There are a lot of video games out there and in this era of mobile and home-based gaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic?
Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable games through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best video games, our attention this time turns to games with a focus on life. From life simulator games to stories that tackle difficult life-oriented topics, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Life Is Strange
While someone’s livelihood has its ups and downs, there are times when unexpected anomalies occur that we never thought were possible – or ever imagined. Life Is Strange tackles those topics with choice and consequences intertwining around the storyline and gameplay.
Told through five parts, Life Is Strange is an episodic game that allows players to tamper with the story character’s past, present, and future predicaments.
Players start with Max, a girl who saves her friend because she can manipulate time. However, toying with the past will bring newer issues. Therefore, players must help Max understand that tampering with time is no laughing matter.
Life Is Strange tackles all aspects of life. Although Life Is Strange features heartwarming content, the game also highlights harsh life topics like sexual assault and abuse. Tackling such ideas allows Life Is Strange to connect with those who’ve experienced such travesties while making the world seem more realistic.
The choice-based gameplay system in Life Is Strange is a nice touch, as it allows the players to think about the decisions they make to further the story. The rewind time feature also adds some uniqueness. Though you can see how events can turn out thanks to this feature, you’re still left pondering about what choice is the right one.
With the amount of passion and raw emotion that players receive from these games, Life Is Strange continues to wow its fanbase with each new installment.
2020 was a difficult year for many people. However, Nintendo wanted to make life better by releasing a new installment of Animal Crossing. That being Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
This game captured the beauty of indoor and outdoor living when the former was mandatory.
While all Animal Crossing games feature different storylines, the core franchise is about paying off your debts to Tom Nook to claim the wealthy life of your dreams. Affording a mansion-like home or owning fancy items can be part of this. Essentially, the world is your playground, and you control everything in between.
Alongside these perks, Animal Crossing also helps gamers new and old learn the importance of finance. In the game, you’ll make investments, build structures to appease your neighbors, and pay mortgages for your home. The game also teaches you how important it is to save/spend money (bells) and has encouraged many to start independent businesses.
While the crafting mechanic in Animal Crossing: New Horizon is bothersome and tedious, it allows the game’s world to feel closer to ours. NPCs also don’t feel like robots in this franchise, as the developers always give them something new to say or do whenever you approach them.
Animal Crossing is a franchise where you shape the world into your ideal environment and capture the exciting sides of life.
Despite the many jokes gamers like to make toward life-simulator games, these games have a growing fanbase. Most in part because of the massive success of franchises like The Sims. Not only can players create families of their dreams, but this franchise allows people to control the lives of these computerized humans.
The basic idea of The Sims revolves around players controlling and watching the lives of these computerized characters unfold. Whether players want them to pursue specific careers, relationships, or specific daily activities, they have total authority to experience the game however they please.
As the years go by, each new game brings something new to the table. With each new release, The Sims’ architecture and characters receive updates in quality and visuals. To avoid the games feeling too similar, they also add a unique “catch” to each. The developers will do anything to keep gamers engaged, including aliens as family members and setting the game in medieval times.
In light of the overwhelming popularity and sales that The Sims generates with each new release, it’s safe to say that it’s a life simulation game franchise that won’t fade away anytime soon. If you’re looking to create a character that reflects the life you’re currently living in or one you want to pursue, check out The Sims.
Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to own a farm and experience the life of a farmer? Look no further than the Harvest Moon franchise. Now dubbed Story of Seasons to some degree, Harvest Moon is a farm simulation role-playing game where you learn the ins and outs of farm management and care.
Despite its many sequels and storylines, Harvest Moon allows players to take control of a young child, who must maintain and bring peace to a farm that’s running to the ground. Furthermore, this involves clearing landmass, planting crops, selling crops, expanding livestock, and building relationships with fellow villagers and farmers alike. It’s a game that’ll keep you on your feet.
Introducing punishments for the player’s poor farm management encourages excessive playtime in Harvest Moon.
In the case of vegetables, if players don’t water them every day, they may stop producing. Animals need as much care as vegetables and can suffer from severe illnesses. One must stay updated with all events occurring on the farm, as you’ll not lose profits but your resources too.
Fans looking for a game that reflects skills like time management, organization, and finance, should try out the Harvest Moon games.
Like Harvest Moon, many video game developers aim to offer players real-world experiences and lifestyles they may not achieve for personal reasons. While Stardew Valley looks like a Harvest Moon clone, it has a deep, compelling story rich in twists, secrets, and emotions.
Stardew Valley follows the tale of an unnamed protagonist who inherited their grandfather’s farmland. With a few coins and old-fashioned tools, the player must restore the farm to its former glory alongside the lively activity of their town too.
Stardew Valley’s gameplay consists of dungeon crawling, socialization, and farming. The dungeons introduced later in the game allow the player to collect materials for farm equipment and upgrade it. Most, if not, all the dungeons contain creatures that’ll get in your way, and monitoring your stamina is also important.
Moreover, this adds some challenge to the game and makes it feel more enticing than a simple simulation game. Conversing with NPCs is also integral to reaching your goal, as many will need you to complete tasks that’ll help build the trust and livelihood of the town itself.
