Let’s be honest, the state of the world right now kinda sucks. So it is perfectly understandable if you feel like you’d like to take a break from it all. Human beings have had that natural urge to seek out sources of escapism since the first cavemen scribbled the first cave drawings. Being stuck at home doesn’t have to suck as bad as it presently does though, not when you’re a gamer and you have a library of games to choose from. So here are 10 of the very best ones to fill out your days spent at home.
A quick disclaimer before we begin; it is worth stating that I’m a sucker for open-world games. This is simply because I feel that they offer more value for money, with many hours of gameplay and a vast world for players to get lost in. So expect this list to be dominated by at least a few. That said, let’s get on with it.
1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Released for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in November of 2011, the fifth installment of the long-running The Elder Scrolls series proved to be one of the most popular open-world RPGs at the time, winning several Game of the Year awards. It would subsequently get ported to the PS4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch in a definitive edition that offered additional content and improved graphics.
2. Grand Theft Auto V
Another game that made the leap from last-gen to current-gen is Grand Theft Auto V by Rockstar Games. The game has the distinction of being the fastest-selling entertainment property of all time, making $1 billion in just 3 days when it originally released in 2013. It has since gone on to become one of the best-selling games of all time, and also happens to be one of my favorites, with its incredible cast of characters and its dense open world.
3. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Building off the success they had gotten with The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, polish developers CD Projekt Red had embarked on tackling the sequel to the beloved game by making it even bigger and grander than ever. The result was a massive RPG that boasts one of the most fully realized open worlds seen in any video game.
4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the launch title that helped make the Nintendo Switch such a runaway success in 2017. The fact that it also effectively redefined the open world genre is equally worthy of note. The game gave players a level of freedom that was previously unseen in any video game, and as a result goes down as one of the mediums greater achievements.
5. Horizon Zero Dawn
Launching just one week before the previous entry on this list, Horizon Zero Dawn was almost completely overshadowed, and understandably so. But for PS4 owners who weren’t keen on picking up the new Nintendo hybrid console, Horizon proved to be something special from day one. The fact that it was a technical marvel and featured a heartfelt story just helped to further elevate it above other games on the console.
6. Marvel’s Spider-Man
Spider-Man is yet another PS4 exclusive that ranks as one of the best on the console. Released in 2018 and developed by Insomniac Games, the open-world game thrusts players into a superhero sandbox teeming with crime, and allows them to traverse their way through it using a satisfying swinging mechanic, upgradeable skill trees and a fluid combat system that owes a lot to the Batman: Arkham games.
7. Red Dead Redemption II
Fans of spaghetti westerns had a lot to love about Red Dead Redemption when it came out in 2010, from its satisfying gunplay to its compelling story. For its 2018 sequel, Red Dead Redemption II, developers Rockstar Games had gone above and beyond to deliver what is arguably the most detailed open world, and a story that is just as riveting as it is heartfelt.
8. Dragon Quest XI S
Originally released on the PS4, Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age is the Nintendo Switch port that made its way to the hybrid console last September. And it not only retained everything that made the PS4 release one of the best games in the long-running series, but also introduced a new retro 2D mode as well as a fully redone orchestral score.
9. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Surely you already knew there was no way I could have this list without including the hot game of the moment, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. And while it might not be an open-world game like others on this list, I still feel it offers plenty of value for money with its level of immersion and a seemingly endless gameplay loop that includes getting rewarded for completing daily activities.
10. Final Fantasy VII Remake
The final game on this list is a remake to one of the most beloved entries in the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy VII. Originally released for the PlayStation in 1997, the game is credited for introducing JRPGs to the western audience. A remake was first seen as a distinct possibility following a PS3 tech demo back in 2005. But it wasn’t until 2015 that development for the actual remake was officially announced, the first part of which was released just a month ago.
And with that we’ve come to the end of our list. That’s 10 games that are guaranteed to give you a break from current affairs. Are there any other games that have been keeping you busy during the quarantine? Let us know in the comments section below.