- Red Dead Redemption 2 is hailed as one of the most beautiful games with high-quality graphics and visually distinct locations.
- Guarma, Brandywine Drop, and Colter are three stunning locations that showcase the game’s immersive landscapes and environmental diversity.
- Horseshoe Overlook, Aurora Basin, and Grizzlies West offer breathtaking views and serve as memorable spots to appreciate the game’s stunning scenery.
When it was first released in 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2 was hailed as one of the most beautiful games of its console generation. It combines beautiful landscapes, majestic vistas, and naturally behaving wildlife to create the most immersive gaming experience in recent memory. Of course, it helped that the gameplay loops of this title were phenomenal, with the story being a notable highlight that many people consider to be Rockstar’s magnum opus, and understandably so.
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Even now, Rockstar’s masterpiece still holds up as the unofficial industry standard for high-quality graphics in games and an example of ambitious, realistic open-world design. Players still tend to return to some of the most beautiful locations in Red Dead Redemption 2 just to take in the landscape and marvel at the environmental diversity of the game. The designers at Rockstar are skilled in every way, and this is further proven by how this vast open world is so visually distinct that people will have their favorites when it comes to the many beautiful sights on offer.
Updated on February 3, 2024, by Ritwik Mitra: Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the best video games ever made. Rockstar outdid itself with this game, letting players explore a massive open world and interact with well-written characters as they experience Arthur Morgan’s story in its entirety. During their journey, fans will discover amazing landmarks all across the world of Red Dead Redemption 2, with the sheer amount of love and detail put into every location being palpable for everyone to see.
A One-Chapter Retreat That Looks Memorable In Its Own Way
- West of the North Atlantic Ocean
Most people curse the Guarma chapter as it comes out of nowhere and breaks the pacing in Red Dead Redemption 2, while others feel that this hate is unwarranted. The points of the latter are understandable, especially with this chapter not overstaying its welcome and letting players explore a whole new area that they won’t have access to after a few hours.
It helps that Guarma looks positively breathtaking at times, even if players are too busy waging war to focus on the serene beauty of this place. If one stops to smell the roses, then Guarma will delight them with its many scenic vistas as they explore the location to their heart’s content.
17 Brandywine Drop
A Serene & Beautiful Waterfall
There are many waterfalls in the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 that look astounding, and Brandywine Drop is no exception to this golden rule. The area looks breathtaking, with the aforementioned waterfall being a major highlight.
Players can find this waterfall near Roanoke Valley, serving as the stage for The Noblest of Men, and a Woman, an intriguing Stranger mission that fleshes out the world of Red Dead Redemption 2. If players are adventurous enough to venture behind this waterfall, they’ll find a bottle of Aged Pirate Rum as a reward for their efforts.
A Snowed-In Hideout Where The Game’s Prologue Takes Place
The first chapter of Red Dead Redemption 2 serves as a slow but interesting introduction to the game and its mechanics, letting players get comfortable with the controls and many facets of the title’s gameplay that they will need to be up-to-date with. After a heist gone wrong that leads to the death of innocents and sparks the start of Dutch’s downfall, the group takes shelter in the abandoned mining town of Colter, which is hauntingly beautiful in its own way.
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The snow-covered hideout makes for a chilling yet relaxing reprieve from the many missions that players need to accomplish before the world opens up. Many people feel that Red Dead Redemption 2‘s introduction is a bit too long for its own good, but it does a great job of setting the tone and giving players a glimpse of what to expect as they progress.
15 Horseshoe Overlook
A Camp Situated In A Hilly Area Where Players Can Easily Appreciate The Landscape Around Them
Another campsite that makes for a beautiful sight is Horseshoe Overlook, an area that players camp out in during Chapter 2 when the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 opens up. This campsite is bustling with life, allowing Arthur to interact with the members of Dutch’s gang in a more relaxed manner without having to deal with the oppressive cold and snow that affected the group pretty negatively.
The hilly area this camp is placed on makes for a great spot that players can use to survey the landscape around them, with the gorgeous sight of the wilderness never getting old. Many people would hate to move from this hideout, but the very nature of being an outlaw means that settling down in one spot is out of the question, especially after Dutch decides to mess with the wrong people.
14 Aurora Basin
A Lake In The Middle Of West Elizabeth
West Elizabeth is an iconic region in Red Dead Redemption 2 that is full to the brim with many iconic places that will become instantly recognizable as players explore the region and see everything it has to offer. Suffice it to say, the lake in the middle of this area is bound to attract a ton of attention indeed.
Aurora Basin is a serene and beautiful location in both Red Dead Redemption games, with the body of crystal-clear water looking heavenly, especially if the weather and lighting are perfect. It’s a nice place for players to relax as long as they’ve taken out the hostile animals in this area, that is.
13 Grizzlies West
A Tall, Snowy Mountain Range With Many Inspiring Sights
Located in the state of Ambarino, the Grizzlies are a tall mountain range, characterized by very steep cliffs and passages that are almost too difficult to pass through for the unwary traveler. Home to inspiring views such as Lake Isabella and Mount Hagen, this region of RDR2 is a must-see. Luckily, it is unmissable, as Arthur Morgan’s adventure starts in this part of the map, the Spider Gorge location to be precise.
