Best Video Games for Insomnia


Let’s be fair. There are some nights when you can’t sleep. Maybe you have a mid-morning flight that you don’t want to miss; maybe your neighbors are making too much noise, or perhaps you have other concerns that are weighing you down to the point you can’t doze off. It happens.

Fortunately, some games will help you pass the time in the best way possible when you can’t catch Z’s. Whether you’re looking for something to keep you entertained for hours, or just in short bursts, you’ll find this to be a helpful list of games to get you through a restless night.

Tetris 99/Tetris Effect

Tetris is always an excellent go-to table when it comes to playing well into the night. However, there are two different variations to choose from, depending on what you’re in the mood for.

First up is Tetris 99, the multiplayer-oriented version of the classic favorite. It’s battle royale with a twist, as you compete with 99 other players — AI or human — in the hopes of being the last player standing. It’s so addictive; you may find yourself trying time and time again to become the champ. Or it might exhaust you enough to fall into dreamland finally.

If you prefer something a little more soothing, there’s Tetris Effect. Produced by the same team that brought you Rez Infinite, it takes the standard rules of the Pajitnov favorite and bends it around several mesmerizing themes. The soundtrack alone makes the game worth the purchase, but the additional gameplay components and dazzling visuals are welcome additions as well. This one will give you a little ease, maybe enough to finally sleep.

Get it here from Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Feeling nervous and can’t quite ease the tension? Then turn to Link and his latest adventure for Nintendo Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. This classic top-down favorite benefits from a gorgeous visual makeover, but features the same old-school gameplay you’d come to expect from the original. And with all the stuff you need to find within the game, you’ll find it to be a challenging, yet welcoming, experience that should do away with those negative vibes. A few rounds with Link, and you may find yourself happily sleeping away to the next day, where you can jump right back into the journey.

Buy it here for Nintendo Switch

Super Mario Maker 2

Sometimes you need a little retro flair when it comes to finding your happy place. And Super Mario Maker 2 on the Nintendo Switch is just the game to give it to you. In this sequel, you’ll be able to build the levels of your dreams — or nightmares — and then share them with others. What’s more, you can see what the community has to offer in return, whether you’re looking for a cakewalk or a diabolical challenge that requires split-second timing. After a few rounds, you may find yourself eager to create something new — or finally feel like you conquered the impossible, and have earned the ability to doze off as a result. (That’s a sweet reward, tell you what.)

Buy it here for Nintendo Switch

Untitled Goose Game

Can a goose help you find peace of mind? Especially if it’s a bothersome one that likes stealing stuff and being a complete pain in the butt? Surprisingly, yes. Untitled Goose Game is a journey in itself, a fun, sometimes hilarious game that will challenge you to annoy the next human that pops up in your life. Honk like a mad goose and flap your wings to intimidate, then steal, steal, steal until the day is yours. You’d be surprised how happy and stress-free you feel being an a-hole goose to others. (Don’t try it in real life, yeah?)

Buy it for Xbox One; PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC/Mac.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Finally, Simogo has something that will truly mesmerize you, in case you want to experience a dreamy world and can’t quite do it on your own. Sayonara Wild Hearts follows a woman through a journey towards transformation, through a series of beautiful stages. What’s more, the entire game is backed by a fantastic soundtrack, which is even better once you pop on a pair of headphones. You might also find yourself purchasing it on iTunes, and then listening to it as you finally drift off for some well-deserved sleep.

Buy it for PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4.