One of the main reasons why a videogame can get tattooed in your mind is because the first mission. It’s not necessary that a good videogame should have a great opening level, but it is a very nice and important touch, because this will be the first thing the gamer will experience the moment they start the single player mode.
While right now most games are less structured around levels, there are a lot of opening missions that will be remembered forever for being so good. This is the topic of today boys, so this is our top 10 best opening levels in video game history.
10. Max Payne 3
The Max Payne trilogy deserves more recognition because it perfected the neo-noir, crime, third person shooter genre. While the first one is always considered the best, 2012’s Max Payne 3 is a true gem, and its first mission is truly engaging.
The first mission features a hungover Max working as a bodyguard for a rich Brazilian family and you have to protect them from a group of masked thugs infiltrating their penthouse. After watching a stylish cinematic you are instantly thrown into the action and start dodging bullets like Neo from Matrix.
9. GoldenEye 007
1997’s GoldenEye 007 is often considered the video game based on a movie and one of the best video games of all time. GoldenEye 007 redefined the first-person shooter genre and the best thing is that this video game stayed faithful to the film taking us to the Soviet Union Dam as the first level in the campaign.
This level is so well done that is one of the most remembered levels around because is action fueled, enemies are everywhere, and it feels like you are inside the movie, or the game in this case. This video game was made with love.
8. Far Cry 5
I consider myself on of those weird boys that consider Far Cry 5 the best Far Cry video game made until now, yeah even better than the acclaimed Far Cry 3, I have my reasons.
The beginning of Far Cry 5 shows us trying to imprison Joseph Seed, the leader of a cult that practically controls Hope County, the fictional region where the game takes place, and guess what? Everything goes wrong; when you are trying to take him to prison in a chopper, his followers cause the helicopter to crash.
You survive, but you have to escape and fight all alone.
7. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
The Uncharted saga is one of the most critically acclaimed franchises in video game, and the second game, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, is usually considered one of the best video games ever made, and its first level is developer Naughty Dog announcing us that they are just getting started.
The first level features Nathan Drake waking up inside a train car dangling off a cliff and the heavily wounder Drake must climb the train before it plummets off the cliff. This intro level is pulse-pounding and sets the tone for things to come.
6. Medal of Honor: Frontline
This Medal of Honor made my childhood awesome. It was fun, engaging, the graphics were great, and the first level is a masterpiece. We are Lieutenant James “Jimmy” Paterson and we are storming Omaha Beach as part of the Operation Overlord, a very infamous setting better known as the “D-Day”.
This intro level is probably the most famous mission in all the Medal of Honor franchise because it feels like you are in the battle, in the real war. If you haven’t played Frontline before, go download a Nintendo GameCube emulator and enjoy, you’ll love it.
5. Battlefield 1
While my personal favorite franchise of videogame is Call of Duty, I will always consider Battlefield 1 as the best war video game ever created. 2016’s Battlefield 1 is a masterpiece, a game that should be considered as an inspiration for other first-person shooters and the first level of the game called “Storm of Steel” is a perfect example of how a history should begin.
You control different Harlem Hellfighters member as they defend their positions against German soldiers. The most shocking thing about this intro is the message you receive before the action: “You are not expected to survive”.
4. The Last of Us
The Last of Us is a video game that usually appears in our rankings, and that is something great because the game deserves to be ranked among the best in any aspect, and the opening level, despite being relatively short, is a masterpiece.
Here you control Joel the day the outbreak began, and you try to flee the area with his daughter Sarah, but everything goes even worst when they find a soldier who, without a reason, shoots at them and shots Sarah, dying in Joel’s arms.
An emotional and unforgettable scene.
3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
“Hey, you, you’re finally awake”, that is a phrase that will forever be remembered, and this phrase is just a little part of why the opening level of Skyrim is so good.
Skyrim itself is a game that cannot die, because is essentially the most played open-world video game in history, and the opening sequence plays a big part setting the tone for everything.
You begin as a nobody who is about to get executed but after a dragon attack you escape and the adventure begins. Skyrim is a game that everyone should play.
Ah yes, Valve’s first and greatest creation. Half-Life is one of the most influential video games ever created and the first level, the Black Mesa intro, is one of the most acclaimed opening levels ever designed because, it starts as just another day in the office, you get some coffee, you put on your EV suit, and in a matter of seconds you bring hell to earth.
This game alone won more than 50 “Game of the Year” awards, that is astonishing, and while Half-Life is often eclipsed by its universally acclaimed sequel, the first Half-Life is special.
1. Super Mario Bros
The World 1-1 is the first level of 1985’s Super Mario Bros, and probably the most recognizable level in the most recognizable video game franchise ever made.
The single Goomba, the little green mountain, the question mark boxes and the jumping and pixelated Mario is one of the most famous frames in video game history, and an image that represents the video game industry.
There is no tutorial, no help, the game drops you into the platform and you are ready to go and enjoy one of the most influential video games ever released.