16 best games like Animal Crossing to play in 2023: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation & Xbox

16 best games like Animal Crossing to play in 2023: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation & Xbox
Image via Nintendo

Written by 

Kiera Mills


31st Jul 2023 17:23


If you're looking for the best games like Animal Crossing, check out our list below, we have 16 games like Animal Crossing lined up for you.

We've cultivated this list by selecting games that emulate the same cosy game energy that Animal Crossing has. The games below vary from sandbox, RPG and simulation games, and all feature at least one similar mechanic that Animal Crossing is known for like gardening, cute NPCs, crafting mechanics and more.

So, if you love the game and want to play something similar, check out our list below. We have the best games like Animal Crossing across Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation and Xbox.

Best Games Like Animal Crossing

16 - Hokko Life

The player uses a net to catch a butterfly in Hokko Life
Click to enlarge

Hokko Life details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: 2022
  • Key features:
    • Colourful animal NPCs
    • Crafting mechanics
    • Can fish and catch bugs for money like in Animal Crossing
    • Can renovate and customise your home and the village

Right away you'll notice the similarities between Hokko Life and Animal Crossing. Just like in Animal Crossing, you play Hokko Life as a human while all of the NPCs are animals.

The resemblance doesn't stop there though. You spend your time in Hokko Life progressively expanding and renovating the town of Hokko. You'll have full creative freedom in Hokko Life as you customise buildings, furniture, and clothing to your liking. Hokko Life and Animal Crossing residents share the same hobbies too, as you can fish, hunt bugs, and craft across both titles.

One could argue that Hokko Life is even more casual than Animal Crossing because Hokko Life isn't based on real-time. You won't find cockroaches scurrying across your floors and angry neighbours in the streets if you neglect to play the game for a month or two. The cute and cosy Hokko Life will induce that Animal Crossing feeling in an instant.

15 - My Time At Portia

The player walks through a field with a city in the background in My Time at Portia
Click to enlarge
Pathea Games

My Time At Portia details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS
  • Release date: 2021
  • Key features:
    • Fulfil commissions for NPCs
    • Crafting mechanics
    • Farming with crops and animals
    • Restore an old workshop
    • Bright art style
    • Romance options

Sharing the general theme of Animal Crossing and many other titles on this list, My Time At Portia involves starting a new life in a brand-new space.

In My Time At Portia, you take over your Pa's neglected workshop in hopes of restoring it to its former glory. In the process, you'll fulfil commissions, grow crops, raise animals, and join a community of vibrant townspeople.

Like Animal Crossing, a lot of your time in My Time At Portia is spent gathering resources and combining them with recipes to create items. As you play, you'll gain better tools and in return, access to more in-depth recipes. And eventually, the ability to transform the town itself.

Wrapping up the package with an Animal Crossing-like art style, My Time At Portia is sure to charm.

  • And if My Time At Portia interests you, check out My Time At Sandrock, the sequel to My Time At Portia, currently in early access on PC only

14 - Harvestella

A fully grown farm in Harvestella
Click to enlarge
Image via Square Enix

Harvestella details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC (Microsoft Windows), Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: 2022
  • Key features:
    • Look after seasonal crops
    • Keep animals and crops for crafting materials or sell for a profit
    • Cooking meals gives HP recovery and stat boosts
    • A rich overarching story regarding a destructive fifth season

If you've ever wanted to see the combination of Final Fantasy and Animal Crossing, then Harvestella is definitely the closest you will get. Combining cosy life-sim elements with your traditional JRPG stories and combat, you'll be spending as much time building up your farm as you do fighting deadly enemies that threaten your humble town.

If you're going to settle down and live out your Animal Crossing farming fantasy in this game, then you're going to need to work hard to build a rapport with the people in the town who have taken you in following your unexplained bout of amnesia.

With seasonal considerations (including a deadly fifth season that can decimate your crops if you're not careful), Harvestella will have you doing your best to protect your precious farm and have a cosy time with some drama sprinkled in.

13 - Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town

The player manages their farm with a cow in Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town
Click to enlarge

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town details & key features:

  • Platforms: PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: 2021
  • Key features:
    • Local festivals
    • Romance options
    • Restore Olive Town's infrastructure
    • Plant crops and raise animals
    • Can explore other lands when interacting with Earth Sprites

Inspired by the Harvest Moon series (which in itself is another game like Animal Crossing) Pioneers of Olive Town is one of the more recent instalments of the Story of Seasons series.

