Social distancing, next to washing one’s hands carefully is one of the best ways to flatten the curve and make it harder for infections to spread. It also means spending a lot more time at home, seeking for things to do: books to read, movies to watch or indeed, games to play.
This will be difficult time for many outgoing people, so in order to ease them into the self-imposed quarantines and adjust them into the couch life we’ve prepared a list of some games that can be a pleasant distraction and a nice way to spend time after being done with remote work or education for the day.
“What games should I play” you ask? Why, we have some suggestions. What follows is our suggested list of games good enough to help you spend time in self-isolation, and maybe even invite friends for a few rounds in multiplayer. You can also look up games to play when you are bored.
|DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT | Standard Edition||2020-01-17||Action||CyberConnect2 Co. Ltd.||-80%|
|Darksiders Genesis||2019-12-05||Adventure||Airship Syndicate||-85%|
|RESIDENT EVIL 2 / BIOHAZARD RE:2||2019-01-25||Action||CAPCOM CO., LTD.||-88%|
|RESIDENT EVIL 3||2020-04-03||Action||CAPCOM CO., LTD.||-87%|
|Borderlands 3 | Standard Edition||2020-04||Action RPG||Gearbox Software||-85%|
|Total War: THREE KINGDOMS||2019-05-23||Strategy||Creative Assembly||-73%|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||2019-11-05||Adventure||Rockstar Games||-72%|
|ARK: Survival Evolved||2015-06-02||Adventure||Efecto Studios||-29%|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops III||2015-11-05||Action & Shooter||Treyarch||-|
|DOOM Eternal||2020-03-20||Action||id Software||-85%|
|Football Manager 2020||2019-11-19||Simulation||Sports Interactive||-65%|
|Grand Theft Auto V||2015-04-14||Adventure||Rockstar North||-62%|
|Minecraft Java Edition||2013-11-19||Action||Mojang||-32%|
|Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition||2015-07-29||Adventure||Mojang||-18%|
|Overwatch||2016-05-24||Action & Shooter||Blizzard Entertainment||-|
|World of Warcraft Battle Chest 30 Days||Blizzard||-|
|Yes, Your Grace||2020-03-06||Adventure||Brave At Night||-|
|Sid Meier's Civilization V||2010-09-23||Economy||Aspyr (Mac, Linux)||-92%|
|Sid Meier's Civilization VI||2016-10-20||Economy||Firaxis Games||-93%|
Ark: Survival Evolved
In the wake of the occasional scarcity of resources in local supermarkets, ARK: Survival Evolved presents you with a world where you can train for what isn’t going to happen, but it’s good to have at least some idea. You’ll be punching trees to get sticks, taming dinosaurs to get mobile housing, and you’ll even figure out the way to tame and ride wyverns, all skills relevant in real life.
Jokes aside, Ark: Survival Evolved continues to be a very entertaining survival game, and with its several DLCs (Genesis being the most recent one at the tie of writing) it’s a huge and complex game, perfect for long afternoons of not having any social function to visit. There’s also precious few games with dinosaurs in general, let alone games where you can have a dino cavalry with lasers.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Zombies)
If there’s one thing that Call of Duty games do consistently well, it’s the simple fun of shooting AI or PvP opponents. Tight gunplay, fast-paced matches and spectacular, scripted singleplayer campaign make for an exciting game you can launch for fifteen minutes or four hours and still have fun. Especially if you are into cheesy co-operative PvE experiences, like that delivered by the Zombies mode.
While the core campaigns of CoD games tend to be rather dour and serious, the Zombies co-ops veer in the other direction and don’t really shy away from being only superficially serious at best. With strong evocative stereotypes as the playable characters and a storyline spanning dimensions and timelines, CoD Zombies are always good fun, especially if your friends are on board.
DOOM & DOOM Eternal
|Release:||2016 (DOOM), 2020 (Eternal)|
2016’s DOOM was a great way to reinvigorate the license, mostly by draining the life essence from a demon you just crushed with your bare hands. Or the one that you carved with a chainsaw. The point is, DOOM was brutal, hectic, beautiful in motion, and oddly enough, even had a story that was more developed than “they killed your bunny, it’s time for payback. It was a kinetic joy.
Doom Eternal follows up on everything that worked in the 2016 game, and adds a few new gimmicks to diversify your murder portfolio and make the lives of demons even less desirable. You get a grappling hook, for example, and a glowing energy sword. Oh, and it takes place on Earth, because demons are always eager to expand their vile dominion. Be prepared to rip and tear.
Football Manager 2020
The Football Manager franchise is a one of the kind series of strategies focused not on global conquest and subjugation of lesser militaries, but on making the best football (or soccer, if you’re in the USA) team and proving that through hard numbers. The game has a dedicated fanbase which awaits new editions with the same enthusiasm fans of other simulation subgenres await theirs.
Although the uninitiated may find the game hard to parse, those who persist will find a surprising depth and a pretty accurate, if abstracted, representation of what it feels like to manage a sports team. And all that without visual spectacle and neat cinematic shots. The calm of statistics and engaging with a (simulated version of) your favourite team might well take your mind of things.
Grand Theft Auto 5 (+Online)
Grand Theft Auto 5 is one of the biggest, by popularity, games of its decade. Whether you play offline, following the storyline of three crooks Michael, Trevor, and Franklin, or online with friends as your own gang, there is a ton of things to do, and you’re unlikely to grow bored. It’s not a perfect simulation of urban life, of course, but it’s a fairly close approximation of a certain movie reality.
