I've been wanting to make a list of recommended video games for a while... but then I realized that a lot of my favorite games are really not games that I would recommend to a casual or beginning video game player. So I made this list of games that are more mellow and relaxing but still entertaining and engaging. (I do plan on making a list of recommendations for less "casual" games that I love eventually.)

The video games mentioned here mostly have: Games are listed alphabetically. I mostly use Steam for prices but I highly recommend using Augmented Steam and Is There Any Deal? to see if you can buy the games for less. Oh, and right now the descriptions are from the store page but I plan to add my own later. Enjoy!


Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Nintendo 3DS

So since I don't have a Nintendo Switch and therefore cannot play New Horizons, I will recommend this game instead! But if you do have a Nintendo Switch, try New Horizons, it looks like a lot of fun!

I was going to add Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp to this list but unfortunately I don't play that game any more since there's so many microtransactions. Plus the rotation of events eventually got stale for me. It's worth a try if you really like the series, I guess.

The Bard's Tale
$19.99 on Steam
PC, Playstation 2
You are the Bard, a selfish rogue weary of pointless sub-quests and rat-infested cellars. Through magical song you summon characters to join your quest for coin and cleavage! Now includes original classic games The Bard's Tale 1, 2 & 3!

Bejeweled (Series)
Bejeweled 3 - $4.99 on Steam
Overwhelmingly Positive Reviews!
PC, Mobile
Discover all-new ways to play the world's #1 puzzle game. Find your perfect match with 8 breathtaking game modes that meet all your moods — ease into Classic Bejeweled for cascades of fun, journey through 40 challenging Quest puzzles, charge into the electrifying Lightning for non-stop action, and tailor your experience in Zen for a revolutionary new way to relax.

Bit Heroes
Free on Steam, optional in-game purchases
PC, Mobile
Explore a vast new MMORPG world inspired by your favorite pixellated dungeon crawlers. Collect and craft thousands of pieces of loot to increase your power. Build your team by capturing monsters and bosses to fight at your side in old school, turn-based combat.

A simple MMORPG that I admit that I haven't played that much of but it was still fun. Been around a while, I remember playing this on Kongregate when it first came out (RIP to Flash). Haven't played around with the PVP modes but they seem fun. Give it a try if you enjoy MMORPGs!
Chrono Trigger
$14.99 on Steam
PC, SNES, Nintendo DS
A chance encounter amid the festivities of Guardia's Millennial Fair in Leene Square introduces our young hero, Crono, to a girl by the name of Marle. Deciding to explore the fair together, the two soon find themselves at an exhibition of the Telepod, the latest invention by Crono's longtime friend Lucca. Marle, fearless and brimming with curiosity, volunteers to assist in a demonstration. An unanticipated malfunction, however, sends her hurtling through a rift in the dimensions. Taking hold of the girl's pendant, Crono bravely follows in pursuit. But the world into which he emerges is the one of four centuries before. Journey to the forgotten past, the distant future, and even to the very End of Time. The epic quest to save a planet's future makes history once again.

One of the best RPGs ever. It's easy to understand and the plot, while it does have its darker moments, isn't confusing and has wonderful characters. It has plenty of sidequests, multiple endings, little to no grinding, excellent boss battles, fantastic soundtrack... seriously, I cannot recommend this game enough. This would be the RPG that I would recommend to people that haven't played a RPG before.

I didn't know it was on Steam and it seems like a pretty stable port! The Steam version DOES have the extras from the DS version!

Coloring Game (Series)
Free on Steam, optional DLC content
PC

Simple and relaxing color-by-numbers game. There's quite a few games to choose from, all free with purchasable DLC content, so I linked to the developer's francise page. If you enjoy the free content, I highly recommend getting the DLC during a Steam sale!
Coloring Pixels
Free on Steam, optional DLC content
Overwhelmingly Positive Reviews!
PC
A relaxing coloring by numbers game. Enjoy completing a variety of images with differing themes, complexity, and sizes.

