You don't necessarily need noisy, crowded cities to make a section of a game exciting. Uninhabited wastelands, post-apocalyptic worlds, a sea of sand dunes, vast grasslands... These can all be strikingly beautiful places, and capable of telling enticing stories.

We've gathered some choice games below to show how well abandoned places can set the general atmosphere, making them memorable story experiences.


Here we go:

Bikanel Island in Final Fantasy X

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Final Fantasy X has a special atmosphere, with Sanubia Sands on Bikanel Island being the highlight of those strange regions. Few can survive in this tough desert, including the technologist tribe of the Al Bhed and Cactuar enemies.

The ancient, mysterious world of Journey

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There's nothing like the quiet, abandoned world of thatgamecompany's third game, Journey.

Tanaris in World of Warcraft

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Vast sand dunes cover the Tanaris desert in southern Kalimdor, making the goblin trading outpost of Gadgetzan the only sign of civilization in the area.

The abandoned fortress in Ico

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Exploring an almost completely empty castle and escaping from it doesn't sound too captivating, yet Ico is one of the most immersive games out there.

The Pripyat region in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series

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GSC's post-apocalyptic survival FPS series takes place around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and its exclusion zone.

Earth, after the impact of the asteroid 99942 Apophis in Rage

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Mankind didn't vanish after the hit, but those who survived hide themselves very vell.

The Moscow metro system in Metro 2033

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Post-apocalyptic Moscow and its underground system is not completely abandoned, which makes it scary as hell if you know what's lurking in the dark.

The forbidden land in Shadow of the Colossus

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SotC's beautiful, forbidden land was sealed long ago to prevent evil from escaping.

Rub 'al Khali Desert in Uncharted 3

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Nathan only has his hallucinations to keep him company in the Rub 'al Khali chapter of Naughty Dog's Uncharted 3.

The Grazelands in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

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Vvardenfell's northeastern grasslands are vast and rather uninhabited. Only a few nomadic settlements break the silence.

Desert regions in the Monster Hunter series

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The Monster Hunter series is perfect, if you'd like to find games with unforgiving, harsh and vast desert areas.

Do you remember playing games that have deserted, yet amazing areas? You should share the scenery in the comments below.

sources: WoWwiki, Electricblueskies, Thatgamecompany, Moddb, Metro2033 Photo Stream, The Elder Scrolls Files, Monster Hunter Wiki