10 best video games to play in the time of community quarantine

Mar 14, 2020
PHOTO: (From left) Nintendo, Hideo Kojima Productions, PopCap

2020 is just not letting up. We’ve barely recovered from a volcanic eruption and stopped shedding tears for a fallen legend when the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 a pandemic. And now, residents of Metro Manila have a just-announced curfew to deal with.

With work from home and social distancing now the Manila-wide norm, you’ll be faced with a lot of time in your hands. But hey, gamers were made for social distancing. Here are the 10 best games you can play for a month-long quarantine.

NBA 2K20
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Remember those memes asking you to tell a scary story in 5 words or less? Well, here’s our version: There is no NBA. It’s certainly a tough pill to swallow for fans of the league but it’s undoubtedly the right move given the circumstances.

So while the NBA and most other basketball leagues are on hiatus, 2K20 is our best friend. Aside from being able to simulate the rest of the NBA season up to the playoffs, it also gives us a chance to play basketball with other people without the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus. Seems like the perfect set-up in the meantime.

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Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

If you haven’t played this gem of a game, then this is the perfect time to do so. Nintendo Switch sales have picked up in some countries hit by COVID-19 presumably because of strict quarantine rules, so you might as well join in on the fun.

The main story will take you around 50 hours to complete but since you’re stuck at home anyway, go the completionist route and sink close to 200 hours in one of the most beautiful games ever released. We promise you won’t regret it.

This War of Mine
Platform(s): PC, Mac, iOS, Android, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Those who went to the supermarket the past few days might have felt a tinge of post-apocalyptic distress after seeing rows of empty shelves. A few goods like tissue paper and alcohol are now hard to find because of unnecessary hoarding and panic buying.

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Now take that experience, imagine it being a thousand times worse, and you’ll know how it feels to play This War of Mine. Despite its simple controls and presentation, this is probably the most “real-world” game in this entire list. Focusing on how civilians are affected during wartime, This War of Mine is a must-play and should give you plenty to think about during the quarantine.

Death Stranding
Platform(s): PS4

The PS5 is reportedly coming before the year ends so this is really the perfect time to catch up on your PS4 backlog. As one of the last few AAA games to be released on the current-gen Playstation, Death Stranding is probably one of the most misunderstood.

It’s a love it or hate it type of deal, but one that we strongly recommend PS4 owners try before dismissing. There is no denying Hideo Kojima’s genius and in his first game after relinquishing the Metal Gear franchise, he immediately delivers an experience that is unlike any other game we’ve played so far.

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Call of Duty: Warzone
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Call of Duty: Warzone is the franchise’s latest attempt at a free-to-play game to rival Fortnite and other similar titles. It’s your standard fare battle royale game with a few improvements – namely an increase in the player pool to 150, and a unique respawn system where downed players need to battle other defeated players one-on-one to see who gets another crack at the current game. In the era of social distancing, games like CoD: Warzone can give you your daily dose of community interaction without leaving the safety of your home.

Two Point Hospital
Platform(s): PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

The spiritual successor to 1997’s Theme Hospital, Two Point Hospital puts you in the shoes of a hospital manager tasked with building and running your very own medical facility.

It’s all fun and games until you reach the higher levels and you see your hospital being overwhelmed by an absurdly large influx of patients (something our real world medical front liners now have to face everyday). Should you manage to tackle all the levels, a sandbox mode is available which means endless hospital building fun for you!

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Plants vs. Zombies 3
Platform(s): iOS, Android

Admit it, you played a lot of Plants vs. Zombies back in the day. Though it may never reach the hype the original game got, the third installment in the main line of the tower defense franchise is now available to download. The good thing about running the game while at home? You don’t need to keep an eye out for the boss while playing this on your phone.

Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Remember when you were still in school and you were excited when classes were suspended because that meant you could play FF8 for the entire day? Well, that’s kind of how we’re feeling now.

We get it, work is not suspended. But this is the closest we’ll ever get to that and loading this up on your console will definitely fuel a ton of nostalgia. Aside from that, this is still one of the best JRPGs of all time (one that also happens to feature the best love team in video game history) and is worth your game time regardless of the situation.

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Resident Evil 2 Remake
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Resident Evil 2 is a fine example of a video game classic that deserved to be remade for new consoles. The survival horror standout still elicits shrieks of surprise and panic two decades after the original came out and is a must play even for non-fans of the genre. To play it now with a virus plaguing over a hundred countries worldwide just makes the fictional T-Virus a more daunting in-game hazard than it ever was.

Life is Strange 2
Platform(s): PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One

If constantly heart pounding action is not your thing, then you might want to try something a bit calmer like Life is Strange 2. The sequel to the 2015 hit graphic adventure game tells the story of brothers Sean and Daniel Diaz as they travel across the country while dealing with Daniel’s recently revealed telekinetic abilities and the problems it causes.

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It plays out more like an interactive movie than a traditional video game, making it the best option on this list for non-gamers. But don’t let its simplicity fool you because Life is Strange 2 still has plenty of frantic moments where you are forced to make really tough decisions to move your version of the story forward. It’s a great gaming experience and one that we definitely recommend for your work from home gaming playlist (also your Spotify playlist because this game’s soundtrack is top-notch).

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PHOTO: (From left) Nintendo, Hideo Kojima Productions, PopCap
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