Gaming

10 Video Games That Will Help You Relax – GameRant


While video games are a fun means to escape reality, not all of them are relaxing. Some, while exciting and exhilarating, can actually be stressful. Some RPG choices have dire consequences, while other games feature hardcore boss fights that are difficult to beat.

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Luckily though, there are games out there made solely for relaxing. These titles let the player go at their own pace, while their visuals and soundtracks are blissful to the eyes and ears. Some have a story to follow, while others simply let players explore or wander. What really matters is the games’ relaxing tone and mechanics.


10
Everything

Penguin, seal, and mammoths in the snow.

Released on Steam, the Nintendo Switch, and the PS4, Everything is a simulation game where the player can, quite literally, play the role of everything. They can be a plant, animal, rock, bug, planet, star system, landmass, or even a micro-organism. There is no story, but the player can complete the encyclopedia by taking on the role of everything that there is.

Throughout the game, the player also collects recordings of quotes from philosopher Alan Watts. Gamers can thus listen to Watts discuss Buddhist, Taoist, and Hindu philosophy while roaming around the world.

9
flOw

Scene from flOw game trailer.

Available on the PS3, PSP, PS4, and PS Vita, flOw is a game made by Thatgamecompany, a company famous for creating some of the most relaxing games out there. Their game design philosophy is to invoke feelings more than focus on a message.

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flOw has its player take the role of a worm-like creature that swims and eats organisms smaller than itself. Part of what makes it so relaxing is that the player cannot die, and the difficulty scales to make the players’ skill.

8
Journey

Journey protagonist in desert.

Journey is another title from Thatgamecompany, and its most famous. The player takes on the role of a human-like creature that seeks to get to the top of a mysterious mountain. Part of the magic is the online multiplayer, which limits players to interacting with simple squeaks and the ability to help charge one another’s scarves.

The game was released in 2012, and still has players wandering around to this day. It takes only a couple of hours to beat, perfect for a relaxing afternoon.

7
ABZU

Shark in kelp forest.

ABZU released in 2016 for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and later the Nintendo Switch and Amazon Luna in 2018 and 2020. Many critics compared it to Journey — which is unsurprising, considering it was made by several people who did work on the latter.

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In ABZU, the gamer takes the role of a diver as they explore the ocean. The various areas have collectibles the player can seek out and the diver can interact with the sea life using sonar chimes. Sometimes, the diver can even ride on the larger marine mammals as they explore the sea.

6
Minecraft

Minecraft house with pig and chicken.

This Swedish video game is among the most well-known titles out there. It is a best-seller and has been beloved by players of all ages. In this simulation game, the player can explore an infinite world, collect materials, and build with them.

The game can be less relaxing depending on the mode the gamer chooses. Certain modes are more focused on survival, having the player fight mobs and/or compete against other players. It all depends on what the player is in the mood for.

5
Flower

Meadow with rocks and flowers.

Another title from Thatgamecompany, Flower is a game available on the PS3, PS4, PS Vita, PC, and iOS. In Flower, the player controls the wind as it moves a flower petal. The game is well known for its soundtrack, which corresponded to the rise and fall of the players’ actions as they moved the petal.

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The six main levels of the game can be completed in just one hour. It has no speech or text. Many have called Flower a must-play, as it is one of those titles that is a piece of art as well as a game.

4
Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley farm.

Stardew Valley is a farming simulation game that was heavily inspired by Harvest Moon games. It was originally released for the PC in 2016 but was eventually released also for the Xbox One, PS Vita, PS4, iOs, Android, and Linux. It was made by one man, Eric Barone, within four years, and truly comes across as his labor of love.

The game is all about farming and forming friendly relationships with the villagers. Players can take care of animals and animals while also partaking in mining and fishing. Like Minecraft, the game can get more exciting depending on the gamers’ playstyle — but everyone’s able to just kick back and relax.

3
Astroneer

Astronauts in pink field.

Released in 2019, Astroneer is a sandbox adventure game about colonizing planets. There is no storyline or set goal, but every planet has unique challenges for the player. The game is available on the PC, Xbox One, PS4, and the Nintendo Switch. The player controls an astronaut and can craft items and reshape terrain.

The game won awards for Best Art Direction, Best Visual Design, Best User Experience, and Best Game Design at the 2019 Webby Awards.

2
No Man’s Sky

Spaceship by lake.

No Man’s Sky had a poor launch, but has improved and expanded over time to the point that it redeemed itself. Players of the game can focus their playstyles on exploration, survival, trading, and/or combat. The player has a lot of freedom to make the game as relaxing as possible for themselves.

The playstyles that are the most relaxing are to be a trader and/or explorer. The game is endless, so some players log thousands upon thousands of hours into its content.

1
Slime Rancher

Slime-Rancher-Deluxe-Edition-4

House surrounded by pink and cat slimes.

Released in 2017 for the PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Linux, Slime Rancher is a first-person life simulation adventure game. The player takes the role of Beatrix, a slim rancher who moved to a foreign planet and has to explore the new world while also constructing her ranch and raising slimes.

The game is a sandbox experience, meaning it has no clear end. It’s comparable to Stardew Valley but with different graphics, no other human characters, and set on a different planet. The setting makes it feel unique, worth playing for fans of the genre.

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