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The best farming games to make you feel sow good

(Image credit: Milkstone Studios)

The best farming games are the ones that you think about even when you aren’t playing them. There you are just boarding a train like a normal person and you see someone innocently drinking a milkshake. Not only do you suddenly wonder how your cows are doing, you wonder if you remembered to pat them today to ensure milk yield, and ponder the idea of knocking down your apple orchard to make room for even more pasteurised production. Don’t worry, you are not alone. 

Perhaps don’t play them hungry but the best farming games are the ones that make time disappear as you maximise your fence design and draw out the very best sprinkler layouts. Whether you’re looking for a realistic agriculture sim or something more casual to enjoy with fellow crop-addicts, there’s something in this list for you. And we’ve made sure we’ve got you covered wherever you are. This collection includes muddy offerings across console, PC and mobile. Happy watering!

1. Stardew Valley

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

Being fully transparent, you’ve arrived at this list for 10 of the best farming games to play right now, but you might as well stop after this first entry. Here, in the sweet embrace of Stardew Valley, available on a now dangerous number of platforms, you will lose hundreds of hours to painstakingly fixing up your grandfather’s old farm, naming your animals, selling your wares, mining, collecting, flirting… You get the idea. It’s all here in colourful top down form. And, if you feel like you’ve paid your (Star)dues already, you might just be interested in the new ‘Everything’ update. The free patch has only arrived on PC so far but, amongst other things, adds 60 new items, fishponds, individual banking in multiplayer, new haircuts, new clothes, and even a button to take a picture of your whole farm. We know, just when you thought you were out…

2. Farm Together 

(Image credit: Milkstone Studios)

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

Given how much time we lose to the best farming games, it’s probably slightly ironic just how well we manage our minutes and hours during the planting and picking process. Frankly it feels dangerous for everyone’s health to add Farm Together to this list straight after Stardew, but at least this brightly coloured multiplayer agriculture ‘em up deletes your need for stamina or even sleep. This means that if you’re awake IRL, you can be picking corn or planning out duck pens for maximum egg yield. Like traditional mobile games, everything takes time but don’t let that fool you, there’s always something to do. Whether it’s heading to a friend or stranger’s farming metropolis to help out and earn yourself bonuses, or just pootling around in your customisable tractor, pet in tow, admiring how lovely the warm autumn light looks on your new house. Bed? Nah, just one more 17 minute season...

3. Farming Simulator 19

(Image credit: Focus Home Interactive)

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

We say that all of the games on this list are about farming but let’s face it, that’s not really the case. They’re about pressing A to crop, B to milk, or smudging your finger across a screen to make all your animals magically happy. Sure it’s in the title but Farming Simulator 19 is actually about farming. It’s about fixing the right bits to the back of your tractor, lowering them perfectly to the ground with a satisfying clonk, and feeling a slow, trickling sense of true achievement as you painstakingly manage to cultivate one tiny strip of acres of land. If the various attachments on your vacuum cleaner of choice get you excited - easy... - then you’re going to love this. Not only did the 2019 version add new crop types and an expanded vehicle roster, this is the first time you can actually ride horses in game. Red Dead Redemption who? 

4. My Time at Portia

(Image credit: Pathea)

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

If Stardew’s top down nature has always left you feeling a little disconnected then fret not, My Time at Portia brings you fully into the wholesome farming and villag-ey action in beautiful 3D. As you might expect, moving into a rickety old shack is a little sad at first but head into the town of Portia and suddenly you’ll have all kinds of new friends and probably a strange obsession with playing a game called Cross Five with a chap called Isaac. Again, more than just a farming game but with plenty of growing and watering, My Time At Portia initially feels intimidating as you get to grips with its sprawling resource options but it doesn’t stay that way for long. Desperate rock smashing and tree chopping quickly transforms into elegant workshop creations and a cosy sense of farming pride. 

5. Farmville 2: Country Escape

(Image credit: Zynga)

Available on: iOS, Android

If you have fond memories of almost ruining your university education because of a Facebook game, then it’s probably time to revisit this time-hungry crop-filled behemoth. It’s been going strong since 2014 but that doesn’t mean Farmville 2 is any less deserving of a place on this list. More than 50 million downloaders on the Google Play Store alone can’t be wrong, can they? Just like the original, there’s something painfully compelling and now beautifully touchable about Country Escape and, if you’re happy to dip in and out of milk and crop production during the day, you shouldn’t be too hungry to put a hand in your pocket. Just watch out for your inventory space as that’s where Zynga might just push you over the edge. But you’re older and wiser now. Right? 

