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Five Real Video Games Playable Enough for Non-Gamers

Gaming is hard, at least hard for those who have no clue where to start. Here are five video games that anybody can get into and play.

Non-gamers should be able to enjoy these five games that require little to no prior experience. Illustration by Maddy Aykens

Gaming is hard. This is a fact—sort of. It’s at least hard for those who are trying to get into gaming but have no clue where to start.

Fear not. As a new gamer myselfand not a very good oneI have ventured into the unknown to find the best games suited for those with no experience. Here are five games that any non-gamer can get into and actually be able to play.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild & Tears of the Kingdom

The logo for the video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The Master Sword pierces through the "Z," and flowers have sprouted up at the base of the letter.
“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” is the 2017 installment of The Legend of Zelda series. Credit: YouTube/Nintendo of America

If you’re a seasoned gamer reading this, I know that you’re definitely rolling your eyes at this first suggestion. Listen, though—this list isn’t for you but for those of us who need a smoother introduction to the gaming world. 

The Legend of Zelda series is known for having relatively simple controls while boasting immersive gameplay. This being said, Breath of the Wild and its successor Tears of the Kingdom, are the first Zelda installments in which there is open-world gameplay. This means that objectives in the game can be approached freely and the player isn’t tied down to following a more structured play through. 

Zelda Gameplay

In Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, the player controls the famed character Link (not Zelda). As per the other Legend of Zelda games, the objective is to save Princess Zelda and stop Calamity Ganon from destroying the kingdom of Hyrule. 

Tears of the Kingdom is the gripping sequel to Breath of the Wild, with an even more emotionally provocative plot. There’s extensive lore behind both of these installments, but for newbies, this is the most you need to know before heading into it.

Breath of the Wild served as the first “real” game that I fell in love with. Not only are the characters easy to grow attached to, but the controls themselves are easy to master. In both Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, players utilize standard walking and viewpoint controls. The game also does a thorough job of demonstrating how the other controls (such as accessing inventory and fighting) are completed. 

Combat is prevalent but as manageable as it comes in both games. Most fights can be won with a simple “swing the sword until everything is dead” mentality. By the time the player must fight the ending bosses, they can tap into a bit of strategic maneuvering.

Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom are exclusive to the Nintendo Switch system for $60 and $70, respectively.

2. Hogwarts Legacy

The title screen for the video game Hogwarts Legacy. Hogwarts Castle stands in the background with a cloaked wizard in the front. The title of the game appears in large text.
“Hogwarts Legacy” follows a Fifth-Year Hogwarts student in the Wizarding World. Credit: YouTube/PlayStation

If a fan of the Harry Potter series at all—books, movies, or both—Hogwarts Legacy is a must-play. In the game, players take on the role of an incoming Fifth-Year Hogwarts student gifted with an uncommon magical ability. After arriving at Hogwarts, the character must catch up on their schoolwork while simultaneously learning more about an evil threat that aims to capitalize on this very magical ability. 

Hogwarts Gameplay

Hogwarts Legacy, like Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, is an open-world game. Players can explore the entirety of Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, and other surrounding hamlets not explicitly featured in the Harry Potter series. Additionally, players take on the full role of a student by making potions and learning spells that can be utilized in combat. Players attend classes, develop friendships, and use their learned skills to progress in the story. With so much to do, see, and complete, Hogwarts Legacy serves as a fitting expansion to the Harry Potter series.

Controls are relatively simple, as well. The game gives players the option to choose between easy, normal, and difficult combat levels upon starting. This allows more experienced gamers to be challenged while also allowing newcomers the ability to get their feet wet without drowning. The game also thoroughly explains all other controls, so nobody is left in the dust regardless of their gaming expertise.

To really demonstrate the expansiveness of this game, I have already played over 50 hours and only completed 23% of it. I’m not sure I want to know what the final hour count is going to be.

Hogwarts Legacy is available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, Nintendo Switch, and PC for $60.

3. Content Warning

The logo for the game Content Warning is a yellow outline of a cartoon eye with an exclamation point in the center. The title of the game sits below.
“Content Warning” is a 2024 co-op horror game where players try to go viral. Credit: YouTube/GameSpot Trailers

A co-op (cooperative) horror game, Content Warning has you and your friends take on the roles of content creators trying to get a viral video. Though filled with mild jumpscares and the like, Content Warning is perhaps one of the easiest horror games out there and even easier if you’re playing with experienced friends. All you have to do, really, is film whatever scary experiences you encounter and get out alive.

Controls are typical for that of a PC (WASD to move), and there isn’t much else that could be confusing to a newer player. What makes the game, however, is the ability to watch the compiled footage—which can be saved to your desktop—at the end of each round with the other players. If playing with a humorous crowd, this is sure to be the highlight of any playthrough.

Content Warning is available on Steam for $8.

4. Stardew Valley

The Stardew Valley title card has the name against a backdrop of a blue sky with cartoon mountains bordering the bottom.
“Stardew Valley” is a 2016 indie RPG game where players run a farm. Credit: YouTube/ConcernedApe

A mixture of Minecraft, Animal Crossing, and Terraria, the indie RPG (role-playing game) Stardew Valley provides ample gameplay intricate enough to keep anybody hooked—despite being the most tame on this list. 

Playing as a character who inherits their deceased grandfather’s farm, players spend their time remodeling, earning revenue, dating the other NPCs (non-playable characters), and uncovering the secrets of the town. 

Stardew Gameplay

Different from the previous two games mentioned, Stardew Valley is a pixelated, 2D experience, with not much freedom in where the player can go or how they can move. This, however, does not limit what the player can do, as there always seems to be something new to unlock. The controls, however, are somewhat confusing, especially depending on what console you choose to play on. As an avid Switch player, I had to look up many of the more simple controls, such as accessing my character’s inventory, as the game fails to explain these basic, perhaps self-explanatory, gestures. For this reason, many recommend playing Stardew on a PC.

There are a few additional moments throughout Stardew Valley that are better appreciated with the help of Google. Many of the game’s aspects have puzzle foundations, especially those aspects that are more hidden. Some of these puzzles, however, are so seemingly obscure that Stardew Valley Wiki is a valuable resource to keep on hand.

Don’t let the prospect of confusion deter you, though. Stardew Valley can be as cozy or stressful as you’d like it to be—the farm’s fate is completely in your hands!

Stardew Valley is available on PC/Mac/Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation VITA, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android for $15.

5. Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series

The title card of The Walking Dead game series. The title sits on a black screen.
Telltale Games’ “The Walking Dead” series is a choose-your-own-adventure video game. Credit: YouTube/Telltale Games

If wanting something more story-driven, this game series is perfect. Based on the hit comic book-turned-television series, The Walking Dead game series is as thrilling and immersive as they come. 

Despite being based in the same universe, no one needs prior knowledge of The Walking Dead comics or the TV show for these games. Instead, the game introduces completely new characters over the course of a five-episode playthrough. Controls are simple, with the game giving in-the-moment instructions on how to play. Rather than exploring a map, players undergo a movie-like experience where the individual choices they make influence the story’s outcome. For this reason, the game can be played multiple times; each playthrough produces a new story that affects even the succeeding games.

The Walking Dead series is available on Android, iOS, Kindle Fire HDX, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Ouya, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, and Nintendo Switch for as low as $15.

Overall…

If you’re a new gamer or someone who’s interested in gaming and been feeling daunted by the prospects of actually getting into the hobby, hopefully these five games serve as the perfect caveat to future gaming expertise.

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Full-time enthusiast about all things music, writing, and creativity. Graduated from Monmouth University with a B.A. in Communication, Journalism & Public Relations.

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