If there was a video game museum of the most beautiful games, these 28 would be in it

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If there was a video game museum of the most beautiful games, following 28 games would be in it. The beautiful is always relative. For one, the photorealistic graphics of a ‘Forza Horizon 4’ would occupy the top of this list, while for another the minimalism of ‘Thomas Was Alone’ would occupy that same position. However, with our pluses and minuses supported by that saying that unites opinion and asses in the same sentence, there are undoubtedly games that stand out for the visual.

With this list we want to get closer to some of them, those who for some reason have managed to captivate me with their beauty, visual design or technical wonder. I know that it left me in the pipeline, and I doubt that it would one day end if I did not, but among all of them these are the 28 most beautiful games I have played.

‘Abzu’

(2016) – PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Matt Nava was fascinated by diving and, after working on ‘Journey’ (another one that will appear on the list), it occurred to him that he could transfer the beauty of the desert from that one to the underwater bottom. That the adventure is so similar is not trivial, in both the game consists more in marveling at its visual display than in challenging yourself through control. Needless to say, the experiment was fantastic for them and, as in the case of the game it is inspired by, ‘Abzu’ is an essential game.

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‘Ape Out’

(2016) – PC and Switch

A canvas of color and straight lines that turns into a Pollock painting with punches. As if that weren’t enough artistic tribute, each beat also represents a note or change of rhythm for the jazz theme heard in the background. It’s not what you’d expect from a game about a gorilla escaping from its cage, but that’s roughly ‘Ape Out’.

‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

(2018) – PC, PS4 and Xbox One

‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’ is a good example of a video game that doesn’t need to be designed to look pretty and listed in every museum. It is worth it with a recreation of classical Greece that is almost always spectacular. Whether in the woods, temples or cities, strolling through the Ubisoft game is a real delight in which it is highly recommended to get lost.

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‘Bloodborne’

(2015) – PS4

Can the ugly be pretty? The foolishness brings it to him, but if you look at a game like ‘Bloodborne’, as dark as heady, like a Saturn devouring his son, the answer ends up having his former. A formidable work that extols the Victorian darkness in a city that is a pleasure to walk through (heartbroken, yes).

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‘Control’

(2019) – PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Here things are largely about visual spectacle, but the absolute protagonist is the brutalism displayed by the architecture of levels in which it is a pleasure to get lost. ‘Control’ is an essential game for both the artistic and the playable.

‘Death Stranding’

(2019) – PC and PS4

Probably one of the most spectacular and emotional country walks that you can experience virtually. ‘Death Stranding’ is nature in its purest form, and the combination of landscapes and music deliver an unforgettable experience.

‘Dishonored 2’

(2016) – PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Because Goya taught us when we were little that beauty is not always light, the ‘Dishonored’ saga manages to create some of the most beautiful settings I have ever walked in a video game museum and instill fear at the same time. Halfway between the Mediterranean and steampunk, the second installment is an enviable artistic waste.

‘Firewatch’

(2016) – PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Despite having a much simpler aesthetic than what we can find in a triple A, this forest ranger simulator (which in reality was something else) seemed superb. Not only in terms of quality, but also mainly in terms of aesthetics. ‘Firewatch’ plays with light in a fantastic way, but it could also be hung on a wall simply because of what its script proposes.

‘Flower’

(2009) – PS3, PS4, PS Vita and iOS

‘Flower’ is not only one of the most beautiful games I have played, it is also among my favorites in the history of video games. In it we control a breeze of air that must collect flower petals and pollinate other plants to bring life back to a land ravaged by industrialization and the growth of large cities. Seeing all those petals fly in unison, while nature explodes in its path, has always seemed an amazing experience. Probably the most spectacular work of Thatgamecompany and Jenova Chen.

‘GRAY’

(2016) – PC, PS4 and Xbox One

It is the only one on the list that we have not yet been able to test in depth, but without a doubt a worthy candidate for the most beautiful game in history that makes it impossible not to have it present. ‘GRIS’ is one of the most promising Spanish developments. A game full of art that promises to excite us based on color and animations made with the most sincere affection.

