Here in the northern hemisphere, we’re coming to terms with the fact that it is, indeed, that time of the year again when temperatures plummet and the nights get longer. Winter’s icy fingers might be tapping at your window, but fear not because we have the perfect excuse to stay snuggled-up indoors. Why brave the chilly winds when you can embark on epic quests, solve mind-bending puzzles, and battle mythical creatures—all from the comfort of your toasty warm home?
This winter, trade-in snowfall fights for digital brawls and forgo those frosty nights on the town for epic adventures in endless online realms. In this article, we’ll be discussing the best digital games for winter 2023.
RPGs, or role-playing games, are the heart of the gaming industry. In fact, this genre is so central to gaming that it’s even spawned several other sub-genres. And what better way to spend winter nights than to be transported to and immersed in far-off universes? Whether you’re a fantasy fanatic, a sci-fi savant, or a history buff, there’s an RPG game or two out there that will suit your taste.
As hinted above, the beauty of RPGs lies in their immersive storytelling; when you play these games, you’re essentially able to craft your characters’ destinies, forming alliances, battling deadly foes, and solving quests and puzzles along the way. Just as the most fantastic movies make us feel like we’re in the heart of the action, a well-crafted digital RPG is a portal to exciting new realms.
As you might expect, the gaming industry right now has tons of role-playing games to choose from. However, one of our favorites is the truly magical Hogwarts Legacy, which has been described as the “game fans have dreamed of playing since 1997”. It encapsulates everything that Harry Potter fans love about the literary franchise while delivering captivating and engaging gameplay. On the fantasy side of things, another title worth checking out is Square Enix’s Forespoken, an action-adventure RPG in a similar vein to the iconic Final Fantasy series.
Who says your winter hibernation can’t be both intellectually stimulating and entertaining? With digital mindsports, you can dive headfirst into the challenging world of cerebral games without needing to leave your cozy blanket fort!
Imagine taking on a grandmaster in chess or outwitting pro card gamers in a high-stakes poker tournament. Thanks to the digitization of games like chess, poker, draughts, and more, you can now play a whole raft of mindsports in the digital realm. Advanced technologies haven’t just given these age-old classics a new home; they’ve also introduced them to a brand new, receptive audience of global gamers. You don’t need to be an expert in mindsports to enjoy and possibly even excel at them online.
Take poker, for instance; in years gone by, you’d need to be hitting up the casino on a regular basis to sharpen your strategic skills. Now, several online platforms host games and tourneys online, including variants like Texas Hold’em poker and others. The game has become much more accessible and can be played by any adult gamer with a working internet connection and connected device. Meanwhile, the integration of extended reality technologies like VR adds extra layers of enhancement to playing the game that brick and mortar venues simply can’t provide.
Open World Survival Games
Survival games are a great genre to dive into during the colder months, not least because they’ll certainly make you appreciate your warm and cozy surroundings even more. Survival games are often challenging to play and require some pretty sharp strategic skills — especially when it comes to tasks like scavenging. When you mix in the open-world format, you’re really in for an entertaining winner.
An open-world survival game throws your character into a boundless digital realm, where you need to use your wits, survival instinct, and ability to gather resources not only to survive but thrive. The genre also encompasses a wide variety of games, some of which have RPG elements thrown in for good measure and others that feature high-octane action and battle royale melees.
Cooperative Multiplayer Games
As the winter chill encourages us to seek warmth and companionship, cooperative multiplayer games stand out as the perfect digital hearth. These games are designed around the concept of teamwork and collective strategy, making them an ideal choice for those looking to strengthen bonds with friends or family members, or even forge new ones with fellow gamers across the globe.
Titles such as “It Takes Two” redefine the cooperative experience by requiring players to work in tandem to solve intricate puzzles and navigate through a rich, story-driven adventure. Meanwhile, games like “Valheim” invite players to band together to build, survive, and explore within a mythological Norse universe. Whether you’re fortifying a shelter against the elements or coordinating in a high-stakes heist in “Payday 2,” the sense of camaraderie and shared victory is a heartwarming antidote to the cold outside.
The beauty of cooperative games is not just in the shared gameplay, but also in the shared experiences and memories created. They remind us that even in the depths of winter, we can find warmth in human connection—even if it’s through a screen.
As with the other genres featured in this article, the open-world survival genre constantly seems to be expanding. To start with, give one of the most iconic video games of all time a go: Minecraft. Other than creating your own blocky paradise and surviving everything that comes your way, there are no narrative-driven objectives to achieve in this game, so you can take your time to explore all the Minecraft universe has to offer.