Top Video Games to Beat Stress

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s more important than ever to find ways to reduce stress and take care of our mental well-being. While many people turn to traditional relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga, others are discovering the benefits of video games to beat stress. Games like Animal Crossing, Minecraft, and Journey offer players a chance to escape from the pressures of daily life and find a sense of peace and relaxation.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these and other games that can help reduce stress and improve mental well-being. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to the world of video games, we hope this article will provide you with some valuable insights into the power of gaming to improve your mental health.


Beat stress with the video game called Unpacking
Beat stress with the video game called Unpacking

I don’t know many people that like to pack and move, but what if I told you there is a game that allows you to do this but not actually have to pack anything up?

That game is Unpacking. Yes, an unpacking life simulator where you must unpack your belongings and place them in the “optimal” location around various locations. The game tells a cool story of progression for the player and just feels calming.


Minecraft is a popular sandbox video game that can be a great way to reduce stress. The game allows players to explore and create in a virtual world that is procedurally generated, meaning that no two playthroughs are exactly the same. Players can gather resources, build structures, and interact with various creatures in the game, all at their own pace and without any real pressure.

One of the main reasons why Minecraft can be a stress-free game is because it allows for a lot of creative freedom. There are no strict objectives or time limits, so players can take their time to plan and build structures or explore the vast landscapes of the game. The game’s simple and colorful graphics also contribute to its relaxing nature, creating a sense of playfulness and whimsy. Overall, Minecraft is a game that encourages creativity, exploration, and relaxation, making it a great choice for anyone looking to unwind and reduce stress.

Stardew Valley

Grow your farm and relieve some stress in Stardew Valley
Grow your farm and relieve some stress in Stardew Valley

I can say that Stardew Valley is a game that provides a stress-free space where you can slow down and take time for yourself. The gorgeous visuals, serene settings, and low-stakes gameplay make it a great tool for stress relief.

One of the things I love about the game is that it gives you tons of options on what to do but never forces you to do any of it. This allows you to pace yourself in a relaxing way. Working on the farm is a balance of relaxing and working against the clock. When you’re done working for the day there’s exploration, mysteries, and little adventures to keep the gameplay fresh.


Journey is an award-winning adventure game that can be a perfect stress reliever for players. The game takes the player on a visually stunning journey through a mysterious and peaceful world. Players control a robed figure who is on a quest to reach the top of a distant mountain, encountering various obstacles and puzzles along the way. However, the game’s gentle pace and lack of combat or enemies create a soothing and stress-free experience for the player.

One of the main reasons why Journey is a stress-free game is its minimalist approach to gameplay. The controls are simple, and the game’s world is free of distractions or threats, allowing the player to focus on the stunning visuals and peaceful atmosphere. The game’s musical score is also a significant contributor to its relaxing nature, providing a calming and meditative soundtrack that helps the player unwind. Journey is a game that encourages players to take their time, explore the world, and enjoy the experience, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to escape the stress and unwind.


Flower is a stress-free game that focuses on beauty and tranquility. The game’s stunning visuals and tranquil soundtrack create a soothing and peaceful atmosphere, providing a sense of calm and relaxation for the player. 

The game’s lack of pressure or objectives also contributes to its stress-free nature, allowing players to explore and enjoy the game’s world at their own pace. Overall, Flower is a game that encourages players to appreciate and connect with nature, providing a meditative and enjoyable experience that can be a great way to reduce stress.

The Sims

In The Sims, Players can design their Sims appearance, build their homes, and manage their relationships, careers, and hobbies. The game’s open-ended nature allows players to create and pursue their own goals without any pressure or time limits, making it a relaxing and stress-free experience.

One of the main reasons why The Sims is a stress-free game is its emphasis on creativity and self-expression. The game allows players to design and customize their Sims and their homes in countless ways, providing an outlet for artistic expression and individuality. 

The game’s lighthearted and humorous tone also contributes to its stress-free nature, creating a sense of playfulness and fun. Overall, The Sims is a game that offers a sense of control and autonomy, providing a welcome escape from the stresses of daily life.

