I'm gonna have to put in another vote for Flotsam. It's probably the only one that really stands out for me, at least in RPGs made in recent times. There's a lot of interesting stuff going on in Flotsam beyond just being the place where you get comfortable with the game mechanics or where the plot begins. It has these different communities within it that you can actually see operating in different ways, which adds to both its homeyness and complexity. Story-wise you also have a lot of internal politics going on in what initially looks like a sleepy town. Maybe it's cheating a bit because roughly 25 to 30 percent of the game takes place there though.
Maybe I feel this way about Flotsam and possibly also White Orchard because when you think about it, Witcher 2 and 3 are the state-of-the-art RPGs right now when it comes to technological presentation. The graphics engine, art assets, and cut scenes stand on top of pretty much any RPG on the market right now, and likely will until Final Fantasy XV comes out. You could argue Dragon Age Inquisition beats Witcher 2 in this regard, but not 3.
I figured it would have been out be now. They have the experience remastering FFX, and FFXII already supported wide screen. I want to play it again, but I gave my PS2 away and my 60gb PS3 is dead. I could use an emulator on my computer, but I keep holding off hoping for the HD release.
Midgar, but that is kind of cheating. It's not just the opening town, it's the entire prologue of the game and you spend so long there that you see all these different areas and different plotlines that take place there.
My choice is weird. I didn't even like this game as much as other RPGs, and it's technically not the very very first town, but Airyglyph from Star Ocean 3 had this amazing atmosphere to it. Fayt is thrown from all of these high tech areas to this depressing and desolate winter wasteland and things start to go sour almost right away.
I am gonna go with Flotsam also. It's great at really communicating how nasty and dark the world of The Witcher is. First towns are important for setting up the mood for the rest of the game, and Flotsam does this perfectly.
Clock Town. One of my favorite games of all time so it's no doubt that this is my favorite beginning location. The way all of the NPCs have a story that matters in some way, shape or form is excellent. Plus the music is iconic.
It's my nostalgia talking, but Traverse Town. I loved the atmosphere, the level design, meeting the FF/Disney characters, and especially Shimomura's gorgeous musical theme. The town felt comforting yet ominous simultaneously. Booting up KH and wandering around Traverse Town is always like coming home.
Rabanastre is still freakin' incredible. FFXII HD into my veins, please.
Same game, different city. Oh man do I miss the glory days of this game. Even though it's not the same game these days, I still go back every few months just because I miss some of the locations in the game like some people miss real places in the world. The Federation of Windurst has been my second home on and off for 12 years now.
I use to think that, but it still gets crazy hot when running stuff like Volgarr the Viking or Civilization 4(a game that is about as old as Morrowind), but maybe those are just programmed terribly? Best solution would probably be to just get an old pc and hook it up to my tv I guess.
It's not technically from an RPG, but Ordon Village is one of my favorites. I know everyone laments the long opening to Twilight Princess, but I loved spending so much time. It felt like home in a way that a lot of starting towns don't.