‘Hidden Folks’

(2017) – PC, Android and iOS

Less is more is not an exact rule to hold on to without hesitation, but for Germans Adriaan de Jongh and Sylvain Tegroeg it worked wonders on ‘Hidden Folks’ . This curious proposal is nothing more than a Where’s Wally? in which to search for hidden objects interacting with the fantastic art of Tegroeg. A relaxing game suitable for all audiences in which it is impossible to spend hours scrutinizing every point of the stage in search of that detail that will make you smile.

‘Hohokum’

(2014) – PS3, PS4 and PS Vita

Proof that art experiments don’t always work out, and the video game museum world generally needs more than good intentions. ‘Hohokum’ put us in the skin of a snake that had to go through different scenarios completing various objectives, usually taking the curious beings of its world from one place to another. The lack of clear objectives and how confusing everything was closed many doors, but being considered an interactive work of art was never one of them.

‘Journey’

(2012) – PS3 and PS4

If you ask anyone who has played ‘Journey’ what their favorite scene is, they will all answer the same thing: the descent through the ruins into the desert. The brilliance of the sun-drenched sand, the scenery spilling out like an avalanche … It’s just a few seconds of a game not much longer, but the experience it offers is unforgettable and remains etched in your head. Thatgamecompany’s game is many other things, of course, but being the owner of the most beautiful scene in the history of videogames is no small feat.

‘Monument Valley’

(2014) – iOS and Android

Nobody expected Ustwo to burst the market in such a spectacular way, but there they are. With a second installment already on the market, ‘Monument Valley’ is the perfect piece for a museum precisely because it is inspired by them. Hand in hand with the impossible buildings and stairs of Escher, it shows us a window into a magical world capable of twisting and evolving for our visual enjoyment.

‘Ni no Kuni’

(2010) – DS, PC, PS3 and PS4

It’s not that ‘Ni no Kuni’ is the closest thing to being in a Studio Ghibli movie , it’s that the creators of films like Spirited Away were working directly with Level-5 to deliver the two main installments. The result is obvious, an old school RPG so pretty it hurts. A superb job in which, in addition, the emotion it caused was not only limited to what entered through the eyes.

‘Okami’

(2006) – PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox One and Wii

From the hand of the always great Hideki Kamiya , Capcom launched back in 2006 one of those games that end up surviving time with hardly any mess. An adventure in which we had to fight against the darkness controlling the goddess Amaterasu, of a very Japanese style and very focused on Japanese folklore. It did not prevent him from becoming an international success and, on the rebound, that every time people talk about rebonic games the name ‘Okami’ comes out.

‘Old Man’s Journey’

(2017) – PC, Android and iOS

If I’m not mistaken, this is the most recent game on the list. An adventure specially designed for mobiles in which you accompany an old sea lion to an uncertain destination. The story, despite sparing in words, is memorable, but even more so is all the scenes and animated photographs that we come across along the way. We will not do much beyond controlling the height and inclination of the hills so that the gentleman continues to advance, but the beautiful walk through this ‘Old Man’s Journey’ seems to me an essential trip.

‘Ori and the Blind Forest’

(2015) – PC, Switch and Xbox One One of the most beautiful titles I have tried in recent years, as well as a great game like the glass of a pine tree. ‘Ori and the Blind Forest’ understood the ‘Castlevania’ spirit as very little has since the Metroidvania fad began . Its scenarios are amazing, the bug you control is pure love and, as a gift, you have some action sequences that are to take your hat off. Pure art in motion.

‘Puppeteer’

(2013) – PS3

It shouldn’t have done too well in sales, because neither Japan Studio has been animated with a second installment, nor Sony has given it the opportunity to jump to PS4 with a remaster, but ‘Puppeteer’ is a fantastic adventure that well deserved a little more love . As well as being hilarious, painting the adventure like a play, using cutouts and recognizable textures, gave it a brutal look that shone even more when bosses were on screen. A highly recommended game, even today, for young and old.

