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#1 Posted by BlackHeronBlue (790 posts) -

What are the most immersive games you ever played? I mean the kind that suck you in for hundreds of hours, the kind that make you wanna read every single piece of lore, discover every location, talk to every NPC. You know, other than Skyrim. :D

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#2 Edited by MattGiersoni (587 posts) -

I'm a huge fan of games that fit the criteria you mentioned and It's mostly all I play. Aside from Skyrim, my personal favorites are the previous TES games like Morrowind and Oblivion, Dragon's Dogma, Kingdoms of Amalur, Divinity Original Sin 2, Fallout series, Witcher 3, Dragon Age 1 and Inquisition, Mass Effect series, Pillars of Eternity, old infinity engine games (most of them got enhanced remasters recently like Baldur's Gate 1 & 2, Icewind Dale, Planescape Torment). Dishonored series and Deus Ex series are also great, though they are a bit different than most of the above. I put in tons of hours into all of those!

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#3 Posted by Caverna (3 posts) -

Need for speed underground 1, entire nights awake. Compromised College. Zombie-like during day thinking just when could I turn on the pc again.

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#4 Posted by SlothfulKing (37 posts) -

As far as an RPG, Witcher 3. In regards to an FPS, DayZ.

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#5 Posted by BlackHeronBlue (790 posts) -

I'm a huge fan of games that fit the criteria you mentioned and It's mostly all I play. Aside from Skyrim, my personal favorites are the previous TES games like Morrowind and Oblivion, Dragon's Dogma, Kingdoms of Amalur, Divinity Original Sin 2, Fallout series, Witcher 3, Dragon Age 1 and Inquisition, Mass Effect series, Pillars of Eternity, old infinity engine games (most of them got enhanced remasters recently like Baldur's Gate 1 & 2, Icewind Dale, Planescape Torment). Dishonored series and Deus Ex series are also great, though they are a bit different than most of the above. I put in tons of hours into all of those!

You and I have almost exactly the same taste in games, then. The games you mentioned changed my life.

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#6 Posted by Archer88 (409 posts) -

STALKER - Shadow of Chernobyl. Just dripping in atmosphere. The first time you explore the X-18 lab is unbelievable. Everything about it just pulled me right in. Couldn't get enough of it.

Deus Ex - The entire series really. I love every game. But the level they went to to flesh out their world is amazing. I barely read my own e-mails but I will hack every last computer to read random e-mails in the Deus Ex Universe

Witcher 3 - They just put a lot of effort into making the world outside of the main quest worth engaging with. They rewrote the book on what side quests should be in RPGs.

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#7 Posted by FrostyRyan (2909 posts) -

As far as "I can't stop playing?" Persona 4 Golden

As far as "I kinda feel like I'm...there?" Resident Evil 7 in VR

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#8 Posted by Fezrock (720 posts) -

@mattgiersoni: Yes to all this.

I'd also add Bioshock: Infinite. It's much shorter and more linear than the above games, but I felt really drawn into that world in a way I rarely do for that kind of game.

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#9 Posted by BlackHeronBlue (790 posts) -
@archer88 said:

STALKER - Shadow of Chernobyl. Just dripping in atmosphere. The first time you explore the X-18 lab is unbelievable. Everything about it just pulled me right in. Couldn't get enough of it.

I should really play it, still never had a chance. I'm not big on horror games but the recommendations for this one are so high I can't just keep ignoring it forever.

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#10 Edited by Pilgrimm1981 (149 posts) -

I second STALKER - SoC. There's nothing like it. While other people recommend CoP over SoC, to me there's no contest. I'm still hoping for that remaster. Luckily there's still an active mod community out there keeping this masterpiece alive.

Other good immersive games are the Bioshock series, Shadow of the Colossus, Shenmue II, Vampire Bloodlines...

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#11 Posted by hippie_genocide (2430 posts) -

The first Bioshock drew me in and I wanted to check out every corner of the world which was dripping (sometimes literally) with atmosphere. I know the audio log thing gets criticized a lot, but I really enjoyed listening to them all; the ones featuring Sander Cohen in particular are great.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadows of Chernobyl has been on my videogame bucket list for a while now. Need to play that.

