There are so many different video game genres out there. Some games want players full focus while others can be played casually. In this list, we’re looking at more casual video games that players can partake in. These are great relaxing video games that should be played if you’re ever in the mood for something to pass the time with.
Firewatch is a perfect example to start with when it comes to relaxing video games. Here players take the role of Henry who is a new fire lookout. Set in the 1980s, the job of a fire lookout is extremely secluded. In the tower where Henry sleeps and surveys the forest, he only has one means of communication to the outside world and that’s with a walkie-talkie. Henry begins to talk with his supervisor, Delilah, which is staying at a nearby tower. This is an adventure game where players are mainly roaming the open world, completing various objectives, diving into more about Henry and his life, while also solving a mystery. It’s pretty slow-paced so there’s no need to rush from one area to the next.
#39 Stardew Valley
Developed to be a spiritual successor to the Harvest Moon franchise, indie team ConcernedApe developed Stardew Valley. It was a massive hit upon launch as players took the role of a protagonist seeking to leave the bustling city for a humble slow-moving farm that their father left to them after passing. Within the game players are taking care of the farm which means tilling the land, laying down crops, tending to the livestock, and harvesting their goods. Meanwhile, players can travel to the nearby town, communicate with the townsfolk and even strike up a relationship. If you enjoy the Harvest Moon game or if a lighthearted farming simulation game sounds appealing then you will want to give Stardew Valley an honest go.
#38 A Short Hike
A Short Hike is an indie title from Adamgryu where you take the role of a bird exploring the landscapes of Hawk Peak Provincial Park. Here your goal is to reach the top of a large summit but along the way you’re free to explore or partake in several different activities. Players can go fishing, interact with the different animal critters that are roaming around the park, seek out treasure, or even cruise around in a boat. It’s all a giant casual relaxing game that can be finished incredibly fast. However, chances are you’ll end up getting caught up in any of the different activities that are scattered around the area.
Minecraft is a game we probably won’t need to explain at this point. It’s been around for ages now and it’s gained a strong following. However, within the game, players are exploring the open-world randomly generated with different biomes and critters. From there, players are simply trying to survive which is relatively easy to do. You’ll scavenge for goods, craft unique items, build up your base, mine resources, and battle against enemies that appear in the night such as spiders or skeletons. Meanwhile, the game is available to play in a Creative mode which removes the survival aspect. You can venture out and freely create anything you’d like while having access to the entire roster of items. Enemies won’t attack you during Creative mode so there’s never any planning ahead to deal with mobs that spawn up.
Flower was developed by thatgamecompany which is a very relaxing and calm game. Players control the wind as they move around the different terrains. You’ll blow the different fields of grass, kicking up flowers along the way. From there it’s purely just taking in the scenery and the soundtrack as you go through the game. There’s not much more I can say about this game but it’s certainly one of the key games that this studio is known for.
Another title from thatgamecompany worth looking into is Flow, which is actually the studio’s first video game release. Players are controlling a snake-like creature that is consuming other small creatures roaming around. The goal is simply to eat the smaller critters and become bigger. It’s incredibly simple and the whole game is just a mesmerizing experience. If you want something to just chill out and play then this is one game that doesn’t need any explanation of what to do as the goal stays the same throughout while the game will adjust the design of your critter along the way.
Staying with thatgamecompany we got Journey. This is another breakout hit for the studio that has gained massive attention. Players take the role of an individual that is traveling to a mountain top. With limited abilities, the game is mainly having players rely on a companion. Here you’ll come across a random player online where you’ll work together to get around different obstacles. However, the catch here is that you have no means to communicate. You don’t know who they are, there’s no text or voice chat. Instead, players must rely on picking up communication within the game or through a single chime that the character can emit.
#33 American Truck Simulator
While there are several different truck simulator games, we are using American Truck Simulator as an example. This is a game where you’re simply a truck driver. You’ll work with a company, making different deliveries and earning some cash along the way. Not only are you needing to abide by the rules of the road, but you’ll need to track down what routes to take and if you earn enough money, there will be plenty of different rigs and upgrades you can make to your truck. This will allow some ability to further expand on how you’ll be able to tackle different jobs and ensure that you have the equipment to handle the job. Trucking might not be for everyone, but if you enjoy life on the road then this could easily allow players to sink countless hours into it.
