If you’re a gamer, chances are you’re already making the most of social-distancing to play some old favorites and new releases. For those new to gaming, there’s plenty to keep you busy right now. If you can’t get your hands on a Nintendo Switch and Animal Crossing — one of the most popular consoles and games around right now, that’s sadly sold out almost everywhere — then we’ve got you covered, with some of the best games to play while you’re stuck indoors. Remember: Stay home, stay safe, and play some good games while you’re at it!
Games to Play Alone
Sea of Solitude
Sea of Solitude is a beautiful game to get lost in right now. You play as Kay, a woman who has been overcome by loneliness and turned into a monster. Meet fantastical creatures and (truly quite terrifying) monsters, solve challenges, and explore a flooded city by swimming, on foot, or by boat. One of the best parts about Sea of Solitude is its ability to immerse you completely in the story — so if you’re stressed out right now, this is the solution. The world you explore is beautiful and evolving, with surprises around every corner, and you’ll want to take your time to uncover every corner of it. On your adventures you’ll meet a variety of monsters, some terrifying, some wonderful, and confront them to learn more about Kay — and ultimately discover what it means to be human.
Sea of Solitude is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Staying sane while a pandemic is sweeping the planet requires some effort, and a key part of maintaining your mental health is having a routine, which is where games like Stardew Valley can help. Having tasks to do each day in the game ensures you’ll stave off boredom and maintain a routine — although we recommend showering and wearing some clean clothes every day too! Part farm simulation, part RPG, it’s easy to get lost in the brightly-colored world of Stardew Valley, but make sure you’re disciplined about your gaming time.
The story is simple yet strangely satisfying. After leaving your job with the Joja Corporation, you inherit your grandfather’s farm and have to decide whether to rebuild the community center or support the local Joja Mart. The game’s all about improving relationships with the residents of Pelican Town too, giving them presents to earn their trust. And of course, farming, which is strangely methodical and relaxing. From chopping wood and watering crops to optimizing your farmland, it all takes time and effort and it will take you a while to earn specializations and add diversity to your farming routine. It’s a pleasant distraction from the uncertainty of the outside world right now, and a game you should definitely consider playing!
Stardew Valley is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, and Wii U.
Remedy Entertainment’s 2019 shooter is one of the best ways to spend a weekend in isolation. You play as Jesse Faden, sent to explore the “Federal Bureau of Control” and defeat an evil force known only as “The Hiss.” Not only are the graphics impressive, the physics are some of the best around, as you use Jesse’s powers to fire objects of all shapes and sizes at enemies. The story may be fairly simple, but there’s enough intrigue (and gameplay hours) to see you through at least a weekend in self-isolation.
Control is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
The Last of Us: Remastered (2014)
If you’re anything like us, you played Naughty Dog’s standout hit back on release day in 2013 on PS3. One of the best games of the century, the timing couldn’t be better for a replay, as our world outside increasingly seems to echo Joel and Ellie’s reality. If you’re late to the party — better late than never — it’s a great time to explore the remastered version on PS4 before The Last of Us 2 drops on the 29th of May.
The Last of Us: Remastered is available on PlayStation 4.
Games to Play With Friends
We don’t all want to play alone, but not everybody enjoys online co-op either — so what’s the solution? Borderlands 3 is one of few shooters with local split-screen co-op for up to two players (only on PS4 and Xbox One). Choose from four playable characters (Zane the Operative, Amara the Siren, Moze the Gunner, or FL4K the Beastmaster), each with their own skills, and set out to join Lilith’s Crimson Raiders. Set six years after Tales from the Borderlands, you’re a new recruit sent to investigate the Children of the Vault cult and their leaders, Tyreen and Troy Calypso. If blasting mutants and exploring a vast game world sounds like your thing, pick up the fourth main entry in the Borderlands series today and get your other half or your housemate involved. Borderlands 3 will provide a welcome distraction from what’s happening in the real world.
Borderlands 3 is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (split-screen only available on PS4 and Xbox One).
For something a little different to movie night, why not give Hidden Agenda a go? This PS4 exclusive has been out a while, but it’s great for anybody with housemates or partners who aren’t gamers. Part movie, part game, Hidden Agenda uses Sony’s PlayLink features, where up to six players can participate using a free app on their smartphones. Take part in forensic investigations or take turns to make crucial decisions during this crime thriller, which features a branching story influenced by your choices. There’s also a competitive mode to try.
Hidden Agenda is only available on PlayStation 4.
A Way Out
Whether you’ve heard of it or not (it flew under the radar for many of us), A Way Out is one of the best gaming adventures to date, from the creators of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. There’s no single-player mode here — instead the game is local co-op, although online co-op is also available. Jailbirds Vincent and Leo are planning a jailbreak and you’ll work together — albeit reluctantly — to escape. Every single decision is made with co-op in mind, and communication here really is the key to success, which is what makes A Way Out so engaging.
A Way Out is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.