15 RPG games on mental health

Games give us an opportunity to escape the real world. They can also provide experiences beyond our imagination.

These games explore mental health and mental illnesses. Some are great for helping you step into the shoes of a loved one who is suffering, others might give you new perspective about your suffering.

p.s. seek out professional help if you are suffering. remember, you are not alone!

1) Omori

  • Time to beat: ~20 hours
  • Play on: Windows, Mac, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch

Come face to face against anxiety, depression, trauma and suicide in this deep role-playing game.

omori tiktok

Warning: Omori is classified as a Psychological Horror game. IMO, this game provides an accurate depiction of the inner struggles one goes through.

2) Celeste

  • Time to beat: ~9 hours
  • Play on: Windows, Mac, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch

Attempt to climb Celeste Mountain as a troubled woman who reflects on her past and learn to take care of herself along the way.

Experience the struggles of depression from a personal standpoint.

celeste game

Gameplay is quite difficult, I was more frustrated than depressed with this one. But once you get pass the learning curve, the story starts to unfold and the experience is thought-provoking.

3) Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

  • Time to beat: ~9 hours
  • Play on: Windows, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch

Set in a fantasy world which you’ll explore as Senua who is on a quest to save the soul of her dead lover. Along the way, she faces the pain from her past abuse and grows to finally face the Darkness.

Senua’s Sacrifice offers a great balance between being a hack-and-slash while weaving a deep, heartfelt story.

4) Night in the Woods

  • Time to beat: ~10 hours
  • Play on: Windows, Mac, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch

Explore Possum Springs as a collage drop-out struggling with depersonalization, the stress of growing up and the need to adapt to an evolving lifestyle.

The minigames and art style combine to provide a rather cozy experience, while exploring a serious issue:

5) Disco Elysium

  • Time to beat: ~23 hours
  • Play on: Windows, Mac, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch

A narrative, murder mystery where you wake up as an amnesiac detective struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. He often has delusions and is probably depressed. Your decisions affect his personality and somehow, that makes him very relatable.

Disco Elysium

Warning: This is an interactive narrative game with tabletop gameplay elements which means there’s tons of reading to do.

As your decisions make a difference in the game, Disco Elysium offers good replayability. Disco Elysium is also mentioned in my round up of the most depressing RPG games out there.

That said, Disco Elysium is superbly written and the game mechanism have been praised by many. Although it was released in 2019, the game continues to captivate gamers with new videos discussing its narrative and design decisions constantly being published on YouTube.

As a rather ‘old’ game, you’ll find that Disco Elysium tends to be on discount across various platforms often. So, you may want to add it to your wishlist and grab the game during a sale if you don’t have the urge to dive into it immediately.

6) A Space for the Unbound

  • Time to beat: ~11 hours
  • Play on: Windows, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch

A slow paced adventure indie game about overcoming depression and childhood trauma. The main character, Atma gains the ability to enter minds and uses it to help people overcome their pain.

a space for the unbound

Hold onto the end for a tearjerking plot twist in this tale about growing up, and facing the struggles of life.

7) Lisa: The Painful

  • Time to beat: ~11 hours
  • Play on: Windows, Mac, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch

You play as the balding, middle-age Brad Armstrong who is an addict journeying through a post-apocalyptic wasteland in search of his daughter.

Lisa

But, Brad isn’t your typical hero. He was abused as a child, is constantly fighting his demons and you will have to make decisions that will be consequential to the ending.

Will you be able to move on from your past?

This game got me thinking; while games like this come with multiple endings, our lives only come with one chance.

8) Gris

  • Time to beat: ~3.5 hours
  • Play on: Windows, Mac, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch

In this beautiful platform adventure game, you play as Gris, a young girl dealing with trauma, anxiety and depression as she navigates grief and loss in life.

Expect puzzles and some skill based challenges in this introspective game. There are no words, just simple symbols that’ll gently guide you through the experience.

This game seem to be a hit and miss. Some folks loved the beautiful graphics and evocative experience. Others found it boring.

For a short game, I think Gris is a good game to have on hand if you’re coping with loss or grief.

9) Florence

  • Time to beat: ~30 mins
  • Play on: Windows, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch

An interactive narrative game that follows Florence whose monotonous life takes a turn as she enters a new relationship.

florence the game

Florence is a very short but cozy game that can be completed in under an hour.

It isn’t as heavy as the rest of the games that made this list, but it is a reminder for us to give ourselves a chance.

10) The Beginner’s Guide

  • Time to beat: ~1.5 hours
  • Play on: Windows, Mac, Linux

An interactive narrative game with strong exploration elements, this game was created by Davey Wreden, the creator of another interactive narrative game, The Stanley Parable.

In The Beginner’s Guide, expect a well-written story that ha deliberately left open ended, inviting you to draw your own theories and interpretations.

It was eye-opening to read the interpretations of other players after my first playthrough

11) Actual Sunlight

  • Time to beat: ~1.5 hours
  • Play on: Windows, iOS, Android, Playstation Vita, Nintendo Switch

Another interactive narrative game that explores love and depression, this time in the shoes of a young professional in Canada.

Actual Sunlight

12) Depression Quest

  • Time to beat: ~1 hours
  • Play on: Windows, Mac

A free, interactive narrative game that lets you experience the day to day of someone living with depression. If you’re trying to understand a loved one going through depression, this game will give you valuable insights.

13) Fractured Minds

  • Time to beat: ~30 mins
  • Play on: Windows, iOS, Android, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch

A puzzle game that lets you experience challenges associated with different mental illnesses.

The creator of the game was only 16 years old when she released the game. She went on to win the BAFTA Young Game Designers Award.

14) Undertale

  • Time to beat: ~6.5 hours
  • Play on: Windows, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch

In this 2D action RPG game, you explore the Underground as a child. Along the way, you meet characters struggling with mental health issues.

The game can be whimsical and filled with hilarious dialogue too, offering a fun and unique experience.

15) Child of Light

  • Time to beat: ~11 hours
  • Play on: Windows, Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch

A 2D platformer with beautiful graphics and well-written dialogue, you play as Aurora the princess stuck in an alternative dimension.

As she fights her way to get back to her world, we learn about Aurora’s grief and experience with depression and experience her growth as she faces her demons.

It can be completed in a single weekend and offers a cozy gaming experience.


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