2017: Persona 5
2018: Yakuza 6
2019: Fire Emblem: Three House
2021: Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker
Depending on the game, the story might be one of the most important elements to have. The hours put into a game can be more than justified when you become attached to the characters or journey. Our last winner of this award was an MMO which brought in a lot of narrative. That being said, let’s take a look at our newest competitors.
Atelier Sophie 2
NA Release Date: February 25, 2022
Platform: PC, PS4, Switch
Picking up right after the previous game, we once again follow Sophie on a new adventure. However, things go awry as Sophie is sucked into a strange tree and awakens in the strange city of Roytale. Here, she meets both new friends and some familiar faces, with some differences. While it is somewhat of a self contained story in regards to the series, it’s strengths are in the character interactions and themes. The comforting and hopefulness of the story are things that will draw you in.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero
NA Release Date: September 27, 2022
Platform: PC, PS4, Switch
As an entry from The Legend of Heroes series, it probably isn’t that much of a surprise to see this title in this competition. That being said, Trails from Zero has a lot going on in it’s story. It follows Lloyd and the other members of the SSS, a branch of the police in the city of Crossbell which doesn’t exactly have a high reputation. Here, the SSS faces criminal elements and political unease, along with a more dangerous hidden threat. The captivating story and characters are highlights that deserve some attention.
NA Release Date: March 4, 2022 (Switch), October 13, 2022 (PC)
Platform(s): PC, Switch
Impressions (2021 Demo)
Set on the continent of Norzelia, we follow Serenoa as he is pulled into the affairs of three nations. There is quite a back story regarding the kingdoms and groups that inhabit the world. Serenoa is forced to make a number of choices during his journey as war begins once again. The choices made lead to a number of different consequences in the end, something that definitely gives impact to the story.
This Year’s Winner is…
Trails from Zero!
The Trails series has always had some great stories and characters, and this one is no different. The political intrigue of the city of Crossbell and the different characters met along the way are memorable. The growth of the characters during the story, and the SSS working its way up from the bottom is a journey that’s a joy to follow. It took a while for this game to make it to the West, but the story is something that more than holds up.
I owe Brandon Rose a special thanks for creating the featured images for these Awards on short notice. You should check him and his works out over on Twitter.