The Serenissima is famous all over the world and, sometimes, its fame goes beyond the boundaries of the real world reaching the virtual one.
What makes the city of Venice famous and admired, as well as its immeasurable beauty, is the uniqueness of the its Lagoon, which inevitably leads every visitor to fantasize about the characters and events may have taken place in that almost magical context.
Precisely for this reason Venice has always been a source of inspiration and stage for works of fantasy, whether fantastic or realistic. We knew some of them in our articles about films set in Venice and about the city of Venice in Italian cinema, but today we will talk about Venice in video games, and we will do it with a list of 5 video games set in Venice.

5 - Venice in video fighting games

The fighting genre is one of the "classic" of video games: appeared on any console and widely spread in the cabinets of arcades around the world, it contains all those video games where you face enemies in close combat, with bare hands or even with melee weapons. These games often consist of a succession of short fights, to which is added verve through the wide variety of characters, each with their own moves, and scenarios to fight.
There are many video games that, among their sceneries, boast a special one in Venice: this is the case of Fatal Fury 2 (1992), which offers a slightly touristy image of Venice, where behind the Riva degli Schiavoni there is the tower of Pisa and, in the distance, the Colosseum. In a level of Final Fight 2 (1993), instead, the battle moves first on a drawbridge from which, in the distance, you can admire the Rialto Bridge, and then on a terrace overlooking the Basilica della Salute. Also in the first chapter of the famous Tekken saga it is possible to admire a venetian scenery, this time much more accurate and refined in details, except for the columns of San Todaro and San Marco, resized and repositioned in favor of the camera. We conclude with the fighting games citing Soul Calibur (1998), a white weapon fighting game set between the 16th and 17th centuries, where there is the City of Water arena defined as "the pearl of Italy" and inspired, of course, by Venice. In the game, moreover, there is a character born in Italy, Voldo, who in one of the following chapters of the saga wears a mask and costumes inspired by those of the Venetian tradition.

4 - Tomb Raider II: Lara Croft a Venezia

The idea of a video game set in Venice par excellence is, in the common imagination of many gamers, the mission in Venice of the second chapter of Tomb Raider. In this mission we can, dressing as the famous Lara Croft, enter a maze of bridges, calli and palaces and also enjoy an exciting motorboat ride through the canals of the Lagoon, with the background music of Renaissance music and the chimes of a bell tower in the distance to mark the time of our mission. The polygonal models of this digital Venice are not very faithful, but nevertheless they give back quite faithfully the atmosphere of the real Venice.

3 - When Super Mario ran through the canals of Venice: Super Mario Sunshine

Even Super Mario, a character now famous even among the less video game enthusiasts, found himself, during one of his adventures, in a scenario inspired by Venice: we are talking about the Super Mario Sunshine chapter, released for Game Cube, in which Mario uses a complex device equipped with hydraulic pumps to fight his enemies and perform aerial evolutions. 

The game is set on an island called Delfino Island whose main hub is Delfino Plaza, a small town inspired by Venice. Probably also the name, which remains Delfino, in Italian, also in the original language, is a way to pay homage to Venice. After all, Mario and his brother Luigi's characters are clearly of Italian origin, although their adventures take place in fantasy worlds, confirming how much Nintendo developers have always cared about Italy.

2 - Assansin's Creed II: the video game that tributes Renaissance Italy

The second chapter of the very successful Assassin's Creed saga is set in Renaissance Italy and sees the player playing the role of Ezio Auditore, assassin and faithful adviser no less than Lorenzo De Medici. The missions will take the protagonist to meet several historical figures of the time, including the genius and artist Leonardo Da Vinci, and to visit virtual reproductions of some of the major Italian cities including, of course, Venice.

The Assassin's Creed saga is famous and highly appreciated for the meticulousness and fidelity with which the historical settings are reproduced and the city of Venice is no exception: although it is a slightly reduced version of the city, it will be possible to visit the Grand Canal, St. Mark's Square from which you can access the Basilica of the same name, the Doge's Palace, and the Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore. It will also be possible to see the first wooden version of the Rialto Bridge, since the version we currently know will be finished only in 1591, years after the events of the game. In a limited edition, you can also visit the interior of the Basilica dei Frari.

The second chapter of Assassin's Creed is considered one of the best video games of recent years and has been one of the most appreciated by fans of the saga also for its Italian settings, so much so as to encourage the producer to publish two spin-offs.

1 - Altissia, the Venice of Final Fantasy

The fifteenth chapter of the Final Fantasy saga also boasts a scenario inspired by Venice. We're talking about Altissia, the amazing capital of one of the continents where the game is set. This city, although only inspired by Venice, presents all its peculiar aspects: the architecture, which has the typical stylistic features of the Serenissima, is surrounded by a dense network of canals that can be crossed by boat or with a romantic gondola ride. Posters and signs of cafes and restaurants have Italian inscriptions and the streets have names inspired by those of Venice, clearly legible on typical nizioleti. Among the windows of the fashion boutiques, the traditional workshops and the various piers scattered around the city, the attention to detail is such that, although it is a different city, the atmosphere is really very similar to that of the Venetian Lagoon and the impression, at first landing, is that of being virtually in Venice.

The list could be further expanded with titles of several years including a chapter in the famous Sonic series and the shooter Overwatch, a game that has been very successful in recent years but we tried to summarize the titles that allow you to visit the city offering an immersive experience that can make us feel a little, even if only virtually, in Venice.

Play responsibly ;-)