10 Ultimate Hub Locations in Video Games

Returning to these locations was an absolute pleasure every single time.

Posted By | On 29th, May. 2024

10 Ultimate Hub Locations in Video Games

The hub-and-spoke design style isn’t necessarily something that we see a lot of in video games, but when we do, it’s easy to see its appeal. Having a central location that you return to repeatedly throughout the length of a game and having something new to experience in that location each time can elevate an experience in meaningful ways. A handful of years ago, we highlighted several such notable hubs in games in a feature, from Mass Effect’s Normandy and Bloodborne’s Hunter’s Dream to God of War’s Lake of Nine and more. Here, we’re going to follow that up with a few more excellent hubs we’ve seen in games in more recent years.


As the game’s name suggests, the Village is a massive part of the experience in Resident Evil Village. Blanketed in snow and deathly silent, it instantly sets your teeth on edge the moment you enter it early on in the game, and prompt encounters against terrifying, vicious enemies do an excellent job of setting the tone for the rest of the game. Throughout the experience, you return time and again to the Village, and it never loses its nightmarish charms. Exploration always feels rewarding, new threats keep presenting themselves at surprising times, and each time you come back, new areas – including optional ones – open up, allowing you to get ever more familiar with the Village and everything in it.


motherlobe psychonauts 2

Just like Raz, we all dreamed for years about setting foot in the headquarters of the legendary Psychonauts, and boy was it everything we had hoped it would be when we finally got to do it in Psychonauts 2. It doesn’t take long for the game to let players lose in the Motherlobe, and from the get-go, it’s a wonderful environment to traverse, full of charm, whimsy, and personality, and a unique aesthetic that only Psychonauts can capture. More and more of the Motherlobe also becomes available for players to explore throughout the length of the game, and it always remains a delightful experience.


Stars Was Jedi’s Mantis takes its fair share of cues from Mass Effect’s Normandy- a ship that you and your crew frequently return to during your swashbuckling adventures throughout the galaxy. Sure, it’s not as large, as layered, or even as populated as Commander Shepard’s ship was, but the Mantis has a lot of the same strengths. One of Jedi: Survivor’s biggest strengths is its core cast of characters, and having quieter moments where you can just talk to them about something important or nothing at all really makes the Mantis feel like a cozy home sailing through space.


Many were skeptical about The Evil Within 2’s semi-open world approach, but it’s fair to say that that actually turned out to be one of the game’s biggest strengths. The world’s saddest dad Sebastian Castellanos enters the virtual town of Union early on in the game, and though the more linear, guided sections within the town are obviously among the game’s most memorable, the town itself is also a highlight. From the risk/reward feel of its exploration to the excellent side quests and optional content on offer, Union is an excellent location that probably deserves more recognition than it gets- much like all of The Evil Within 2, actually.


final fantasy 16 hideaway

We’re going to cheat a little bit here and include both Hideaways. Final Fantasy 16 has its detractors, and yes, the game has its issues, but when you’re in the Hideaway, it’s hard not to be impressed with how lived in the game and its world feel. Not only is the Hideaway a place where you find some of the game’s best side quests, or a place where you can go to Clive’s room and peruse his wall of memories, it’s also where you spend a great deal of time with the game’s excellent cast of side characters. The second Hideaway in particular really does feel like a home for Clive and his band of outlaws.


Being the very first game of its kind, Demon’s Souls hub location, the Nexus, was obviously notably less elaborate than the hub locations in a lot of other FromSoftware Soulslikes, but even now, it stands as one of the most memorable hubs in a game. In addition to being one of few places in the entire game where you can let your guard down, it also excels in other areas, from the captivating lore attached to it to some of the eccentric characters you meet there, to how strikingly beautiful it looks, especially in Bluepoint Games’ remake.


shadow of the colossus

Shadow of the Colossus is a singular experience that hits you in a way that no other game has ever managed to, and though the list of things that contribute to that is obviously long, the vast plains of the Forgotten Lands are surely high on that list. It’s hard not to be struck by the desolate beauty of the environments each time you return to the game’s central hub after felling a Colossus. There aren’t a lot of games that can legitimately make being “empty” an actual strength, but Shadow of the Colossus is spectacularly good at exactly that, and nothing examplifies that better than the Forgotten Lands.


We’re admittedly stretching the definition of a hub location here, because the Theater that serves as Ellie and Dina’s base of operations for the bulk of their time in Seattle isn’t really a hub as far as the game’s design and structure are concerned. It is, however, a scripted, narrative hub, and an excellent one at that. After each of Ellie’s harrowing excursions, returning to the relative calm and safety of the theater feels like a genuine relief each time. Some of the game’s most memorable scenes also take place here, while players also always have the option of taking the time to unwind by having Ellie sit down and strum away at the strings of a guitar.


pokemon legends arceus

Jubilife Village probably could have been a much more impactful hub location if Pokemon Legends: Arceus wasn’t as technically hamstrung as it was, but even in its current state, it’s a genuinely well-designed base. For starters, having an actual ranch where you can physically see all of your stored Pokemon is a genius move. That in and of itself ensures that Jubilife Village lives long in the memory, but additional things like Galaxy Team’s HQ, the training arena, the beach, the farm, and more ensure that there’s more to the location than just being able to look at your Pokemon from across a fence.


monster hunter rise

Monster Hunter has often been known for its charming hub locations, and Monster Hunter Rise surely continues that tradition. Even from a purely visual standpoint, Kamura Village has a very distinct look to it that ensures that it sticks out in memory, from its art style to the architecture and interiors of the buildings to all of the smaller flourishes you can spot all over the village. On top of that, it also obviously serves as the place where you prepare for and select your next hunts, rendezvous with your friends in co-op, speak with NPCs, and most importantly, craft and upgrade gear.

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