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Build Personal Resilience on PlayStation 4

Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves "bouncing back" from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.

Games, by design, present players with adversity and much of the joy of gaming comes from taking on and overcoming unnecessary obstacles. Whether you’re saving the universe from an alien invasion or tending crops in your animal community, playing games mimics the process of resilience.

Image 163 This list of games that can help foster various forms of psychological resilience is compiled with the expert help of Take This. They aim to decrease the stigma, and increase the support for, mental health in the game enthusiast community and inside the game industry. They encourage a game community that welcomes and supports people experiencing mental health challenges, and that recognizes the humanity and mental health of game creators.

The Portal series tell a narrative that you are going to fail. You’re told to give up, but if you ignore this barrage of discouragement you can use it as a way to strengthen your resolve and complete the puzzles even if you have failed twenty times in the process. The Stanley Parable is all about trying again. You can try and re-try your decision making, reaching a variety of different endings.

Dark Souls is a hallmark for a punishing challenge that require resilience. You journey through elaborate lands to adventure, explore, and take heed lest they encounter a battle with a boss or enemy. Celeste is the story of Madeline and the enemies she overcomes while climbing Celeste Mountain. The game specifically calls out that Madeline has anxiety, and the challenges she faces in the environment reflect her own internal struggles and triumphs. Cuphead challenges players to battle relentless bosses in combat-heavy play. Cartoonish and playful, it balances challenging players to grow in skill and offers plenty of entertaining environments and aesthetics to keep you playing.

In Kingdom Hearts you meet many characters that need help - and many boss battles feel almost insurmountable. With help from friends like Donald and Goofy, the player character Sora overcomes the darkness to save his friends and bring hope back to the world. Death Squared is a co-op puzzle game where one player’s mistake makes everyone else lose. You learn cooperative resilience in trying again admits humorous judgments from the unseen “hosts” of the game.

In Animal Crossing you get help from the animal neighbours. You learn to lean on this social and environmental resilience to persevere at building social connections with computer villagers and friends online. Stardew Valley’s farming is about growing and maintaining a homestead. Interweaving the busy work are relationships with the other villagers, many of whom are social models for resilience in their storylines.

This list includes 21 games from the last 19 years, with 140 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to build resilience.

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DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3+ to PEGI 18+
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Puzzle, Racing, Role-Playing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports and Strategy
Total Likes: 140
 

 
Game image Rust

Rust

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PEGI Rating 18+ for RustESRB Rating MATURE 17+ for Rust

Rust

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 08/02/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Shooting and Strategy

Developer: @FcPnchStds

Players: You can play this with 250 players online

Rust (also, Rust: Console Edition) is an online survival game set the wilderness. You explore, gather and craft materials to manage hunger, thirst, health and protection. The preparation is to ward off the threat of bears, wolves and (more commonly)...

Stardew Valley

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 26/02/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @ConcernedApe

Players: You can play this with 4 players online

Stardew Valley looks like a farming simulator. That’s partly what it is, but you must also develop relationships with the other townsfolk and delve deep into the mines. Its quirky labyrinthine attention to detail is as inviting for young players to...

Shady Part of Me

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 10/12/2020

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @ShadyPartOfMe

Players: This is a single player game

Shady Part of Me is a narrative platform game where you play as a young girl and her shadow. You help her overcome emotional struggles through solving 2D and 3D puzzles. The game world is based within the young girl's dreams. The young girl is afraid of...

Celeste

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 23/01/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Platform

Developer: @Exok_Games

Players: This is a single player game

This is a platform game that requires players to use jumping and climbing moves to ascend an increasingly challenging two-dimensional mountain. You play Madeline, who is, perhaps unsurprisingly, haunted by self-doubt at the task in hand. She presses on...

Five Nights at Freddy's (Series)

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 23/07/2014, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @SteelWoolStudio

Players: This is a single player game

Five Nights at Freddy's (FNaF) is a series of puzzle horror games. You play the night-guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza and have to survive the night while in your office, checking the cameras and closing the doors, or make repairs, all while being hunted...

Cuphead

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 29/09/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action and Platform

Developer: @StudioMDHR

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 2 players online

Cuphead is a running, jumping and shooting game that looks like an old Mickey Mouse cartoon. You play on your own or with someone else and work across the screen, jumping gaps, shooting enemies and avoiding projectiles.

The Crew 2 (Series)

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 02/12/2014, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Stadia and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World and Racing

Developer: @IvoryTowerOffic

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 8 players online

The Crew is a series of open-world racing and exploration games set in a scaled down version of the United States. The emphasis is on enjoyable and exciting driving more than realism. It's a lot like Forza Horizon, although can be played on PlayStation...