Grizzlies West is worth returning to even after rescuing John Marston and leaving the area with Dutch’s gang in the prologue. As the only region in the game that’s completely covered in snow, it makes for a pleasant change of pace and environment.
Is Grizzlies West Inspired By A Real-Life Location?
The Grizzlies mountains (both East and West) are quite obviously inspired by the Rocky Mountains located in Colorado (also known as the Rockies). The jagged peaks and scattered glaciers, as well as deep valleys that are easy to get lost in, are the biggest giveaways of the developers’ inspiration for the Rockies.
12 Saint Denis
A Dazzling Display Of Urban Resplendence In The Wild West
The city of Saint Denis is the biggest town to ever be included in a Red Dead Redemption game, and as such, it is truly a sight to behold. Based on the real-world city of New Orleans, Saint Denis is full of interesting architecture and things to do. Partially inspired by the European capitals and influenced by the unique style of the Wild West, the characteristic saloons share the same streets as pompous city halls and upper-class living quarters.
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Saint Denis is very important to the main plot of Red Dead Redemption 2, so players are bound to enter its premises at one point or another. It is worth a longer stay, though. Rushing through the Saint Denis questline without taking the time to appreciate everything the town has to offer is a major mistake.
Is Saint Denis Inspired By A Real-Life Location?
Any American Red Dead Redemption 2 player will quickly make the connection between Saint Denis and the vibrant, eclectic city of New Orleans. The city is eerily similar to New Orleans, and its surrounding area, the swampy Leymone state, is also a play on real-life Louisiana.
11 Bayou Nwa
A Swampy Area That Boasts A Serene Beauty Of Its Own
While the city of Saint Denis certainly is impressive, the surrounding area is also full of interesting things to do and beautiful sights to view. Inspired by the Louisiana Bayou, the Bayou Nwa presents players with some of the most unique and visually pleasing sights in gaming. The stagnant water of these swamps is home to many dangers, such as alligators, but there is also something profoundly beautiful about it.
Traversing the boardwalk passages on horseback and witnessing the sunlight seep through the thick fog of the Bayou is truly unforgettable. Generally speaking, there isn’t a lot of “beauty” to be found in swamps, but Rockstar has managed to turn an ugly, dangerous area into a mysterious one full of marvelous sights and lush (and dangerous) wildlife.
A Quaint Mining Town
The mining town of Annesburg is a breathtaking location for all of the wrong reasons. First of all, it quite literally takes the breath away from anyone who enters it due to the overwhelming air pollution that hangs in its dense air. However, there is something ominously beautiful about the coal mining town, even if it’s drowning in thick fog.
Despite having a healthy population consisting of miners and their families, Annesburg looks and feels like a ghost town. The ruthless working conditions of miners, breathing problems of its inhabitants, and contaminated water contribute to the disturbing feeling that the settlement is on the verge of becoming an actual ghost town soon enough.
Is Annesburg Inspired By A Real-Life Location?
Although players may be tempted to think that a town like Annesburg would not exist in the real-life United States, the mining settlement is inspired by Pittsburg, CA, which, in the 1860s, was a very prominent coal-mining city where, similarly to Annesburg, the wealth was concentrated in the hands of the few owners of the companies, leaving the miners to fend for themselves.
9 Mount Shann
A Mountain Range Located In The Middle Of West Elizabeth
- Present in the Big Valley region
Located smack in the middle of the West Elizabeth state, Mount Shann is a true monstrosity. Taking up a significant portion of the map, scaling this mountain is no easy feat. The mountain is impressive enough when looked at from the ground, but players can witness some of the most meticulously created environments in the gaming industry when they make their way to the top.
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While there is no single main quest or stranger mission that will challenge gamers to get to the top of the mountain, there is a mystery to be solved that requires players to get to its summit. Those curious enough to try and unravel it should head to an abandoned hut that can be found just north of Emerald Station.
Is Mount Shann Inspired By A Real-Life Location?
Rockstar is known for its attention to detail and love for inspiring its game designs with real-life places. Although, at first glance, Mount Shann looks like it may just be a randomly generated mountain, if a player digs deeper into its layout and composition, they’ll soon realize that it was modeled after Mount Shasta, located in Northern California.
8 Spider Gorge
A Beautiful Location With A Frozen River That Looks Astounding
- Located in the Grizzlies West
This river, located in the Grizzlies West, originates from an ice waterfall in the glacier located in the northernmost part of the mountains and passes through Colter. Taking a walk along the Spider Gorge can be a welcome change of pace from all of the Wild West action in Red Dead Redemption 2.
The picturesque, frozen landscape players will traverse through when following the Gorge also hides quite a few secrets, including the grave of Jenny Kirk, which needs to be discovered by those looking to obtain the elusive 100% completion of the game.
A City From The First Game That Isn’t Accessible Until Much Later In Red Dead Redemption 2
- Situated in the Great Plains
Long-time fans are familiar with the town of Blackwater from the first entry in the Red Dead Redemption franchise. The second game returns to this settlement and shows it in all of its glory. Blackwater is drastically different from RDR2‘s other city, Saint Denis, in the way that it took the trend of industrialization of the Wild West to a whole new level.
