Your top 5 video game worlds

  • Global Moderator

    Hi Allies,

    So over a couple of pints with friends last night we started to talk about video game worlds we have visited. My mate dave came back after buying the next round (thanks mate) and pointed in "but which one are your favourite?" and all hell broke loose. After a few broken chairs in our pub brawl and getting thrown out of the pub, I figured I'll ask the all mighty allies.

    Also in order to avoid it "just being another list thread" I demand that you list why its in the top. not just "lolz dis iz awesum".


    1. Azeroth - World of Warcraft. - Im talking about original WoW, before the destruction in cataclysm. before Outland expandedthis world. As I have put in days and days into living in this world, I almost feel as I could live in this world full time. So many different environments, music to die for and finding shrines from the history. Playing through the Warcraft games before the MMO most likely added to it all, but entering capitals and feeling the hair stand up all over my body must be a sign of a masterpiece.

    2. Skyrim - Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. - I could have "cheated" and said "all of Tamirel". I havne not played all of the Elder Scrolls games so I cant say. But I must say that Skyrim really became something special to me. My Scandinavian background loved the snow, the magic and the overall feel of the world. I have spent 400+ hours in this world, exploring caves, mountains, castles and what not. I feel at home in this world, yet I always feel like I'm finding new places I havnt seen before. I have no idea how many hours I have spent looking up at the sky with the beautiful stars and the northern lights dance over the sky. I always want to meet more people in this world, see what creatures comes alive and read about the lore and history of everything going down. and oh - did I mention dragons?

    3. The Galaxee - Mass Effect. - I love space. through my life I have wondered if we ever will get to see ailens, new worlds and what might be out there. Mass Effect really satisfied all my dreams. Who thought I could feel for a floating jellyfish? Perhaps it is a lot the characters in this universe that makes a huge chunk of it, but Bioware have really nailed each personallity living and breathing here. I care for every race exisiting here and I love fighting the creatures that want me off their planet. Wanting to get to know each character deeply and help their agendas in this universe kept me stuck for hours in this universe.

    4. Gaia - Final Fantasy IX. - I have spent hours in this world. It is one of my favourite games of all times. The three continents that exists are very different yet feel like they really belong together. The world got so many different types of creatures and it keeps having a magical feeling and I always itch to explore it again and again.

    5. Kanto/Johto - Pokémon. - I grew up catching my small poket monsters on my gameboy. I walked around and explored, got lost, found my way, battled monsters and team rocket. Despite the people in this world having same lines and not really expressing emotions, I found myself very emotinally attached. I cheered everytime I managed to beat my rival and finding legendary pokemons got my puls pumping.

    Please share your worlds that you love spending time in, or worlds that you remember with joy - or hate.

    Love & Respect <3

  • This seems fun! Let me give it a shot:

    1. Gaia - Final Fantasy VII - This game for me is so captivating in so many different ways and one such way is the world itself. The concept that the planet is a living thing, creating Weapons as a defense to an existential threat and having the Lifestream being the thing healing itself. It also doesn't hurt that the towns and topography are really cool too. I don't think there is another overworld map I enjoy crossing more than in this game.

    2. Spira - Final Fantasy X - A common theme with me about game worlds I like are ones that have experienced/are experience a massive crisis and the population is doing anything it can to survive. Not from the standpoint of, "I off to save the world!" but I like it more when seen from the NPCs' point of view. Spira is an excellent example of this as the denizens try their hardest to make a living while avoiding Sin. Be it through Blitzball or Yevon, everyone has the same goal to try and live as long as possible in a harsh world. And I freaking LOVE that, regardless of a game's story. But I still love this game anyway.

    3. Sera - Gears of War franchise Like I just said, I find worlds where people are just scraping by to be fascinating, and there is no better, no more cruel, example than the setting of this TPS. Dwindling resources in every area, humanity on the brink of extinction, and the mysteries of what's under your boots always leave you on edge. Its also really neat to see the architecture and destruction and fictionalized ruins of warfare (or at least the representation of them) are interesting to look at and study.

