Video games have always served as a means of vicarious travel. Halo transports players to alien planets, while Alan Wake showcases the capacity of the Pacific Northwest for ghost stories. Tomb Raider embarks on journeys across the modern world and ancient ruins. However, some games take a different approach by using recognizable places as settings, allowing players to explore real locations they may have encountered in person. If you want to visit real-world locations but can't or just want to feel nostalgic, immerse yourself in video games. Here are these wonderful locations you can explore in video games.

The Colosseum (Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood)The Colosseum (in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood)

#1 The Colosseum (Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood)

A couple of non-player characters (NPCs) roam within the confines of the arena, yet the absence of touristy crowds in the game allows for unhindered exploration of this ancient structure. The game developers made minor adjustments to the in-game Colosseum to align it with the technology of its time but without compromising its awe-inspiring state of decay. The Colosseum truly captures a lifelike representation, which is the primary takeaway from the virtual visit. The ruins even hold various missions and collectibles, enticing players to thoroughly explore every corner.

#2 Georgetown and Takoma Park (Fallout 3)

The exploration of Washington, D.C., and its surrounding areas is incredibly immersive, and it's remarkable how closely the in-game map mirrors the real-world map. While the game does condense some aspects, the relative distances are accurate enough for one to navigate D.C. with a general understanding gained from playing Fallout 3.

Obviously, in the game, it’s great to wander from monument to monument, killing mutants and looting bunkers, but the areas that stick with us most are Georgetown and Takoma Park. The neighborhoods have a distinct feel, with wide streets, brick buildings, and the constant presence of politics. Both these neighborhoods convey those feelings. So where it’s obvious that the monuments aren’t exact replicas of the real world, it’s in these neighborhoods that our immersion became complete. They’re not exact replicas either, but we forgot that while we explored.

#3 Reichstag (Call of Duty: World at War)

Berlin in April/May of 1945 presents a fascinating historical backdrop for exploration. However, the presence of intense conflict between German and Russian forces limits the comfort level of individuals considering a physical visit. The video game Call of Duty: World at War offers a unique perspective, providing a morbidly captivating portrayal of the Russian assault on the German Reichstag during this period. It should be noted that while the game offers a thrilling experience, it does not provide a completely accurate representation of the events. Despite this, the experience of having the Reichstag as a looming presence during gameplay can be quite formidable.

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Subway in New Yorkthe Subway in New York

#4 New York City (Marvel’s Spider-Man)

Technology has finally caught up with the real world, allowing cities like New York to be faithfully recreated in video games. While not quite at a 1:1 scale, which remains the industry standard, these virtual representations are impressively close. In fact, a recent measurement between Harlem and Battery Park revealed the in-game distance to be slightly less than half its real-life counterpart. Nevertheless, what these games excel at is capturing the unique atmosphere of New York City. From distinct neighborhoods to diverse personalities, dedicated citizens have contributed to building a truly remarkable digital metropolis.

#5 The Western Frontier (Red Dead Redemption 2)

Visiting the turn-of-the-century frontier land portrayed in the game may not be possible, but one can explore the real-life counterparts of its landmarks and ghost towns from that time period. The game offers a realistic experience of the Wild West, allowing players to immerse themselves in its authentic atmosphere. However, stepping away from the console presents an opportunity to witness the actual state of the West, be it a flourishing city or a forgotten ruin. This aspect adds depth to the game, as players try to adapt to the changing lifestyles of that era.


Video games provide a means to explore real-world locations in ways that are simply not possible in person. This combination of exclusive content and accurate representations allows gamers to have a unique experience, one that is unparalleled by any other form of media.


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