I haven't played this game as much as the Coloring Game series but this game is great too. LOTS of DLC to buy.
Fatehaven
$2.99 on Steam, free demo
PC, Mobile
Combat, romance, adventure, and of course - magic! Master four elements and take on fate itself in this epic, interactive fantasy tale! Six possible endings. Four hours for a single playthrough. Three love interests. Countless choices. Male or female? Leader or loner? Good or evil? What kind of mage will you be?

One of the many text adventure games from Hosted Games. I chose this one over the others that I've played since it's a fairly simple plot and quick to finish. I do plan on listing more games from Hosted Games and/or Choice of Games as their library has a lot of great games to read through.
Final Fantasy IX
$20.99 on Steam
PC, Playstation
Zidane and the Tantalus Theater Troupe have kidnapped Princess Garnet, the heir of Alexandria. To their surprise, however, the princess herself yearned to escape the castle. Through a series of unusual circumstances, she and her personal guard, Steiner, fall in with Zidane and set out on an incredible journey. Meeting unforgettable characters like Vivi and Quina along the way, they learn about themselves, the secrets of the Crystal, and a malevolent force that threatens to destroy their world.

Okay, so, I wanted to list at least one Final Fantasy game on the list and I figured this game would be the easiest to get into. It's not as dreary as some of my other favorite Final Fantasy games can be (but it can get dark as the game goes on), the combat is very simple and it's just a extremely fun game to play. The Steam version has perks like speed up mode and item cheats but I wouldn't recommend using them if it's your first time playing. The Playstation version is just as great without them.
Gemcraft: Chasing Shadows
$9.99 on Steam
Overwhelmingly Positive Reviews!
PC
The cult classic tower defense game beloved by millions comes to Steam with GemCraft - Chasing Shadows. Against swarms of vicious, demonic avatars, your only defenses are the gems you conjure that, when placed atop towers or into traps and amplifiers, become conduits for powerful magical and elemental attacks. GemCraft combines fast-paced real-time strategy as you deal with waves of incoming monsters, and cunning tactics that allow you to craft and combine magical gems.

I love this game. It's fun, addicting, challenging, creative and probably the best tower defense game out right now. It can be frustrating if you get stuck on a certain level, but you can level up by replaying easier levels to get more skill points or following a guide. The sequel to this Gemcraft game, Frostborn Wrath, is VERY hard.
Guitar Girl
Free on Google Play, has in-game purchases
Mobile
Guitar Girl is a game where you can relax to soothing guitar music. Start social media in Guitar Girl's room to acquire followers and spread Guitar Girl's music to many more people. Through social interactions and inner growth, you'll soon be able to see her perform on the streets and even the beach. Help her gain the courage to go out into the world :)

I downloaded this game on a whim on Google Play because it kept getting recommended to me. It's a idle/tapping game with in-game purchases so I was expecting another cute, yet tedious and cash grabbing mobile game. Thankfully, this game was a plesant surprise! The music really is soothing and the characters are pretty well written, with most of the plot being told through instant messaging. I really ended up rooting for the main character as the plot progessed! The in-game purchases are completely optional and out of the way in the menu and are reasonably priced.
Hero of the Kingdom (Series)
$5.99 on Steam - Hero of the Kingdom I
PC
You were living a calm life on your small farm together with your father. One sunny day your life completely changed. Malicious bandits raided your house and burnt it to ashes. Your father is missing. A darkness is falling over the whole country and you are setting off on a dangerous journey to places unknown. You must overcome your fear and find your father. You won't hesitate to take the road. This is going to be the greatest adventure of your life.

