7 min. read

March 29, 2023

The 9 Best Video Games for Developers

A list of the best video games for software developers, data engineers, and coding aficionados that can and will keep you stuck on your sofa.


Luis Minvielle, Freelance Writer and Editor

It's official: video games can help you survive the insisting remnants of the winter. With the cold still well rooted in our houses and frigid air currents combing through the streets, ‘expert’ authorities recommend taking three essential steps at home: 

  1. Shut the vents properly to prevent heat loss.

  2. Draw the curtains and let the sunshine in your frigid apartment.

  3. Turn the video game console on. 

Ah, the old game console (or PC ofc)! Not the most conventional of heat sources, but it guarantees a temperature increase. Indie rock scholars have talked about the benefits of heat coming off the back of an old TV, and we can surely add heat coming off the back of game consoles and PCs to that list. It’s a failsafe strategy for surviving the colder seasons.

So, settle in your couch, snatch a prickly wool blanket, and play any of these video games until it’s time to lurk back outside.  

Best Video Games for 2023

Overwatch 2 (2022)


The recent first-person shooter from Diablo maestros Blizzard is colorful, bustling, and gleaming with outfits that twinkle with sunshine. Yes, you're right: Overwatch 2 is, essentially, a summer game. Yet, playing as Mei and freezing your opponents to death — not unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger in the forgettable 1997 flick Batman & Robin — is an excellent way to remind everyone that seasons, even in video games, don't last forever. Plus, the new Yeti Hunt mode will make you forget about shoveling the driveway. Ready to drop the scoop to become a Yeti Catcher?

Play this if...

You're an HTML/CSS developer looking to add some color to your winter by freezing your opponents to death.

Among Us (2018)


The ubiquitous science fiction/horror hit, present even in the Suez Canal, is perfect for the lingering winter months. With Among Us, it's all about staying inside and getting paranoid about who might stab you in the back. Say you’re stuck in your cold apartment and the canned provisions are running short. You'll be so focused on finding the imposter on your spaceship that you won't even realize that it's STILL freezing outside. And if you're playing with your friends, Among Us is an exceptional excuse to have a virtual hangout and make fun of their terrible lie-detection skills. By the way, did you get to read our article on how to overcome imposter syndrome?

Play this if...

You're a Java developer with a case of cabin fever, ready to turn the tables on your virtual crewmates.

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Metal Gear Solid (1998)


The legend. The classic. An unforgettable cinematic experience. The results of an ambitious undertaking to create the 'greatest video game of all time.' Metal Gear Solid is all of that and more. In this late 20th-century rendition of Pac-Man, set in an alternate timeline in which the Cold War never thawed, the gruff all-rounder Solid Snake must infiltrate a military complex in Shadow Moses Island, Alaska. Goal: to dismantle the sinister plot of a terror group that has seized a cache of sophisticated atomic weapons. 

Looming nuclear winter? Check. 

Frost from Alaska blocking your path? Check. 

A planet-threatening Cold War as a backdrop? Check. 

Yes, Metal Gear Solid smells of winter from leagues afar. But if the nostalgia and the thrill of infiltrating a nuclear weapons facility don't warm your heart, then your heroic attempt to prevent a worldwide long-term winter will surely help you combat the cold. On top of this, the rumor is that a remake is on the way, so you better start drilling your concealment moves. 

Play this if...

You're a PHP developer who wants to relive the nostalgia of sneaking around in the good old days of gaming.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (2020)


By and large a Spring game, nothing says 'summer' more than catching fish, grabbing bugs, and collecting resources to furnish your virtual island paradise. Plus, you can decorate your island inspired by your favourite holiday season. You can play Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch.

Play this if...

You're a data engineer who wants to escape to a tropical island paradise and build a utopia with your animal friends.

