- The option to download video games instead of buying physical copies has been available for years, but it’s never been more relevant today.
- We shouldn’t be going outside to stores unless we absolutely have to during this time. Buying a physical copy of a game doesn’t really count as a necessity these days.
- Downloading your games is your best bet when stuck in the house. Some avid gamers at Business Insider have chipped in the games they’re playing and loving right now.
The moment for gamers and video games is now, when many are being asked or told to stay at home and avoid venturing outside for the foreseeable future.
Even the World Health Organization (WHO) is suggesting you play video games while you practice social distancing to help keep you occupied and even protect others. That’s kind of funny seeing as WHO declared video game addiction a mental disorder just a year ago.
Some of us at Business Insider are avid gamers, and we’ve put together a list of games we’re playing and loving right now that you can easily buy and download online.
“NBA 2K20,” Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC — $60
Even in a world with no basketball, “NBA 2K20” ensures that ball is still life. Beyond adding in WNBA teams and players, the latest installment in the popular basketball video game series hasn’t changed too much from years past, but for anyone like me that is breaking a cold sweat without any live hoops, “2K” is the next best thing. You can play online with friends or against strangers in a variety of different game modes, or play against the computer with game modes like MyPlayer, MyLeague franchise, MyTeam and more. – Danny Bakst, Senior Story Producer
“Sega Genesis Classics,” Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One — $29.99
Chances are you’re looking for as big a deal as possible when it comes to gaming purchases right now. Chances are that you’re also reminiscing about the good old days – like the ’90s. This here is the perfect game for that Venn diagram of sentiments, a software package including more than 50 Sega Genesis games. The collection includes staples like “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Columns,” but also features deeper cuts you may have never seen before, like “Phantasy Star IV” and “Gunstar Heroes.” There are hundreds of hours of play and tons of variety here for half the price of most single games. – Joe Osborne, Senior Technology Editor
“Untitled Goose Game,” Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac — $19.99
Remember a few months ago when everyone was talking about a video game where you played as a pesky goose whose sole purpose was to steal from innocent villagers and cause as much chaos as possible? At the time you were probably curious, but you likely never made the purchase. Well now that you’ve got some serious downtime, here’s your chance to embrace your inner menace, solve puzzles, and – virtually at least – enjoy wandering around an idyllic little town. “Untitled Goose Game” is available for download on PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PS4. – Jen Gushue, Associate Guides Editor
NES and Super NES – Nintendo Switch Online — $19.99/year
If you have a Nintendo Switch and are paying for its $19.99/year online play service, then you’re sitting on a gold mine of classic games that’s growing almost every month. Each of these classic digital game collections are available as free downloads with your subscription on the Nintendo eShop, and each lineup contains at least 26 blockbusters and sleeper hits from those consoles. Finally, you can even play these games online with your friends and family. Nostalgia you can share remotely? That’s well worth 20 bucks a year alone. – Joe Osborne, Senior Technology Editor
“Monument Valley,” Android/iOS — $3.99
One of the best mobile games available, it’s a delight from start to finish. With a story that slowly unfolds through beautiful levels and clever puzzles, it feels legitimately rewarding to finish each level and move forward. It’s just enough to leave you wanting more when you finish it – and fortunately, in the years since it came out, they did release a similarly satisfying sequel. – Adam Burakowski, Director of Commerce
“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” Nintendo Switch — $59.99
Look, we’re all bound to have frustrations bubble over into outright anger, and we all could use a safe outlet for that. That’s where the adorable yet deadly characters of the Nintendo pantheon come in great handy, with “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” for the Nintendo Switch. This is – hands down – the ultimate party fighter game as well as the ultimate family fighting game. Plus, it features the most impressive online multiplayer to date, so that you can beat the stuffing out of your friends and family from miles away, too. – Joe Osborne, Senior Technology Editor
“Just Dance Now,” Android/iOS, Free (In-App Purchases)
“Just Dance Now” is the mobile version of the popular music-rhythm game series, “Just Dance,” but it’s anything but watered-down. It doesn’t require a console – it uses a smartphone and an internet-connected screen like a computer, tablet, Apple TV, Android TV, or Chromecast – yet “Just Dance Now” retains the same fun gameplay that made the console version a hit. If you’ve ever played any rhythm game in the past (“Dance Dance Revolution,” “Guitar Hero,” “Rock Band,” etc.), “Just Dance Now” will feel familiar: Players simply mimic the moves shown on-screen while dancing to popular music. You can play solo (great for exercising and adrenaline pumping, as the dance moves can be quite intense) or challenge others. It’s also great for the entire family – it’s the most fun I’ve had with my three-year-old niece, and, yes, she beats me every time. – Les Shu, Senior Guides Editor
“Call of Duty: Mobile,” Free (In-App Purchases)
The “Call of Duty” franchise is easily one of the most popular first-person shooters in existence, but if you’re away from your console or you don’t have one, “Call of Duty: Mobile” is the next best thing. Unlike most mobile remakes that feel watered down, “Call of Duty: Mobile” is just as fun, engaging, and competitive as the console and PC versions. I once was a hardcore gamer, but considering the limited amount of time I have to play, it’s hard to justify paying for the latest console version and a PlayStation Network membership. “Call of Duty: Mobile” gives me that same feeling of playing the full version because it has popular maps, all the multiplayer game modes you’d expect, and plenty of challenges to complete and weapons and perks to unlock. The best part is it’s free. There are in-app purchases for different outfits and weapon graphics, but they aren’t necessary. I haven’t spent any money at all and I’ve been happy with the amount of content in-game. – Amir Ismael, Reporter
“Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP,” Android/iOS, Mac/PC, Nintendo Switch — $3-$11
Despite being nearly 10 years old, “Superbrothers” remains one of the most unique games to date, thanks to its innovative gameplay, fantasy narrative, incredible soundtrack, and beautiful pixel-style art. This adventure game is reminiscent of the classic “Legend of Zelda,” in which you play a heroine called the Scythian, who traverses between reality and a dream world in her quest while taking on the supernatural. It’s deliciously moody with humor sprinkled in. – Les Shu, Senior Guides Editor
“Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” Nintendo Switch — $59.99
This new game from Nintendo could not have arrived at more sorely needed a time than in the middle of Spring 2020. The latest installment in the “Animal Crossing” series takes players to a deserted island to start their new remote village, both figuratively and literally “away from it all.” Sure, you’re pulling weeds and doing errands for neighbors to pay off a mortgage, but you’re doing it on a tropical island in some of Nintendo’s best graphics to date. Finally, it’s ripe for online play while social distancing is the norm. – Joe Osborne, Senior Technology Editor
11. “Firewatch,” Mac/PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch — $19.99
Playing as a fire lookout working alone in a forest, the game can seem boring at first. Your only “companion” is a supervisor who you communicate with over radio. But as you explore your surroundings, a mystery begins to unravel and the game picks up. By no means is this game difficult, but the storytelling, puzzle solving, and stunning graphics is what keeps you playing. – Les Shu, Senior Guides Editor