The 9 Best Games Set In London

Image credit: Steam

What do you do when you want to explore a place which for some reason, you don’t have access to? Well, for a gamer, the answer to that is fairly straightforward – you fire up a game that is set in that location and explore it to your heart’s content.

In some cases, these virtual cities look better than they do in real life anyway, and you don’t have to deal with actual people too – it’s perfect.

Speaking of cities, London has all it takes to make a fantastic game setting — the iconic landmarks, the fun, hip nightlife, and the exciting multiculturalism. The city is definitely one of the oldest and most iconic in the world.

However, as far as general opinions go, London gets mixed reviews. On the one hand, some people are completely in love with the architecture and culture, while others find it too drab for their taste.

If you’re a gamer that belongs to the former category, then you’ll enjoy this review of the best games set in London. Let’s get into it!

The Order 1886

Credit: PlayStation

The developers of this game, Ready at Dawn, did their best to depict the city of London, especially for fans of alternate history. The Order: 1886 was published for the PS4 by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2015.

London looks incredible in this game, thanks to the brilliant visuals. The story kicks off in Mayfair, and viewing an alternate form of one of London’s affluent areas is pretty fun. The game then progresses into the Underground with several shootouts on the tube.

The Order: 1886 mainly revolves around cover-based shootouts via tight linear areas, and it also features a couple of melee sequences and QuickTime events. The player assumes the role of Sir Galahad, a member of the Round Table, an order protecting the world from different invaders.

You’ll need to guide Galahad through the city as the story progresses. The protagonist and other Knights fight against several different enemies, including werewolf-like creatures (also called half-breeds) and humans.

Set during the peak of the industrial revolution, this game does an excellent job of creating a world that presents the feel of the nineteenth century, with the right fantastical and technological elements to keep everything fresh throughout.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Most video gamers have played at least one of the successful series of the Assassin’s Creed franchise at some point. Developed and published by Ubisoft, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is perhaps among the most acclaimed and recognizable games set within London. The game was released in 2015 and is available on the PS4, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox One.

This action-adventure game is set in Victorian London, and the gameplay is similar to the previous entries in the series. You’ll complete quests to advance through the story, and you can also take on side missions and freely explore the open world.

The player controls twin assassins, Evie and Jacob Frye, as they journey through London in search of a hidden artifact. Players can hijack Hackney Carriages (like GTA) and encounter both Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jack the Ripper. Many of the ancient landmarks are still present throughout the game, including the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace.

The game’s developers, Ubisoft Quebec, meticulously researched the unscrupulous characters and gritty streets found throughout the game to ensure historical accuracy. With such a rich culture and history, it’s not surprising that this timeline is a fan favorite within the franchise.

Watchdogs: Legion

Watch Dogs: Legion is the third installment in Ubisoft‘s dystopian franchise, but it comes with a major twist. While Watch Dogs I had Aiden Pearce as the main protagonist and Watch Dogs II had Marcus Holloway, this entry has no central protagonist. Hence, players can assume the role of just about anyone they meet on the way.

Published by Ubisoft in 2020, this action-adventure game is available on the PS4, PS5, Xbox Series, Xbox One, Amazon Luna, Stadia, and Windows. In contrast to the fictionalized version of London of the past featured in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Watch Dogs: Legion involves a dystopian version of the city in the future.

The game allows you to explore eight London boroughs, including Wandsworth, Southwark, Islington, Camden, Lambeth, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, and Westminster.

Besides being a fantastic game, Watch Dogs: Legion provides one of the most creative representations of London yet. Some structures and buildings have been brilliantly recreated, and a native will instantly know their way around.

Iconic attractions like the London Eye, the Shard, and Tower Bridge feel lifted directly from the real city. Without a doubt, Watch Dogs: Legion is among the best games set in London — a must-play for fans of open-world games.

Last Stop

Last Stop is among the few games that give the most accurate depiction of the mundanity of daily living in London. From seeing people walking the streets to passengers on the tube, this supernatural adventure game allows players a real slice of life in the UK’s capital city.

Published in 2021, Last Stop is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows. Like Virginia, also developed by Variable State, Last Stop features a strong narrative.

You control three interconnected characters, and the choices you make determine their conversations and how their stories end. The game involves three different tales: Stranger Danger, Domestic Affairs, and Paper Dolls. At first, you might wonder why the developer didn’t release each of these stories as an individual game — after all, each of them has enough content to warrant it.

However, as you progress towards the final chapter, you’ll see the different narratives collide in a completely surprising and spectacular way. The game mainly features supernatural themes, but the setting is incredibly realistic (if you ignore the fake names given to the Underground stations!).

Despite the stations not having real names, you’ll recognize several locations as you advance through the game. Last Stop is one of the best indie games for Xbox Series X/S and is a must-play for anyone looking for an intriguing adventure game set in London.

Vampyr

Developed by Dontnod Ent and released in 2018, this action-adventure role-playing game is set in the middle of London. Vampyr is available on the PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.

What instantly strikes players about Vampyr is the brilliant recreation of 1918 London, which might not be historically accurate but oozes atmosphere. Each location contains so much detail, and the streets still feel alive despite being empty due to the Spanish flu outbreak.

