Beautifully Designed Video Game Environments

Published December 2, 2014
Updated January 19, 2018


Following the immensely popular Elder Scrolls series, a lot of hype surrounded Skyrim. And for good reason: Skyrim is one of the most open-ended RPG games released in the past five years. A story does exist, but there’s almost zero obligation to follow it. Just rambling around this vast environment is intriguing enough on its own.

Source: Buzzfeed

Source: Buzzfeed

Skyrim Sovngarde

Source: Buzzfeed

A medieval times setting makes for some pretty dark and gritty scenes, but venture further and you’ll find lush forests and lovely hazy skies. The location of one of the final fights feels like a special moment, because even though the game features beautiful locations everywhere, this scene has some of the most enchanting coloration in the entire game.

Video Game Environments White Run

Source: Buzzfeed

Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda series is known for being one of the first video games to experiment with open-ended worlds and RPGs. They’re like the founding fathers of world design. Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker lets the player explore the open seas in search of the triforce. Everything is decisively stylized and it fits with the overall mood of the game.

Video Game Environments Windmill

Source: Wikia

As the player, you travel to all sorts of quaint coastal towns that bring their own unique flavor to the genre.

Windwaker was very recently re-released in HD for the Nintendo WiiU. The seas have become that much more vivid.

Skyward Sword

Another Legend of Zelda game is Skyward Sword. One area stands out as particularly beautiful: Skyloft. It’s a town floating above the clouds, where Link and Zelda are raised.

Video Game Environments Sword Tree

Source: Buzzfeed

Video Game Environments Skyloft

Source: Buzzfeed

Video Game Environments Skyscrapers

Source: Buzzfeed

Mirror’s Edge bears sharp contrast to the utopian scenes in Skyloft. This world is filled with severe angles, giant skyscrapers, and other big city trappings.

Mirrors Edge Tower

Source: Buzzfeed

Erin Kelly
An All That's Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she's designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.