10 Best Summer Party Games
The summer season comes and goes, but there are still plenty of games available that will keep that going. feeling of warmth throughout the year. While games that feature obvious summer locations like the beach are naturally considered summer games, those that feature bright color palettes or focus on warmer climates have also been considered.
Here’s a list of some of the best games that capture the summer aesthetic, no matter the weather.
10/10 Super Mario Sun
I don’t know if there is a more typical summer mood game than Super Mario Sunshine. Regardless of your feelings toward the game’s notoriously rushed development, or even the FLUDD mechanic as a whole, the summery aesthetic of Delfino Island made it one of the most atmospheric titles in Nintendo history. The general island theme spaced out with typical summer locations such as Pinna Park and Gelato Beach produced a game that perfectly encapsulates the summer season; so much so that no major studio has seriously attempted to replicate it.
9/10 Animal Crossing New Horizons
There aren’t many modern AAA releases that have been as dedicated to theming like Animal Crossing New Horizons. From something as minor as the sound effect of feet walking through different environments, or slightly altered music depending on the time of day or weather, New Horizons puts as much effort into the gameplay as any what surrounds it.
The litany of the game warm environmentsclothing options and decorations allow you to create the island of your dreams.
Radio Jet Set 8/10
The Dreamcast 2000 title (originally Jet Grind Radio in the west) was a eclectic balance between alternative sports titles of the time like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and fashion and art in Japan at the turn of the millennium. Jet Set Radio’s cel-shaded art style in conjunction with Hideki Naganuma’s unorthodox soundtrack combined to create not only one of the most unique tracks of the era, but also one that still feels fresh today. The environments are modeled after major Japanese cities like Shibuya. Games warmer color palette and the lighting captures that summery feel as well as any game on this list.
Flower was one of the most unusual titles of the seventh generation of consoles when it was released digitally on PlayStation 3 in 2009. The player control the wind and collect petals around the stage, causing the environment to change. These environmental changes can range from adding color to the area or activating a machine. With a majority of the playing centered around wind and crossing fields, the sound design involving diegetic sounds such as those that occur naturally in the environment make Flower such a memorable title for those who played it 13 years ago.
6/10 Katamari Damacy
There have been few games like unusual and oozing more style than Katamari in the last 20 years. Players control the Prince of Cosmos as he rolls his surroundings into a ball to create stars in the sky. Many of these environments are everyday living spaces, such as a living room or the interior of a school. The game is many bright blue sky and the aquatic environments seen in the background help add meticulous detail and a summery vibe to each environment.
5/10 Pokemon Emerald
The story of the third generation Pokemon titles centered around the two main antagonistic groups; Team Magma and Team Aqua, arguing over the future of the Hoenn region’s environment. The conflicting ideologies of the two factions on extend land or sea on the other hand reflected Japan’s concerns about industrialization from previous decades.
As cities grew and modernized, Japan’s natural environment and wildlife diminished. With the game’s natural environments focusing so heavily around large fields, mountainous regions, and large bodies of water reflected that.
There’s a reason fans of the original Psychonauts have been so patient waiting for a potential sequel for over 15 years. The original title from 2005 charm in its characters and environments was an important part of it. The central opening area of the game revolves around a Psychic summer camp. The areas held inside show the typical summer camp facilities, such as a lake and dormitories for the students. Psychonauts even have a game-time treasure hunt (which, like the real thing, is colossal pain with a lackluster reward).
3/10 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Of all the Grand Theft Auto games that fans have been asking for remakes from the ground up, Vice City is almost always the first mentioned. This is largely due to the 80s Miami aesthetic the game has become well known for. PlayStation 2-era Grand Theft Auto titles relied more heavily on an animated art style due to hardware limitations at the time. It also allowed much more vibrant and stylized game like Vice City to exist.
2/10 Unexplored 4
When you think of the main areas of Uncharted 4, the large water areas towards the second half of the game are often the first that come to mind. Developer Naughty Dog managed to create the most beautiful aquatic environments the industry has never seen. Many of the game’s most carefully crafted areas have yet to be surpassed despite the game’s release over 6 years ago.
1/10 The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
When it comes to memorable water environments, the flip side of Uncharted 4 is Wind Waker. GameCube disc size limitations make large areas of water a nightmare to navigate. The Wii U remaster solved this problem and many others, but the poor sales of the Wii U and Wind Waker HD being one of the very few Wii U titles that were not ported to the Switch, this means that very few have experienced this version. Despite this, the title still has beautiful picturesque towns with beach areas and island vibes for days.