I don’t care what anyone says, fake nature still counts as nature. Video game scenery may not be the real thing, but immersing yourself in a virtual landscape draped in wildflowers, surrounded by meandering streams and imposing snow-capped mountains has got to be good for the old noodle. Especially in this messed up, locked down, shit-show of a year.
With that in mind, here are some of the most beautiful, stress-free video games with stunning scenery that will transport you to a happy place that’s good for the soul.
This game has 18 quintillion planets to explore, so you could technically play this game until you die. I got this info from Wikipedia because I didn’t have time to count them all. Play No Man’s Sky in Creative Mode and you’ll have infinite resources, plus you can’t die. It’s just you, pottering about in peace, enjoying all the planetary eye-candy.
This game has so much value. The combination of open world exploration in the ridiculously beautiful Shoshone National Forest with a mysterious storyline and pure isolation really makes it an immersive experience. The storyline is gripping and the game as a whole is not too challenging, so you can really take the time to enjoy the space.
I haven’t played this one yet, but with the game being described as “A metal detecting mystery set in the beautiful English countryside”, I must. I love a mystery, and I LOVE the English countryside, metal detecting I haven’t tried yet, but imagine being the kind of person who hates metal detecting. I think that would probably make you an asshole.
This is another gem set in the English countryside, with quaint thatched cottages, rolling hills, quiet country roads…and aliens. This serene sci-fi masterpiece will make you forget where you are as you’re transported to a beautiful English village to unravel an emotional story and solve the mystery of the inhabitants’ disappearance.
The games in the Samorost Series are some of my all time favourite games in the world, ever. I’m such a fan of Amanita Design I think I’d vomit if I ever met them. The imagination required to create this relaxing point and click adventure is beyond comprehension, with the backdrops alone demanding your undivided attention from the get go.
I’ll let the reviews speak for themselves:
“An experience I’ll never forget, this game is perfect discovery-based storytelling.”
“This game is absolutely stunning, the visual space exploration is mind blowing at times.”
“There just isn’t a game that comes close to inspiring the feelings in me that Outer Wilds did.”
Get it played boys and girls.
Okay yes, those owl people are definitely creeping me out right now, however, you’ll forget about them as soon as you lay your eyeballs on the beautiful landscapes in this game. In Eastshade you are a travelling painter, so literally the point of the game is to find great views. But you also do little quests around the island and stuff, so that’s nice.
Your airship has broken down (always annoying) so you head to the nearest town to find some spare parts. Only problem is, everyone in the town has disappeared and there’s some weird mist everywhere. Looks like you’ll have to figure out what happened, and you can start by exploring the shit out of this jaw-droppingly beautiful place.
Of course this game needs no introduction, but playing it in a relatively peaceful mode probably does. If you play as a thief or choose the combat-free quests in the game, it is possible to enjoy the game without having to unsheath your weapon too often, leaving you free to discover Skyrim and all its gorgeous little nooks and crannies.
That concludes our non-exhaustive list of video games with stunning scenery, a short guide to experiencing the great outdoors without having to get dressed. It’s a lazy AF cliché, but sometimes video games are about the journey, not the destination, and these gems will transport you to the most handsome of places.
If you give any of these a try, help out your fellow gamers by giving the games a quick star rating in our games directory here.