A simple point and click adventure game with lots of areas to explore. A total cliche plot wise but the easy gameplay is where the game shines. The first one was the one I enjoyed the most and the sequel was pretty good. Apparently the third game isn't as good... but give it a shot if the mechanics of the game appeal to you.
Hypnospace Outlaw
$19.99 on Steam
Overwhelmingly Positive Reviews!
PC
Hypnospace Outlaw is a '90s internet simulator in which you scour Hypnospace's wide variety of weird and wonderful websites to hunt down wrongdoers, while also keeping an eye on your inbox, avoiding viruses and adware, and downloading a plethora of apps that may or may not be useful. As part of your job as a Hypnospace Enforcer, you'll be watching out for copyright infringement, internet bullying and more, with reports and rewards coming direct from the Hypnospace Patrol Department to your inbox. In your spare time, you can customize your HypnOS desktop however you see fit, with a variety of downloads, wallpapers, screen savers and helper bots to keep you company.

This game is a BLAST to play and I can't believe I slept on playing it for so long. It really nails the aesthetic of the early internet days and I was really thrown for a loop several times when it came to certain plot points (and puzzles). For the gameplay, the mechanics might seem complicated at first but just take it easy and enjoy exploring what the game has to offer and you'll get the hang of it. Oh, and the soundtrack is full of sweet jams that WILL get stuck in your head.
Kairosoft (Developer)
Various Prices
Mobile

I haven't played all of the games, which is a lot, but I've spent the most time playing Bonbon Cakery (free with in-game purchases). The vast majority of Kairosoft games are time-management simulation games with adorable graphics and easy gameplay. I would LOVE for some of these games to be ported to PC someday.
Kind Words
Free on Steam
PC
A game about writing nice letters to real people. Write and receive encouraging letters in a cozy room. Trade stickers and listen to chill music. We're all in this together. Sometimes all you need are a few kind words.

Absolutely lovely game where you can send nice messages to other players as well as get and give anonymous advice.
Kitty Power's Matchmaker
$9.99 on Steam - optional DLC content.
PC
Kitty Powers' Matchmaker is a hilarious dating simulator with a difference. Manage your own matchmaking agency with the guidance of your fabulous boss, drag queen diva Kitty Powers! Match an endless parade of desperate clients with candidates from Kitty's little black book and guide them through awkward conversations and dozens of perilous dating dilemmas.

Magical Diary: Horse Hall
$14.99 on Steam
PC
You have been invited to attend a magical school. Here you can make new friends, learn dozens of spells, face exams in the school dungeons, run for class office, and try to find a date for the May Day Ball. But be careful! You might end up in detention, be lured into a secret society, be forced to marry your professor, or even be expelled!

Very fun visual novel mixed with interesting dungeon crawling aspects. I'm playing through the sequel, Wolf Hall and it's also very fun!
Majotori
$5.99 on Steam
PC
Lariat the witch will make your wish will come true if you win a game of trivia, but if you lose, something dark will happen instead. How many lives will your ignorance ruin? Majotori is a narratrivia, an original little game that combines an interactive narrative with a quiz game.

The subject matter for some of the levels can be quite heavy but this game is a great time waster. You can choose what catagories of questions you would like to answer, which is a huge plus. It's like Who Wants to be a Millionaire? but more entertaining.
Melvor Idle
Free - In browser.
$9.99 on Steam
PC, In Browser
Melvor Idle is a feature-rich, idle / incremental game with a familiar feel. With over 22+ unique skills to tackle, you will always have something new to tackle.

A very complex yet easy to play idle game. Try the free version first and buy it on Steam if you enjoy it to support the developer!
Oh... Sir! (Series)
$4.18 on Steam - Both games in a bundle.
PC
A Hilarious Insult-'em up in which players must verbally take-out their friends and family in different game modes. Assemble witty insults using different word strings, and employ combos, criticals, continuations and more to battle your opponents both offline and online across multiple devices using Cross-Platform Multiplayer.

Okami
$19.99 on Steam - HD Version
PC, Playstation 2, Wii
Experience the critically acclaimed masterpiece with its renowned Sumi-e ink art style in breathtaking high resolution. Take on the role of Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess who inhabits the form of a legendary white wolf, on a quest to defeat Orochi, an eight-headed demon and tyrannical monster responsible for turning the world of Nippon into a ruined wasteland.

