Jump to content
Nintendo64

Retro Games That Help With Anxiety

Recommended Posts

I don't find golf that relaxing, especially if I screw my shots... -_-

And since everybody names modern games, I would say Endless Ocean 1 & 2 (Wii).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/19/2020 at 6:13 AM, digdugnate said:

repetition soothes my anxiety.  I love games that I'm really familiar with or have game play that you're doing the same steps (but different).  It's calming to me to blow through games that I've completed.

 

I have a ton of games i could rotate, but here's some notable ones:

 

Lode Runner (C64)

Attack of the Mutant Camels (C64)

Berzerk (2600)

Dig Dug (arcade)

Tetris (NES, the '99' single player variations on Switch)

Slymoids (TI 99 4A)

Streets of Rage 2 (Genesis)

Final Fight (arcade)

Street Fighter Alpha/Zero (arcade)

Super Mario 1, 2 , or 3 (NES)

Mega Man 2 (NES)

Mega Man 3 (NES)

Mega Man 5 (NES)

 

I have a few I like on modern platforms as well, but that's not the scope.  :)

Thanks for the suggestions. I think the Super Marios especially 3 has help me calm down as well, i will try street fighter and the mega man games because i have those.

 

 

On 1/19/2020 at 8:35 AM, AtariLeaf said:

Some of the modern world racing games. For example, there's a Need for Speed Hot Pursuit on the PS3 where I found it relaxing to just pick an area and start driving and enjoying the virtual scenery. The more realistic these environments become the more fun it is to just drive around freely in these worlds

 

I'll add to the one who mentioned golf games. Same thing, nice scenery, simple gameplay. Relaxing. Also some good old video pinball can get you in the zone and relax you

pinball seems like a good suggestion, i will also try the need for speed games i own for the PS2

 

16 hours ago, davidcalgary29 said:

The first skin of Lumines for the PSP is very relaxing. There are occasions when I just play that, or  the “I Hear the Music in My Soul” skin to relax.

 

Qix is quite mesmerizing. What about that? Xari Arena also has all those bright colours. Pretty!

 

And, okay, I know it’s not a game, but what about Relax for the A8? I believe that there was a copy for sale recently...

Never heard of the Relax for the A8, ill look into that

 

11 hours ago, PlaysWithWolves said:

 

Coincidental to the OP's handle, Maro Kart 64 really helped me through some tough times in the '90s.  I think it was probably just being able to focus on something and being in control of something I was good at.  

 

Today, its whatever game that interests me and I'm decent at playing.  I'd prefer a more productive hobby (like writing or woodworking) to take my mind off things for a while, but I don't seem to be built that way.

Mario Kart 64 is also a good suggestion, one of my favorite games of all time.

11 hours ago, lushgirl_80 said:

I have anxiety issues too so I can relate. A good game of Mortal Kombat arcade usually takes my mind off things haha. For me any game with alot of action does it. I see lots of recommendations for mellow stuff. I like really wild shooters like R Type when I feel anxious and need to let out some steam.

 

Racing games are soothing to me also.

Great suggestion, i tried Mortal Kombat earlier, although im not too good with the moves/fatalities at all, but it seemed to ease my anxiety a bit.

 

5 hours ago, Metal Jesus said:

They aren't retro, but I would highly recommend: Journey and ABZÛ (PS3/PS4). Both are exploratory games that are gorgeous and very relaxing.

I will look into those games because i own a PS4, by the way i really enjoyed watching your videos over the years. Thanks for all the great content, your videos have helped me relax at times. I especially like the videos with Immortal John, as for he seems like a good person.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also thanks everyone for all of the great suggestions. Its nice to see that other peoples anxieties can sometimes be somewhat relieved, even if only for a little while, by playing games of the past

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Nintendo64 said:

Also thanks everyone for all of the great suggestions. Its nice to see that other peoples anxieties can sometimes be somewhat relieved, even if only for a little while, by playing games of the past

Relax was one of the first apps — if not the first — for computers, except that the word wasn’t  in our vocabularies at the time. It was released by Synapse in 1984 and got lots of press and curious reviews, but probably sold very poorly because it was expensive, came with funky equipment, and no one really knew what to do with it. Really, it was decades ahead of its time, and would have been considered groundbreaking if it was tweaked and had come out around 2000. Some people here have it, though, and it might be worth seeking out even if you have to do most of the work yourself. It was described as a “biorythm feedback monitor” but really, it sounds like a fitbit for stress instead of physical activity. Like I said, that’s pretty remarkable for 1984.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, davidcalgary29 said:

Relax was one of the first apps — if not the first — for computers, except that the word wasn’t  in our vocabularies at the time. It was released by Synapse in 1984 and got lots of press and curious reviews, but probably sold very poorly because it was expensive, came with funky equipment, and no one really knew what to do with it. Really, it was decades ahead of its time, and would have been considered groundbreaking if it was tweaked and had come out around 2000. Some people here have it, though, and it might be worth seeking out even if you have to do most of the work yourself. It was described as a “biorythm feedback monitor” but really, it sounds like a fitbit for stress instead of physical activity. Like I said, that’s pretty remarkable for 1984.

