With the recent announcement of Arkham City, fans of the stellar Arkham Asylum are eagerly anticipating Batman's return visit to Gotham City in order to deliver some hard-hitting vigilante justice. But while Gotham might be a fun place to visit, you probably wouldn’t want to live there, you know, what with all the psychological/biological/megalomaniacal warfare being waged at any given moment.
However, as bad as Gotham might be, we’ve compiled a list of video game cities that may even be worse. The reasons are varied, but we think you’ll agree that no sane person would want to live in the ten worst video game cities of all time.
10. Any city - MegaMan
It’s hard enough to live in a place where erratically floating platforms have become the main means of conveyance and every city illogically and inconveniently ends in a garage door, a hallway, another garage door, and a chamber with a vaulted ceiling. When you add in the fact that every few years a mad scientist initiates the same inherently flawed plan to control the world using diametrically antipodal robot masters with detachable weaponry and “hard” quickly becomes “illogically untenable.” Come on, doesn’t this place believe in the death penalty?
9. The City - Double Dragon II
According to the Double Dragon II instruction manual, the Black Shadow Warriors killed your students and shot your girlfriend but that’s not what makes whatever city this is such a crap hole. In fact, while the manual treats it like an unrelated and unimportant side note, the real reason is that this nuclear war kinda sorta ravaged the city already. That’s right, apparently there was a nuclear war contained solely within the walls of this one city. Wait ... what?
8. Midgar - Final Fantasy VII
The capital of Gaia and headquarters to the nefarious Shinra Company, Midgar is prey to all of the evils typical of big cities. Aside from the occasional terrorist attacks, environmentally destructive pollution and poverty-stricken slums, Midgar is also home to a totalitarian government presence, insane biological experiments, and more than its fair share of cross-dressing. In a lot ways, it kind of sounds like Washington D.C. Oh, and all of that other stuff was happening before the gigantic, magical meteor hit.
7. Animal Crossing - Animal Crossing Series
An excerpt recovered from Animal Crossing resident Happy Puppy’s tattered journal:
Whatever happens, I believe that this shall be my final entry. I saw Nook today and he knows! We exchanged the same meaningless banter as always but I could see it in his eyes. He knows, and the worst part is he knows that I know, too. But what a fool am I, of course he does! Nook rules his capitalist dystopia with an iron fist. Try as they might, newcomers are invariably enslaved with an egregious mortgage and forced to deliver packages, slave away in the fossil pits, hunt rare insects, and landscape the town in a way that Overlord Nook finds appealing. And the other citizens, he’s done. . . something to them. I’ve sent letters, pleading for them to unite and throw off the shackles of our oppression but I’m met with nothing more than empty-headed stares and vacuous chatter. If only I -”
6. The Mushroom Kingdom - Mario Bros.
So ... are there really no other women here? Is this place seriously just some kind of sausage-and-mushroom fest populated by midget half-fungus dudes, an asexually producing turtle-dragon with eight kids, and an army of flying tortoises, fire-breathing plants and whatever the hell goombas are? No wonder Peach is always getting abducted.
5. Raccoon City - Resident Evil series
Look, no one could have predicted the zombie uprising and the subsequent nuclear strike. But when your secret-passageway-riddled city was clearly built as some kind of depraved offering to the eldritch Lord of Sheba Ha-yechaloth, you were sort of asking for it, weren’t you?
4. Rapture - Bioshock
Rapture is the natural result of what would happen to any freshman literature class if left unchecked and overfunded. One day they’re all sitting around pretentiously quoting Ayn Rand to each other and debating relational consciousness and then BAM! Before anybody really knows what’s going on, giant dudes in scuba suits with drills for arms are protecting possessed little girls from ravening mobs of deformed scavengers. Liberal arts education my ass.
3. The Ishimura - Dead Space
It’s almost like there were three different scripts for Dead Space and then they decided they were all too good so they just combined them. What that means is that Isaac, the game's protagonist, is sort of fighting aliens that are actually zombies that are really Scientologists. What that means for the Ishimura is that there’s a whole lot of infection, cannibalism, mind control and religious propaganda going around.
2. Silent Hill - Silent Hill
Necromancy, Native American rituals, alternate dimensions, drug wars and extraterrestrials. Yup, Silent Hill has it all. In fact, do we even have to explain why it makes the list? Okay, if you really need a reason, look. They’ve got a monster there with an enormous knife and a pyramid for a head. And his name is Pyramid Head! Come on, that sucks and you know it.
1. Liberty City - Grand Theft Auto IV
There are so many things about Liberty City that make it a truly terrible place to live. Whether it’s the constant hijacking and subsequent fiery crashing of aircraft, the multitude of carjackings, the plethora of indiscriminate molotov cocktail immolations, or the glut of hit-and-run homicides, anyone sane would avoid this city like the plague. Keeping tabs on this level of constant villainy is near impossible. Worse, as a result of being over-stressed and overworked due to the nonstop terrorism, Liberty City’s finest prefer to shoot first and ask questions later, often gunning down innocent civilians in the process. And while their absolute commitment to taking down fleeing subjects is almost fanatical while the thug remains in sight, officers quickly lose interest should the perp happen to escape their view. On the off chance that criminals are actually apprehended, they are simply relieved of their weaponry and promptly released, regardless the amount of property damage caused or lives taken. Of course, since the streets are littered with everything from combat knives to rocket-propelled grenades, this cycle of murderous rampages is quick to perpetuate itself.