Sim City (SNES)

SimCity on the SNES was so relaxing
SimCity on the SNES was so relaxing

One of the main reasons why SimCity on the SNES is a stress-free game is its focus on creativity and experimentation. Players are free to build and design their city in any way they choose, providing an outlet for artistic expression and imagination. 

The game’s simple and colorful graphics also contribute to its stress-free nature, creating a sense of nostalgia and playfulness. Overall, SimCity on the SNES is a game that encourages players to take their time, experiment, and enjoy the experience of building and managing their own city, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a low-stress gaming experience.

Also, there is a well-known cheat code to give you a million dollars to help get you started in the game. Having that extra money always comes in handy

Animal Crossing

One of the most stress-reducing aspects of Animal Crossing is the game’s focus on positive social interactions. Players can interact with other animals in their town, make friends, and participate in community events. This fosters a sense of connection and belonging, providing players with a supportive and friendly virtual community. 

Additionally, the game’s daily routines and simple tasks, such as fishing, gardening, and decorating, can be meditative and calming, providing a sense of structure and purpose that can be beneficial for those who are feeling overwhelmed or anxious. 

Overall, Animal Crossing is a great choice for anyone looking for a relaxing and positive gaming experience that can help reduce stress and improve their mental well-being.

My Time At Portia

Build back the workshop in My Time at Portia
Build back the workshop in My Time at Portia

In the game My Time at Portia you are a builder who inherits a house from your Pa. This game is all about crafting, collecting, and building.

One of the main reasons why My Time at Portia is a stress-free game is its emphasis on creativity and personalization. Players can design and customize their character, build and decorate their own home and workshop, and create a variety of items and structures using various materials. 

The game’s open-ended nature and lack of time pressure also contribute to its stress-free nature, allowing players to explore and experiment at their own pace without feeling overwhelmed or rushed. 

My Time at Portia is available on Xbox Game Pass, Nintendo Switch, and PC.


Skyrim is my go-to video game for beating stress
Skyrim is my go-to video game for beating stress

Fighting dragons reduces stress? Yes for some people it can. And the awesome thing about Skyrim is you can do so many things and overpower your character that it can feel like a Sims game rather than an action RPG.

From the very beginning, you don’t have to follow the main quest line. There have been times I have played the game for days and never completed a single part of the main quest outside the opening intro that is forced on you.

The beautiful scenery and gentle music can help decompress after a long stressful day at work. Or you can run around and pickpocket everyone in a small village until you get thrown into jail. That is the beauty of Skyrim so many options and so many ways to play the game and let off steam.

Donut County

This was a Game Pass find for me. I had never heard of the game but decided to try it one day. And honestly, I loved every minute of it. 

The storyline is weird but entertaining. And the basic concept is you make holes and suck items down into the hole. If you have ever played the mobile game it is a similar take with a twist.

Red Faction Guerilla

This 3rd person shooter might be another game that doesn’t seem like it would be good for someone releasing stress. But the open world environment where you can pretty much destroy anything is so satisfying.

Yes, there are enemies that will show up and try to shoot you. But once you get some good weapons those goons don’t stand a chance. You can also do the multiplayer challenges and just try to see how much damage you can do in a set amount of time.

Goat Simulator

Who doesn’t want to just bash things with your head and eat grass all day? Goat Simulator doesn’t take itself seriously and that is what makes this game such a great stress reliever.

One of the most stress-reducing aspects of Goat Simulator is the sheer absurdity of the gameplay. The game’s physics engine is intentionally unpredictable, causing the goat to flop around and wreak havoc in hilarious ways. Players can launch themselves into the air, crash into objects, and even summon a flock of goats to follow them around.

This randomness and lack of consequences for failure can be liberating for those who are feeling stressed or anxious, providing an opportunity to let go and simply have fun. Overall, Goat Simulator is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a lighthearted and entertaining game to help them unwind and reduce stress.

Medieval Dynasty

One thing I love about this game is the options. Medieval Dynasty is dubbed as a survival city builder. Where you have to build your dynasty but also worry about the elements and hunger.

