Gambling’s big business, so it’s no surprise that casino games find their way into our video game worlds.
The bright lights and shiny surfaces of a real-life casino can be rather alluring, and several video games have tried to capture that magic. Poker, blackjack, roulette – they’re all games designed to lure us in with the idea of big money prizes. You can try the game online for real, if you want, or you can simply escape to a video game version of a casino, where you don’t have to worry about the risk of losing real money.
Here are some of the best casinos in video games that draw us in with their sparkly visuals and entertaining games.
The Diamond Casino, Grand Theft Auto Online
GTA Online’s Diamond Casino & Resort is perhaps the most realistic casino we’ve seen in a video game yet. It’s unsurprising; Grand Theft Auto Online is a massively multiplayer game designed to simulate real life. Well, a real life filled with crime and debauchery, at least. But once you’re in the doors of the Diamond Casino, you can forget about bank heists and stealing cars for a while. In there, you can dabble in high-stakes games, socialise with high society and place your bets at winning big.
Like a real casino, there’s a range of games to choose from, including slot machines, roulette, blackjack, poker and a lucky wheel. You best hope you’ve got enough in-game bucks to play.
The Gold Saucer, Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII’s Gold Saucer is more than just a video game casino; it’s an amusement park filled with games, rides and attractions. As its name suggests, it’s literally made out of gold; a huge, eye-catching structure shooting out of the ground. And it’s one of the most iconic locations in Final Fantasy VII.
You won’t find traditional casino games in there, though. Roulette and poker have been replaced by chocobo racing, gauntlet-style battles, and a shooting coaster. It’s still a wonderful place to sink your Gil, though – that’s Final Fantasy VII’s in-game currency.
Fallout New Vegas
We can’t choose just one casino from Fallout New Vegas. This is a game set in a post-apocalyptic imagining of Las Vegas, after all, so it’s only natural that multiple casinos would feature in the game. There’s Sierra Madre Casino, Ultra-Luxe and Atomic Wrangler Casino to name a few, each of which with its own range of popular casino games for players to play.
They all have their own feeling as well; the Ultra-Luxe, as the name suggests, is a luxurious resort, offering a level of refinement you wouldn’t expect to find in Fallout’s world. The Atomic Wrangler, on the other hand, is rather run down and along with gambling, there’s a host of other nefarious businesses being run out of the same building.
Casino Night Zone, Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Alright, so you can’t actually gamble inside Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s Casino Night Zone, but we couldn’t leave it out. This casino-themed level is about as iconic as they come. And while you can’t pop your tokens down for a game of blackjack, you can whizz around a level that perfectly captures the bright lights and flashiness of any fancy casino. It’s heightened by the slot game-themed bumpers that Sonic will find himself hitting and spinning against, and the sound effects you’d expect to hear.
You might not be able to win big money, but Sonic can win a load of extra lives if he plays his cards right. Figuratively speaking, of course.