    4. Everywhere - Ratchet and Clank to Ratchet Deadlocked, Ratchet and Clank: Future Trilogy, Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus, and Ratchet and Clank (Reboot) This is a MASSIVE cop-out, for which I apologize, but picking just ONE world in this series is IMPOSSIBLE. While they don't look as nice as newer entries, the first four R&C games showcased diverse environments that were really cool to explore. With the Future trilogy, I remember R&C: F: Tools of Destruction was my very first PS3 game and when I started it, I marveled at Metropolis for 5 minutes before moving, having my mind BLOWN by how amazing the environment looked. And that happened again in the most recent entry as I went to the first space station or when I visited other worlds. This franchise deserves the shoutout for its locales in addition to its weaponry.

    5. Olympus Coliseum - Kingdom Hearts, Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden - Kingdom Hearts II Another cop-out, I know, but I love both of these worlds in the respective games listed for various reasons. Despite the simplicity in the first game, I loved how it was THE training arena, always pushing my skills and providing matchups that I enjoyed going through. Shout out to the Hades Cup and screw Sephiroth and the Ice Titan. As for HB/RG, I DESPISE the KH 1 version for its length and design but the second more interesting elements like the town and the entrance to Space Paranoids. HB/RG also had the single greatest moment, in my opinion, of the entire series to date with everyone fighting the army of Heartless to kick off the second half of the game.

    I hope you enjoyed reading mine!

  • Global Moderator

    @Brannox That was an awesome list! I agree with the FF worlds, somehow they always seem so alive and vast! I choce 9 as it is my favourite entry in the series. I still need to play more of the ratchet and clank games I feel, especially now after reading your entry :D

  • here are the ones that come to mind.

    Mass Effect's Galaxy I really love how well realized the universe in Mass Effect is, and how the different species are well thought out. But I really think it is a shame they don't make better use of it in what to me is a series with mediocre games.

    Dragon Age's world Same as Mass Effects, I like that it feels really well realized.

    Suikoden world Nowhere near as developed as other worlds, but it was still a delight to hear more about that world in the games, huge shame that we will probably never see another one.

    Brutal Legend This one to me was just a treat specially visually, I think it is one of the few open world games where I enjoyed just traveling around taking in the sights.

    Fallout's Wasteland Just as in the first two, love how developed the world feels.

  • Inaba - Persona 4 - No other game world feels quite as homey as Inaba. It's small but by the end of the game, you'll know it like the back of your hand.

    Flipside/Flopside - Super Paper Mario - Really I love every location in that game, from the Underwhere to the Overthere, but Flip and Flopside are special. There's so many hidden nooks and crannies to explore. Each new floor feels like a whole new world full of side quests, recipes, and people to talk to.

    The Other World - Ni No Kuni - I feel like it does have a proper name that I'm forgetting. Regardless, the world of Ni No Kuni is beautiful and diverse. No two locations feel the same, but regardless of if you're in Hamelin, Al Mamoon, or Ding Dong Dell, there's this sense of wonder that only Ghibli can create.

    Unova - Pokemon Black/White 1/2 - Black 2 was my first legitimate Pokemon game after years of just being a card collector, so there's a big sentimental connection to Unova. But beyond that, it's my favorite because of it's post game. You get the sense that Unova lives on and that there's even more challenges to undertake after you've claimed victory at the Pokemon League.

    Japan - Okami/Okamiden - Need I say more. The world of Okami is vast and absolutely beautiful. The game is great at making you think you've discovered everything and then suddenly doubling the size of its world and the stakes of its issues. I'll never forget it.

