Video Games can take players into different worlds with settings that are captivating to the eye. They also have stories and music that enchant players to want to play for one more hour just losing sleep in order for a couple more moments of immersion.
This is what beautiful video games do. Beautiful video games can introduce worlds that place players in a trance. The games in this list don’t have to be pretty in the generic sense. The games will be different in style and presentation. This list includes games that managed to do the best job at compiling all of their artistic elements.
Flower is aesthetically pleasing as it allows the player to control a flower petal using the wind. On the PlayStation 3, the game was centered around using the control to control the wind and this was surprisingly calm and intuitive.
As the player’s flower petal progresses through the game’s different levels there are different objectives. The player encounters a lot of objectives that focus on making bleak worlds vibrant and full of color. That along with the soundtrack the game offers makes for a compelling experience that doesn’t need words to tell its elegiac story.
Subnautica, while it doesn’t have a story that’s as engaging to follow as a lot of other games on this list, it still has some of the most beautiful locations that any game could offer. The story serves more to guide players through beautiful biomes and some of the logs can be interesting.
A large percentage of this game takes place underwater and this benefits it greatly. This can cause some deep chills to be sent down many players’ backs. The underwater creatures are vast in their looks and both those that are peaceful and carnivorous are unique in design. The use of different underwater biomes expands beyond imagination with areas that can only be pulled off in its setting. The game’s truly gorgeous.
Bastion takes place in a world that’s been completely dismantled. This makes it have an artistic flair that is not similar to anything players might’ve played. The ground forms as the Bastion walks through levels. A lot of what makes the textures of the game interesting is that the environments were 2D and digitally painted. The characters, on the other hand, are 3D and use textures similar to their backgrounds.
The story also has a lot of great twists and turns that are enough to leave players happily wanting to hear more. Though the story isn’t bad it is also not anything great and the soundtrack is one that isn’t too memorable.
7/10 Elden Ring
Elden Ring takes everything that a lot of the souls series has done and makes the perfect spiritual successor. The gameplay has more choice in how to experience the game’s difficulty. In its style, it also takes the number one spot in what could be done with FromSoftware games. Elden Ring’s imaginative ability comes from its world-building. It is bigger than ever and offers locations and character designs that are as alluring as ever.
The story is one that players must search for. If players take the time to check it out it’s as enticing as an excellent book. For those that don’t read this might be difficult to get into. With or without heavily looking into the story, the mystery that fills the game’s air is still present. The design of the game and secrecy of what’s next accompanied by a beautiful score is enough to capture any player’s attention.
6/10 Kingdom Hearts 2
The Kingdom hearts series has spectacular worlds in every single title. Kingdom Hearts 2 has Twilight town which is by far one of the most beautiful worlds in gaming. It feels like a dreamlike world with the way the music intertwines with the stunning yellow, tan, and gold tones of Twilight Town’s setting and the secrets it hides. With that said the beauty of Kingdom Hearts 2 comes from more than what its planets offer. Though, their unique art styles such as the one reminiscent of an original Disney cartoon are astonishing.
The bond that Riku and Sora cultivate along is one full of positivity. The game also carries a message about having heart and being there for the people players love. The narrative might be a little cheesy at times but is heartfelt if taken in with an open mind.
Bioshock is a game that is led by its design. The ostentatious art deco style that it implemented in a deep sea paradise is attention grasping. It’s a deep sea post-apocalyptic moving work of art. The setting is in itself a dichotomy. It puts the symbolism of classism and addiction in the face of the player with its visuals.
The story follows the setting’s footsteps as it’s delineated from regular narrative tropes. The plot keeps players guessing in a way that keeps things moving forward but never present. This is because the game keeps a layer of mystery over it. It does this right to the very end. The game as a whole creates a nearly unblemished action-packed mystery experience. The way it drives its story forward and uses its settings as an enigmatic backdrop is strangely beautiful.
Hades has a pen and ink art style that’s reminiscent of that of pen and ink art which is what their art director Jen Zee took into account when approaching the video game’s art style. This makes everything from the settings, the characters, and the enemies intriguing to look at.
The story also has a lot to offer in the realm of setting up conversations with characters that consistently stay intriguing. The drama that’s brought up with the protagonist and his father is what initially introduces intrigue and relatability. The story is thrust further when interesting characters start to get introduced. This game will keep players hooked as getting to a new setting and experiencing it along with new dialogue lines is a reward in itself.
3/10 God of War
God of War has some of the most stunning locations to look at. Some can argue that the enemy variety wasn’t sparse, but it made a lot of those enemies make sense in the realms Kratos traveled to. The fights are still cinematic masterpieces, but unlike the older titles, the story has much more to offer right off the bat.
Players get to form a closer relationship with Kratos as they see the emotions he has for both his son and his dead wife. The writing is immaculate with both character design and world-building being placed pleasantly without a single problem. Stylistically this is one of the best-looking games to have come around. The locations feel like paintings that are easy get lost in every direction.
Undertale took turned-based combat and revolutionized it in a way that has yet to be repeated similarly since. The attribute of including a way to beat the game pacifistically is partially what makes this game wholesome and so high on this list.
The narrative options that are given to the player depending on the way they play are unique, funny, and touching. The 8-bit art in character design and some of the artistic choices Undertale makes later in the game are diverse. The music also packs a punch with songs that give players the sense of being in a forgotten land or epic life-changing battle. Overall, this game looks simple but is complexly beautiful in that it will make most players feel something.
1/10 The Last of Us
The Last of Us. Hearing its name sends many people down a nostalgic thought pattern that starts with some impressive acoustic music that the game presents. The plot from beginning to end is engaging with writing that well deserved the 2014 Writers Guild of America Award for Achievement in Video Game Writing.
Aside from the story the locations that the characters must traverse and the enemies they face add to the perplexing nature of the game. The world is truly made for the characters that inhabit it. Both the story and combat feed off of each other creating a connection between the player and characters. Players will feel as if they’ve witnessed a playable movie when they’re done with this game.