It can be hard to imagine how far video games have come since Pong– two sliding bars bouncing a ball between them. Now video games can provide a range of experiences no other medium can. From simple but fun party games to in-depth stories comparable to any book, movie or long-running television series. Just as with television, movies, and books, there are video games- even if not made with that intention- that are perfectly suited to being played while high.
In this article we will look at the Top 10 Games to Play While High and explain why they are on this list. For the most part we have stayed away from any horror games as they may not provide a good experience if your highs tend to involve heightened paranoia. Some of the games on this list are best enjoyed with a group of friends which adds an additional enjoyable buzz of its own.
Super Smash Brothers Series
The first entry on this list is somewhat of a cheat as it’s multiple games and it won’t be the first on the list either. However we feel the franchise as a whole deserves a spot and who knows what generation of consoles you might have available to you. We are talking about Super Smash Brothers. Among fighting games this entire franchise has an energy all its own due in massive part to its cast of characters. That being the entire Nintendo video game roster plus guest stars from other franchises.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Considered the turning point of the The Elder Scrolls franchise, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is a game like few others to this day. While the graphics and gameplay might be dated in this era of Triple A games that doesn’t change the fact that Morrowind still stands apart. It is still recognized today for its unique visuals, incredibly deep story, all taking place in a setting immersive with detail and completely unlike anything else in the fantasy genre- whether video games, books, or movies.
No Man’s Sky
Despite this game’s incredibly troubled release- with a game experience nowhere near what was promised in marketing- No Man’s Sky is regarded as one of the great redemption stories of video gaming. What started as a barebones space exploration simulator has grown into a detailed and mesmerizing experience where you can travel the cosmos, build personal colonies, fight space pirates, engage in interstellar trade, uncover galactic mysteries, and even name the strange animals you come across, all with striking visuals with their own unique aesthetic… No Man’s Sky is a perfect game to play on a lazy afternoon while high.
The Pokemon franchise is one that has grown from its origins on the Gameboy to a borderline pop-culture cornerstone. The games across the franchise feature a roster of monsters that has grown from 150 (can you name them all?) to over 900. Every monster has a story behind its unique design encouraging you to catch them all. The turn-based gameplay is simple on the surface thus making it incredibly accessible. But simultaneously that same gameplay unfolds into layers of strategy involving the type strengths and weaknesses of your pokemon, the abilities they use, and their stats. Like the gameplay many of the franchises’ stories are apparently simple on the surface but upon exploration and contemplation reveal surprising depth and emotional conflict.
Journey is a strange 2012 game that- for its strangeness- is all the more perfect to play while high. In Journey you play a lonely robed figure crossing a desert landscape to reach and ascend a distant mountain. Along the way you may encounter other robed figures- other players making the same journey. You cannot communicate with each other beyond a simple chime sound and possibly helping each other on the journey.
You will likely be struck by a sense of smallness in the face of immense wonder. Is it any wonder some have called Journey one of the greatest games of all time?
El-Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
This game has sadly been mostly forgotten save for those who regard it as a cult classic. Regardless it both deserves to be remembered and deserves your consideration for playing while high. El-Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron takes place in a world inspired by ancient apocryphal Biblical myths. You play Enoch, who has been sent to stop a group of fallen angels who have set themselves up as god-kings over humanity. While relatively simple in gameplay El-Shaddai features distinct visuals, music, and writing you will be hard to find elsewhere.
The Mario Party games are not about complicated platforming or epic stories. They are about fun party games you can play with friends. Play a variety of minigames that are themselves part of larger games as you compete with fellow players to reach a finish-line or the highest point-score. Even if you have more than 4 players at your party you can take turns or sit back, watch, and laugh with your friends at the on-screen shenanigans.
There are few games before or since like Okami. Set in a fantasy world based off of ancient Japanese mythology, you play Amaterasu, a wolf and possibly a goddess who must save the lands from the darkness plaguing it. Face off against monsters straight out of Japanese folklore and meet heroes of Japanese legend all illustrated and animated in a traditional Japanese water-color style. Use painting-based abilities activated by real-life motions on your controllers to adventure in a stunning landscape that will leave you breathless.
If you’re looking for a more madcap, good-time with lots of guns, laughs, and over-the-top insanity straight out of a Deadpool movie, you can’t go much wrong with the Borderlands franchise. Play as one of a cast of crazy, colorful mercenaries- each with their own powers and playstyles- shooting tons of insane weapons (some of which talk, some of which explode when you throw them after running out of ammo) across dangerous Pandora looking for treasure and loot. This is a game that can be played alone but is best with friends.
The highlight is probably Borderlands 2 which won numerous awards and features the hilarious but still horribly evil main villain Handsome Jack.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
If you enjoy the show you will enjoy the game. South Park: The Stick of Truth was made with Trey Parker and Matt Stone writing the scripts, consulting on game design, and of course voicing many of the characters. Featuring an all new storyline with you as the new kid in South Park, The Stick of Truth is a perfect adaption of the series from television to video game with all the witty and irreverent humor that is South Park’s trademark. All as a spin on traditional fantasy, turn-based rpgs.
What games have you played while high? What have been your experiences playing them?