Top 5 Fantasy Settings in Modern Gaming

Rivellon – Divinity Series

The land of Rivellon is the freshmen addition to best modern fantasy settings, only because it just recently showed what it could do. Sure, technically Rivellon has been around since 2002, but it’s crowdfunded prequels Divinity: Original Sin I and II are what really turned people’s heads.

Divinity: Original Sin II only released a month ago and it’s being lauded as one of the best RPGs in recent years. One of the ways it achieved that was to focus on the storytelling and the world, much like a traditional tabletop RPG would do. Rivellon presents a world in turmoil where, as the player, you’re constantly finding new ways to affect the world around you. It’s as diverse as it is expansive, and the choices that you’re presented with actually mean something. For the simple fact that you change the setting around you as you play, Rivellon is a well-earned addition to this list.

Divinity: Original Sin 2

Lothric – Dark Souls III

Lordran, Drangleic, now Lothric. The Dark Souls series has mastered the art of keeping their settings daunting and nebulous, while still making sure they’re worth exploring. Lothric, a drab, plagued setting that’s a mixing of old and new, is the perfect setting for the final installment in the Souls series. By taking elements that worked from the past games and then stretching them wide, Lorthric is a weaving, bloodsoaked maze of interconnecting maps that will push the player to their wit’s end.

There’s so much to see, and because of the way Dark Souls III plays, you’ll come to know Lothric in an intimate way. That feeling of dread every Souls player feels, in the beginning, is soon replaced with familiarity as the halls of Lothric become more comfortable. It’s only then that you can start to realize what a deathly beautiful place it is. If only for a second, look around at the wicked serenity of Lothric and realize it’s one of the most engaging settings to exist in games today.

Dark Souls III Poetry Top Screen

Hyrule – Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Everyone knows Hyrule–it’s the oldest setting to make this list. It’s always been a vibrant, mystical, sometimes intimidating setting, but it wouldn’t qualify as “modern” if it weren’t for this year’s release of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Released on Nintendo’s newest console, the Switch (as well as the Wii U), Breath of the Wild brought Link into an open-world adventure that redefined player exploration.  Oh, and it did so on a map that’s almost thirty square miles large.

But the sheer size of Hyrule as it’s presented in Breath of the Wild should just be considered icing on the cake compared to all the things that there are to actually do within the worldspace. With a selection of every biome you could ask for, you’ll find yourself stumbling upon hidden caves, feats of strength, and a Korok easter-egg hunt for the ages. Breath of the Wild is fantastical and beautiful, all while still being, for the most part, the Zelda game people had been eagerly anticipating for a long time coming. 2017’s Hyrule is the best modern fantasy setting to-date.

Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Master Trials DLC Pack 1 Expansion Pass

What is your favorite fantasy setting? Tell us in the comments below.