“It’s like LEGO and Castaway combined.” That’s how I was first introduced to Minecraft and, at the time, it was an extremely accurate description. Since then, Minecraft has evolved into something even greater, warranting a quick overview guide for anyone who still doesn’t know what it is. In essence, Minecraft lets you be a digital architect.
We’re almost five years past its first public release, and Minecraft is still one of the most played games in the world. Is Minecraft overhyped? Maybe, but there’s no denying the fact that people have used it to create massive, sprawling worlds that can take days to traverse. Despite the primitive graphics, these worlds are so grand and so lively that they may as well be real.
Here are some of the greatest Minecraft worlds ever built.
Note: Strictly speaking, this is a compilation of what I consider to be some of the best Minecraft experiences, which takes into account geography, story, atmosphere, and size without necessarily taking into account any gameplay changes. This is not a compilation of the best Minecraft mods.
Game of Thrones, which is perhaps the most notable high fantasy TV show in history, brought to life the story of A Song of Ice and Fire, an epic novel series that began way back in 1991. In much the same way, though to a lesser degree, Minecraft became a vessel to further bring the setting of Westeros to life.
The mission of WesterosCraft? “To recreate the universe imagined by George R. R. Martin as accurately and precisely as possible within the confines of Minecraft.” Why? “To create a world which will be the stage for a roleplaying game.”
Approximately 2 years in the making, WesterosCraft has faithfully recreated somewhere around 60% of Westeros, and those areas can be explored and experienced in first person right now. Whether you’re a fan of the show, a fan of the books, or a fan of Minecraft, you owe it to yourself to check this one out.
Much like WesterosCraft, MC Middle Earth is a fan-made attempt to recreate a fictional world – the quintessential fantasy landscape sprung forth from the mind of J. R. R. Tolkien himself. This should come as no surprise since gamers tend to like fantasy, and there’s no better tool for replicating Middle Earth than digital LEGO.
Though the replication effort is not strictly 1:1, the world does adhere to a faithful scaled representation between all of the areas and landmarks. The production path follows the journey of the Fellowship, though sometimes the team will build unrelated areas when they feel like it.
In order to log onto any of the official MC Middle Earth servers, you’ll need to apply to be added to their white list. The process shouldn’t take very long, and you should hear a response within a day.
Would you say it’s possible to accurately recreate a real world region in Minecraft in 1:1 scale? Prior to today, I would’ve given an emphatic “No.” However, Ordnance Survey in the UK has managed to represent over 220,000 square miles of Great Britain using only Minecraft blocks. The world was built using real world terrain data.
Great Britain In Minecraft is fascinating, not because it’s fun (in fact, it’s really boring), but because of the implications. In the not-so-distant future, programs like Minecraft could be used to model, discover, and explore real world areas using geographic data that might only be obtainable from afar.
Bioshock Infinite won the hearts of gamers with its unique setting, compelling characters, and lively atmosphere. Though you won’t find Elizabeth in this particular recreation of Columbia, the floating city in the sky, you’ll be able to experience the reactors, balloons, and buildings that make the island so memorable.
The project began not long after Bioshock Infinite was released, and it’s been steadily updated ever since. Public access to the official Columbia server is currently restricted, but downloads of the map are released when each version is ready, and you can host your own copy of it if you want to see it before they reopen to the public.
Herobrine is one of Minecraft’s greatest urban legends. He is a shadowy figure who is said to be the cause of all glitches and unexplained behavior in the game. Some claim to have spotted him staring back at the player through darkness and some have even catalogued their encounters with him, but he remains shrouded in mystery.
Enter Herobrine’s Mansion, one team’s depiction of this urban legend’s dwelling place. Players love the map, and it often experiences a surge in popularity when Halloween begins to round the corner.
Herobrine’s Mansion is actually an “adventure map,” which is a genre of Minecraft maps where the goal is to explore the map in a somewhat sandbox format. There are bosses, items, secrets, and hints of lore scattered throughout the map for you to discover and enjoy.
Have you personally seen any mind-blowing Minecraft worlds that deserve to be on this list? Share them with us in the comments and tell us why you love them.
Image Credit: WesterosCraft