6 Video Games Guaranteed to Cheer You Up
Maybe the boss yelled at you. Maybe you got caught in a storm without an umbrella. Maybe you stubbed your toe. Or, you know, maybe something really awful has happened. In any case, you want to kick back with a game that will cheer you up. Here’s a list of six games guaranteed to put a smile on your face. They might not solve your problems, but they’ll make you feel better for a while.
- Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PS Vita
If relaxation is your recipe for cheer, you won’t find a game more suited to the task than Flower. Flower takes place in environments that start off dull and barren. You control a flower petal in the wind. As you glide by other flowers in the landscape, you pick up petals from them as well. Gather enough petals, and the landscape begins to turn into a gorgeous, lush field.
The music is mellow, the graphics are beautiful, and the whole package just brings a smile to your face. Flower isn’t challenging or stressful or anything most other games strive to be. It’s just a sweet, gorgeous, relaxing game. Sometimes when you need to cheer up, that’s exactly what the doctor ordered.
2. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
- Available on Nintendo 3DS
Another no-stress game is Animal Crossing: New Leaf. You play as the new mayor of a town populated with talking animal characters who always have time to stop and chat with you. There’s no real goal, so usually you simply wander around, digging up fossils, collecting bugs, reeling in fish, and pulling weeds. It doesn’t sound like much, but playing this game makes the real world melt away.
You can’t even come close to collecting everything in New Leaf in a single day or even a single month, so there’s no pressure to do anything. The game doesn’t insist you complete goals or participate in challenges. You can play at your own pace, buying and selling items, trying on new clothes, upgrading your house, or moving your furniture around. It all adds up to a cute, strangely addictive game that will cheer you up in no time.
3. Grand Theft Auto V
- Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360
Sometimes you just need to blow off some steam. When that happens, there’s nothing like going on a rampage in an open-world crime game like GTA 5. Here’s how you do it: Just hop into your game and enter the cheat codes for a full weapon loadout and unlimited ammo (here are the codes for PlayStation consoles, and here are the codes for Xbox consoles). If you want to dial down the difficulty as the cops start to bring the heat, you can always enter the invincibility code, too.
Sure, this might not be the healthiest way to cheer yourself up, if it works for you, have at it. No judgement here.
4. The Sims 4
- Available on Windows
Thanks to its broad appeal, The Sims has managed to become one of the most successful video game franchises in history. It’s easy to see why, too. The game lets you create a family and micromanage their entire lives. Want Bob to eat breakfast? Just tell him. Want to put an armoire next to the night stand? Go ahead.
No matter how life brings you down, there’s no better way to cheer up than by dictating the every move of the characters you’ve created.
5. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
- Available on Wii U
No recent game comes to mind that matches the sheer adorability of Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. In this game, you play as everyone’s favorite mushroom-capped shortie as he solves environmental puzzles in boxy, self-contained levels. The levels explode with color and creativity, and they’re jam-packed full of secrets, so you have to explore every nook and cranny to progress.
From top to bottom, this is a game that will make everything else in life seem not so bad. Read our review for more details.
6. Rayman Legends
- Available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, PlayStation Vita, and Windows
In all the world there’s nothing quite like Rayman Origins or Rayman Legends. Like the best Pixar movies, these run-and-jump platform titles are overflowing with personality. From the hand-painted backdrops to the lovingly exaggerated animations, Rayman and his pals bring nothing but joy into the world.
You’re always trying to make your way from point A to point B, but what you’ll find in between is always totally bizarre and charming — whether it’s a tickle monster, a giant luchador, or “Eye of the Tiger” being played on a kazoo. The game isn’t easy, but if Rayman Legends doesn’t brighten your day, nothing will.
If none of these games sound like they’ll do the trick, I have one last suggestion: Just pop in your favorite game, whatever it is, and get lost in it all over again. Different things cheer different people up, but playing a favorite game always feels like home.
Follow Chris on Twitter @_chrislreed
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