The best video games that are set in Colorado, 2021 edition

Editor’s note: Each week, Staff Favorites will offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems — in this case, virtual ones.) 

As with many people during this pandemic, flat screens have become my windows on the world. Fortunately, I’m also a gamer, and that gives me access to experiences that aren’t tethered to physical locations — including virtual forays in Colorado. It may sound corny, but titles such as Horizon: Zero Dawn, Wastelands 3, Forza Horizon and Red Dead Redemption have helped scratch this Denverite’s itch for fresh, non-city air.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn, which is getting a PlayStation 5 sequel (Horizon: Forbidden West, out later this year), was one of the best of the PS4 generation, with 3D, mostly explorable versions of what’s now called Empower Field at Mile High, plus Red Rocks, various high-country scenic stops and other Front Range landmarks.

There’s also the road-warrior experience of Forza or Need for Speed: The Run, the virtual-Broncos seasons of Madden NFL, and the virtual snowsports of classic series such as SSX, Amped, Steep. The latter often feature Colorado runs, and some are becoming playable again through streaming services such as PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

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