Las Vegas, often referred to as "Sin City," is an area that's so storied and unique that it seems almost make-believe. With its bright signs, flashy lights, and colorful characters, the city is endlessly interesting. So it makes sense that some of the best video games ever made are set there.
Whether you visit Vegas often, or you only know about it through what you see in the media, everyone can enjoy some Las Vegas video games. So continue reading and we'll walk you through the best video games that take place in the City of Second Chances.
1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is often recognized as one of the greatest video games ever designed. The game was created by Rockstar Games in England and was released in 2004. It is the seventh title in the Grand Theft Auto series.
The game is available for Microsoft Windows and Xbox, PlayStation 2, and Apple computers and phones. It features an open-world environment and follows the story of a former gangster who travels throughout the fictional state of San Andreas.
The state of San Andreas is heavily based on both Nevada and California. Set in the year 1992, the game makes references to the 1980s and 1990s crack epidemic, the Los Angeles riots of 1992, and the LAPD Rampart scandal.
It's currently the best selling title for a PlayStation 2 game, with over 20 million units sold.
The basic plot of the game focuses on Carl "CJ" Johnson as he comes home to Los Santos (Los Angeles) to attend his mother's funeral. CJ is soon framed for murder by some corrupt police officers. He's forced to leave town and so he escapes to San Fierro (San Francisco).
While in San Fierro, CJ races cars and operates his own garage. A government agent then contacts CJ and asks him to help with a gang problem going on in Las Venturas (Las Vegas). A gang is trying to open their own casino and CJ agrees to help get information in exchange for his brother's release from prison.
CJ assists the federal agents but is then ordered to be killed. A friend then comes to CJ's rescue and helps him escape. After making it out of Las Venturas alive, a rapper by the name of Madd Dogg asks CJ to be his manager.
CJ agrees and goes back to Los Santos with his sister and her boyfriend.
2. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas
As the sixth installment of the Rainbow Six franchise, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas was released in late 2006. The Rainbow Six franchise was developed by Tom Clancy and is based on his novel, Rainbow Six. The franchise is about a fictional international counter-terrorist unit known as "Rainbow."
The first game was designed by Red Storm Entertainment and was developed while the Rainbow Six novel was being written. In the Vegas installment, we follow a brand new Rainbow team that's been dispatched to Las Vegas to fight an international terrorist organization that's attacking the city.
The game was released by Ubisoft, the parent company of Red Storm Entertainment, and received critical acclaim.
The game takes place four years in the future, in the year 2010. Several rainbow operatives are fighting Irena Morales, an international terrorist, and his henchmen in Mexico. Irena escapes and only one of the operatives, Logan Keller, makes it out safely.
Logan is then taken to Las Vegas where he needs to deal with a similar situation. He's dropped outside of the Calypso Casino and meets up with a new team. They clear out the casino and save the hostages.
The group then travels to the Red Lotus Casino and saves a kidnapped reporter. They then move to the Vertigo Spire, which is the game's version of the Stratosphere. A bomb was placed in the Vertigo and the team disarms it.
They then move on to Dante's Casino. But when they get there, they find out that Irena's real target is the Nevada Dam, which is analogous to the Hoover Dam.
At the dam, Logan kills Irena but he finds out he was double-crossed by a fellow operative. As the traitor gets away, the words "To Be Continued" appear on the screen.
3. Call of Duty: Ghosts
Released in 2013, Call of Duty: Ghosts is the tenth major installment in the Call of Duty franchise. It was published by Activision and developed by Infinity Ward.
The game was released in November of 2013 for PlayStation 3, Wii U, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox 360. It's also available for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
The game received praise for the introduction of the game mode - Extinction.
Extinction is a four-person co-op mode where players fight against different kinds of aliens in a survival style map. The main objective is to terminate all of the alien hives.
Similar to Rainbow Six: Vegas, Call of Duty: Ghosts takes place in the future, this time in 2027. It also follows an elite operative by the name of Logan. The United States is currently at war with a terrorist organization by the name of the "Federation of the Americas."
Logan and his brother, Hesh, are part of a special unit of the American military. After fighting along the Mexico border, the brothers return to Santa Monica, California and reunite with their father, who confesses that he is the leader of the Ghosts, an elite squad who are trained to perform missions behind enemy lines.
The brothers are then recruited into the Ghosts and go to the Yucatán Peninsula. They break into the base of the Federation and find designs for a new superweapon. After dismantling a Federation factory in Brazil, the Ghosts are then sent to a safe house in Las Vegas.
But when they get to Vegas, they're captured by a former Ghost operative who's been brainwashed. After an all-out American assault, the Federation's weapons are destroyed. The brothers then go after the former Ghost agent in order to avenge their father.