SnowRunner is quite a bit like American Truck Simulator in the sense that the game is based around traversing with your vehicle. However, rather than being on the main roads going from one stop to the next, SnowRunner is based around tough terrains. There is a whole lot more knowledge about knowing what you’re driving if it can take the pathway ahead and if not, how to get yourself unstuck. There’s plenty of objectives to do whether it’s getting other vehicles unstuck or delivering cargo loads. This is the kind of game where you can toss on your favorite podcast and just sink some hours into tough trucking.
#31 House Flipper
Ever watch those house-flipping shows and think it might be fun to do. Seeing an old beat-up house that’s needing some new life breathed into it? That’s what we have here with House Flipper. The entire game is based around buying old homes, fixing them up, putting money into the refurbish as you get it ready to showcase for potential buyers. The whole gig is to get more money out of the house than what you put into it. Likewise, you can offer your creative views on the house, whether that means some slight touches to completely gutting the home and rearranging rooms.
#30 The Sims 4
The Sims has been a popular franchise for quite a few years now. This series is all about life simulation as you get your little family into a home and watch them go through their lives. It’s a bit like House Flipper in the sense that you can make a variety of upgrades to your home. However, there’s plenty of more focus on the lives of the characters in your game. Give them jobs, watch them entertain themselves, or call in friends and entertain the entire party. Currently, the latest installment to the IP is The Sims 4 which is still being supported with countless DLC packs that add new events, careers, vacation settings, along decor.
Abzu is another atmospheric-style relaxing game that’s a bit like Journey or Flower. Here players are exploring the underwater with the different life that roams around. You’re freely exploring their terrain, from large oceans to caverns, there’s a ton of beauty to behold as you freely roam around. You can forget about needing skills to get through this title at ease as it doesn’t take much to but to maneuver the character around. If you’re interested in games that have more focus around atmosphere then you can’t go wrong with picking up Abzu.
Unravel is a great little platformer title if you want something a bit casual with a few puzzles to complete along the way. In this game, players take control of a character made of yarn that is forced to get around a large world. However, in this game players are having to use the yarn from their body which means swinging from large gaps, crafting up bridges, to wrangling different objects such as a fish to quickly zip around in a makeshift raft. It’s a family-friendly title that’s full of adventure. However, if you’re wanting a co-op experience then you can check into its sequel, Unravel 2 which is centered around co-op support.
#27 No Man’s Sky
While No Man’s Sky didn’t have the greatest launch in video game history, developers Hello Games were able to turn things around with a series of updates. This is a game full of exploration as you zip around to different planets in search of useful resources. It’s a mix of action-adventure along with survival. There’s an endless amount of planets to explore as you drop down in your spaceship, gathering some details about what you can expect in terms of the planet’s weather and floral along with the alien life you’ll find roaming around. Although there are objectives to this game, players can freely explore the endlessly generated planets, gather up resources, and move on to the next planet to chart out.
#26 Donut County
Donut County is a bit like the Katamari games if you’re familiar with that franchise. In this title, players are controlling a hole in the ground. Players are moving all around the different levels and trying to sink anything they can within the hole. The more stuff you manage to sink the larger the hole becomes allowing you to sink bigger items. It’s an addicting little puzzle game that has a storyline to go through as well. Being such a simple little title, there’s not much effort required to pick up the mechanics or skills.
#25 Everybody’s Golf
Everybody’s Golf is the latest installment to a long-running video game franchise, however, you might be more familiar with its previous title, Hot Shots Golf. This is a simple arcade-like golf game where you’re going through different courses trying to sink some golf balls. It’s not as technical as a simulation golfing video game but this title does provide a variety of courses to play within along with online multiplayer so you can compete against your friends. Golf in general is a pretty relaxing sport to play so why not give the virtual alternative a try?