While keeping a stable farm is the player’s goal, Stardew Valley explores other avenues that help it stand out from others.
If you have the chance to achieve your dreams, are you willing to set aside good relationships to do so? The Novelist is an independent video game that psychologically connects players to the family portrayed in the game. Although players have control over the family’s decisions, they must witness their decisions play out before them.
The game follows Dan Kaplan, who must choose between publishing the novel of his dreams or being a loving father for his family. As a ghostly, spectral entity, you must guide the Kaplan family in the correct direction. However, the choices given can also cause depressing resolutions.
Not only will this game resonate with those having trouble balancing two lifestyles, but it also showcases how difficult decisions can lead to terrible circumstances. Furthermore, the game features many different endings and sequences; based on the player’s choice. Moreover, this allows the game to feel fresh with every playthrough.
The Novelist also tackles saddening topics concerning heartbreak, bullying, and others. The player may feel like a peeping Tom at times since snooping into the family’s items is integral to the gameplay. However, this sneaky act allows the player to make decisions that they feel are best for Dan and others.
If you want to see how Dan and his family’s storyline unfolds, play The Novelist today.
Minecraft is one of the most popular and successful franchises of all time. Spanning an entire fandom filled with streamers, modders, and players, Minecraft continues delivering new content updates and surprises.
Minecraft is a game where the player controls the character Steve or Alex and explores the pixel-looking world of Minecraft. While the goal is to slay the Ender Dragon, players can do almost anything they want in the game.
Want to craft a house? Go ahead. Want to hunt down zombies, skeletons, spiders, and enemies? Sure thing. Want to trade minuscule goods for weapons, clothing, and rare items? The choice is yours.
Minecraft’s approach to tackling life activities is another component that keeps players from losing interest. With Minecraft, children can learn about minerals like diamonds and gold. Players will learn about infrastructure and architecture through Minecraft.
From raising livestock to establishing a society, newcomers will argue that Minecraft is an educational and fun experience the whole family can enjoy. If you want to recreate the world of your dreams, Minecraft awaits you!
My Time At Portia
With video game creation, many often look to other forms of media to gain inspiration. My Time at Portia is an excellent example of that. Inspired by the glorious worlds found in the Studio Ghibli universe, My Time At Portia delivers a compelling story about the life of a workshop owner.
My Time At Portia follows a gifted craftsman’s son who inherited his father’s decaying workshop. With your father’s handbook and workbench, players must mine and craft their way to owning the number one workshop in the town of Portia.
While the overall premise is to have the best workshop, the player can indulge in other activities. These activities revolve around socializing with the town’s locals, delving into dungeons, and even getting a chance to marry someone.
Despite wanting the player to build things right off the bat, My Time At Portia encourages players to explore the game without much interruption. The game will also introduce challenges like forcing players to utilize weaker tools. However, it also rewards the player with better tools, making task rewards feel great in return.
My Time At Portia is a game where resource management and social interaction are super important. If those areas interest you, the town awaits your arrival.
“Anyone can cook” was the slogan that cemented into fans’ minds while watching Pixar’s Ratatouille. However, there have been multiple television series where cooks mess up meals. Enter Cooking Simulator, a game where anyone can try their hand at cooking without the fear of getting injured.
The premise of Cooking Simulator involves the player having control over a kitchen in a well-established restaurant. In this kitchen, players receive excellent cooking utensils and stands. The player’s goal is to master the game’s 80+ recipes and meet the demands of their customers.
Despite being a simple simulation game, Cooking Simulator offers players a chance to master various recipes without tampering with the equipment in their real-world kitchens. Players can take the game seriously, but it’s at its best when played with comical shenanigans in mind.
Moreover, this is most evident with the short time-frame issued to players for specific meals. Some recipes have precise details on how meals should turn out, and creating the dish isn’t a walk in a park. The game also features insane consequences regarding your kitchen being on fire or your plates shattering if they fall on the floor.
If you’re ever contemplating a recipe; you wanted to make but don’t want to ruin your kitchen, play Cooking Simulator.
Taking care of a newborn is challenging, but imagine the difficulties behind maintaining peace within an entire city. Cities: Skylines offers players chances to create their dream metropolis. It also tests them to see they can maintain order within their community.
Cities: Skylines is a city-building simulation game where players control their city’s layout and other sections. While it’s an exciting experience, the game will emphasize the hardships of creating and maintaining order. However, the game allows the player to move and establish the city in any way they desire.
As expected, players begin with a small plot of land to evolve. Moreover, players must pave their roads and place power and water grids immediately. However, when you receive access to construct buildings, you’ll experience the game’s full potential.
Tutorials are important to understanding the actions you’ll need to succeed in the game. Developing a budget and focusing on your land’s stats, social media messages, and charts are integral to creating the best city.
Even small mistakes like poorly constructing a water dam can leave your city’s residents and buildings in shambles. Cities: Skylines will have you feeling like a real mayor. With its in-game mechanics, breathtaking visuals, and ambient sound design, Cities: Skylines offers much content to go around.
So, there we have it, our pick for the best video games through the years about life!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!