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Best Long (Under 40 Hours) Games

Pokémon Legends: Arceus

Release Date: 28/01/2022

Platforms: Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the latest game in the longstanding Pokémon series of role-playing games where you collect and battle Pokémon. Like those previous games, you compete in turn-based battles and try and collect as many...

Horizon Forbidden West

Release Date: 18/02/2022

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Horizon Forbidden West is a post-apocalyptic action-adventure where you explore an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life. The story of Aloy continues as she sets out to investigate a plague terminating from an arcane frontier...

Age of Empires IV (Series)

Release Date: 02/02/1998, updated in 2022

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS2, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Age of Empires is a strategy game where you command an ancient civilisation in real-time and must develop from hunter-gatherers to advanced forms of defence and war. This is similar territory to Civilization but focuses on...

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Release Date: 24/03/2003, updated in 2013

Platforms: GameCube and Wii U

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is an adventure game in the Zelda series. This one is set on a group of islands in a vast sea, and follows Link as he attempts to save his sister from the sorcerer Ganon. This soon develops into a struggle to find the...

Don't Starve

Release Date: 23/04/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

Don't Starve is an open-world survival game. Here it’s the environment and enemies, rather than other players, that you work with. You need to find and develop food, weapons and shelter to survive. It’s enjoyable because it’s hard, so repeat-plays...

Horizon Zero Dawn

Release Date: 01/03/2017

Platforms: PC and PS4

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Horizon Zero Dawn, and the follow-up game Horizon Forbidden West, has a post-apocalyptic feel familiar from movies like Planet of the Apes. It plunges you into an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life where animalistic machines...

The Last Of Us Part II

Release Date: 19/06/2020

Platforms: PS4

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night

The Last of Us Part II is an action-adventure game set five years after The Last of Us. You control two characters in a post-apocalyptic United States. Ellie is out for revenge after suffering a tragedy, and Abby is a...

Subnautica (Series)

Release Date: 11/04/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

Subnautica is an open-world adventure where you explore the ocean on an alien planet after crashlanding. You collect resources and fight creatures to survive. This enables you to establish an underwater base, gain new craft and equipment and explore...

Ghost of Tsushima

Release Date: 17/07/2020

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Components: 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.

Stormworks: Build and Rescue

Release Date: 28/02/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Components: Open World and Weather

Stormworks is an open world adventure where you design, build and pilot your own air sea rescue service. You create programmable vehicles using it's block-building system and pilot them into dangerous situations to rescue stricken vessels or...

Biomutant

Release Date: 25/05/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

Biomutant is an open world role-play adventure game where you play a Raccoon warrior in a large world filled with mutated animals. Exploring this living breathing ecosystem has the feel of Zelda Breath of the Wild, but in a broken down steampunk...

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Release Date: 10/04/2020

Platforms: PS4

Final Fantasy VII Remake is an action role-playing game set in a decaying cyberpunk metropolis. It is the first in a series of games that remake the 1997 PlayStation game Final Fantasy VII. You play the role of a mercenary named Cloud Strife who joins...

Spiritfarer

Release Date: 18/08/2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night 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.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Series)

Release Date: 21/01/1999, updated in 2018

Platforms: DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Super Smash Bros. in its various versions offers real-time brawling battles. The tens of characters are drawn from other video games and each has bespoke moves to learn and perfect.

Genshin Impact

Release Date: 27/09/2020

Platforms: Android, PC, PS4 and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Open World

Genshin Impact is a role-playing adventure set in a fantastical open world you explore by walking, climbing, swimming and gliding as necessary. Like the Zelda games, you can collect items, and craft new weapons. However, in this game to create a party...

Smalland

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: Open World and Weather

Smalland is a survival adventure where you are a tiny character in an overgrown wilderness. The world is dynamically changing, not only with the weather, seasons, day and night but also in response to what you do. It's as beautiful as it is intimidating...

Grand Theft Auto V (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/1997, updated in 2019

Platforms: Android, DS, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 15+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Grand Theft Auto is a series of action-adventure game 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 other vehicles.

Hollow Knight (Series)

Release Date: 12/06/2018, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Hollow Knight is a game where you run, jump, and battle your way through the underground kingdom of Hallownest. It’s not uncommon for platform games to invest in the environments through which you pass, but the haunting depths in this game contain...

Zoo Tycoon (Series)

Release Date: 17/10/2001, updated in 2017

Platforms: DS, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Zoo Tycoon is a zoo simulator series where you take charge of a zoo business, build the park, care for animals and attract visitors. You can build, expand, and upgrade the zoo by purchasing animals, creating suitable animal habitats, and allocate staff...

Littlewood

Release Date: 18/06/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

Littlewood (coming to Switch soon) is a town and farming simulator a little like Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing. Here though, the twist is that the game is set after a grand adventure. You...

The Forest

Release Date: 30/05/2014

Platforms: PC and PS4

Components: Day and Night and Open World

Forest is a survival horror game where you are the only passenger to live after a plane crash. You explore a mysterious forest to find food, shelter and safety but soon have to battle strange cannibalistic people.