  • @Lotias Thank you! IX is one I haven't played in the series, so I cannot comment on it. I'm REALLY stoked that I made R&C worlds sound cool to you! As is the nature of our hobby, the newest looks the best, but if you play the very first OG R&C, then play the reboot, you'll see just how far the jump is. I'm going out on a limb and say that, because, for the most part, most R&C levels are more style than substance, you may like the PS3 forward ones better, but if you were to play any of the games, then that's a plus to me, as I was able to recommend a franchise I hold dear to somebody. Regardless of which entry you may choose, I hope you have fun! :-D :ok_hand:

  • Mass Effect - It's my favourite game, and I've played it quite a few times and one of the main reasons for that is the world. The Citadel alone is just a ton of fun to run around, and see all the species intermingling. It's exactly what I always dreamed a space station would look like.

    Super Mario - The Mushroom Kingdom is ridiculous and I love it. It's bright and unique, and just a lot of fun to play through. None of it makes sense, except in video game logic.

    Shadow of the Colossus - It's a beautiful world, but the main reason I love it is because of how empty it feels. It fits the tone of that game.

    Persona 4 - Inaba in this game is small. You don't have many places to go, but it feels like a real place. It's one of the few realistic worlds in a video game that I enjoy.

    Kingdom Hearts - Is this cheating? There are so many world's in this game, but I love the way it all connects. Destiny Islands was a great starting area, and I loved running around it even if it was quite small. Traverse Town was great too, I loved the architecture in it.

    1. Johto/Kanto (Pokemon Gold/Silver/Heart Gold/Soul Silver) - The Pokemon franchise has essentially defined my gaming life, and the gen 2 region(s) are by far my favorite. Beyond the extra size of having essentially 2 game worlds to roam around in, I loved the rustic feel of Johto, and the manner in which it flowed so nicely into Kanto. The battle atop Mt. Silver is about as epic as it gets. And then, when it gets right down to it, I just wish I could live with Pokemon. I'd be such a rad trainer, you guys.

    2. Another World (Ni No Kuni) - Beautiful art and whimsy abound, I also loved how the world was so intricately connected with the main character's ideals (namely, to always be kind to others and to help those in need, and to be brave even when you really just want to cry). The creatures and environments are also just so vibrant that I lost myself in that world for hours on end.

    3. Present Day (Chrono Trigger) - It was tough for me to choose exactly which era I loved the most, but I ultimately chose the one I'd most want to live in. Chrono Trigger is my personal pick for the greatest game of all time, and the amount of care that went into fleshing out not just a world, but its history was so ahead of its time. I also just love how much foreshadowing and merriment can be found during the game's opening act. Then the return to the Present at the very end of my first playthrough made me tear up because of how perfectly it tied the whole game together. God, that game is perfect.

    4. The Galaxy (Mass Effect Franchise) - Not that I would want to live there (or at least not during the time of the main trilogy), but my God did they do a great job of building that world. There's so much detail in every area, but it's not overwhelming like it is for me in some other games (e.g. Skyrim, Dragon Age). It always felt like they were doling out the information in a manner that fit the pacing. Yes there are codex entries and blocks of text if you so choose to look for them, but I think Mass Effect does an excellent job of conveying the details and rules of its world visually, which is something that is very hard to get just right.

    5. Shadow of the Colossus - Another world I wouldn't want to live in, I think Shadow of the Colossus is the perfect example of how great visual storytelling is succinct. Everything you need to know about that world is conveyed through its environments and its color palette. Even if you remove what little you know of the plot going in, you can learn so much just from Wandering (:D) about the environment. I could go on for a lot longer, but I feel like that's another post for another time. In short, this game is art, and the manner in which the world is built is indicative of the incredible skill of its artists.

  • Kentucky Route Zero - Deadbeat magical realist radio play roadside poetry.

    Wind Waker - I think I'd like to die on a boat. In search of Bas Jan Ader.

    Panzer Dragoon Saga - There was a time when Japan crafted visions of game worlds that were incomparably beautiful. This was the best of them, in my eyes.

    Rez - The closest to the 90's rave scene video games will ever take you.

    Sleeping Dogs - Hong Kong wuxia is woefully under explored and under served gaming territory. I prefer this to any GTA game ever, only San Andreas comes close.

    Hon mensch: Mother 2 Earthbound.

