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Submitted by agentxk 1638d ago | opinion piece

Top 5 Most Atmospheric Games of All Time

Gaming Irresponsibly writes: The importance of atmosphere in a game should never be underestimated. Atmosphere should be recognized as one of the key elements that separates a modern gaming experience from the likes of Pac-Man and Galaga.

A gamer can have a ton of fun running through a corridor, shooting aliens and/or terrorists to no end, but without a significant immersion factor to draw the player into the experience, a game's impact will soften, causing it to ultimately blend in with the rest of the titles out there. (Culture, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

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thrasherv3  +   1638d ago
No Bioshock1? Not even in the honorable mentions?
xX-StolenSoul-Xx  +   1638d ago
exactly what i was thinking.
RedDragan  +   1638d ago
Sorry guys, as much as I enjoyed Bio... for atmosphere then Heavy Rain really is out there on it's own.

They even dulled down the colours and made everything non-shiny because that just isn't what really life is like.
#1.1.1 (Edited 1638d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(13) | Report
lastdual  +   1638d ago
Bioshock or System Shock 2 should be on here, and probably Morrowind for me, but it's still a decent list.

Good to see both Thief and Amnesia included (I'd personally rank Thief at #1), and all the other games are certainly atmospheric.
#1.1.2 (Edited 1638d ago ) | Agree(7) | Disagree(1) | Report
DarkTower805  +   1638d ago
I would have put Dead Space somewhere in that article.
peowpeow  +   1638d ago
Your justification for Heavy Rain makes me facepalm, just sayin'

As others have said, Bioshock should atleast be in honorable mentions. I loved Metro's atmospheric feel too
NukaCola  +   1638d ago
I'll give 5 more:

Oddworld Abe's Oddysee & Exoddus
Alan Wake
HaHa_Ostrich  +   1638d ago
Bubbles for Oddworld, such a unique and diverse world. I will always remember these two gems.
meetajhu  +   1638d ago
Looks like the author never played many games in his life. Where the hell is Metro 2033? I mean is there a game that beats its tunnel atmosphere?
Aggesan  +   1638d ago
I'm not sure how many games actually tries to focus on their tunnel atmosphere.

By your logic Tetris should be nominated for its unique block atmosphere.
ATi_Elite  +   1638d ago
@ Aggesan

actually Minecraft would win best Block Atmosphere! lol
grailly  +   1638d ago
I don't think so, those are actually some pretty obscure games, if he played those, chances are, he played many others
STONEY4  +   1637d ago
Where is STALKER? This actually is the first atmospheric games list I've read where it isn't mentioned at all..
Lyr1c  +   1638d ago
No Shadow of the Colossus?

I mad >:/
joab777  +   1638d ago
Yeah. It is easily the most atmospheric game ever made. U literally get lost in it. Its so good that the environment itself made the second game worth every second.
Solid_Snake-  +   1637d ago
no alan wake.........WHY
ChickenOfTheCaveMan  +   1637d ago
To be on a list, my guess would be that a game needs to have been played by some people :P
snipes101  +   1637d ago
Does Amnesia need that good of a PC to run on? I've heard too many good things not to try it out but I'm apprehensive because I'm running on a 3-year-old gateway gaming laptop. I don't know the specs...I'm not good with computers.
limewax  +   1637d ago
Has it got any sort of GPU built in? If you want specs go to the start menu and look for the run bar (vista/7 it will be under accessories) and type in the following... dxdiag this will tell you all your specs. If you still need a hand, message me your specs and I will tell you your chances with what settings etc.

Chances are it will run to some extent
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macka  +   1637d ago
try the demo at

i have a 3 year old phillips laptop that runs it on medium to high absolutely fine so im sure yours will.

