Multiple endings are a somewhat common gameplay mechanic, but choose your own adventure games take it a step further. Often times, they channel the butterfly effect, a theory that suggests that something as small as a butterfly flapping its wings can alter the future.

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While some games give the impression that your choices matter when they actually don't, choose-your-own-adventure games are almost entirely based on the decisions that you make. This list includes 10 games that actually care about what you have to say!

Updated On March 1, 2021, By Jason Wojnar: More than a year has passed since the initial publication of this article, and players still love having choice in their games. We decided to revisit this list and add three games which we feel are important to mention when it comes to choice in games. They all offer unique talking points, whether it be their influence on a certain genre, the new audiences they reached, or the idea that the importance of choice does not only affect narrative. 

13 Walking Dead

Telltale Games has been through a lot over the past couple of years. They closed down during the production of The Walking Dead's final season and almost did not get to complete it. Fortunately, the saga saw a proper conclusion, and choice remained a vital factor throughout. By extension, just about every Telltale game makes player choice during the story an integral part of the experience. With lives often in the balance, the choices in The Walking Dead carry serious weight.


12 XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Xcom enemy unknown combat gameplay

XCOM's story is really nothing to write home about, but that's because the real story is you, the player, and your journey building up a sizable resistance to the invading alien menace. With permadeath, every move you make in a battle could have significantly negative effects on the rest of your playthrough. Outside of the battlefield, the way you choose to develop your HQ determines what abilities and equipment you have access to. The brutal difficulty might be a putoff for some, but few games feel this rewarding.

11 Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together

Tactics Ogre Let Us Cling Together is one of the deepest games on Sony's handhelds

RPGs in the 1990s were fairly linear. The 1995 turn-based tactical RPG Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together stands as an outlier for how drastically your dialog choices can affect the outcome of the story. One wrong word can mean the death of a major character. The story is extremely grounded for a JRPG, lending to the grit. The game is currently playable on the PSP or Vita thanks to a re-release, but many fans are hoping for an update on modern consoles.

10 The Town Of Light

the town of light game

Though it looks like one, The Town of Light isn't necessarily a horror game, it's a story-driven psychological thriller. It follows a sixteen year old girl named Renée as she works to piece together her tattered memories by exploring a rundown Italian asylum called Ospedale Psichiatrico di Volterra, where she was once a patient. As she slowly moves deeper into the asylum, she begins to find clues to her hazy past and pieces her life back together, though she may end up wishing that she hadn't.

There are several pieces of conflicting information strewn throughout dossiers, diaries, and medical records, and throughout the game, you will be asked to give an opinion on what you believe. The choices that you make here have a direct impact on how the story unfolds.

9 Firewatch

A troubled man named Henry takes a position as a fire lookout in order to escape from his real life. In the wilderness of Wyoming, his only concern is making sure that the particularly hot, dry summer doesn't send the Shoshone National Forest up in flames - out here, he doesn't have to worry about his wife's early-onset dementia. His only contact with the outside world is with his supervisor, Delilah, via walkie-talkie, and his connection with her quickly becomes the only meaningful one that he has, especially as strange events start unfolding all around him.

The story and relationship that unfolds between Delilah and Henry is up to you. Firewatch is primarily focused on character development and exploration of the environment. Developer Campo Santo was bought by Valve in 2018, though we have no clue what they are working on.

8 Oxenfree

Alex is heading to the fictional Edwards Island for a weekend party with her friend, Ren, and her new step-brother, Jonas. On the island, they meet up with Nona, a girl that Ren is crushing on, and Clarissa, the ex-girlfriend of Alex's deceased brother, Michael.

After some tension on the beach, Alex and her two friends decide to explore the caves that are rumored to be home to supernatural occurrences. Unknowingly, they cause a dimensional rift, and find themselves working against a paranormal force to make things right again. You will be given several choices throughout the game, mostly through dialogue options, and they will directly affect the character's relationships with each other and the way that the past and future play out.

7 Monster Prom

Prom season at Spooky High is approaching quickly. With only a few weeks to go, you'll need to work hard at convincing one of your classmates to go with you. There are several love interests, but the ones that are actually available for you to date will be decided based off of your choices throughout the game. There are six different visible stats: smarts, boldness, creativity, charm, fun, and money, which influence the way that your potential love interest sees you.