In this entry, you are fleeing a life of mundanity in the big city to thrive in rural seclusion - sound familiar? You'll be building up the farm your grandfather has left, trading with residents and gradually cementing yourself as a pillar of the community.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town feels like it combines the best of Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon to create an assured farming sim that will have you relaxing in no time.

12 - The Sims

Three Sims are having an argument in their apartment
Click to enlarge

The Sims details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Release date: 2014
  • Key features:
    • Life simulation game
    • Huge list of expansions available that add various gameplay
    • Free-to-play
    • Building mechanics
    • Continuous support
    • Character creation
    • Can marry and raise families

The Sims and Animal Crossing both belong under the video game subgenre of social/life simulations. You begin The Sims by creating your virtual people called "Sims". From there, their life lies in your hands. 

Like in Animal Crossing, there are no real defined goals in The Sims. You place your Sims in a home (which you can design yourself) and help them to fulfil their needs and desires.

The Sims and Animal Crossing are rarities in today's age, as neither game features combat of any sort. Just sit back, relax, and navigate the life of your Sims.

If you're looking for a game like Animal Crossing where you can destress after a long day by roleplaying a second life, The Sims might be your calling.

11 - Terraria

Terraria image of house
Click to enlarge

Terraria details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, Android, iOS
  • Release date: 2016
  • Key features:
    • Mining
    • Crafting
    • Procedurally generated worlds
    • Continuous developer support
    • Sandbox 
    • Multiplayer or solo player available

Terraria is a 2D sandbox game revolving around exploration, building, crafting, combat, survival, and mining. 

Terraria worlds are procedurally generated, like the islands in Animal Crossing. And when you first enter the world, an NPC called The Guide will greet you and walk you through getting started, just as Tom Nook does in Animal Crossing. As you progress through Terraria, you'll meet dozens of NPCs that provide various services.

If you can deal with the emphasis on combat and boss battles, Terraria's pure depth offers an experience reminiscent of Animal Crossing.

10 - Sun Haven

A festival taking place in Sun Haven
Click to enlarge
Pixel Sprout Studios

Sun Haven details & key features:

  • Platform: PC
  • Release date: 2023
  • Key features:
    • Seasonal crops
    • Romance options
    • 8-person multiplayer or solo modes available
    • Manage a farm
    • Unique NPCs with backstories
    • Mythical fantasy undertones
    • Raise animals
    • Mining, cooking and fishing mechanics

Sun Haven follows a mediaeval fantasy theme where you as the player are a new arrival in a thriving trade town conveniently named Sun Haven.

As is the case in Animal Crossing, you can be anything you want to be in Sun Haven. Whether you want to cook, farm, or fish, your skills will grow as you pursue your craft.

Those that love decorating and designing their Animal Crossing islands will adore Sun Haven. In Sun Haven, you can decorate to your heart's content with over 100 unique pieces of furniture.

If you have an itch for the animal part of Animal Crossing, Sun Haven can certainly scratch that for you. Sun Haven features tons of different races, including, Humans, Demons, Elves, Angels, Elementals, Naga, and Amari, an animal race that consists of cats, dogs, fish, birds, and reptiles. Each race can be befriended and romanced.

A trip to Sun Haven will no doubt remind you of Animal Crossing.

  • Have dreams of managing a flourishing farm? Here's a list of the best farming games to get you started

9 - Cozy Grove

A player decorates their island at night in Cozy Grove
Click to enlarge
Spry Fox

Cozy Grove details & key features:

  • Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4/5, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, iOS
  • Release date: 2021
  • Key features:
    • Unique characters and storylines
    • Collect spirit animals
    • Crafting and fishing mechanics
    • 40+ hour campaign
    • Real-time quests

As you open Cozy Grove, you'll quickly find yourself in familiar circumstances: Stuck on an island, trying to make the best of it. Trying to decorate it for both form and function. Talking animals and ghosts pay you a visit from time to time. It's quite like the haunted version of your Animal Crossing: New Horizons islands.

While your island may not be haunted in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (unless you've chosen to decorate it that way), you'll be developing your Cozy Grove island in much the same way. You gradually build your way up from fighting to survive, to a fully realised homestead.

