Bestiaries are essentially encyclopedias with all you need to know about creatures. When used in video games, a bestiary will inform you about creatures in the world, as well as provide other helpful information. Not all bestiaries were created equal though; some are more in-depth than others.
We are going to take a look at some of the best bestiaries in video games. The games mentioned have bestiaries that provide more than enough information for you to read. Additionally, many of these bestiaries contain lore that helps build the world around you. First, let's take a look at one of the most well-known games on our list.
It’s no surprise that Pokemon is on our list. If you happen to be unfamiliar with Pokemon, you play as a trainer, focused on catching a wide variety of creatures. Each creature is logged into your Pokedex, which is packed with helpful information.
In your Pokedex, you can see where the Pokemon was found, as well as basic information about their type. Additionally, you can see the smallest and largest of the Pokemon that you have caught. Every Pokemon has a quick description that can help build the world around you as well. For example, in Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, we learn that children like to use Snorlax’s belly as a place to play.
7/8 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Next up, we have the bestiary for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Rather than unlocking a creature's bestiary when catching them, you can unlock pages by reading books and listening to folktales. These acquired descriptions of creatures. Because of this, you can learn more about creatures in the world as you explore new areas.
Let’s take a look at the entry for Drowners. The complete entry for Drowners explains that they aren’t actually dead humans, but an entirely new species. Overall, they live in dirty conditions and eat trash. They don’t often leave the water, but if it’s a rainy night, you might find one on land.
6/8 Monster Sanctuary
Monster Sanctuary is similar to Pokemon in that you can battle, catch, and tame dozens of monsters. In total, there are 111 monsters, each with their own entry in the Monster Journal.
Upon catching a monster, you will be able to view an in-depth biography, as well as abilities, stats, and loot drops. While these entries may not provide the most amount of practical information such as their location, you can find more than enough lore for each monster.
5/8 Hollow Knight
In Hollow Knight, the bestiary is referred to as your Hunter’s Journal. Rather than having it at the start of the game, you will need to acquire it; fortunately, this can happen pretty early on in the game.
Within the Hunter’s Journal, you can find a total of 168 entries. As you defeat new types of enemies, they will be added to the journal. Defeating a certain amount of each enemy will unlock additional information that you can read. Each completed entry will contain lore, as well as information on their fighting techniques. This lore is important, as the world of Hollow Knight is largely a mystery.
4/8 Monster Hunter
The Monster Hunter series was bound to be on our list. Two recent additions earn a place on our list: Monster Hunter World and Monster Hunter Rise. In Monster Hunter World, we have the Hunter’s Field Guide. This bestiary shows a diagram of each monster along with its strengths and weaknesses. With this, you can quickly find weakpoints and parts of a monster that can be broken off.
In Monster Hunter Rise, we have Hunter Notes. Here, you can see a drawing of the monster, as well as stats about it. There is a short description that contains some lore and, like Pokemon, you can see the largest and smallest of the monster that you have defeated.
In Subnautica, we have the Data Bank, which contains information on pretty much everything in the game, including creatures that you run into. In the Data Bank, you can find bio scans of these creatures, complete with a model showing their appearance as well as an x-ray.
The Data Bank also contains information on their size and threat level, allowing you to quickly find their Data Bank entry and assess if it’s too dangerous to take on. Some of the information may not be the most practical, but who doesn’t want to know the bone density of a Reaper Leviathan?
2/8 Shin Megami Tensei
The Shin Megami Tensei series brings us a bestiary in the form of the Demonic Compendium. This is essentially an archive for every demon that you have encountered while playing. In the most recent title, Shin Megami Tensei V, you can find 221 demons in the compendium.
From the Demonic Compendium, you can also summon previously obtained demons. For example, if you fused two demons together but want one of the two again, you can pay a bit of money to summon them. This makes the Demonic Compendium a useful tool in addition to providing information on encountered demons.
1/8 Dragon Quest Monsters
Lastly, we have Dragon Quest Monsters. This is a spinoff game from the main Dragon Quest series that involves taming and capturing a wide variety of monsters. In this game, you can find a bestiary filled with art of each monster encountered.
In these Dragon Quest games, you can find models of the monsters and, like other entries on our list, information about the lore of the game. Interestingly, this isn’t specific to the Monster spinoffs. Even in main Dragon Quest games, you can find a bestiary with
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