Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Our first pick for summer games is a no-brainer. The newest installment in the series, Animal Crossing: New Horizons brings you to a beautiful tropical island that you can customize and mess around with to your heart’s content.
You can fish, catch bugs, run away from bees, and do all of the other things we all pretty much do during the summer. You can even sit around and relax with your neighbors if you don’t want to particularly do anything.
There’s also flower picking, exploration, various festivals, and treasure hunting to occupy your time.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons brings together all the best things about summer without experiencing the sweating, the heat, the sunburn, and getting sand in places it really shouldn’t be in.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
There’s something refreshing about the Wind Waker world. Maybe it has something to do with all of that water it has or maybe it’s got something to do with the sailing that comes with it.
Either way, Wind Waker feels like one of those peaceful cruise vacations out in the middle of the ocean. You’ve got the sun, the water, islands to visit, and plenty of adventuring to do.
Granted, you have to occasionally fight an enemy or two during these grand adventures but that’s something easy to forget once you hop on your little boat and sail off into the sunset.
Proteus is another one of those summer games that you can easily get lost in. Essentially Journey during the summer, Proteus takes you on an aimless adventure through a serene island.
There’s no set objective here so you can simply enjoy the sun, nature, and the beach with no obligations whatsoever. The game’s soundtrack is dependent upon your interactions with the environment and the game itself so strap in for some dynamic music as well.
Proteus is like those lazy summer days we love to have. Sometimes you don’t want to do anything but soak up the sun, enjoy the beach, eat some snacks, and hang out.
Far Cry 3
A little more on the energetic side, Far Cry 3 is a vacation gone wrong. However, we have to admit that the game’s setting and overall atmosphere is very tropical, summery, and still rather fun despite the circumstances.
There’s plenty to do like skydiving, hunting wild and very dangerous animals, relaxing by the water, and exploring some picturesque locations. You could make a brochure out of all the things you can do here.
Far Cry 3 encompasses that summer vacation that’s full of so much adventure and adrenaline. It’s kind of like that vacation you never stop talking about for the rest of your life even though it happened a couple of years ago.
Akin to Proteus, The Witness is self-contained within a gorgeous tropical island. This time, however, there are mysteries and puzzles to solve that’ll put your mind to work.
The Witness packs so many diverse locations and environments into such a tiny place that you’ll be surprised you’re still on the same island. There are elegant and picturesque beaches, rustic forests, and deep dark caves to explore.
Add in a bit of thinking and you’ll get a wilder version of a Professor Layton video game. This time one of the mysteries you need to solve is how you even got to the island in the first place.
Nothing says summer more than a bunch of kids going on an adventure without any parental supervision. EarthBound, or Mother 2, is an absolute classic game at this point in video game history and it’s always fun to boot it up to see what Ness is up to.
Perfectly capturing that “weirdest summer of your life” kind of vibe, EarthBound takes you on a wild and crazy journey with a bunch of friends that’s full of twisted enemies, angry aliens, and bees.
It’s that type of RPG that uses all of the genres’ elements in the right way especially in character and party member skillsets. It’s no wonder people are still talking about EarthBound to this day and why Ness and Lucas are killing it in Smash.
Pokemon Sword and Shield
Speaking of a lack of parental supervision, Pokemon Sword and Shield are two great games to get your summer rolling. Summertime is for adventuring, taking vacations, and having fun without any responsibilities whatsoever.
Since the age for your financial and parental independence seems a lot younger in the Pokemon world, think of Pokemon as just an extended summer vacation where you travel the world with some cute companions.
There are so many sights to see within these games so playing Sword and Shield is like strapping on some boots and happily backpacking across the United Kingdom.
Grand Theft Auto V
San Andreas is the perfect location. It’s right by the ocean, it’s a cultural hotspot, and there’s plenty to do. The setting of Los Santos, more specifically, gets you right in the mood for that summer vacation to a touristy city.
GTA V is known for having quite a lot of activities to do and we’re not just talking about GTA Online. The base game itself is packed full of fun adventures that are so summer-y like bike riding, hiking, and swimming.
The story missions are entertaining but nothing beats exploring the city and Blaine county for things to do. Since GTA V is being ported to the PS5, we’ll be able to enjoy the game on yet another platform.
Super Mario Sunshine
This game is pretty self-explanatory. Mario and sunshine. What’s not to love? More specifically, Super Mario Sunshine takes place on the beautiful and tropical island resort of Isle Delfino. So, summer vibes are strong.
You can join Mario and Peach on vacation at this peaceful little island and stomp on some goombas along the way. Of course, there’s that little issue concerning Mario being framed for a crime but we can easily forget that when we see cute little palm trees.
The Mario games are known for their wacky and stylized settings so taking a trip to a tropical island Super Mario style is both happily unique and distantly weird.
Persona 4 Golden
Our final summer game just recently released on PC. Persona 4 Golden, like a few of the other games on this list, deals with young people during the summer getting into some crazy antics.
This time the antics are #persona style so that means they’re wilder, crazier, and cooler. A lack of parental supervision once again appears within this and these teenagers can pretty much run around whenever they want.
All jokes aside, there’s a reason Persona 4 is so popular. It’s full of complex and diverse characters, it has that gorgeous aesthetic that the Persona series is known for, and its combat is just downright fun.