7 relaxing games for stress-free gaming

Go diving in the darkest depths of the sea, explore ancient ruins and hike in roasting hot deserts. These games are equally enjoyable whether you play them for just a few minutes, or for hours at a time.

Here we have gathered games for Xbox, Playstation, PC, Android and iOS, with prices starting from a few pounds and upwards.

Which game will be your favourite? If you have tips on other relaxing games, we would like to hear from you!

Firewatch

Firewatch is a game that you can master in just a few hours. Here you take on the role of a firefighter in Wyoming, USA, in 1989. Experience beautiful scenery, interesting conversations and an exciting story that drives you through the game. Firewatch is a so-called "walking simulator", where you walk everywhere on foot to experience everything the world has to offer.

Firewatch - despite the exciting trailer - is not a fast-paced game. You navigate around the world with a map, the content of which is loaded during the game. There are no arrows pointing where you should go, it’s you who interpret and find the way yourself. Here and there you can find cassette tapes with dialogues from the developer telling you about the game.

When you're done with the story, you can freely explore everything the game has to offer, from the lush forest to cave paths and cliff ledges with dazzling views.

You can get Firewatch here

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is a farmhouse simulator with endless possibilities. The game starts with you inheriting your grandfather's old farm adjacent to the picturesque town of Stardew Valley. From that point on you can choose to do exactly what you want with the farm. Create your own lush little paradise with lots of trees and plantings, keep animals like cows, pigs and ducks, or create the area's largest winery - you choose your own path.

Stardew Valley becomes more or less what you make it. You can interact with the inhabitants of the city, help them with small or big tasks, or just be out fishing all day. Take it easy and chill, or build relationships and explore deep caves to find valuable minerals.

Play by yourself or collaborate with up to three friends in the same world.

Here you can get Stardew Valley

Abzû

Abzû is an extraordinary experience. Swim deep under the sea surface and discover hundreds of aquatic fish, turtles, octopuses, whales and sharks. You never have to go up to the surface for oxygen, nor gather resources to interrupt your exploration. Swim freely everywhere and experience life beneath the surface in this explosion of colours.

Abzû is about discovering a new environment without major dangers or moments of stress. The game has a variety of puzzles that you can solve, but they are not particularly difficult and are more about broadening the experience rather than being challenging. The music in the game was created by the same composer as Journey, a game you can read more about below.

Swim with the largest animal on our planet, explore the ruins of fallen civilizations and enjoy the tranquility beneath the surface.

Here you can get Abzû

Journey

Journey is a game that stands out with a minimalist design and unique playing style. The goal of Journey is simple. You travel through an ancient world to reach a high, distant mountain. There are no vehicles to help you; In Journey you have to walk, jump and hover in order to reach your final destination bit by bit.

You either enjoy the game all by yourself, or with another player. Writing or talking to each other does not work in Journey. Instead, visual signals are used to tell what you want to do. The playing time varies depending on how much you want to explore Journey. You can complete the main story in about two hours if you want, which is about half as long as Firewatch.

As a final word, we can quote Kevin VanOrd on GameSpot who writes the following in his review: Journey is a song without words, relying on its enchanting presentation and liberating movements to awaken your senses and touch your heart.

Here you can get Journey

RiME

RiME starts with you being washed ashore on an island after a big storm. When you wake up, no one is there. All you see are ruins, nature and various animals that have settled on the island.

There are no people as far as the eye can see, and your goal will be to take you through the gaming world and its many puzzles to reach a high tower. You are completely alone on your journey, except for a fox who occasionally helps you find the way.

Although it’s possible to die during the course of the game, it has no effect on the character of the game and you do not lose any progress. There is no interface that shows how much life you have and no progress points (XP).

All there is in RiME is you, and your quest to find home again.

Here you can get RiME

Outer Wilds

Outer Wilds is about exploring distant planets and revealing their hidden mysteries. In total there are five planets to explore, each with its own mysteries and stories. Every little bargain you make is tied to a bigger mystery that you have to solve during the course of the game.

During the course of the game, the appearance of the planets changes and they may look different depending on whether you visit them early or late in the story.

Outer Wilds is not a game where you are invulnerable. Rather, on the contrary - you will die at regular intervals and when that happens, your experience starts from the beginning. If you’ve seen the film Groundhog Day, you get the idea. Explore the planets, collect data and solve the mysteries that lurk in the shadows. Outer Wilds is not as relaxing as our other games on the list, but it’s a nice game for those who want tricky puzzles as well as exploring space.

Outer Wilds should not be confused with The Outer Worlds which is a completely different, Fallout-like game.

Here you can get Outer Wilds

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a Switch-exclusive game that is about creating a life on a utopian island with its inhabitants. Create your own, idyllic home and decorate it and your surroundings to your liking. Interact with the inhabitants of the island, visit other players' islands and create your own virtual world as you want.

This is a game that can be enjoyed whenever you want and however you want. Since Animal Crossing: New Horizons is only available for Switch, you can run around on your island whether you're on the couch, on the train or in the hammock.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons follows the circadian rhythm, the seasons and even knows if you are in the northern or southern hemisphere. There are no dangers to experience in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, at least no more than some angry wasps.

Here you can get Animal Crossing: New Horizons