Top 10 Video Games Featuring Photography



Top 10 Video Games Featuring Photography

VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Script written by Nick Williams

Say cheese and smile for the camera! Join as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Video Games Featuring Photography.

For this list we've selected the 10 best games where photography plays a part in the gameplay. Photography doesn't need to be the MAIN gameplay element, but it needs to play an important role in either the game's story, or feature somewhat prominently in the gameplay.

Special Thanks to our users "DaveVsTheWorld' for suggesting this topic as "Top 10 Photography Video Games" in our Interactive Suggestion Tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest
Script written by Nick Williams

Top 10 Video Games Featuring Photography

Say cheese and smile for the camera! Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Video Games Featuring Photography.

For this list we’ve selected the 10 best games where photography plays a part in the gameplay. Photography doesn’t need to be the MAIN gameplay element, but it needs to play an important role in either the game’s story, or feature somewhat prominently in the gameplay.

#10: “Myst IV: Revelation” (2004)

Known for their head-scratching logic based gameplay, the earlier games in the “Myst” series sometimes ended in frustration as you sorted through available clues in an effort to move through that one seemingly impossible puzzle. Luckily, “Myst IV” refined the photography feature introduced in “Myst 3” to make the proceedings move a bit more smoothly. You could use your camera to snap pictures of clues and landmarks, eliminating the guess-work involved in earlier games. Finally, you could beat a “Myst” game without having a photographic memory of your own!

#9: “The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD” (2013)

Dating back to “Majora’s Mask,” Zelda games have introduced photography gameplay, usually as sidequests that can earn you bundles of rupees and the ever-valuable heart pieces. The “Zelda” games have vibrant, interesting worlds filled with cool landmarks, creatures, and events, so photography elements totally make sense. The picto box really hit its stride in Wii U remaster of “Wind Waker,” where Link can become the apprentice of the photographer, Lenzo. By completing different photo assignments, Link can collect a whole bunch of diorama’s based on the pictures he takes. Also, Link can take selfies. He’s so modern!

#8: “Bioshock” series (2007-)

As you explore Rapture, the odds are constantly against you. The inhabitants of Rapture aren’t too pleased to have you snooping around, and the combination of Big Daddys, genetically modified monsters, and the constant threat of drowning make things a constant uphill battle. Luckily, the research camera is one of the items that can help put the odds back on your side, as taking photographs of enemies allows you to exploit their biological weaknesses, giving you permanent damage buffs and other bonuses. “Bioshock 2” introduced an upgraded research camera, this time with video capabilities!

#7: “Afrika” (2008)

Sometimes referred to as a spiritual successor to the gameplay introduced in “Pokémon Snap,” “Afrika” is a relaxing, education safari-based photography simulation game. As either a journalist or a zoologist, you are tasked with exploring the African Savannah to take action shots of animals and to explore their natural habitats and behaviors. The gameplay sometimes borders on being too simplistic, but there’s no doubt that it’s nice and relaxing to spend a day examining and learning about animals, rather than shooting them in the face like most other games.

#6: “Endless Ocean” series (2007-10)

The ocean is filled to the brim with thousands of strange and beautiful creatures, waiting to be discovered. Whether you want to spend time cataloging and photographing rare fish for some spending money, or simply want to drift around aimlessly, taking in the sights of the deep blue sea, “Endless Ocean” has tons of options for all of you amateur scuba fans. Discovering ancient ruins or a particularly rare species is extremely rewarding, and even though it’s impossible to ‘die’ or ‘lose,’ in “Endless Ocean,” it’s a very relaxing and enjoyable experience.

#5: “Dark Cloud 2” (2003)

One of Sony’s most underrated series; the “Dark Cloud” games are a combination of hardcore dungeon delving and city-building simulation. “Dark Cloud 2” introduced several new gameplay elements, the most interesting being the ability to invent weapons, equipment and new components for your town. In order to think up inventions, you draw inspiration by taking photos of different things. So for example, if you take a picture of a fountain, a wooden box, and a window, you can piece those pictures together and create a fancy new aquarium for your home!

#4: “Beyond Good and Evil” (2003)

One of the most revered cult classic platformers ever released, fans have been waiting forever for information about “Beyond Good and Evil’s” sequel. On top of being lauded for a host of great features, Beyond incorporated it’s photography mechanic in a clever way. The protagonist, Jade, is a photo journalist who gets embroiled into a big conspiracy, but in order to get some spending money and to upgrade her trademark hovercraft, she needs to snap pictures of life forms around the world.

#3: “Dead Rising” (2006)

What’s the first thing you would do in the case of a zombie apocalypse? If your answer wasn’t to get dropped into a mall swarming with the undead so you can snap some pictures, get the biggest news scoop of the century and become a celebrated photojournalist, then we guess you’re not Frank West. As Frank is a photographer he can earn experience points or PP by taking photos and gaining points depending on what’s happening in the picture. You just sorta have to ignore how inappropriate it is to label some of these photos as “erotic”, given the circumstances.

#2: “Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly” (2003)

Most of the games on this list use photography either as a source of relaxation, or as a way to make some extra money, but “Fatal Frame 2” is the only game to use the camera as a source of pure horror. The camera is really your only defense against the game’s host of terrifying ghosts – by snapping a picture, you can steal a ghost’s soul, exorcising it. “Fatal Frame 2’s” interesting combat system is combined with some of the scariest moments ever seen in video games.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Tearaway” (2013)
“Shadow Hearts: Covenant” (2004)
“Donkey Kong 64” (1999)
“Far Cry 3” (2012)

#1: “Pokemon Snap” (1999)

Well, this isn’t what most fans had in mind when they thought about ‘capturing Pokemon in their natural habitats,’ but somehow, “Pokémon Snap” totally worked. Professor Oak needs some help with research, but this time he’s outfitting you with a camera instead of a starter Pokémon. The on-rails gameplay is pretty simplistic, but there’s something incredibly fun about coaxing those critters out of their natural habitats and into the center of your lens. Capitalizing on Pokémon’s incredible success, “Snap” was an innovator, and there’s never been any other game quite like it.

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