Egyptian, Greek, Norse, Persian, and Shinto are just some of the forms of cultural mythology you’ll find in video games. From the summit of Mount Olympus to the heavenly realm of Valhalla, these fictional places often appear in video games based on mythology. There’s no denying that gamers love a story with gods, warriors, and monsters.
Mythology is basically a collection of stories that explain the origins of values and ethics within a culture, nature, or universe. When it comes to making up a strong video game background, mythological themes form a perfect foundation to open up a world of imagination—like creation myths, fighting between impossibly powerful gods, or how the world formed.
Even when it comes to character development, mythological characters often serve as templates for video game designers. From the Minotaur’s labyrinth to the riddle of the Sphinx, mythological scenarios often offer some type of moral lesson. And in doing that, they involve quests and missions that make for thrilling storylines.
Whether it’s gods feuding with humans or some monumental war, mythology offers plenty of heroes and heroines, villains, and of course, fantasy creatures for gamers. Not only are they entertaining, but they’re also educational! So it’s no surprise they’ve been found on all formats right from the start of home gaming. Speaking of which, let’s take a look at 10 of the most popular video games based on mythology.
If you’re searching for the best mythology games for the PC, then you’re definitely going to find Age of Mythology near the top of the list. In this real-time strategy game based on Age of Empires, players enter a world full of legendary battles and monsters. It’s similar to the older versions where you develop an army for global conquest. You know, casual stuff.
What’s interesting about the Age of Mythology is that it combined three major families of mythology: Egyptian, Greek, and Norse. There are even The Titans and Tale of the Dragon expansion packs. Try the deep voice AI from Voicemod—add a bit of reverb and you’ve got a voice worthy of the gods themselves!
Egyptian mythology takes center stage in Assassin’s Creed Origins, the tenth installment of this blockbuster series. The setting is Egypt, between 49 and 44 BC, where the protagonists Bayek and Aya seek vengeance for their son’s death. All the while, they must protect their oasis village from the power-hungry Pharaoh, Ptolemy XIII.
While Ptolemy XIII aspires to expand his kingdom, his sister Cleopatra begins plotting a coup against him, eventually collaborating with Bayek and Aya. Things get supernatural during the “Trials of the Gods,” when the main characters fight high-level bosses based on Egyptian deities.
For many fans, God of War is one of the best video games with mythical creatures. Greek titans Cronos and Gaia make cameo appearances alongside creatures like centaurs, hydras, and trolls. If taking on monster personas on Twitch is your cup of tea, then the orc voice changer should come in handy.
The title also refers to the character Kratos, a Spartan warrior with a tooth to pick. As the story goes, the Greek god of war Ares tricked Kratos into killing his family. Soon enough, war breaks out in the pantheon. The end result: lots of combat and engaging character development, not to mention a heartfelt story.
Everything from the landscape to the wildlife in Skyrim radiates Viking folklore. Mythical creatures are alive and well in this fan favorite among mythology games. In Skyrim, players embark on epic quests to slay dragons trying to destroy the world. The journey takes you through nine distinct provinces, just like the nine worlds in Norse mythology.
Like past renditions, Skyrim follows the open world tradition, where players can travel freely between areas. So, you can take a break from the storyline and do some sightseeing. Considering the number of dragons, elves, giants, and trolls you’ll encounter, it’s an ideal game to use some iconic monster sounds from Voicemod.
A prime example of video games based on mythology is the 2D action game Apotheon. Ancient Greek mythology directly inspired this series, especially the signature black-figure pottery style seen throughout the gameplay. Safe to say that these ornate vases and plates come to life in this PC game.
Players become the young warrior Nikandreos in Apotheon, partnering with Hera, Zeus’s wife, to prevent the Olympian gods from punishing humans for their arrogance. Before Nikandreos reaches the boss, Zeus himself, he must deal with his powerful family members: Artemis, Demeter, Apollo, Poseidon, Ares, and Athena. One by one, he fights them all!
A classic for its artistry, and for many people, one of the best games ever, Shinto folklore and mythology play a huge role in this video game. After all, the protagonist is the sun goddess Amaterasu battling evil. Even better, the game originated in Japan, giving it a truly authentic style. Fans also applaud Okami for its story and characters. Fun fact: Okami can either mean “great god” or “wolf” in Japanese.
Okami takes place in ancient Japan, with Amaterasu taking the form of a white wolf, similar to the one in the classic Japanese fantasy film Princess Mononoke. Fantastic wolves and swordsmen battle eight-headed demons, making Okami a great example of a video game with mythical creatures.
Another video game based on mythology is the Prince of Persia series. Although the prince has taken on different forms throughout the franchise, the creators based the original on Middle Eastern mythology. Across this universe are references to One Thousand and One nights and the Epic of Shahnameh, an ancient Persian poem.
As seen in many Prince of Persia plots, there are also connections to the Zoroastrian religion and its creation myths. In one version, the evil Ahriman spirit trapped inside the Tree of Life comes directly from one of these fables.
From the creators of Grand Theft Auto, Max Payne proves that you can’t judge a book (or video game) by its cover. It may look like a detective story on the surface, but Max Payne is actually another great game based on Norse mythology—it’s just a bit more subtle. Take the names, for example; the DEA agent Alex Balder represents the Norse god, Balder.
Reddit users have pointed out that the death of Agent Balder in the game represents Ragnarök, the Norse end of the world. Ragnarök tells of apocalyptic events after the death of the beloved Balder, and the game’s epic snowstorm mirrors the prelude to Ragnarök.
The Tomb Raider series has always showcased ancient civilizations and their mythology. In this multiplayer action-adventure game, players can either take on the role of Lara or Toltec, a 2,000-year-old Mayan warrior, and can cooperate to make progress.
Lara and Toltec travel across pre-Colombian ruins in search of the “mirror of smoke” artifact. Characters like Cihuacoatl (the goddess of fertility and motherhood) and Huitzilopochtli (the god of war and sun) appear in this mythology game. The Keeper of Darkness, Xolotl—the god of lightning and fire—is even the main antagonist!
Steampunk comes together nicely with Norse mythology in the action role-playing game. The story revolves around a cyborg version of the Norse god Baldur who has the task of protecting humanity from Loki, the god of the underworld. In this world, the Æsir, the Norse gods, also appear as a motley crew of cybernetically-augmented humans.
Of course, Baldur has his work cut out for him since he’s less robotic than the other gods. While the big guys wreak havoc, all of humanity is sheltered in a small enclave called Midgard, which is based on the human realm in Old Norse mythology. Fans love the game for its advanced character customization and in-game cinematics.
With so many great games using mythology as their inspiration, it’s obviously a rich source of ideas for back-stories and provides thousands of potential characters to developers and gamers alike. Check out some of the hundreds of voices you can use to build an atmosphere, give depth to characters, or even create your own backstories in your gaming.
If you’re a fan of video games based on mythology, Voicemod will help your gameplay come to life, so download the Voicemod app today and take your gaming to the next level!