The God of War series has traversed the realms of Norse and Greek mythologies over the years, taking players from one fantastical location to the next, and it’s packed those locations full of moments that continue to stick out in memory, whether that’s because of excellent game design, storytelling moments, moments of epic scale, or a number of other reasons. As we count the days down to God of War Ragnarok’s launch in the hopes that it will add many more entries to lists such as this one, here, we’re going to talk about our fifteen favourite locations from across the God of War franchise.

GAIA’S BACK (GOD OF WAR 3)

poseidon god of war 3

You’d have to think really, really hard to be able to name games that have a better opening than God of War 3. It picks up exactly where God of War 2 ends, and right out the gate, it sets the tone where the game’s sense of scale is concerned. Throughout the entire gameplay section, the high-stakes battle between the Titans and the Olympians can be witnessed in the background, while Kratos himself dispatches Poseidon in typically brutal and efficient fashion.

FIELDS OF ELYSIUM (CHAINS OF OLYMPUS)

god of war chains of olympus calliope

God of War: Chains of Olympus may have been a pretty short game, and it may have been a PSP title, but it didn’t let either of those factors impact its quality. Fittingly enough for the great game that it is, it has a very strong ending. The Fields of Elysium aren’t a very gameplay packed section, but the story culminates incredibly here, as Kratos is forced to choose to let go of his dead daughter once and for all in order to stop Persephone and Atlas. Of course, the actual boss fight against those two is also an incredible sequence.

PRISON OF THE DAMNED (ASCENSION)

hecatonchires god of war ascension

Ascension is the unfortunate black sheep of the God of War family, but in spite of being a game with many lows, it at least starts out really well. Kratos finds himself imprisoned and at the mercy of the Furies, and his breakout attempt turns into a typically high-stakes God of War opening. Discovering that the prison is actually the titanic Aegaeon the Hechatonichires and then actually taking it on in a momentous boss battle makes for the best chunk of the entire game.

RHODES (GOD OF WAR 2)

colossus god of war 2

Speaking of openings in God of War games, the opening sequence of God of War 2 also ranks up there. Seeing Kratos wreak havoc in the city of Rhodes is great to see, while of course, from a story perspective, there are some incredible moments to experience as well, most notably Zeus’ betrayal and the introduction of the Blade of Olympus. We’d also be remiss not to mention the incredible boss fight against the Colossus of Rhodes, which still ranks up there as one of the series’ best boss battles.

ALFHEIM (GOD OF WAR 2018)

2018’s God of War dropped the breakneck pacing of its predecessors in favour of a more measured and deliberate approach to storytelling, but even so, it was more than capable of delivering incredible sections where both story and gameplay shined. Kratos and Atreus’ journey into the realm of the elves, Alfheim, is a solid section of gameplay, the location is visually distinct, there are some powerful story sequences, and it ends with a solid boss fight.

PANDORA’S TEMPLE (GOD OF WAR 1)

Pandora’s Temple serves as the bulk of the original God of War, but no matter what part of this location you’re looking at, it’s hard not to have fond memories. The incredible Rings of Pandora puzzles that spans a vast portion of the location is ingeniously designed, the unique challenges from the likes of Atlas and Poseidon are a blast to go through, and of course, the Blades of Hades remains a notoriously tricky challenge. There’s the incredible boss fight against Pandora’s Guardian, and all of it obviously leads directly into yet another memorable sequence encapsulating the Bluffs of Madness and the Architect’s Tomb.

TARTARUS (GOD OF WAR 3)

cronos god of war 3

God of War 3 was a game with some ridiculously high highs, and without the shadow of a doubt, its best moment came when Kratos crossed paths with Cronos. The fight between the two of them might have seemed like a mismatch if you’re looking purely at their sizes, but using typically brutal tactics, Kratos is able to get the best of the literal Titan. There’s plenty of solid gameplay that precedes that boss fight as well, but the fight itself is easily amongst the best sequences across the entire franchise.

