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Video games are usually non-stop. They invite us onto a ride that takes us to all sorts of places. They invite us to continually engage and interact with the worlds they create. However, some games create space for us to pause the action, sit, and take in the environments they have created. We have other lists of games that players use to gain a sense of calm or meditative state. The games in this are those that include the chance to get your character to actually stop and meditate. This can be a specific meditation option, like in Sable, or the ability to get your character to sit and listen when you stop moving, this is a powerful way to get a taste of how meditation in real life can help us come back to ourselves and in so doing, rediscover the world around us.Games like Kena depict the breath slowing and draw attention to the sights and sounds of the natural world. Then there is Journey that allows us to sit when we stop moving or Flower that encourages us to slow our pace with scenes of where we have just been. Then there is Sky Children of the Light where you need to go to special locations to meditate.Even violent or desolate games can offer powerful moments of stillness. Stopping in Death Stranding or Ghost of Tsushima means you can simply sit and relax. In Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Origins and Valhalla you can use meditation to see the sun quickly shift across the sky. In The Witcher 3 you can stop and meditate to restore your health and pass time.Or there are hidden moments of meditation in games like Uncharted The Lost Legacy where Chloe will work through her Yoga poses on top of a tower. Spiritfarer is similar, you have to find a snake named Summer and complete their quests to be invited to meditate with them.There are also games that offer Photo modes that don't specifically depict the feature as meditation. It offers a chance to pause, take in the action and the world as you pan the camera, frame an image or adjust the depth of field.Finally, there are games like Animal Crossing, Conan Exiles, that don't offer specific meditation but let you sit on benches, stare out to see, or watch the sunrise. This list includes 39 games from the last 27 years, with 1,689 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to pause the action with meditation.
Release Date: 25/04/2020
Out Now: Switch
Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World, Persistant World and Weather
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a role-play collecting game where you live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game...
Release Date: 14/03/2012, updated in 2019
Out Now: PC, PS3, PS4 and iOS
Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Open World
Journey is an adventure game set in a desert. Exploring the eerie sandscape, you discover a world abandoned by the race that created it. The sense of space and scale evokes feelings of aloneness and being lost. But then the game pairs you with other...
Release Date: 21/03/2017, updated in 2019
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and Switch
Skill Rating: 3+ year-olds
Everything is an unusual game that simulates a world where you can become any object. It sounds strange and not much fun, but the enjoyment is in discovering how small or how big a thing you can become. From tiny atoms to whole planets and everything in...
Release Date: 21/08/2021
Out Now: PC, PS4 and PS5
Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an adventure about a young girl who travels to an abandoned village in the hope of finding a sacred mountain shrine. To get there she must find and grow a team of charming spirit companions called the Rot, enhancing their...
Release Date: 02/11/2016, updated in 2018
Out Now: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person
Abzu is an adventure in a lush underwater world. You descend into the heart of the ocean to find ancient secrets and encounter majestic creatures. This combines the beautiful weightlessness of diving with an ancient story of finding meaning and your...
Release Date: 15/01/2019, updated in 2019
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a fighting-adventure game set five years after Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and 14 years before Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Young Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis is hunted through the galaxy by the...
Release Date: 31/01/2023
Season: A Letter to the Future is a narrative adventure about a young woman sent out from her secluded community to explore the world for the first time. She is tasked with documenting life in a local valley before a mysterious cataclysm washes...
Release Date: 05/10/2017, updated in 2019
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon and Open World
A Hat in Time is a running, jumping and exploring game inspired by retro platform games like Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, Spyro the Dragon and Psychonauts. As you explore each of the worlds, you discover characters to talk to, enemies to battle and an...
Release Date: 30/01/2013
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS Vita and PS3
Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night, Open World and Weather
Proteus is a narrative adventure game which takes you to a pixelated island. As you explore you discover that your presence changes the seasons and time of day. Delving deeper, there are rudimentary interactions with the creatures that inhabit the land,...
