Recommendation for an exciting and engaging, yet 'chill' video game?

Hey folks, I’m looking for a game for my wife to play. We used to play together all the time in the past; mostly the Borderlands games and Diabo III (not sure how many vacation days we used to play those all day together, but I loved those days), little bit of Left 4 Dead, Warhammer Vermintide and Division 2. By herself she played Skyrim, make a good dent in Fallout 3, and played a lotlot of Dragon Age: Inquisition.

DA:I is the game she, until recently, played quite a bit when she had down time. I noticed that she didn’t have any interest anymore, and I get why. She was way, way farther along the storyline than I ever got, but at some point it transitioned from “neat game with spells and fighting and exploring, and some kind of hard fights” to being…less enjoyable, shall we say?

So what I’m looking for, for her, is a game that has many aspects of the games mentioned, but is a little more chill from the gameplay standpoint. So not huge boss fights that you have to try over and over, no puzzles that you don’t want to think about after thinking all day at work, etc. Basically a cool game that doesn’t require too much learning about resources or underlying game mechanics.

Thank you in advance!

Subnautica is a pretty chill game. Takes place underwater; you explore the world, advance the plot, build a base, collect resources, and other stuff. Has some tense moments, but most of it is pretty relaxing. And if you really just want to chill after a long day, you can putter around in the safe areas, decorate your base, etc.

Some of the exploration can get somewhat difficult, but even if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can just admire the pretty underwater environment.

There are no big bosses or anything, though there are some creatures that you want to avoid. There’s a plot that resolves nicely, though you can ignore it if you like.

I enjoyed The Outer Worlds, which definitely has a Fallout 3 vibe. It’s not too long and the story is kind of goofy.

GTA V. There’s a story and missions but there’s rarely if ever any pressure to actually do any of them once you reach a certain point in the game (about 20-30 minutes into it). Missions are all straightforward, mostly just violence and chasing, but still quite varied. No puzzles. Otherwise it’s an impressively large and “alive” sandbox to just go mess around in.

There’s GTA Online too but that’s a much different experience.

Subnautica is a good suggestion.

I will always recommend Portal and Portal 2. Very chill, most of the time, hilarious, great physics (speedy thing goes in, speedy thing goes out).

harvest moon, story of seasons or stardew valley…you will get invested in watching things grow and get attached to digital animals lol

Note until about 4 years ago story of seasons and harvest moon were the same game until the company (marvelous)that makes the game in japan decided to localize it in house and just gave the company (Natsume)that brought it here the harvest moon trademark who started to make their own farming game with varying results

Some other games like Stardew Valley may also be interesting. Such as Forager, My Time At Portia, Core Keeper, Graveyard Keeper, Slime Rancher, Starbound.
They’re all sort of variations and different takes on the same idea, afaik. So you can poke around and see what appeals most.

Also may be interesting, some of the walking simulator games. The Stanley Parable just got a new release with a lot of added content. I also really liked Jazzpunk, which is pretty wierd and silly. and maybe too far into the difficulty would be the puzzle game Witness, which is all puzzle and walking around an island, but does get hard.

Else you could try backtracking some and playing New Vegas, Oblivion, Morrowind, and Fallout 4 since they’re similar games in a lot of ways to each other and Skyrim and Fallout 3.

perhaps No Man’s Sky as well. What I’ve seen seemed to be fairly relaxed but does have combat.

These may not be what you want, but I enjoy multiplay with these two:

  • Civilisation 5 (using Steam) … a turn-based game involving building, exploration, science research, some economics and combat

  • Lord of the Rings Online … basically turn-based (the combats don’t require manic key pressing), where you play a character in Middle Earth with the actual story-line going on around you. (I’ve been playing regularly for 7 years and still haven’t finished!)

