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

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  • Jacob816 - April 20, 2009 8:19 p.m.

    w00t! I love the environment! Captain Planet is so nostalgic.
  • kubes - April 20, 2009 8:40 p.m.

  • garnsr - April 20, 2009 8:45 p.m.

    Ahhhhhh, Ecco! Such an evil look! And I played all the way through Okami, and still have it as a theme on my PS3. No stink on me. ReCaptcha: ultimate husband
  • Unoriginal - April 20, 2009 9:11 p.m.

    Just startet playing Chrono Trigger and couldn't figure out how to finish that forest sidequest. What a coincidence I'd find the answer here. Thanks Brett
  • Romination - April 20, 2009 9:56 p.m.

    Oh, Charles, you and your silly, silly little games with adventuring and clicking. When you learn to play real games, i'll be here for you. (and i'm not totally playing the first Gabriel Knight...)
  • CH3BURASHKA - April 20, 2009 9:57 p.m.

    Is that a picture of Brett looking at porn? That's hot... reCaptcha: evillest 108 1/4 (What the fuck...)
  • NelosAngelos - April 20, 2009 11:03 p.m.

    Okami fuck yeah!! Buy it! And that there is one awesome to go salvage what remains of my self respect elsewhere...
  • GamesRadarCharlieBarratt - April 20, 2009 11:38 p.m.

    B-b-b-but I'm the one who mentioned EcoQuest... It really is a surprisingly good game, considering the kid-friendly educational slant. I discovered it after all the other Sierra adventure games and ended up enjoying it as much, if not more than, a lot of those classics. Never played the sequel, though.
  • GreyDay - April 20, 2009 11:51 p.m.

    LMAO picturing Charlie hugging a bug-eyed dolphin. Someone should photoshop that.
  • JoeMasturbaby - April 20, 2009 11:57 p.m.

    HAHA i loved NES captain planet! i still have it, and its so damn hard.
  • sensualCentipede - April 21, 2009 12:17 a.m.

    Nice article, Chrono trigger FTW!
  • Cwf2008 - April 21, 2009 1:40 a.m.

    Aww man now with Earth Day i gotta figure out a way to pollute the planet to make up for a day of not screwing it up. I think i 'll go dump some nuclear waste into the Pacific
  • The_Zanger - April 21, 2009 1:51 a.m.

    I played Okami! Put it in as many Top Lists as possible! I had a fangasm when I saw 5 Deku trees with Okami. Even if it was Wind Waker Deku Tree of Fugliness and Shame
  • DEFAULT - April 21, 2009 1:52 a.m.

    Hmmmm....two days away huh? You know, for some reason, this holiday always seems to slip my mind....can't see why...
  • Frostyman - April 21, 2009 4:16 a.m.

    Wheres Spore? That was a pretty green game...I think...I mean you did clean up the planets, by using their bones...>:D
  • CoolMagicDude2 - April 21, 2009 4:39 a.m.

    omfg!!! harvest moon! i loved is as a little 10 year old boy! HA wat the heck i still love the dam game!!! too bad i sold my game qube for 30 bucks=-( gamestop rips you off. other tahn that great article i enjoyed reading it (i find it humorous)
  • ssj4raditz - April 21, 2009 5:13 a.m.

    LOL @ Ecco.
  • manaconda - April 21, 2009 5:28 a.m.

    dolphins AND gabriel knight? shit son. i think charlie barratt just wanted to mention gabriel knight.
  • Awesomeitude1523 - April 21, 2009 5:41 a.m.

    Hly Crap Ecco! And I thought you were a good dolphin! Also, I know its very minor, But what about planting flowers in pokemon? you buy or collect seeds, water them, look after them carefully, then you can leave them to beautify that region. Just a thought
  • FistfulofPelican - April 21, 2009 7:57 a.m.

    To answer your question, the snake is the most outraged.

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