It really is a truly scary game and im not scared easily at all. Make sure you play it in total darkness with headphones.
STONEY4  +   1637d ago
There's a demo on Steam. Try it to see if you can run it well. If, not, try lowering the settings.
BeastlyRig  +   1638d ago
Umm Stalker!! And yeah Bioshock 1 was amazing the first time I played! Bioshock: Infinite seem to do it even better!
#2 (Edited 1638d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
kramun  +   1637d ago
Stalker should definitely be there.
gravemaker  +   1638d ago
i think everyone has their own meaning of atmospheric game
for me its something Mass Effect 1, Fallout 3
Aggesan  +   1638d ago
You're right, of course. Atmosphere is something very induvidual. For me the opening scene in Zelda: A Link to the Past where Link wakes up, gets out in the rain, into the castle and finds his uncle there who dies/falls asleep.
omi25p  +   1638d ago
Bioshock 1
Dead Space
Amnesia Dark Decent
Alan Wake
Metro *2033*
Red Dead Redemption
L.A Noire
consolez_FTW  +   1638d ago
Glad Silent Hill 1 made the list...the first game to give me a nightmare...awesome.
Buho  +   1638d ago
Resistance: Fall Of Man had a great atmosphere. It felt so alive, and like an actual alien invasion!
RedHotChiliPepaSpray  +   1637d ago
Agreed, the reason what makes the resistance franchise one of my faves today. Also probably the reason why I like RFOM over R2, the atmosphere in the 1st was amazing for me, so i'm dlad R3 is bringing that back.
Blaine  +   1637d ago
Glad someone mentioned Resistance on here! Because this, from the list, made me think of that game:

"What I’m not so sure many game developers get is that vulnerability is one of the best ways to convey fear in a game."

Resistance wasn't the scariest game, but it did have atmosphere and there were a few parts where I was very low on health, where I felt some fear!
GunofthePatriots  +   1638d ago
Tower of Latria was creepy as f*** the first time I played. Awesome stage.
BeOneWithTheGun  +   1638d ago
Agreed. Those damn triangle chimes still make me shiver thinking about them.
thebudgetgamer  +   1638d ago
san andreas, sitting on a mountain as the sun is coming up is beautiful.
Acquiescence  +   1638d ago
Shenmue had atmosphere up the wazoo...
Particularly when making your way home after a hard day working at the docks and kicking hoodlum's asses after hours. It'd be dark, Watanabe's melancholic score would be quietly playing in the background, walking past all the drunks staggering about. Was an added bonus if the game calender was hitting around Christmas time as well.

Atmosphere in video games is an underrated factor. If the settings/environments are given enough detail and ambiance, the whole experience improves tenfold because of it. Silent Hill 2, Final Fantasy VII and Heavy Rain are other great examples.
Pikajew  +   1638d ago
Lots of people on N4G never played a game from the other gens we had.

Okami and Majoras Mask had great Atmospheres
Chocoboh  +   1638d ago
I know I'm probably gonna get called out for this but Zelda OoT was probably the most atmospheric game for me out of most games back then

The fear of knowing night would come or those damn annoying spiders
DaPrintz  +   1638d ago
Okami is undoubtedly number 1 for me. One of the best games I've played in 20+ years of gaming. If any game needs an HD makeover with trophies, it would be that one.
Rivitur  +   1638d ago
I remember playing Majoras Mask for days upon days and your right the atmosphere was great.
firemassacre  +   1638d ago
where is the demons souls love? and all of the silent hills.
#11 (Edited 1638d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(10) | Report | Reply
BeOneWithTheGun  +   1638d ago
Demon's Souls was number one on the list.
Cody64  +   1638d ago
That's a good list, but I'm surprised that Limbo didn't get a mention.
admiralthrawn87  +   1638d ago
Demon's Souls
Wind Waker
A Link to The Past
Halo 1
Mcardle  +   1638d ago
Silent Hill 2, Alan Wake, Limbo, Metro 2033 and Morrowind for me.
LilDeja93  +   1638d ago
Bioshock, rapture city is unforgettable.
Gamescares  +   1638d ago
No Bioshock or Alan Wake? Article failed.
Clayman  +   1638d ago
The Stalker games are surprisingly atmospheric.
vikingland1  +   1638d ago
And don't forget about ICO and Shadow Of The Colossus.I also agree with every game that has been named on this topic so far.
Inside_out  +   1638d ago
Many to choose from....
A couple favorites this gen...

Alan wake...yep, that good...Rusty was a character you meet in the diner who has a crush on a waitress who of course is obsessed with AW. Earlier in this chapter, during the daytime we get keys from Rusty while he is helping his dog who got caught in one of the many bear traps lying around...nice guy making what's about to happen in the dark all the more impactful. The first 4-5 chapters of this game are as good as it gets. On a big screen with a decent sound system, at night, makes for a great roller coaster ride that you don't want to end...RIP barely knew you...

