January 1st marks the beginning of a new year. It is a time to reflect on the events and accomplishments of the previous year, and look forward to the possibilities of the next. This could come in the form of setting New Year’s resolutions and starting new habits.
The New Year brings new beginnings. Multiple video games center on protagonists looking for a new start, whether it be moving to another neighborhood, starting at a new school, or going on a perilous new journey for greener pastures. Here are some games that celebrate the start of something new.
7/7 The Seeds Of Something New In Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is one of the biggest indie success stories of the time, not only being a popular seller, but also inspiring a new wave of cozy farming sim games. It has enough activities for just about anyone, as well as a cast of colorful characters.
The central farmer of Stardew Valley would not have come to their profession if their grandfather had not left them the farm as their dying wish. This provided a perfect opportunity to abandon their oppressive life as a cubicle worker for Joja Corps. The mechanics of growing crops and raising livestock fit the theme of creating something new.
6/7 Living Solo In The Sims: Bustin’ Out
The Sims franchise was initially PC-exclusive, until EA and Maxis brought it to the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube in 2003. A spinoff title would come that year in the form of The Sims: Bustin’ Out, and it was exclusive to consoles and the GBA, with an N-Gage port coming the following year.
This game captures the spirit of becoming independent for the first time. It includes a mission mode that encourages Sims to go out in the neighborhood and socialize with other Sims. This is accomplished by throwing parties at their houses or getting some exercise at the local swimming pool.
5/7 A New Life In A New Town In Animal Crossing
The Animal Crossing games have been much beloved by Nintendo fans, especially more when Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched in early 2020, right when gamers needed the cozy social sim the most.
Animal Crossing franchise has always focused on new beginnings. The first entry sees the game’s villager on a train heading to a new town. It is an exciting transition as the villager gets to know the neighbors, make friends, and participate in seasonal town events.
4/7 It Is Not Too Late To Change In Bully
Bully is that one game that everyone seems to love, but that Rockstar Games has little interest in reviving. It takes the open-world gameplay of Grand Theft Auto and adapts it to the world of 15-year-old Jimmy Hopkins.
Hopkins is dumped at the boarding school Bullworth Academy by his mom and new stepdad, whom he, as his literary counterpart Holden Caulfield would, calls a phony. Along with a new boarding school comes a new life, where Hopkins must navigate the cliques and do well in classes. He must also stand up to other bullies who want to give him and others a rough time.
3/7 A Wizard Is Born
Harry Potter mania was in full swing in the early 2000s. The popular books about a boy wizard who attends a school for budding witches and wizards captured the hearts of adults and children across the globe. Their success would lead to the development of the first film that would launch Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint into stardom.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the PlayStation opens with exposition about Harry’s dull life with the negligent Dursley family. He would receive a letter from HogwartsSchool of Witchcraft and Wizardry that would be a new life for him. In this game, Harry learns spells, explores Diagon Alley, and discovers the secrets of the school.
2/7 It’s Off To The Frontier
Having a computer in a grade school classroom was a thrill. Not only were kids able to practice their typing skills, but it was also an excuse to play video games in the classroom. One staple of such edutainment was The Oregon Trail.
The game focuses on navigating a 19th Century American family on the path west from Minnesota to start a new life in Oregon. Several incarnations have been released, but many of the same elements continued to appear. The family must navigate fording across rivers, hunting, and stocking up on supplies at trading posts. There is also the dreaded dysentery to be worried about.
1/7 Every Aspiring Jedi’s Dream
A long time ago, there was a company called LucasArts that was the developer and publisher of many Star Wars games. Among these were the Jedi Knight series, which follows the adventures of Kyle Katarn and his battles with the Empire. The final entry, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, allows a budding new Jedi to train at Luke Skywalker’s Academy on Yavin 4.
The student at the center of Jedi Academy is on a new journey that allows him/her to discover the Jedi powers within. A number of abilities can be upgraded, and different planets hold exciting adventures. The draw of the Dark Side can be powerful, though, and it can shape the young Jedi’s destiny.
MORE: The Best Games Given Away on the Epic Games Store This Year