Kingdom Hearts (Series)

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 28/03/2002, updated in 2019

Platforms: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Role-Playing

Developer: @SquareEnix

Players: This is a single player game

Kingdom Hearts is a series of action role-playing games that combine video game and Disney characters in popular adventures. You play Sora, as he journies with various Disney, Square Enix and Pixar characters and fight multiple incarnations of games...

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (Series)

Rating: PEGI 7+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 26/06/2014

Platforms: Nintendo 2DS|3DS, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting and Platform

Developer: @YachtClubGames

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is a retro-style platform game where you play as a Knight who's primary weapon is a shovel. It can either be used to attack enemies head-on, dig up treasure, or aim below while jumping to bounce on enemies. You can get...

Forgotton Anne

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 15/05/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Platform

Developer: @ThroughLineGame

Players: This is a single player game

Forgotton Anne (Forgotten Anne) is a hand-animated adventure that combines cartoon (Ghibli-inspired) storytelling with running and jumping puzzles. You play as Anne, the enforcer who keeps order in the Forgotten Lands, as she sets out to squash a...

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Expected Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @EmberLab

Players: This is a single player game

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...

A Space for the Unbound

Rating: PEGI 12+

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @MojikenStudio

Players: This is a single player game

A Space For The Unbound is an adventure about everyday life where you explore your location, chat with people and solve puzzles. Unusually, you do this by stepping into the mind of people you meet and helping them solve their stuck and knotted...

Headliner: NoviNews

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 05/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @UnboundCreation

Players: This is a single player game

Headliner: NoviNews is a narrative-driven simulation game where you play as the person in charge of the headlines and stories that are released to the public. Each article you approve from your office has a direct impact of the world outside. Which news...

Hyper Light Drifter

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 31/03/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Role-Playing and Shooting

Developer: @HeartMachineZ

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room

Hyper Light Drifter is a fast action role-play game that combines exploration and puzzles with arcade style shooting. You play a Drifter who can access technology in a post-technological world. This grants access to upgradable energy weapons to help you...

Goodbye Volcano High

Rating: Not rated by PEGI or ESRB

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Developer: @KOOPMode

Players: This is a single player game

Goodbye Volcano High is a high school coming of age adventure set in a world of anthropomorphic dinosaur characters. You play as band members, non-binary Fang and best friend Trish. Then there's student council president Naomi, and Fang's brother Naser....

It Takes Two

Rating: Not rated by PEGI or ESRB

Release Date: 26/03/2020

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Narrative, Platform and Puzzle

Developer: @HazelightGames

Players: This is a single player game

It Takes Two is a running, jumping and exploring game that tells a story of a young girl, Rose, who's parents are divorcing. The girl creates two dolls to represent her parents, which unexpectedly come to life. The game proceeds to share the girls...

The Stanley Parable

Rating: Not rated by PEGI or ESRB

Release Date: 31/07/2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: @HelloCakebread

Players: This is a single player game

The Stanley Parable is an interactive drama with no combat or action to speak of apart from walking around and interacting with everyday objects. You guide a silent protagonist, Stanley, while discouraging narration plays in your ear. As you discover...

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Rating: PEGI 18+, ESRB MATURE 17+

Release Date: 22/03/2019

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting and Narrative

Developer: @Fromsoftware_pr

Players: This is a single player game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an adventure fighting game set in the Sengoku period in Japan. You play a shinobi known as Wolf, who has lost an arm, as he attempts to take revenge on a samurai clan who attacked him and kidnapped his lord.

Death Squared

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 14/03/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Puzzle

Developer: @SmgStudio

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

Death Squared is a cooperative puzzle game for 1, 2 or 4 players. Together, you solve puzzles by guiding a robot to a colour-coded goal. Getting there requires co-operation and communication as each player's path has deadly traps and hazards.

Far From Noise

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 14/11/2017

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and iOS

Genres: Narrative

Developer: @GeorgeBatch

Players: This is a single player game

Far From Noise is a narrative game where you play a car balancing on the edge of a cliff. You meet multiple animals that act as spiritual guides and discuss what it means to balance between life and death. When talking, you get the choice of two phrases...

HackyZack

Rating: PEGI 3+, ESRB EVERYONE

Release Date: 23/08/2018

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Platform, Puzzle, Simulation and Sports

Developer: @SpaceboyGames

Players: You can play this with 2 players online

Hack Zack is a running and jumping game where you also have to hit a ball through the level to win. Because the game simulates real physics this can be quite a challenge. It's an unusual game that requires planning as well as careful execution.


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