On The Azrian Portal, I’m often talking about the best new fantasy books of 2019 to read or audiobooks to listen to. But, immersing yourself in a fantasy world isn’t always about prose. Video games also offer the opportunity to explore a world beyond our own. If you are looking to be part of a journey, instead of following one, this top list of fantasy video games is going to be right up your sword-strewn, dragon-infested street.
The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, is widely regarded as one of the best video games ever made. This utterly immersive title is home to an expansive fantasy world filled with everything from intensely beautiful, epically scaled landscapes to vibrant magic and monstrous creatures. Featuring a mythos and narrative so deep it’s actually being turned into a TV series, any gamer looking to explore an epic fantasy realm will find that The Witch 3 offers everything they need and more.
World of Warcraft
Everyone has heard of World of Warcraft. It is a cornerstone of modern gaming culture, but that isn’t the only reason why it deserves to be on a top list of fantasy video games. World of Warcraft belongs here because it has one of the most expansive lores of any fictional universe. The sheer depth into which a gamer can explore the world of Azeroth is simply breathtaking. Fantasy is escapism; fantasy is discovering a new place in time and space; and there are very few fantasy games to play right now that come close to the level of detail that World of Warcraft provides.
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
Bethesda are well-known for creating sprawling epic game worlds, but none have ever been so beloved as that of Skyrim. The high-point of the Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim transports players to a land beleaguered by dragons, cast under the shadow of wretches and monsters, all while in the midst of wars of men and other humanoid races. Skyrim is an epic place that is ensconced with epic tales. You cannot have a top list of fantasy games to play now without including this future classic. There is very little a genre fan cannot get out of this fantasy video game. Whether you are looking to involve yourself in battles, take up legendary quests or venture through strange landscapes, Skyrim is the title for you.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
When you think of Zelda, you may think of cartoonish animation and a character available on Mario Kart, but The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is as good a fantasy game as any. Why? Because between riding on horseback across open plains, fighting off monsters with your sword and shield, exploring dark dungeons, liberating castles and vanquishing terrible foes, there really aren’t many fantasy elements this game does not hit upon. The story feels like it’s straight out of a fairytale, and with a literally fairy following you everywhere you go, you really can get lost in this picturesque fantasy world.
From the light heart of Nintendo to the dark heart of Dark Souls, the switch in fantasy worlds here is night and day. Dark Souls is a series of games known for its brutality; both in terms of lore and story, as well as gameplay and difficulty. Unlike the other games in this blog, Dark Souls is very much a title for genres fans that feel that pull towards more twisted, grimdark fantasy. This game really focuses on the monstrous elements of fantasy; unpleasant worlds and unpleasant stories. That doesn’t make it any less enjoyable, in fact maybe more so, and arguably has it stand out on this top list of fantasy games as one you really shouldn’t miss; especially if you like to traverse realms that have very different feels to them.
And so our story ends. A series of three very unique -- but also undoubtedly similar -- games, Fable is a fantasy title quite unlike any other. Set in a world based off medieval England, home to quirky towns, cartoonish monsters, creatures of legend and wonderfully vibrant magic, there is a beautiful absurdity to Fable. The characters are all outlandish caricatures, voiced by impressive names of screen and stage. It gives the whole world an almost theatrical feel. Its loud and colourful; nothing like anything else on this list, and not really like many other games out there. Like Dark Souls, but in complete reverse, Fable offers this top list of fantasy games something very different; something well worth trying out.
Looking for new and exciting worlds to explore? Why not discover Azra through the fantasy ebook available right here! Featuring character-driven tales, grimdark themes, epic quests and fearsome monsters, there is something in The Azrian Anthology for everyone. If you don’t fancy the eBook, you can read short stories online right here.