Your right, this does look remarkable for 1984. I am going to look around for one if these if i can see it for a reasonable price. Thanks for the suggestion

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’d download the software and/or watch the gameplay video on YouTube first. Granted, the included “Balloon Game” looks kind of hokey, but the overall presentation is pretty neat. I think (?) this was also released for the C64.

 

You could also try one of the innumerable implementations of Conway’s Life program. It can be very meditative, if boring after awhile. 
 

And finally, there’s always Ishido: The Way of Stones. It’s cheap, because everyone seems to like Shanghai more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/20/2020 at 11:02 PM, davidcalgary29 said:

I’d download the software and/or watch the gameplay video on YouTube first. Granted, the included “Balloon Game” looks kind of hokey, but the overall presentation is pretty neat. I think (?) this was also released for the C64.

 

You could also try one of the innumerable implementations of Conway’s Life program. It can be very meditative, if boring after awhile. 
 

And finally, there’s always Ishido: The Way of Stones. It’s cheap, because everyone seems to like Shanghai more.

I will try to watch a youtube video on that game. I never heard of Ishido, what system is it for?

Just to add a game to the list, it seems that Galaga has helped me relieve some anxiety. I played the one for the NES and it seems to calm me down at times, but not always.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril" for the NES tends to put me in a zen like state. It tips its hat to Mega Man but it's not really frustrating to me as the inspiration. 

 

For something more modern, "Flower" for PS3 is decent. You control a petal that moves with the wind (your control) that grows by opening other flowers. You then hear different music as you progress. Very beautiful game. It's also cross-buy, so you can play it on a Vita if you have one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Nintendo64 said:

I will try to watch a youtube video on that game. I never heard of Ishido, what system is it for?

Just to add a game to the list, it seems that Galaga has helped me relieve some anxiety. I played the one for the NES and it seems to calm me down at times, but not always.

Ishido was available for a variety of systems in commercial release in the early '90s. I've only played it on the Lynx, but it was ported to many popular systems at the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, davidcalgary29 said:

Ishido was available for a variety of systems in commercial release in the early '90s. I've only played it on the Lynx, but it was ported to many popular systems at the time.

Nice i just looked up and saw it was released for the sega genesis. If i could find a safe place to download the rom, i would like to get it, but i dont know of any safe places to get roms these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/20/2020 at 11:50 AM, digdugnate said:

I agree- I like playing either the Forza Motorsport or Horizon games for this reason.

Park your car(preferrably a beautiful one like the '64 911) on the edge of a cliff by the beach and just stare at the seascape. The background is actually real photos taken with 4k cameras at Austrailia, so it's technically a video game with relaxing nature to stare at when you are anxious or frustrated.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kirby's Adventure is quite nice and easygoing as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/19/2020 at 5:13 AM, digdugnate said:

repetition soothes my anxiety.  I love games that I'm really familiar with or have game play that you're doing the same steps (but different).  It's calming to me to blow through games that I've completed.

 

I have a ton of games i could rotate, but here's some notable ones:

 

Lode Runner (C64)

Attack of the Mutant Camels (C64)

Berzerk (2600)

Dig Dug (arcade)

Tetris (NES, the '99' single player variations on Switch)

Slymoids (TI 99 4A)

Streets of Rage 2 (Genesis)

Final Fight (arcade)

Street Fighter Alpha/Zero (arcade)

Super Mario 1, 2 , or 3 (NES)

Mega Man 2 (NES)

Mega Man 3 (NES)

Mega Man 5 (NES)

 

I have a few I like on modern platforms as well, but that's not the scope.  :)

Reading through everyone's awesome responses, I thought of another genre I like to play.  I dig turn-based RPGs- some for stories you can get lost in, some for repetition through grinding.  I turn on a TV show that I've seen a hundred times and bang through a few character levels.  :)

 

Classic:

 

FF II USA / FF IV (SNES)

FF III USA / FF VI (SNES)

Chrono Trigger (SNES)

 

Modern:

 

Octopath Traveler (Switch) -- in particular, check out this game's soundtrack.  Simply one of the best RPG scores out there.