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#12 Posted by geirr (3752 posts) -

Adding some games not mentioned at the time of writing that I got deeply immersed in:

  • Silent Hill 2 (ps2) might seem a little odd for immersion but at the time I could spend entire days just bathing in the weirdly soothing atmosphere of that town.
  • Sid Meier's Pirates for the C64. I mean I could be a Pirate and do pirate stuff.
  • Zelda: A Link to the Past, OoT, TP and Breath of the Wild.
  • Starbound (800+ hours and going..)
  • Dead Space (the first one).
  • Astroneer
  • Rebel Galaxy



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#13 Edited by Marcsman (3823 posts) -

RE7 on the PSVR

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#14 Posted by BlackHeronBlue (790 posts) -

Vampire Bloodlines...

Dude. Yes. There is a red star shining in the night's sky.

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#15 Posted by hans_maulwurf (640 posts) -

For the traditional definition of immersive that seems to mostly fit rpgs I'll go with Vampire Bloodlines with P3FES and P4G close behind. Mount and Blade Warband should also be mentioned. That game has some of the worst presentation of any game released in the last 10 years, yet I think in terms of giving you a dynamic, living, breathing, emergent adventure it's second to none.

I also do wanna name drop Life is Strange, that game really did a great job in making me feel as a part of the world and the characters stories. And Watch Dogs 2, which was really immersive on a technical level, where I spent like another 30 hours after finishing all the meaningful singleplayer content just cruising around the world, taking in the great vistas and messing with the ai.

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#16 Posted by HellBrendy (1304 posts) -

This is a weird answer, but for me it's a sandbox third person shooter, and it's probably Mafia 3.

When I play games like Witcher 3 or Skyrim, I overplay them. I tell my self I'll play them two or three times, but I end up doing every quest I can find, read a lot of the readables and ending up sick and tired of them and probably even kind of hating them too, because all that's left after such a grind are all the flaws that in the start doesn't matter and itruins the immersion completely. I don't hold it against the games, I know it's my own problem but it is the way it is.

The reason I think of Mafia 3 is because I roleplayed the fuck out of that game. It became something else from the get-go and really stayed with me. It never tries to be an RPG but I quickly made Licoln Clay a good man agains the kind and unknown, and an evil motherfucker to everyone who had wronged him. It made the world come alive like no other world had done before it and it sucked me riht in and never ever did it let me og - or did I wan't to. I know it's repetative and not flawless but it doesn't "force" me to do a lot of things I don't really want to. So Mafia 3 is the most immersive game I have played, probably for ever.

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#17 Posted by liquiddragon (3300 posts) -

For me, it's tighter single player games like BioShock or The Last of Us that have immersed me the most. Open world games take me out constantly with their rougher edges.

MGS2 was a technical marvel and probably still beats out the above games as my most immersive gaming experience.

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#18 Posted by elmorales94 (370 posts) -

It's weird... I always have pretty concrete answers for these kinds of threads ("what's the first game that made you___" / "what's the most ___ game") but I'm coming up strangely empty on this one.

I guess I've never really felt like I was part of a game world. There's always an immense amount of disconnect. Portal might be the closest, but even then mechanical/puzzle-solving frustrations frequently drew me out.

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#19 Posted by ATastySlurpee (653 posts) -

Bioshock, Fallout 3, Horizon Zero Dawn

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#20 Posted by deactivated-5b85a38d6c493 (1990 posts) -

S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow of Chernobyl, Morrowind/Oblivion, Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis.
In a weird way I felt really immersed in the world of Dragon's Dogma. I think it was how they did the whole night/day cycle. Also remember Shadow of the Colossus being very immersive.

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#21 Edited by Mattca123 (40 posts) -

Oblivion -about 68 hrs

Far Cry 4 - about 45 hrs

Metal Gear Solid 2 - beat like 3 times

Resident Evil 2 - beat like 6 times as a kid

Resident Evil 3 - beat like 6 times as a kid

Legend of Dragoon - dear gosh i loved this game as a kid - dunno maybe 40 hours

Resident Evil 5 - mercenary mode, over and over again trying to beat my top score

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#22 Edited by BoOzak (2549 posts) -

Probably Morrowind, hasnt aged well though. (visually) Recently I thought Hellblade did a good job at making you feel like you were there but that isnt a game you could spend dozens or even several hours with since it's pretty damn short.

