The best PC games for…de-stressing

Maria Baeta


We continue our “The Best PC games for …” series, this time teaching you how to leave your stress behind with games in different genre and styles.

Maybe you’ve had a bad day: work has been stressful, you get home to an angry partner, your friends are busy, and on top of that, the fridge is empty! Don’t panic– you can de-stress by playing some games.

The best PC games for…de-stressing

One of the best ways to relieve stress is to grab a controller, a mouse or your keyboard and enjoy a great game on your PC. Which games are the best  for de-stressing? We outline a few options below.

Hotline Miami: A bit of action never hurt nobody

Hotline MiamiSometimes, the best way to relieve stress is to embrace your wild side. Games like Miami Hotline are perfect for this. Taking somebody out as they cross the road? Trust me, you’ll feel better.

Don’t be fooled by the retro and colorful graphics: Hotline Miami is a first rate game. Its both challenging, and very, very addicting, to the point where once you’ve de-stressed, you’ll want to continue playing for pleasure.

Road carnage with Hotline Miami

Need for Speed Rivals: Pure driving pleasure

Need for Speed RivalsNFS is synonymous with fast, fun and thrilling races behind the wheel of beautiful vehicles. What’s better than some racing action to eliminate stress?

After you’ve spent a while being chased or doing the chasing in Need for Speed Rivals, overcoming the increasingly rapid challenges, you’ll have forgotten what you were stressed about and you’ll shut down your PC with that ridiculous mixture of satisfaction and fatigue that everyone gets after a job well done.

NFS: will you be the hunter or the hunted?

Little Inferno: Cleanse your stresses with fire!

Little InfernoThere are days when I want to destroy everything in my path, but I’m a civilized person, and I know that that’s not necessarily the smartest way to deal with stress. Good thing there are games like Little Inferno, which is a great little indie game where your goal is, simply, to burn stuff.

Such simple gameplay sounds silly, but in Little Inferno, you simply pick up objects, drag and throw them into a big fire, and somehow, it feels amazingly cathartic. In addition, this simple gameplay conceals a strange story that grabs you and doesn’t let go, so even after you’ve got all your stress and tension out of your system, you won’t want to stop playing for the sake of knowing what happens next!

Burn, baby, burn - Little Inferno

Borderlands 2: The (almost) infinite shooter

Borderlands 2Of course, there are many first person shooters. What makes Borderlands 2 my first choice for winding down? Well, it’s mainly because, despite having elements of RPG and strategy, it’s a title that plays smoothly and allows almost endless combinations of weapons, which means getting bored isn’t very likely.

Borderlands 2 isn’t just rewarding in the single player mode: multiplayer is great too, and it plays really easily, making it hard to remember what you were stressed out about in the first place.

Borderlands 2 multiplayer is great fun

Bejeweled 3: puzzle your way to calm

Puzzle games can be pretty stressful in themselves, especially those that incorporate the pressure of time or lives, like Candy Crush. I’m including a title from this genre in my selection because there are exceptions, and one of them is Bejeweled 3.

This simple (but influential) game has a Zen mode: you can play without time, without haste, and without considering the score. Merging and banishing colored pieces will become a hypnotic act, making your stress disappear like one of the jewels in the game.

Will Zen mode lead you to inner peace?

Wile out or chill out?

Talking to my friends, I’ve come to the realization that everyone needs a different de-stressing technique: some people prefer to dial up the anger and opt for destruction, while others seek slow, contemplative fun. That’s why I’ve tried to appeal to both types of stressed out players in this list.

Make sure to check out the rest of our ‘The Best PC Games for…’ series to discover games for every occasion!

Which game helps you de-stress?

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