RELATED: Love Is Strange: The 10 Quirkiest Dating Games

Monster Prom might not be a typical Choose Your Own Adventure type of game, since it's a dating sim - but it has several different endings that are directly affected by your gameplay, so it's close enough!

6 The Red Strings Club

In a cyberpunk alternate universe, a corporation called Supercontinent Ltd. provides humans with access to implanted devices that allow them to change their physical appearance and mental state at will. Their newest release, the Social Psyche Welfare system, will completely eliminate emotions like anger and depression.

However, an unlikely trio has banded together to stop them: Brandeis, a freelance hacker and enhanced human, Akara-184, an android that used to perform implant surgeries for Supercontinent, and Donovan, the implant-free human owner of The Red Strings Club. You will cycle through the three different characters and throughout the game, you will be given choices that will influence the way that your journey unfolds.

5 Creatures Such As We

You live on the moon, and it's not exactly ideal. In fact, it's emotionally taxing, mentally exhausting, and above all else, lonely. Your chosen form of escapism is video games, which whisk you away into fantasy worlds and keep you far away from all the problems of the real world, washing over everything with a joyful simplicity that you only wish you could have.

RELATED: The 10 Best Visual Novels on Steam

But what about when the game you're playing starts to go wrong? What happens then? Creatures Such As We is an entirely text-based game that's told through a novel. It's told in second-person, and you play both your character, and your character's character as they navigate through a game of their own. Your choices will have an effect on both of their lives.

4 Catherine (And Catherine: Full Body)

Vincent is engaged to his high school sweetheart, Katherine, but he's having some second thoughts. Enter Catherine, a bubbly, curvaceous blonde girl he meets at the Stray Sheep, his favorite bar, who's literally exactly what he wants in a woman - and who he seemingly had a drunken encounter with. He suddenly finds himself juggling two women, while he tries to figure out the meaning behind his vivid, terrifying nightmares that eerily coincide with a wave of men being found dead in their beds.

Throughout the game, you will be presented with questions about the type of life Vincent wants to lead, which will influence which of the eight endings you end up with. In Catherine: Full Body - from developer Atlus, known for the Persona franchise - there's a third love interest named Rin, the pianist at the Stray Sheep. That route must be unlocked on night 6 when Vincent is questioned, otherwise only the original love interests are available. The inclusion of Rin makes for a total of thirteen endings.

3 Life Is Strange

Max Caulfield is a senior at Blackwell Academy in Arcadia Bay, Oregon. After witnessing the death of her childhood best friend, Chloe Price, she discovers that she has the ability to rewind time and change the events of the past. Lately, she's been having visions of a destructive town heading straight for Arcadia Bay, and she finds herself with the responsibility of saving her town.

RELATED: 10 Great Games With Branching Decision-Based Stories

Each choice you make as Max in Life Is Strange will have a butterfly effect - even the smallest decisions can have a massive impact on the future.

2 Until Dawn

When a prank gone wrong results in the death of twin sisters Hannah and Beth Washington, their friend group falls apart in the aftermath. A year later, their older brother, Josh, sends out an invitation to everyone who was there on that fateful night, beckoning them to return to his family's cabin on Blackwood Mountain.

Surprisingly, each of them returns, but the group quickly discovers that they're being stalked by a crazed killer. With the heavy snow outside, there's no chance of rescue until dawn - if they can survive for that long. The butterfly effect plays a strong role in Until Dawn. There's even a special menu that allows you to see which events were influenced by your choices. Character deaths are permanent, brutal, and incredibly easy to cause.

1 Detroit: Become Human

In a futuristic vision of Detroit, androids have taken on a key role in society. They're meant to serve humans with no freewill of their own, but in 2038, several have deviated from their programming and started to experience human thoughts and feelings. Those androids are known as deviants.

Detroit: Become Human follows three characters and their stories as they intertwine. Connor is an android sent by Cyberlife to work alongside humans to stop deviants. Kara is a caretaker android who deviated to protect her charge, a young girl named Alice. Markus is a deviant who wants to lead his people in a revolution for equality. The way that their lives play out is entirely up to you as a player. There are several different endings, all of which are directly effected by the choices that you make throughout the game.

NEXT: 10 Games Where Your Choices Have Actual Consequences

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