13 best cozy games on Switch, Steam, PlayStation, Xbox & more to play in 2023

13 best cozy games on Switch, Steam, PlayStation, Xbox & more to play in 2023
Image via Witch Beam | Stray Fawn Studio

Written by 

Kiera Mills

Posted 

22nd Aug 2023 14:15

Contents

Sometimes it's nice to kick back and relax, so we've compiled a list of some of the best cozy games you should be playing in 2023, as while there is plenty of them out there, it's difficult to discern which is the coziest.

A cozy game is always a surefire way to relax and unwind after a long day, with the likes of Disney Dreamlight Valley, Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley, and even The Sims all being mainstay titles that people will instantly recognise as a cozy game. While these titles are fantastic for whiling away the hours, there are plenty of additional games out there you might not know about

Below, you'll find our recommendations for some lesser-known jewels within the cozy game genre that we think are best to play right now across Nintendo Switch, Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, and even iOS - so let's get started.

The best cozy games in 2023, ranked

#13 - Lake

In-game image of Lake, one of the best cosy games to play on Switch or Steam
Click to enlarge
Image via Gamious

Lake details & key features:

  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S
  • Release date: 2021
  • Key features:
    • Cell-shaded graphics
    • Ambient soundtrack
    • Social simulator

If you’re looking for a cozy game that isn’t another farming simulator, Lake could be the best game for you.

Lake puts you in the perspective of Meredith Weiss, a temporary mail carrier from 1986 who is tasked with delivering mail to the citizens of Providence Oaks.

Like Stardew Valley, the game tackles themes of leaving big cities to pursue a simpler and more peaceful way of life. Meredith must fill in her dad's role as a mail carrier for two weeks, and during that time, you get to know the inhabitants of Providence Oaks, make friendships, and even pursue romantic connections.

At the end of it all, you must decide if leaving the big city was the right thing to do and if Meredith should return to her hometown permanently.

  • Picked up a Steam Deck and want some recommendations for what to play next? Check out our list of the best Steam Deck games

#12 - The Longing

Screenshot of The Longing
Click to enlarge
Image via Studio Seufz

The Longing details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: 2020
  • Key features:
    • Unique animated art-style
    • Moves in real-time
    • Quality bonding time with your Shade

If you're something of an introvert and the idea of cosiness is spending time alone, The Longing is a curiously satisfying option.

The Longing is an indie adventure-idle game where you play as a Shade waiting for 400 days for your king to awaken from an ancient slumber. During those 400 days, you can explore, decorate your cave, or ignore the King's advice and venture into the darker, outer caves,

Whichever way you choose to spend your downtime, the game advances in real-time, meaning you can exit the game and revisit it weeks later to see the ending if you wish. Alternatively, you can spend the days with your Shade to alleviate their loneliness.

The game is more of an idle artistic experience, suited for those needing some space and quiet downtime, and less so for people wanting a more hands-on game.

#11 - Hello Kitty Island Adventure

Hello Kitty and an assortment of her friends in Hello Kitty Island Adventure, one of the best cozy games of 2023
Click to enlarge
Image via Sunblink

Hello Kitty Island Adventure details & key features:

  • Platforms: iOS
  • Release date: 2023
  • Key features:
    • Create a unique Sanrio-style character
    • Iconic adorable mascots
    • Solve puzzles and complete tasks

Crossing Hello Kitty with Animal Crossing seems like the ideal combination, as after creating your unique Sanrio-inspired character, you'll be thrown into cozy island life.

As you solve puzzles and embark on solo island sojourns, you'll be able to befriend iconic characters like Chocokat and Aggretsuko and join them for an assortment of adorable adventures in a sprawling game world, making this a great contender for the best cozy games available right now.

#10 - The Wandering Village

Image of The Wandering Village, one of the best cosy games to play on Switch or Steam
Click to enlarge
Image via Stray Fawn Studio

The Wandering Village details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Series X|S
  • Release date: 2022
  • Key features:
    • City-building on the back of a giant animal
    • Develop and protect your villages
    • Unique Ghibli-esque art style

The Wandering Village is a city-building sim with a twist: the city exists on the back of a giant land mammal named Onbu that looks similar to a dinosaur.

The Wandering Village is not for the faint of heart, as not only will you need to recruit villagers, construct buildings, farms and generally keep your people alive, but you will also need to direct Onbu and keep them from harm.

Every so often, Onbu will wander into a poison patch or earthquake, which will have detrimental results and will force you to re-prioritise your goals.

It's an incredibly cozy game, featuring stunning music, and gives you the choice to meander at a pace which suits you. The gentle nature of Onbu and the mixture of 3D and 2D animation art style feels reminiscent of Studio Ghibli film - with stunning results.

