The Best Video Games for Escaping Reality

best video games

Reality is pretty weird right now, and sometimes you just need a break. Video games can be the perfect way to escape into a different world for a little while. The best video games for escaping reality are colorful, engaging and relatively low-stress. These are some of our favorites.

Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the newest entry in the Animal Crossing series, came out on March 20, right when the world needed it most. In New Horizons, you’re invited to move to a previously deserted island with some adorable animal neighbors. As you live your new island lifestyle, the island grows with you. New businesses open, new neighbors appear and special guests drop by. It’s your job to make the island a paradise for you and your furry friends.

It’s one of the best video games for distracting yourself from reality for a little while.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available on the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite. If you don’t have a Switch, check out Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, which you can play on your smartphone.

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Stardew Valley

When your grandfather leaves his old farm to you, you take it upon yourself to move to Stardew Valley and fix it up. Luckily, the citizens of the valley are ready to welcome you with open arms. Grow crops, raise animals, mine for ore and make friends with the locals. You might even fall in love!

Available on most gaming systems, PCs and Macs.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild is one of the most universally beloved games in recent memory. With an expansive map full of secrets, hidden treasures and delightful puzzles, it really feels like being transported to a totally different world.

The world of Hyrule is a ruin that’s beginning to recover from a war that began 100 years ago. As Link, your job is to get to Hyrule Castle and help Zelda end it, once and for all. But Link isn’t quite ready for that yet. Breath of the Wild is about exploring an open world, learning from your mistakes and making discoveries on your own. It’s a challenging game, but extremely welcoming to new gamers. It lets you explore, experiment and play your own way.

Available on the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite.

Don’t Starve

Perhaps the most stressful video game on the list, Don’t Starve is brutal. It’s like Animal Crossing if it was designed by Tim Burton. In Don’t Starve, you wash up on a deserted island and you have to survive.

If you die, you have to start the entire game over from the beginning. How could this be one of the best video games to let you escape from reality? Because it’s so hostile, so difficult, that it boomerangs back around into being completely engrossing. The stakes feel so high, even though you’re just a scribbly little cartoon character trying to survive on a scribbly cartoon island. As you improve and gradually build a homestead for yourself, the sense of accomplishment is unmatched.

Available on most game systems, PCs and Macs.

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Untitled Goose Game

“It’s a lovely morning in the village, and you are a horrible goose.” In Untitled Goose Game, you play a goose who terrorizes a small English town. The goose relies on his stealth, his honks and his flappy wings to bother people and steal their things.

Untitled Goose Game is unbelievably silly and charming, allowing you to wreak some havoc in an idyllic setting.

Available on Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, PCs and Macs.

Night in the Woods

Night in the Woods begins when Mae drops out of college and moves back to her hometown of Possum Springs, which has seen better days. As Mae, you explore the town of Possum Springs, reconnect with your old high school friends and play the bass pretty badly. When Mae sees someone being kidnapped at a Halloween party, she takes it upon herself to investigate – and to unravel the secrets of Possom Springs’ dark history.

Night in the Woods is an incredibly meditative game, with music and visuals that wrap you up in its story like a warm blanket. It exists somewhere between a video game and a coming-of-age novel.

Available on Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, PCs and Macs.

The best video games can help you tune out reality for a little while and experience a totally different world. Have you played any of these games? What are your favorite video games? Let us know in the comments below!


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