The Most Atmospheric And Relaxing Aquatic Locations In Video Games

Water levels can be pain in the arse, especially when unnecessarily complex gameplay mechanics meet blurry, monotonous graphics. But that's not always the case. Truth is, there are water levels (or places where water plays a key role) that look really refreshing, relaxing, and that might even possess a special, eerie atmosphere (several parts of Final Fantasy X come to mind). Now those are fun to explore.

The Sea At Night In The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker

Besaid Island and Bevelle (Final Fantasy X)

Stage 3 of Super Castlevania IV

Koopa Beach (Super Mario Kart)

Atlantica (Kingdom Hearts 2)

Undersea City (Folklore)

Riverside Race and World 2 in Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble

Isle Delfino (Super Mario Sunshine)

Southern Savage Coast in Stranglethorn Vale (World of Warcraft)

Hydrocity Zone (Sonic The Hedgehog 3)

Do you have pleasant memories of a good looking aquatic area? Reminisce in the comments below.

Sources: darkl3ad3r's LP, FF Wiki, firebirdonfire's LP, ClassicGameRoom, KH Wiki, MIKE65707LP, Antimazon's LP, MrRagetastic96's LP, WoWWiki, Sonic Wiki


    Are any Sonic levels relaxing?

      The ones with water are the most infuriating

        It's what I was looking for when I clicked so I could laugh at the inclusion.


          the sound that plays when you only have a few seconds left before you drown still freaks me out

    Theres some nice water areas in guild wars 2.

    Some amazing water falls

    No mention of Endless Ocean or Ecco the Dolphin? For shame. Ecco especially, the SegaCD version has incredibly relaxing music.

      I thought the same thing. Endless Ocean: whole game. One of my favorite games of the last generation. Hmm, now I feel like booting up that game again.

    I know this is off topic, but wasn't there meant to be a new sonic project announced on the 2nd?

      Was it that iOS runner game? Cos there's an iOS runner game.

        Aww crud, I knew it was too much to ask for a new decent sonic game.

          Sonic Racing Transformed, my friend. Better than the last two Mario Karts.
          And cheaper.

            Ill give it a go, thanks :)

              If you get it for PS3 or Vita I'm always up for a race (later in the evening)

    Donkey Kong Country, there are some excellent remixes of the music for the water level, "Aquatic Ambience" on YouTube.

      I completely agree with you; Donkey Kong Country was the very first thing that came to mind. I played it again just recently, and found that I was taking my time on those underwater levels :P

    Final Fantasy XI's Bibiki Bay. Picture says it all, really.

    I'd have mentioned the actual underwater levels in DKC3 rather thatn that map.

    And Castlevania SotN had an Awesome water level with one of the best peices of music in a game EVER!

      OH! I hate Atlantica, not relaxing at all.

      Riverside race, although an aquatic level in DKC3, was not in fact relaxing.

    Atlantica (Kingdom Hearts 2) yea of course that relaxing, all you gotta do is swim around and mindlessly press a button in time

      Under the sea! Just like Homer wanted. Virmire. The only time Shepard goes to the beach.

    Xenoblade - Eryth Sea

    In a game with lots of great locations, Eryth Sea was arguably my favourite. Amazing scenery.

    The hub world from Diddy Kong Racing.

      Haha I've been humming the music from DKR ever since I read this :P

    What about Far Cry 3, Its pretty awesome on a deserted beach and not getting shot at by pirates.

    If you take away "relaxing" and list "The Most Atmospheric Aquatic Locations In Video Games" then Bioshock for sure!

    Manaan from starwars kotor. Apart from the sharks.

    i was awestruck when i first saw besaid island 12 years ago. it's such a beautiful area and the music went with it so well.

    The Carribean in Sid Meier's Pirates! I could've just sailed around that place for days, plundering other ships


      Also, underwater in the sub in FF7 and the Forgotten City. Unless, of course:

      you're anywhere near Emerald Weapon or Aeris is about to die

        I wouldn't say the Forgotten City was relaxing (though You Can Hear The Cry Of The Planet is one of my favourite tracks). Underwater theme was pretty chill.

    Smugglers Run. Just driving around that map (obviously not when it's covered in snow) and driving around the lakes and waterfalls. Relaxing as fuck

    Any levels in and of the DKC series were great. Especially the couple in 3 where you duck in and out of the waterfalls. Also the 2 N64 Zeldas had some beautiful above water locations (unfortunately ruined the second you jump in).

    I think Super Mario 64's Dire, Dire Docks deserves a spot on (if not on top of!) this list.

    Last edited 05/03/13 7:05 pm

    I like Venice in ACII. Not sure if it qualifies, but easily my favorite city!

    Last edited 05/03/13 8:02 pm

    Not be captain obvious or anyting, but ummm, Bioshock?

      I was about to say the same thing in terms of being 'atmospheric'. Even in Bioshock II there's a great scene at the start where you break the glass, it gushes through to fill the area and you travel out on foot in the ocean to the next checkpoint.

    Did someone say Besaid Island?

    Also I'm going to throw this out here:
    Stickerbrush Symphony.
    Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong-Quest has an amazing soundtrack, but when you get to a bramble level for the first time, you gotta sit there and take it in.

    Which is perhaps ironic given how the bramble levels are known for the grief they've caused gamers.

    Last edited 06/03/13 1:41 am

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