#10: Figure It Out Yourself (Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) – Released: 2017
The intro to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is perfect in a way no other intros are. There are no long cutscenes, there aren’t even tutorials — the music and images aren’t carefully curated. You’re literally dropped into a massive, enclosed sandbox and told to figure it out for yourself. In this extended opening, you’re stuck on a plateau with no special abilities.
By the time you exit the plateau, you’ll understand everything you need to know about playing Breath of the Wild. It’s both a tutorial and an experiment in helping players uncover the mechanics on their own. You’re encouraged to explore, play around, and basically use everything you’ve got to overcome obstacles. It’s a breath (no pun intended) of fresh air in a series that’s usually so linear, and one of the best openings in video game history.
#11: Welcome Home (Prey) – Released: 2017
Prey plays with your expectations right from the moment you gain control. Arriving by helicopter, you travel to your apartment and live several days in complete bliss. Until you notice that something isn’t quite right, and the skyline outside your apartment flickers. Before long, the simulation shuts down — and you find yourself in a strange experiment. The game proudly states its themes and ideas from this screwy opening. You’ll need to play until the end of the game to fully understand what was going on.
The opening to Prey is fully-playable, completely bonkers, surprising, and shocking in ways that make this sequence unforgettable. It helps that the rest of the game is amazingly unique in a way few games are. Once you reach your ending, you’ll see that the intro is just a microcosm of the entire game. The developers dropped us into a strange situation, and wanted to see what we would do.
Those are my personal picks for the best intros in video game history. There’s a lot of history in video games, and I’m sure I could list 100 games that deserve a spot on this list. What favorites did I miss? Let us know!