Metro 2033...not only a looker but a great variety of gameplay as well from defend missions to stealth. Great potential and a dev that won't settle for less making the 360 port one of the best 360 games of a packed 2010...

Halo Reach...great game with very dramatic moments when each of nobel team dies...The graphics, voice acting all came together beautifully for Bungies swan song...Big George, the commander, the ending...all of them died with honor...maybe not creepy like some of the others but very impactful non the less...

Crysis 2...because of the stealth feature, it made for some great stealth kills and when everything gets quiet, the Hans zimmer score shines and the cloak engaged voice over is perfect...

Bioshock 1 was one of my favorite games of all times...beginning to end. Not including that game is just strange.

Deadspace was a creepy a game as I ever played with some incredible jump out of your seat moments. Can't wait to see what those two guys have planned for their COD experiment...they are calling it a " action game "...Hmmmmm...

Resident evil, Turok Evolution, Half many games come to mind and all had atmosphere all their own. Of course, so did all the Mario games, Zelda..etc...when you here the music, it effects you because it reminds you of the good old days.
#19 (Edited 1638d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(10) | Report | Reply
caboose32  +   1638d ago
Why do you always have to put so many damn links in your GIANT novels you write on this website!?!?!?!?!?!

The day you write a one sentence comment, is the day you wont be a huge troll anymore.
RyuCloudStrife  +   1637d ago
ill give you a bubble
Ambivalent_  +   1638d ago
Urban Chaos (PS1), San Andreas...
Liquid_Ocelot  +   1637d ago
Hahahahahahaha xD I remember urban chaos!!
hatchimatchi  +   1638d ago
the original FEAR and silent hill 2 come to mind.
TheMutator  +   1638d ago
WTF wheres is SUper Metroid 3?????????
ATi_Elite  +   1638d ago
what kinda crap is this
Where's STALKER Shadow of Chernobyl, Clear Sky, or Call of Pripyat doesn't matter but one of them should be on the list.

So atmospheric that you can literally taste lead in your mouth and die from radiation poisoning from playing STALKER.
#23 (Edited 1638d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
caboose32  +   1638d ago
Haha yea, I played and loved both Shadow of Chernobyl and Call of Pripyat, but was never able to play clear sky because of a bug that causes me to crash every time I load a saved game.
ATi_Elite  +   1638d ago
maybe you should give Clear sky another try but this time add the Complete Mod or the reloaded mod as those two mods get rid of all the bugs.

But get your trigger finger ready. Clear Sky pumps up the gun fights 1000%.
caboose32  +   1638d ago
Awesome man.

Ill check those out right now.
Undeadwolfy  +   1638d ago
MGS4 and Dead Space. The sound design in MGS4 is spectacular. Im playing through it again the sixth time, watching all cutscenes with my 7.1 srs headphones. My fav game of all time. Dead Space is great for the jumpy scares and the sound effects are superb as well.
iNMyFiN4LH0uR  +   1638d ago
Bioshock, Dead Space 1/2, Red Dead R, Mass Effect 2, God of War 3, MGS3
InTheLab  +   1638d ago
Dead Space
RE 2
Alan Wake

Holy hell Demon's Souls...especially 5-2. You can't tell me you didn't pee your pants wading around in the acidy muck, distant moaning(or is it?), and that damn black phantom that creeps up on you for the 1 shot.
Kyosuke_Sanada  +   1637d ago
Good times, good times. The Tower of Latria is still my fave but I must agree with you on Valley Of Defilement. Demon's Souls added with great sound from my Triton headphones had me completely engulfed to the point I thought I saw messages on the floor beside my toilet.

Silent Hill still is the game that takes you in and never let you go though.
Pyscho_Mantis  +   1638d ago
silent hill for sure
KruLLit  +   1638d ago
Diablo 1 should be there
atreyu_-  +   1637d ago
Legend of dragoon.
Ser  +   1637d ago
I'm actually quite happy with the list. I agree with all of the author's choices.

I probably would've thrown BioShock in Myst's place, though.
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