Black Isle's 'Fallout' was one of the first games with a cinema caliber story, sharp dialogue, and true story-driven objectives. You had a reason to act that was intensely personal. The whole world may have been in danger, but your first priority was always your own friends and family. That you are then rejected and cast out into the wastes, even as their savior, remains one of the most poignant moments in gaming history. Even when you "beat" the game, your character loses that which is most dear to him.
Jamison Moore, USC/ISI
Façade - It's the first game ever to combine truly non-linear plot, natural language input, and drama management.
[Dreamfall's story] really relates the real world we live in to the non-fiction world of Arcadia indirectly. Playing the game was like reading a novel; indeed, a novel that has come to life through the game. What amazed me was also how each characters' emotions affected me, the player.
Dreamfall comes closest, in games of the past five years, to realizing the dream of interactive storytelling.
Indigo Prophecy (aka Fahrenheit) was immediately engaging and allowed for intuitive multi-path storytelling. The first two acts where actions and inactions had game-affecting consequences were particularly effective storytelling. The use of different player characters, whose actions were directly contrary to the actions of the main character, were great touches and helped highlight the depths of the game's story. Indigo Prophecy took adventure gaming and its focus on storytelling to new heights. Overall, it was an amazing, enthralling, and revolutionary video game.
Jason Blair, Human Head Studios
I believe that Quantic Dream's Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit outside North America) is so far the video game that has, in many aspects, pushed the bar highest in terms of interactive narration. It is the very first game were you actually play the story, with player's actions having real consequences on the scenario and outcome of the journey. The quality of the story, that sucks you in from the first second until the end, the way it was structured, character's back stories and personalities and the way you could actually switch characters to always follow the main protagonist (or not) in a particular scene - like in a movie, the inspiring music (Angelo Badalamenti!) etc..were truly unique. What is also of particular interest is the fact that you really feel the game designers have put a lot of thought into interface and control, for these to be at the service of story and immersion.