As you explore the dense forests for new materials and meet strange animals and beings along the way, it's hard not to reminisce about the anthropomorphic villagers that you've been collecting to join you on your Animal Crossing islands

  • If you like small, spooky adventures, check out our review of Decarnation

8 - Littlewood

A farm in Littlewood
Click to enlarge
Sean Young

Littlewood details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: 2020
  • Key features:
    • Crafting and forage mechanics
    • Catch bugs and fish
    • Fulfil villager requests
    • Unique NPCs
    • Unique storyline
    • Learn a profession
    • Collect Tarott Cards and battle the monsters within

If the social aspect of Animal Crossing is what drives you, Littlewood may be worth looking into.

If you want someone to move into your town in Littlewood, you'll need to convince them. And once they are there, you'll need to fulfil their various requests to keep them happy. With satisfied townsfolk, you'll gain access to all sorts of new amenities like a Tavern, Lumber Mill, Fishing Hut, and Magical Library.

Activities galore exist in Littlewood. You can explore, craft, fish, bug hunt, farm, harvest, mine, cook, and woodcut, to name a few.

Littlewood is a peaceful, relaxing alternative for when you need a break from Animal Crossing.

7 - Core Keeper

The player explores a cave in Core Keeper
Click to enlarge

Core Keeper details & key features:

  • Platform: PC
  • Release date: 2022
  • Key features:
    • Co-op with up to seven friends
    • Mining sandbox
    • Crafting
    • Grow and farm crops

Core Keeper is self-described as a "mining sandbox adventure". You and up to seven friends enter a mysterious cavern and have to mine, build, fight, craft, and farm to survive.

Unlike Animal Crossing, a large focus of Core Keeper is on combat and boss fights. However, there are plenty of non-combat activities to participate in if you so wish. When you create a character, you have the option of choosing a Background. If you're more of a pacifist, you can have a friend be the fighter while you opt for a Background as a Chef or Fisherman.

Early in your Core Keeper career, you'll want to build a base of operations. As you progress in the game, NPCs will appear. If you build a quaint room for them in your house, they'll move in with you and offer different services.

While a little more intense than Animal Crossing, the gameplay loop of Core Keeper is sure to hook you.

6 - Spiritfarer

Stella the ferrymaster fishes from the edge of her boat in Spiritfarer
Click to enlarge
Thunder Lotus Games

Spiritfarer details & key features:

  • Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac Linux
  • Release date: 2020
  • Key features:
    • Cosy management game
    • Build your custom boat
    • Farming, crafting and cooking mechanics
    • Co-op play for two players
    • Relaxing gameplay loop

While Spiritfarer may not outwardly seem like a game similar to Animal Crossing, its mechanics, resource management and overall cosiness suggests otherwise.

You play as Stella, a ferry master who is tasked with ferrying spirits to their afterlife. She is the titular Spiritfarer, and you must build up her boat and commune with spirits to help them on their way.

As you farm, build, harvest materials and cook, you'll soon find yourself slipping into familiarity, as you navigate the seas. Think of your boat as your own personal Animal Crossing island that will take you anywhere you desire.

5 - Kynseed

The player and their dog wander down a forest path toward a bridge Kynseed
Click to enlarge
PixelCount Studios

Kynseed details & key features:

  • Platform: PC
  • Release date: 2022
  • Key features:
    • Life sim sandbox
    • Crafting, cooking, combat and farming mechanics
    • Build a dynasty, control your offspring when your character dies
    • Can run a business
    • Romance options
    • Mythical undertones

Kynseed is a sandbox life sim with a little bit of everything. Created by the same developers that worked on the Fable series, the spiritual similarities are clear.

Kynseed lets you decide where to take your journey. You can run a business, go adventuring, build a farm, or work on your social skills. 

Many of the activities in Kynseed require that you engage in mini-games. When you cook, you'll lay out tomatoes on a cutting board and physically chop them with a knife. While blacksmithing, you'll need to press your keys/buttons at just the right time to forge a pristine sword. 

Kynseed will force some action on you, but it's turn-based, so you can take all the time you need in between the combat. You won't need quick reflexes to succeed in Kynseed.

Don't let the 2D pixel art dissuade you because, at its core, Kynseed builds off the foundations of what makes Animal Crossing so popular.

