Your favorite level(s) in any games and why


Bolt Thrower.,
Mar 21, 2014
There are a bunch of different reasons why one might enjoy specific levels of a game.

While backgrounds in fighting games have been discussed a lot (and rightly so) I'd be interested in your opinons on what makes a specific level in a specific game great.

I'll start off with a well beloved classic:

Castlevania Bloodlines Level 2

There are a ton of levels who chase you with different hazards (fire, water, giant spikes), most of the time for no specific reason. (if you are lucky it's something like "there is wildfire in the woods of MegaMan Land")
Not in Bloodlines. The Atlantis stage boss has a plan and the means to deliver it - he's going to friggin drown you with a water spell.
I enjoy the love for detail here.


Guerilla Warrior
May 31, 2018
Never really considered it before but I think a well done background and Music are what makes it for me.
As well as some functional elements on occasions.

Some personal faves that spring to mind are Casino Nights in Sonic 2, The park stage and 1st stage from Streets of Rage 2, Mario Kart rainbow road, Metal Gear Solid is full of them but the Sniper Wolf one is pretty epic even if a little basic.
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20 Year Member
Jan 30, 2002
I could go on and on on this, but I'll just talk about two games.

Stage 2 in Metal Slug 3 is an absolute must.
The ost on that stage while not being my favorite, is simply outstanding.

The level design is very well done and on top of that, you can't go wrong while you re getting inside the cave. The sound there, gets you pumped up and there's a freakin Mamoth!

The other one has to be the Ikana tower in Majora's Majora's mask. The theme song is smooth and suits the environment perfectly. Plus, flipping the stage upside down is a really cool idea. Probably my favorite Zelda dungeon dungeon ever.
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General Morden's Aide
Feb 3, 2013
The Junk Heap in NieR with its endless corridors, guarded by mute robots, supervised by an ancient desolate defense system, deep underground, loyally carrying out its orders from eons ago. This area has a nice tune, too.

Third stage in Strider, like an R-Type spaceship level, only with Strider. That giant core, revoked gravity, kind of a Steve Reich piece as background music and, well, Captain Silver at the end of it. Made an impression, still does.


Why So Many X's?,
15 Year Member
Aug 2, 2007
Lately I’ve been replaying the first 2 Tony Hawk games and honestly - two levels from the first one stick out to me.


The Warehouse. First level in the game, starts with a small room - you ride through the glass and immediately start on a steep roll in, before getting to the half pipe with kicker ramps on the side. Quarter pipes all over the place, a large kinked rail, and two kickers with a gap. The secret tape is in a room above the half pipe.

The design and layout really invites you to make lines that flow with the level to get the objectives. The ramps on the edge of the half pipe (if you just hold X your first time through) shows you the enticing secret tape.

The fact the first game had all the objectives be “tapes” really speaks to 90s (and early 2000s) skate culture (the lead creative director got the position because he was a skater. So he knew what brands and pros and stuff to make it feel authentic). Your video part could make or break your career - even if you didn’t do competitions. Companies put out videos to
1) showcase their team but also
2) it was a promotional product, but it’s a promotional product people willingly BOUGHT.

Skate videos exist now but Instagram and YouTube changed the game. You don’t sell it anymore, you put them out online, and you never do a full length (typically they were 60-90 minutes). You upload individual skaters parts. And your company needs to have a steady supply posting them - rather than a video every year or two.

So now you get frequent clips, but sometimes not even set to music.

My other favorite level in the game is Burnside


I love Burnside as a level it’s very fun to play. I also love it because it’s a real skatepark with a cool history that is only like 2 hours away from me. It’s located in Portland Oregon; and there were no indoor parks (Weird for a state that gets so much rain, Washington also has few indoor parks). So in 1990 a group of skaters picked the area under the Burnside Bridge, kicked out the homeless people, cleaned it up (a lot of needles an shit soiled clothes) and started pouring concrete with no permits.

The city basically gave them the go ahead once it started because it honestly cleaned up the area. There’s no staff, and it gets no city funding (but is considered an Oregon landmark now). A group of locals basically have a group that oversees it, and maintains it. A few years ago a high rise was built next to it that blocks sun/moon light from it, and so the high rise paid for the purchase and installation of some lights.

Here’s a picture of it I took about 3 weeks ago while I was there


They really did nail it - the game has a chainlink fence around the park that doesn’t exist, BUT past the fence in the closed off out of bounds area - the Brown brick building to its right is in the right space, the empty lot to the left USED to match, the loading docks behind it also match, and amazingly enough - the port-o-potties ALSO are in the right spot (the game has two, there’s only one really there but probably had two in 1999 if the rest of the accuracy is anything to go off).

The park in the game is really fun to skate and you can do some insane stuff that is NOT gonna happen IRL - because it’s based on a real park, all the ramps, gaps, rails etc are scaled to the player character models rather than the over the top physics engine.
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Pretty Amy

Sieger's Squire
Sep 15, 2013
This level from Panzer Dragoon Zwei:

I love the setting of fighting a giant ship above the cloud cover and going in and out of the ship to take it down. The color scheme is so unusual for a final level in a game; the skies are blue, the clouds and the ship are white.


20 Year Member
Nov 22, 2001

Love the autumn background.