I haven't played the Steam version yet but I LOVED playing this game on the Wii. It's quite graphics heavy so it might not run on weaker computers. I recommend using Can You Run It? if you want to see if your computer can play it!
Pokemon Heart Gold / Soul Silver
Nintendo DS

If I had to recommend only one Pokemon game to add to this list, it would be Pokemon Heart Gold. (Pokemon Soul Silver is the same but has different pokemon.) It's a nice balance difficulty wise and has a great selection of Pokemon to catch. Also has a ton of optional content/end game content, unlike the more modern games in the series.
Princess Maker 2: Refine
$19.99 on Steam
PC
Princess Maker 2 Refine is a life simulation game which you play as a father of a girl, who had descended from the star. You have 8 years to raise your daughter from age 10 to 18 – your daughter will grow into her adulthood through various experiences. The future awaits for her depending on your choices. What kind of future do you dream of creating with your beloved daughter?

Super addicting simulation game with lots of replayability. Can be difficult if you want to achieve a certain goal for your daughter so I recommend just taking it easy during your first playthroughs and learning the mechanics before setting your sights on a specific ending.
Ragnarok Online - Nova RO
Free
PC
NovaRO is a free-to-play RO server that seeks out to bring you the best and most fun Renewal experience possible. With us you can enjoy a multitude of official Instances, fully implemented 3rd jobs, functioning Achievement and Title Systems, and much more. We work hard on our updates and take pride in being able to offer something for everyone. So hop online and begin forging your own unforgettable adventure!

Ragnarok Online is long past its glory days but it's still being updated with new content to this day. The official servers are now bogged down with bots and pay-to-win content so I really recommend the NovaRO server if you want to give the game a go. (Or get back into it!)
Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale
$19.99 on Steam
PC
Recettear is the story of an item shop, the girl who lives in it, and the fairy who turned her life upside down. Recette Lemongrass finds herself in charge of an item shop built into her house, in order to pay back a loan her father took and then skipped out on - and Tear, her newfound fairy "companion", won't take no for an answer! As Recette, you have to decide how you'll get your stock - either through playing the markets in town or going out into the wild with an adventuring friend and thrashing beasts until they give up the goodies - how much to sell things for, what the shop should look like, and how to best go about getting the money Tear needs to pay off the loan. If you can't come up with the money... well, hope you like living in a cardboard box.

I LOVE this game! It's a challenge but it gets easier to play as you go along. If you happen to get a game over, don't sweat it, you'll start at the beginning of the game but you can keep your inventory so it's a huge help. I wish there was a auto scene-skipping mechanic since it's tough to determine what cutscenes you have seen yet. There a lot of things to do in the game and I haven't even recruited all the adventurers yet even though my playthrough is a little over 20 hours at the moment. I hope a sequel gets made someday!
Runefall
$9.99 on Steam
PC
Explore the kingdom of Silverdale in this innovative new match-3 adventure that pairs the classic matching with exploration and discovery, item collection, quests, town building, and more! Traverse HUGE environments, collect resources, overcome obstacles, and upgrade the town of Rivermoor.

Simple MMO
Free in browser and mobile
In Browser, Mobile
Join over 400,000 players and enjoy the best MMORPG experience in the simplest way. Our tiny MMO game features medieval inspired pixel art graphics with quintessential RPG components. It is an incremental RPG with MMO elements at its very core. All you need to do is take a step with a simple click of a button and away you go!

Siralim Ultimate
$19.99 on Steam
PC, Mobile
Siralim Ultimate is a monster-catching, dungeon-crawling RPG with a ridiculous amount of depth. Summon over 1200 different creatures and travel through randomly generated dungeons to acquire resources, new creatures, and loot.

