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Top-down view, also sometimes referred to as bird's-eye view or overhead view, was a common perspective in video games before the advent of 3D, and is still in use in some genres today. Commonly found in Real Time Strategy games and occasionally in Simulation Games that don't use Isometric Projection. It is also used in some Action Games, such as the early Grand Theft Auto series.

Some of these games, in addition to having the camera angled straight down, also use a perspectiveless top-down projection in which everything on the screen is viewed as if the camera were directly above it.

See also Isometric Projection, Side View and Three Quarters View.

Examples of Top Down View include:


  • The early Grand Theft Auto games.
  • The Legend of Zelda… Kind of. Characters and other items are rendered in an inconsistent mix of this and several other perspectives. Many of the games, including the original, have brief side-view sections.
  • The original Sim City, sort of, though there was an inconsistent bottom-left-to-top-right tilt for most of the graphics, see here.
  • Evolution Worlds uses this as one of its two camera angles.

Top-down projection

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