No Man's Sky

Release Date: 10/08/2016, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

No Man's Sky is a space simulation about exploring endless planets and galaxies. It invites you to take your spaceship to explore and colonise a universe rich with diverse planets, creatures and fauna. Facing so vast a space is daunting at first, but a...

Paralives

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Paralives is a simulation game where you build houses for people and then control how they live. It's inspired by games like the Sims, however, you have complete control over every aspect of the design of the house and its residents. Its balance of...

Okami

Release Date: 20/04/2006, updated in 2017

Platforms: DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

Okami (Okamiden on Nintendo DS) is an unusual action-adventure. Combat is via interactions that are achieved with brush strokes rather than weapons. It has a unique visual style that invites you to inhabit its painted world with brushstrokes of your...

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Series)

Release Date: 15/07/2003, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox and iOS

The Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) is a series of hard narrative-driven role-playing and combat games set in the Star Wars universe, 4000 years before Luke Skywalker and the Empire. You fight enemies and discover secrets by talking to the...

Paper Mario: The Origami King (Series)

Release Date: 11/08/2000, updated in 2020

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch, Wii and Wii U

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Paper Mario is a role-play game featuring Mario and other Nintendo characters. Although cute and cartoon-like in appearance, these games are known for the quality of writing and the well balanced and enjoyable turn-based combat.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy

Release Date: 03/09/2018

Platforms: DS, GameCube, PC, PS2, PS4, Switch, Wii and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Spyro Reignited Trilogy is a running, jumping, bashing and exploring game. It’s a re-release of the classic platform games featuring the purple dragon, Spyro. The attraction is the well designed levels, collecting and exploration. It’s an amiable...

Two Point Hospital

Release Date: 25/02/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Two Point Hospital is a light-hearted healthcare simulator. You take charge of a hospital, similar to Theme Hospital, where you must construct and maintain wards, machines and staff.

Little Dragons Café

Release Date: 21/09/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

Little Dragons Cafe is a strategy game about running a cafe. Unlike other farming and friendship games you don't have to earn money or toil to gain ingredients. Simply explore, collect and cook. It's a farming gaming without the stress.

Sid Meier's Civilization (Series)

Release Date: 21/10/2016, updated in 2019

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

Civilization is a long-running strategy game where you develop a society from hunter-gatherer to space travel. There are many ways to approach this challenge; socially, militarily, politically or perhaps by building wonders to impress other nations.

Viva Pinata

Release Date: 09/09/2006

Platforms: DS, PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night

Viva Pinata is a strategy garden-simulation where you tend and care for 60 different piñata animals. Play involves interacting with the Pinata themselves, but also creating the right environment to attract new creatures and helping them thrive. It...

The Elder Scrolls (Series)

Release Date: 11/11/2011, updated in 2017

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Components: Day and Night and Open World

The Elder Scrolls is a series of action role-playing games that take you to detailed open worlds with free-form gameplay. The series has sold more than 58 million copies.

Super Mario 3D World

Release Date: 21/11/2013, updated in 2013

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Super Mario 3D World (known as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury on the Switch) is a platform game you can play with up to 4-players in the same place. While all Mario games are good for families, this co-operative and competitive play makes it great...

Bear and Breakfast

Release Date: 28/07/2022, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night

Bear and Breakfast is an adventure strategy game where you build a bed and breakfast in the woods. You play as an aspiring bear host, renovating a dilapidated area in town into one fit for tourists. However there is an underlying darkness in the woods...

Puzzle Quest (Series)

Release Date: 16/03/2007, updated in 2019

Platforms: DS, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, Switch, Wii, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Puzzle Quest 3 is the latest in a series of games that combine role-playing with tile-matching puzzles. Set in a fantasy world, you move around the map, encountering monsters and other enemies. When you go the battle are played out as tile puzzles where...

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Release Date: 05/10/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Stadia and Xbox One

Components: 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...

Bully

Release Date: 17/10/2006, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, PC, PS2, PS3, PS4, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

Bully (Canis Canem Edit in Europe) is a role play adventure from the people who make Grand Theft Auto. You play juvenile delinquent student Jimmy Hopkins who aims to rise through the ranks of the school system in order to put a stop to bullying.

Starbound

Release Date: 20/03/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

Starbound is an action-adventure game from the developer of Terraria about the exploration of space. It's a world viewed from side-on, with simple visuals that enable it to offer complex systems and hundreds of items for players to discover their own...

Eco

Release Date: 06/02/2018

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Components: Day and Night and Open World

Eco extends the resource-collecting and building of Minecraft by introducing environmental implications to your actions. Using resources like trees will erode the soil; mining might pollute the river; and each animal depends on another.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning (Series)

Release Date: 10/02/2012, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Components: Open World

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is an adventure where you set out from the vibrant city of Rathir to rescue a world torn apart by a vicious war. Along with its huge scale, the game offers nuanced character development and a political system where you...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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