Rural backdrops are a popular setting for video games, and while farming titles such as Stardew Valley play into the coziness of rural life, many open-world games strive for realism. While rural environments aren't normally as densely packed as other games, they are beautiful to travel through and present their own nuances.
Medieval or medieval fantasy games often have rural settings, but so do other historical experiences, such as those set in the American Midwest. The following open-world games have rural environments so realistic that players will be able to taste the wheat and smell the livestock.
Unlike other entries in the Far Cry series which explore tropical environments, Far Cry 5 takes place in a more mundane but realistic rural setting. More specifically, the game takes place in a fictional region of Montana in America, where players can enjoy the mountainous countryside.
Taking on the role of a junior deputy sheriff, players must try to liberate the rural region from the corrupt hands of a charismatic and dangerous cult leader. During the course of the game players will come into contact with all aspects of rural life, and on more than one occasion will have to fight on farms.
Despite being a fantasy game, The Witcher 3 takes heavy inspiration from the Middle Ages and, as such, has a highly realistic rural backdrop. The countryside is absolutely stunning with crops of various hues swaying in the wind and farmers humming as they go about their work. Players can experience all of this on the back of Roach, or take it in even better by walking around on Geralt's own two feet on the way to his next monster contract.
Given the different regions within the fantasy RPG, players will get to see a wide variety of rural landscapes. From the war-torn village of White Orchard to the blue skies and fertile fields of Toussaint, the fragility of agriculture is contrasted with the possibilities. The fact that there are monsters lurking within every crevice and cave doesn't change the fact that rural life has been wonderfully recreated by CD Projekt.
While the recent Assassin's Creed RPG installments often contain more fantasy elements than the original titles, they do happen to have highly realistic and historically accurate environments. Out of these, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla arguably has the most rural setting, with the game taking place in the Viking world of Scandinavia, as well as the much desired fertile lands of the British Isles.
Although these idyllic villages and fields are beautiful at first, the raiding forces soon have them burning, but in the vast open world, players should always be able to find pockets of unaffected rural life.
Although there are towns and cities in Red Dead Redemption 2, such as Saint Denis, most of the game takes place in a fictionalized but authentic representation of the American Midwest, meaning it has a rural setting. As with every aspect of this masterpiece, the landscape has been wonderfully crafted, and with lifelike NPCs, every farm, ranch, and plantation truly feels alive.
As one of the best graphical games of all time, RDR2 players can hop on their horse at any time and simply ride through the countryside, enjoying the scenery. If players want to get a better understanding of rural life at the time, they can take a closer look at any of the intricacies, all of which adhere to historical accuracy. There are also a variety of regions depicted in the game, highlighting how varied rural life is across even just a small section of North America.
When it comes to games with realistic rural environments, it is hard to beat the best medieval game ever made, Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Set in early 15th-century Bohemia, this open-world RPG is all about immersion and historical details. As players traverse the beautiful countryside on foot or horseback, they will come across countless fields, villages, and stud farms.
The attention to detail is astounding, and players will see various tools of agriculture they have not seen before. In the woods, for example, they will come across charcoal burners and can watch this ancient practice unfold. Furthermore, in at least one settlement, players can take a look at the wonder of the pressing mill, powered by water, a common sight in the game.