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Our Favorite Games to Play Casually

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Sometimes, you don’t want to make a big investment in a game. You want something you can enjoy a little at a time. Maybe it’s a title you open up once a day for a few minutes or occasionally throughout the week. We have a lot of those and honestly, we can always probably use more. So, let’s share our recommendations.

fire emblem heroes casual game

I’m in too deep with Fire Emblem Heroes now. I can’t go back. I don’t really care about the story or most of its modes. But I do love the level of representation we see here. (And honestly, I’m hoping we eventually get a Fire Emblem Cipher banner.) But for now, I’ll have fun occasionally building a +10 character in my spare time. — Jenni

Kingdom New Lands

The Kingdom games are my go-tos for quick and casual game breaks. It’s a series I can play in short bursts or long hours. I also own multiple copies of Kingdom New Lands and Kingdom Two Crowns which adds to the accessibility. Doesn’t hurt that I absolutely adore tower defense games, either. — Annette 

turbografx 16 mini casual game

If you’re just looking for low-commitment fun game time, maybe pick up a TurboGrafx-16 Mini? With tons of retro games you can just bounce around when you feel like it, there’s not a lot of pressure to hit 100% or keep up with the discourse. (It does help if you like certain genres, though, like scrolling shooters.) — Graham

Animal Crossing: new Horizons

I am HOPELESSLY hooked on Animal Crossing: New Horizons. If I have my Switch in my hands, I’m either playing something for Siliconera or ACNH. I run around my island at least once a day, even if it’s just to check on turnip prices or shake my money trees. I’m only 200,000 bells away from paying Nook off FOR GOOD on my home, and I’m currently redecorating my entire house and moving around flower gardens. I can always find something to do when I fire it up. — Keri

dissidia ffoo

There really is nothing more relaxing for me than lying on the couch playing my favorite mobile games. Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia has been my go-to game to unwind in the evenings or even play cooperatively with friends. Returning to a turn-based Final Fantasy title has made me all the more appreciative of the systems Opera Omnia has to offer, and it’s great to pick up and play even if I haven’t been playing consistently for weeks or even months. — Kazuma

Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity Siliconera

Musou titles are excellent games to play while listening to a TV show or a podcast. And this year’s Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is definitely one of the best Musou spin-offs. The hack ‘n slash adventure is packed with flashy attacks and beloved characters that all function so differently from each other. There’s so much variety here to pick up and play the game for a match or two, set it down, rinse and repeat. Fast-paced action might not be everyone’s ideal genre to “play casually,” I love turning my brain off and taking down hordes of bokoblins any day of the week. — Oni

fate grand order casual

Is it really “casual” if by time spent Fate/Grand Order outweighs nearly everything else I’ve tried this year? I say yes. “Casual” is a state of mind as much as it is a number of hours, and FGO, like many a good mobile title, demands little of a brain that’s already frazzled from work and the stresses of living in a uniquely challenging year. To borrow a phrase I read a game designer use on Twitter: It’s got low mental overhead, and yet still manages to deliver the goods in terms of that quick hit of progression and fun to fill the occasional breaktime. — Josh

crystal chronicles

Yeah, so I know Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered Edition isn’t exactly great, and it’s hard to recommend to most people. That said, I have gone back to it time and time again. I won’t deny that there’s an element of nostalgia to it, but I think what makes it such a good game for me to play casually is that the dungeons are short, the music is amazing, and I can boot it up and run through some content with my wife while we relax on the patio before bed. It should have been better, and I did experience a profound sense of disappointment after years of waiting for its release. But it’s still decent enough to fit into the occasional fifteen minutes of free time. Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is a better game that serves a similar purpose and I’d be more inclined to recommend it to somebody. But if I’m honest with myself, and I base this decision based on how often I return to these games, then Crystal Chronicles is the winner. I also tried getting back into ska this year, so maybe I am just desperately seeking comfort in media from a simpler time or something. Who can really say for sure? — Ben

Siliconera Staff
Sometimes we'll publish a story as a group. You'll find collaborative stories and some housekeeping announcements under this mysterious camel.