Fez is an indie title that came out back in 2013 so it’s been around for quite a few years. This is a puzzle-platform title where players take control of the character Gomez that is attempting to collect the different golden pieces scattered across the universe. However, while the game looked like a traditional 2D platformer, the developers added a unique move in that the world could be rotated, giving a 3D view for players. Here you could get a new perspective of the world to solve the various puzzles. While the game was praised, the sequel which was planned by the team was abruptly canceled. For now, players can still enjoy this game as it’s been protected to several different platforms including some modern consoles today such as the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
#23 Pokemon Go
Chances are you’ve heard about Pokemon Go and even participated in the craze when it was initially released. Everyone, young and old, was out in the open searching for these virtual Pokemon using their smartphones. Through the GPS location services on your phone, Pokemon Go was all about wandering out in the open where you would attempt to catch the virtual Pokemon by flicking Pokeballs with your finger. It was a pretty massive success as again this craze had everyone roaming around. While it might have died down a bit today especially with the pandemic, it’s still a pretty relaxing game to play during a walk or a trip to the local park.
#22 What Remains of Edith Finch
What Remains of Edith Finch is a bit of a walking simulator adventure game. Here players take the role of a young woman that heads to the Finch estate that was home for so many members of her family. While abandoned today, the goal is finding out more about the Finch family history. In this game, players are constantly figuring out puzzles to unlock rooms of the home while getting a bit of insight into the character that once lived there. When in these rooms the game will transition to playing as that particular individual where you get to see how they came to their untimely death. Mechanics are simple enough that you’re mainly just roaming around from one point to another while the focus is more on the game storyline.
#21 Gone Home
Speaking of walking simulator-type video games there’s Gone Home as well. This is a title that puts players into the role of a young woman coming home from college break. It’s here that we are greeted to an empty home with none of her family there. As players explore the different rooms, they learn more about their sister who was still living at home. While the game looks like it’s a horror title, it’s instead just very atmospheric while you attempt to piece together what happened before your arrival. You’ll also find that this is a pretty quick game to go through as well since the narrative will only take you about two hours for the main storyline.
#20 Planet Coaster
Planet Coaster is a management simulation game that comes from developers Frontier Developments. This is the studio behind the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise among other management amusement parks such as Thrillville. With Planet Coaster, the developers brought out a spiritual successor to the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise. Here players can make up their theme park as you manage the staff, ensure the safety of the customers, keep the park cleaned up, build up rides, restaurants, and decor. There is a ton here for players to tweak and customize so you can make the park to your liking.
#19 Planet Zoo
Speaking about Planet Coaster we have Planet Zoo as well. With Planet Zoo players are getting a spiritual successor to the Zoo Tycoon franchise. Everything we made mentioned above with Planet Coaster remains true here, there are a ton of customization options and the ability to make the park your own. However, rather than being a theme park, we have a Zoo where you’ll make different habitats for the animals which are not only suitable for them to live comfortably but happily as well. Likewise, the developers made sure to include AI so that all the animals would behave how they would in real life. Players can even keep animals that are suitable to live together in the same habitat such as elephants, zebras, and giraffes.
#18 Farming Simulator 2019
If you recall our Stardew Valley point and enjoy the idea of having a simulator-based around managing a farm but are looking for something more in-depth then we have Farming Simulator 2019. We opted to pick Farming Simulator 2019 since this is one of the newer installments that’s available on a variety of platforms, but there is also Farming Simulator 2020 as well. This long line of video game installments has players managing a farm with a wide variety of tools. It’s not like Stardew Valley where you’re going out and tilling the hand, planting seeds, and harvesting crops by hand. Instead, the focus is based on the heavy machinery that makes the job far easier. However, the more you play and the more money you earn will allow the ability to upgrade your machinery. This will make the jobs far faster, but outside of crops, there’s different livestock to manage as well such as chickens, cows, pigs, and sheep.
#17 PC Building Simulator
Keeping up with the simulator video games we have PC Building Simulator. Now, this is not a game for everyone, but those of you who enjoy building PCs can spend countless hours here. I enjoy building up PCs but it’s an expensive hobby and practically impossible to do now with the shortages of GPUs. However, with PC Building Simulator players are taking the role of a computer repair business. You’ll accept different jobs online where you’ll need to replace, clean up, upgrade, or repair computers. With a deadline, players are taking in orders, ordering parts, making the necessary adjustments to the computer, and sending it back to the customer. Everything from taking out screws, cleaning off parts, ensuring the PC parts are compatible with each other, and installing all the cables are just a few of the tasks you’ll need to keep in mind during each build.