Dragon Quest XI (I played it on the Switch, tho it's out for other platforms)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, digdugnate said:

Final Fight (arcade)

16 hours ago, digdugnate said:

I turn on a TV show that I've seen a hundred times and bang through a few character levels.  :)

I do the same thing with watching old tv shows and playing retro games at times. I took your suggestion to try out Final Fight. I have it for the SNES, not the arcade, but i feel like that was a good suggestion to help relieve anxiety. So id add any of the Final Fight games for the SNES (Final Fight 1, 2, or 3) to the list of games that help ease anxiety.

Edited by Nintendo64
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to say that the original Sonic for sega genesis, at times, helps me get lost into the moment. Maybe after i complete this ill try Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 to see if it helps my anxiety

Edited by Nintendo64

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've found that there is a certain relaxing nature to video game pinball. When I was having a rough day when I was younger, I would play Video Pinball on my 2600 for hours. As I gained access to other systems later on, I found Sonic Spinball on the Genesis. I played the wheels off of that one, and was great to just relax and chill.

 

I can also second the recommendations for RPG based games, like Final Fantasy, Phantasy Star, and my favorite "Time Sink"... Final Fantasy Tactics on the PS One. I must have lost 1000's of hours (no hyperbole here) just winding down after work days with this game. It's slow paced, and you don't have to move the story until you want to.

 

Hope this helps, and I hope you continue to find the relaxation you're looking for!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miniature Golf on the 2600 is another relaxing game. Got stoned the other night (I have a medical marijuana card) and was playing this - made me laugh at some of the courses. I had this game when I was a kid and my friends made fun of me for having it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, LinkYoungPS said:

I've found that there is a certain relaxing nature to video game pinball. When I was having a rough day when I was younger, I would play Video Pinball on my 2600 for hours. As I gained access to other systems later on, I found Sonic Spinball on the Genesis. I played the wheels off of that one, and was great to just relax and chill.

 

I can also second the recommendations for RPG based games, like Final Fantasy, Phantasy Star, and my favorite "Time Sink"... Final Fantasy Tactics on the PS One. I must have lost 1000's of hours (no hyperbole here) just winding down after work days with this game. It's slow paced, and you don't have to move the story until you want to.

 

Hope this helps, and I hope you continue to find the relaxation you're looking for!  

I will definitely try some pinball games, and since i have sonic spinball i will try that first. I dont know about RPG's they have never really been the type of games that i have played in the past, but i will give them a try.

 

7 hours ago, VectorGamer said:

Miniature Golf on the 2600 is another relaxing game. Got stoned the other night (I have a medical marijuana card) and was playing this - made me laugh at some of the courses. I had this game when I was a kid and my friends made fun of me for having it.

I need to find a safe site to get an atari emulator and some atari games.

 

Thank you both for the suggestions, and i hope the games mentioned in this thread help you and others ease some anxiety in your lives as well.

Edited by Nintendo64

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/23/2020 at 10:32 AM, Gentlegamer said:

Sonic the Hedgehog (water level)

are you talking about Sonic 2 level called Aqua Ruin, If so i feel the same way. I liked the music and felt relaxed playing that level, although it was a little short as it only consisted of 2 stages before playing the boss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When i played Sonic 2 Aqua Ruin level, to be honest that didnt really happen to me that often and was such a small part of the level. It last only about 5 seconds, and i was pretty good at finding the places to breath air under water. I was really referring to the music on the Aqua Ruin level, as I did find it soothing. But i know what you mean, if you cant find where to breath under water, i could see how it could be stressful. If i was near the 5 seconds that you needed to breath under water, i would wait by the areas to catch my breath :)

Edited by Nintendo64
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would be careful of using games as an escape or as therapy -- falling into habituation and needing a "game fix" isn't super healthy. 
 

That said, I love losing myself in a "zoner" game that brings comfort and relaxation. I second the psychedelic Tempest 2000 (and sequels) and Rez.
 

I find rhythm games soothing, like Space Channel 5 or Patapon. Some find them frustrating, so your mileage may vary. 

 

Spazzy stuff that requires constant attention is a favorite of mine as well. Wario Ware microgames demands my attention and forces focus. Or action games that are undemanding but pretend to offer something re behind each door, like Berzerk (Atari version is easy enough to play forever), or Venture. 
 

I get how JRPGs might be relaxing to some, but there's not enough engagement in them for me. Very soporific, sometimes they literally put me to sleep. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know if they've been mentioned, but the Sims games have always been relaxing. Especially 2 and 3. Spending a couple of hours running the lives of little virtual people instead of your own gives you a nice temporary reprieve from your own life.

 

Flojomojo is correct though, games are a release, a help for anxiety and stress and not a cure. If severe enough, professional help may be required

Edited by AtariLeaf
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...