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7 Best Video Games About Artificial Intelligence


When people talk about artificial intelligence in gaming, they’re usually speaking about NPCs you meet or fight. Sometimes, however, the concept of AI also has a role in the main narrative. For example, a game might revolve around you fighting against intelligent machines or interacting with them. Some titles even explore the idea of whether artificial intelligence can truly be alive.

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Regardless of how they’re implemented in a narrative, AI serves as an interesting subject matter. It’s especially compelling when the game it features in is well-made and, more importantly, well-written. This is the case in the following fantastic games.

7 Portal 2

Portal 2 - Glados Looking At Chell

Most video games revolving around artificial intelligence are generally serious and complicated affairs. One exception is Portal 2, where things are generally simple and light-hearted but still compelling. You play as a test subject locked in an abandoned research facility and forced to complete puzzles.

It’s abandoned in that no humans are around, but there are some mechanical beings. The main two are AIs known as GlaDOS and Wheatly. While they’re enemies, they do have a few things in common. For starters, they’re both hilarious and provide many funny lines during the game. Secondly, they both desire to run the facility, which creates problems for you.

6 NieR: Automata

A woman with an eyepatch stands in a garden area in NieR Automata

A common sight in sci-fi tales is a conflict between humans and machines. But in NieR Automata, it’s androids against machines. The action RPG has you control human-made androids that are tasked with defeating mechanical creatures from another world that have invaded Earth.

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Yet, that is a very basic way of explaining the narrative, as the tale goes much deeper and is more complicated than it initially sounds. As such, it takes multiple playthroughs to see the full picture and understand everything. One thing that is clear, though, is that artificial intelligence is at the heart of it all.

5 Horizon Zero Dawn

Aloy riding a machine in Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn is an action-adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans live in small tribes while great mechanical beasts roam the wild. These creatures aren’t the most advanced robots in gaming history, as they mainly act like wild animals.

But without going too far into spoiler territory, true artificial intelligence is at the center of the game’s main story. You don’t learn this in the opening cutscene. Information regarding the AI, the protagonist’s origins, and what happened to the world slowly reveals during the course of the game.

4 Halo 4

(*7*)

Cortana says her goodbyes to Master Chief in Halo 4

The legendary first-person shooter series, Halo, has always included AI characters. The most famous example and one of the best AIs in gaming history is Cortana.

Despite artificial intelligence being a fixture of the series, the early games aren’t really about them. The story of Halo 4, though, certainly revolves around AI. In it, Cortana is struggling with an issue called Rampancy, which severely impacts her mind and how she functions. On top of that, the main antagonist group you face is Prometheans, which are primarily made up of machines – albeit most of them don’t seem to have much intelligence.

3 Mass Effect Series

Mass Effect Reaper Fleet coming to destroy intelligent life

In the Mass Effect universe, creating artificial intelligence is forbidden because when the alien race known as the Quarians did it, they lost their homeworld. Their creations were called the Geth, which you fight throughout the series. However, they aren’t the primary mechanical threat.

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The main antagonists are synthetics called Reapers. Their directive is to wait until a civilization reaches its peak and exterminate them. This goes in cycles, and during the original trilogy of Mass Effect games, it’s time for all the evolved races in the Milky Way to be wiped out. Your overall task in this action-RPG series is to figure out a way to stop them.

Metal Gear Solid 2 Screenshot Of Ocelot atop Arsenal gear with Ray

AI isn’t always at the forefront of the iconic stealth series known as Metal Gear Solid. Yet, the overarching narrative heavily involves artificial intelligence. This is because the group known as The Patriots are run by a series of AIs in the present-day games in the series.

Like any well-run hidden organization, most of what The Patriots do isn’t common knowledge. However, they essentially run all of America, as they have control over the President, the military, and virtually all digital information. And the general public knows nothing about it. Those who do, though, attempt to fight back against them. As such, they’re the main antagonistic threat in the series.

1 Detroit: Become Human

Luther, Alice, and Kara stand at the border in line waiting to confront border patrol

Detroit: Become Human tells a more grounded and realistic artificial intelligence tale than the average sci-fi game. As such, it isn’t set in a wild fantasy world, nor is it about galactic threats. The narrative adventure game is set in the real world – albeit in the future. And AIs in this world are androids designed to do the bidding of humans.

The constant abuse and a lack of respect to these androids cause some to break their programming. These machines don’t immediately start killing people, though. Instead, they demand better treatment and strive for equality. This creates a divide between humans and AI. How it all plays out depends on the choices you make with all your characters.

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Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.
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