The most impressive, imposing castles in video games

Really? I have to go in there?

Games are filled with impressive sights these days. From the beautiful scenery in Far Cry 3 to the amazing facial expressions in L.A. Noire, we are treated to all sorts of great visuals. But nothing makes you stop and say wow quite like a castle. A massive, looming castle. Not only are they magnificent to look at, theyre usually important to the plot, and the location of some exciting set pieces.

There are plenty of them, but some are more imposing; more impressive. These are the castles that intimidate you with their size and appearance. Citadels that carry their own reputation, and that everyone knows the name of. Fortresses that you would never visit in a million years because of who and what resides within. Here are my choices.

Drangelic Castle (Dark Souls 2)

To even catch a glimpse of Drangleic Castle in Dark Souls 2 youll need to collect the four Lord souls. Itll take many hours of hard work, and probably several dozen (hundred) deaths to get there, but its definitely worth the wait.

The weather takes a turn for the worse in this area of Dark Souls 2. The rain hammers down and as you reach the crest of a hill the black spires of Drangleic Castle tower above you. The long staircase leading up to it only adds to the apprehension. If you thought the game was hard up until now, you aint seen nothing yet.

Dr Wiley's Castle (Mega Man)

Wilys fortress changes style with each game, but theyve all got one thing in common: the bloody great skull on the front. Of course its imposing, no ones going to want to walk up to this castle, regardless of their robotic combat abilities.

Even if they do make it past the front gate, theyll have all manner of traps to avoid, hordes of powerful enemies to fight, as well as the diabolical doctor himself. There are about 15 thousand Mega Man games (Im estimating), so hes been there a bunch, but I bet hes quaking in his metallic boots every time.

Hyrule Castle (Legend of Zelda)

Acting as the centrepiece of Hyrule in the Legend of Zelda games, Hyrule Castle isnt as frightening as some of the other structures on this list, but its no less impressive. Featuring multiple towers and high walls all around, its a formidable fortress, and one that is very hard to attack.

However, given its importance and strategic location, it is often invaded and is the focal point of many conflicts throughout the series. Even if you dont like the castle, it is here that youll find the Master Sword in The Wind Waker. At least you dont have to go through the Water Temple after getting it this time.

Dracula's Castle (Castlevania: Lords of Shadow)

Just knowing who and what's inside this castle is frightening, even if the actual design changes from game to game. Alucard is quoted as saying that the castle is a creature of Chaos, leaving the possibility that the place can actually alter its own appearance. Hogwarts, eat your heart out.

Its large, terrifying, and home to an army of supernatural monsters. Vampires have apparently gone from being scary to sexy in recent years, but no amount of voluptuous vamps could entice me to Draculas abode. Ill just stay at home, gather some garlic and hide in a corner clutching a crucifix.

Fortuna Castle (Devil May Cry 4)

Sitting in the middle of Fortuna Island, this huge castle is an impressive sight. In Devil May Cry 4, the towering dark spires provide a stark contrast to the snow settled on the ground. The castle has its own eerie graveyard, a torture chamber, and even a waterfall that obscures a hidden path into Mitis Forest to the west.

And of course, no gigantic castle is complete without its very own Hell Gate, allowing demons to pour from the Underworld into our own. Youre saying thats not a feature of most castles? My mistake. Still, at least Dante and Nero each go there separately to fight off the forces of darkness. Even without monstrous foes, the appearance of Fortune Castle is imposing enough.

Brennenburg Castle (Amnesia: The Dark Descent)

We dont really know the exact exterior appearance of Brennenburg Castle, but we all know whats inside. The very utterance of the phrase water monster will have people who have played Amnesia: The Dark Descent trembling in fear. How Daniel manages to explore this castle for hours without losing his shit, Ill never know.

The place is clearly massive and labyrinthine, stretching beneath the ground as well as above. Hundreds of years old stone columns barely hold up parts of the interior, which is dimly illuminated by flickering candles. It has become one of gamings folk tales. Only the bravest of people who have heard stories about Amnesias Brennenburg Castle will dare enter, and only a few of those will make it out unscathed.

Bowser's Castle (Super Mario Bros)

Thank you Mario! But our princess is in anoth... no wait, shes here. Bowsers Keep is usually the location of the final battle in Super Mario games, and the place where our hero finally reunites with Princess Peach.

Often adorned with Bowsers distinctive spiked turtle shells and a giant image of his snarling face, its most certainly an intimidating sight. Inside it gets no better, as this is not only the home of Bowser himself, but also the base of operations for the Koopa Troop. Endless dangers await inside. Peach must be worth it for Mario to go through all that trouble so many times.

...and you're the dirty rascal!

There are no doubt many more castles I havent touched upon here. If weve missed a formidable fortress that you love, let us know in the comments! While you do that, Im going to look at some nice pictures of the ocean to help me forget about these imposing sights.

While you're here--and thirsting for features about objects--perhaps you should check out The 12 Most Important Desks In Video Games. Failing that, here are a list of Everyday Objects Brought To Life In Games.

You can often find Matt writing words about games, especially at a time when he was a freelance games journalist. However, nowadays Matt is a producer for CSGO and League of Legends, and an interviewer for Dexerto.