The sales record-shattering Nintendo Switch game Animal Crossing: New Horizons has transformed many people into crafting, fishing, and K.K. Slider-song collecting first-time gamers.
But, when they find themselves weary after collecting their ten-thousandth sea bass, one question lingers in their minds: What game should I play next?
If you are one of the many whose first step into gaming came through Tom Nook’s Deserted Island Package, you are in the right place.
The following list features games like Animal Crossing in some significant way – inspired by some of the most popular reasons people adore ACNH. Here, you will find life simulation games, games with a well-developed crafting system, and games so adorable you won’t be able to quit smiling.
Here are 11 great games like Animal Crossing fans should try next:
1Life Simulation: The Story of Seasons Series
Formerly known as the Harvest Moon series, the Story of Seasons series is a farming-centric life simulation collection of games. In each rendition of Story of Seasons, you play as a novice farmer transforming a dilapidated farm into one that is successful and thriving. When you are off the clock, you can befriend your neighbors, participate in local events, and eventually get married/start a family.
2Life Simulation: My Time at Portia
The story of My Time at Portia begins similarly to a Story of Seasons game: you arrive in the post-apocalyptic town Portia and inherit your father’s old workshop. You are then tasked to return the shop to its former glory. What My Time at Portia has that other life simulators often lack is a heavy emphasis on story.
With each mission you complete, Portia expands and you learn more about the story behind this small town. If you are not the biggest fan of collecting materials, My Time at Portia offers ways around the grind of collecting that can help you focus on other aspects of the game you are more interested in.
You can check out our My Time at Portia Review here.
3Life Simulation: The Sims 4
Everyone and their mama has crossed paths with a Sims game, and for good reason. The latest rendition, The Sims 4, is still being updated frequently after its initial release in 2014. No matter what interests you within Animal Crossing, that interest can be expanded upon in The Sims 4.
For example, if you adore being your villager’s interior decorator, you can create detailed, realistic homes in The Sims 4. If you like to recreate your favorite television shows using Harvey’s Island, you can further develop those narratives on the Sims. With a myriad of mods and DLC to explore, the limits of The Sims 4 experience are as wide as your imagination.
4Life Simulation: BitLife
The mega-popular phone app Bitlife is the tumultuous, yet always entertaining marriage of a life simulator game and a choose-your-adventure novel. Anything and everything is possible in Bitlife and each moral decision is yours alone to make. Unlike ACNH, Bitlife doesn’t operate on a 24-hour schedule. You move through your Bitlives at a quicker pace and can tweak your strategy depending on what you want to accomplish.
Its sense of humor shines brightly through Bitlife’s weekly challenges, which encourage you to explore the wacky possibilities of its world. Recently, Bitlife began its vampire challenge, where you “live a long and bloodthirsty life in the Romanian countryside.”
If you’re looking for games with a well-developed crafting system, one of the most culturally significant titles in gaming history, Minecraft, is an open-world, sandbox game that boasts 112 million active players every single month. As you explore Minecraft its world changes in real-time, making each playthrough a brand new experience.
In Minecraft, you will gather raw materials such as wood, stone, sand, and clay to craft a world of items that will help you along your exciting journey. With extensive multiplayer modes and user-generated content to explore, Minecraft is a game you will lose hours in without realizing it.
Need more reasons to play Minecraft? Check out these ridiculously cool Minecraft creations.
6Crafting: No Man’s Sky
The intergalactic adventure-epic No Man’s Sky has expanded astronomically since its 2016 launch. In No Man’s Sky, you play from the perspective of an astronaut who has crashed onto a random planet. As you rebuild your ship and soon resume your space exploration, you slink deeper and deeper into the secrets lurking within the galaxies around you.
And of course, to have a successful space mission, you need to craft. With your trusty blueprints in hand, you mine minerals and elements from the planets you visit to make items that drive the story as well as upgrades for your ship and spacesuit.
No Man’s Sky has come a LONG way since its initial launch, taking it from a rage-inducing crapfest to an absolute MUST-play.
7Crafting: The Forest
The Forest is a first-person, open-world survival horror game where you play as the survivor of a plane crash. As you search for your son, you are forced to explore, survive, and fight through an untracked, wild forest overrun by cannibalistic genetic mutants. To protect yourself, you must use resources from the aforementioned forest to craft a shelter, weapons, medicine, food, and more.
Now I know exactly what you’re thinking: “Holy tonal shift Batman!” But, if you found yourself intrigued instead of terrified by Animal Crossing’s notorious Bunny Day mascot Zipper, jumping from Animal Crossing to survival horror wouldn’t be too far of a stretch.
8Crafting: Stardew Valley
A pixelated love letter to the long-running Story of Seasons series, Stardew Valley is a popular open-ended farming-simulation RPG game. The day-to-day activities of Stardew Valley are similar to Story of Seasons and include raising livestock, growing crops, and building relationships with the townsfolk.
One of the biggest differences between Stardew Valley and Story of Seasons is that the crafting system of Stardew Valley is far more developed. Most of the items you collect throughout the game can live a new life through your crafting creations. There is also more flexibility in terms of choosing the virtual life you want to live, including marrying without regard to gender and the option to adopt a child.
9Cute: Little Big Planet 3
If it’s cute games like Animal Crossing that you’re looking for, look no further than Little Big Planet. Starring the adorable Playstation mascot Sackboy, Little Big Planet is a puzzle platformer that understands the power of imagination. The game has a linear story, but what makes the game a must-play is its user-generated content. Just as you can design your own levels, at least 8 million community levels are available for you to explore.
If ACNH’s terraforming caters to only the tip of your creative iceberg, the possibilities of Little Big Planet’s “Create” mode will blow your mind.
10Cute: Goat Simulator
The Animal Crossing series features its fair share of anime-inspired, cartoon goats as villagers. In Goat Simulator, on the other hand, you are put into the hooves of a realistic goat as they wreak havoc on an unsuspecting town.
Every troubling event you cause earns you a certain amount of points. This encourages you to do as much damage as possible. What started as a parody of the simulation genre of gaming, is a full-fledged, Easter egg-filled adventure that will have you wondering if goats are your spirit animals.
11Cute: Katamari Damacy REROLL
Katamari Damacy REROLL is a high-definition release of the oh-so-satisfying Playstation 2 classic, Katamari Damacy. You play a prince ordered by your father, the King of All Cosmos, to rebuild the cosmos after he accidentally destroys it. To recreate stars and planets, you move from place to place collecting everything you see with a small ball until it transforms into a star-sized mass.
At the beginning of the level, your ball collects tiny things like thumbtacks and coins. By the end, you could be collecting entire continents. Katamari Damacy REROLL is lovably bizarre from its gameplay to its story, with vibrant characters you will want to see through until the very end.