#9 - Potion Permit

In-game image of Potion Permit, one of the best cozy games to play on Switch or Steam
Click to enlarge
Image via MassHive Media

Potion Permit details & key features:

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
  • Release date: 2022
  • Key features:
    • Loyal dog companion
    • Gathering ingredients and brewing potions
    • Uncover mysteries

Potion Permit is a charming fantasy RPG that puts you in the shoes of a chemist in charge of diagnosing and fixing the ailments of the residents of Moonbury.

Followed by your loyal dog, you must explore the wilds and gather ingredients to heal your patients. You can do this by foraging for ingredients or getting materials from defeated monsters.

Whilst steadily becoming the best potion brewer in the country, you can explore the town of Moonbury and relax in the slower activities like getting to know the residents, fishing, and uncovering mysteries.

  • If you enjoy the 8-bit art style of Potion Permit, check out our Stardew Valley Fair guide, containing everything you need to know to become a master farmer

#8 - Bear and Breakfast

In-game image of Bear and Breakfast
Click to enlarge
Image via Armor Games

Bear and Breakfast details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: 2022
  • Key features: 
    • Animal protagonists
    • Build up your B&B
    • Improve your reputation in the woods

Bear and Breakfast is wonderfully weird. It features a roster of anthropomorphic animals who set out on the journey of opening their B&B for visitors, whilst dropping gloriously cheesy puns along the way.

You play as Hank, a cute brown bear who discovers an abandoned shack in the woods. With help from a loan shark – an actual shark – you open your B&B and slowly work your way up to financial success.

The game is delightfully earnest in its gameplay loop, as you build up your reputation you can venture further into the woods for materials or to uncover mysteries if you so choose.

#7 - Slime Rancher 2

Ket art of cozy game Slime Rancher 2
Click to enlarge
Image via Monomi Park

Slime Rancher 2 details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X|S
  • Release date: 2022
  • Key features:
    • Sequel builds on the success of the original
    • Adorable designs
    • Intriguing upgrades and smiley slimes

Fifth on our list of the best cozy games, Slime Rancher 2 is the sequel to the hit success that let players farm Slimes for a living. The music, vibrant art style and intriguing mysteries of the previous inhabitants of Rainbow Island are enough to keep you wanting more.

Alternatively, you can concentrate on upgrading your farm and collecting the many different types of Slimes that roam wild on the island in Slime Rancher 2.

The Slime designs are cute and unique and the gameplay loop of raising money for upgrades to traverse more of the island is enough of a hook to keep you playing for hours at a time.

#6 - Coffee Talk

Characters in Coffee Talk Episode 2 at a bar
Click to enlarge

Coffee Talk details & key features:

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Mac, PC, PlayStation & Xbox
  • Relebase date: 2020
  • Key features:
    • Visual-novel-meets-barista-simulator
    • Pixel art style
    • LoFi soundtrack

With a dual entry for the fourth entry on our list of the best cozy games, we've got Coffee Talk and its sequel, Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly. These entries are the perfect games to curl up and play on a cold rainy evening, making the Coffee Talk series one of the cosiest games out there.

In both games, you assume the owner of the eponymous Coffee Talk café, which is unique in that it only opens late at night. Each night, customers will pop in to request certain drinks that you'll need to brew while regaling you with tales from their lives.

It's a visual novel through and through, and its wonderful pixel art style is an absolute treat as you uncover the game's narrative and the stories of your patrons. If you're only in it for the brewing, there's also an Endless Mode in both games that allow you to make drinks until your heart's content.

#5 - Wylde Flowers

Screenshot showing residents of Fairhaven in Wylde Flowers, one of the best cosy games
Click to enlarge

Wylde Flowers details & key features:

  • Platforms: Mac, Mobile, Nintendo Switch & PC
  • Release date: 2022
  • Key features:
    • Fully voiced cast of characters
    • Whimsical art style
    • Spells, farming and crafting
    • Befriend, romance, marry (or break up with!) residents
    • Grow materials to craft and unlock clothes

If you’re a fan of games like Animal Crossing, Disney Dreamlight Valley, or Stardew Valley, Wylde Flowers is the perfect cozy game that’ll have you whiling away the hours. A farming sim through and through, you’ll be tending to your crops while meeting and befriending the (fully voiced) cast of characters residing in the town of Fairhaven.

As Tara - who also happens to be a witch - you’ll experience a wonderful story as you micromanage collecting resources, growing crops, and fulfilling farming quests while also learning about the secretive magical world. With a wonderful art style and fantastic voice acting that brings the town’s residents to life, Wylde Flowers is the cosiest of cozy games, best suited for those lazy nights spent with a cup of coffee in hand and Lo-Fi music playing in the background.