Dec 15, 2013
While I don't think I have "favorite levels" on games I play, some I like a lot are DooM II's first level, just because the music is amazing (same music on level 15, industrial zone, but I do not like that level particularly). Same with Streets of Rage level 5 (the boat), I like the music a lot, therefore I like the level. And even if not many people like it, the first level on Metal Slug 4 has great music IMO, so I like the level.


Lazy SNK Employee
Aug 16, 2019
This level from Panzer Dragoon Zwei:

I love the setting of fighting a giant ship above the cloud cover and going in and out of the ship to take it down. The color scheme is so unusual for a final level in a game; the skies are blue, the clouds and the ship are white.

Dude I think we'll be best friends :lol:

Panzer Dragoon Zwei

Episode 3 in the forest flying away and battling enemies. It was freaking awesome. Felt like I was playing a VR game at the time and that end Boss was epic.

Loved it when I was a kid.... love it till this day now. [I don't know how to impliment videos]

Here's the video :)
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Mr. Wrestling IV
15 Year Member
Sep 16, 2003
Level 1 of DownLoad2-PCEngine.

Because you didn’t see *that* coming...even tho, you could see it coming. ^_^

Also, music.


Amusaka's Lacky
10 Year Member
Mar 9, 2012
From when I first got my SNES as a kid and for about 10 years afterwards I played the three Donkey Kong Country games almost religiously. For years I was stuck on the third world in Diddy's Kong Quest until I finally made a push to the end and completed the trilogy. Screech's Spirit- to me was the final test of all the tricks I'd learned from playing for years. Not only is it one of my favorite levels to go back and play now, the soundtrack is absolutely amazing
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A Broken Man
15 Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
Contra III, level 3.

Super Castlevania IV, level 1.

Ghouls 'n Ghosts, level 4.

Strider, level 2.

The first four that come to mind. I don't believe in favorites, anyway.


Camel Slug
May 10, 2016
Love Katina on Starfox 64, the ‘Independence Day’ stage, but I have a thing with trying to get the highest number of hits on Stage 1, Corneria...

The Flying Ship level on Pop n’ Twinbee is awesome, with all the cute blobs in mobile suits (mobile cutes?), then the shadow finally erupts through the cloud cover and the ship is revealed!


Raiden's Valet
10 Year Member
Oct 30, 2009

Music is great on this level. Famicom version having snow falling is a definite bonus, actually sold me on getting a Famicom.
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Super Spy Agent
Jul 16, 2017
2nd level of Halo: Combat Evolved. "Halo"
Something about it is just fun to run though. The different ways that you can complete the level, and at this point it is almost relaxing in a way to have a quick level run.


The Fatal Fury Disciple
15 Year Member
Aug 30, 2016
Aside from every level/stage in any Fatal Fury game, I’ll say this one:

Ninja Gaiden II: Chapter 1 - Sky City Tokyo

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Apr 1, 2019
Stalker Shadows of Chernobyl. The "Red Forest" area through the end of the game. Quite possibly the best FPS type of situation of any game ever. It is brutally hard, and because of how the game limits weight, you can easily run out of ammo if you aren't spot on. It can be done in a short time, or you can spend hours methodically clearing all the buildings leading up the the NPP as you look for the secret decoder.....


Been There., Done That., It Was Shit.,
15 Year Member
Apr 20, 2007
Where to begin?

Streets of Rage 2 - level 2. Starts out as nothing special, but when you get off that moving truck near the end of the level and surrounded by all those bright city lights...still looks awesome today. And then you fight a guy in a fucking jet pack.

Sonic 2 - level 2. That chemical plant zone, I think that’s what’ it’s called. Never really saw anything like that before. Still looks amazing, still fun to play.

Eternal Darkness. - playing as the monk. So much build up to a boss fight only to find out he gets smushed like a bug. I was so sad after that happened, such a memorable moment.

Sin & Punishment - can’t remember what stage it is, maybe 3...but the one where you break off a piece of an aircraft carrier and are flying around shooting down planes etc. Stage is so well done, like a roller coaster ride.

For fighting games too many to list, especially when it comes to the last blade and samurai spirits stages. I’ll take a bit of a left turn though and say Glacius’ stage in the new Killer Instinct game...just looks amazing.

Metal Gear Solid - Not really a stage but the Sniper Wolf fight. Such an intense fight. Another memorable moment/scene when she died.
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Hollywood Hulk Gohan
20 Year Member
Sep 28, 2001
Moe, do you believe that love can bloom on the battlefield?


Gonna take a lot
15 Year Member
Oct 11, 2004
I've recently been playing the hell out of Control. It's very good in general, but the Ashtray Maze was probably the single best level I've played this generation. I'm not gonna post a video since I don't want to spoil it (it's well worth not being spoiled on it), but it's basically Remedy flexing, hard, with pitch-perfect music choice.


Vanessa's Drinking Buddy,
15 Year Member
Feb 10, 2003
I love the horse-riding mini level in Shinobi 3. It's fairly short, but, it's just fun galloping through a forest cutting down enemy ninja. It's also evidence that Joe Musashi is secretly a Brony. I don't care for the surfing mini stage as much though--I think someone at Sega was playing too much TMNT.

I'm also really fond of Gravity Beetle's stage in MMX3; I love the music and the scenic sunset vista behind the airship(?) you're fighting on.