Games with the strongest atmosphere

  • Hyper Light Drifter and Metroid Prime definitely make the grade, I think.

  • Mass Effect series has some sweeeeeeet atmosphere always lose myself in it.

  • Resident Evil REmake
    Red Dead Redemption
    Metroid Prime

  • Metroid prime, obviously
    But also The Swapper, it's one of my favourite indie games so far

  • recently... INSIDE.

  • @Ellis Transistor is one of my favorite games ever. The music and art direction are both incredible!

  • any myst game

  • Fatal Frame 1, 2, and 3 all have very intense and heavy atmospheres. The series uses the atmosphere to really get under your skin instead of using jump scares.

  • Twilight Princess: This game is just dripping with emotion. The music and story sequences really enrapture you in it.

    Skyrim: Not with the NPCs or anything, but just the world. I've not seen another game possess such a profound naturalism. Even without correcting for 2011's limitations, the interactivity of all of the plants really sells this wild fantasy world. Combine that with a great ambient soundtrack and you have complete tonal saturation. Not having much UI also helps.

    Metroid Prime 3: Corruption: I know I harp on this often, but everyone really needs to experience the GFS Valhalla. As in late game. The glow of the nearby nebula paints the derelict ship in red tones while glass and dust float in the air. Metroid environments are so much more effective when they have dead bodies, and this one uses those horror props to such great effect.

    Persona 3: I've not played any of the others yet, but the music direction is fantastic. It instantly creates an upbeat tone that's infectious even to cynical-minded people like me.

  • @Garmore said

    Hyper Light Drifter

    That was the first thing to come to my mind. The sound design just pulls you right in. Darkest Dungeon is another good example of that as the narrator almost singlehandedly transports you to that world.

    It's actually kind of hard to list off games for this, because almost any well made game to a degree feels like it has a strong atmosphere. Starbound is a game I've found myself getting absolutely lost in the atmosphere of at times, but then I pull back and think of how "gamey" the actual meat of the experience is. You also run into franchises where later games are compared to earlier ones in the sense of sharing a series specific atmosphere. A recent example would be Sonic Mania having a classic Sonic atmosphere. Should those count? Semantics aside, I'll try to as quickly as possible ramble off a handful of games that come to mind that caught my imagination or put me into a state of relaxation long enough to not see everything as systems within a video games and instead as something more.

    Yume Nikki: Delving into mazes of dreams and nightmares.
    Animal Crossing New Leaf: Comfy daily life that sacrifices gameplay for enhanced immersion.
    Pikmin: First game's ship logs and events really tug at your heartstrings and make you care about the Pikmin.
    The Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker: Adventure on the high seas, islands, and ancient civilization.
    Splatoon: Sounds like a weird addition to the list, but the world is just very believable.
    Harvest Moon 64: Living the farm life. Getting the farm wife.
    Super Mario Sunshine: Ignore the haters. Super jolly vacation on a far away island.
    Luigi's Mansion: Couldn't not mention this too. It's like Nintendo's take on Resident Evil.
    Yoshi Story: Super weird, but sticks to the storybook aesthetic.
    Pokemon Snap: Observing Pokemon in natural habitats and exploring interaction with them.
    South Park The Stick of Truth: Basically, the perfect tie in game. Feels like you're in the show to fine detail.
    Dot Hack Series: First four games heavily pretend to be an MMO, even though it's a single player game.