The term “walking simulator” refers to any game in which the primary gameplay involves a lot of walking. This used to be a jab at the game, mocking its gameplay for being dull and uninteresting because you spend the majority of your time trotting along. However, as the phrase gained popularity, games began to adopt the “walking simulator” moniker. To the point where the premise has spawned some excellent titles. And believe us when we say they're not boring; rather, they're among the most compelling narrative-driven games we've ever played. Nonetheless, read on to find out what makes the best walking simulators on PlayStation 5 stand out.
5. Season: A Letter To The Future
What better way to kick off our list of the best PlayStation 5 walking simulators than with Season: A Letter To The Future, a prime example of how the concept can be turned into an impactful title. In this third-person meditative exploration game, you play as a young woman from a secluded village who's exploring the world for the first time. You travel the world by bike and foot, collecting memories before a catalyst, the Season, washes everything away.
That's why you need to venture out by bike and foot to document, photograph, and record life as you see and come across it. Exploring new places, meeting people, and unraveling the mysteries of the world around you. Along the way, you'll come across music, art, architecture, and stories from people all over the world. For a “walking simulator”, this game is full off breathtaking and heart-warming moments that are just waiting to be discovered. So, why wait? Get on your bike or lace up those shoes and discover what makes Season: A Letter To The Future such an affecting and atmospheric experience.
4. Endling: Extinction is Forever
The best walking simulators don't just aim to provide euphoric and atmospheric feelings; some like to take the simple premise and use it to its full emotional potential. That's exactly the case in Endling: Extinction is Forever. In this side-scrolling walking simulator, you play as the last mother fox on Earth. Your goal is to help, teach, and save your cubs from the inevitable arms of extinction in a world that is slowly destroying itself, and you and your kin with it.
So don't expect to be left with a belly full of joy after playing this walking simulator. In fact, you should brace yourself for a tearjerker that will leave you bitter at the end. Because the longer you play as this fox family, the more difficult it is not to sympathize with them and their journey. Nonetheless, we consider it one of the best walking simulators on PlayStation 5, entirely because its simple premise of journeying with a family of foxes on the brink of extinction can elicit such powerful and thought-provoking emotions. Not even the biggest AAA story-driven games have the ability to do that.
3. The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe
Let's take a break from the heart-wrenching walking simulators and into something a bit more comedic. The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is the sequel to the whimsical, narrative-based office game in which you play as the worker Stanley. In this sequel, all of Stanley's coworkers have mysteriously vanished from his office, prompting him to leave his desk in search of answers. The entire time, you're guided by a narrative voice that makes you second guess and contradict every decision you make. Which shouldn't be taken lightly, because, in this walking simulator, choices do matter.
However, it's difficult to ever make the right choice because this game is constantly throwing curve balls at you, which will leave you laughing and questioning everything you thought you knew about video games. Nonetheless, the joy in The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe, comes from its amusing mockery. The game description quite literally states “The Stanley Parable is a game that plays you.” As a result, it's one of the best walking simulators on PlayStation 5 because it keeps you on your toes while also making you smile.
2. What Remains of Edith Finch
What Remains of Edith Finch is not just one of the best walking simulators on PlayStation 5, but also one of the most story-rich titles in its catalog. Playing as Edith Finch, you search your home for stories about your family in the hopes of discovering why you're the only one left alive. Each story you discover allows you to live the life of a new family member on the day they died. Some are upbeat, while others are downbeat, but they will all make you feel something.
As the game description puts it, “Ultimately, it's a game about what it feels like to be humbled and astonished by the vast and unknowable world around us.” So, buckle in for a mesmerizing and atmospheric experience in one of the best walking simulators to date.
1. Death Stranding Director's Cut
Who else but Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding would top our list of the best walking simulators on PlayStation 5? As protagonist Sam Bridges, your mission is to traverse a vast and dangerous landscape, carrying one of the last survivors on earth with you. Fighting against a world of grotesque creatures, one step at a time your quest becomes more dangerous and meaningful the closer you get to reaching your goal.
It's the pinnacle of all walking simulators and a genre-defining title. But who other than Hideo Kojima, one of the greatest video game minds of our generation, to accomplish that? Best of all, a sequel is planned for 2024/25. As a result, one of the best walking simulators saga continues.