2015’s best-written games, according to the Writer’s Guild of America

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Writing

As I’ve aged, I’ve grown to become fonder and fonder of games that aren’t only fun to play, but are able to tell good stories. That’s harder to pull off than you might imagine – and it all comes down to great writing. The number of games released in the last 12 months that feature genuinely good writing are less numerous than you’d imagine.

It’s easier and more budget-conscious to get a staffer with an interest in literature or drama to knock up something resembling a script than it is to hire people able who’re able to construct worthwhile stories.

Those who do manage are sometime given accolades for such by the Writer’s Guild of America. Here are this year’s nominees for best writing in games.

  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Story by Marc-Alexis Cote, Hugo Giard, Corey May, Jeffrey Yohalem; Narrative Director Corey May; Lead Writer Jeffrey Yohalem; Assistant Narrative Director Melissa MacCoubrey; Scriptwriters Russell Lees, Mark Llabres Hill, James Nadiger, Jared Schincariol, Travis Stout, Ceri Young; Additional Writing Judith Flanders, C.J. Kershner, Gabrielle Shrager, Danny Wallace; Additional Senior Writer Paul Monk; Ubisoft
  • Pillars of Eternity, Lead Writer Eric Fenstermaker; Writers Carrie Patel, Olivia Veras; Additional Writing Chris Avellone, Jeff Husges, Matt MacLean, Jorge Salgado, Josh Sawyer, George Ziets; Obsidian Entertainment
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lead Narrative Designer John Stafford; Narrative Designer Cameron Suey; Lead Writer Rhianna Pratchett; Additional Writer Philip Gelatt; Microsoft
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Lead Writer Marcin Blacha; Lead English Writer Borys Pugacz-Muraszkiewicz; Writers Arkadiusz Borowik, Aleksandra Motyka, Bartosz Ochman, Karolina Stachyra, Jakub Szamalek; Additional Writers Marcin Batylda, Michal Galek, Tomasz Marchewka, Robert Oglodzinski, Rafal Praszalek, Artur Sliwinski, Stanislaw Swiecicki, Pawel Zych; Story Marcin Blacha, Jakub Szamalek; CD Projekt

If you’re wondering why your favourite game is conspicuously absent, it’s because nominations are limited to games released between December 1, 2014 and November 30, 2015. Further to that, said games must feature on-screen writing credits by writers who were members, or who had applied to become members, of the WGA when the scripts were submitted.

Yes, scripts need to be submitted, so those that aren’t are excluded from nomination. What game from the last year did you think had the best writing?

Last Updated: January 12, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.