Staying home has never been a more attractive option, thanks to COVID-19. The global response to the coronavirus leaves many of us with extra time on our hands. It’s time to work through your backlog, revisit old faves, or give something new a try.
In making this list, we’ve prioritized games you probably already have, or can easily procure online; social distancing means not going to your local game store. If you’re looking for a game that will envelop your soul and help you lose all concept of linear time, look no further than these suggestions.
If we’re listing games that make you forget the concept of linear time, we have to start with Chrono Trigger. It’s the gold standard for classic JRPGs. The legendary music will get stuck in your head for days. The characters are inherently lovable and dripping with personality. If you’ve only played it once, you’ve barely scratched the surface. You’ve never gotten all 13 endings, have you?
Running away from home and tending to Grandpa’s farm has never sounded like a better idea. Get lost in the minutiae of farming crops, meeting neighbors, raising livestock. Stardew Valley builds on a lot of the structure laid out by games like Harvest Moon but takes it a step further with more interesting dialogue, immersive routines, and more options on how to live your life.
No Man’s Sky
If you’re like me, you bought into the hype of No Man’s Sky and played it for a few days before the uninspired gameplay turned you off. In the last 4 years, No Man’s Sky has released update after update to bring it in line with the dev team’s initial promises. It’s actually good now! Dig it out of your library and spend some time discovering new planets, since the one we’re on is kind of a drag right now.
Are you terrible at battle royale games? Now’s the time to dive into Fortnite. It’s an open secret, but Fortnite is a substantially easier game when kids are home from school. For every 16-year-old World Cup champion, a hundred teenagers are autorunning into walls. Practice your aim and learn the map now, and by the end of this quarantine, you’ll be ready to go pro.
Guild Wars 2
Nothing eats time like an MMO. Everyone has that one friend who won’t stop trying to get you to play Guild Wars 2 and being stuck at home for weeks on end means you don’t have an excuse not to try it. The first game is free, so you’ll be able to take in the glorious landscapes and get hooked on the story before Guild Wars 2 asks you to pull out your wallet. If you like grinds, there is plenty to grind. If you prefer story-driven progression, you’ll find it here. GW2 has enough to keep you entertained for a while.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
No modern game is as thrilling to explore as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The open-world feels truly expansive, a nice change from being quarantined. Wander around, get lost, find treasure, kill interesting monsters. If you’re tired of the usual adventures, you can find and feed 16 different dogs. In Breath of the Wild, there’s always something you haven’t done yet.