5 games that prove video games can be art

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I guess the first thing I should say is that this article IS NOT A RANKING. By that I mean I am not ranking the top 5 most beautiful video games. There are probably better-looking video games out there than the few I am about to mention. However, the ones I am going to mention are pretty beautiful in their own right.

I wanted to write this article because video games ARE art. If you don’t believe in that statement, then take the next few games for example. The games that make you ooh and ahh as a gamer are the ones where you know, deep down, video games should be considered art. Let us take a moment to admire the beautiful side of the gaming world.

Bloodborne

What better way to start off an article about beautiful views in video games than with the most gloom and doom landscape of them all? Bloodborne and the world of Yharnam really wowed gamers when it released back in March of 2015. Who knew a nightmare could look so sweet?

 Without getting into the difficulty of this game, the artwork of the settings alone were enough to make gamers marvel at FromSoftware’s latest offering. From Central Yharnam to Fishing Hamlet, each area in Bloodborne got progressively more and more astonishing. The landscape of the game is something out of a dream, which makes the fact that you are slaying monsters in a nightmare a little more satisfying.

 For those who search for graphical masterpieces in video games, Bloodborne is a fantastic place to start. Hunting beasts has never been so beautiful.

Firewatch

Holy crap, what a view! This is what I said constantly throughout my play through of Campo Santo’s Firewatch. As a fire lookout in Wyoming, this game relies on the lush Wyoming wilderness to really wow the gamer. You’re supposed to be solving some mysteries around Shoshone National Forest but the real treat is simply exploring the area.

One of the better features to be added with this game is the camera you find early on. Once you have the camera, you are able to take pictures of the sunset and anything else you deem worthy of your photography skills. You are able to look back on these photos at the end of the game and there is even a way to have these photos printed out and sent to you.

The forest setting alone is the one reason to play this game. The landscape is so peaceful that you will be questioning whether or not you are still playing a video game. That is how you know the developers did a great job, and Firewatch certainly accomplishes that.

Skyrim

The land of Skyrim continues to astonish until this day and rightfully so. Not only is the game a tour de force in action role-playing games, but it is one of the largest worlds to be explored in gaming. Right before Fallout 4 released, details of how large the map was leaked and the Skyrim fan boys came crying with ‘but Skyrim was much bigger’. Well, that is because we have never seen anything like Skyrim before.

Bethesda has been known to put out extremely massive projects that really wow gamers, but they outdid themselves with this Elder Scrolls offering. Any game that perfectly incorporates the Northern Lights Sky into a video game deserves to be recognized. From the snowy caps of Winterhold to the fall foliage found in The Rift, Skyrim was a spectacle and continues to be a beloved video game masterpiece.

Bioshock Infinite

What is the best-looking BioShock game? This has been debated for quite some time, and all of the arguments are certainly compelling. You could make a case that any of the three BioShock games are the best looking, but BioShock Infinite is the winner for me. I mean, how could you not to choose the game with the floating city in the sky as a setting?

Yes, the flying city of Columbia is a fascinating setting. For a first-person shooter, BioShock really went above and beyond to offer something this genre usually doesn’t lend much merit to. Not only is BioShock Infinite a phenomenal game, but also it is so gorgeous that you can really get lost in the world you are playing in. News of a possible remastered collection has been on the minds of fans of the series, and to see the series on the new consoles with updated graphics would be a real treat. Here is to hoping that rumor becomes reality.

Red Dead Redemption

As gamers, we all know what Rockstar is capable of. Grand Theft Auto continues to be a groundbreaking franchise every time a new installment is released -- and rightfully so. However, as beautiful as GTA is, Rockstar has never truly created a viewing spectacle with a setting worth writing about. That is, until they released Red Dead Redemption. The sequel to Red Dead Revolver was a huge success, and the way Rockstar perfectly captured the viewing pleasure of the American Old West is a big reason why.

From the horses kicking up dust to the mountains in the distance, Red Dead Redemption was perfect right down to the tumbleweeds. The western action-adventure game gave Rockstar yet another critically acclaimed gaming series and further proved that they are cut above the rest in terms of developing masterpieces.

Now, if you are waiting for a sequel to this beloved game, don’t hold your breath. Many rumors have caused a stir among fans but there has yet to be any confirmed plans in the works. While Rockstar could certainly make a sequel, they may just rest on their laurels and end the series there. Here is to hoping they get complacent and decide to make this series a trilogy.

Outrage?

You probably are sitting there saying ‘ugh but this game is so much prettier than that game!’ Truth be told, plenty of games deserve spots on lists like these. There just isn’t enough time in the world to go over all of them. Make your own list and bring attention to games that you think people should be aware of. The beauty of gaming can be found in any console or on any platform. These games can be used as further proof that the definition of art should include video games.

Think I am wrong? Prove it; write me a note in the comments below. Why do you think video games are not art? Judging from the games I have provided, I think you would find it hard argue otherwise.

Published Mar. 24th 2016

Featured Contributor

When I am not out being Batman, I am here on my computer writing about video games. When I am not out being Batman or writing about video games, I am playing video games. When I am not doing any of the three, call an ambulance I may not be breathing.

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