Religion in video games can be a controversial topic. Nobody wants their personal beliefs to be trampled on or frowned upon, while at the same time a world, even a fictional one, feels clunky and empty without some sort of religious support.
The ones that do it best come up with logical religions that would crop up in that area and give a reason why someone might actually be interested in following them. They’re complex, rooted in world history and culture, and are needed for more than just cheap plot points.
ten Dragon Age: Andrastianism was born from the teachings of Andraste
Andraste in the dragon age games was originally a prophet who served as a conduit to the Creator’s truth and rallied her and the people of Shartan in great historic battles. Natural disasters or interference from darkspawn were considered miracles performed by her, which aided her in her victories.
Eventually his teachings split into two Chantries, the Orlesian and the Imperial. They have since become the dominant religion in Thedas. What makes this fictional religion so amazing is that it is very clearly something that can and would actually happen in a society, has a basis in real world religions without being thinly veiled, and has good logic on how it happened, why it’s tracking and changing over time.
9 The Elder Scrolls have a massive cosmology
Ancient Scrolls The series has a massive cosmology that breaks down into many different pieces. Everything is very complicated, with many of them having their own mini-quests or references throughout the series, which keeps them going well. There are both Aedra and Daedra, as well as any additional forces such as Sithis, Padomay, Anui-El, and Anu that are neither.
They exist both as metaphysical concepts and as actual beings with varying degrees of madness within their cults. Even so, they all have meaning in their universe and help describe and teach the massive lore of the games far beyond the confines of Tamriel itself throughout Aurbis.
8 Assassin’s Creed: The Pieces Of Eden is one of the only things holding the series together
the Assassin’s Creed games have very little to keep them connected, especially as most modern games enter a new realm of gameplay. The modern plot is contentious to say the least and doesn’t blend as seamlessly as in previous games. However, beyond that, there is a point that keeps all games connected. These are the Pieces of Eden.
This is myth, cosmology, and historical fact for the games to explain some of the quirks of the story. The Isu used the Pieces of Eden to control humans and use them as slaves, who eventually became forgotten as they became extinct. The concept of magic also derives from this, mystifying humans for millennia and is even a central point of obsession for the Templars.
7 Final Fantasy X: Yevon Lets Final Fantasy Dive Into Religious Motivation
Any of Final Fantasy games will have a few nods to religion here and there, with some feeling quite close to real religions while others are nods to other games. However, the series has such a huge cosmology unique to each game and each world that doesn’t really take center stage. The exception is in X where a cult of Yevon served as the main antagonist.
This was the real power behind Sin, which was a focal point for many protagonists. Yu Yevon created Sin, which in turn motivated Yuna, Tidus, and the rest of the gang to exist and move in the plot.
6 Legend Of Dragoon: Soa Created All Life From The Fruit Of The God Tree
A rather underrated religion is the driving force behind much of the plot in Legend of the Dragon. The God Tree is the creation myth in the world as well as being a very real place that players can travel to in the late game.
Creator Soa planted a seed which grew into the great tree, bearing 108 fruits. These fruits grew to become all life in Endiness, except for the 108th fruit which the antagonists attempt to cause due to the myth that it contains the embryo of Virage and the God of Destruction.
5 Fallout 3: Church of the Children of the Atom wants the bomb to explode and cherishes that it does not explode
Fallout 3 is one of the most interesting episodes of the series. Bethesda took the title and arguably made good and bad choices with it, but one thing that was really good in a weird way was a weird little cult.
The Church of the Children of the Atom is a logical inclusion for this setting and stems from a fallen, unexploded atomic bomb around which a group of lunatics have gathered to eagerly await the day it will explode while cherishing every day it won’t explode.
4 The Order is the main antagonist of the Silent Hill series.
The Order is an apocalyptic religious cult residing primarily in silent Hill but extended outwards. They believe that they themselves are the only true faith, all others being lies and deceit, which is what real world religions do too. That fact alone makes it uncomfortably real, which helps add to the horror aspect of the game as a whole.
There are entire sacred books and scriptures that they follow, multiple branches and an extremely underground network of secret organizations that can all be linked together as they do some of the most terrible things in gaming under the guise of their faith.
3 Yamatai’s Sun Queen Was Convincing Enough For A Tomb Raider Movie
Yamatai is the setting of the 2013 grave robber game and the 2018 movie. It was a lost Japanese kingdom once ruled by the Sun Queen Himiko who had great powers including the ability to control the weather.
Instead of having children, the Queen of the Sun would choose her High Priestess who would then take control of their bodies to continue to rule long after her natural life had ended. Once this was discovered, things quickly spiral out of control, leading to the downfall of the Yamatai and the subsequent events the game uncovers.
2 Los Illuminados were really the catalyst for Resident Evil 4
Los Illuminados is a religion that arose in the mountainous region of Spain and worships the parasitic arthropod Plagas. They see themselves as a continuation of native beliefs, although this cult was actually formed by a complete madman named Osmund Saddler.
Osmund Saddler posed as a prophet to Los Illuminados followers so he could secure the loyalty of his followers and implant them with the Parasites. As with most cults, things got out of control and Saddler’s cultists became the main catalyst for Resident Evil 4.
1 Grand Theft Auto V: The Epsilon (Kifflom) program was a cult of crooks
Cults exist in the real world just as much as in fantasy. They don’t always look like a bunch of maniacs or very delusional people who make up obvious lies, but manage to keep people brainwashed and a promise to do better.
The Kefflom cult in Grand Theft Auto V is something someone could realistically accidentally find themselves in, which makes it terrifying. It’s a bit beefed up for the tone of the game, but it’s so realistic in their money laundering scams hiding behind faith and trying to become a better person that it really hits close to home.
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