While players won’t find as many factories and chimneys in Blackwater as in Saint Denis, the general feel of the town is more modern, with paved streets and services such as photographers and movie theaters available for players to interact with. When looked at from the surrounding hills, Blackwater truly is a breathtaking testament to the changes occurring in America during the times Red Dead Redemption 2 is set in.
6 Big Valley
Just North Of Strawberry
- Present in West Elizabeth
The Big Valley is a region placed in the far north of the map, just above the town of Strawberry. It is heavily forested, and players can expect to encounter a lot of dangerous animals there, such as bears or wolves. Although the primary environments featured in this area are forests, there are also plenty of vast grasslands, creeks, and steep, rocky hills to explore.
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It is the perfect place to go for players who are tired of the hustle and bustle of cities like Saint Denis or sick of the small-town drama of Valentine and Strawberry. Going for a hunt or a joyride in the Big Valley is the perfect way to distance oneself from the heavy and serious tone of the main story and spend some time in beautiful, lush, natural surroundings.
Is Big Valley Inspired By A Real-Life Location?
The landscape of Big Valley, bustling with color and wildlife, is based on one of the United States’ most famous wilderness recreation areas: Yellowstone National Park. From its layout to the flora and fauna, nature enthusiasts will surely recognize Yellowstone’s unmissable characteristics in Big Valley.
5 Cotorra Springs
A Collection Of Hot Springs In An Area That’s Amazing To Behold
- In the Grizzlies East region
Although the Grizzlies West is a more noteworthy region, the east part of the mountain range has some bright spots, as well. Cotorra Springs is one of them. It’s a formation of hydrothermal springs, which are as beautiful as they are dangerous – trying to go for a swim in one of these hot puddles will immediately kill the player.
Aside from taking in the view of these natural phenomena, Cotorra Springs has quite a few secrets waiting to be uncovered. In the north of the volcanic hotspot, players can come across a Legendary Wolf here, and if they explore an abandoned tunnel under the springs, there are quite a few rare and valuable items waiting for them.
4 Braithwaite Manor
A Legendary Manor That Plays A Central Role In One Of The Game’s Best Missions
The Braithwaite Manor is a sprawling estate that covers a very large swath of land in western Lemoyne. It also plays an important role in Red Dead Redemption 2‘s main narrative, as it is a central point of the Beau White and Penelope Braithwaite love story and the stolen moonshine questline.
Although this place is a reference to some of the darkest moments in American history, as it was part of a cotton plantation that belonged to a slave-owning family, Braithwaite Manor’s architecture and coastline location are undeniably beautiful. Ultimately, the Braithwaites got what was coming to them, as the Manor was burned to the ground by Arthur and the rest of Dutch’s gang.
Is Braithwaite Manor Inspired By A Real-Life Location?
The Manor is a near-perfect rendition of the Oak Alley and Houmas House cotton plantations in Louisiana, both of which are prominent historic landmarks and some of the largest slavery museums, not only in Louisiana but in all of the United States.
3 Beecher’s Hope
A Simple Place Where Marston And His Family Reside
- A house in the Commonwealth of West Elizabeth
Just like Blackwater, Beecher’s Hope should sound familiar to those who have played the original Red Dead Redemption. It is home to the Marston family, but it has not always been that way. The beauty of this location is not obvious at first glance. When players first come across Beecher’s Hope in Red Dead Redemption 2 (in 1899), the place is nothing more than an ugly swath of infertile land.
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It is what John Marston and his family do to the place in the game’s epilogue that grants Beecher’s Hope its breathtaking qualities. After leading the protagonist through a string of quests that involves some hard, backbreaking work to turn this forgotten land into a real ranch, players will surely gain a new appreciation for Beecher’s Hope and what the Marstons have managed to make out of it. After spending so much time on the road with Dutch’s gang, Beecher’s Hope is finally the place where players can truly feel at home.
2 Donner Falls
All Waterfalls Look Great In Red Dead Redemption 2, And This One Is No Exception
- Lies north of Bacchus Station
Just like Cotorra Springs, Donner Falls is a location that can be found in the Grizzlies East region. It will make players stop their horse and celebrate the view, even if they are in a hurry to the next quest marker.
The sound of the water splashing against the rocks combined with the view of the largest waterfall in Red Dead Redemption 2 should fill fans with a newfound appreciation of the work the developers put into this revolutionary game.
1 Roanoke Ridge
A Hilly Region That’s Pretty Isolated And Feels Eerily Serene
- Present in the New Hanover territory
This region, located in the New Hanover state, is a vast one, filled with things to do and locations to explore. These subtropical hills can awe players both during the day and at night. It is one of the most isolated regions in RDR2, where, except for Annesburg and the Van Horn Trading Post, human settlements are few and far between.
This emptiness makes Roanoke Ridge quite eerie at times. The feeling is only compounded by the fact that the murderous Murfree Brood faction roams this otherwise beautiful and peaceful area.
Red Dead Redemption 2
- October 26, 2018