As I write this, I must stop every few minutes to blow my nose and sip hot tea to rid myself of the chills. We’ve all been there before. We all get sick, and you’ve gotta stay home from school, or work for those of us not still in school. You’re sick, maybe even bedridden, but you’re awake enough to be able to play video games from the comfort of bed. You know you can’t play anything too intense—nobody wants to play competitive Overwatch half-assed.
I’ve been down this road many times and, inadvertently, had some games I barely touched become all-time favorites. Maybe it wasn’t even because they were great games, but because they filled me with joy and kept me upbeat despite being ill. I guess in a way, I’m thankful for these games for more than one reason.
Of course, my experience with being sick and gaming (at the same time) is different than your experience, but I hope that the next time you’re stuck at home sick, you pick one of these up!
10) Just Cause 3
I mean, do I even need to explain anything? This game is the ultimate “turn your brain off and blow shit up”-type of game. If you’ve got the volume turned up loud enough, the vibration from the explosions will likely clear out any blockage in your sinuses (kidding, this is not a cure for your illness). With the DLC added, and the inclusion of a Bavarium jetpack and walking tanks to decimate enemy bases with, this is a great game to just gawk at while you’re sick.
If you’re especially sick and don’t want to focus on storytelling, no problem—this game’s story and characters are about as one-dimensional as they get! It’s a playable action-flick with a high explosives budget. If you haven’t already given it a try, you should!
9) Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a current game. It’s not even the best Dragon Ball game ever, but god damn it got me through an intense illness back in the day. This is one of my favorite games based on DBZ. It’s always felt like one of the most action-y, explosive DBZ games. I had a friend who had it on his PS2 and we played it so much at his house, but I never actually owned it. Lo and behold, I happened to finally buy it right before I got nice and puke-y, and it was an absolute hoot.
The story of DBZ is certainly nothing new to me. Playing through it in this particular game with all of the extra missions and massive character roster was so much fun, though, and could easily be done in a day or two. You can get it either for the PS2 or the Wii. I’m not sure how expensive it is now; some older DBZ games tend to not really dip in price. If you can get it for a reasonable price, you absolutely should do it.
If we ever get an updated re-release with Xenoverse-style graphics, that’d be just swell, too.
8) Crash Bandicoot 1/2/3 or N. Sane Trilogy
Personally, I love the original trilogy as well as the remastered one, but, obviously, when I was a kid there was only one option. I would love to be a kid again to be able to experience Crash as he is now on a sick day and just bore through all three games between snot-rags.
Now, yeah, these games can be generally frustrating at times, especially if you’re going for all of the gems or relics. However, if you’re just going through each of these games for the sake of beating the game, it’s a reasonably pleasant linear 3D platformer. Seeing Crash do his celebratory dance is sure to cure you of even the most brutal of head colds (even though it was definitely way better in the original games). Not to mention, each of the games gets progressively more “‘tude-eriffic,” with the first game having the most relaxing vibe, and the third being the most ridiculous.
I passed a lot of sick days in kindergarten and first grade with Crash; hopefully, with the N. Sane Trilogy, kids will be able to experience it for themselves now!
7) DOOM (2016) (Lower Difficulties)
Going along with what I was saying about Just Cause 3, DOOM is one of the best action games to come out in the last decade. Of course, the DOOM games are pretty brutal on higher difficulties, but if you’re sick and not feeling up to a real challenge, the lower difficulties are perfect. Even on the second lowest setting, you’re nearly invincible. I don’t think I died even once on my first playthrough.
Ripping and tearing your way through hordes of demons is extremely satisfying; it’s mind-numbing violence at its very best. I will say that even the multiplayer is pretty fun, regardless of how much you suck at it. I was terrible at DOOM‘s online multiplayer, and yet, I still had a blast whenever I got to be a demon and eat people’s heads off and rip them in two. There’s tons of over-the-top violence to be had with the reboot of the classic shooter series, so be sure to add it to your sick day playlist.
6) Any Animal Crossing game
My favorite Animal Crossing game is still the one for the Gamecube, probably just because I have a lot of childhood nostalgia for it. I don’t think there are many games more fun or casual than the Animal Crossing games; they’re just so uniquely slow, fun, and great at killing time. There’s an infinite amount of stuff that you can do on any given day, whether it be designing new clothing, planting flowers, running errands for friends, etc. You can spend hours re-decorating your house, and with all of the online features of the newest entry on the 3DS, the possibilities are endless.
I know that some people don’t love casual games, and even think that they’re some kind of blight on the gaming scene. Truth is, every game has its place, and Animal Crossing is no different. It’s the perfect game to go with your lemon tea and honey, and a big ole’ plate of toast.