4 - Stardew Valley

People gather for the Flower Dance in Stardew Valley
Click to enlarge

Stardew Valley details & key features:

  • Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, Android, iOS
  • Release date: 2016
  • Key features:
    • Seasonal crops
    • Romance options
    • Festivals
    • Colourful NPCs with backstories
    • Fishing, mining, cooking and combat mechanics
    • Raise animals for materials
    • Overarching storyline
    • Restore a farm

In Stardew Valley, you take on the role of a character that's fed up with life as a cog in the wheel and decides to take over their deceased grandpa's farm out in a place called Stardew Valley. This is sorta how Animal Crossing: New Horizons starts. Your character just needs a break from it all, so you purchase a getaway package to a deserted island with Tom Nook.

One of the cores of Stardew Valley is farming, but the game is entirely open-ended. If you don't want to farm, you don't have to! There's so much to do in Stardew Valley, including fishing, cooking, crafting, and exploring. You could spend your entire day socialising and building relationships with the townspeople if you'd like, just like in Animal Crossing.

Stardew Valley also features many seasonal events as Animal Crossing does. The seasons change as you play and each season is highlighted by special Festival events.

Designed, developed, and published by Eric "ConcernedApe" Barone alone, Stardew Valley will suck you in just like Animal Crossing once did.

3 - Coral Island

The player sits at a candle lit table in Coral Island
Click to enlarge
Stairway Games

Coral Island details & key features:

  • Platform: PC, Xbox, Nintendo Switch & PlayStation TBA
  • Release date: 2021
  • Key features:
    • 70+ characters with backstories
    • Romance options
    • Grow your own farm
    • Restore Coral Island back to its former glory
    • Farming, hunting for insects, mining and diving mechanics

Scheduled to release in the latter half of 2022, Coral Island looks to be a true successor to Animal Crossing.

Coral Island drops you into an enchanting world to live off the land and form relationships with a diverse roster of over 50 townsfolk.

Coral Island prides itself on being a laid-back, chill experience where you can be who you want. Coral Island is the perfect escape from reality, just like Animal Crossing.

2 - Disney Dreamlight Valley

Disney Dreamlight Valley Promotional image of the Magic Kingdom
Click to enlarge
Image via Gameloft

Disney Dreamlight Valley details & key features:

  • Platforms: PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch,PS4, PS5,Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
  • Release date: 2023
  • Key features:
    • Befriend your favourite Disney characters
    • House, outfit and valley customisation
    • Mining, fishing, gardening and forage mechanics
    • Rich overarching storyline
    • Clothing and furniture items inspired by Disney films/characters

If you want a game like Animal Crossing which allows house and character customisation and lovable animal companions, then Disney Dreamlight Valley is a great option.

In the game, you explore the mystery of 'The Forgetting' a mass of night thorns which are taking over the Magical Kingdom and causing iconic Disney characters to lose their memories.

In the game, you become friends with various beloved Disney icons and get your own house which you can customise with Disney-themed furniture.

The game is constantly being updated with new themes and Disney worlds like The Lion King and Toy Story realms. The game also has farming mechanics and character customisation if you wish to live out your Disney fantasy.

What is the best game like Animal Crossing?

1 - Ooblets

Ooblets Promotional Image
Click to enlarge
Image via Glumberland

Ooblets details & key features:

  • Platforms: Xbox One, Nintendo Switch & PC
  • Release date: 2020
  • Key features:
    • Creature collector game
    • Dance battles for new creatures
    • Adorable art style
    • Manage a farm
    • Customise clothing
    • House upgrades
    • Quirky NPCs

Ooblets is a wacky creature collecting game where you take part in dance battles to win creatures of various brightly coloured designs. If you love the animal villagers in Animal Crossing, the Ooblets may similarly appeal to you. 

The game also offers character customisation, gardening mechanics and whimsical storylines from curious townsfolk.

Ooblets has the same cosy feel as Animal Crossing and offers a similar gameplay loop of starting from nothing as you work your way up to house upgrades, unlocking new Ooblets and more.

That rounds off our list of the best games like Animal Crossing to play on Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PC and PlayStation. Animal Crossing is great for endless hours of entertainment, but if you want a fresh start in something similar, these games won't disappoint.

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