3 – World of Warcraft
With the vast amount of space contained in the World of Warcraft, any landscape you can think of has been explored. If you like swamps and bogs, Dustwallow Marsh, the Wetlands and Swamp of Sorrows have you covered. Do you prefer spooky Halloween vibes? Check out Tirisfal Glades, Drustvar and Gilneas. There are also many key areas of the game that are perfect winter zones, especially Northrend which is an expansion’s worth of wintery goodness. Icecrown and Dragonblight are easily the most frigid of the Northrend zones, with the Grizzly Hills being the closest artistic interpretation of a B.C. winter to be implemented into a game. Beyond Northrend there’s Winterspring which has rolling snowy hills, frozen lakes and cave networks to explore. Kun-Lai Summit was added in Mists of Pandaria and it includes an enormous Pandaren temple that ascends into frigid heights like any mountain would. Although World of Warcraft is full of winter themed areas, events, items, etc. one thing that distinguishes it from the competition is Frost characters such as the Mage and the Death Knight who literally wield the cold of winter in their hands to smite their foes with. The ultimate winter combination in this MMORPG is having a snowball fight outside of Grumpus’ lair during the Feast of Winter Veil.
2 – Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a timeless title that shares something in common with Fortnite: you can play it on nearly anything by now. It’s on last gen, it’s on current gen, it’s on Amazon’s Alexa, you can play it on the go with the Nintendo Switch, Skyrim is on everything. What makes this title such an instant classic? No it isn’t the RPG flawlessness or the detailed storytelling, it’s the winter vibes. From the introductory cutscene where a dragon saves you from a beheading to the closing chapters of the game, winter is in the air. My favorite highlight of the winter vibes in Skyrim is the aurora borealis that illuminates the frigid nights in Skyrim’s frozen tundra. Most of the cities have snow glazing the bricks that make up their walls and towers, while mountain ranges are buried by the white stuff, particularly the Throat of the World which has a constantly raging blizzard. Skyrim perfected the warm glow of fire reflecting from the snow long before God of War came out and when ESV: Skyrim Enhanced Edition, they further increased that cozy feeling that the warm glow invokes. A frozen wasteland has never looked as good as it does in Skyrim.