The Great Sea [Paper Mario: The Origami King]
Paper Mario: The Origami King takes a few lengthy detours as you slowly explore the Paper Mushroom Kingdom. By far the biggest level is the Great Sea — where Mario captains a ship to search for a mythical underwater temple. To find the dungeon’s location, you’ll have to explore different islands in whatever order you want, piecing together clues and diving into the water in search of treasure. This massive stage really makes you feel like an explorer on the hunt for a lost artifact. And you really have to solve a puzzle, too! It’s pretty hardcore for a kid’s game.
The Factory [Amnesia: Rebirth]
One of the most chilling sections of Amnesia: Rebirth comes at the end. After your heroine experiences a mysterious pregnancy, she travels to an alternate dimension where an ancient civilization extracts a miraculous fluid called “anima” from human vessels. This anima might just save your baby’s life — but you’ll need to acquire it first. This leads you to the Factory, a facility where humans are tortured en masse and guarded by twisted faceless wraiths. You become your own worst enemy when you get a chilling choice at the end of the stage; torture a man to death, or risk letting your unborn baby die. Now that’s some dark stuff to talk about right after Paper Mario: The Origami King.
Mount Olympus [Immortals: Fenyx Rising]
Immortals: Fenyx Rising comes pretty close to matching the magic of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. And the world design becomes really special when you’re sent to scale Mount Olympus — an enormous mountain that’s been wrecked by a never-ending blizzard. The snow and wind makes it impossible to use your climbing skills, so instead you have to platform and navigate across the rooms like one gigantic Mario 64 level. It’s a great piece of design with an epic scale, and it’s one of those things we’d like to see in more open-world games. That’s high praise for this little Ubisoft side-project.
A new year means more new levels. We can’t wait to dig into the big games of 2021 — but in the meantime, if there are any 2020 levels you think belong on our list, be sure to hit us up. We’re always looking for new levels to explore.