As much of the world is in lockdown thanks to the spread of CONVID-19, aka the Coronavirus, boredom is certainly not our friend. For many gamers, we’ve been training for self-isolation for years. However, this whole mess brings us the perfect opportunity to clear through our pile of shame. It’s also the perfect time to try games that we’ve never played before. So with that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of the video games and series that I believe is worth you checking out, while you’re stuck at home.
The Entire Yakuza Series (PlayStation 4)
Simply put, each game in the Yakuza series has a long and fulfilling campaign, incredible characters, amazing storytelling and memorable side-quests. There’s even fun mini games including bowling, baseball, karaoke, loads of Sega game classics and so much more. Seriously, I don’t know how much more I could sell this series to you. Better still on PS4, you can play the entire series in chronological order, starting with Yakuza 0 (a prequel to the series), followed by Yakuza Kiwami and Kiwami 2 (remakes of the first two original games on PS2), The Yakuza Remastered Collection (which includes Yakuza 3, 4 and 5) and finally Yakuza 6: Songs of Life. Additionally, later in the year, Yakuza 7 releases in the west! So what are you waiting for, get playing Yakuza now!
Resident Evil 2 Remake (PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One)
The Resident Evil 2 remake is easily one of the favourite games in recent years. It took everything that I loved about the 1998 PlayStation original and added a lot of fantastic new features such as story beats, monsters and areas. It also looked amazing too, whether you played it on PC, PS4 or Xbox One. The game comes with two campaigns for Leon and Claire, and upon completion, you get two alternative campaigns for each, then on top of that, in typical Resident Evil fashion, there are unlockable modes and weapons for added measure.
If that wasn’t enough, Capcom also released free DLC with the Ghost Survivors. I don’t want to say much else about this game, because I don’t want to spoil any of it for you, but trust me when I say; this is one of the best horror games of all-time. Also, on April 3rd, we’re getting a remake of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and there’s even a playable demo to download for PC, PS4 and Xbox One right now!
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo Switch)
Is there a more perfect game for isolation right now then Animal Crossing? Probably not. This life/social simulation game is a beloved Nintendo classic and will have you starting up your very own village from scratch. You’ll be socialising with a wealth of lovable NPC characters, fishing, farming, building, all while relaxing on your very own island of perfection. Better still, you can invite friends to spend time with you on your island, and while most of the world is on lockdown, it’s a charming way to spend time with loved ones. The only thing you won’t be doing in Animal Crossing is hanging out with Isabelle and the Doom Slayer together, well, maybe.
Stardew Valley (PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android)
Inspired by the likes of Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley is a true indie darling and is a game that continues to grow since it first released back in 2016. This farming simulator is every bit as charming as Animal Crossing, and will have you creating your very own avatar who comes to own a small plot of land in a small village before starting out life as a budding farmer. Better still, Stardew Valley is accessible on just about every platform available and still receives constant support with updates from the developers, and most importantly, it’s a game that you can lose countless hours too in times of isolation.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch)
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt first released back in 2015 and is based upon the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. Yet even if you had spent 100’s hours in the world as Geralt of Rivia, the chances are that you will still discover something new. I’m not sure what else I could say about this amazing and immersive RPG that you’ve not heard before, but in terms of storytelling, campaign, side-missions, lore and a sense of adventure, there are simply not many better games out there.
CD Projekt Red has crafted its entire world with unimaginable love and care, and quite possibly best of all, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Game of the Year Edition is often sold on the cheap nowadays with the two huge expansions, Hearts of Stone and Blood & Wine. If you’re already a fan of this game, I won’t need to sell it to you. However, if you’re new to this world and discovered the brilliant Netflix series, you really owe it to yourself to check out this amazing game.
Death Stranding (PlayStation 4)
Death Stranding is a difficult game to explain without giving to many spoilers away, so I’ll be deliberately vague. The setting of Death Stranding takes place in the future and a catastrophic plague or epidemic has all but wiped out humankind. With those that remain, society is fractured and there’s not a lot of trust left on the planet. The world is also overrun with ghostly entities known as B.T’s, leaving people in fear and never wanting to leave their homes. The fate of the human race has now fallen into the hands of Sam Porter Bridges (played by Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead) and the help of his B.B (baby in a pod).
The story of Death Stranding has quite an uncanny comparison to the current real-world climate, and there’s possibly no game that is as relatable. However, Death Stranding is very much a “Marmite “of video games, you’ll either consider it to be a Hideo Kojima masterpiece or you’ll fail to gain a connection. Either way, I urge you to give this game a chance, as its one of my favourite video game experiences in recent years.
Football Manager 2020 (PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Android and iOS)
Ok, so this one is a very niche series, but if you love football and are missing the beloved sport in real-life, (and if you’re looking to sink countless hours of investment into a game), then look no further then Football Manager 2020. This is a management sim as in-depth as they come. You can manage a team from the lower leagues and attempt to raise them up through the ranks of glory or you could jump straight into one of the world’s elite teams. You will be buying and selling players, setting up tactics, training regimes, managing your finances, trying to stay on the right side of the board, if you can think of any aspect of real-world football, the chances are that it exists in Football Manager. For non-football fans, this is a difficult sell, but if you love and miss this sport, then Football Manager 2020 could be the perfect game to get your fix.
Well that concludes my list of games and series’ that I believe is worth checking out during isolation. Have you got any games to recommend? We’d love to hear your suggestions across our social media channels.
Stay safe, stay home and save lives.
Featured Image Credit: CD Projekt Red