Depending on who you ask, there is much debate about Video Games being considered works of art. Some people claim that the value of a game is in the game play alone and graphics are just the icing on the cake, while many maintain that for a game to be truly spectacular and immersive, the graphics must be beautiful, and still some are initially drawn to a game by its artwork and style before anything else.
Regardless of one’s opinion on a game itself being a work of art, video games contain arguably the best works of modern computer generated graphics and should be appreciated as such. For those of us who consider a game’s artistic appeal to be paramount or who simply appreciate these games as works of art unto themselves, here’s a list of 25 Beautiful Video Games Worth Playing For Their Beauty Alone.
BioShock Remastered will be released in September of 2016. Already one of the most beautiful games ever produced, the remaster has reskinned and retextured the game so it lives up to the standards of current gen consoles and graphic cards. BioShock is a first person shooter adventure game set in an underwater secret city. It became available on Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4 starting September 13, 2016.
The original Crysis had graphics so intense that no PC graphics card available at the time of release could play the game on the highest resolution. Nearly a decade later, it still stands up as one of the most beautiful games you can play. Crysis a first person shooter adventure game about an ancient alien structure being discovered in the jungles of the Philippines. It's available on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.
Never Alone is a game about a girl and her white fox searching for the source of the Eternal Blizzard in hopes to save the world. The game developers work with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, and the game is based around Alaskan Native legends. You can find it available on PlayStation 3&4, Xbox One, Wii U, Mac and PC.
Okami is an adventure and puzzle game where you play a white spirit wolf named Amaterasu. It's designed to look like a cross between a woodcut and a Japanese ink illustration, meaning the entire game is literally a piece of artwork. One of the most unique things, though, is that the player can use something called the Celestial Brush during game play to call up things like wind or fire. It's available on PlayStayton 2 & 3, and Wii.
Dear Esther is a first person game that exists only to tell a story as you move through the game world. There's no usual game controls or puzzles to solve, just a richly detailed landscape and the love letter that starts, "Dear Esther..." It's available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac, and PC.
Do you like bright happy colors? Do you like platform games? Or Luchadors? If the answer to any of those is "yes, duh!" then you'll thoroughly enjoy Guacamelee! The entire game is a visual feast for those who enjoy the bright colors of Dia de Muertos. You can find this game for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3&4, Wii U, PC, and Mac.
Flower was designed to be more of a positive, almost meditative experience rather than a traditional, challenging video game. Created by the same studio that would later go on to create Journey, you control the wind, and by doing so help flowers bloom, and bring dead and colorless fields back to vibrant and colorful life. It's available for PlayStation 2 & 3, and PlayStation Vita.
Skyrim is the fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series, and it has dragons. While the game itself is beautiful, what really makes it unique and amazing is the dedicated legion of hardcore fans that have developed and coded literally hundreds of custom modifications for the game, making it truly breathtaking.
Forbes has claimed that Uncharted 4 has some of the best graphics it has ever seen, and they may be right. An action adventure game with treasure hunts and unfolding of the main character's pasts, Uncharted 4 was made by the same studio that made The Last Of Us. You can find it available on PlayStation 4.
The Witcher 3 is an open world role playing game where you play Geralt, a monster hunter. Witcher 3 is the largest game of the series, and like Skyrim has a community of fans who have created modifications that can be added beyond the already impressive graphics and gameplay. It can be found for PlayStaytion 4, Exbox One, and PC.
Shadow of the Colossus is an action adventure game by Sony where you play a boy named Wander who must defeat the colossi in order to restore life to a young girl. Shadow of the Colossus has a very beautiful and minimalist landscape, with no towns or other characters to interact with save for the colossi which must be killed. The game received several awards for design and wide critical acclaim. It's available for PlayStation 2.
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Fans of Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle) will enjoy the series of role playing games titled Ni No Kuni. Studio Ghibli did the character design as well as the animated sequences. You play a boy named Oliver who must travel to an alternate world to save his mother and stop the forces of evil. It's available on Nintendo DS.
The Last Of Us is a post apocalyptic adventure game where you must escort a young girl across the US. Much of what made it stand out at it's release were the stunning graphics, and it's already been remastered with graphics at a full 1080HD. If you like video games as art, it's a must play. Find it on PlayStation 4.
Eternal Sonata practically glows with vivid colors and exquisite attention to detail. A solid entry into the genre of Games as Art, Eternal Sonata is a musical RPG that follows the dreams of Chopin on his deathbed as he enters a dreamworld, meets other musically themed characters and goes on adventures. It's available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Bloodbourne is a dark and gory game that is beautifully rendered. If you're into Victorian gothic architecture and the vicious killing of vile hellbeasts, this game is probably going to make you happy. Find it on PlayStation 4.
Life Is Strange is a an adventure game about a photography student who finds she can rewind time. The game has received much critical acclaim for it's artwork and use of light to help tell the story. It's available on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 & 4.
In the game Transistor, you play Red, who runs around the city of Cloudbank with a great sword like weapon called the Transistor, fighting a robot force called The Process. The artwork is very much Cyberpunk meets Tron meets Art Deco. You can find it available on PlayStation 4, Mac, and PC.
Broken Age is a point and click adventure game about two teenagers who seek to change the direction of their lives, only to find out they haven't been told the truth at all. The art is beautiful and soft, with vivid colors that draw you in. You can find it on PlayStaytion 4, Mac, PC and Android.
The Unfinished Swan starts in a completely blank space, and you play Monroe, a boy who chases a swan that escapes from one of his late mother's paintings. The game world is revealed as you throw ink around to reveal things. It should also be noted that the narration in this game is whimsical and soothing, reminiscent almost of children's books. It's available on PlayStation 3&4.
Limbo is an eerily beautiful and dark game and probably one of the best recent examples of video games as playable artwork. You play a boy who is never named, seeking his lost sister. How you interpret the message of being in "limbo" is up to you. It's available on nearly every platform, including Android.
Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons is a story about two brothers who must go on a journey to save their sick father after their mother dies. Their journey takes you through some truly breathtaking landscapes and brings you in contact with some interesting creatures. Find it on PlayStation 3 & 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC
In Ori and the Blind Forest, you move (as Ori, a white spirit) through the forest, making friends in order to get objects needed to revive the Spirit Tree and save the forest. Those who liked the feel of the forest from the Avatar movie will also enjoy the magical artwork of this game. It's available for PC and Xbox One.
Mirror's Edge has arguably some of the most uncanny realistic urban environments ever seen in a video game. You play a girl named Faith and work your way through the city called Glass via urban exploration and parkour. Really really wild parkour. You can find it available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Final Fantasy X is one of the most well known beautiful games, and the HD remaster is absolutely worth playing through. You play Tidus, who is also the game's narrator, who has been pulled into this world after something attacked his. He travels as the protector of a young summoner, Yuma, in hopes of finding his way home. It's available on PlayStation 3 & 4 and PC.
BioShock Infinite is the third installment in the BioShock franchise but is not a sequel or prequel to the other games. Where BioShock 1 & 2 are set in the undersea city of Rapture, Infinite is set in the sky, in the floating city of Colombia. Infinite retains, if not expands on, the steampunk styles of the previous games. You play a character named Booker DeWitt, who must work his way through the city to save someone he didn't know he loved. Find it on PlayStation 3&4, PC, Mac, and Xbox One.
If you enjoyed seeing all the games with beautiful artwork, here are a few more video games to check out: 25 Video Game Architecture Designs That Are Absolutely Gorgeous.