Bad days are inevitable. That's true for everybody at some point, and there are plenty of different ways for those people to manage their stress. In some cases, people turn to video games to calm down and relax after a hard day. Video games are one of the best things for fans to get into when looking for a hobby to destress.

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That's because the right video games can calm players down, whether it is due to an incredibly immersive world or repetitive gameplay that is consistently rewarding. Kicking back in a comfortable spot, turning on a console or PC, and then diving into a peaceful video game can mitigate the end of a stressful day.

10 Minecraft

Minecraft Steve chasing bees

Minecraft is arguably the number one video game that people start to play when looking to destress or relax. In Minecraft, players who choose survival mode will be tossed into a never-ending, randomly generated world that is theirs to explore.

With all the new updates that Minecraft has integrated over the years, players can dive into various caves, find temples in different biomes, tame animals, or take on the Ender Dragon for more of a challenge. Players can also play creative mode, which will allow them to build whatever they desire. The soundtrack for Minecraft is also famous for being extremely calming.

9 Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley title screen fan art diorama

Stardew Valley and Minecraft share some uncanny similarities, but in the end, each game is undeniably individual from one another. Stardew Valley places players in the shoes of a character who has just received the rights to a farm.

After that, players will need to fix up the land that they were given, plant a wide variety of plants, make connections with the many people in town, and so much more. The best part of Stardew Valley is that there aren't any large complications to deal with, making it a great, peaceful, farming game.

8 No Man's Sky

Planet landscape in No Mans Sky

No Man's Sky may have had a rough start, but the space game has come a long way from its initial release. In No Man's Sky, players will spawn on a randomly generated planet, which is incredibly large.

After fixing up their ship and going through a tutorial, players will have access to an almost infinite world of solar systems, planets, stars, and so much more. Players can build bases on planets, find new organisms to name, discover planets, and even become space pirates if they wanted to.

7 The Sims 4

The Sims 4 Promo Logo

Out of all the life-simulators out there, The Sims 4 is one of the best, and debatably the best. When starting out in The Sims 4, players will begin to create their own Sim, and other Sims for their first household.

Players will need to choose personality traits, clothes, looks, and more to make their Sims unique. After getting their Sims a job, players can pursue whatever they choose in The Sims 4. Now that The Sims 4 is free-to-play, players can dive into the sandbox game without spending a dime. The most relaxing part of The Sims 4 is watching Sims' lives pass by as they go to work, enroll in school, throw parties, go on dates, and even explore the supernatural if players purchase DLC.

6 Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Hebra Mountains in Breath of the Wild

For players who prefer the Nintendo Switch over other ways to game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a breath of fresh air in modern gaming. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a part of the long-running Zelda franchise, but players don't need to know anything at all before starting the RPG game.

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The Nintendo Switch game will allow players to explore an incredible and artsy open world full of things to do. Even if players are looking to spend time relaxing by cooking, riding a horse in an open field, or just sitting atop large mountains, Breath of the Wild is one of the best games to destress.

5 Animal Crossing: New Horizons

A player runs through their farm area in Animal Crossing New Horizons

After becoming an overnight sensation on social media everywhere, Animal Crossing: New Horizons became notable for its stress-free gameplay. In this Nintendo Switch exclusive, players will create their own character and essentially run their very own island full of different animal-themed neighbors.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons shines when players start to design their island however they want. Players looking to unwind with Animal Crossing: New Horizons will most likely work on their islands' looks, catch bugs for the museum, and go fishing for brand-new fish.


Screenshot of diver in Abzu swimming up toward a shoal of fish

Fans of water-themed levels in video games, or water-themed video games in general will absolutely adore ABZU. In this uniquely colorful game, players will take the place of a scuba diver who is exploring the ocean and returning animals to spots in the ocean that aren't playing habitat to any organisms.

ABZU will place players in a calm state of mind with its peaceful gameplay, fluid soundtrack, and story that puts a smile on any player's face. Even if not playing along with the story, swimming through a colorful ocean is just enough for players to lay back and relax.

3 Slime Rancher 1 & 2

Angler Slime from Slime Rancher 2

For players looking for a bit more sporadic gameplay, Slime Rancher is for them. Slime Rancher is a wonderful game that can ease players who have had a harsh day, yet can also provide a challenge for them if they sought one out.

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In Slime Rancher, players will farm different types of slimes as they upgrade various parts of their base and different equipment. The sequel to Slime Rancher, Slime Rancher 2, is essentially the same type of game with new graphics, equipment, slimes, and a new setting.

2 Journey

The traveler from Journey

Though it is a short game, Journey stands to be one of the best relaxing games of all time. Journey is about a world covered in sand, which players will need to explore. While running around the sandy planet of Journey, players will delve into ruins, glide in the skies, and even be able to surf the sand dunes.

Journey is also noted to have one of the best video game soundtracks, as it has won multiple awards for its original score. With its music, vivid visuals, and calming gameplay, any player is sure to ease up with Journey.

1 Fortnite

fortnite mega promo image

Not many competitive multiplayer games would be considered when looking for a game to wind down with, but Fortnite is definitely one exception. Fortnite will have players compete against one another in a 100-player battle royale in either solo, duos, trios, or squad games.

When played with friends, Fortnite can become an incredible game full of laughter and can get players to forget the stressful day they had beforehand. If players don't want to hop into competitive gameplay, there are many different maps that players can get into on the Creative mode, which now has integrated Unreal Engine 5.

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