There are only two ways to properly spend your Sunday. You either lie on the couch all day watching Netflix or lie on the couch all day playing games. And I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen all there is to see on Netflix.
Luckily, games are more enjoyable to replay for a second, third, or even fourth time. With some of those in this list, I’ve actually done that.
I’m a ’90s kid. I grew up playing Excite Bike on my Famiclone and Pokémon FireRed on my Game Boy Advance. Playing makes me happy. And when depression and countless hours of bearing the weight of our mere existence kick in, games are my lifesaver.
So if Sunday afternoons are bumming you out, here is my list of games that cheer me up every single time.
1. Cities: Skylines
The best thing about city builders is the freedom they give the player. There are no objectives, no goals, and no time limits. You set those yourself.
Cities: Skylines is a fantastic game. It gives you complete control over every aspect of whatever you choose to build. Small town? Why not? Enormous metropolis? Sure. Industrial hub? Got it. Everything is possible.
There’s something incredibly relaxing about having complete freedom. I’ve spent hours playing this game that felt like minutes. It’s surprising how fast time can go by when you’re immersed in something. Here, that something is building your city any way you want.
The sandbox component in Cities: Skylines is so well-crafted that you can even spend entire days browsing other people’s creations. Each is unique in its own way. You may be thinking, “How much different could these cities be? They’re all made in the same game.” Well, you’d be amazed.
Just head over to r/CitiesSkylines on Reddit and see for yourself.
So if you’re into city builders, or maybe just looking to chill and let your imagination run free, give Cities: Skylines a try. You won’t regret it.
2. Stardew Valley
When I first started Stardew Valley, I wasn’t that excited. I was just looking for a casual game to pass the time when I was on the train or just bored to do anything else. Something like FarmVille 2.0.
Just a couple of weeks later, I found myself needing to take a break to keep my social skills and human relationships.
Stardew Valley starts with you, the player, learning that you’ve inherited your grandfather’s land near Pelican Town. So you just pack up, quit your job, and move to the farm.
You start from literally nothing but a few tools. From there, you’ll have to develop the farm and be able to live off the land.
But it doesn’t end there. As soon as you hit the town, you’ll meet new people and find new objectives. You can make friends with the residents, even start a family. You can also contribute to developing the deteriorated town facilities and community center.
The valley’s wilderness is also filled with caverns and dungeons you can explore. Just make sure to look out for the monsters. And don’t forget to look for loot!
It’s a lovely, relaxing, and enjoyable game that teaches you to enjoy the little things. Every new feature you unlock feels like a new range of possibilities opening up for you to choose whatever you want to do next.
And then, you remember that you need to harvest your crops. After all, it’s a farming game. Isn’t it?
3. Untitled Goose Game
I’m still not quite sure why it feels so good to play it. Maybe it’s the funny mechanics, the beautiful aesthetics, or just casual gameplay. Perhaps it’s all of them tying in together so perfectly.
In any case, Untitled Goose Game is a gem.
You play as a goose who steps out of the lake and into a small village.
You’re given only a few instructions on how to move around and a simple, trivial to-do list, which mainly involves terrorizing everyone you encounter. It’s absolutely hilarious.
Everything in this game feels right. The clumsy but smoothly crafted animations of the goose’s movements are so satisfying to watch. And the sound of everything you do, especially when accompanied by the soft piano music in the background.
All in all, it’s an unexpected, delightful, dumbed-down power fantasy experience where you are a bully, but an adorable and lovable one. It delivers many laughs without demanding much sacrifice or commitment. It’s like the perfect opposite of Dark Souls.
What better way to spend your lazy Sunday than being a horrible goose burning down the village and ruining everyone’s lives without any consequences?
4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
If you don’t know this one, you need to stop living under a rock. Seriously.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is a masterpiece. That’s as simple as I can put it. It’s definitely the best RPG ever, at least until The Witcher III: Wild Hunt came out, challenging it for the crown.
What I love about Skyrim is that there’s always something else to do, somewhere new to discover, and someone more powerful to kill. I’ve done over five playthroughs of this game and dedicated more than 200 hours to it, and I’ve never got to 100%. It never becomes less fun either.
It has everything your Sunday needs. If you’re in the mood for a good story, you can either play one of the countless quest lines or read it in one of the many books scattered around the world. If you want to explore the unknown or enjoy some beautiful sights, you can dive into the dungeons or climb the map’s highest mountain. If you’re going for hack and slash, there are plenty of monsters and foes you can swing your axe to.
There’s also cooking, crafting, blacksmithing, building, magic. All you need in a game, Skyrim can provide. And I haven’t even mentioned mods!
So if you’re wondering how to spend your afternoon right now, I urge you to get the hell out of this article and start Skyrim right now. Your Sunday will immediately improve by 1000%. Don’t worry, you can come back and thank me later.
200 hours later.
What about you?
Anyway, that’s me! These four gems never fail to make me smile and start every Monday fully recharged.
I hope you enjoyed this article and, if you decide to try any of these games, you like them as much as I do.
What about you? Do you have any games that, no matter how upset you are, always make you feel better? I’d love to hear about them!