Which does have boss fights at the end of each chapter but they’re pretty easy or she can simply explore the universe and not bother with the storyline much.

if yall like Robotron or smash tv type of gun fests and don’t mind a game that wouldn’t look out of place on Windows 3.1 there’s a game on steam called vampire survivors that’s 3-5 bucks

Heres a thread on it

Dragon Age: Origins is a bit more a traditional console RPG than DA:I but was an enjoyable experience. Eventually you’ll run into the same issues, but I feel like it was less repetitive than DA:I (though I might just be misremebering, it’s been a while since I played it).

The Mass Effect games are from the same studio and provide a similar experience, just in a futuristic interstellar space environment.

The Middle Earth: Mordor games are both excellent. Like the Batman: Arkham games, kind of a hybrid RPG/beat-em-up. It’s kind of ALL boss fights in a way, but not in a frustrating, Dark Souls kind of way. Unlike those games, the Middle Earth games WANT you to progress and they give you a lot of help. Honestly most of the fights are just wholly unfair, in your favor, but that’s also a good part of the fun. The challenge, like in the movies, is really just the enemy’s numbers.

Similarly, Mad Max was a surprisingly awesome game. Twisted Metal-type vehicular combat chaos, combined with the hybrid RPG/beat-em-up from above. Very repetitive gameplay, but ridiculously fun.

I would endorse Outer Worlds as well, as there are rarely any hard fights, and the story and characters are very engaging, while the character build is a lot more involved than Skyrim and Fallout 4.

Speaking of F4, I’d probably mention that as well, as there are tons of places to go and explore, and most importantly, there is almost ALWAYS a mod to change/fix any playstyle issues you may have. What’s nice about F4 is you can either ignore most of the main story and do whatever you want (I have a friend who spends most of the time playing it like the Sims with settlements), or blow through the main story and keep doing whatever else you want.

But Outer Worlds has the better ‘built-in’ story and characters, but is quite short even if you go for a nearly complete play through, and the lack of modding scene makes it less customizable and expandable.

Hades? Not sure if roguelikes are your thing, but there’s a god mode toggle that lets you take more hits before expiring.

The game is gorgeous, and the characters are very nicely voice acted. The story is pretty interesting too!

By the way, if she enjoyed Dragon Age (before it got into a slog), she might enjoy the Mass Effect series. There are a few boss-type battles, but nothing as hard as Dragon Age (in my opinion).

I was a huge Skyrim nut, and then the Horizon series came and stole my heart. There are boss battles, but you can always tweak the difficulty settings and they’re not Souls-type battles - it’s always pretty obvious what you have to do to win them, and it’s not hugely button-mashy.

Plus you can just explore, and they are gorgeous games.

I’ll do the obvious thing and suggest Borderlands 2 and Borderlands 3

Also, if you enjoyed those games and especially the Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep DLC for Borderlands 2, there’s a new game, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, which is a whole game set in Tiny Tina’s gaming world.

While the other suggestions in this thread are excellent, if you want to try something slightly different, I highly recommend Minecraft. It has exploration, fighting, building. No plot, totally sandbox. It’s my go-to game when I want to do something simple, but still see some accomplishment.

The basic game is super simple (kindergartners play), but is as complex as your goals can be. You have your own constructible world to play in, or you can join someone else’s world.

Stardew Valley is the most chill video game ever, and it’s fairly engaging, but I don’t think I would call it “exciting”. Farming wheat is literally exactly as exciting as watching grass grow, after all (though there are other things to the game). Might still be of interest, though.

I’ll also nominate City of Heroes. It’s a superhero game, so there’s naturally a certain level of action, but with superheroic levels of power, it’s not too challenging. There are some difficult challenges in the game, but it’s an open enough world that it’s very easy to just not do those.

I just bought the Quantic Dream bundle. It has Detroit: Become human, Hard Rain, and Beyond Two Souls.

I Just started Two Souls. So far, pretty chill. There is puzzle solving but it hasn’t been difficult as of yet.

Another vote for Portal 2 as well.

And Journey