One of the hallmarks of a truly unforgettable video game experience is a map that stands out. Many of the most popular titles in video game history have been blessed with instantly recognizable overworld maps that have been burned into the memory of those who played the game. A good map stands out from the rest with it’s diverse landscape, impressive scope, and mesmerizing scenery. While many games contain an overworld map, few truly stand the test of time.
Below are five maps that are beloved by gamers the world over. Each map is exceptional in design, and also serves as a great guide to those who delve into the world of its respective game.
5) Suikoden II (PSX):
Suikoden II’s map manages to capture both a feeling of whimsy and imperialism at once. Filled with lush green plains and quaint villages, juxtaposed by daunting capitols and military fortresses, the world of Suikoden II is a treat to explore. An unforgettable game and an unforgettable map have earned Suikoden II a perpetual top spot in the hearts of RPG fans since the game’s release.
4) Ni No Kuni (PS3):
The charmingly captivating world of Ni No Kuni manages to hammer in the sense of child-like wonder, all while providing for an excellent game to boot. The game’s excellently cel-shaded visuals bring a world of mystery and exploration to life in a way that few modern games have been able to. Ni No Kuni’s overworld map does the same, hand-drawn with rich detail that illustrates perfectly the game’s varied continents and locations.
3) The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (GameBoy):
Featuring an expansive map for such an early handheld system, Link’s Awakening blew gamers away at the time of its release. With tons of different locations, each filled with secrets and treasure, Link’s handheld journey still feels like a journey worthy of its Legend of Zelda title.
2) Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies (Nintendo DS):
An unbelievable map for a handheld system that stands with it’s console counterpart, Dragon Quest IX‘s map was the first entry into the storied franchise for many gamers. With an almost overwhelming amount of locations to discover, it’s almost too simple to sink dozens upon dozens of hours into DQIX. The Dragon Quest franchise has always been able to capture the spirit of an epic quest thanks to it’s imaginative and interesting worlds, and DQIX takes the cake.
1) Morrowind (PC/Xbox):
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind’s Vvarndenfell is one of the most diverse, immersive, and unforgettable maps ever to be seen in a video game. Chock full of landmarks, intriguing cities, and sometimes surreal landscape, Morrowind has a level of detail found in its overworld that is virtually unparalleled. To this day, simply loading up Morrowind and exploring Vvardenfell is one of gaming’s greatest treats.
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