2016 oprainfall Awards: Best Story

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

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2016 Oprainfall Awards

oprainfall AwardsBEST STORY

Previous Winners
2012: Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward
2013: BioShock Infinite
2014: Dragon Age: Inquisition
2015: Steins;Gate


We here at Operation Rainfall enjoy a good story, whether it comes from an RPG, a visual novel, or an adventure game. The most unexpected games can contain plots that make us think, make us feel in ways we haven’t felt before in video games. The following are titles that stood out to us in 2016.


2016 Oprainfall Awards | Muv-Luv

NA Release: July 14, 2016

Platform(s): PC, Steam


Though the game is well over a decade old, Muv-Luv finally made its way over to the West officially in 2016. Starting as a typical slice-of-life high school story, Muv-Luv quickly transforms itself into a sci-fi epic. Along with giant robots and killer aliens, the story evolves into a war story, revealing the effects and also that humanity, even faced with a common enemy, doesn’t always work together.

Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse

2016 Oprainfall Awards | Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse

NA Release: September 20, 2016

Platform(s): 3DS


Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse is a retelling of the fourth main entry in the SMT series but through the eyes of a hunter cadet named Nanashi. While on a demon hunt, Nanashi is killed and resurrected by the demon Dagda. His price? Nanashi is now a “Godslayer.” Though the game is a companion to Shin Megami Tensei IV, Apocalypse stands as a better story than the original.

Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma

2016 Oprainfall Awards | Zero Time Dilemma - Concept Art

NA Release: June 28, 2016

Platform(s): 3DS, PlayStation TV, PlayStation Vita, Steam


When we said that Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward was the best story in 2012, we meant it. It’s no surprise to see its sequel, Zero Time Dilemma, on this list. Written and directed by Kotaro Uchikoshi, Zero Time Dilemma once again throws nine people in a locked environment in order to solve puzzles to survive. With new and returning characters, you care for a majority of the cast, making some of the decisions you have to make cruel and anxiety inducing.

Pokémon Sun/Moon

2016 Oprainfall Awards | Pokemon Sun and Moon

NA Release: November 18, 2016

Platform(s): 3DS


Surprised to see a Pokémon on the Best Story list? Along with its change to a tropical setting, Sun and Moon also changed things up with no gyms or Elite Four. With an unorthodox rival and a great cast of supporting characters, Pokémon Sun and Moon was a step in the right direction for the series.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II

2016 Oprainfall Awards | Trails of Cold Steel II

NA Release: September 6, 2016

Platform(s): PlayStation 3, PlayStation TV, PlayStation Vita


Picking up events a month after the first game, Trails of Cold Steel II continues to deliver the same depth and characterization the series is known for. The classmates of Class VII are wrapped up in a war they never wanted, and now they must band together to do what is right. Also, giant robots. You can’t go wrong there.



2016 Oprainfall Awards | Muv-Luv

While the story starts off cutesy, the shift to science fiction throws characters you’ve grown to love into a completely different world. It’s interesting to see these established characters react, but it’s also interesting to see how they changed. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, the war within Muv-Luv is visceral and dark. Concepts such as post-traumatic stress disorder are handled very well. Even though the title originally released in 2003, the story of Muv-Luv is timeless.



About Tyler Trosper

Tyler Trosper graduated Ball State University with a major in Creative Writing and a minor in Professional Writing. Originally joining Operation Rainfall as an anime news writer, he also writes gaming news and dabbles in reviews. His one true love in life is Xenosaga, and he prays daily for a fourth game.

  • MusouTensei

    Definitely Trails of Cold Steel 2 for me.

  • Panpopo

    Surprised that Muv Luv was picked, considering the review and that Alternative has not been released officially. Thought it would be Trails of Cold Steel II.

    There are many good stories released this year (Pokémon Sun/Moon was a nice surprise), but I particularly enjoyed Steins;Gate 0. I liked the themes presented, and it was altogether gripping and enjoyable.

  • Mr0303

    The concept of Muv Luv sounds quite awesome, so it’s a deserving win.

    The best story for me in 2016 was in Odin Sphere Leifthrasir. The mythological elements and the awesome characters contributed to the creation of an epic. The story had everything – huge battles, drama, love, betrayal, zombies, dragons and even Ragnarök.

    • Panpopo

      Muv luv is pretty awesome, and is a great start to get into VNs. It’s a 3-part story though, with the last part Alternative is what makes it memorable.

      Odin Sphere was great a decade ago and still is.

    • Mr0303

      I was half thinking whether to include it on this list, but there were extra story moments in comparison to the PS2 version, so I figured it’s fair game.

  • Malascus

    Pokemon SM spoilers:

    I have to agree that the pokemon story surprised me, the concept of fallers and the ultra beasts supposedly having destroyed the other universe is pretty interesting.