One for the Road: Ranking the Top Taverns and Pubs Throughout Video Games

Gerry Hart crawls his way through some of gaming's best watering holes.

Gerry Hart
23rd October 2017
(Image: Blizzard Entertainment).

Adventuring in video games can be tough work. There's countless enemies, helpless civilians and often vast open lands to traverse. At the end of it all there's only one place that your worn out and beaten character should end up, the pub. Therefore we've taken it upon ourselves to rank the best taverns and bars from across the industry.

5. The Milk Bar – The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

I’m not sure if I’d call the Milk Bar as a pub per se but it’s the closest the residents of Clock Tower have, doubtless due to Nintendo’s family friendly nature. Well, I say family friendly but this game stretches that. After all, this is the game where you must prevent a nightmarish, gurning celestial object from ending the world. Makes you want a drink but the Milk Bar only serves, well, milk. You not got anything stronger? No? Not even a Shandy? Christ, we’re all going do die, you could at least break out the Jack Daniels!

I don't think that was milk, Link (Image:

"I don't think that was milk, Link" (Image:

4. The Pelican Inn – Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

As a native of the northeast, I’m not entirely sure what qualifies as an authentic London experience but I’m pretty sure The Pelican Inn from Uncharted 3 isn’t it. Found at the start of the game, The Pelican Inn plays to the EastEnders interpretation of London, with England flags adorning the walls and frequented by angry, balding dads whom, in the series’ commitment to cross-cultural understanding, you beat the ever-loving shit out of. Personally, if I wanted to see middle-aged men fight each other, I could go to Darlington on a Friday night. Cheaper than London too.

"'Ere mate. We don't take kindly to you lootin' other cultures' treasures" (Image: Naughty Dog).

"'Ere mate. We don't like you wantonly pillaging them priceless treasures, yeah?" (Image: Naughty Dog).

3. The Bloated Float – Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

It seems everywhere has to have some sort of gimmick and the realm of Tamriel is no exception. Found in the impoverished Waterfront district of the Imperial City, The Bloated Float’s big talking point lies in the fact it’s a ship moored in the city’s docks (so at least its not taking up valuable goblin infested real estate). There’s even a quest where the ship gets hijacked and put out to sea with you sleeping last night’s sesh off on board. Come to think of it, isn’t The Bloated Float’s waterborne nature somewhat problematic? I mean I feel queasy after six pints. Imagine that plus being on a ship surrounded by Oblivion NPCs.

"Err...I think this guy's had a few too many" (Image: Bethesda Softworks).

"Err...I think this guy's had a few too many" (Image: Bethesda Softworks).

2. Gathering Dust Bar – Planescape: Torment

You know when a bar is dead? Well the Gathering Dust Bar from Planescape: Torment takes that expression to a whole new level by literally filling the place with death worshipping cultists and zombies. In addition to serving as the Hive’s local, the Gathering Dust Bar is also the main recruiting ground for the Dusters, who offer to buy peoples’ corpses after they die and turn them into zombies, many of whom staff the bar itself. Still as unseemly as that might sound, I don’t think its too principally different from places like Wetherspoons. After all, the staff here are actually dead as opposed to merely dead inside.

"Christ, it smells like somebody died in here"(Image: Black Isle Studios).

"Christ, it smells like something died in here" (Image: Black Isle Studios).

1. The Lion’s Pride Inn – World of Warcraft

Goldshire is one of the first settlements human players encounter in World of Warcraft and as a result has a deliberate rustic charm to it. Unfortunately, its also located just outside of Stormwind city, so that charm is dampened somewhat by ABSOLUTE FUCKING MAYHEM. You see, Goldshire and it’s quaint little local, The Lion’s Pride Inn is a popular hangout for Alliance players who like to relax by socialising, duelling one another and engaging in some rather suspect roleplay. This combined with WoW’s bold visual style results in something resembling a small country pub hosting an anime convention. So no CAMRA recommendation there then.

"I just wanted a nice, quiet pint" (Image: Blizzard Entertainment).

"I just wanted a nice, quiet pint" (Image: Blizzard Entertainment).


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