  • @flower_arrangement You made me really want to play Sleeping Dogs. Is it as archetypal and weird as a more traditional wuxia? I have trouble thinking of very successful contemporarily-set work in the genre.

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    1. Skyrim (The Elder Scrolls) — Simply the best non-anthropocentric naturalism I have seen in a game. The lore for Tamriel, Nirn, and Mundas / Oblivion / Aetherius is also great. I love how well done the physicality of everything is too. You can pick up herbs and armor and they'll disappear off of their respective sources. That really makes the world for me.

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    1. Monster Hunter's World — Another really great depiction of nature, but this time larger and grander: a mythic setting. All of the areas in Tri are beautiful with excellent skyboxes and intriguing ruins scattered about. The volcano area in particular is a masterpiece, with skyboxes telling the tale of an ascent through dark and lush jungle, through it's charred-gray edge, into the glowing red heart of the mountain, out of the molten caverns to the rock slate that juts out into the night sky, and up a slender trail of rocks in the middle of the sea of lava that flows down the mountainside, to the caldera which spits orange sparks up to contrast with the dark plume of ash, starry night sky, and distant sea.

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    1. Flipside, Rogueport, & Co. (The Thousand Year Door and Super Paper Mario) — These two unforgettable towns anchored fascinating, vibrant, and interactive worlds more varied than any Mario game that came before them or open world game that came after. Plus, areas like the Twilight Trail, Excess Express, and The Underwhere take parallax scrolling to a whole new level. Between these games, Sunshine, and Double Dash, it really felt like Mario was going in a less level editor-y direction. Then it didn't.

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    1. Hekseville & the World Pillar (Gravity Rush) — This picture says it all. How do you make an open world game interesting? You set it floating in the middle of an abyss, then have the player character fly. This game is a skybox! It's just so eerily right to have a posh, industrial age town floating in what is essentially the endless void of space. And you can fly around it, land on any surface, and feel gravity from any direction. That plus mystery and heartwarming feels makes a Good Game.

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    1. Hyrule (Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess) — I'm being really mean to Zelda for having the most typical world of them all. But it's what we all want, isn't it? Hyrule certainly has the most environmental interaction of any game that's not Minecraft: it retains that handcrafted level design without sacrificing freedom. And the skyboxes! I don't think anyone will ever forget seeing Death Mountain looming over them in Ocarina. Twilight Princess had Hyrule Castle, the Gerudo Desert, and the Arbiters Grounds' spires fill that role, with Snowpeak, the Forest Temple tree, and the Goron Mines also visible. Similar to Majora's Mask, Twilight Princess also had these really cool scenes (pictured above) where you would play a duet before the mist-shrouded landscape that you could also see in the skybox. So cool!

  • Global Moderator

    @Haru17 said in Your top 5 video game worlds:

    The volcano area in particular is a masterpiece, with skyboxes telling the tale of a descent through dark and lush jungle, through it's charred-gray edge, into the glowing red heart of the

    Brilliant idea of adding the pictures! why didn't I think of that? :D It really helps other people understand it.

  • What an hard question, since there are tons of great worlds !

    1. Inaba in Persona 4. Since Persona 4 is one of my favorite game of all time, putting it on this list is fairly obvious. I just love the global mood of the city: Hanging out with friends, going to the cinema, trying to beat the meat bowl challenge, I could enumerate but I loved everything about this game but I do have to explain why I love Inaba so much. I love it because of its countryside feel, I really feel at peace when wandering in this small city.

    2. Mojave in Fallout: New Vegas. I am a huge fan of post-apocalypic world but serious time: Do you really want to live in a world where danger lies everywhere and there is a lack of pretty much everything ? I do haha :D
      Especially in the wasteland Mojave of New Vegas. This game's mood can be serious, cool, atmospheric and crazy at the same time. And I freaking it whole punk western feel.

