Video game environment plays a part as important as the gameplay or characters. This list consist of 10 video game cities I’ve chosen for my top favorite cities in games. I had a lot in consideration such as the design of the city’s skyline, the architecture of the buildings, the level of interaction the player has such as miscellaneous activities and the overall characteristics that make a city special and full of life such as places of interest and pedestrians most importantly. Not all of the cities in this list have all of those characteristics but they all have at least one or two and one may have what the other lacks and vise versa.
#10: Late 40’s Los Angeles (L.A. Noire)
Set in the 1940’s, Team Bondi really captured what Los Angeles looked like back in the day thanks to photographer Robert Spence. The map of this city is huge, the biggest city map of any open world game I’ve played. Lots of driving to get from place to place, but i enjoyed that, i enjoyed the scenery, seeing and experiencing how that city was back in the golden age of the 40’s and 50′. It features several real-life landmarks which not only they are beautiful and historic but you get to familiarize yourself with those great architectures and monuments.
#9: Ebel City (Resonance Of Fate)
Ebel City is the largest city in Basel, since the moment I started playing the game i fell in love with this city’s architecture and design. Even though it’s not an open world game where you couldn’t fully explore this magnificent city, it was enough for me to add it to this list because it made an impact on me. This is where the protagonists live and it’s designed with a retro futuristic touch, the streets are full of different characters you can interact with and it features various buildings you can enter such as the guild and various shops.
#8: New Marais (InFamous 2)
New Marais’s environment varies in each area of the city, from the lively Ville Cochon with it’s many bars, nighttime activities, renovated condos and insatiable demand for adult entertainment to the historical ST Charles Cemetery where there are many stories buried beneath its grounds to the Swamps, a dangerous area controlled by the militia full of creatures and secrets. New Marais has it all, it is very eccentric and full of life. The design is heavily consisted in designs based on the real life city of New Orleans and they did a really good job, i was mesmerized with the vibrancy and radiance of the city.
#7: Hekseville (Gravity Rush)
This city is floating in the sky, it doesn’t get any more cooler than that! Hekseville’s design is composed with industrial retro-futuristic style with some steampunk elements and it features diversely designed districts with over the top buildings such as Vendecentre(Downtown and the financial/government sector), Endestria (The city’s industrial hub), Pleajeune(The entertainment quarter) and Auldnoir(The housing district and Kat’s current residence)
#6: Los Santos (Grand Theft Auto V)
Los Santos made its second appearance in the series in GTAV, but this new model of the city is much bigger, detailed, and more alive than ever before, in GTAV’s Los Santos you can never get bored. It’s accuracy with the real city of Los Angeles is on point. What i love about this city is it’s lifestyle and ethnically diverse population and it’s diverse neighborhoods that are so different and full of life and together they make Los Santos a great place for exploring. There’s countless of thing you can do in L.S. and that is why i chose this city over any other in the series but it was a very tough choice because i love Vice City and Liberty City equally.
#5: Novigrad (The Witcher 3)
Novigrad is such a vivid city full of character and diversity. Love the structure of the place, designed based on medieval Amsterdam and Gdańsk with touches of Venice. I could spend hours just exploring the city, admiring it’s detailed places, buildings and people, there’s always something happening everywhere you look. The one thing that caught my attention was that every resident of the city is doing his/her own daily routine chores and activities and that made the city’s soul more realistic.
#4: City Of Glass (Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst)
Glass is a futuristic wealthy industrial city, i loved parkouring through its buildings and just admiring the beautifully designed environment. Glass City is heavily inspired by Asian cities such as Singapore, Tokyo and Shanghai. I found it very fascinating to admire the city’s unique design and skyline with its interesting architectural buildings and shapes and you get to explore this concrete jungle in a totally different way than any other city in this list by parkouring and leaping from building to building.
#3: Empire Bay (Mafia II)
Mafia 2’s Empire Bay is based on the 40’s and 50’s New York and Chicago. What i love about this city is the changes it goes through with various weather and time conditions. Just as its tagline say “a city on the grow” Empire Bay is a flourishing city with lots of commerce, big corporations and shops all over. The ambience of this city really sets you in the mood, they did a really good job in bringing in those vintage vibes into the game which really payed off. There’s many other things to do in Empire Bay such as going to restaurants, bars and exploring landmarks in which all are based in real life locations.
#2: San Francisco (Watch Dogs 2)
San Fransisco Bay area is the main setting for Watch Dogs 2 and i couldn’t be more happy to add it to this list. This affluent city is everything i could ask for, they really did some good work in showcasing what this city is about and i enjoyed exploring every inch of the map. It features various neighborhoods and surrounding areas, all full of life. There’s a lot of interaction with the world such as pedestrians doing all kinds of random things such as dancing, walking their dogs, taking selfies, fighting with each other and even causing some chaos on their own among many other things. San Fran is a city of wonderful landmarks and many of them are featured in the game where you can take pictures of them and gain followers. The city is also full of shops and restaurants and many other activities that all are fun to experience and you’d never get tired of.
#1: Neo-Paris (Remember Me)
Neo-Paris is such a beautiful designed futuristic city and it shows that a game doesn’t have to be open world to feature such a detailed city with marvelous scenery and full of detail from limited levels of exploring. It is set in France in 2084 and it is a thriving metropolis with cyber-punk elements. This city features flashing high tech gizmos, flying vehicles, and towering skyscrapers complete with neon lights, dingy slums, and rainy nights and details like this is what makes you fall in love with games like this.