The best games like Stardew Valley are the ones that let you live out a fantasy life in a way that can either be incredibly relaxed, or obnoxiously well-organised. Much like Stardew Valley itself, these games often tend to involve farming and tending to things, but there are a lot of ways to go about this in gaming.
We’ve gone ahead and picked out five games that capture this and allow you to live out a new digital life. It’s fun to indulge in a bit of escapism, so we’ve made sure to include a lot of different potential lives for you to choose from here. All you need to do is actually play them, and you’ll be free to farm, fight, and maybe even fall in love. You know, digitally.
The best games like Stardew Valley
Inspired by Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley is undoubtedly one of the best examples of this genre, and there’s a good reason too. The ability to really dive into a world that lets you do whatever you want is something all games promise, but it’s not often you can really live out a different life, or at least one that seems a little bit feasible. It’s also not often we get the chance to enjoy games that aren’t all about violence. So, here’s our list of the best games like Stardew Valley.
Look, a game all about sucking up and spitting out slimes was always going to be an odd one. Slime Rancher casts you as Beatrix LeBeau, a young rancher who’s headed into space to try her hand at farming. Unlike on Earth though, you’ll not be messing about with vegetables or anything, but the slimes themselves. Your goal will be to balance the new breeds you can make, the resources they secrete, and the potential danger they pose, to try and make a good living.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will go down in history as one of the most serendipitous launches ever. It released just as we were all coming to terms with what a pandemic and a lockdown meant, and it offered a chance to escape into a world where things were simpler. You get to make your home on an island at sea, and your only real goal is to make of it whatever you want. You can even go ahead and visit friends and bring them gifts. It’s all very wholesome stuff, even if Tom Nook breathing down your neck.
My Time at Portia
My Time At Portia has you going to a strange town to take over a neglected workshop. You’ll have to not just grow crops and make friends with animals, but also do a lot of crafting too. The citizens of the town will all give you tasks, and alongside making a living by working out how you can automate things, you’ll also occasionally have to venture into the mines to take on monsters and even manage your growing skillset too.
You could definitely describe Cozy Grove as being like Stardew Valley but spooky, but you’d be doing it a disservice. You play as a Spirit Scout who has to wander around a haunted forest to try and soothe the souls of the local ghosts. You’ll not only have to help them out, but also bring colour and happiness back to the world too. It’s an incredibly good game, and it’s undoubtedly one of the best games like Stardew Valley.
Our final pick is one that might surprise people who’ve heard of it, but Terraria can actually be incredibly chilled out, despite being about fighting off eldritch horrors. While the normal mode has you blitzing through bosses and fighting to the death, you can actually play the game cultivating plants, brewing potions, fishing, and even playing golf. It’s all helped along massively by the excellent creative mode too, which grants you various buffs to make the experience as stress-free as possible.