If you’re looking to escape from your crap life for a few hours, nothing beats exploring a beautiful, virtual, open world. If, like me, you don’t want this to involve the stress of enemies and weapons inventories, then these peaceful, open world indie video games are perfect for when you want to cosy down and get lost in a good adventure.
Scenic open world indie games for nature-starved gamers
The games on this list contain a mix of quests and puzzles all set in beautiful landscapes, and as there aren’t any time constraints or monsters chasing you around, you are free to explore them at your own pace. Whether you choose to fly through the tasks or spend time wandering around the different environments is up to you.
So, go put on your comfy clothes, make yourself a cup of tea, microwave some popcorn, force your cat to sit on your lap and get your zen game face on. In no particular order, here are our favourite open world indie games.
17 peaceful, open world indie games*
*and only ONE of them is a cute farming sim.
1. Lake (2021) – PC, Xbox
It’s 1986, do you want to be a big-shot city worker or deliver mail in a scenic paradise? Hold my mail bag.
2. Eastshade (2019) – PC, PS, Xbox
Probably my favourite scenery in any game, in Eastshade you’re a travelling painter who visits towns and cities, helping the islanders and unearthing mysteries along the way.
3. Firewatch (2016) – PC, PS, Xbox, Switch
A good old mystery set in the ridiculously beautiful Wyoming wilderness. Things get weird but, as a freshly employed fire lookout in the national park, there’s nothing you can’t handle. Right?
4. Haven Park (2021) – PC, Switch
Quirky, cute, and just the perfect length, you’re job is to keep the Haven Park campsite up and running. This open world indie game is set at a chill pace with plenty of quests and characters to keep you busy.
5. Yonder: the Cloud Catcher Chronicles (2017) – PC, PS, XBOX, Switch
Yonder is the epitome of relaxed gaming, giving you hours of peaceful adventures, rewarding puzzles, beautiful scenery and magical characters.
6. Flower (2009) – PC, PS
This highly acclaimed, award-winning piece of gaming art sees you take control of the wind as you explore beautiful, lush environments.
7. Hardspace: Shipbreaker (2020) – PC, PS, XBOX
Who knew tearing apart spaceships in zero gravity would be so good for the soul? Carve and slice ships to recover valuable materials, then upgrade your gear to take on more lucrative contracts.
8. Ooblets (2020) – PC, Xbox
The only cute farming sim on the list, and it’s a doozie. In this open world indie game you restore a rundown farm, grow and train your Ooblets, explore strange lands, and, of course, have dance-offs.
9. The Talos Principle (2014) – PC, PS, Xbox, Switch
Another award-winning game, this time in the form of a philosophical adventure. This open world puzzle game is set in a contradictory world of ancient ruins and advanced technology.
10. RiME (2017) – PC, PS, XBOX, Switch
Explore the stunning world of RiME as you solve environmental puzzles that are the right amount of challenging to leave you feeling satisfied.
11. A Short Hike (2019) – PC, PS, XBOX, Switch
This fun-sized, open world indie game is fast becoming a classic. You’ll hike, climb and soar your way through Hawk Peak Provincial Park in search of adventure (and cell phone reception).
12. Sky: Children of the Light (2019) – Switch, Mobile
From the award-winning creators of Journey comes a ground-breaking social adventure set in the enchanting world of Sky, a beautifully animated kingdom waiting to be explored.
13. Grow: Song of the Evertree (2021) – PC, PS, XBOX, Switch
If you liked Yonder: The Cloud Catch Chronicles then this open world adventure by the same developers will make you happy. There’s gardening, city building, and exploration, what more could you possibly want?
14. Untitled Goose Game (2019) – PC, PS, XBOX, Switch
It’s a lovely morning in the village and you are a horrible goose. Use your goosey abilities to manipulate things and generally cause havoc in this funny, stealth puzzle game.
15. Sunlight (2021) – PC
This open world indie game is a short, vibrant, and captivating journey into the uncharted forest guided by the harmonised whispers of the trees. Each tree has different voices, genders and dialects, so try not to offend them.
16. Book of Travels (2021) – PC
This game is a unique social role-playing experience categorised as a TMO (tiny multiplayer online) game, which means that although you are sharing the world with real people, there aren’t many of them. Thank God.
17. Proteus (2013) – PC, PS
An old favourite, this classic open world indie game has no skill trees or progress to worry about, which means you can really get lost in investigative play for hours.
More Peaceful Open World Games
If you like these and want more, check out our directory of wholesome open world games, where we’ve listed some of the best indie and AAA games for you to explore at your leisure.