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Top 10 Fictional Schools in Video Games

VO: Dave Thibault
Script written by Kurt Hvorp. Gamers spend a lot more time in school than most people realize. From mages guilds to zombie infested high schools and beyond, we're looking at all the best, coolest and most fun fictional schools to visit in video games. We're excluding schools who had their first appearance in media outside video games, but are allowing for schools that appear in tie-in stories that mirror the games themselves. So join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 fictional schools in video games. Special thanks to our users mac121mr0, Alfaz Nanji and Stephen Welsh for suggesting this topic using our Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest.
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Transcript
Script written by Kurt Hvorp.

Top 10 Fictional Schools in Video Games


There's plenty of shooting and sword-fighting in games, but what about studying and note-scribbling? Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Fictional Schools in Video Games.

Besides the expected rule of one school per franchise, we're also excluding any school that doesn't originate from video games; the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin 4, for example, was first depicted in Star Wars' Expanded Universe novels and thus does not qualify.

#10: San Romero High
“Lollipop Chainsaw” (2012)


When we were told students are like zombies, we didn't expect it to be so literal. Yet that's the situation cheerleader and zombie slayer Juliet Starling faces, as she marches through the halls of her derelict high school. Named for legendary horror director George A. Romero, it's a veritable hotbed for the undead and a waking disaster otherwise; desks are overturned, hallways are splattered with blood, parts of the ceiling are prone to collapse. Better keep that chainsaw running, Juliet.

#9: Midwich Elementary School
“Silent Hill” (1999)


Horror games really enjoy their abandoned schools, don't they? Well, that appears to be the case with Midwich ElementarySchool, the first of many buildings Harry Mason enters in search of his daughter Cheryl. Nothing about it feels right – the lack of lighting keeps you on edge, and the presence of shuffling Grey Children evokes both fear and distinct sadness. Things only get worse with the transition into the Otherworld, as plain surfaces change to rust-coloured ones and bodies are strewn about. Forget about the late bell – just stay home and hide under the covers, kids.

#8: Themis Legal Academy
“Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies” (2013)


Most high schools prepare you for life – this one prepares you for the law, Isn’t that what College is for? Themis, named after the Greek goddess of divine order and law, is a prestigious school for students seeking to become defence attorneys, prosecutors or judges. It smartly integrates mock trials and virtual recreations into its program, allowing its students to grasp the responsibilities inherent to the justice system. Ironically, this makes the staff's increasing corruption, willingness to take bribes, and preferential treatment towards particular students all the more laughable.

#7: College of Winterhold
“The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” (2011)


The mages welcome you, if you are worthy. This guild in northern Skyrim rests confidently upon a weathered cliff, daring anyone and everyone to venture forth and prove themselves. Visitors gain entry by performing a spell for the standing guard; if the guard is impressed, you are permitted to join the College and can access its resources. The opportunity to gain experience in magic and learn of the land's extensive history cannot be ignored, and it's wonderful that such a place of knowledge and wisdom is allowed to exist.

#6: The Heroes Guild
“Fable” (2004)


Heroes may rise and heroes may fall, but the Guild endures. Based in the heart of Albion, The Heroes Guild is known for recruiting young men and women with the intent to train them to become full-fledged saviours. While some may raise an eyebrow at the low graduation rate due to stress and trauma, the school earns its place by ensuring Albion will never want for noble heroes protecting the innocent. It's also impressive in its construction, designed equally as a sturdy fortress as well as a safe haven for its students.

#5: Yasogami High School
“Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4” (2008)


Both this and Gekkoukan High School from “Persona 3” have their merits, but Yasogami felt more intriguing to us. For one thing, it's cleverly divided into two sections: the Classroom Building, where classes are held and students are organized based on school year; and the Practice Building, where each floor houses a different club or school activity. If not for the ongoing murder investigation and the supernatural reality-bending, this would be a hip and happening place.

#4: Grissom Academy
“Mass Effect 3” (2012)


Though introduced in the tie-in novels, “Mass Effect 3” marks the first in-game appearance of this famed space station-based institution. Jon Grissom Academy houses the best and brightest students in the Milky Way, offering classes in math, science... and biotic training, for adolescents who seek to master such powers. When the pro-human extremist group Cerberus comes knocking, Grissom's students and staff stand their ground – among them, the reformed criminal-turned-teacher Jack and famed technician Kahlee Sanders. Remember this, Cerberus: Grissom won't go down without a fight.

#3: Balamb Garden
“Final Fantasy VIII” (1999)


Being a SeeD may be tough, but studying to be one sounds fun. It certainly seems that way when one glimpses Balamb Garden, a massive school dedicated to training new waves of SeeD mercenaries. The Garden's sheer layout is mind-boggling - several ringed levels stacked upon one another, consisting of a library, a training center, a parking lot, a dormitory, a cafeteria, and more. To say nothing of its other quality: it can turn into a flying vessel, which the player can use to traverse the world map. Awesome.

#2: St. PigeoNation's Institute
“Hatoful Boyfriend” (2011)


Bird school – who knew it would be so relatable? In “Hatoful Boyfriend”, you are a new student at the bird-only high school St. PigeoNation's, as part of a program to foster human-bird relations. Once you get past the odd setup, the school actually feels pretty typical – eccentric students, school time romance, and plenty of wacky hijinks. All of this is pleasant, the best that a highschool experience could be... and all the more bittersweet as the game progresses. Still, we're charmed by the whole thing.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Wade Elementary School
“F.E.A.R 2: Project Origin” (2009)

Titan Station Elementary School
“Dead Space 2” (2011)

Blackwell Academy
“Life is Strange” (2015)

Knight Academy
“The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword” (2011)

#1: Bullworth Academy
“Bully” (2006)


Maybe not the most realistic depiction of boarding school life, but certainly the most memorable. Run by Dr. Crabblesnitch, this New Hampshire institution has one of the worst reputations of any school in the area – with good reason. The 60 students enrolled are divided into five cliques, with those not involved in the factions struggling for co-existence. Theschool's large campus allows for ill behaviour and debauchery of all kinds, which the faculty shrugs off and the appointed prefects respond to with excessive force. It's rough and tough – but also oddly endearing.

Do you agree with our list? What schools in video games get you pumped? For more academic Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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