5) Resident Evil 4
This game is actually what made me want to write this list because I finally decided to play RE4 when I got sick a few days ago. I’ve owned this game for my Xbox One pretty much since it was released on the console in 2016, I just never actually played it. After watching “The Completionist” play it on YouTube and talk about how great it is, I finally decided that I should play it. I’m, frankly, ashamed of myself for never playing this game back when my Gamecube was my main console. Resident Evil 4 is the perfect blend of B-horror movie, B-action movie, comedy (so bad it’s good), and roundhouse kicks. This game is simply superb and, from very recent personal experience, perfect for getting you through any sick day.
Sore throat? Runny nose? Congestion? Let Leon Kennedy take care of that for you by shooting you in the kneecap and roundhouse kicking your teeth out. You’ll forget all about that pesky cold!
4) Sonic 3 & Knuckles
It was a tough choice here between Sonic Mania and this, but, ultimately, I had to go with the classic. Sonic Mania is great in its own right, but S3&K holds a special place for me as it was the first Sonic game I actually beat. Having to collect the chaos emeralds, then losing those and having to start over in the new levels collecting the super emeralds seemed crappy at first. Of course, when you finally get them all and get to become Hyper Sonic, it does seem all that much better when you flash rainbow colors instead of Super Saiyan yellow.
I also think that it’s a bit easier than the first two Sonic games—a little more accessible. The addition of the secret ending if you have all of the emeralds gives you a real reason to explore all those corridors and find the secret levels. Not to mention, those secret levels seems a lot easier now when you compare them to the blue sphere levels in Mania, because the later ones in that game get ridiculous.
If you’ve only got access to Mania, then play that. This just happens to be the better one in my experience.
3) Pokemon games, like…any of them, really
Pokemon games have stayed crazy popular for a reason. They can eat up hundreds of hours of your time. Whether you’re focusing on building up your special team of Pokemon or just trying to catch ’em all (or battling/trading online), there is a ton to do! Being able to play pretty much anywhere is nice, too. You can prop yourself up on the couch with your favorite Netflix show, Let’s Play, or Twitch streamer, and have a grand ol’ time.
Being sick and picking up Pokemon for the first time in a while can be dangerously addictive, though. Once you’re all better, you’ll probably still be re-hooked on that game you had put down for so long and you’ll wanna play it all the time. Don’t pretend you’ve never played Pokemon on your 3DS in a college classroom. We’ve all done it, nothing to be ashamed of. That higher education wasn’t really going to do anything for you anyway. Trust me, beating the Elite Four is much more important.
DISCLAIMER: Don’t actually do that. Pay attention in school, vidya games are for fun and sick time.
2) Grand Theft Auto V
GTA V in and of itself is a very good game with a lengthy, entertaining campaign. However, modding the shit out of the game so that you can become Iron Man or The Hulk, or any number of ridiculous characters, is the best part of the game. Playing this game with mods on is simply superb; modding is what kept this game alive for as long as it has been (duh). If you don’t believe me, just look up the top GTA V mods on YouTube. People come up with some (of the most) ridiculous shit to put in that game. It’s such a pleasant, exciting feeling to look up new mods to add to the game when you’re stuck inside for the day and want to play god. Being able to spawn in huge armies of enemies and pit them against each other is a hoot, and, with friends, it just multiplies the laughs. Everyone knows that the best cure for anything is laughing—unless you have a sore throat, then it’s kinda like pouring acid down your throat.
Seriously though, if you’ve never gone mod-crazy in GTA V, you absolutely should try it. It’s an eye-opening experience, and there are more than enough mods out there to get you through a sick day or two.
1) Skyrim or Fallout 3/4/New Vegas
The sheer amount of shit that you can do in these Bethesda games without the use of mods or anything is impressive. I listed all of them because they’re all a bit similar in many ways (yes, I know that they’re also a lot different). Some enjoy dragons and swords, while others, like me, prefer Deathclaws and laser rifles, but to each their own.
Fallout 3 got me through so damn many sick days throughout my time in high school, especially since you can’t play Halo 3 with your friends if they’re all healthy and sitting in class. Even just wandering around in these games is fun because they’re packed to the brim with so much shit. There are so many little caves, dens, fortresses, and houses for you to force your way into and steal shit from. Well, maybe that’s just how I played these games. You don’t have to if you don’t want to, but I always found that the “guns-a-blazing” method was the best way to do anything. Who needs talking when you’re the Dragonborn or have a laser minion?Taking out your sick frustration on the hapless citizens
Taking out your sick frustration on the hapless citizens in these games is also pretty damn fun, as well. If you haven’t played any of these, what the hell are you waiting for?
So there you have it. I’m still blowing my nose, and, hopefully, this will help get you through your next ill episode. Of course, I hope you don’t have to be bed-riddenly ill often, but if you do, I hope that this list helps you try a game you normally wouldn’t have.
Let me know what your favorite games to play when you’re sick are! It doesn’t have to be in any particular order, I just like to know what other people are into. Keep checking back to Entertainment Buddha for more lists like this one, and follow us on our socials to stay up to date for when they come out!
“Making you a better geek, one post at a time!”