I Can Play This Game With One Hand!
Telltale’s modernized choose your own adventure games were my salvation after my first kid was born. I could rock him in one arm while making dialogue/story decisions with my other hand. The stories are so engaging that I found it almost impossible to put down unless motivated by a suddenly and violently soiled diaper (my son, not me, I wasn’t quite that hooked). One of the best parts of these games is getting to explore familiar fictional worlds through different characters. Before kids I was somewhere between a casual and an avid gamer (based solely on play time, from a skill stand point I peaked at aggressively novice). The Telltale games actually drew me back into my hobby, so, careful, I guess. Gateway games.
5. Game of Thrones
Before the failures of the final season wiped this series from the collective consciousness, Game of Thrones was a serious favourite of mine. I’d read all of the books, seen every episode and I, like so many, held a burning grudge against George R. R. Martin for his laissez-faire approach to releasing new material.
Finding out that Telltale was launching a game based in the GoT universe was just the fix I needed.
You control the destiny of House Forrester as they brush elbows with familiar characters and experience the cataclysmic events of A Song of Ice & Fire. A fresh perspective on big moments makes this game a must for fans and the great character development will satisfy non-fans alike.
4. Wolf Among Us
If you’ve never read Bill Wittingham’s Fables series do yourself a massive favour and pick it up. This comic series reimagines the lives of storybook favourites and juxtaposes their whimsical lives against a gritty, urban backdrop.
The Telltale game plays like a murder mystery with plenty of hilarious dialogue and wayyyy more blood than you’d expect fairy tale characters to spill.
You play as Bigby, the Big Bad Wolf turned detective, as you interrogate familiar faces to find the killer stalking the residents of Fabletown. Twists abound and there’s never a dull moment as you shape the narrative and hunt a killer. The cell-shading animation works perfectly to intertwine the surreal and the all-too-real throughout the game. This was the first Telltale game I played and I still run through it once in awhile!
Borderlands is famous for 2 things: loot and laughs. This game doesn’t rely on the loot aspect so it doubles the laughs. From start to finish this game had me cracking up. Quickfire jokes and amazing dialogue options keep things fresh for multiple playthroughs. Borderlands has rich lore and fascinating characters, most of which I fully ignored while playing the shoot and loot games. However, I really came to appreciate the story after playing this narrative game set in the universe. Also, Claptrap. So much Claptrap. This robot will keep you in stitches as the game progresses.
Another cool thing about this game is that a few of the characters actually carry over into Borderlands 3! (Which is also awesome, by the way.)
Who would have thought it would be just as fun to play as Bruce Wayne as it would to play as Batman. Not me. Definitely not me. But, the Batman Telltale games changed my mind. With two seasons of reimagined characters, tense showdowns and one of the best Jokers I’ve ever seen, these gems keep on giving.
Delving deep into Bruce Wayne’s past we get a glimpse into not only of what shaped Batman, but the ties that bind him to the evils of Gotham. Family loyalty, childhood friendships and new loves all wrestle for control of the story’s outcome with the player making snap decisions that promise to alter the entire story arc. Plenty of action and nonstop suspense kept me glued to this game through 2 full seasons and upset that there won’t be a third.
1. The Walking Dead
Only rarely in gaming will you encounter characters that stay with you after you finish playing. The impact of The Walking Dead Telltale game has been lasting and well-earned. A lovingly crafted story full of believable people, unbelievable moments and gut-wrenching decisions have made this game the absolute standout of the bunch. The first 2 seasons in particular are truly incredible. I’ve read The Walking Dead comics and next to them this game is the best incarnation, maybe even better in some instances. While the quality dips in the third season, the first two are nearly flawless in my opinion. Atmospheric, perfectly paced and just outlandish enough to keep things immensely interesting, these games ought to top any Telltale list as must-plays. Clementine, one of the main characters of the series, ranks up there with Negan and Rick as the most memorable Walking Dead characters. Come for the zombies, stay for the unexpectedly profound player experience.
Juggle a kid in one hand and a controller in the other and slam through these exceptional stories. Sadly, with Telltale now defunct we can’t expect any new titles, but luckily for us there are at least 5 that are well worth playing already.