Top 5 Historically Set Video Games

When picking out a video game, there are certain criteria most people abide by. Cost, genre and console are usually top priority, but what if you wanted an accurate portrayal of the temporal settings of the games? These five games I describe below are my picks for the top five best historically set video games.

 Assassin’s Creed Series

Each one in this series is a beautiful game of Assassins versus the Templars. Each individual game goes in chronological order throughout history and interacts with the world, as well as well-known figures of the time period. In the latest game, Assassins Creed Syndicate, the player gets to interact with figures like Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx and Alexander Graham Bell just to name a few. This series is on my list because each one is fundamentally the same but is also unique. Each time period is littered with the minor details history buffs will be excited to find.

God of War Series

Although not exactly history-based, mythologically speaking, this game is fantastic. The main character, Kratos, interacts with the embodiments of every Greek god imaginable. His guides through the series are Athena and Artemis and his mortal enemy is Zeus. With appearances by Hades, Persephone, Chronos and Pandora just to name a few, this series has the players go through both myth-based towns as well as ones that are famous throughout history, like Sparta. If you are looking for a unique experience that blends history and mythology, the God of War games are exactly what you are looking for.

Ryse: Son of Rome

Created for the opening day for the Xbox One, Ryse set out to be an interesting gaming experience set in ancient Rome. The historical accuracy is debatable with the Emperor Nero being older than when he was when he died, but if we move past this the game had other redeemable qualities. The main villain for example is Boudica who was a real threat to Rome during this time period. Her portrayal in this game is accurate to how she is portrayed in the literature. Ryse: Son of Rome is one of the very few video games that is set during the Roman period and for that, it should be on the list of games to play for history buffs.

Dante’s Inferno

Dante’s Inferno is put on this list because even though it is technically based on a poem of the same name, it is still constricted within the time period Dante wrote it. It follows the original storyline of the poem and goes through the seven circles of Hell. With Virgil as your guide, you interact with Cleopatra and Marcus Antonius, Fulvia, Electra, and Boudicca just to name a few. This game is dark and gritty which is exactly what you want for a game that has you trekking through the circles of Hell.

L.A. Noir

Moving on from the ancient history-based games; L.A. Noir puts the players in command of a detective in the Los Angeles city police during 1947. The investigations during the story are captivating and depending on how well the player does at following leads and interrogating suspects, the easier it will be to find the culprit of the crime. L.A. Noir boasted being the first game to use MotionScan, which is tech-speak for recording actors with 32 cameras surrounding them to capture each facial reaction. This is the basis of their interrogation mechanics. Besides being a technological marvel, L.A. Noir depicts 1947 Los Angeles with creative license but it still gets the point across. If you are really looking for particular details the chances are they are not there but as a whole this game does bring forth a part of Los Angeles that rarely gets depicted in games and that is what makes L.A. Noir special.

Photo courtesy of Dave Meier via

Brittany Budani is our self-diagnosed nerd here at On the Danforth. If she’s not slaying virtual dragons or on a time travelling adventure, she probably is buried under ancient texts, someone should probably save her. You can follow her on Twitter @BrittanyBudani.

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