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The Best Photo Modes Of 2021

Mini-games and alternative modes can be almost as much fun as the main game itself. One such option, as documented by The Washington Post, has been blowing up in popularity the past few years. Photo modes are alternative modes that allow you take pictures throughout your game. The best photo modes venture beyond glorified screenshots, offering plenty of options to edit and customize photos.


Based on Reddit discussions, fans enjoy photo modes for a variety of reasons — whether it's for the funny glitches they can capture, the shareable proof that they accomplished something, or the art they can create in-game. Developers are sprinkling picture-taking mechanics into all types of titles, and even creating entire games based on taking pictures, like the Pokemon Snap series. 

In 2021, a lot of games have included some form of photo mode. If you're interested in staging some interesting shots, then check these out. With photo modes making an appearance in so many different genres, you're bound to find something you'll enjoy.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

This pseudo-open world Nintendo platformer has one of the best photo modes of 2021, and has received some excellent reviews on Metacritic. With plenty of options ranging between filters and the ability to place stickers in the world around you, the photo ops are almost endless.


Super Mario 3D World's photo mode was teased before the game released, and websites like Polygon shared galleries of hilarious in-game creations. GameRadar+'s Heather Wald remarked, "If Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury leaves me with anything, it's the hope that photo modes continue to feature in future Nintendo releases."

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury offers a shining example of what a good photo mode can do without taking over the game. The stickers in Snapshot Mode are actually found around the environment, so you're encouraged to explore and get through the title if you want to unlock better stickers.

Monster Hunter Rise

That's right, Monster Hunter Rise has a photo mode and it's pretty awesome. The Switch title has a "Camera" option that's actually an integral part of the gameplay, which only adds to the fun of the main game, which had critics raving.


According to iMore, the Rise tutorial actually requires you to take a picture. After that, there are some side quests that ask for pictures of areas or wildlife, but no more main quests will pop up requiring the use of your camera. There's nothing too fancy going on with the game's camera mechanics; the most intricate thing you can do is take a selfie with your Palico and Palamute buddies in various poses. 

However, with the "vibrant" environment praised by sites like GameSkinny, you can get some really cool pictures. On top of that, you can display them in your in-game room for any visitors to see. The social part of the game's photo mode is pretty unique, and it gives players a way to actually show off their hard work.


Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy

Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy introduced one of the more interactive photo modes of 2021. Where Monster Hunter Rise has a fairly vanilla camera function, Atelier Ryza 2 goes in the opposite direction.


As explained by SiliconEra, you can actually place the characters in various poses, setting the stage however you want. Even NPCs can be arranged in your photos. There are also different frames you can choose to decorate your shots even more. Beyond that, all you can really do is zoom to add the right depth. However, don't let that dissuade you. Even though the camera mechanics aren't super involved, there's a lot you can accomplish by just being creative with the characters.

The game received positive reviews, partially because of, as GameGrin said, its "loveable [sic] characters." Being able to arrange those characters in new ways with the photo mode can help bring them to life even more.

Evil Genius 2: World Domination

Evil Genius 2: World Domination gives players the options to capture their minions hard at work with a photo mode that wasn't in the original game. With ways to change the view, players can take pictures of their lair too, as well as pretty much anything else they want.


The game launched with a photo mode and a variety of filters and other overlays that help enhance pictures for players. There's also the possibility for Evil Genius 2 to get some new filters and overlays as time goes on — the developers have repeatedly mentioned that the title will be supported post-launch with new content.

While World Domination received a solid response from critics, the photo mode didn't seem to stand out for any reviewers. However, it's a fun addition for photo mode lovers or those who own the game and want to experience what photo modes have to offer in general.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town

Are you looking to add a farming simulator to your collection that also comes with a camera function? Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is your answer — with a super adorable function created just to take pictures of the animals you'll find in the wild, it won't disappoint. As shown by Video Chums, you can zoom in and out to get the perfect picture of the critter you're looking at. 


It doesn't just stop there. The pictures you take with your camera can be donated to a museum, and you can even buy statues of the creatures in the pictures you've donated. Additionally, the pictures can be uploaded online to represent your island to other players. The pictures you upload online are also added to a database that flashes across player screens as the game loads. While the Camera isn't a main feature of the game, it makes great side quests. You can also take pictures of anything you want to capture memories!

While critics had a fairly mixed response to Pioneers of Olive Town, the camera mode was a new addition that's pretty fun.