The Most Picturesque Video Games: Ranked By Instagram Photography Content
A world away from the days of Pac-Man, leaps in technology have led video games into an immersive realm of beautiful graphics and open-world exploration with impressive hyper-realistic scenery.
Rather than a game’s storyline determining its success, players are now lusting after games that offer awe-worthy scenery and picturesque landscapes that are art forms in themselves.
With this has come the emergence of a new community of expert and ameteur video game photographers that are sharing their digital photographs under #photography and #photomode hashtags on Instagram.
To find out the most picturesque video games you can play right now we explored hundreds of gaming hashtags on Instagram and ranked each by the proportion of ‘gamer photography’ content currently on Instagram.
#1 Ghost of Tsushima
298,023 Images (12.9% Game Photography)
Ghost of Tsushima is an enchantingly alluring expedition through ancient Japan, transporting players to a captivating open-world of expert visual craftsmanship and awe-worthy landscapes.
With unrivalled attention to detail in the game’s visual design, it is no wonder that over 12% of content posted on Instagram about the game is focused entirely on stunning in-game photography.
#2 Horizon Zero Dawn
473,249 Images (11.97% Game Photography)
Guerilla’s open-world debut Horizon Zero Dawn is an ode to what can be achieved when a game’s creative team is given the time and resources to develop the entire feel and aesthetic from the ground-up.
With player’s praising the game’s realistic animation and extensive visual detail, Horizon Zero Dawn is a very close second to Ghost of Tsushima with nearly 12% of all it’s UGC specifically capturing just how beautiful this game is.
#3 No Man's Sky
170,204 Images (9.65% Game Photography)
In an infinite intergalactic world, No Man’s Sky is a true platform for exploration, allowing players to experience the changing landscapes of different planets in solitude.
As this game is designed to capture the imagination of each unique player, it is a perfect universe for creating beautiful visual content. This is exactly why No Man’s Sky is so beloved by Instagram’s community of game photographers, with nearly 10% of all content being photography focused.
#4 Red Dead Redemption 2
3,353,549 Images (9.39% Game Photography)
An expansive exploration of the American Wild West, Red Dead Redemption 2 was 8 years in the making and one of the most expensive games ever created. The game won several ‘most anticipated’ awards, as well as a huge range of ‘game of the year’ awards once it was released, enjoying critical and public acclaim.
The landscape of RDR2 is lauded by game industry leaders, reviewers and players alike and there’s plenty to adventure through in this open-world environment from the creators of the Grand Theft Auto series.
The game has the highest number of images shared on Instagram, but the distinction for photo mode snaps puts it in 4th place with almost 9.4% images shared with this method.
#5 Assassin's Creed: Origins
80,415 Images (9.04% Game Photography)
Following numerous successful and beautiful titles in the Assassin’s Creed series, Origins was the studio’s first venture into classical historical landscapes. Set in ancient Egypt, Origins was followed by Odyssey, in ancient Greece and Valhalla in ancient Britain.
The team of 700 developers at Ubisoft consulted Egyptologists to ensure the environment was historically accurate and many praised the beauty of the layout, with the game earning numerous nominations for graphic design, art direction and visual effects.
Just over 9% of images related to this game shared on Instagram used #photography or #photomode, putting it in 5th place overall.
#6 Marvel's Spider-Man
727,984 Images (6.33% Game Photography)
Another highly anticipated game, Marvel’s Spider-Man features a lovingly crafted imagining of New York City, with a variety of real and imagined landmarks that players are encouraged to visit and photograph.
With Peter Parker being a photographer himself, it’s no surprise this game made it to the top 10 with 6.3% of images shared using photomode hashtags.
#7 Grand Theft Auto V
1,1585,179 Images (2.97% Game Photography)
The second best-selling video game of all time and part of gaming’s most beloved series, GTA V is set in the fictional US state of San Andreas, based on Southern California. The game was originally released for PS3 and remastered for PS4 and is Rockstar’s second entry in our top 10.
Fast cars and beautiful views have contributed to GTA V having the second highest number of photos published on Instagram but only 3% shared using photography hashtags pushed it into 7th place.
#8 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
1,908,590 Images (2.96% Game Photography)
Skyrim has been deemed one of the greatest video games of all time, winning multiple game of the year awards and selling over 30 million copies worldwide. Set in the Elder Scrolls universe, the game allows players to explore the world and develop their characters in their own unique way.
With 2.96% of Instagram images using photography hashtags, Skyrim was just 0.01% away from 7th place, coming in 8th after GTA V.
#9 Far Cry 5
253,648 Images (2.59% Game Photography)
Another entry for Ubisoft, Far Cry 5 is set in a fictional town in Montana, USA, differing from previous Far Cry titles typically set in more remote locations.
Players posting in the photography hashtags were particularly drawn in by the rural and remote setting of the game, which is counterbalanced by the sinister extremism of the villains of the central storyline.
#10 Assassin's Creed Valhalla
305,704 Images (2.34% Game Photography)
The latest iteration of Assassin’s Creed takes place in ancient Britain, where players explore the world as Viking invader Eivor. Ubisoft’s third top 10 game highlights the attention they pay to their environments and the appreciation that players have for the worlds they adventure through.
With just over 2% of images shared with photography hashtags, players show a great deal of appreciation for the unique character design available as well as the richly generated world.
#11 Assassin's Creed Odyssey
399,239 Images (1.76% Game Photography)
#12 God of War
1,042,940 Images (1.63% Game Photography)
#13 The Last of Us Part II
317,982 Images (1.13% Game Photography)
#14 Demon's Souls
54,199 Images (0.22% Game Photography)
#15 Dragon Age: Inquisition
247,749 Images (0.18% Game Photography)
#16 Fallout 4
1,517,735 Images (0.08% Game Photography)
#17 Mad Max
1,730,157 Images (0.06% Game Photography)
#18 L.A. Noire
29,434 Images (0.04% Game Photography)
#19 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
380,463 Images (0.03% Game Photography)
#20 Watch Dogs 2
133,211 Images (0.01% Game Photography)