This is Objection Network’s countdown of the top 25 video game series of all-time. We’re counting down to the best franchise ever on March 31. For more info on the voting process, click here.
23) Animal Crossing (2 votes, 60 points)
Chris: There’s something to be said for a rich, compelling story experience in a video game. Sometimes you want to escape from the real world and dive into an RPG that promises 40+ hours of narrative, a clear beginning and end, and the chance to do heroic deeds that you’re too much of a loser to do in real life.
Other times you just want to go to a village of animals and mess around with stuff in an experience that never truly ends. And that’s okay too.
Animal Crossing is a sublimely different experience in a lot of ways, most notably that everything is open-ended and as light-hearted as possible. You want to spend your time collecting stuff? Go for it! Want to spend your time socializing with your bizarre anthropomorphic animal neighbors? Why not! Thinking about decorating your house for 150 hours? Home is where the heart is!
Animal Crossing is accessible, offers an experience that is essentially limitless and can be played by all ages. The series may not be for everyone, but it’s easy to see why so many people have latched on (to the tune of 30,000,000+ copies sold).
Michelle: I will fight anyone who wants to hate on Animal Crossing. Sure, it doesn’t have the basic structure of anything remotely resembling a story or plot, but that’s also not its intent. It never was. There really is something to be said for a game that has literally no stakes, no stress, and no set goal. Personally, I tend to play it when I’m hella stressed. I play it for the soothing, calming experience. I can’t tell you how many times this game has pulled me out of an anxiety attack in the making. It helps me focus on simple, singular tasks and stamp out daily anxieties. It’s been kind of a godsend, to be honest. But I am also one of those folks who enjoys just collecting items, improving/furnishing my home, and socializing with the townspeople without the fear of messing something up. It works for me. And it works for a lot of people. Animal Crossing is king.
Michaela: Animal Crossing is a fun series because of how simple it is.There’s no real story, but there doesn’t need to be. It’s more of a slice of life series, and the stories can be invented by the players. I enjoy the social aspect of the games immensely, and I’ve never had more fun placing furniture in my house. I find that I don’t always need to play games with intricate narratives or crazy gameplay — there’s something fun about the casual, simple game too, and the Animal Crossing series has that in spades.
Christine: My only first and real exposure to the Animal Crossing series is Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS. Admittedly, it isn’t a game that would immediately scream “buy me” if I saw it at the store. Because I have two friends who are really into this game, they bought it for me as my birthday present one year. Thus began my journey into the strange, cute, and weirdly addicting game of Animal Crossing.
What I particularly like about the game is the interaction between your mayor and the very different animals who decide to take up residence in your town. Some are really charming, like Rocket the gorilla or Fauna the deer. Others can just be plain annoying (I’m looking at you Cyrano). The game offers nice little surprises here and there like fun, seasonal events you can participate in (Easter, Halloween, Christmas, etc). Or if you log into the game on your birthday, you can feel extra special by watching the town throw your mayor a small party complete with cake and singing!
Overall, Animal Crossing is a nice addition to someone’s game library for those times when you want to game but don’t have a lot of time to invest in something more involved, like an RPG game. Or you just need something to mellow out with for maybe 10 or 15 minutes of your time. Nothing says relaxation quite like shaking a fruit tree to possibly earn a few bells or planting flowers around town.