@hellbrendy said:

This is a weird answer, but for me it's a sandbox third person shooter, and it's probably Mafia 3.

When I play games like Witcher 3 or Skyrim, I overplay them. I tell my self I'll play them two or three times, but I end up doing every quest I can find, read a lot of the readables and ending up sick and tired of them and probably even kind of hating them too, because all that's left after such a grind are all the flaws that in the start doesn't matter and itruins the immersion completely. I don't hold it against the games, I know it's my own problem but it is the way it is.

The reason I think of Mafia 3 is because I roleplayed the fuck out of that game. It became something else from the get-go and really stayed with me. It never tries to be an RPG but I quickly made Licoln Clay a good man agains the kind and unknown, and an evil motherfucker to everyone who had wronged him. It made the world come alive like no other world had done before it and it sucked me riht in and never ever did it let me og - or did I wan't to. I know it's repetative and not flawless but it doesn't "force" me to do a lot of things I don't really want to. So Mafia 3 is the most immersive game I have played, probably for ever.

I know what you mean, sometimes when you spend too much time with a game it's hard to be immersed. I wasnt a big fan of Mafia 3 but I had a similar feeling to yours when I first played GTA 4. That world felt very realistic at the time and Niko felt like a real person. It might not be the most fun GTA game but I felt like it was the most immersive.

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#23 Edited by eladren (348 posts) -

The Witcher 3 of course. I have played quite a bit of skyrimm and got involved in the phisical world, but not in the fiction. The Witcher (allf of them, but specially 3) grabed me by the throat and just wouldn't let go, when i finished it i had it installed for many months and just popped back in to ride roach through velen from time to time. Witcher one is kind of hard to get back to, but "The Witcher 2: Assasins of Kings" is great in its own right.

Hyper light drifter. There is no lore or text, but I'm a big Ghibli fan and there is something about this game that makes me feel like ghibli makes me feel, it's like i'm playing Nausicaä.

Dreamfall Chapters and also it's prequels: "The longest Journey: Dreamfall" and "The longest Journey"; but beware the first two are old and kind of hard to get into them now. The newest does a decnt job o sumarizing the story so far, but i think you'll be best served by watching a youtube video.

Torment: Tales of Numenera was billed as a planescape succesor, not quite, but the world is fascinating and the writing solid.

Divinity Original Sin I and II are to top down rpgs what the witcher 3 is to 3rd person action rpgs.

Vampire the masquerade: Bloodlines is truly an underrated gem.

Transistor is short but every little new info you sacrape togeteher makes for a very satisfiying expirience, you also need at least a second playtrhough to wringe everything out of it.

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#24 Posted by BlackHeronBlue (790 posts) -
@eladren said:

The Witcher 3 of course. I have played quite a bit of skyrimm and got involved in the phisical world, but not in the fiction. The Witcher (allf of them, but specially 3) grabed me by the throat and just wouldn't let go, when i finished it i had it installed for many months and just popped back in to ride roach through velen from time to time. Witcher one is kind of hard to get back to, but "The Witcher 2: Assasins of Kings" is great in its own right.

Hyper light drifter. There is no lore or text, but I'm a big Ghibli fan and there is something about this game that makes feel like ghibli makes me feel, it's like i'm playing Nausicaä.

Dreamfall Chapters and also it's prequels: "The longest Journey: Dreamfall" and "The longest Journey"; but beware the first two are old and kind of hard to get into them now. The newest does a decnt job o sumarizing the story so far, but i think you'll be best served by watching a youtube video.

Tides: Tells of Numenera was billed as a planescape succesor, not quite, but the world is fascinating and the writing solid.

Divinity Original Sin I and II are to top down rpgs what the witcher 3 is to 3rd person action rpgs.

Vampire the masquerade: Bloodlines is truly an underrated gem.

I dunno man, people here seem to know it very well. :) Great game, I must've finished it like 5 or 6 times.

Also, good to see someone recommending "the other two" Witcher games. Warms my heart.