    3. Azeroth in World of Warcraft. I played Warcraft 3 when I was a young gentleman (yes, I already wore hats and eyeglasses as a child) and it was one of my favorite at the time (never managed to play it again ever since). Came out WoW but I hadn't money and I only could play it on private server, but still, I had a good time with it (although I didn't play it that much).
      After few years, I finally had the chance to pick up the games (Vanilla, BC and WotLK) and played it for about 6 years (with several breaks). All I can remember are the completely different moods, great scenery, fantastic zones and the almighty sense of exploration and adventure. Thinking of it, my friend dug the Warcraft lore and told me that this aspect of the Warcraft series is a blast. With the recent release of Legion expansion, I may pick it up and dig again in this great game.

    This is hard for me to pick only two other world since I didn't play that much of open world or series of game with universes but I can count GTA Vice City (great atmosphere based on a strong period), GTA San Andreas (same reason as Vice City), The Last of Us (I would love to wander in ghost towns), Metro series (big fan of post-apo worlds bouya), Stalker series and I would love to live the life of Nathan Drake (his life is a hell of an adventure !).

  • @Ringedwithtile said in Your top 5 video game worlds:

    @flower_arrangement You made me really want to play Sleeping Dogs. Is it as archetypal and weird as a more traditional wuxia? I have trouble thinking of very successful contemporarily-set work in the genre.

    It's not as bonkers as wuxia can get (thinking particularly of the breadth of the genre, to take just one semi-peripheral director as an example, Wong Kar Wai goes from directing art house in Ashes of Time Redux to producing wacky comedy in The Eagle Shooting Heroes).

    It's an undercover cop story, and is definitely western facing in terms of appeal. That said it tells a decent story, has really fun close combat mechanics and is just a total pleasure to spend time in. It nails a modern asian city, such a refreshing change from many of the more generic open world urban environments that are doled out. If you get the version with all the DLC then it does let go somewhat, with an island martial arts tournament straight out of Enter the Dragon, an over the top bond style super car, a Jiangshi summoning masked villain and more.

    I've completed it twice over, and am biased towards it so seek out other opinions but yeah, I love the game.

    Just for fun:

    Youtube Video

  • Surprised at all of the Skyrim love. I thought it was nowhere near as great and diverse as Tamriel in Oblivion. Like its night and day to me. Skyrim's world was a blur to me in that most places and especially the in between felt so similar and, for lack of a better term, cold.

  • @GoTaco Well I don't think everyone who played Skyrim has played the other Elder Scrolls games. I for instance only tried Oblivion for an hour, and then played Skyrim all the way through. I do know though that the other games certainly have more variety.
    I also think it depends on how you view that Scandinavian-like world. If you love snowy world's then yeah, you'll enjoy it more.

  • @Inustar

    I mean Skyrim is great, it just started to feel boring to me at around 80 hours while Oblivion held my attention for years. None of the cities touched Imperial City as well. That place really had atmosphere and culture.

  • @GoTaco It's interesting because I didn't care too much about the world itself. At least not that I noticed. I was just enjoying playing the quests and such. That's probably because the world was so samey that I had to enjoy the game for other reasons. Mostly being dragons. I loved it because of dragons.

  • @Inustar Yeah my initial opinion is strictly about the world of Skyrim and not Skyrim the game. The game was fun (still not as good as Oblivion imo but a great game).

    Skyrim the world got a lot of mentions in this thread so far and I'm just a tad surprised. Not upset just surprised.

  • Towns are only an aspect of a world. We are so very want to skim through all of the nature in a world because it's non-human (often rightly so, because developers tend to think the same way and copy-paste a lot of their natural environments). That's called anthropocentrism. Skyrim runs on a completely different philosophy. A philosophy I think some of the Metroids, Zeldas, and more or less all Monster Hunter games also run on).

    I think Oblivion (and Morrowind IIRC. It's been a while.) had shades of the same thing, but it's so much less advanced. Running through the woods in that game feels a lot less memorable, for one. Not to mention how the Deadlands—a major area of the game defined entirely by lava, spikes, and suffering—run totally counter to that naturalism I'm talking about. It's like comparing Mordor to Mount Fuji.

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    (Fun fact: Mordor also has dragons.)