But the options in this game make it where you can turn off all the survival mechanics and just make it one big sandbox. Need to chop down and carry 1000 logs to build a few houses? No problem. Don’t want to worry about hunting or fishing to eat? Turn off that part of the game.

Even running your village isn’t all that stressful. The villagers can pretty much be set on auto-pilot once you get the hang of the game mechanics and understand how to keep the resources flowing.

Microsoft Flight Simulator

I almost didn’t include this game on this list. Because of heights, fear of flying, and fear of crashing this game may make people run in the opposite direction. But being that it is a total simulation none of those things really matter.

You can pick a well-known airport or fly out of a local airport and go anywhere in the world. The controls can be difficult at times but that can sometimes lead to some hysterical moments that are sure to get your endorphins running.

PowerWash Simulator

There are so many simulator genre games in the market, including farming, car mechanic, surgeon, and more. But PowerWash Simulator is just satisfying. 

Firing up your powerwasher and cleaning off the van or house just gives that feeling of a job well done. There are no hard time limits or ways to fail so just take your time and do a great job of cleaning.

Super Mega Baseball

Super Mega Baseball is a fun and relaxing baseball simulator
Super Mega Baseball is a fun and relaxing baseball simulator

If you are a fan of sports games but hate how realistic some of the bigger titles have become. Then Super Mega Baseball might be the best stress-reducing sports game.

There are actually 3 versions of this game and each iteration keeps improving on a fantastic formula. 

  • Play baseball with caricature players
  • Smash home runs 
  • Have fun

Each stadium has unique features and almost every team player has a uniqueness to them to make them stand out.

You don’t have to stress out if you are even good at baseball. Turn the difficulty all the way down and every player on your team can hit a moonshot.


This little gem is one of my favorites. While the bosses can be stressful if you are not prepared for them the crafting and base building has really grown into its own niche.

In Craftopia you can build a huge base, create farms, craft new weapons, and breed animals. You can even breed the NPCs and have your own little warrior farm. There is just an endless list of possibilities and the complexity of the automations means you can have really unique bases.

Updates really added some unique content like mini racers and variations to your building materials. The game has no real story and the only thing that could really stress you out is the survival part where you need to eat every so often. But even that mechanic doesn’t weigh on you too much.

In a world where stress seems to seep into every aspect of our lives, finding an escape is crucial for maintaining our mental well-being. While many turn to various activities to unwind, there’s something uniquely therapeutic about diving into the immersive realms of video games. We’ve explored a few titles renowned for their ability to provide a reprieve from the pressures of reality: Skyrim, Minecraft, Stardew Valley, Craftopia, and Journey. Each of these games offers a distinct experience, but all share a common goal – to help us beat stress.

Venturing into the vast landscapes of Skyrim, we find solace in the freedom to forge our own path, slay dragons, and lose ourselves in a world rich with adventure. The boundless creativity of Minecraft enables us to build, explore, and discover a sense of accomplishment as we construct magnificent structures or embark on daring expeditions. Stardew Valley invites us to escape to a tranquil farm, cultivating crops, tending to animals, and forming meaningful connections with the game’s charming characters. Lastly, Journey takes us on a deeply emotional odyssey through a mesmerizing world, encouraging reflection and connection with others on a profound level.

These games offer more than mere entertainment; they provide a safe haven where we can unwind, recharge, and find inner peace. The immersive environments, captivating storylines, and engaging gameplay create a harmonious synergy that helps alleviate stress and transport us to a realm of tranquility. By embracing these virtual realms, we open ourselves up to the power of interactive storytelling, where our worries fade into the background and our focus shifts to exploration, creativity, and self-discovery.

However, it’s important to note that moderation is key. While video games can be a powerful tool in combating stress, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy balance with other aspects of life. Engage in physical activities, spend time with loved ones, and take breaks from the screen to ensure a well-rounded and fulfilling lifestyle. Treat gaming as a form of self-care, allowing yourself to decompress and find solace, but always with mindfulness and moderation.

The next time life feels overwhelming, remember that there’s a controller or keyboard waiting to transport you to a realm where stress fades away. Embrace these fictional worlds and discover the transformative power of gaming to beat stress and find your own inner sanctuary.