‘Red Dead Redemption 2’

(2018) – PS4 and Xbox One

Impossible to prevent your jaw from touching the ground when you walk through a forest and see how the light filters through the trees. ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ is not only a great video game to be listed in every museum like the top of a pine tree, it is also a visual wonder that would fill a museum with pictures if we were to cut out each of the frames that make up its immense mapping. Because not all games need bright colors to be beautiful.

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‘Shadow of the Colossus’

(2005) – PS2, PS3 and PS4

There are games that mark you in a special way and, although any Team Ico game would deserve a place on this list, I have stayed with ‘Shadow of the Colossus’ precisely because of how much it impressed me at the time. Riding through plains and forests on horseback to end up meeting giant beasts that you had to climb and kill for the common good, is a moment that will hardly be erased from my memory. Probably the game that has best managed to capture romanticism in its buildings and settings.

‘The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker’

(2002) – Gamecube and Wii U

Maybe having the beautiful pictures of ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’ so close invites you to choose that game over others in this saga, but unfortunately for its detractors, I am among those who think that ‘The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker ‘ marked a before and after in the Eiji Aonuma franchise . Over time the criticism of his cel shading has faded and, as expected, he has been placed on the throne of how beautiful and spectacular he deserved from day one.

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‘The Unfinished Swan’

(2012) – PS3, PS4 and PS Vita

It started as a technical demo and, in the long run, it showed that it wasn’t made for much else either, but fortunately its bump did not prevent us from enjoying it and that, over the years, the people of Giant Sparrow ended up releasing a much more work. round, the essential ‘What Remains of Edith Finch’ . Be that as it may, with ‘The Unfinished Swan’ we learned how important minimalism could be in the video game museum world and that, with a blank canvas and a paintball, amazing prints could be created.

‘The Witness’

(2016) – PC, PS4, Xbox One, Android and iOS

I don’t know if after ‘Braid’ anyone had any doubts as to what level Jonathan Blow was a crack , but hand in hand with his island in ‘The Witness’ , he not only achieved the difficult task of teaching us a language through a video game, also make us vibrate with some memorable walks that the rest of the industry has not been slow to try to imitate. It is not a game for everyone. It requires patience and constant attention. But the result is well worth spending more hours on it than we thought we would ever invest in a puzzle game.

‘Transistor’

(2014) – PC, PS4 and iOS

Hand in hand with the art of Jen Zee, the Supergiant Games team responded to the success of ‘Bastion’ with an even more spectacular game. It shines with its own light both visually and playable, but even more so in a soundtrack that puts the icing on the cake. Critics and the public did not turn their backs on him, reaping a million in sales and not a few nominations and awards, all of them well deserved.

‘Uncharted 4’

(2016) – PS4

It was inevitable that a video game with graphic muscle would end up on the list and would be in museum, due to its visual design as well as its technical finish, ‘Uncharted 4’ should be chosen. Chasing the pirate utopia of Libertalia, Naughty Dog takes us to a stunning jungle where it is impossible not to stop from time to time to use the game’s photo mode. The fact that all of us who have lived through Nate’s adventures from day one also get the potato, adds several more points to its value as a bloody and cute game at the same time.

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‘Unravel’

(2016) – PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Either from the hand of the first ‘Unravel’ or its recent sequel, EA’s game beats us entering through the eyes and entering the kitchen. Its characters, endearing nala dolls, are the most cuddly thing you can find in a game, but the scenarios and the story they paint in the background go very hand-in-hand.

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‘Yoshi’s Woolly World’

(2015) – 3DS and Wii U

This video game would be in museum of videos that is loved by gamers. I would not shake my voice to say that if there is a company whose games are beautiful by definition, it is Nintendo. To show the amazing work behind ‘Yoshi’s Woolly World’ and its world of wool, crochet and buttons. There was no prettier game on Wii U, and I highly doubt that one has come out capable of touching the face of the Good-Feel game. At least until the next installment for Switch arrives.

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