There are plenty of roleplaying servers, where the players take self-appointed (or designated) roles and turn GTA Online into an small-scale MMORPG, but there’s also no shortage of people who engage in competitive multiplayer modes using some of the game’s already existing systems. Even the singleplayer campaign has more minigames than you’d normally have time to get good at.
Minecraft is a titanic timesink if you want it to be. A voxel-based survival game evolved into a powerful franchise and a excellent toolset for people who don’t have quite enough space and resources to play with LEGO on the scale they want to. The creative mode imposes few limits, and even these can likely be modded out by the game’s dedicated community.
Minecraft worlds saw the recreation of cities from history and fantasy, bizarre usages of pre-existing blocks to accomplish unforeseen results, and pushing the boundaries of what the game engine is able to handle to some absurd degree. If you have a knack for construction, you can use the time provided by social distancing to flex your builder muscles a fair bit.
Blizzard has never been known for its first-person shooter games, but even so their first foray into the genre turned out to be a massive hit, carried by great character designs, vibrant visual style, and unique mechanics for every character. The resulting hero shooter spun into a powerhouse and even if it wound down recently, it’s still alive, kicking, and ready for the quasi-sequel to come soon.
The game is chiefly a PvP experience, with two teams strive to complete a mode-specific objective, but there are also some PvE options, mostly seasonal. In either case, having a good team is essential to victory, so it’s a good reason to invite a few friends and alleviate self-isolation with a good time online. Just be sure not to get salty over minor things, especially if you aren’t playing ranked.
The Sims 4
The Sims 4 is the latest, to date, instalment of Maxis’ long-running series of playing god with a family bound by fate to never escape a house where everything and everyone is subject to Murphy’s Law. Regardless, it’s always fun to build a house from the ground up, design a family, and set them loose in a world where everyone behaves like a soap opera character and uses a cheerful Simlish language.
Like every installment, The Sims 4 has many big and smaller expansion packs introducing to the game not only new items to decorate your house with, but also new jobs and new systems you can use to make your creations’ lives more interesting. If you’re so inclined, you can even recreate your own house or apartment and see how your sims survive in it. For science.
Stardew Valley is set in an idyllic place where your biggest worries are the crops and somebody in the village not liking you yet. There’s no death, suffering, coronaviruses, just a pastoral life of honest work and simple pleasures. Rated one of the best games on Steam by popular opinion, SDV is possibly one of the best games to take your mind off the health crisis outside of your home’s walls.
The farm your character inherited is in a sorry state, but you can turn things around and make it the pride of the region. The nearby town is full of personalities, some of which you can romance, others just befriend. There’s even a dungeon in the caves, where you can descend for thrills and precious materials. Just be careful, its denizens aren’t likely to part with the shinies without putting up a fight.
World of Warcraft (Classic)
As a game that swept people off their feet when it launched back in 2004, World of Warcraft has since grown into a behemoth that sustains itself by sheer momentum. Every new expansion reignited the community for a while as they seek to uncover the next chapter in Azeroth’s story, and to get the latest weapon to complement their playstyle best. Recently WoW even got to appease its oldest fans.
The release of WoW Classic was a stroke of genius. Contained within the standard subscription, Classic allows the players to return to WoW as it was in 2004, with none of the gameplay tweaks introduced over the years to distract from the original experience. Needless to say, it was a hit among the game’s veterans who longed to go back to when Azeroth didn’t have a sword stuck in it.
Yes, Your Grace
|Genre:||Adventure, RPG, Simulation, Strategy|
|Developer:||Brave At Night|
Yes, Your Grace is an interesting game, launched in March 2020, a very fresh project. It puts you in the shoes of a king, so, naturally, you’ll have to manage a kingdom take care of your family, and try to find some measure of fragile balance between what you must do and what you can afford to do. You’ll have aid from the people you hire, but you’re the only one who can address your petitioners.
Yes, Your Grace also features magic and monsters, because running a mundane kingdom wouldn’t be challenging enough, and leave you with too few kingdom-shattering crises to deal with. The upside is that you can test your leadership and conflict resolution skills in a safe environment where only NPCs will be there to judge you.
|Release:||1991 (Civ1) – 2016 (Civ6)|
|Genre:||Turn-based strategy, 4x game|
|Developer:||MicroProse, Activision, Firaxis Games|
The Civilization series has been with us since 1991, making it close to thirty years old, and a crucial part of video gaming history. Each iteration expanded and tweaked the systems originated in the first entry, and there’s always been something new to add in this prime cause of the “just one more turn” syndrome which had many people not notice it’s three in the morning already, on a work day.
Guiding the development of a civilization from a single city to a continent-spanning empire is incredibly engaging, and numerous difficulty setting and map setups available especially in newer games like the most recent Civilization VI makes the series friendly to newcomers without alienating veterans who crave a challenge. You could forget yourself with the game, and it’s kind of the point.
Stay home, stay gaming
Thus ends our list of games in which you can lose yourself and not worry for a good while about postponed meetings, cancelled concerts, and everything else. There’s just you, your gaming hardware of choice, and the games. No need to go outside for a while, so why not enjoy the benefits of online multiplayer and single-player games?