Dungeon Siege (2002), by Gas Powered Games, struck a huge chord with me the summer I graduated high school. Lots of people wrote it off as a Diablo clone, but the sprawling environments felt vibrant and alive to me. The game's mountains, forests, and river valleys were also more than a little gleefully similar to the foothills of the Cascade mountains just past my doorstep (which makes sense, because Gas Powered Games was about an hour north of where I lived).
There is a scene at the very beginning of the game where the goal up to that point has been "get to Stonebridge! Sound the alarm!". The player then discovers that the villains burned the bridge, so they're going to have to detour through undead-infested crypts... and it's going to be one of THOSE days. I always enjoyed that moment, so I recreated the setting at a fork in the narrow mountain road, using one of the final releases of UDK before UE4 launched.