London has become a mass grave, and the Great War left many wounded mentally and physically. You’ll assume the role of Doctor Jonathan Reid, a newly-turned vampire who must choose which citizen to let live and which to feast upon.

Feasting on innocent citizens is key to improving your skills and leveling up, but it’s also possible to finish the game without harming anyone, sticking to the doctor’s medical cover and saving lots of lives.

Industrial London has the ideal atmosphere for Vampyr, with places like Whitechapel appearing regularly in the game. Though more foreboding and darker than the actual thing, Vampyr is undoubtedly among the best games set in London and is even considered to be one of the most underrated games for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. If you’re searching for a vampire game set in London, Vampyr is your best bet.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments

Developed and published by Frogwares Interactive, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is a fantastic adventure game that enables players to use their investigative skills in several locations across London. The game was released in 2014 and is available for Microsoft Windows, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.

In Crimes and Punishments, you’ll need to examine various crime scenes and solve missing person cases, astonishing thefts, and murders. Sherlock’s impressive talents allow players to delve into London’s bloody past as they interrogate suspects, intuitively name the guilty parties, and undertake lines of inquiry. It’s no wonder several players consider it one of the most interesting detective games.

Whether it’s through his appearances on the small and big screen, Sherlock Holmes is England’s most famous fictional character. From his incredible ability to unravel even the toughest mysteries to his dry wit, Sir Arthur Doyle’s character has endeared himself to lots of people for over a century.

What makes Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments stand out from other games is the inclusion of a moral choice feature. Once you’ve flexed your reasoning and deduction skills by solving cases, you’ll be tasked with deciding the fate of the parties involved.

These decisions can be quite tricky as many of them often reflect the cultural problems prevalent in England at the time, allowing players to enjoy a good amount of depth.

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter

Again, we have another game from the Sherlock series on this list of the best games set in London. Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter was developed by Frogwares and released in 2016. The game is available on PS4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Nintendo Switch.

Like Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments, this game mainly involves examining clues and exploring crime scenes. After each discovery, players will add clues to a “deduction board” where pieces of information are linked together, resulting in possibilities for various deductions.

Depending on how you interpret the clues, you’ll arrive at varying conclusions, leading to your success or failure in nabbing the culprit. The premise of this game begins the same way as others in the Sherlock Holmes series, with a mystery that you must solve and several clues to follow.

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter establishes itself within a conservative depiction of London, a society structured around contrasting lifestyles and divided classes. Staying true to this period, the clients’ polarized lifestyles resonate during cases, describing the tough struggles in daily life.

The narrative consists of five main cases interlinked into a story-driven experience. With brilliant voice performance behind its cast, Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter manages to create engaging inter-character relationships.

GTA London (1969)

Credit: RockStar Games

GTA: London (1969) is the only Grand Theft Auto game set outside of the United States. The original top-down GTA required players to have the disc before they could play the game. Funnily enough, GTA London is the only entry in the series with the name of the city that it’s themed on in its title.

Rockstar Games released GTA London (1969) for the PlayStation and personal computers (Microsoft Windows and MS-DOS) in 1999. Despite being released in the nineties, Grand Theft Auto: London (1969) offers a taste of how an old London setting can be in a video game.

Now, you most likely don’t have a PlayStation One sitting around somewhere in the house, but on the off-chance that you do, then this game is absolutely worth going back to if you can lay your hands on a copy somehow.

These days, GTA games are set in fictional cities, such as San Andreas or Los Santos. Back in the nineties, Rockstar attempted to recreate London. Although making them out from the top-down view may be hard, the main landmarks in the city are easy to find.

The game is set in the sixties, and it features some famous landmarks and Cockney London accents. You’ll get to do what you want in London, like robbing a bank or selecting which character you’d want to beat up others.

Considering the game was released for the original PlayStation (PS1), both the accuracy and size of its map are pretty impressive.

The Getaway

Credit: PlayStation

Developed by Team Soho in 2002, The Getaway is a fantastic action-adventure video game inspired by British gangster movies, most notably Snatch and Get Carter.

Like GTA London, this is a pretty old game, and you will need access to a PlayStation 2 to check it out. Fans have been crying for a remaster or remake for decades at this point, but the chances of that happening are probably best left unsaid.

The Getaway is set in London, and it offers a fairly accurate representation of the city. However, unlike the Grand Theft Auto series, the game features licensed cars including British manufactured vehicles like Jensen and MG Rover.

The storyline is similar to that of the GTA series, with two playable characters: Detective Frank Carter and Ex-convict Mark Hammond. The game revolves around a gangster-style plot (East London), requiring both characters around the capital to finish several missions over a certain period before they can freely explore London’s open world for themselves.

Map-wise, the game includes an astonishingly brilliant recreation of the area surrounded by Zone One – bounded by Tower Bridge, Lambeth Road, Hyde Park, and Euston Road.

The game features 16 sq km of turf for players to explore. From the London Eye to Buckingham Palace, players can experience the game-changing environments within modern London. The fact that The Getaway was released as far back as 2002 is astounding, as its visual depiction of modern London is seriously impressive for its time.

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