Release Date: 23/09/2021
Out Now: PC, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Open World and Weather
Sable is an adventure game where you play a young girl, Sable, alone in the world, but bravely exploring ancient monuments, ruined architecture, and fallen ships to uncover her place in it. It's an adventure without combat that calls you to find your...
Release Date: 16/02/2018
Fe is a platform-traversal game where you play a fox in a magical fairy tale forest. The world extends in front of you in stylised form, with trees, mountains and streams glistening with sparkles of life. You run, jump, climb and dip your paws in every...
Release Date: 02/04/2020, updated in 2022
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC and iOS
Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds
Wilderless is a traversal and exploration game where you are left to discover a fantasy world at your own pace without the usual hindrances. You run, jumping and glide your way around the landscape that unfolds beautifully before you. It stands out not...
Release Date: 28/04/2023
Out Now: PC, PS5 and Xbox X|S
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a fighting-adventure game and a sequel to 2019's Jedi: Fallen Order. As in that game, you explore and fight enemies with your lightsaber and force powers, but here you also have a...
Release Date: 21/12/2022
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Weather
Sail Forth is a sailing simulation where you take charge of a ship in a vast ocean whose ancient depths have swallowed the key to the mysterious past. You play by working with the wind and sails to explore, take on tasks, fight pirates and slowly...
Release Date: 03/12/2015
Out Now: PC
Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds
Orchids to Dusk is a short wandering adventure. You are an astronaut stranded on an alien planet, with only a few minutes of oxygen. You explore the world and discover fantastic gardens on the planet.
Release Date: Coming soon
Coming Soon: PC
Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person and Day and Night
Miska is a relaxing narrative adventure game about the flora and fauna of Australia. Rekindle your connection to family and nature through acts of restoration.
Release Date: 01/01/1997, updated in 2019
Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather
Grand Theft Auto V is the latest in a series of action-adventure games where you travel around one large location taking part in different criminal activities: pulling off heists, with lots of shooting and stealing and driving a variety of cars and...
Release Date: 19/01/2016
Out Now: Android, PC, PS3, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox X|S and iOS
Life Is Strange is a click/tap-to-move adventure where you play a student at a high school in a sleepy American town. Despite the idyllic setting, you have a foreboding premonition of a disastrous storm. Along with this prophetic vision, you discover...
Release Date: 17/07/2020
Out Now: PS4 and PS5
Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds
Components: 3D First-Person, Open World and Weather
Ghost of Tsushima is a stealth and action adventure set in 13th century Japan, where you play as a clan leader and samurai warrior trying to protect your people and the Tsushima Island against Mongol invaders.
Release Date: 05/10/2018
Out Now: PC, PS4, Stadia and Xbox One
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night and Open World
Assassin's Creed Odyssey is an action role-playing game set in the years 431–422 BCE during a mythological history of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. You play as a male or female mercenary fighting on both sides and attempting to...
Release Date: 09/09/2014
Components: 3D First-Person, Open World and Persistant World
Destiny 2 is a shooting game set in space. You have to play online as it focuses on grand sci-fi adventures with other players. From the same developer, it takes Halo towards a bigger online role-play experience.
Release Date: 26/10/2017
Out Now: PC, PS4, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Assassin's Creed Origins is an adventure set in Ancient Egypt near the end of the Ptolemaic period (49–44 BC). This game in the series goes back to the start of the centuries-long conflict between the Assassins (who fight for peace by promoting...
Release Date: 22/04/2020
Components: 2D Side-On
SoundSelf: A Technodelic is an interactive guided meditation. Using the microphone, and optionally enhanced by VR, the game leads you through a landscape that responds to the sounds of your breath. This encourages you to make the Ujjayi Pranayama sound...
Release Date: 13/10/2023
The Lords of the Fallen is a fighting role-play game where you traverse two parallel worlds on a mission to defeat a resurrected god. As you explore the world and interact with characters, you use your lantern to switch between the realms of the living...