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#25 Posted by HugoBossk (18 posts) -

If we're talking games that suck me in and don't let go, it's gotta be the Witcher series. 3 in particular has one of the most interesting worlds in any game. BUT from a solely lore perspective I have sunk hours into reading every single entry in Mass Effect's codex. They put an absurd amount of work into something most players probably weren't interested in.

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#26 Edited by elementjester (2 posts) -

In addition to the ones already mentioned, I found Dying Light really immersive. The environments were realistically designed, and I was surprised with how much detail and environmental storytelling were put into them. The story may have been campy, but there were enough interesting characters for me to get invested in Crane's story.

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#27 Posted by FrodoBaggins (2026 posts) -

EverQuest. Skyrim. Witcher 3. ZombiU.

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#28 Posted by Max_Cherry (1586 posts) -

Final Fantasy 7 and the original Deus Ex

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#29 Posted by GuitarGod (134 posts) -

alien isolation

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#30 Posted by PaddyDodger (45 posts) -

The MGS games always immerse me more than most. The Witcher 3 takes the cake though - I lost so many hours into that game and I loved every second of it!

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#31 Posted by sikdude (113 posts) -

BOTW and the Souls series immediately come to mind.

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#32 Posted by Lv4Monk (494 posts) -

Morrowind and REmake followed by Silent Hill 2.

Those are games I dive totally into when I play.

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#33 Posted by Brackstone (878 posts) -

As others have said, Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl. The best in a series of fantastic games. Nothing else comes close.

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#34 Edited by omatictoast (193 posts) -

Hands down.. Everquest 1.

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#35 Edited by armaan8014 (6306 posts) -

@hippie_genocide said:

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadows of Chernobyl has been on my videogame bucket list for a while now. Need to play that.

Same here

Also, I'll add the Witcher 1 and Fable to this list

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#36 Posted by jimmyoct87 (160 posts) -

Fallout 4 & Inside

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#37 Edited by Redhotchilimist (2954 posts) -

Other than Skyrim? It's Zelda: breath of the Wild, which is the only other Skyrim style open world game I've played. Being able to pick any direction, going there to explore and actually being able to do whatever does lie in that direction means I'm glued to the TV for hours upon hours and barely noticing it. I pretty much view Breath of the Wild as everything I liked in Skyrim, but better, and it had the same effect on me that Skyrim had. It's just an absolutely absorbing type of game to me.

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#38 Posted by steveurkel (1448 posts) -

One of the most recent games for me that I find to be incredibly immersive is Assassin's Creed Origins. I have wandered around aimlessly for 30 plus hours and I'm only level 25 or so. I'm putting off playing through the rest of the game until they release the enemy scaling which means I can finally explore the entirety of the game and not feel like the enemies are super weak in comparison to my character.

I highly recommend anyone who enjoys beautiful environments, and tons of blood shed to play this game. It is my game of the year and I am surprised it didn't even get a mention tonight at the game awards!

Prior to ACO though I would say one of the most immersive games I've ever played was the Witcher 3 due to the attention to detail and how I had already put 90 hours into that game and was level 20. I would count all my adventures in MMOs such as EverQuest, WoW and the other 100s I've played but that is a story that spans almost 20 years at this point and I don't think it would be fair to compare those to single player games but there isn't anything more immersive than the large scale feel of an MMO in my eyes.

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#39 Posted by an_ancient (306 posts) -

I define immersion when the character is an extension of you having little or no backstory. With that in mind.

Morrowind - long walks, taking all the turns slowly and finding new unique gear. Even now I think about the past life I lived in that game quite a few summers ago. It doesn't work a second time.

Minecraft - even with the wiki open to the side, once you got the hang of the mechanics I played so much the world was starting to be blocky. That broke down after you realize not that much is out there, but the initial magic was there.

Dark Souls 1 - similar to minecraft, once I learned the mechanics, but didn't know the types of surprises and traps they plan I got into this defensive immersion. Risk of death is the cheapest way to get immersion, but it's probably the best example of it without being like hardcore mod for Skyrim or Arma. That too went away once you realize that souls don't matter.

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#40 Posted by mems1224 (2502 posts) -

Skyrim for me, easily. I've put about 600 hours into that game.

