Some of us like to play games that require a lot of concentration, like Doom Eternal. For this list, we’ve chosen the most relaxing PC games in our libraries. Whenever life gets too stressful, these are the games that help us forget it for a little while.
But even though all of these games are fun, they’re very different from each other. We think these are the most relaxing games you can play right now on your PC. You can live another life in 1980s Japan, slam planets together, or solve a gentle mystery in any of these.
A Short Hike
Most games say that if you fall off the side of a mountain, you die or lose a lot of progress. This isn’t always the case. When you go on a short hike, you can go from the top of Hawk Peak down to the little rocks on the cliff face, all the way down to the beach, and back again. There’s no need to hurry up the mountain, even if you want to reach the top of it at the end of your hike. Wander around, help other people in the park, collect coins, and take your mind off of your phone while you’re at the park, too.
The Epic Store has A Short Hike for free until March 19.
Not a bad idea: It’s a video game where you have to keep spaceships from exploding while paying off debt. That is, it’s actually very calming. Promise. To dissect an empty freighter, you move slowly along its hull as if it were a dead whale, cracking its bones open like that. You float in zero-g with your metal-cutting tools in your hands. Euro Truck Simulator 2 and Hardspace are both games about work and about trying to solve a delicate, three-dimensional puzzle from the inside out. They’re both blue-collar games. The jangly cowboy music slows the whole thing down just right.
Assassin’s Creed Discovery Tours
They are beautiful, but you have to kill a lot of people to get to the good stuff in Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Those people also want to stab you, it turns out. But there’s a way to explore these beautiful open worlds without getting hurt or stressed. You can also learn a lot while you’re at it. Both games have a mode called “Discovery Tour,” which lets you go on a trip through ancient Egypt and Greece as a history buff. When you visit cities and landmarks, you’ll hear educational audio lessons and short stories, and there’s a lot of extra reading if you want to learn more. You can go on foot, by horseback, on boats, or just teleport to the places you want to visit and learn about. There’s no stabbing, either.
Wattam is a game made by the same person who made Katamari Damacy. It’s about friendship and poo. We sang and danced together with lots of different coloured poo. We also held hands and danced around the toilet. There are a lot of different characters and objects that you can control in this game. You can make them do things that are both silly and smart. Most of the joy is in those pairings: letting a mouth with legs eat a strawberry and turn it into poo, or finding salmon eggs to please a forlorn piece of sushi. In this game, you just play around and laugh a few times. It’s good to be happy.
Firewatch has a lot of stressful, scary, and sometimes sad parts, but it also has a lot of peaceful time to spend in its beautifully-styled Wyoming wilderness. If there was more time for Henry to explore the woods with his map and compass and talk to Delilah, it would be even better. Allowing a map marker to show where you are on the trail will make your hike more authentic and difficult.
This is even though it is a martial arts revenge movie. The original Shenmue is a lot more chill than most games. It’s in the quiet moments that the movie shines. As a teenager, Ryo Hazuki, he goes to work, feeds a kitten, and collects capsule toys in 1980s Japan. The quiet suburbs of Yokosuka make for an evocative setting, and it’s one of the best places on PC to just be. When winter comes and the snow starts to fall, it’s even better. In any game setting, I would live here.
For the first time, Flower, which was a PlayStation 3 game, is now available on PC. Controlling the wind, you blow petals around and make beautiful swirling shapes that bring nature and colour back to a world that has been dead for a long time. Watching the landscapes come to life as you blow across them is a lot of fun. The sound of the breeze blowing through the swaying grass is also a lot of fun.
Too often, when we dive into games, we’re on a timer. It doesn’t matter whether we’re looking for food and drink in survival games like Subnautica, or we’re running out of oxygen in a lot of other games. We always need some air!
Not in Abzu: this is a relaxing game made by some of the people who made Journey. It tells you to take a break and enjoy everything. “That’s what I mean.” The best way to learn about the ocean is to go at your own pace. You can do this at the beach.
Journey’s environmental storytelling is a lot like Abzu’s mesmerising waters, which are full of mysterious ruins that want to tell their wordless stories. Light puzzles break up the zen-like calm of each new environment. This is a watery world that you’ll want to explore before moving on.
Most of your time in Abzu will be spent marvelling at the animals that live below the surface. They’re more than happy to show you around, and you’ll be able to see them all. As you climb on the back of a fish, the name of their species pops up. This tells you a little about how you’ll be getting around as you join their playful leaps above the water’s twinkling surface. That’s what we said in our Abzu PC review. Even though the game is simple, Giant Squid’s beautiful ocean isn’t shallow.
Stardew Valley isn’t just a game for people who want to relax. It starts with a real one. Burned out city worker: The existence of your grandfather’s farm plot on the southern coast of Stardew Valley is your ticket out of the city. But even though you’ve wriggled out of your grey, uniform cubicle, there’s still a lot of work to do.
As you move into your new home, you’ll see that your grandfather’s old farm has seen better days. It’s a place that Stardew Valley’s real estate agents would call “up and coming.” It has wood all over the place and weeds that are stubbornly stuck to the ground. In the next step, you can do what you want with your new life. You can start a relationship with every single person in the valley or become a ruthless jam mogul.
Whether or not Stardew Valley is real, this is one of the best RPG games for green-fingered people who want to enjoy the fantasy of giving up the city rat race. This is why, when you have had a hard day, Stardew Valley is one of the best games to play while you relax. It’s one of the best laptop games, so you can play it anywhere.