This is part of an ongoing series at SKOR North where we share our staff’s recommendations for things to do while we all Stay Home, Minnesota.
Consider this part of your No-Sports Quarantine Survival kit. Several of our staff members have put together a list of video games they recommend based on varying criteria. Jonathan Harrison, Overnight Board Op Brendon Berger, and Engineer Paul Black combined their lists to give an extensive list of video games to play while you Stay at Home.
Also, note that this is NOT a definitive list of the best games ever to play. That’s a highly subjective and much-argued subject.
The major sports games out there:
Paul: Mini NES, SNES, Genesis, even the PS1 Mini. Great retro fun!! You can’t go wrong with any of them. (*Just don’t pay too much for the PS1 Classic*)
Jon: Widely considered one of the best games of the last generation of consoles but maybe in the pantheon of greatest games of all time. You play as Joel, a survivor of a virus that took over the world and you get tasked with bringing teenage Ellie across the country. You play through their travels across a post-apocalyptic United States battling infected and humans wanting to do harm to you and Ellie as you travel to your goal.
Brendon: The three major criteria I’m using for this list are Immersiveness, length, and replayability. Red Dead Redemption 2 (hereafter: RDR2) takes home the gold in all of those categories. RDR2 puts you into the role of Arthur Morgan, a desperado and a gunslinger in a world that is rapidly leaving his way of life behind. RDR2 is a must for anyone who just appreciates good works of fiction nevermind video games. It’s a perfect choice for sheltering in place thanks to its immersive game experience and lengthy campaign. Finally, it also includes an online mode if you and your friends ever want to saddle up and live life as an outlaw or a lawman.
Jon: Easily one of the best video games to come out last year, this Western is actually the prequel to Red Dead Redemption (2010). Do you want to distract yourself for over 100 hours? This game has enough from the storyline to the hunting to the side missions to make you a cowboy for countless hours.
Paul: I finished this game a long time ago and I keep going back for more.
Paul: You are a goose. You are an a**hole. You terrorize and torment and steal from the local townsfolk. A must-play!
Brendon: Deep dive for nerds of a specific stripe here, but when it comes to games that you can play forever the Civilization series is the gold standard. Civ 6, Like all the Civ series it brings the huge benefits of extended gameplay (seeing a game through the end can take many hours or days) and unlimited replayability. Perfect for a situation where you’ve got a lot of sudden and enforced free time.
Jon: Robots: Check. Dinosaurs: Half Check. Robot Dinosaurs: Check!
In this open world RPG (role playing game) you play as Aloy. You’re equipped with a teched-out bow and arrow and you travel a massive open world and fight roaming robot dinosaurs. Do I really need to say more? If I do, well the game allows you to set traps, features a really cool story, and, once again, a robot T-rex. You can dump well over 60 hours into one of the best games on the PS4.
Brendon: Fallout: New Vegas (FNV) is the best western to feature plasma rifles, aliens, and atomic air cannons. FNV is, to my mind, the best entry in the series. It combines elements of RPGs, shooters, westerns, and sci-fi all in a delightful post-apocalyptic package. FNV is a strictly single-player experience but it shines in this role. It is very easy to lose yourself as you explore both the wasteland and New Vegas. Better still, you can’t experience all the game content and endings in one playthrough due to choices that have to be made.
Brendon: Sometimes you’re not seeking intellectual heavy lifting, sometimes you just want to enjoy some light-hearted mayhem, right? Of course, you do! And when this mood strikes, Blizzard’s 2016 offering of Overwatch is just the game for you. Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter. If you find you’ve got an itch for a light-hearted take on online shooters as you are stuck indoors, give this game a shot.
Paul: Easily one of my favorite games of all time. It’s the perfect balance of racing and crashing, with emphasis on crashing.
Jon: My personal favorite video game series of all time. This far reaching space rpg pits you as Commander Shepard battling an ancient alien species hell bent on the extinction of all galactic life. The incredible thing about this series is that decisions you make in the first game effect how things play out in the series finale.
Brendon: Most people are familiar with the Zelda series by now and what it entails. BotW delivers all the classic hits that you come back for but with a brand new element. BotW takes place on a huge open-world map of Hyrule which adds an exploration element to the series. In addition to the game’s central story, there are side quests galore. You will have many hours of fun to look forward to if you pick up this title.
Jon: My lone real family friendly recommendation here. The eighth installment in the Mario Kart franchise and the first on the Nintendo Switch. The Switch’s unique controls make this edition of Mario Kart even more fun than past experiences and super family friendly if you’re staying at home with kids.
Paul: That latest installment in the Animal Crossing franchise is my latest obsession. I just picked it up on the Switch and can’t stop playing. This real-time life simulation game (meaning even when you shut the game off the time in the game still goes by) is the perfect stuck at home game.
Star Wars: Fallen Order (2019). Spider-Man (2018). Batman: Arkham Series (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015), Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018), Doom Eternal (2020), Cuphead (2017), Crusader Kings II (2012), Saints Row: The Third (2011), and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (2011).