Farming sims might be a niche genre, but there have been some amazing titles come out over the years. These are the absolute best of the bunch.
Considering the endless amount of historical?adventures, sci-fi explorations, and fantasy journeys that the gaming industry offers, it may surprise some people that many gamers would rather spend their free time playing a video game iteration of a real-world job. Although it may seem strange at first, it’s hard to deny that the life simulation genre has encapsulated many players, thanks to engrossing games like?Euro Truck Simulator?and?Train Simulator.?
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One of the most beloved subgenres of life simulators is farming games. Farming titles allow players to experience the joys of turning a stretch of untouched?land into a thriving, profitable farm without having to break a sweat. For those looking to get into the farming genre, here are ten of the best games available.
Farmer’s Dynasty?is the first, but not the last game on this list that begins with the player inheriting a farm from their grandfather. The game then opens up to offer players a well-designed open world, where?they?are free to start work on their farm.
As the implementation of an open world suggests, farming isn’t the only thing players will be doing in the game.?Farmer’s Dynasty?has an emphasis on community, as players can interact with their fellow farmers to build rapport, earn social points and grow relationships.
Pure Farming 2018?differentiates itself from most games on this list with its attempt to offer an authentic farming experience, particularly with its impressive range of licensed vehicles.
The game offers three different game modes to fit the player’s needs.?Free Farming does what it says on the tin, giving players the ability to set their own parameters and play how they want;?My First Farm offers an extended, in-depth tutorial that is ideal for new players and?Farming Challenges puts the player’s skills to the test by throwing them into tough scenarios.
Farm Together begins like most games on this list by giving players a plot of land that they are free to cultivate in any way that they like.
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As the name suggests,?Farm Together?doesn’t leave players alone in their farming ventures, as friends or even the general public can be invited to the player’s farm to help with improvements or just look around and relax. As well as?improving their farm, players can indulge in other activities such as working on their house, painting, and cooking?meals.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town?was released on Nintendo Switch in July 2020 by?Xseed Games and is a 3D remake of?Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town.?
Much like?Farm Together, the game offers a relaxing, meditative approach to farming, with?wholesome visuals that make?Friends of Mineral Town?the perfect place to wind down after a long day. The game was warmly received by critics and scored a respectable 77 on Metacritic.
Autonauts?differentiates itself from the other games on this list with its sci-fi setting. Players will travel to uninhabited planets, where they are tasked with colonizing them and ensuring their long-term growth through automation.
This ability to implement automation is what makes?Autonauts?interesting. Through simple programming, players can create an army of robots who will aid?them in creating and maintaining a thriving colony.
Staxel?is essentially the culmination of if someone was to put?Minecraft?and?Stardew Valley?in a blender. The game is another on this list that gives players a grotty farm and tasks them with making it thrive?by restoring it in any way that they choose.
The game doesn’t reach the sky-high quality of the two games that it’s trying to replicate, though it’s still a solid?farming sim that is worth fans of?Minecraft?and?Stardew Valley?considering.
Harvest Moon 64?was developed by?Victor Interactive Software and released in 1999. Unsurprisingly, the visuals don’t compare to the modern games on this list, but the gameplay still holds up over 20 years later.
Along with the main quest that consists of, believe it or not, restoring a rundown farm left by the playable character’s grandfather, players can also indulge in numerous side quests, which offer great variety to the gameplay.
The?Farming Simulator?series has been a pioneer in the rise of job simulators over the last decade. Although the game emphasizes realism, many players found the series to be oddly meditative, a surprising view that continues to be shared by more and more players.
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The?Farming Simulator?franchise began with?Farming Simulator 2008?(also known as?Farmer Simulator 2008) and is now on its 11th main entry.?Farming Simulator 20 has since been released, though the 2019 iteration is considered the stronger?game.
My Time at Portia?was released in January 2019 on PC, before coming to Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 later that same year. The game takes the recurring “deteriorated plot of land left by old man” trope to the extreme by tasking players with restoring a post-apocalyptic world.
Despite the post-apocalyptic theme,?My Time at Portia?has a beautiful game-world with a wonderful cast of NPCs who are a joy to interact with. Along with farming and relationship building, players will also have their combat abilities tested, often in dungeons crawling with enemies.
Stardew Valley?was released in 2016 and quickly became recognized as the greatest farming simulator of all time. On paper, Stardew Valley doesn’t do anything special. It begins with yet another story about the playable character inheriting a plot of land from their grandfather that they must restore while also having the chance to relationship build with?a tight-knit community.
However, dismissing the game for these repetitive tropes would be a mistake.?Stardew Valley?goes above and beyond anything else in the genre, with its incredible depth and range of activities to become engrossed in that will encapsulate players into spending hundreds of hours into the game’s memorable world.
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About The Author
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A gamer since the age of 3, Jack is knowledgeable about virtually every genre of video game under the sun. He has a soft spot for platformers and collectathons though, and still hasn’t given up hope of them making a serious resurgence!