Stressed out after a work week? Ready to drop everything and get your game on? Fancy something a little less involved? We have you covered. While any game can be relaxing, sometimes you might want something a little easier on the synapses for a truly chilled experience. Here are our picks for most-satisfying, least-taxing Xbox One games to date.
- Legos and chill: Minecraft
- Build a city: Cities: Skylines
- Peaceful life sim: Stardew Valley
- Colonize Mars: Surviving Mars
- Corpsedew Valley: Graveyard Keeper
- Play God, sorta: The Sims 4
Minecraft is one of the best chill-out games of all time, with both creative and survival modes to tailor the level of challenge to you. Zone out, smash some trees, build a house, build a castle, plunder underwater tombs, or create entire cities. The choice is yours, and the possibilities are endless.
A personal favorite, Cities: Skylines is the all-time greatest city builder, and it's available on Xbox One complete with intuitive controls and piles of additional DLC to extend your experience. Cities: Skylines allows you to build the city of your dreams, complete with bustling industry, high-volume commerce zones, and scenic suburbs.
Stardew Valley is a cutesy life sim that takes place in a vibrant pixel-style world. In Stardew Valley, you inherit the plot to some former farmland, and along with the local community, you get the chance to build it up into a thriving business. Stardew Valley is a light-hearted sojourn to another world, well worth your chill out time.
Like Cities: Skylines, Surviving Mars allows you to build your very own city, albeit this time on the red planet. You can tailor the difficulty on Surviving Mars' more challenging elements to be as passive or involved as you want, and to focus simply on city-building while navigating the needs of your growing colony. This is as therapeutic as they come.
If you like the look of Stardew Valley, but fancy indulging your gothic side, check out Graveyard Keeper! It's similar to Stardew Valley, but instead of building up and maintaining farmland, you'll be restoring a chapel and a graveyard back to its former glory. This macabre and darkly-funny life sim is as relaxing as it is gross.
The Sims 4 can be as passive or involved as you like, but depending on how you play, it can be as chill as they come. Design dwellings for entire families of digital automatons, tailor their relationships, work lives, and more, and watch them play out in real time! The controls aren't the best on Xbox One, but it also works with mouse and keyboard as of the latest update.
Xbox and chill
All of these games represent a laid back, relaxing time on Xbox One. Our favorite, of course, is the immortal Minecraft, owing to its endless possibilities, piles of addon content, and the ability to play with friends on virtually any system thanks to Minecraft Realms. There's no real aim in Minecraft, save for what you make for yourself, which makes the game as challenging or as relaxing as you see fit. There are dozens of ways to play, whether you simply want to jump on creative mode and make gigantic structures or even 3D pixel art, or via Survival Mode, which offers a more robust challenge, complete with adventure-like features like tombs and treasure.
Cities: Skylines is also a huge winner, and is as satisfying and addictive as they come. Some of the updates added features like weather management, disaster planning, deeper industrial systems, and much more. You'll find it hard to put the game down once you get going — just be sure to future-proof your infrastructure for big traffic jams.
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