A peek through the keyholes of PlayStation’s most imposing fortresses
1 ASSASSIN’S CREED
Central to the labyrinthine AssCreed lore, Maysaf Castle has had more assassins come through its doors than a dinner party held by Mr and Mrs Smith. Make yourself at home, Ezio. Root around in the library like you own the place. The prawn cocktails will be coming out in just a minute.
2 CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW
Look, Dracula was living in chilly, cobweb-filled stone constructions before it was cool: fact. It goes without saying that his humble abode in C:LOS, aptly named Dracula’s Castle, should make an appearance among PlayStation’s best and brightest. We simply couldn’t deny passage to a game that calls itself Castlevania, for crying out loud.
3 UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE’S DECEPTION
After wandering the desert for… ooh, as long as five in-game minutes, Nathan Drake stumbles upon the majestic Rub’al Khali. Like many structures in this list it does genuinely exist – TE Lawrence (of Arabia fame) wrote about his time there. Punched far fewer locals than Drake, apparently.
4 DARK SOULS
Anor Londo: come for the quaint European rooftops and sunset views, stay for the absolutely agonising, controller-shredding boss fight against Ornstein and Smough. Arguably the series’ two toughest adversaries lurk within the walls of this impressive keep, so there’s sadly not much opportunity to appreciate the architecture.
5 PERSONA 3
They say school days are the happiest days of your life, but that’s probably only true if a huge, menacing tower doesn’t appear outside your high school every evening. Tartarus, the time tower, is 264 floors high, full of menacing Shadows, and a real buzzkill for Gekkoukan High’s student body.
6 PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE TWO THRONES
Ah, the Tower Of Babel. Built so high into the sky that man might commune with God, some say. Built full of convenient walkways and ledges that gamers might complete the game, say others. Whatever the case, it’s a must-see tourist trap if you’re ever in ancient Persia. And you’re an Olympic-level gymnast.
7 CASTLE OF ILLUSION STARRING MICKEY MOUSE
Here’s a pro tip: if a witch invites you to her lugubrious hilltop castle, she’s probably up to something. The entirety of Mickey’s jaunt through the titular illusory abode could all have been avoided if Minnie had heeded that advice. Just saying.
8 THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM
Casting an imposing shadow over Whiterun Hold, Dragonsreach is the closest thing the people of Skyrim have to a skyscraper. It’s also a one-stop shop for forging weapons, honing combat skills in the training rooms, and having conversations with dour Nords about their various dead ancestors.
8 WOLFENSTEIN: THE NEW ORDER
Hitler’s right up there with Dracula when it comes to famous castle-dwellers, at least in Id Software’s revisionist history. It’s certainly on BJ Blazkowicz’s mind: he drifts off to sleep midway through The New Order and finds himself in the halls of Wolfenstein-3D. That first escape from the castle really left some mental scars, eh, BJ?