Immersive sims are also up there. Deus Ex, Human Revolution, Dishonored 1/2, Prey.

One I definitely wasn't expecting was AC Origins

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#41 Posted by Captain_Insano (3484 posts) -

The Witcher 3 is the first role playing game that I feel like I actually 'role played'. I was very conscientious about making decisions based on what I thought Geralt would do/say in that situation. AC: Origins is giving me a similar feeling, but I think the running/climbing aspect of AC still breaks that a little for me.

Red Dead Redemption is another where I was properly immersed in the world and roles created.

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#42 Posted by vizard1301 (233 posts) -

Morrowind for me and well also playing guild wars 1

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#43 Edited by BlackHeronBlue (790 posts) -

Minecraft - even with the wiki open to the side, once you got the hang of the mechanics I played so much the world was starting to be blocky. That broke down after you realize not that much is out there, but the initial magic was there.

Really, and all this time I thought it's just some kinda visual chatroom for teens like WoW or some other "game" like that. Is it really anything more than that?

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#44 Posted by nuttyjawa (41 posts) -

Witcher 3 - Don't really need to explain that one :)

Skyrim - Don't really need to explain that one :)

Mass Effect Series - The effort to fill out the world is insane, the first one is probably my favourite

Arma 3 - I find this game immersive as hell, headphones on and shut out the world

Hidden and Dangerous 1 & 2 - When these came out and even to this day I would argue these games ooze atmosphere, clanky but very tense gameplay for me

Onward (VR) - This is VR so is it cheating? I used to play alot of Airsoft, after having spine surgery I cannot anymore however this game is the next best thing! Can really get your heart pounding.

Lord of the Rings online - this is the biggest for me, this game can really pull you into the world, but I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. When the visual design and sound design come together you really do feel the world come to life in a way I haven't really found in other MMO's so much (maybe SWG was close?)

It's interesting reading peoples responses, some people have taken immersion as a game that absorbs hours of your lives where as others have taken it as games that can provide pure escapism/belief you are in the game world.

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#45 Posted by dagas (3663 posts) -

I don't get very immersed these days with a wife and kid demanding my attention.

Shenmue, FF7-10, Star Ocean 2, MGS1 and 2 Dragon Age Origins, Yakuza 2, Persona 3/4 and Mass Effect are some games that I could not stop playing.

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#46 Posted by BlackHeronBlue (790 posts) -

@dagas said:

I don't get very immersed these days with a wife and kid demanding my attention.

Exactly why I plan to never have one of those :D

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#47 Posted by Quarters (2658 posts) -

I actually thought Final Fantasy XV was pretty immersive.

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#48 Posted by Dray2k (884 posts) -

Oh boy, thats kinda a very complicated question.

A lot of games have great immersion, but besides Bethesda RPGs I can say 3 top-of-the-chart games in that regard.

  • Star Control 2 - It's certainly the "Breath of the Wild" for its worldbuilding and sense of wonder alone. Its the only game I would recommend not using any outside help at all (no guides, FAQs, backseating folks).
  • Command and Conquer 1 - the low quality FMVs and the downsampled sprites really gave this game the perfect fitting graphics to become a super immersive experience.
  • Crysis - Apart from the stellar graphics and sound design, the way the enemies react to you and how this was used by the level design set this game apart from every other FPS before this.

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#49 Posted by an_ancient (306 posts) -

@an_ancient said:

Minecraft - even with the wiki open to the side, once you got the hang of the mechanics I played so much the world was starting to be blocky. That broke down after you realize not that much is out there, but the initial magic was there.

Really, and all this time I thought it's just some kinda visual chatroom for teens like WoW or some other "game" like that. Is it really anything more than that?

I think so. When I played it back then with the people and set up some private servers, the world did have that feeling of not knowing what was out there which made it immersive. I think Terraria had way more and actual surprises than Minecraft even after the update, but the procedural magic was gone. I was actually thinking of replacing Minecraft with Dwarf Fortress since I've been playing that recently, but I'm not sure it's immersive to me either for the same reason as Terraria.

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#50 Edited by TheWildCard (694 posts) -

In terms of being transported it'd have to be Skyrim.