Cooking games allow us to try new foods or master recipes that otherwise elude us. The genre has always been popular, dating back to classics like Diner Dash and Cooking Mama, but indie titles have used the freedom that PC and mobile games allow, delivering some incredible options for players. If you’ve got a craving for something tasty from your gaming experience, here are some of the best cooking games for PC and mobile platforms.
What are the best cooking games?
Cooking video games come in all shapes and sizes. Many games like to sneak cooking mechanics into their stories, with Tower of Fantasy having a particularly deep cooking mechanic. However, the games on this list put cooking at the forefront, either in the mechanics or in the plot itself.
Chef: A Restaurant Tycoon Game
This game doesn’t emphasize the cooking much, instead offering players the chance to take control of their budding restaurant empire. The game allows you to manage things like your specialist cuisine, the menu and theme of your restaurant, and your chef’s personality and look, building your reputation by delivering great food to the hungry masses. You can go high-end or keep things basic by building the best burger joint in the world. The choice is entirely yours.
Cooking Mama: Let’s Cook
Cooking Mama was one of the best games to come out of the Nintendo DS console. It was cute and fun and had a great balance of challenging gameplay. The mobile version offers all the cooking mini-games that Cooking Mama is known for, adding fishing and farming mechanics into the mix. Best of all, Cooking Mama: Let’s Cook is free to play, so you can play it on your mobile device without paying a dime.
Cooking Simulator delivers what it says on the tin, giving you the full experience of using real ingredients without all the messy clean-up afterward. The game has a career mode where you can build a reputation as a great cook, or you can play with the different recipes in the game to relax in the virtual kitchen after a tough day at work. Cooking Simulator is a great game to play if you’ve ever wanted to cook in a top-of-the-line kitchen.
This is a different kind of cooking game, sending players into a dark dungeon with their best recipes and the smattering of ingredients they can gather in a dungeon. Most of the game is a 2D platformer where you defeat broccoli demons, chicken goblins, and other strange mash-ups of classic monsters and cooking ingredients. Cook up your enemies to make yourself stronger and keep getting a bit deeper into the strange dungeon.
Good Pizza, Great Pizza
This pastel-colored game puts you into the shoes of an upstart pizzeria owner in a tense rivalry with the restaurant across the street. Your task is to make better pizza than they do, but to do that, you need to find a way to interpret the strange orders that your customers give you. Many give conflicting requests, forcing you to decide how best to fulfill their order. So if you’ve ever wanted to find out what it is like working in the food service industry, this is a pretty good approximation.
Hungry Hearts Diner
This game looks and plays like a straightforward restaurant management game, but it offers up a lot of heart along the way. The story is set just after World War 2 with an older woman forced to manage her diner alone. The game slowly reveals parts of her story to you as you create new recipes and spend time with your customers. Hungry Hearts Diner will threaten to break your heart the whole time you’re playing.
If you’ve ever wanted to feel the pressure of the kitchen, Overcooked 2 is a great game to pick up. It starts simple, but each level introduces new recipes, gadgets, and utensils to complicate things. This multiplayer game requires strong teamwork and communication, just like in a real kitchen, and you’ll need to multitask to complete everything in time. It is a wild and chaotic cooking game to sink your teeth into, mixing platforming elements to keep things interesting.
The Cook – 3D Cooking Game
The Cook – 3D Cooking Game puts you behind your own food truck wheel, traveling across the world to discover new recipes and meet new people. The game doesn’t task you with moving quickly – there is no penalty for completing each dish fast. Instead, you get graded on how well you perform each part of the recipe. Take your time and enjoy the process, taking in the bright colors and varied locations that you’ll visit in this game.
Too Many Cooks
This game is a fantastic party game to play with friends. Work with others to help create and fulfill your orders, but it will test your teamwork and communication to get everything done. The game looks cute, but it will quickly become very stressful. The option for online multiplayer makes this a great game to play with others all over the world, but be sure to give clear instructions to your teammates if you want to come out on top.
What’s Cooking? Tasty Chef
If you’re a fan of Cooking Mama, this game will help scratch that itch for you. You’ll combine new ingredients and discover new recipes through a series of minigames with your cute dog accompanying you along the way. This is a fun, relaxing cooking game that you can play on your phone, just taking in the cute aesthetic and simple gameplay to unwind after a long day.