#4 - Pikmin 4

A sleepy Bulborb in Pikmin 4, one of the best cosy games to play in 2023
Click to enlarge
Image via Nintendo

Pikmin 4 details & key features:

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: 2023
  • Key features:
    • Gorgeous graphics with unique scale
    • Character creation
    • Engaging puzzles and characters
    • Large array of Pikmin to choose from
    • Oatchi

Arriving ten years after the previous mainline entry, Pikmin 4 initiates something of a soft reboot for the series. By introducing Ice Pikmin and Glow Pikmin into the mix, you and your custom-made character will be sent on a cozy quest to save Captain Olimar.

If that hasn't sold you already, then your canine companion Oatchi just might. With unique abilities of his own, along with the feature that allows him to carry you and your Pikmin around the map, he may even beat out Final Fantasy 16's Torgal for best doggo this year.

#3 Disney Dreamlight Valley

Key art for Disney Dreamlight Valley of The Forgetting and Dream Castle
Click to enlarge
Image via Gameloft

Disney Dreamlight Valley details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: TBD, Currently in open access beta as of August 10
  • Key features: 
    • Classic Disney characters
    • Customise your own home and the wider valley
    • Disney-themed clothing and furniture items
    • Cooking, mining, farming and more
    • Character customisation menu

Disney Dreamlight Valley brings the usual cozy vibes that you'll know and expect from this list by now but with the added bonus of interacting with some of the most beloved Disney characters.

You can customise your own house and decorate an entire village with unique Disney-themed furniture and clothing. New items are available daily via Scrooge McDuck's store, indeed one of the most exciting parts of a day in Disney Dreamlight Valley is seeing the new stock on offer.

The basis of the game lies in The Forgetting, a thorn-like substance that has grown across the valley and caused the inhabitants to lose their memories.

Most of your playtime will revolve around restoring memories and completing tasks for the various villagers. Slowly accruing friendship by completing tasks, giving favourite gifts or completing restaurant orders at Chez Remy will earn you their trust and unique items for free.

Seeing how different characters from the franchise interact with one another is cutesy and will take you down a nostalgia trip through memory lane if you grew up on Disney films.

#2 - Palia

Key art for Palia, one of the best cozy games to play
Click to enlarge
Image via Singularity 6 Corporation

Palia details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: TBD, Currently in open access beta as of August 10
  • Key features: 
    • Multiplayer
    • Romance options
    • Classic RPG quests
    • Make and customise your own home
    • Character customisation

Palia manages to achieve what many games beforehand have failed to do, which is implement a cozy game loop whilst having the option of multiplayer in a hub-like world.

You can strive outwards and interact with other players in Palia, or return to the warmth of your home lot, away from other people where you can focus on farming, crafting, upgrading your home and decorating it to your heart's content.

Whether you choose to explore the rich lands in Palia with friends or solo, at its core it operates like many other RPGs. Learn about the unusual inhabitants of Kilima village, complete quests for them, gift them items, slowly build up friendship and trust, and maybe even romance along the way.

Amongst the backdrop of collecting, gathering materials and levelling up skills - to unlock more mechanics in the game, is an interesting story imbedded in RPG roots. You play as a human, one of the first to return to the fae populace of Palia. Other than traces of artefacts and mythical stories left behind, the ancient humans that once inhabited the world are long gone and it is your job to discover the lost secrets of the past.

If you enjoy the usual cozy game tropes of fishing, gardening, hunting and crafting resources whilst having the option to do it all with friends then Palia is a great option for you. 

What is the best cozy game?

#1 - Unpacking

Image of Unpacking, one of the best cosy games to play on Switch or Steam
Click to enlarge
Image via Witch Beam

Unpacking details

  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S
  • Release date: 2021
  • Key features:
    • Create delightful living spaces
    • Enjoy a nuanced story
    • ASMR-style sound-scape

Coming in at number one on our list of the best cozy games, Unpacking is a game that embodies the idea that less is more. Each level of Unpacking takes place in a room or house as the player goes through the process of unpacking their moving boxes.

While the game sounds very simple, there is so much more to it than that. Through the process of unpacking furniture, a nuanced story is told of the life of the main character you are playing as. The choices they have made, the objects they have chosen to keep with them and the ones that have been left behind, tell a heart-warming story of love and loss.

The gameplay loop is immensely satisfying, as the process of organising furniture is deeply pleasing and the individual foley sounds of picking up and placing objects are almost ASMR-worthy. Unpacking is both cozy and a complete experience that everyone should play through at least once.

That rounds off our list of the best cozy games to play this year in 2023. For more cozy games not shown above, be sure to check out our guide on the best farming simulator games.

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