The Top 7… greenest games

How noble, the human species! Once a year we selflessly take a break from wrapping products in toxic plastics and burning piles of old tires to appease this stupid, stupid planet we live on. How dare it demand more trees, breathable air and animals that don’t choke to death on our trash? Mother Nature, you’ll get your Earth Day (April 22, this week y’know) but the next day we’re riding a smoke-spewing rocket into the sky just so we can spray aerosol cans directly into the atmosphere.

And to celebrate Earth Day as good little gamers, we pledge to only play the eco-friendliest titles in history, games that said “Y’know what? What if there were a game that wasn’t about pumping people full of bullets and drinking liquefied bones?”

They are the greenest games evar.


If gardening in real life were anywhere near as fun as tending a make-believe garden bustling with criminally cute pinatas, we’d be outside right now. What begins as a dusty, cracked, desolate environment with little to no wildlife slowly blossoms into a lively metropolis of pinata prettiness.

Above: In need of some serious care

Above: About to burst with snacky happiness

As you can guess, the entire purpose of the game is to renovate the surrounding area and make it appealing to the various pinata species, each with its own criteria for ultimate happiness. With so many pinatas to please, you’re encouraged to cultivate as many gardens as possible, such as one built just for grazing animals and another for water-based Lickitoads, Cocoadiles and the elusive Swanana.

As a bonus, the graphics are so jarringly vibrant that the idea of managing multiple gardens immediately sounds exciting, which is hardly the case in the real world, where you actually have to learn about fertilizer and seasonal planting and plant diseases. Ick!

Above: Real gardening is hard

Environment saved: Smallish, localized gardens.


There’s only one series that deserves a lifetime achievement award for eco-friendly vibes, and that’s Harvest Moon. If you find the premise of paper animals too wild and “out there,” you can always dig into Moon’s relentlessly repetitive gameplay that, in direct contrast to Viva Pinata, is just as tiring as the real deal.


Top 7


  • Rub3z - April 20, 2012 2:32 p.m.

    "And you look into those eyes... black eyes, like doll's eyes..." ... It's gaze is drilling into my soul now...
  • barrage7667 - July 6, 2009 2:31 a.m.

  • Dibbz - July 4, 2009 4:21 p.m.

    LOL, 'Cutting-edge robots armed with the very latest saw technology'. Great Article! PS: Ecco the dolphin looks like a real badass, i dont think u should be fooling with him;) reCaptcha: sassiest pany
  • FETALJUICE - June 7, 2009 3:37 p.m.

    I lol'd HARD at the close up pictures of Ecco.
  • jcseely - May 1, 2009 4:39 a.m.

    Hey cmon, stop haranguing me. I own Okami! Sincerely, The Only Guy Who Bought Okami
  • AuthorityFigure - April 25, 2009 12:03 a.m.

    Excellent end to the article. Well done!
  • noobeater - April 23, 2009 6:40 p.m.

    hmm i knew thatprince of persia would appear when i saw okami (FTW btw) but prince of persia is one of the most polluting games as he plunges the world back in dark evil corruption to save a girl...1 MAN POLLUTED THE WORLD yes you ehard it here first
  • UptownPatman919 - April 23, 2009 3:24 p.m.

    I think you guys forgot a game. what about the Animal Crossing games? one of the main points of Animal Crossing is ti make a better enviroment! but this is still a great article.
  • Ransom - April 22, 2009 2:43 p.m.

    Nice article! Though, a study a few years ago said that Volcanos and dying plants were the leading cause of air pollution, I still enjoyed reading this
  • MacGyver1138 - April 21, 2009 7:36 p.m.

    Everybody always says how great Okami is, but I honestly did not enjoy playing it very much. It was pretty, but the gameplay didn't do it for me.
  • Armyofnone - April 21, 2009 7:28 p.m.

    God damnit, Charlie, you attention mongering sonuva... You win too. I guess.
  • ryno - April 21, 2009 3:28 p.m.

    Okami was very heatwarming at times
  • ryno - April 21, 2009 3:26 p.m.

    i am an enviornmentalist too. Okami defenitely deserves its place on this list
  • abombb - April 21, 2009 12:58 p.m.

    Please don't hurt me Ecco...
  • ThunderMuffinsMcgee - April 21, 2009 5:25 a.m.

    good work, I loved it.
  • Vagrant - April 21, 2009 1:44 a.m.

    No Final Fantasy VII in there? Trans national corporation sucking up Planet's resources and slowly killing it? You actually work for eco-terrorists at the start? And you'll never guilt me for not buying Okami, Gamesradar! (Psychonauts, on the other hand...)
  • twishart - April 21, 2009 12:23 a.m.

    Butchart Gardens, FUCK YEAH. I used to live right near there.
  • Bov11 - April 20, 2009 11:33 p.m.

    lol okami
  • somthing42 - April 20, 2009 11:11 p.m.

    Just another reason to buy Okami recaptcha: south taliban
  • Armyofnone - April 20, 2009 11:09 p.m.

    I fucking LOVE eco-quest. Brett Elston wins at the intarwebs for mentioning it on this list.

Showing 1-20 of 61 comments

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