15 best fishing games to reel you in

Animal Crossing: New Horizons fishing
(Image credit: Nintendo)

The best fishing games either exist on their own, or as fun activities in larger-scale (pun intended) titles.  You'll find fishing minigames in many of the best roguelikes, offering a relaxing, chill side activity amid the hack n' slash frenzy of the likes of Hades and Cult of the Lamb.

In fact, some of the best RPGs you can play right now are home to some of the most memorable and enjoyable fishing games. While they do vary in style and difficulty, there's nothing quite like successfully snagging a really big fish in the likes of Final Fantasy 15 or Stardew Valley. 

Angling for glory is something we all enjoy doing in video games, and going fishing in them is one way to realize that metaphor. Here's a collection of the best fishing games you can cast a line into right now, digital downtime ensured.

15. Skyrim

Skyrim anniversary edition fishing

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Developer: Bethesda
Platform: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, VR

Fishing in Skyrim is a new mechanic introduced to celebrate the game's 10th anniversary. Thankfully, it launched as a free update to anyone who owns the game and isn't locked behind the Anniversary Edition upgrade. It bumps the total fish count in the game up to 26, with some tied to certain types of water - from fresh to salt. But it's not just about collecting them all, there's also a fishing-related quest to play through called the Angler Acquaintances that leads you to a new location called The Riften Fishery. This acts as a hub for all of this, with characters like Swims-In-Deep-Water, Hulda, and Viriya who will regularly give out literal bounties on certain fish they want catching.

14. Far Cry 6

Fishing in Far Cry 6

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Developer: Ubisoft
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS5, Xbox Series X

You don't really need to fish in Far Cry 6. You can sell your catches in exchange for resources and use them to cook some meals at resistance bases, and there are a couple achievements tied to catching fish and cooking meals. But, really, there's a certain zen in watching the world go by waiting for a nibble. It's not that complicated so that just adds to the peacefulness of it all against the chaos of being a guerilla.

13. Pokemon Sword and Shield

Fishing in Pokemon Sword and Shield

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Developer: Game Freak
Platform: Nintendo Switch

Fishing in the Pokemon series has always been integral to the whole schtick of catching 'em all. Water Type Pokemon lurk beneath the waves of the oceans and the quieter waters of the regions' lakes and rivers, and getting your preliminary old rod is quite the triumph for unlocking a whole new set of 'mons. Pokemon Sword and Shield are the same, albeit with a little more focus on where you can cast your line. Look out for dark patches on the water, particularly around marinas or in the Wild Area, and you'll start adding lots of new aquatic friends to your Pokedex. If we were being really picky, we'd argue that Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire are the best fishing games in the series.

12. Hades

Fishing in Hades

(Image credit: Supergiant Games)

Developer: Supergiant Games
Platform: PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Hades, the runaway indie roguelike success of 2020, might not be the first game you think of when you're conjuring thoughts on the best fishing games. But this adventure through the underworld does actually feature a very satisfying fishing mini-game. Later on in the game, you'll be able to buy a fishing rod and catch yourself a mystery from the Tartarian Depths. To fish, you drop your lure at a glowing golden circle on the edge of the map. If you catch something, you can then take it to the Head Chef, who'll gift you rewards like Nectar and Gemstones. It's simple, and when you find the right spot and nail the timing, it only adds to the satisfaction of a great Hades run.

11. Spiritfarer

Fishing in Spiritfarer

(Image credit: Thunder Lotus Games)

Developer: Thunder Lotus
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Fishing is a lovely little mini-game in Spiritfarer, a game about helping souls move on to the afterlife. Not only is it super peaceful to watch Stella's Everlight transform into a fishing rod as she settles down in the deckchair, but the fishing itself is also soothing. You'll need to focus on matching the fish's rhythm if you stand a chance of catching them. But, there's an unexpected pleasure in discovering the things that can get stuck to the side of your ship too, adding to the deliciousness that Stella can whip up for the Spirits back in the kitchen. Hungry bellies mean no happy Spirits, after all. 

10. Minecraft

Fishing in Minecraft

(Image credit: Mojang)

Developer: Mojang Studios
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

Minecraft, like many of the other games on this list, makes fishing a key part of the gameplay loop. The ability to fish arrived with the Java Edition Alpha v1.2.0 along with the Nether, and you can now fish whenever and wherever you want to. Your rod can be improved too with a range of enchantments, including a lure. Plus, there's more to catch than just fish, with a variety of Treasures including bows and books, junk like leather boots, and even really bizarre things like rotten flesh, to reel in.

9. The Sims 4

Fishing in The sims 4

(Image credit: EA)

Developer: Maxis
Platform: PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS5

Fishing may only be one small element of The Sims 4 gameplay, but the way Maxis has made it such an interconnected part of Sims life makes it one of the best fishing games. Not only can you create your own ponds now and fill them with fish, but you can use anything you catch to create meals or fertilize crops. You'll have to learn about lures and travel around to find all the different species available too, with more being added through Expansions. The more you fish, the better your skill will become, which allows you to catch rarer - and thus more valuable - fish, which can then become another source of income for those who like to play The Sims without the use of cheats - you mad lot. 

8. Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Fishing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Developer: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch

While Animal Crossing: New Horizons has now added cooking for frying up your catches, in reality, fishing has always been about providing new exhibits for the museum. Delivering Blathers each species builds out your aquarium wing and delights our old feathered chum in equal parts. Completing the wing in New Horizons also earns you the coveted golden fishing rod - the hardiest of all the rods - and now a rather glorious poster to celebrate all your donations. Plus, fishing now extends to diving in order to discover a raft of sea creatures, including gigantic crabs and even pearls. 

7. Red Dead Redemption 2

Fishing in Red Dead Redemption 2

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Developer: Rockstar
Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S PC

Red Dead Redemption 2 is absolutely swimming in fish, including heroically complicated to catch Legendary Fish that are incredibly valuable if you snag one. The fishing mechanic is introduced as part of the main storyline, but there's plenty of fishing fun to be had as you explore the huge open world. There's even a particularly amusing side-story including fishing to uncover if you find it. But, Red Dead Redemption 2's fishing is seriously involved, with special lures needed to secure all the different types of fish, so strap those waders on tight - especially when you're going after the Red Dead Redemption 2 legendary fish.

6. Ridiculous Fishing

Fishing in Ridiculous Fishing

(Image credit: Vlambeer)

Developer: Vlambeer
Platform: Android, iOS

An oldie but a good, Ridiculous Fishing is our mobile entry on this list. It's a game where you use motion and touch controls to guide your lure down into the depths as far as you can without hitting anything, and then try to catch as many fish as you can on the way back up. Your fish are then flung into the air for you to shoot (don't ask) in order to bank your winnings in cash. It's bizarre yet brilliant, and a handy game to have in your pocket for commutes. 

5. Final Fantasy 15

Fishing in Final Fantasy 15

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Developer: Square Enix
Platform: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC

Final Fantasy 15 has plenty of activities to take part in, from chocobo races to camping, but there's something about its fishing that makes us keep coming back. As Noctis' favorite pass time, doing a spot of fishing will increase his particular skill. When you've found a marked fishing location you can catch two types of fish - those for cooking and the prize catches. Some side quests are also geared towards fishing, and nothing quite beats the satisfaction of reeling in a rare fish that's tough to catch. 

4. Sea of Thieves

Fishing in Sea of Thieves

(Image credit: Rare)

Developer: Rare
Platform: Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series X

Finding a fish dinner is just part of pirate life, and developer Rare has made the process not only potentially lucrative but also super chill thanks to its music. There are 10 different fish available, which can all be sold at The Hunter's Call in exchange for gold, with the value of the fish dependant on how well you've cooked it on the stove. Timing is key here, with the degree of cooking ranging from raw to burnt. Fishing can also nab you some Treacherous Plunder, which - despite the name - isn't actually dangerous, and again can be traded in for gold. You might even reel in an Ashen Key, which you can sell to the Bilge Rats for five doubloons or use to open Ashen Chests. 

3. Stardew Valley 

Stardew Valley Prismatic Shards

(Image credit: ConcernedApe)

Developer: ConcernedApe
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android

The fishing in Stardew Valley has become pretty iconic purely for the fact it can be a little frustrating. If you want to fill out the Community Centre and build strong relationships with the residents though, you have to invest time - and money - into your rod. Keeping your bobber in the green reeling-in line is almost impossible for the rarer fish but thankfully there are ways and means to increase the size of the bar and the speed at which your line snaps. Plus, when you actually nail that fish you've been after for weeks, it's oh so worth it.

2. Moonglow Bay

Moonglow Bay

(Image credit: Coatsink)

Developer: Bunnyhug
Platform: Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC

Unlike the majority of the other games on this list, Moonglow Bay is a game that's all about fishing. You play as someone trying to revitalize a small town one fish at a time. You'll have to grab your rod and head out to the piers, or further afield on your boat, in order to discover all the fish. There are multiple rod and lure types to combine for finding new fin friends, alongside crab pots and nets for alternative fishing options. Then, you start to make your living by cooking up the fish and selling it to your fellow townsfolk. There's a sweet storyline to go alongside it, an adorable dog companion, and even some legendary fish to discover.

1. Ultimate Fishing Simulator

Ultimate Fishing Simulatror - the best fishing game ever

(Image credit: Ultimate Games)

Developer: Ultimate Games
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

Of course, our list of the best fishing games had to be topped with an actual fishing sim, and Ultimate Fishing Simulator is as close to the real thing as you're going to get without getting wet. About to be bettered by Ultimate Fishing Simulator 2 at some point in the near future, the current iteration is still the best fishing experience. Intense attention has been paid to modeling everything from equipment to bait, and it's incredibly realistic with day-and-night cycles to boot. Plus, there's loads of DLC too if you want even more fishing fun. 

Check out our best cat games and best dog games while you're at it.

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.

With contributions from