No matter the next hottest trend or ‘groundbreaking’ multiplayer game, cozy games will always have a special place in my heart. I’m one of those tryhard, sweaty gamers, but even I want to chill out sometimes. Here are the top 10 best cozy games on PC you can relax with.
What is a Cozy Game?
Before we begin, I want to clarify what I consider a cozy game, as the definition will change from person to person. For me, a cozy game falls into these parameters:
- No PvP
- No time limit
- Simple mechanics
- Users can play at their own pace
- Low difficulty (or at least the option to reduce it)
- Players can’t lose, and losses aren’t hard to come back from
Cozy games are perfect for a casual gaming session or when you want to unwind or enjoy a break from reality for a few hours. Here are my picks for fantastic titles that let you do precisely that.
Alright, let’s start with some low-hanging fruit. Stardew Valley is a masterpiece and arguably the best farming game on the market.
‘Farming game’ is a little disingenuous because Stardew Valley is so much more than that. This game has everything from fishing and mining to relationship-building and raising animals. It’s a game that can be enjoyed at your own pace, alone or with friends.
Many declare Stardew Valley a masterpiece, and it’s easy to see why.
If you prefer your Stardew Valley experience with a prehistoric makeover, let me introduce Paleo Pines. This fantasy adventure tells a touching story as you help Lucky, a parasaurolophus, find his family.
On your journey, you meet and tame other dinosaurs and even build your own farm. Paleo Pines is an adventure with light farming mechanics and can be enjoyed at your own pace. There’s also a decent-sized demo on Steam that offers enough that you’ll know if the game is right for you.
I find it fascinating how menial real-world tasks are far more interesting in video game form. There are plenty of games with the ‘Simulator’ moniker, but my pick for a cozy game is Powerwash.
There’s not much to say about the Powerwash Simulator. You make areas spotless in exchange for money, which you can use to make cleaning easier.
You’ll take your skills everywhere, from messy backyards to the Seventh Heaven bar in Final Fantasy 7.
Powerwash Simulator is uniquely satisfying, and the game can be enjoyed alone or with friends.
House Flipper 1 & 2
The House Flipper games are another personal favorite of mine and cover a couple of bases. The gameplay comes in two flavors, and the first is cleaning houses for cash. Once you have enough capital, you can purchase properties and renovate them in the hopes of making a profit.
Both elements in House Flipper are furiously addictive, and you can spend entire nights tinkering without noticing where the time went.
At the time of writing, House Flipper 2 is new and is missing many features from the original, which has several DLC packs. Both games are good, but it’s something to consider before purchasing. Make sure to check out our review of House Flipper 2 to learn more.
Epic Games surprised everyone with the announcement of LEGO Fortnite, and now that it’s here, I think we can all agree it was worth the wait.
LEGO Fortnite is a beautiful survival village-building game that shines with a couple of friends. The game is also cross-platform, so you can play with your buddies no matter what they use.
LEGO Fortnite is light on features at the time of writing, but it’s a fantastic time sink and free to play. If you’ve played Minecraft before, you’ll immediately feel at home.
Cat Quest 1 & 2
The Cat Quest games are charming adventures with light RPG mechanics and an excess of pawsome puns.
While the titles are pretty simple, they are well-made and enjoyable for all ages. The stories are inoffensive, and the titles exude “good, clean fun.” It’s worth mentioning that the original Cat Quest is single-player, but the sequel can be enjoyed with a friend. Each tells a unique story, so dropping straight into Cat Quest 2 with a partner is completely fine.
Parkasaurus is a gorgeous park sim that resembles the original Zoo Tycoon games. The big difference is we’ve traded tigers for triceratops and sprinkled a generous serving of cuteness on top.
Parkasaurus is a pretty easy management sim, making it perfect for newcomers to the genre. There’s plenty of meat on the bone for veterans, and you can give your dinosaurs hats; what’s not to like?
One of my favorite games of all time is Rollercoaster Tycoon 2. While I would recommend it to anyone, some may be put off by the primitive art style.
If you’re up for a solid theme park builder with cleaner graphics, take Parkitect for a spin.
There are more than a few mods to Rollercoaster Tycoon, but Parkitect does plenty to stand out on its own. All the triumphs and pains of a good management sim are here, and you can choose to take on Scenarios or start a park from scratch.
Planet Zoo is a phenomenal park builder, boasting gorgeous visuals and robust tools to create the Zoo of your dreams. There’s a ton to do in the base game, and if you enjoy it, there’s heaps of DLC that frequently go on sale.
Planet Zoo is the most complex game on this list, with many features that are nuanced and intricate. If you crave a game you can spend hundreds of hours in, this is the title for you.
Fortunately, most of the complicated mechanics are entirely optional. If you just want to open some enclosures and enjoy your animals going about their days, you can do that, too.
Artifex Mundi games
Let me leave you with something a little unusual to close our list. Artifex Mundi has a colossal library of Hidden Object games. These titles offer the player light puzzles to solve, and each game is gift-wrapped in a cheesy story.
I love the simplicity of these games, and it’s wonderfully satisfying to crack puzzles. If you get stuck, Artifex Mundi games all have a hint system, so your progress will never be halted for long.
Sadly, the Hidden Object genre is full of low-effort cash grabs, and you must research before buying. In my experience, the Artifex Mundi games are an exception to that rule.
If I’ve piqued your interest, I recommend the Enigmatis Trilogy or Arcana: Dark Carnival (pictured) as my favorites.
I couldn’t remove these titles from the list, as they are fantastic in their own right, but narrowly miss the top 10 for one reason or another.
I’ve seen Dredge highly recommended on the cozy games subreddit. While I disagree, the title does meet all the selection criteria.
Dredge is a superb, albeit bleak, seafaring adventure with a generous serving of Lovecraftian horror. You’ll meet many strange characters on your journey, usually with harrowing stories to tell.
Dredge tells a brilliant story, and the simple gameplay loop of salvaging materials and selling fish is addictive. The seas are a scary place to be at night and the polar opposite of cozy if you ask me, hence the honorable mention.
Viscera Cleanup Detail
Viscera makes the honorable mentions list because it’s exceptionally gory. That said, I’ve sunk far more hours into this than Powerwash Simulator, and it ticks all the boxes for a great, cozy game.
In Viscera, you’re tasked with cleaning up areas after whatever horrific incident occurred before your arrival.
Armed with your trusty mop and bucket, you’ll tackle everything from compact crime scenes to spaceships eerily similar to the Event Horizon.
Viscera Cleanup Detail is showing its age, but I can’t recommend it enough if you want a cozy game with a unique premise.