It doesn't matter if you can't tell the difference between a spatula and a spork — because when it comes to cooking simulators — experience is far from being required. And, when you can pull a friend into the mix and work to create the ultimate dishes, those pressures of serving up the perfect banquet can become somewhat minimal. That's why we love cooking simulators and their simplicity. You don't have to be Gordon Ramsay in order to navigate a virtual kitchen. You just need to be persistent, and, you know — ridiculously patient.
Cooking simulators have been floating around the family-friendly shelves for years now. From the Nintendo DS phase of Cooking Mama and the works, to modern-day virtual-reality hits that capture the realistic elements of the culinary world. Every published title has boasted stacks of fun and endless replayability for players of all ages. However, if we had to bite down and absorb the best of the best — then it'd have to be these five mouth-watering snacks.
5. Order Up!
If you grew up slaving over the Cooking Mama series on Nintendo DS, then you're probably going to get a thrill out of Order Up! Although many of its elements are influenced by the Mama herself in terms of mini-games, Order Up! does focus a little more on the career ascention of the profession.
As a fresh chef starting out with a dream of establishing your very own restaurant, you must climb from the fast-food chains to the apex of the culinary empire. Just don't expect to get there without having to wash a few dishes and clean a few tables along the way.
4. Good Pizza, Great Pizza
If pizza is your thing (and pizza only) — then you're going to want a game that specialises in it and nothing more. Luckily, for you, Good Pizza, Great Pizza ticks just the right amount of boxes. Again, taking those familiar ingredients as seen in other cooking simulation games, Good Pizza, Great Pizza doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel. It does, however, provide a neat set of challenges as you build your shop and one-up the rival chain across the street.
Of course, you don't even have to be a fan of the Italian cuisine to enjoy Good Pizza, Great Pizza. You just need to enjoy the odd challenge and the fast-paced kitchen environment. Plus, we can't exactly fault the quirky visuals, either.
3. Cooking Simulator
Whether you're dicing up the virtual-reality edition or just a standard console one — Cooking Simulator packs all kinds of realistic culinary fun into one meaty package. With 80 expertly-crafted recipes bulking out an ambitious portfolio, it is up to you, the chef, to master the art and serve up some of the best dishes ever seen. Or, you know, you can just launch knives and forks everywhere without accomplishing so much as a french fry. Either way, Cooking Simulator puts you in control of your very own kitchen where only you pull the strings.
If meat and veg aren't to your liking, then you can always indulge in some of the other Cooking Simulator games in the series? Perhaps Cakes & Cookies are more to your taste? Or, if you're not fed up with the above already — then the Pizza add-on could be a good call? Either way, you're spoilt for choice on this one, so you might as well enjoy the feast.
2. Overcooked! 2
If you're looking to buddy up and tackle the kitchen as a team, then you're going to want to invest in Overcooked 2, the chaotic culinary classic. Just don't expect to be enrolled in a simplistic step-by-step world where nothing dares to go wrong. In fact, you might just want to prepare for some of the wildest rides in the cooking simulation genre.
Breaking into the kitchen as either a lone wolf or as a team of four, Overcooked 2 puts you in some of the most ludicrous settings all around the globe. As the staff of the kitchen, you must work together to prepare dishes as well as keep a firm hold of the madness that laps over the world. Floating work surfaces, fires, collapsing tiles — to name just a few. Everything Overcooked 2 throws at you can be tackled in any way you see fit, and it makes for the perfect co-op experience that'll never leave you hungry for more.
1. Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!
It's probably worth stacking up on your hunger before sinking into this one, because if you go in hungry — you're going to be feeling peckish for every dish you prepare. Thanks to its realistic approach to meal preparation and the attention to detail of every ingredient, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! delivers one of the most mouth-watering entries in the genre.
As the owner of a food truck in a dystopian America, you must travel the map and compete in a national championship, where other contenders work to sabotage your craft. By assembling a menu each day, you must be ready to dish up the perfect meals to the public as you cruise through the Iron Speedway. And yes, we are aware there is an actual story to a cooking simulation game. Thankfully, Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! does a remarkable job at creating one. So yes, we strongly suggest you carve into this fruity tale.