Ah, summer. Fond memories of days upon days of beautiful sunny weather, long evenings, and all the free time in the world – which we, of course, spent cooped up in our rooms, alone and playing video games. But, now that we’re adults, well, we do the exact same thing, we just have to work in-between sessions. And, with summer going to a close, we’re gearing up to go back to cold, wet nights and feeling less guilty that we haven’t ventured outside in weeks. But, for those of us who don’t want to let go of that summer feeling just yet, we’ve pulled together the best games you can play to make summer last longer. From island escapes to childhood pastimes, we’ve got everything you need to revert back to those heady teenage days.
Release date: December 16th, 2014
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Windows, Mac
In Subnautica, you get to explore the watery depths and alien ocean life while trying to stay alive. I’m a big fan of snorkeling in the ocean when summer hits, and this game really helps to scratch that itch – monsters aside, of course. At its core, Subnautica is a survival game, and staying alive isn’t easy. But, the beautiful seascapes, intriguing creatures, and the whole exploration aspect make this feel like so much more.
It’s so easy to pour hours into this game swimming around the beautiful blue shallows, but then get ambushed by sharks once you dive deeper and quickly retreat to your pod. It’s the perfect mix of relaxing and terrifying to really keep you on your toes.
Release date: June 21st, 2019
Oh, Danielle is writing a piece about games? Must be about time to talk about The Sims, right? Yes, yes, I know I have an obsession here, but for good reason! If you really want to keep pretending that summer hasn’t ended, you can while away the hours living your best island life with The Sims 4: Island Living expansion pack.
You can finally live out your dream of owning a house right on the sand, go swimming with dolphins, marry a mermaid, and make a living as a scuba diver. It’s the perfect form of escapism where you can easily self-insert and imagine it’s you living the dream, not a bunch of well-designed pixels.
Release date: July 15th, 2020
Platforms: Xbox One, Windows
A mixture between Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, and Pokemon, Ooblets is a charming game that lets you build up your town through farming, making friends, and dancing. It is pure and wholesome and just an all-round lovely game. If you were one of the many of us that became attached to the Switch when Animal Crossing released at the start of summer, this a great next game to try out – especially if you’re starting to run out of steam.
This little seaside town feels like a safe version of summer that you can easily spend the whole day in without it feeling monotonous. A great way to keep that laidback summer vibe going into the colder months.
Release date: September 4th, 2020
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Windows
When I think back to the limited time I did spend outside during those long-forgotten summer holidays a lot of hours were spent with friends and skateboards. While I never got much further than a precariously balanced roll down the hill, ever since Avril Lavigne hit the scene, I’ve been a Sk8r Boi stan. So, when I heard that Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 were getting a remake I knew this would be the perfect summer nostalgia trip.
And, with it releasing just as summer comes to a close, it’s perfect timing for keeping those lazy summer vibes going.
Release date: October 29th, 2013
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii U
An oldie but a goodie, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag has the hallmark of a great game set on the backdrop of a lush Caribbean island. Indulge your pirate fantasies and gear up for the release of the upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla with this awesome title. Granted, most of our fond summer memories don’t involve murder (hopefully) but this is still a nice trip down memory lane with some sunshine thrown in.
What are your favorite games to escape through over the summer? And what are you planning on playing now that we’re heading into the colder months? Let us know in the comments below.