I may post this to my dA as well, at some point. I don't know. [Please add [Game] to the title. I forgot D:]
Okay, so short of Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country, Starcraft (and its sequels, in entirety, really) is probably my favorite game, and the series is, so far, consistently my favorite... and not for the ever-popular online gaming community. The online gaming is fine and all, though the original had a lot more UMS, which is what I liked to play, than I ever saw when I was busy on Starcraft II.
The plot of Starcraft, books included (I've read the Dark Templar Saga, so far, though I'd like to read more, with all my so abundant free time I totally always have,) are dark, serious, and gripping like few games have ever affected me, and the only in-depth dark story that was of a genre I was actually capable of playing. (I've witnessed Heavy Rain, Silent Hill, Siren, and numerous others, but I am not good at their game types, so I am a watcher, only.)
For those who don't know much about Starcraft, which I doubt is many with people like Chase on this forum. :P
Starcraft is a scifi RTS taking place in the years 2498 or so, to 2506 or so. It is a tale that focuses heavily on trust, corruption, war, and diplomacy. It's dark, it covers a great deal of grim territory, but it does something that many dark games may fail to do: it gives strong, inspiring hints of hope throughout. I'm sure that the story has controversial qualities, but it gets to you. When betrayals happen, you feel the injustice, you feel the anger, the loss, the fear, the hopelessness. When vengeance happens, even when it is in the gray area, and it very much is, you feel an understanding, even if you don't agree with the actions. You really get a sense that the writers and animators are into what they've made.
The story, which I won't spoil, because each and every one of you needs to experience it, will drag you to emotional hell and back. You'll feel a love for the characters. You'll feel a hatred for some characters, but you'll realize that that hatred is real, not just a "well, he's a jerk" kind of thing. The bad guys are bad, when they're bad, but they feel real. The good guys are conflicted in their actions, from time to time. They feel guilt, they feel injustice, and they have a sense of self-doubt at times, that real humans all feel. It doesn't feel forced, even if there are a couple things that could be argued as dei ex machina, they push the story forward. They don't distract. Everyone is there for a reason, and everyone plays their role believably.
The voice acting all the way back is well done. The animation, for its time, is fantastic. I, personally, prefer the gameplay art style of Starcraft to Starcraft II (it feels more... LEGO-y than the more... realistic style? of the first one, in some ways. Terrans, especially.) The in-game cinematics are cutting edge, though. It's impressive. It's gripping, and I'm not apologetic for my appreciation of it.
Everyone should experience all of the Starcraft game's history, because it's rich, it's deep, and it's one thing Blizzard does, very well: story. If you're looking for a great and gripping story, please, pick up these games.