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Super Mario Sunshine (2002)


The unfairly overlooked Mario video game from the sleek GameCube console is an undiluted summer delight. You’re guaranteed to forget about the cold the moment you start jetting around a tropical island. You'll need to use your water-propelled backpack to clean up graffiti and defeat Bowser's minions. Just remember to take a break now and then and bundle up. You can play it alongside Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy in the Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection for the Nintendo Switch, which is currently available in physical mode only.

Play this if...

You're a mobile developer looking to take a break from coding and clean up a virtual island with a water pack.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)

TheWitcher3.Wild Hunt

Among other fantastic adventures, the recently updated 2015 hit from Polish studio CD Projekt Red takes you to realms ravaged by war and the White Frost, an unforgiving Ice Age of sorts. If you're looking for an epic game with a narrative that will make you forget what week it is, nothing does it better than fighting giant monsters in a fictional medieval-style realm inspired by medieval Central-East Europe. Plus, if you're playing as Geralt, you'll be so busy tracking down all the various creatures, saving villages, family members, and the rest of the world, that you'll hardly notice the change in the seasons. 

Bonus: The ray tracing has done wonders! So, if you played the old version, it’s very much recommended that you give the updated version a go! 

Play this if...

You're a full-stack engineer who wants to escape to a fantasy world and hunt some monsters.

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Elden Ring (2022)


Arguably last year's game of the year! The rules of this massive project from the Japanese studio From Software follow, more or less, the principles of winter: if you don't seek shelter soon enough, you won't be able to tell your friends about your foray into the outside world. A brutal, cold, and unforgiving game. Repeatedly dying in Elden Ring (a fate akin to the taxes - no one can escape it) will help you appreciate the lingering cold and justify any unwillingness to leave your place. It’s a long game, full of dark, slightly depressive colour themes and stories that will however quench the thirst of even more experienced gamers. 

Play this if...

You're a Python developer who wants to test your coding skills by trying to unravel the mysteries of a challenging and unforgiving game. With Python, you're used to taking your time, so if you can't beat this game you can hardly handle any code challenge.

Journey (2012)


The recently re-released indie sensation transports players into a warm and visually stunning desert, where they encounter beautifully rendered dunes and ancient ruins. The game's ambient OST and minimalist art style will make you forget that cold even exists. It's a meditative and reflective experience that will make you feel more connected to people and the world around you, even when you play alone. So, if you're looking for a way to escape the bitter cold and embark on an unforgettable pilgrimage where the winter remains an abstract idea, Journey is the game for you.

Play this if...

You're a designer who wants to take a meditative and visually stunning journey.

Duck Game (2014)


The adage ‘The more, the merrier’ feels particularly true when you’re coming out of a long winter, especially when you spent most of it at your place. If that's the case, you'll need more people to warm the room. So, if you want to lure many people to your couch (sounds weird, right?). Let’s try again. So, if you want to lure more friends to your place and ensure comfortable levels of human warmth, the Duck Game has you covered. One of the most frenetic and fun multiplayer games out there, the Duck Game allows players to flack other ducks with a quack-gun, running around in a 2D world trying to outshoot and outsmart other players. The fast-paced action, involving up to eight players, will keep you on the edge of your seat and guarantee you a good time. Plus, when the summer comes, and you're ready to walk by a riverside or throw breadcrumbs at a lake, you'll never look at ducks the same way again.

Play this if...

You're a JavaScript fundamentalist who wants to duke it out in a fast-paced, action-packed multiplayer game with a bunch of ducks.

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In Conclusion

While facts suggest that this year will be one of the warmest on record, you can be sure that it will last loooong. So, if you’re looking for the perfect excuse to stay in, you now have an arsenal full of amazing games.

Moreover, while you put your games on the download queue, make sure to read our European salary report series to learn if you’re salary is matching the average for your role and experience.

Looking to find new roles that match your ambitions? Honeypot is Europe's job platform for developers and data specialists. Sign up today and get offers with salary and tech stack up front. (P.S. Honeypot is always free for developers.)