The best dog games are a great way to snuggle up with a cute digital pup. The world can be a rough place to live at times, but who doesn't feel immediately better after playing with an adorable four-legged friend? If you're on the lookout for some delightful experiences that put dogs front and center, we have plenty of games for you to dive into no matter the platforms you use.
It would be wonderful to see some new additions to this list popping up in our roster of new games for 2023 and beyond, but there are plenty to choose from as it stands today. From RPGs to dating sims and quirky adventures, you'll find all sorts of fluffy canine companions in this list. And if you're a fan of Stray, it's worth checking out our picks of the best cat games around, too.
For now, let's get to know some of the best dog games to get stuck into, guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
10. Little Friends: Dogs & Cats
Developer: Imagineer, Nello
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, mobile
If you still pine for the days of Nintendogs, Little Friends - Dogs & Cats is here to help. A pet care sim that really focuses on the petting, you can cuddle, feed, and dress up a menagerie of dogs and cats, then take them out for walks and some frisbee. Dog fanatics should know there are six breeds to choose from - Shiba Inu, Chihuahua, Toy Poodle, Labrador Retriever, French Bulldog, and German Shepherd - and you can have up to three pets before you have to start storing them in a pet hotel like some sort of wealthy animal hoarder.
Got a mobile but still want to play the best dog games? iOS and Android users can also find a version of the game on app stores called With My Dog.
9. Best Friend Forever
Developer: Starcolt, Alliance
Platform(s): PC, Nintendo Switch
Part pet care sim, part dating game, Best Friend forever sees you adopting a dog and then going on the hunt for love in the town of Rainbow Bay. To care for your new canine companion you'll need to train them, fill their week with activities like watching Netflix and dog park parties, and pamper them with food and grooming. The dating side of the game has a visual novel style and an inclusive vibe, so you can fall in love with whoever you want, and if it all goes horribly wrong at least you have your faithful hound waiting to watch some Bling Dynasty at home.
8. Far Cry 5
Platform(s): PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Fine, Far Cry 5 might not be just about dogs, but it makes it onto the best dog game list because its open-world setup means it's pretty easy to turn this pre-apocalyptic shooter into the tale of you and your pet dog, Boomer. Boomer is one of the Fangs for Hire you can unlock as a companion throughout the game - along with Peaches the mountain lion and Cheeseburger the bear - and once recruited he'll disarm enemies, scare off attacking wildlife, and bring you weapons enemies have dropped. Forget all the stuff about the Seeds and Eden's Gate, and you can make Far Cry 5 a story of one intrepid wilderness explorer and their dog.
Developer: Sundae Month
Platform(s): PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Picture this: You're a sentient camera with arms and legs on an island full of dogs. What else is there to do but take lots of snaps of adorable pooches getting up to all kinds of hilarious activities? Yes, Pupperazzi from developer Sundae Month lets you explore various different locations on an island and take photos of the pooch residents. With plenty of different dog breeds, you'll encounter pups skateboarding, riding on scooters, having a picnic, surfing, and so much more. With different objectives that see you try to capture specific scenarios, you can unlock more filters and abilities - including dressing up the dogs with cool shades, a backwards cap, and more. All of the dogs also move in a delightfully silly fashion. It's a basically a canine-filled version of Pokemon Snap that will no doubt charm you. Oh, and you can pet the dogs.
Developer: Bit Loom Games, Coatsink
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Definitely the weirdest entry on the best dog games list, Phogs is no less lovable. You play as two dogs, connected by a sort of Stretch Armstrong style extendable midsection - it's best not to think too hard about the biological implications - that need to solve puzzles and navigate the world using their special talent. It's a joy solo but really shines in co-op and will no doubt make you smile time and again.
5. Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC, mobile, Nintendo Switch
Not all dog games are about sunshine and playing frisbee in the park, some of the best dog games are tearjerkers, too. Adventure game Valiant Hearts: The Great War is set during the horrors of WW1, and a dog called Walt is a major character. He'll accompany you as you play as different characters, and as you're busy solving puzzles and sneaking past enemies you can command Walt to fetch items and set off switches that you can't reach. There are some dark moments in the game, but that only makes having Walt by your side all the more important as you play, and for all the human triumph he's really the star of the show.
4. The Red Lantern
Developer: Timberline Studio
Platform(s): PC, Nintendo Switch
Hang out with an entire pack of dogs as you sled across icy landscapes, encountering owls, bears, squirrels, and wolves, and managing your sled team's energy and hunger. It's one of the very best dog games because you get to know their personalities, pet them as you rest by the campfire, and use their special skills to help you on your journey. Be warned, this adventure game outs you through the emotional ringer from the beginning by having you pick (or reject) dogs for your sledding team, but the good news is that you can flick a switch in the options to prevent any dogs meeting untimely ends.
3. Old Friends
Developer: Runaway Play
Platform(s): Android, iOS
Not only is Old Friends an adorable dog sanctuary sim, but it's also based on a retirement home for senior dogs and features its real-world residents. Your job is to rescue and care for the canines, bake them treats, decorate the sanctuary, and complete story chapters. There's still plenty to enjoy, not least the warm glow you can get from knowing all proceeds from the game's in-app purchases go to supporting the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary. How could we skip something so lovely in the best dog games list?
2. The Sims 4 Cats and Dogs
Platform: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
The life simulation goes all-in on pets with this expansion, letting you choose from over 123 dog breeds to add to your family. You can crossbreeds too, design their fur down to the last splotch of black over one eye, and add accessories. Once your new pooch pal is in your sim's care they'll need training, feeding, walking, telling where and when to pee, and occasional trips to the vet when they don't feel well. This expansion also adds the option to make a career as a veterinarian and a new town of Brindleton Bay packed with stray pets and other animal-loving NPCs. It might be an expansion, but it's got enough gameplay to make it onto the best dog games list anyway.
1. Chicory: A Colorful Tale
Developer: Greg Lobanov
Platform(s): PS4, PS5, PC, Nintendo Switch
It doesn't get more wholesome than a dog with a magic paintbrush, and this heartfelt RPG is a real delight. Exploring the Picnic Province as the canine hero, you set out to bring color back to the world by scribbling all over it. As well as expressing yourself through art, painting on the province will help you solve puzzles and unlock new areas. There are collectibles you can use in the world, like clothes for your character, furniture and plants, and lots of side quests to keep you busy. Oh, and what better name for the pup protagonist than your favorite food? Alongside being wonderfully creative, there's so much depth and heart to Chicory: A Colorful Tale - it's well worth your time.
Looking for something else to play? Check out the 25 best free games you can play right now