ATLANTIS (GHOST OF SPARTA)

god of war ghost of sparta atlantis

Throughout all of God of War’s Greece era games, we saw Kratos destroying the world of Greek mythology bit by bit. A significant chunk of that came in Ghost of Sparta, where we discovered (to no one’s surprised) that the lost city of Atlantis is lost because of Kratos. A lengthy section of the game, it involves boss battles against Scylla and Callisto (who’s actually Kratos’ dying mother), some gorgeous vistas, and an encounter with the Titan Thera, which ultimately leads to the eruption of a volcano and the destruction of the entire bustling city.

INSIDE THE MOUNTAIN (GOD OF WAR 2018)

god of war inside the mountain

Kratos and Atreus’ journey to the peak of the tallest mountain in Midgard also takes them into the innards of the mountain itself, and that section in particular is definitely one of the game’s highlights. Purely from a level design perspective, it’s an incredible bite-sized portion, where looping paths, connection rooms, clever puzzles, and engaging combat encounters make for a deeply enjoyable chunk of gameplay. Of course, the fact that it also prominently features a boss fight against an electricity-breathing dragon gives it plenty of bonus points as well.

ISLAND OF CREATION (GOD OF WAR 2)

kraken god of war 2

Kratos’ obsessive quest for revenge in God of War 2 takes him to the Island of Creation, which is quite a lengthy portion of the game- and there’s just so much to love here. It starts off with boss fights against the likes of Perseus and Euryale, ramping up to an encounter with Icarus (which adds a whole new gliding gameplay mechanic) and an epic fight against a kraken, before taking Kratos to the Palace of the Fates itself, which is where he goes on to kill the Sisters of Fate and gain the means to travel through time.

STEEDS OF TIME (GOD OF WAR 2)

god of war 2 steeds of time

Technically a small portion within the Island of Creation, the part of God of War 2 that sees Kratos freeing the Steeds of Time and using them to drag the island across the sea is definitely one of the best portions of the game. The spectacle of the scene in question is enough to earn it a spot on this list by itself, but even beyond that, other moments do stand out, such as the duel against Theseus.

THAMUR’S CORPSE (GOD OF WAR 2018)

god of war

Yet another solid example of God of War (2018)’s impressive level design chops is Thamur’s Corpse, an area in Midgard that Kratos and Atreus go to in the later stages of the game. Where pure spectacle is concerned, it’s hard not to be enamoured by the frozen giant’s massive corpse constantly looming over you. The fact that a significant part of this portion sees Kratos and Atreus trying to drop that corpse’s weapon into a frozen island of ice below also makes it stand out in memory that much more.

HERA’S GARDEN (GOD OF WAR 3)

god of war 3 hera's garden

The God of War franchise has had some really elaborate puzzles over the years, but most fans will tell you that Hera’s Garden in God of War 3 is probably the series’ highlight where puzzle design is concerned. The entire location feels like one long puzzle, and it’s absolutely incredible. Making use of unique spatial and perspective manipulation mechanics, Hera’s Garden delivers mind-twisting challenges that it’s hard not to appreciate even if you’re not big on puzzles in games.

DOMAIN OF DEATH (GHOST OF SPARTA)

god of war ghost of sparta thanatos

Kratos’ journey to find and rescue his brother was never going to have a happy ending, but at least his final moments with Deimos were unforgettable ones. A brief duel between them ends with the two ultimately fighting side-by-side against Thanatos, and though the fight costs Deimos his life, Kratos does manage to do what he does best, and absolutely obliterates Thanatos at the end. It’s a great sequence to cap off an excellent game.

LAKE OF NINE (GOD OF WAR 2018)

We’ve spoken a couple of discrete locations in God of War (2018) that stand out, but many would argue that the game’s best location is one that we keep coming back to again and again, and probably the one where we spend the most of our time. The Lake of Nine is an incredible hub location, not only because of its design and the engaging optional content it packs, but also because it keeps expanding and changing as you progress further into the game, making it feel fresh and new when you return to it later.