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The 6 Best Relaxing Games to Play



Which are the best relaxing games to play?

The past few years have been particularly difficult with rising health and financial issues that have made it hard to avoid stress.

Video games can help, if only temporarily.

Sometimes, the best option is to spend some time in front of the computer and allow yourself a few hours’ respite playing your favorite title.

The question is, what kind of title is the perfect stress-reliever for you?

Whether you are interested in farming, fishing, or even fighting dragons, we have something for just about everyone here.


The Best Relaxing Games to Play

Without further ado, here’s our list of the best relaxing games to be playing this year:


1. Stardew Valley

We won’t spend too much time describing Stardew Valley as it has been a well-known and appreciated title for years at this point.

The game follows the player as they struggle to take over their grandfather’s old farm and breathe new life into the fields.

There is a lot more than farming to love here, however, with minigames, optional romance, and a surprising number of quirky areas to explore and people to meet.

Players can even spend time mining!

If you are looking for a title that will allow you to make your own adventure and focus on creating something incredible from overgrown land, Stardew Valley might be exactly what you need. 


2. House Flipper

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to flip houses for a living?

Even if you haven’t, House Flipper might be a great fit for your free time.

Players are placed in charge of purchasing a rundown home and completely renovating its interiors and exteriors to turn it into something special.

This includes painting, cleaning, and installing showers and toilets. 

If this sounds like work, that is because you do have quite a bit of work to get through with each home.

There is no time limit, however, and the cleaning can be surprisingly satisfying.

House Flipper is a simple game with a simple goal, and it is incredibly effective at drawing you in and giving players something to keep them occupied. 


3. No Man’s Sky

You might be familiar with No Man’s Sky already.

The title was hotly anticipated back in 2016 but garnered some criticism when it finally launched.

Developers have spent the past five years doggedly fixing bug reports and adding new content and depth to the game, however, the result is something special. 

In No Man’s Sky, players travel a nearly infinite universe filled with intriguing planets and creatures as they explore new systems and find breathtaking and scenic views.

Play in Creative Mode, specifically, which allows you to play the game without worrying about pressing needs such as fuel requirements.

Take your time and meander from planet to planet, taking in the sights as you go.


4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons 

Have you ever wanted to lose yourself in a world where everyone is happy and the animals are cute and have conversations with you?

If so, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a great option. The title throws players into a deserted island that they must build into a popular and healthy community.

To do this, they befriend their neighbors, build homes, and design the perfect scenery to suit their needs.

The only downside to Animal Crossing: New Horizons is that it is currently only available on the Nintendo Switch.

If you do not have access to the platform, you will need to pick another game.

Luckily, we have several options on this list!


5. Firewatch 

Firewatch is an interesting title to include.

The game offers hours of aimless wandering in the wilderness under the sun and surrounded by flowers and vegetation.

It is an undeniably relaxing game that can quickly draw you in. There are even cute animals to watch and a base camp to set up and customize! 

The catch?

The game has a more complicated plot than the other titles on this list. The tale can be a little sad, and sometimes a little scary, but it is always wholly engrossing and entertaining.

If you are a fan of nostalgic titles with poignant lessons to learn, Firewatch is definitely worth a try. 


6. Skyrim

Initially released in 2011, Skyrim quickly became a fan favorite among RPG connoisseurs.

Its massive world holds untold adventures, and the players choose from dozens of stories to pursue in the hunt for victory (and dragons).

You might wonder if the game is still worth a look 10 years after its launch, or even if you have seen all of the secrets the game has to offer.

We think that Skyrim is a great pick for relaxation.

Not only is the world immense and fun to explore, but you can also focus exclusively on crafting and leave the dragons be, for example, or you can create your own store and even your own settlements.

The game also released its 10th Anniversary Edition in November, 2021, and while not all of the content added is revolutionary, there is one feature in particular that will please gamers in search of a relaxing retreat: fishing.

Players will be able to pass the time under the sun by catching and cooking up some tasty fish. 

The great thing about playing a well-loved game that has been around for a while is the abundance of mods to mold the world to your tastes.

You can rest assured that if the game has not been outfitted with fishing meals, they will quickly come into creation thanks to fellow gamers.



Here’s a quick recap of the best relaxing games to play this year:

  1. Stardew Valley
  2. House Flipper
  3. No Man’s Sky
  4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  5. Firewatch
  6. Skyrim

If you are in the market for a reliably relaxing game that remains surprisingly enjoyable a decade after its initial release, why not give a classic title a try?

What’s your favorite relaxing game to play? Leave a comment below.

Dan Western is the founder of Gaming Gorilla, as well as several other infotainment blogs. When he's not working on his business, he's likely in the gym or playing video games. Dan's current setup is a PS5/Nintendo Switch living room setup, and a custom RTX 3090, I9-10850K inside the Lian Li 011D Mini for his office setup.

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