Games are great at making us stressed out or extremely focused. Some games though are better at the opposite: at making us relaxed, anxiety free, as if the drama of the world isn't just outside.
This Friday, one of the best versions of Tetris released. You can read our review of Tetris Effect over on the site, where we found it at its best when it embraced its chill vibe. It got us thinking about games primed for relaxation in general, so that's what this week's community question is all about. What's your favorite game to play when you want to relax?
I admit, usually when I'm trying to relax, what's important is having a bit of flow, while also being light enough that I don't have to pay attention every single moment of play. I'm the open-world and MMO guy, so I can find that flow in methodical completion of an entire map region's worth of missions or quests. So my relaxation time tends to go in the same direction, with games like Assassin's Creed, Final Fantasy XIV, or World of Warcraft.
I admit, my "you don't have anything else to do" game for the past few months has been Ghost Recon: Wildlands. I wouldn't categorize it as a great game, but I have fun just kicking around South America with my three AI companions. Shooting and driving are just good enough that I don't have to think about them. And since I'm not reviewing it, I'm actually able to take it at my own pace. No clue if I'll ever beat it, but I don't need to.
Oh, I have several games I break out when I need to relax. Secret of Mana's still one of my go-to RPG blankies after all these years, for example. Here's something I recently discovered, though: Man, Diablo 3 on Switch is one relaxing game. Is that a funny thing to say about an RPG that's all about hell, torture, and slaughter? Maybe. But mowing down never-ending trash mobs with a crossbow just teleports me instantly to my happy place. It's like getting a digital massage for my knotty shoulders. Ahhhh. I don't know what Deckard Cain is on about, the hellspawn invasion is the most chill thing that's happened to me in ages.
I have a lot of games that I rotate in and out for relaxing purposes. I unwind at the end of the day by playing Love Nikki-Dress Up Queen; sometimes I dive into a multiplayer game that I can play mindlessly like Black Ops 4 or Destiny 2. (Mostly the former lately.) My go to though is definitely Project Diva Future Tone, or any Project Diva game honestly. It's really relaxing to just pop into one of the songs on my favorites list, and just tap along. Rhythm games in general have always been really relaxing for me, unless I'm in a serious mindset and inch to a tougher difficulty, but usually I just enjoy cruising along at whatever the normal is, enjoying the music too.