COVID-19 is taking 2020 by storm and by now we’re all feeling the impacts of it. I myself am starting week three of work from home/everything is shut down don’t go anywhere and it’s starting to get to me. Call it a blessing or a curse but the nature of my job is such that if I’m not there I don’t have much I can do, this has left me with plenty of time to game. However, playing the same game over and over and over again can get boring and even the most devout fan can start to experience burnout. That’s where we come in, we want to provide you with some alternatives to help spice up #quarantinelife so you don’t go completely bonkers playing the same game.
(before you yell at me these are in no specific ranking or order I’m just throwing them on a list)
The Witcher Series
The Witcher games are fun and they are engaging. Two-thirds of them are old though so if that’s a no go for you cause you’re a graphics junkie like myself then just stick with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. If you’ve never heard of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt at this point I can only assume you’ve been living under a rock. While I’m not going to knock you for that I will simply say go play this game now. The main game and the various DLC expansions will provide enough content for you to pass the time in quarantine while keeping you thoroughly engaged in a fantastic story. I could go on and on about this game but there are millions of reviews on the web about it and really all I’m trying to get across is that it’s a game worth playing and it will help you pass the time.
The Halo Series
This is another set of games that speak for themselves. If you’ve never played a halo game are you really even a gamer? This makes it on the list because even if you have played these games they’re good enough to go back through and play again. The Master Chief Collection is on Steam and gives you Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo 3, ODST, Reach and Halo 4 all for 40$. You really can’t beat that price for the amount of time you can sink into these games and that’s not even counting the endless hours you could dump into the online multiplayer side of these games.
Assassin’s Creed Series
We start to venture into the realm of mediocrity with some of the Assassin’s Creed games. I will say that the first four games (Assassin’s Creed, Assassin’s Creed 2, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed Revelations) are all fantastic and worth a playthrough or a replay (all of these are on Steam as well). The middle games get a little meh, in my opinion, AC 3, Black flag, Unity and to some extent Syndicate were just so-so. The recent entries (Origins and Odyssey) are much better and take the game in a more RPG leveling direction which is a good thing. Overall the games have great stories with the overall storyline from the first four games being the best in my humble opinion.
Elder Scrolls Games
If you haven’t picked up on it yet most of these games are no brainers for any seasoned gamer. But like me, I’m sure there are some people out there who have played these games and forgotten about them. Well for those people and people who have never played them I suggest you pick these up and dive right in. The same trend as before applies, if you’re okay with dated graphics grab Morrowind or Oblivion, both can be modded to make the playthrough more than what the base game was. However, the crown jewel, in my opinion, is Skyrim. Skyrim has so much to do and you can spend 40 hours easy doing a ton of things and realize you haven’t even done the second mission in the main storyline. There is a treasure of content and things to do in these games and they will keep you busy during this damn quarantine.
The Mass Effect Trilogy
Yet another set of games that are mostly exploration combat-based RPGs. If you can’t tell I really enjoy that type of game and to quote my brother “when your real-world is quarantine life why not spend time by jumping into a fantasy world” and that’s exactly what these types of games provide. The first three Mass Effect games are simply amazing. Mass Effect 2 is the gold standard for the decisions affecting events mechanic in any game I’ve played to date. You walked into that game a boy and left a man. The overarching storyline of the trilogy is compelling and will keep you on the edge of your seat wanting the next thing to happen which will cause the time to pass in a blink.
Now on to something less story-driven and more pure fun. If you can convince some friends to make the investment in Rocket League you won’t be disappointed. The game just offers so much fun packed into a pretty simple concept. You have the option to play ranked or just for fun so you can scratch your competitive itch if needed. However, if you and your friends are just looking to enjoy a virtual hang sesh with some games this is a perfect pick.
Stellaris is a massive game that can be approached in any way you want. It is a grand 4X style space exploration/empire building game, where you can manage every aspect of your empire as you attempt to expand and potentially dominate the galaxy. This game requires thought and planning and in the time of quarantine where most games are point and shoot this will help stoke the intellectual flames to keep your mind involved so you aren’t leaving your brain on a shelf for the next few weeks.
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
This is a deep cut and the graphics are dated to say the least but these games (Kotor 1 and Kotor 2) are in the top echelon of story-driven action RPG games. The story is amazing and there is a lot to be done so they can keep you busy for quite some time. We’ve talked about these games on the Podcast many times so I’m not going to beat a dead horse here.
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Trilogy
Another very deep cut in my opinion but if you’ve never played these games they deserve a playthrough. These games were the shit on the PS2 back in the day. Both of us enjoyed these games so much and they are what hooked us into the puzzle-solving, combat, exploration story-driven games that have come out since. When you think about it God of War, Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed and the Tomb Raider (new and old) games were all based around this same formula. Now I’m not saying Prince of Persia started the genre of games but it was in there pretty early in its inception and they hold a special place in our hearts because they were so good and they’re so nostalgic.
(These are games that are fun but didn’t come to mind right off the bat)
The Borderlands Series
God of War Series
The Last of Us
Horizon Zero Dawn
Dragon Age games
Watch Dogs Series
The Division Games (if you have friends that have them also)