1. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
The world of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is, in a word, beautiful. Like many fantasy settings, it has a lot of green in it, of course – forests, plains, and open fields – but the whole land is so diverse that it never feels repetitive. It feels a little more dirty and old-fashioned; there are plenty of swamps and marshes, and many of the cities and settlements are depressing with how crowded and unclean they are. It provides a great contrast to the city setting, for example, which is usually a lot more pristine. Whenever I’m not focused on slicing down enemies with my sword or having a conversation with one of the several NPCs that populate the world, I’m admiring the scenery around me. No other video game world has felt so alive – not just because of the people, but because the land itself is just so enriching and pleasant to look at. And guiding Geralt through this huge world is just so damn awesome.