#16 Fishing Planet
Another hobby you’ll see plenty of individuals take up with for a relaxing experience is fishing. There’s quite a bit to enjoy whether you’re going alone for some peace and serenity or if you’re fishing with some family and friends, it’s a hobby most had taken up with. However, the weather is not always acceptable to fish in real life so we have a free-to-play video game alternative that quite a few fans have enjoyed called Fishing Planet. This title puts players in a wide variety of environments as they go fishing. Much like real-life, players can make adjustments to their rods, reels, bait, and lures. There’s also an online multiplayer component so that you could fish with friends online. It might not beat the real thing, but it’s a pretty decent alternative.
Gris is a pretty stunning game in general thanks to the watercolor visuals. This is a game where the storyline is told through the gameplay. There is a ton of platforming here as you make your way through the different courses. Meanwhile, the main character will transform with new abilities to complete some of the courses ahead. For instance, players can transform into a heavier block object to keep the character on the stable ground during a windstorm or to weigh down a platform.
#14 Katamari Damacy Reroll
Katamari games are a ton of fun and it doesn’t take much effort for players to go through the different levels. In this game players are tasked with creating new stars and the way you can create these stars for the heavens above is by gathering as much stuff around the world as possible. Starting with a little ball, players are rolling around this object that will allow smaller objects to stick onto it. While the ball will be lopsided and a bit difficult to roll around, it will get bigger which means you’ll soon be able to gather larger objects up. Working against the time, your goal is to reach a certain ball magnitude within each level which will be transported to space to become a new star. It’s a wacky concept wrapped up in quite the addicting gameplay experience.
#13 The Witness
If you enjoy puzzle games then The Witness is a game you should not pass up. It’s an open-world first-person video game where you’re stuck on a mysterious island. Around the island are different stations with puzzles to solve. They start incredibly simple, but as the game progresses the puzzles become more and more difficult. Fortunately, the game is set up to allow players the ability to drop a puzzle if it’s too hard and move on to somewhere else before you come back and attempt the same puzzle all over again. Intending to solve all the puzzles to regain your memory and find a way off the island, this is a title that will keep you roaming around the beautiful sceneries when you’re not trying to finish a station full of puzzles.
#12 Coffee Talk
Coffee Talk is a game all about brewing coffee for the different patrons that attend your shop. Set in a fantasy world where humans, elves, orcs, and all other creatures coexist, this title is all about serving up a nice brew of coffee while you interact with the guests while offering a new set of ears for their problems or daily lives. It’s everything you would expect in owning a small little coffee shop in a town. Late nights, gathering up new ingredients, making a special brew, and serving it to those that are in need to stay up.
#11 Job Simulator
Job Simulator is a hit VR title that everyone was gravitating to when VR headsets were just starting to get mainstream. It’s a title that throws players into a makeshift world where robots rule the world. Meanwhile, players are just another human working mundane jobs. There are a few different games that players can take part in whether it’s being a cook, working a typical office job, being a mechanic, to working as a convenience store clerk. All the jobs are lighthearted and full of interactive objects to play around with. It’s a silly game that’s also perfect for those that are just getting into VR for the first time. If you haven’t jumped on this game yet then you can find it across multiple VR headset platforms such as the PC and PlayStation VR.
#10 Monument Valley
Monument Valley is a smartphone game that you can get quite a bit of enjoyment out of. It’s a lot like Fez, the title we mentioned earlier. Here players take the role of a princess that is having to go through the different levels to reach the exit. However, the levels look as if they are impossible to allow complete due to different gaps or pathways blocking areas off. However, when you manipulate the world, much like Fez, you get a new perspective that allows the princess to a new means of traversing the level. It’s all about moving the world around to manipulate a pathway for the protagonist. There’s even a sequel out for this game which can provide players with a bit more puzzles to complete.
