Summer is the gaming industry’s downtime, with developers and publishers routinely opting to abstain from pushing out any major new releases during this time period, in the belief that the majority of their consumer base will instead be out enjoying the sunshine. It’s also not a particularly well-represented season in video games in general, with bright colors and flourishing foliage not exactly congruous with the war-torn virtual worlds that we frequently inhabit.
However, there have been many games that have bucked that trend in favor of laying out warm and inviting landscapes for players to disappear into, and the following games in this top 20 list have each been host to a refreshingly cheerful summer aesthetic. The criteria for this countdown required each game to either take place in summer or feature a setting with a notable amount of sunlight and color, and they have been ranked in accordance with how well they achieved this goal, along with how good they are as games in their own right.
So if you’re not planning on doing much exploring of the great outdoors this summer, then each of these games will provide you with something to sink your teeth into that will keep you distracted while everyone else is enjoying the sunlight. Here are the top 20 best summer games of all time: