This category sparked a heated debate amongst the RPGFan staff. How could an MMORPG have a solid story, let alone one that can compete with The Witcher 3? A Realm Reborn featured some strong story moments when the plot wasn't being dragged down by menial side quests. Heavensward has much less "filler," and avoids the common pitfall of "I know you're important and saved the world, but can you fetch some chocobo dung for me?"-style quests. In addition to smarter design, the story itself is a fascinating tale of betrayal, rife with surprising turns and even more surprising allies and enemies. It also does something that most MMOs don't: By having key characters accompany you throughout the journey, and even participating in important battles, the story-centric content feels more like a traditional Final Fantasy than MMO. It's for these reasons and more that Heavensward's story presentation is not simply "well done for an MMORPG" — a backhanded compliment of the highest order — but simply "well done."
Writeup by Mike Salbato
Read our review of Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
The beauty of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the seemingly endless scope of its world, but what makes it so special is the rich, deep, and detailed lore of that world and its inhabitants. Whether you've played the previous entries in the series or are jumping in for the first time, there are countless tales to be discovered in every nook and cranny of The Witcher 3, and almost every one of these tales helps to flesh out the circumstances and realities of the world at large. The simple task of rescuing a bystander in the marshes of Velen can give you perspective on the political scene of the country, while a hunting a monster in a Witcher contract can uncover an unseemly truth about a charming little town. Add in the epic and varied main quest, the cultures and stories discovered along the way (Skellige is awesome), and you have some stories that rank with the most interesting tales ever told in games (The Bloody Baron is just one of many examples). The Witcher 3 is an enormous narrative, and the excellent and varied tales told within it make the journey a fantastic one.
Writeup by Chris Gebauer
Read our review of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Read our review of the Hearts of Stone expansion too!