It’s easy to lust for country air and honest outdoor graft when you’re living in the city. These farming games let you live your fantasy, without the 4am wake-ups or demanding daily routine.
Farming is one of those ancient professions that is the recipient of heavy romanticisation. Wouldn’t it be gorgeous to swap the tube for a tractor, the smog for sweet, grassy air, and the weekly reports for reaping? Going back to nature and appreciating that the “simple” things are actually the most important of them all. It’s a wholesome and rewarding lifestyle that offers escape, purity, and a solid purpose.
It also demands ungodly early starts nearly every day, gruelling physical labour, as well as an unstable and uncertain living in lots of cases. Farming’s not all pails of milk and picking cabbages.
So, what do you do if you can’t shake the idyllic pastoral urge, but don’t fancy giving up your morning coffee shop run or midweek cinema trips?
Thankfully, simulator games are here to help. From the realistic to the ridiculous, there’s a sim game out there for just about anything. You can drive trucks across Europe, or you can live life as a headbutt-happy skateboarding goat.
When it comes to tending crops and agricultural endeavours, there’s plenty of farming games to choose from. We’ve listed some of the best out there to get you started!
Farming Simulator 22
One of the forerunners in the profession simulator space, the Farming Simulator series delivers the authentic agricultural experience in spades. Despite its realistic leanings, it provides an addictively therapeutic satisfaction when playing.
If you’re keen to get fully stuck into farming, business management side and all, then Farming Simulator 22 is your go to. Up there as one of the best PC simulator games, it offers multiplayer options of up to 16 players, or you can hire NPC workers to help run your dream farm.
An open world experience, Farmer’s Dynasty offers the experience of farming as well as the enjoyment of community and interaction. Work on developing your inherited farm whilst building relationships with your fellow farmers.
Another 3D game, this one focusses more on characters and quests than the realistic business aspects of farming. Play through a mix of life simulation and role playing in a classic farming setting.
The latest Animal Crossing game, New Horizons enjoyed massive popularity. Already a much loved social simulation game, the release coinciding with a time when the whole world was stuck inside (remember that pandemic?) meant everyone got their outdoorsy fix via gaming.
A much less realistic simulator, Animal Crossing lets you design and build your own island, visit friends’ islands, whilst planting and harvesting different crops. If you’re looking for a relaxing and gentle simulation experience, New Horizons or New Leaf are great choices.
Released in 2016, Stardew Valley is a 2D pixel art farming simulator that has become one of the greatest out there. Like many other farming games, you inherit a farm and endeavour to run it whilst getting involved in a close community. However, what sets this game apart from the rest is the attention to detail and level of depth put into it.
With a huge range of activities to keep players busy, you’ll find yourself deeply engrossed right away.
Just announced during yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, Fae Farm appears to be a fairy tale amalgamation of Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing. Whilst it’s difficult to comment on how great this new game is, if you’re looking to try something exciting and new, keep your eyes peeled.
This cosy cottage core farming game is set to be released in spring 2023.
Another new release announced during the Nintendo Direct, Harvestella combines farming with fantasy. A beautifully illustrated RPG, you can build a beautiful town and farm, then protect it from sinister forces.
Defend your farm and community against the Quietus, the deathly dusts that are spreading through the land and decimating all in its wake. This is a farming game with a huge focus on adventure. Imagine a blend between Final Fantasy and Harvest Moon.
Harvestella will be released on the 4th of November on both Switch and Steam.