#9 Cities Skylines
Cities Skyline can be a relaxing game to play especially if you enjoy building and managing-type video games. In Cities Skylines, players can build up an entire city. Everything from knowing where to place roads, the different buildings, zoning, along with different services such as sewage, water, and power is all in your control. This might be a game that could take players a bit of time at the start to understand how to successfully plan and build up a city. However, afterward, there’s a ton of freedom here to build something to your design. There’s even plenty of DLC expansions out there that brings in even more content into this game from decor to even natural disasters that can randomly take place.
#8 Slime Rancher
Slime Rancher is a futuristic farming simulation game. With players on a random planet, the goal here is to gather up different little slime creatures and put them into their designated habitats. From there, you can gather up the resources they leave behind which you can turn into cold hard cash. This will ultimately allow players more funds to build up their farm and make different upgrades for their character. Everything from a jetpack to reach new heights or dash boots for buff in your sprint is available for players to purchase. At the end of the day, Slime Rancher is all about a young rancher that is looking to claim a massive fortune from the hard farm life work.
#7 Untitled Goose Game
Untitled Goose Game is another example of a silly game that players could easily sink countless hours into. Players here take the role of a goose where your goal is just to annoy the different humans minding their own business. There’s a bit of a puzzle and stealth mechanic to this game as you have to sneak around areas, gather items, or figure out how to get a specific item from a character. It’s a hilarious game and it’s gained a massive amount of attention online when it first launched into the marketplace back in 2019.
#6 Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
Set to be a spiritual successor to Dear Esther is Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture. If you’re a fan of walking simulators that puts more of a focus on narrative than gameplay mechanics then we suggest giving this title a go. Overall, players are wandering about in a deserted village as you attempt to track down where all the civilians have gone. As mentioned, there are not too many gameplay mechanics to deal with but there are a few puzzles to solve. Mainly, players will be exploring the world and looking for clues as to what happened before their arrival.
#5 What The Golf
If you’re not a fan of golf but are looking for a fun little game to keep you busy while relaxing then What The Golf is a title for you. Players are going through this golf game where each hole throws a wacky obstacle in their way. You could be trying to get a ball around different characters attempting to kick your ball away, a level that’s a parody of the hit Superhot indie FPS game, to even wacking a human golfer down a stealth-based course as you attempt to keep him out of the spotlights.
Rime is an exploration adventure game where you step into the role of a young boy that is trapped on a mysterious island. Intending to reach the top of a massive mountain, players are having to explore the island, solve a slew of different puzzles, and attempt to uncover secrets of the protagonist’s life. It’s a bit like some of the other games we made mention where a good focus of the game is the different visuals while the mechanics are a bit of platforming and puzzle-solving. This is also a game that won’t take you very long to complete as it’s only about five hours long if you’re after the main storyline campaign.
Everything is a simulation game that puts players into controlling everything. It’s an interesting game as players start as an animal but it’s when you roam around and click on another item, you transform into that particular item as you again explore the world. Think of it a bit like Super Mario Odyssey if you’re familiar with the hit Nintendo platforming game. When Mario throws his hat onto another character, players transform into that character. It’s the same concept here as you continue roaming around the world in search of something else to take control of. This might be a different kind of game, but chances are you might find yourself losing plenty of hours diving into this game.
#2 Animal Crossing New Horizons
Animal Crossing games in general are quite a blast to play. They provide players the ability to build up their home, interact with the townsfolk and attempt to make new upgrades. During 2020 where the world was really in strict quarantine orders and lockdowns, Animal Crossing New Horizons provided a means for players to interact with their friends again. Players all over the world were diving into this game as they built up their islands, invited their friends virtually to their game world, traded resources, and participated in different seasonal events. This is still the latest Animal Crossing game for players to pick up and there are still quite a few players out there that are logging in daily in hopes of selling or purchasing some useful resources with the in-game currency.
#1 Tetris Effect
You can’t go wrong with Tetris. It’s a title that’s been around for years now and it’s incredibly simple to understand. You have a series of blocks called tetrominoes, that fall into your game board. Players are simply trying to place the blocks so that they all connect nicely. When you have a full line of tetrominoes from one side of the board to the other, the line will disappear allowing the blocks to drop down until eventually your board is filled up with the different blocks. With Tetris Effect, the game is based around adding incredible visuals and a nice soundtrack for players to zone out while they play the game. It started as a VR title as well so players could get immersed into the level design and soundtrack.