The Best Cities In RPGs
Character customization, armor class, and storyline are all important parts of a role-playing game. One of the most important features of all, however, is the immersion factor. Video games have an advantage over other mediums when it comes to creating a realistic world that the player can explore.
The best RPGs are famous for their detailed worlds that include a variety of geographic variety, distinct landmarks, and sophisticated settlements. Some of the cities that are part of the background in role-playing games have risen to prominence for the same reason as many real-life places, either for the artwork, natural beauty, or political importance.
7 Alinor, Somerset Isles – Elder Scrolls Online
It's tough to choose just one city on the sprawling map of The Elder Scrolls Online, but to nobody's surprise, it's Alinor in the Summerset Isles that gets the nod. It looks like the creators were inspired by Tolkien-esque visions of Rivendell and medieval Austrian castles.
Part of the romance of Alinor is the exclusivity. Only residents were allowed within the city for 50 years, giving foreign traders access to the port and nothing else. Rumors spread of a city made of glass and insect wings, complete with lofty towers that seem to grow out of the surrounding hills.
6 Drezen – Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous
Not exactly pretty, but that depends on that kind of character you build in this detailed RPG, and what makes this city great is that it changes depending on the protagonist's Mythic Path. A Lich might appreciate a ziggurat in the northwestern corner of town, whereas a Swarm-That-Walks would be more interested in the giant bug hiding in an old basement.
Aside from that, Drezen has a lot of perks that other cities in Golarion are lacking. It isn't controlled by demons, for one thing, at least not by the time the story gets to chapter two, nor does it have a big messy chasm running through it.
5 Dawnstar – Skyrim
It's all about location, and every single one of Skyrim's cities has its own unique charm, but quaint little Dawnstar is one of the best. Not everyone will appreciate the location, which is relatively isolated, but it's still the capital of The Pale and has a bustling port for trade and travel.
An ideal city for those that want peace and quiet, that can apply to living in general or to a specific location. This city is the location of the Dawnstar Sanctuary, one of the oldest homes of the Thieves Guild, and part of the quest saga surrounding the guild is to re-discover this old location and build it back to its former glory.
4 Baldur's Gate – Baldur's Gate Series
This game takes the name of this city for a reason, and it's not just that it's a bustling hub that seems to have everything. The most important plot points of almost all the protagonist's adventures seem to lead back to Baldur's Gate in some way, and it's also the home of some famous NPCs and the only place to find special items and famous weapons.
Locals simply call it "the Gate" and it's the biggest city on the whole Sword Coast and an important trade and political center for all of Faerûn. It was big enough to be fairly secure, and well-defended by both troops and walls even though it was never under any external threats.
3 Shapeir, Gloriana – Quest For Glory 2: Trial By Fire
The other games in the Quest for Glory franchise have the typical small town as their hub of civilization, but Shapeir is a real bustling metropolis. It was fun to hear all kinds of tall tales about it in the first game and actually get to visit the location in the sequel.
The whole concept of a big city that acts as a hub for the protagonist's adventures might have started in this game. Instead of the basics of a simple village with little more than a vendor and an inn, Shapier had a big open market and a palace along with the usual city trappings of stores and taverns.
2 Midgar – Final Fantasy 7
Midgar made its first appearance in Final Fantasy 7 as a major location for most of the action. It's a city, with all of the usual features that include slums, a market, and NPCs, but it's also the corporate headquarters of the Shinra Electric Power Company, a dominant force in the world of Gaia.
The design of Midgar is what's really impressive about it. The city is usually visible only at night, as it's built on an enormous electrical disc that is constantly flowing with electrical energy, which makes it an impressive industrial wonder even if it's not exactly the most beautiful city.
1 Beauclair, Toussaint – The Witcher 3: Blood And Wine Expansion
On of the best-looking places in The Witcher 3, even when you have to spend the better part of your days up to your knees in monster guts. The city that surrounds the royal palace was rebuilt with the same design at one point, which gives the impression of the castle growing out of the town if viewed from a distance.
The commerce locally is dominated by wine and anything related to it, which includes a myriad of industries along with the obvious vintners, traders, and innkeepers. That has the side effect of a wealthy, wasted populace with money to spend, which is great for any role-playing character and even better for a Witcher.
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