This game is similiar to Pokemon but much, MUCH harder. You create teams of monsters and battle with them to obtain materials to unlock and fuse MORE monsters. It sounds simple at first but it gets more detailed and intricate as you unlock more features. It's also quite grindy but there are ways to speed up certain aspects of getting materials. I highly recommend this game as it's a huge time sink and it's wonderful to create a team that has amazing synergy.

You don't have to play the previous games to understand the plot, they're all seperate stories and the plot is pretty basic for such a complex game anyway.
Soda Dungeon 2
Free on Steam, optional in-game purchases
PC, Mobile
Your favorite fizzy dungeon crawler is back! The Dark Lord has locked all sorts of legendary items, loot, and goodies up in his castle behind a seemingly endless guard of monsters, traps, and treachery. Daunting? Not for you - You'll be safe in the tavern hiring Soda Junkies to do the dirty work for you. Take the loot they bring back to upgrade your tavern, town, and armory to attract stronger adventurers, then repeat. Build your town, assemble a mighty team, and see if you can make it through the dungeon to the next dimension and beyond.

You don't need to play the first game to understand the sequel, the story is different and the gameplay mechanics are more polished.
Stardew Valley
$14.99 on Steam
Overwhelmingly Positive Reviews!
PC, Mobile, Nintendo Switch
You've inherited your grandfather's old farm plot in Stardew Valley. Armed with hand-me-down tools and a few coins, you set out to begin your new life. Can you learn to live off the land and turn these overgrown fields into a thriving home? It won't be easy. Ever since Joja Corporation came to town, the old ways of life have all but disappeared. The community center, once the town's most vibrant hub of activity, now lies in shambles. But the valley seems full of opportunity. With a little dedication, you might just be the one to restore Stardew Valley to greatness!

One of my favorite video games ever! I love how there's no rush or deadlines (unless you want to prepare something for a upcoming festival or change your crops before the seasons' change) so you can pretty much do whatever you want without limits. The vast majority of NPCs are very well written and even when replaying the game I never find myself skipping cutscenes. I really, really recommend this game to everyone.

It's also very easy to mod! If you're looking for amazing modded content, check out Stardew Valley Extended! It blends into the vanilla game seamlessly and it's relatively easy to set up.

Also, this game is made by one person, the developer ConcernedApe, and all updates are free. I'm pretty lax on recommending piracy for most things, but I HIGHLY recommend buying the game and supporting him.

Swords & Souls: Neverseen
$14.99 on Steam
PC, Nintendo Switch
In Swords & Souls: Neverseen you find yourself shipwrecked and caught up in a struggle between a dangerous witch and some decidedly kooky townsfolk. To stop the witch, you'll need to train, fight, train, and fight some more in this addictive single-player combat-focused game that rewards player skill and juicy progression.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
SNES

A classic RPG with a fun plot and great gameplay!
Thisissand
Free
In Browser, Mobile

Create unique sand art in your browser!
VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action
$14.99 on Steam
PC
VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action is a booze em' up about waifus, technology, and post-dystopia life. [...] You are a bartender at VA-11 HALL-A, affectionately nicknamed "Valhalla." Although it is just a small bar downtown, it attracts the most fascinating people this side of dystopia. Keep your clients lubricated and you will be made privy to the most interesting stories.

Awesome game with great characters and a superb soundtrack.
Virtual Cottage
Free on Steam
PC
Welcome to your Virtual Cottage! Please stay as long as you like and enjoy a cozy, distraction-free environment. Got some big, uncomfortable tasks you have been putting off for weeks? Virtual Cottage was made to help you start them. Upon entering your cottage, commit to an activity you want to accomplish. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere to ease your start on whatever you want to get done. [...] Virtual Cottage gives you a comfy place to rest and be productive without any distractions. Open the game, set yourself a goal and enjoy the atmosphere.

Similiar to Kind Words, this game is more like a tool to help you organize your thoughts and concentrate on whatever goal you want to complete.
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