Ah, the holiday season, A season filled with family, friends, and most importantly, food. This is a time to celebrate food in all of its forms and even games aren’t afraid to get in the kitchen and cook up something delicious.
These 10 games are the best examples of cooking in gaming today. Whether it’s to help you along in your adventure, making mama proud, or simply cooking up a nice meal for your friend down the road, these games give you the apron and spoon and let you go to town. With that, let’s dig in and see what the first dish in this 10-course meal is.
10. Subnautica: Below Zero
Subnautica rewards players who explore its world to its utmost and learn where certain resources are known to be common – among these being which foods help your different stats.
While there aren’t any fancy campfires here, you have a fabricator that you can throw your different ingredients to create water, cooked food, and other nutrient-dense items.
These foods can go to waste though so you want to be managing your supply constantly as you explore this icy world. Always make sure that you have a steady supply of rations with you because you never know when you might be sitting in a dark cave several miles below sea level struggling to find your way out.
9. Fallout: New Vegas
Surviving the Mojave Wasteland is no easy task as the radiation from the nuclear war has left much of the environment dangerously contaminated.
Using campfires that are spread out across the desert, the Courier can prepare meals for themselves that are slightly healthier than taking a chomp out of a raw Bloatfly carcass.
Some recipes will even allow you to have an easier time in toxic areas such as the environment around the Sierra Madra. Learning the best recipes will not only allow you to gain a few health points back and keep your hunger satiated but can give surprising bonuses that could change the tide of battle.
8. Don’t Starve Series
As the title of this game suggests, cooking is kind of important for survival. The entire game is about setting yourself up that you no longer need to worry about food every single second of the game time.
Get a few crockpots going with a consistent supply of incoming food and you will be setting yourself up for victory.
If you are someone who enjoys surviving against the elements, there are few games that capture that same feeling with a rad aesthetic as Don’t Starve does. Just make sure you don’t let anything go to waste while you are out there. Food is a precious resource.
7. Red Dead Redemption 2
Besides riding a horse and participating in an old-fashioned shootout in town, there is only one thing that will make you feel like a true cowboy: living off the land.
Hunting for big game or simply catching fish to roast over the fire can feel like an intimate experience as you prepare your food and wait for it to be cooked.
Red Dead is all about living in the moment and becoming lost in the world that it portrays, and cooking is one of the best ways to completely soak in the ambiance. Now huddle around the campfire and share your best story from your adventure as the rest of us chow down on some venison.
I think we all remember the first time we punched a cow to death, and it dropped raw beef, which we then picked up and, without any care in the world, started munching on. We were young, and we were inexperienced. Fast forward to today, and we have honed our cooking skills in Minecraft to at least know how to cook the meat.
However, the best crafters will know how to bake cakes and pies or cook stews while they are in the dark recesses of a, particularly complex dungeon.
These foods are essential if you are going to fight something like the Ender Dragon or simply trying to go for a long adventure down in the caves. It’s dangerous to go without a cooked rabbit leg in your back pocket.
5. Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is all about becoming one with the land and learning to live like a contributing member of a community. As a farmer, you also have a ton of ingredients, especially in the late game when you have all the money you could ever want.
This leaves you with tons of opportunities to put these ingredients to good use. You can make a ridiculous number of recipes from pies, cakes, fish, pizza, salads, bread, the list goes on.
All of these can heal you and even provide bonuses to your skills to make things like fishing easier. On top of that, your friends love getting gifts from you because what’s better than getting a home-cooked meal? Not much, honestly, so go make Emily a salmon dinner already and make her smile.
4. Cooking Simulator
This one might be a little more demanding than some of the other titles on the list, but you will be hard-pressed to find a more accurate cooking experience on this list.
Cooking Simulator will require that you are on your toes throughout the entire experience as you dash around the kitchen gathering ingredients to prepare and cook.
Like a real kitchen, you can be sauteing some veggies while a roast is cooking and your potatoes are boiling. You are only limited by your own skill level and what you can afford (much like a real kitchen for better or worse). Don’t forget to clean up after yourself! A kitchen is only as good as it is clean.
3. Cooking Mama
For many of us, Cooking Mama was our first experience with such a variety of cooking mechanics in a video game.
Roll out dough, stir ingredients, layer cut various pizza, and much more in these different titles while Mama either sings your praises or secretly wishes she had another child.
While this game is largely targeted at a younger audience, it can still be enjoyable to perform some of these short minigames for the first time. If anything, show your little niece or nephew and get them hooked into a world of virtual cooking.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Honestly, I thought the cooking in Zelda was going to be a waste of my time, and I would never do it. That was until I made my first spicy pepper recipe and heard the sweet beats of the cooking music as Link stood over it, watching its progress.
Not only does Breath of the Wild make cooking important for survival in different environments, but it does a fantastic job of making it fun.
There are dozens of ingredients, and all of them could have a different impact on the final dish. And I still do a little dance in my seat when I hear those sweet, sweet cooking melodies.
1. Overcooked 2
If you have ever watched a cooking show like Hell’s Kitchen, you can see how hectic it can be in the kitchen. There are a million things going on while you are required to hit a certain standard for each of the dishes that you are preparing. You need to rely heavily on your kitchen staff. Overcooked 2 captures this sense of dependency and teamwork perfectly.
As you claim jobs like chopping lettuce or plating food, you are scrambling over to other tasks, yelling at someone who left the soup on the burner for too long. Everyone is calling one another a “doughnut” and having a great time.
These levels get out of hand quickly as kitchens could be in moving vehicles on the highway or some other ridiculous scenario. If you are looking for a way to bond with family this Thanksgiving, this game would be a great appetizer this year.