6. Slime Rancher

(Image credit: Monomi Park)

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Sometimes cows and sheep just don’t cut it. You need springy, smiling blobs that can be sucked and fired from a custom piece of technology known as a Vacpack. Welcome to life on the Far, Far Range, where you’re going to become obsessed with feeding different colours of squishy creatures their favourite foods and selling their faeces on the ever-changing *ahem* Plort Market. There’s something unquantifiably glorious about Slime Rancher. Whether you’re adventuring out into the world to find new types of slimes to ensnare, or just making sure that no rogue creatures have escaped their enclosures and are eating poo, this is the kind of dangerously happy world that it’s easy to lose hours in. Just prepare for the guilt if you’ve not fed anyone in a while and your Tabby Slimes little hungry faces make you die a little inside. 

7. Graveyard Keeper 

(Image credit: Lazy Bear Games)

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

If you’re more Wednesday Addams than the rest of this list, that’s ok, we understand you. And so does Graveyard Keeper. It understands that instead of handing over wholesome bottles of milk or duck egg mayonnaise to your townspeople, you want to deliver ‘mystery meat’ to the local tavern that may or may not have been on your mortuary table. There aren’t many medieval cemetery sims out there, but this is definitely our favourite as you accept corpses from a dutiful bell-ringing donkey, make friends with a bouncing skull, and fix up a cemetery. Unlocking new crafting methods is initially a little fiddly, but once you’ve got to grips with all the grim tasks necessary to fulfil your duties, the ‘sunshine’ and ‘happiness’ of all of the rest of the games on this list will become a distant memory. 

8. Staxel

(Image credit: Plukit)

Available on: PC

Minecraft has a lot to answer for but don’t judge Staxel too much on its blocky similarities to Mojang’s world beater. This is a gentle farming and village sim with a charming heart and there’s not an exploding green cactus monster in sight. Like a very square Animal Crossing, you’ll make friends with villagers and head out on bug-catching duties as well as building your farm and growing crops from giant pixelated seeds. It’s all delightfully sedate and quirky as you chat with the locals, wander around on miniature fetch quests and get yourself a pet. Like all farm sims, on paper it sounds a little dull but there’s a satisfying peace in the complete lack of combat and the focus on just making your blocky world as nice a place as possible to live. Thinking about it, there’s probably a lot that humanity could learn from Staxel.

9. Autonauts

(Image credit: Denki)

Available on: PC

If the worst part of farming games for you is the ‘actually getting your hands dirty’ bit, then fret no more. Someone has made Autonauts specifically for you, you wonderful if strangely specific human being. It’s probably a giveaway in the title but this is all about mechanising things for peak productivity. Why chop down a tree yourself and turn it into planks when a shiny automaton with a light on its head can do it for you? Just like every other farm sim, you start off with nothing but, like a much more adorable Factorio or Satisfactory, you’ll quickly have scavenged enough goods to start your very own robot takeover. Given the irresistible way that the resource management constantly expands, there’s never a time where you’ll just sit back to watch it work, but Autonauts is constantly a satisfying churn without any of the painful digital splinters or muddy boots. 

10. Township

(Image credit: Playrix)

Available on: iOS, Android

If Farmville brings back too many stressful memories, but you still fancy a gentle tapper on mobile when you can’t get to your console or PC, Township is a worthy addition to your home screen. Of course, in an ideal world, it would love you to spend real money on its in-game green notes as you expand your farming metropolis from a mere dairy farm but, as long as you’re playing in shorter bursts, the production line here is happily free. Plus, every touch and noise is so intentionally crafted to hit all those psychological feedback loops of happiness that a Township session actually makes for a pleasing break from the stresses of the day. Satisfyingly harvest your crops, feed your happily chewing cows, and watch the manipulatively beautiful world do its magic. Just tell yourself you can stop at any time and you’ll be fine…

If you're looking for more farming goodness, check out these 10 games like Stardew Valley.

GR+ news lead Louise can often be found watching horror, drinking coffee and beating you at The Binding Of Isaac: Rebirth.