However, the traitor manages to capture Logan and attempts to brainwash him instead and recruit him into the Federation.
4. Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded
Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded is a point-and-click video game that was released in 2013 by Replay Games, Intermarum, and N-Fusion Interactive, in conjunction with the franchise's original creator, Al Lowe. The game is available for iOS and Android, OS X, Microsoft Windows via Steam, GOG, and Linux.
The game is a remake of the 1987 video game Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards. The development of the game was crowdfunded via Kickstarter.
Leisure Suit Larry is an adult-themed video game franchise that follows Larry Laffer in his often futile attempts to seduce women.
In this installment, players must solve a variety of puzzles, which they can do by picking up, talking to, looking at, or licking items on a variety of people and objects in the game. There are five buildings in the game: a mini-mart, a multi-floor casino, a love chapel, a disco club, and Lefty's Bar.
The game takes place in the city of Lost Wages (Las Vegas) and players can help Larry earn money by playing the slot machines.
The plot of the game is extremely similar to that of the original versional. It even takes place in the 1980s.
After Larry Laffer has grown tired of his loveless life, he decides to travel to Lost Wages in the hopes of losing his virginity and maybe even finding true love. While some characters were cut from the new version of the game, others were modernized or replaced.
5. Fallout: New Vegas
Fallout: New Vegas is an RPG video game published by Bethesda Softworks and developed by Obsidian Entertainment. It was released in October of 2010 and is available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Windows. The game takes place in an open-world, post-apocalyptic environment that consists of Nevada, California, and Arizona.
It's a spin-off of the Fallout series and set in the year 2281, four years after what happens in Fallout 3. Players act as a character named Courier.
When the game was released, it received critical acclaim thanks to its improved gameplay, quests, and writing. Las Vegas legend Wayne Newton even makes a voice appearance as radio DJ "Mr. New Vegas."
As the game begins, three major groups are trying to gain control over the city of New Vegas and its neighboring regions. Four years before the game takes place, two of the groups fought at the Hoover Dam. Now, those powers are once more trying to gain control of the dam but so is the current leader of New Vegas, Mr. House.
As his name implies, Courier is a courier working for the Mojave Express. And as he's taking a mysterious item known as the "Platinum Chip" to New Vegas, he's ambushed. Fortunately, he's soon saved and nursed back to health.
As Courier attempts to get the chip back, he encounters various people with all different kinds of problems. He can choose to either help, ignore, or harm these people. And these actions can result in him receiving either negative or positive karma.
When he finally finds the chip, he ends up in the middle of a major conflict between the three warring factions. All of these factions are trying to gain control of the Hoover Dam which is the most effective power source in the area.
It's revealed that Mr. House ordered the Platinum Chip for delivery. The chip is a device that stores data and has a program that can make Mr. House's security robots more powerful.
One of the factions, Ceasar's Legion, attacks the Hoover Dam.
Courier can now choose to help Mr. House connect the Dam to his robot army, defend the Dam with the New California Republic, help the Legion attack the Dam, or destroy the Dam so that no one can control it.
The game then ends with a narrated slideshow that goes over the results of Courier's actions.
6. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2
Described as a part prequel, part sequel to Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas, this instalment was released in 2007 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The character Logan Keller is no longer around and the player actually gets to create their own character.
This new character then takes on the role of Bishop. The game itself deals with events that occur both before and during the Logan Keller story. The player also now has the ability to give commands to their AI teammates with their own voice through a headset.
Taking place in 2010, Bishop is commanding a team in Las Vegas. After an NSA agent is taken hostage, Bishop and his team try to track the agent down at a Vegas sports complex. But they're too late and a fatal bomb is detonated.
They then learn that a second bomb is on its way to the Las Vegas Convention Center. There, they discover the chief of security is tied up but there's no bomb. They're then told that the bomb is actually on the roof of the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel.
They defuse the bomb but learn about a third bomb in a Chinese theater. They rush to the theater and successfully stop it from exploding.
Bishop is then knocked unconscious. He's saved by a fellow operative and then later meets up with Logan Keller. The two then travel to a Costa Rican villa in order to stop the terrorist behind who's these acts.
Bishop is able to kill the evil mastermind. At first, his superiors reprimand him for disobeying orders. However, they're also so pleased with his work that they offer him a position as deputy director at Rainbow HQ in England.
Which of These Las Vegas Video Games Are You Going to Play Next?
As we can see, Sin City has certainly set itself up for some very chaotic and interesting games. While many are post-apocalyptic and violent, others are more humorous and cheerful. Like the city these games take place in, Las Vegas video games provide an array of environments and characters that you can have a lot of fun with.
So which of these games do you want to play now?
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