There are thousands of games to choose from when you’re stuck in lockdown. But which ones get you the most for your money? Which games have replay value that will carry you through these endless weeks of staying at home in lockdown? I’ve been thinking about this a lot and have come up with a list of five games with the best replay value to (hopefully) last longer than these lockdown orders.
1. Animal Crossing
Obviously, the game everyone is talking about is the best game EVER: Animal Crossing New Horizons! A game where you can simulate going outside, shopping and socializing – all the things we can’t do these days. You can earn money and feel like you have financial stability in one part of your life, even if it’s not real. However, this highly immersive game does cost full price, plus you need a Nintendo Switch, as well as a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to enjoy all the features. But if you can swing all that, this game will keep you occupied for HOURS! There is so much to do, so many things to collect, and ways to interact with your friends. Plus, Nintendo continues to add new features via in-game updates that are all free and contain more items and content to enjoy. By making special events available through DLC, it limits the amount of ways that Time Travelers can cheat, making things a little more fair overall. This is my top recommendation for lockdown, of course!
Not everyone is into Animal Crossing, and that’s okay. Another staple franchise, Pokemon has two Nintendo Switch games that also offer endless hours of game play and more to come with future DLC. Some people may say, “Oh I beat Pokemon Sword/Shield months ago, that’s boring…” but I say you need to think creatively! Did you complete the basics (full Pokedex, beat all the post-game battles and trainers, etc)? Challenge yourself to breed themed teams and see how they fare in the Battle Tower. Organize tournaments with your friends with fun themes like “Baby Evos Only” and see who can come up with the most ingenious teams! And don’t forget about the upcoming Expansion Pass (paid DLC) features coming this fall, you’ll want to be ready!
Let’s not forget Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX as well. If you like the dungeon-crawl grind, then this beautiful watercolor remake can provide an infinite number of challenges for you. While there isn’t a distinct Pokedex in the game, you can still challenge yourself to collect all of the Pokemon into your various camps. And did you download all of the Mystery Gifts?
3. Red Dead Redemption 2
I wanted to include a non-Nintendo game in this list because I realize that not everyone loves cutesy colorful things as much as me. RDR2 is the gritty, dark and bloody prequel to the original RDR and this mature “wild west” themed game has an amazing, in-depth storyline with a gigantic map to explore. There are tons of side quests (gambling, hunting, bounties!) to keep you busy along the way, too. But even if you 100% the entire story mode, there is still endless fun to be had with online play! Granted, you need an online service account to do so, but riding on horseback with a gang of your buddies in the sunset seems totally worth it, doesn’t it?
4. Kind Words
Real talk: lockdown is hard on our mental health. Humans are social creatures, and the forced distancing is difficult to deal with, even for introverted gamers like me. This game, Kind Words, is a Steam game like no other that I’ve played. It’s a very simple concept: you log on, write a note about your struggles and send it out to the internet, or read someone else’s note and write a kind and encouraging response. It’s humbling to read about the inner demons of random strangers (your name is kept secret) and heart-warming to see so many people offering kindness and support to people that they don’t know. The game may bring on tears or chuckles, but either way you’ll get some feels. These days, it’s nice to just take a few minutes to unwind to the chill beats and spread some good karma around. The planet could use some extra positivity these days.
5. Cat Quest II
My final recommendation is Cat Quest II, the sequel to Cat Quest, which is a super adorable indie game available for all gaming systems! The game creators took CQ2 to the next level by adding… you guessed it, DOGS! This additional character makes this game fantastic for couch co-op gaming when you’re stuck in lockdown with family or roommates, or an even more interesting challenge for single player mode. The game has a large map to explore and there are many combinations of armor and weapons to try out, as well as magic spells to learn! Once you beat the game, you unlock WAY harder modes to test your abilities, so the replay value is high with the entire Cat Quest franchise. And don’t underestimate the importance and charm of the over-use of dog and cat puns throughout the game!
That’s my list of recommendations during lockdown. What have you been playing? Do you have any suggestions to add to the list? Let me know in the comments – I CRAVE THE SOCIAL INTERACTION!! lol