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7 Video Games to Help You Relax

Updated on December 4, 2015

Well it’s December, so that means a horde of journalists, YouTubers, and general gamers will be compiling their end of the year lists. And I am no exception. So in honor of December being the official List Making Month, I’ll be posting a new video games-themed list each week. This weak is:

7 Video Games to Help You Relax

This is a stressful time of year. Regardless of which holidays you celebrate, things can get out of control quickly. Sometimes you just need to sit back and relax. Here are some games that have helped me do just that.

1. Entwined

This short and sweet game is only available for Playstation systems. So if you have one, this is for you. It’s an artsy game where each level is based on an emotion. It has little depth but is pretty to look at. You can easily finish the whole thing in one or two sittings, so it’s perfect to play for when you get home after a long workday and just want to take a few minutes for yourself. I will warn you though, the anxiety themed level did actually make me feel a little tense, but other than that, it’s a wonderful, little game.

2. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

I’ve actually talked about why this game is so relaxing in another article. Basically, sailing around the Caribbean while collecting treasure chests and Animus shards is very Zen like. The game world is absolutely gorgeous as well. The first few hours of the game are slow, so you’ll have to put a bit of effort in before you can just sail around without any real destination.

Actually, there are many games that incorporate countless collecting of near worthless things. Pretty much every Assassin’s Creed does it, and there is also Watch Dogs, Mad Max, Rise of the Tomb Raider and a slew of other games as well. But as far as relaxing games go, Black Flag is the best collect-a-thon out there.

3. Diablo III

Create a monk, level your character up to emphasize defense and healing, and you will be basically unkillable, especially on the lower difficulty levels. There are a few encounters that can be tricky, but for the most part you will be able to button mash your way through countless enemy hordes. This game has helped me fall back to sleep on nights insomnia just wouldn’t quit. It’s very easy to get into a state of flow and just relax.

4. Any Lego game

Seriously, any of these games would be wonderful. They are cute, funny, and unchallenging, so you can plop in your favorite chair and enjoy. While any Lego game would work, since they all involve the basic mechanics of breaking things and collecting, there are some that are better than others. Lego Lord of the Rings is one of the most laugh-out-loud, funniest games I’ve ever played while Marvel Super Heroes has the best character variety and all around gameplay. On the other hand, Lego Jurassic World has dinosaurs. So there is also that.

5. The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion/Skyrim

Wandering around an expansive game world is a magical thing. Both of these games have simple combat, so you can enjoy without worrying about many difficult encounters. There is also no shame in lowering combat difficulty in order to avoid any challenge what’s-so-ever. (I’ve done it.) Oblivion has better quests while Skyrim is better for straight up exploring, so which one you decide to spend countless hours in is really up to which of those two things you value more.

6. Dynasty Warriors/Samurai Warriors

These games have a surprising amount of depth for those who take the time to really get into it. Don’t be one of those people. Put it on easy. Mash buttons. Carve your way through hundreds of generic, brain dead enemies while pretending they are the annoying people you have to deal with everyday. There you go.

Plus the script and voice acting are incredible (as in so cheesy it’s funny) and in Dynasty Warriors the battle music is guitar shredding. Enough said.

7. Professor Layton

As you could probably tell, I’m the kind of person who thinks brain dead = relaxing. If you disagree, Professor Layton is for you. These games offer hundreds of puzzles and brainteasers for you to wrap your head around. The stories are entertaining enough to keep you progressing, but the real seller is the joy of hunting the world looking for random puzzles to solve. These games are especially great if you have a job that can get monotonous and really crave something to get your brain going.

Bonus: Dark Souls


That was a joke. Please don’t play this game with the expectation it will help you relax. If you do, you will be very, very sad. And also more stressed out than that time you had to wait in line at Toys R Us for over two hours because your children desperately wanted the latest whatever for Christmas.

Well there you have it. I hope these games provide you hours of much needed rest. Happy Holidays!


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