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Top 10 Video Game Intros

VO: Dan
If it isn't the game's cover art that will hook you in, it’s the beginning that sets up the plot, characters and gameplay. Our criteria is simple, these are the intro cinematics and openings sequences that excited us for the adventure ahead, and stayed with us long after the game was completed. Join and today we’ll be counting down the top 10 video game intros.

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Top 10 Video Game Intros

No one’s ever gonna finish a game if they don’t get past the beginning. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down the top 10 video game intros.

Our criteria is simple, these are the intro cinematics and openings sequences that excited us for the adventure ahead, and stayed with us long after the game was completed.

#10 - "Ocarina of Time" (1998)

Kicking off our list is the opening that let fans knew the 64-bit future had arrived in a big way. As the first time the Zelda series had been created in three dimensions, the scale and epicenes of the adventure was demonstrated by the simple yet stunning animation of Link riding a horse through the vast land of Hyrule. Of course that was followed by Link’s foreboding dream of a terrifying horseman and the darkness he would sow…

#9 - "Mega Man 2" (1988)

If one game can be credited as the Blue Bomber’s greatest, its this one! We attribute that to the intro as much as the refined gameplay, as nothing is as pulse pounding like a text giving way to the camera climbing a skyscraper with intensifying music, all building up to revealing the hero! It might be a bit plain by today’s standards, but this was over 25 years ago; It simply doesn’t get much more epic for the NES generation…Press Start already!

#8 - "Portal 2" (2011)

Our first trip thru the Aperture Labs led us on surprisingly memorable and mind bending experience. Pushing the situational story telling to new boundaries, Portal 2 begins with you coming out of suspended animation, twice! With the second, we knew something went horribly wrong as the room had aged significantly. After rather jarring meeting with Wheatley, you’re taken for a rather bumpy ride through a startlingly large and clearly decaying facility, and soon come face to face with our old friend GLaDOS who is, as she would put it, still alive...

#7 - "Batman: Arkham Asylum" (2009)

What can we say, expectations are not running high for a good Batman game at the time. Thankfully, by the time we’re given control, we knew that things were on the right track. With the Batmobile rushing to Arkham, we see that Batman had finally captured the Joker. Mission complete right? Well, all is not as it appears at the Asylum, as what at first seemed to be campy dialogue gave way to the first chapter of a riveting Batman tale, one that rivaled the very best offerings from the page or silver screen.

#6 - “Fallout” (1997)

This game features a nuclear apocalypse, and you play a survivor who emerges from vault 13, one of 122 vaults spread out across the country. The gripping tone and grim, sardonic humor the series has been renown for is set from the get go, as the eerie crooning plays over the grim but cheerful adds that flicker on the derelict TV. Then it’s up to Ron Pearlman to give you the backstory, and inform you that nobody really knows what’s waiting for you beyond your vault’s door…

#5 - “Mass Effect 2” (2010)

A sequel should always raise the stakes, and that’s exactly what EA and Bioware did with ME2. Picking up where we left off, the Shadowy head of Cerberus, voiced by Martin Sheen speculates on the fate of Commander Shepard. We then cut to Shepard and his familiar crew, who immediately come under attack. Players get to take one last pulse-pounding job through the all but destroyed Normandy before it finally comes apart and Shepard…dies? Wait what?

#4 - "Uncharted 2: Among Thieves" (2009)

Speaking about starting the game off with your character in mortal danger, this one begins with our hero awakening from unconsciousness, only to discover that he’s in a wrecked traincar, dangling over a cliff. Scrabbling their way out of the train in the desperate manner the series is known for, players juuust barely make it out before it drops, and that’s when the story backtracks to the beginning so we can learn how Drake got himself into that mess. Guess it’ll be a while until we find out how we got there!

#3 - “Half-Life” (1998)

This is another intro that involves a train, but it’s a little more low key. A revolutionary sequence for its time, Half-life’s first few minutes are spent in a monorail car examining the breathtaking extensiveness of the Black Mesa Facility. While this sequence is often hailed as the beginning of indirect storytelling in videogames, perhaps the most notable part of all is the fact that although a deep sense of foreboding is instilled in the player throughout, nothing bad ever happens. Not yet at least.

#2 - “Super Metroid” (1994)

The third installment in the original Metroid trilogy, this SNES classic gave us a black and white flashback to our previous victories and plot points. A early cinematic opening, it begins with Samus answering a distress call from the space station she had just left. The result was an unexpected encounter with Ridley, and having to make a run for it before the station could self-destruct. Talk about starting things off with a bang!

#1 - “Bioshock” (2007)

Taking the top spot on our list is the opening that ramped up the sense of fantasy and adventure to never before seen levels. Transporting us to the 60s and casting us upon the mid Atlantic in a plane crash, players were surrounded by burning wreckage and hauntingly reflective water before they can even get their bearings. Wandering into a lighthouse, the trip down the figurative rabbit hole deepened as players were introduced to visionary Andrew Ryan and his ultimate accomplishment, the underwater city of Rapture. I’m sure things are gonna be okay from here on in.

Agree with our list? Which video game opening hooked you immediately? For more entertaining top 10s, be sure to subscribe to

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