine those who played this game when it was originally released. This is hands-down one of the best twists ever.

Metroid: Samus Is A Woman

Samus with no helmet

The reveal that Samus is a woman at the end of the original Metroid shocked many gamers in the late 80s. Across forums, you can find threads of gamers reminiscing and talking about it at school with friends. At the time, action protagonists were always men and many gamers loved how against the grain this reveal was. Wish this era of gamers came back instead of people being angry about women in leading roles of modern titles.

Prey (2017): The Opening

Prey (2017) is filled to the brim with shocking moments but the moment in the game’s introduction was portrayed so well. Realizing that Alex’s apartment was just a part of a simulation is the first of many twists that lead to the game’s final reveal but it’s the one I think of first when thinking of the release.

Assassin’s Creed 2: Minerva’s Fourth Wall Break

When it comes down to the best Assassin’s Creed title personally, I have to give it to Assassin’s Creed 2. The reason is that I believe it has some of the best writing in the series. Minerva talking to Desmond directly through Ezio blew my mind when I first played this in high school. Even how Minerva talked directly to the camera was brilliant. This cutscene is a master class in plot twists.

Bioshock: Would you Kindly?

Bioshock The Collection promo

It has been over 15 years since this plot twist and it still has the same punch as it did back then. Discovering that the player character, Jack, is not only the illegitimate son of Andrew Ryan but was mind controlled with the simple phrase, “Would you kindly…?” Throughout the play-through, you thought that your navigator through it was just very polite. If only we knew we were being controlled the whole time.

Spec Ops The Line: Conrad Was Dead All Along

Spec Ops: The Line is an underrated shooter masterpiece. How it approached PTSD in veterans through this twist was groundbreaking. Fans currently debate whether this twist was a good one but one thing that can’t be debated is that no one saw it coming. I would argue that a great plot twist provides a new lens to view the story and Spec Ops: The Line does just that.

Call of Duty Black Ops: Viktor Reznov Was Dead All Along

Oh, Call of Duty. What happened to you? If I told my younger brothers that Call of Duty used to have some top-tier level writing in their campaigns they would laugh me out of the room. The reveal with Viktor Reznov and Mason in Call of Duty Black Ops altered my brain chemistry forever. It was a “you had to be there” moment and defined my gaming experiences as a teenager.

Bioshock Infinite: Booker And Comstock Were The Same Person

BioShock: Infinite gameplay

When you play a Bioshock game, you can expect a grand reveal in the game’s final moments. It seems public opinion on this one has flipped quite a bit in the coming years but on release, many saw it as perfect. Me included. You can see this twist coming a mile away if you’re paying attention but that’s what makes it good. It’s consistent and neatly ties up the narrative.

Braid: Tim Is The Villain

Braid gameplay

In retrospect, we all can agree that Tim is the bad guy in Braid but where we disagree is exactly what that means. The twist of Braid is a strange one because instead of providing a new lens to view the game, it provides many new lenses. The colorful puzzle platformer can be about many things now, the horror of time, stalkers, the Manhattan Project, or a bad boyfriend trying to win back the girl. No one knows what this game is about but that all spiraled from one brilliant twist.

James is a Murderer (Silent Hill 2)

Silent Hill 2 gameplay

As we prepare for the release of the Silent Hill 2 remake, it’s fun to look back on why we love the original so much. One of those reasons is how its twist perfectly encapsulates the theme of the franchise. James killing his wife is a perfect example of a morally gray ending. Yes, it was a mercy killing but you cannot deny that James wanted her gone as well. James is guilty, and Silent Hill 2 was a nightmare of his design.

Ethan Died In Resident Evil 7 (Resident Evil Village)

There were a lot of weird things that happened in Resident Evil 7 and Village. At the time I thought it was just Resident Evil being weird, and pretty on-brand for the campy survival horror franchise. However, when everything comes full circle with the reveal that Ethan is being kept alive by the same mold he is fighting against, it elevates the game to greatness. Ethan’s arc was unique compared to the rest of the cast and love him or hate him, he earned his spot amongst the franchises’ giants.

The City of the Ancients (Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth)

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth gameplay

Is it too early to talk about this one? There has to be a new name for a twist like this. Maybe a super twist? Final Fantasy 7 has one of the most talked about twists in all of gaming, Aerith’s demise. The fact that Aerith dies in the remake shouldn’t be a big twist but it really is. Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Rebirth both play with the original game’s canon. It toys with the player’s hearts and gives just enough hope that we could save her. During that encounter, we deflect the killing blow and yet she dies anyway. Leave it to Square Enix to re-contextualize a 27-year-old spoiler so that it hits just as hard the second time. Truly masterful.

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