Summer pretty much always was probably the best season of the year when we were all kids. Yeah, it’s usually very hot and all, but for children it’s a time of freedom and incredible adventures, be it in the suburbs or the outdoors.

Sadly, it all usually becomes a thing of the past once adulthood kicks in. Still, nostalgia remains, so if you’re up for reliving all that excitement and your childhood shenanigans, video games come to the rescue!

Riding around on your trusty bike. Building forts with friends. Jumping off cliffs or swinging like Tarzan into the water and climbing trees. All sorts of adventures where imaginations ran wild. These and so many more are associated with what kids usually do in summer, a mixture of tons of fun and a little danger.

If you miss all that, but it’s something you don’t have the time for anymore or it doesn’t really feel like something you should be doing at this point in your life, well, video games are the answer.

Thankfully, a lot of these have this strong summer adventure vibe to them, which makes them so fun. Better yet, you can explore, discover and conquer without extremely high temperatures outside, bugs, all sorts of allergy inducers, all from the comfort of your own gaming chair (or a sofa, if you’re so inclined).

The best games for summer – our subjective picks

There are so many games that capture the feel of summertime adventures expertly, including the Pokémon series or Minecraft, the latter being probably the best sandbox of all time to this day. However, we’ve decided to select some other stuff, including a couple of fresh releases. We thought you might want to give them a shot.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look, shall we?

Diablo IV

Release date:2023-06-05
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Entertainment’s latest opus magnum, Diablo IV is a return of a legendary hack and slash series. This time around, you’ll have to kick the butt of Lilith, the daughter of the Lord of Hatred, Mephisto. Your task is to complete various quests and collect better equipment that will help you take on even more powerful foes.

Returned have the procedurally-generated dungeons, but there’s more to Diablo IV than meets the eye. The game now boasts an open world and PVP battles.

Anyway, if you loved playing with sticks back in the day, pretending with your friends that you’re fantasy heroes battling prime evils or whatever your imaginations brought to life, Diablo IV is a way for you to bring these memories back and once again embark on daring quests, this time much darker and more grim.

Diablo IV is available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Internet connection is required, as the game cannot be played offline.

Dying Light 2

Release date:2022-02-04
Developer:Techland Publishing

Running around the city showing off some sick new parkour moves while on the run from imaginary monsters or other enemies – that definitely sounds like something you folks might have been busy doing back in your childhood days.

Dying Light 2 adds all kinds of zombies into the mix. They’re no ordinary braindead brain eaters, either. OK, sunlight does make them slow, but once the night comes, they become extremely deadly. You’re definitely not on top of the food chain in the city of Villedor.

You play as Aiden Caldwell, a Pilgrim – a traveler brave (or crazy) enough to wander from city to city – who searches for his lost sister, Mia. He ends up in the above-mentioned walled city of Villedor, located somewhere in Europe. Expect more parkour and melee combat. You can even form a team of up to four players and play Dying Light 2 in the co-operative mode. Sounds fun? If the answer is affirmative, be sure to check this game out.

Dying Light 2 is available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.

Project Zomboid

Release date:2013-11-08
Developer:The Indie Stone

Zombies have become prevalent in pop culture over the last decade or so, so we guess kids these days might love to pretend there’s an undead apocalypse going on.

Project Zomboid is a perfect pick for those who would like to find out what it would be like to be a lone survivor fending off hordes of brain-hungry walking corpses and trying to survive in this harsh world. Aside from them undead, the game pits you against hunger, thirst, boredom, illnesses, and nature. You’ll loot, build, cook and craft stuff. Make no mistake: dying here is not a matter of “if,” but “when.”

How long will you survive? It’s all up to you and your friends, if you decide to bring some along – the game supports up to four players in the co-operative mode. Project Zomboid is definitely as far from an easy title for casual gamers as possible. Still, if you’re drawn to serious challenges and punishing difficulty levels, you might want to give this one a shot.

Project Zomboid is available on PC in Early Access.

No Man’s Sky

Release date:2016-08-12
Developer:Hello Games

Deep space exploration sounds like a great idea for an adventure, doesn’t it? No Man’s Sky certainly delivers when it comes to evoking the sense of wonder in the player.

You play as an explorer (AKA the Traveller) who ends up on a procedurally generated planet and embarks on a quest to the center of a procedurally generated galaxy (which consists of over 18 quintillion planets, by the way). What’s amazing about this game is the fact that if you’re the first one to discover something, you’re credited with that for other players to see.

You no longer have to worry about No Man’s Sky’s botched release. The game has received substantial upgrades, including a whole lot of awesome features, and is now one of the best space-themed titles on the market. If you’re looking for awesome sci-fi stuff, No Man’s Sky is one of the best choices.

No Man’s Sky is available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and iPadOS.

Grand Theft Auto Online

Release date:2015-04-14
Developer:Rockstar North

Alright, this one, just like Minecraft, is well-known and super popular, but we’ve picked this one for the list, anyway.

City dwellers might enjoy Grand Theft Auto Online due to the fact that the game lets you do just about anything you want in Los Santos, ranging from innocuous stuff to something that would be wildly illegal in real life…but hey, it’s a game, right? What’s wrong in building your own criminal empire in the virtual world?

Naturally, Grand Theft Auto Online is aimed at mature audiences who understand that this game in fact does not glorify violence and crime. After all, who would want to hurt people in real life? It’s just an adult version of “cops and robbers” and quite a fun one, at that. Plenty of missions and side activities make GTA Online a perfect pick for some fun sessions with your friends.

Grand Theft Auto Online is available on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

Golf With Your Friends

Release date:2016-01-29
Developer:Blacklight Interactive

The last game on our list is just golf, but done in a fun way. Gold With Your Friends offers a wide variety of courses, customizable golf balls, three distinct modes and simultaneous multiplayer for up to twelve players, no holds barred.

Yes, you can totally use special power-ups against your opponents, much to their chagrin and dismay (or yours, if you’re the one on the receiving end).

Remember building your own forts, courses, arenas, and so on in your childhood? You can unleash your inner child via the level editor featured in the game. This makes Golf With Your Friends super replayable and awesomely fun. If you’re looking for something enjoyable and amusing to play with your buddies, give this one a shot.

Golf With Your Friends is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

This is naturally just a small selection of the best games that expertly evoke that summertime feel with the freedom they give you in how you play and approach your objectives. So, if you miss the good old times of somewhat unstructured play and just want to mess around in your new favorite title.