Release Date: 18/08/2020
Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On, Day and Night, Hand-Made and Open World
Spiritfarer is a boat-building exploration game. Unusually though, you play Stella, ferry master to the deceased and the boat you manage takes them to the next life.
Release Date: 10/11/2020
Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the twelfth game in the Assassins Creed Series, an open world action-adventure that takes place over several main story quests as well as many optional side missions.
Release Date: 04/02/2000
Out Now: Amazon Fire, Android, PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Grid, Open World and Persistant World
The Sims puts you in charge of a world of characters living normal lives. By providing a home, a job, leisure, friendships and even a love interest, you work to make them happy. It’s an open-ended game as well, although the altruism is focused on...
Release Date: 14/08/2019
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night and Open World
Eastshade is a slow exploration game in a world you explore by walking around. Here, though, you play as a painter of landscapes rather than typical hero. Your mission is to paint your deceased mother’s favourite sights, but it's the world and its...
Release Date: 08/11/2019, updated in 2021
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and iOS
Components: 3D Third-Person, Open World, Persistant World and Weather
Death Stranding is an exploration game where you deliver supplies across a vast shattered, post-apocalyptic America while protecting and caring for a baby. It's intentionally slow, sometimes excruciatingly so, which means you carefully consider your...
Release Date: 22/06/2019
Out Now: Mac and PC
Components: 3D First-Person
Playne is a narrative-driven meditation game that helps you build daily meditation habits. With each meditation session, Playne's story begins to unfold and the life on your island begins to grow providing you with more environments to meditate in.
Release Date: 30/01/2017
Out Now: PC, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Persistant World
Conan Exiles is an online survival game, set in the lands of Conan the Barbarian. Similar to games like Ark or Green Hell, you start with nothing and must use resources you find in the open-world sandbox. On your own or with friends, you build a base...
Release Date: 15/03/2017
Out Now: Mac, PC and PS4
Components: 2D Overhead and Open World
Future Unfolding is an exploration adventure where you travel into beautiful landscapes to unfold the mysteries hidden around you. Viewed from above, you have a bird's eye view as you encounter different types of wild animals, some helpful and some...
Kibu is a simulation game where you play a lone monk, tend your farm and temple, and hone your martial arts skills. You must expand your farm with the resources you collect, grow new crops and construct walls and buildings, then set out and fight...
Simpler Times is a narrative game about a young woman reminiscing about her childhood as she moves away from home. While you listen to four soulful songs for each period of life, you explore the room and witness her changing interests and desires...
Release Date: 26/08/2021, updated in 2022
Out Now: PC and Switch
Components: 2D Side-On, Hand-Made and Weather
A Winding Path is a hand-drawn adventure you play at a walking pace so you can take in the beauty of little things in the world. Your journey is to find the rainmaker to bring back the rain. You play by moving around and interacting with the people,...
Release Date: 05/08/2022
Retreat to Enen is a peaceful survival game where you explore a tropical island and make your life there. With no hostile creatures, you craft a base that must exist alongside nature rather than treating it as an endless resource. The ecological premise...
Release Date: 01/11/2017, updated in 2018
Out Now: Android, PC, Xbox One and iOS
Components: 2D Side-On, Grid and Weather
Ruya is a narrative puzzle game about a mother on a journey of healing after love leaves her. You play as Ruya, meditating and remembering important parts of her life, shown through simple matching puzzles, with each colour tied to one of her children...
Release Date: 18/07/2023
Out Now: Android and iOS
Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds
Components: 2D Overhead and Cartoon
Pokémon Sleep is a collecting game where your performance is based on how well you sleep in the real world. Depending on the length, quality and type of sleep, you are awarded with different Pokémon when you wake. In this way, you aim to improve your...
Components: 2D Side-On, Cartoon and Hand-Made
While Waiting is a narrative adventure about the art of (not) being bored and passing time. All you have to do to complete the game is do nothing, but along the way, you can discover hundreds of ways to embrace boredom through mindless activities. It...