Story (or Tournament) is the main mode in each game of the Twisted Metal franchise. In this mode, the player explores all the levels (or most of them, depending on the game) the game has to offer, and the goal of each level is to destroy every opponent and be the last one alive. The victor will eventually go to Calypso and claim their prize.
In Story mode, the player has a set number of lives (save for Twisted Metal (2012)) and losing them all generally results in a premature Game Over.
Most games in the series have the possibility to play Tournament mode with a second player. Usually, the amount of opponents is slightly lower, because each level has a defined maximum number of vehicles (for instance, a stage that counts 6 enemies in Single Player will only have 5 in Co-op mode), and that number includes the player(s). Still, Twisted Metal 2012 does not lower the amount of enemies in Co-op story mode.
Most games in the franchise use the system of lives, which means that your vehicle can get destroyed a few times before the game ends in a Game Over.
- In Twisted Metal (1995), 2 and III, the player has three lives. In the Co-op mode in the second installment, both players share a total of six lives, so if one player dies, the two of them lose a life. In the third game, players have the option not to pool their lives.
- In 4, the player has five lives. Otherwise, the system works the same in Single player and Co-op Tournament as in the previous games.
- In Black and Small Brawl, the player has three lives in each level. For instance, if you lose two lives in a certain level, you will get them back by the next stage. In Co-op Story, the players share the lives.
- In Head-On, you start with three lives, but you can get more of them by winning the mini-games in Story mode. Players pool lives in Co-op.
- In Lost: the player has three lives.
- Twisted Metal (2012) dropped the system of lives since each event is independent from the others. In Co-op mode, if a player dies, the fight ends, even if the other is still alive.