In times of mental distress, it’s nice to have a place to escape to for relaxation. However, relaxation can look like different things to different people. Plenty has been written about games you can play to alleviate anxiety, for example. While the world is still reeling from the pandemic, video games can make for a brilliant way to take a step back from life and relax for a moment. But while for some this includes games with relaxing music, minimum effort, and creativity (such as Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing: New Horizons), others just need a way to be able to blow off some steam.
Boss got you angry at work? Significant other making you mad? If you’re ready to tear your hair out after dealing with the kids all day, Grand Theft Auto V can provide you with an avenue to let that all that frustration out. While many games include elements of combat that allow you to obliterate your enemies, Grand Theft Auto V’s possibilities almost seem endless.
To be clear, Grand Theft Auto V isn’t just a violent outlet (though you can certainly do that if you so choose). There are so many options for unwinding, including seeing a movie, going hunting, playing golf, playing darts, riding theme park rides, playing tennis, running a triathlon, going to the shooting range, and more. What makes this game so great for relaxation is that it has the options for you to do almost anything.
And if you’re really looking to blow off steam, Grand Theft Auto V delivers on that front as well. It’s more cathartic than you’d think to go around setting things on fire by chucking a Molotov or to flip people off while driving after you couldn’t actually do so on the way home from work. If you really want to dip into the dark side in the game, you can always kill anyone on site, try a bunch of drugs, or rob stores. Whatever you’re itching to do to cool off, Grand Theft Auto V can provide.
But more than just providing you with opportunities to screw around, there are actually plenty of different tasks the game gives you to accomplish, and these can be just as worthwhile. From main-story quests to side tasks, Grand Theft Auto V will have you chasing down cars, kidnapping people, escaping from cops, and more. The best part about the game is that you’re never going to run out of things to do.
This isn’t to say that Grand Theft Auto V is the only useful game for blowing off steam, though. Its many options easily make it one of the best choices out there, but other games still have some good stuff to offer. If you happen to have the skills for first-person shooters, you could try Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s online play. Be warned though—while this can be quite cathartic for some, it is infuriating for others. Attempt this at your own discretion. But games like Doom and Mortal Kombat might be safer options for choosing to blow off steam, considering they both provide you with the opportunity to demolish your enemies consistently.
There’s nothing wrong with having to take a step back from life and take care of your mental health with a break. From Animal Crossing: New Horizons to Grand Theft Auto V, video games can be a useful tool to achieve overall happiness.
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Stephanie is an Editor at TheGamer, solidly aligned chaotic neutral. Though her favorite game is Fire Emblem: Three Houses, she vows to do everything in her power to one day see a Legend of Dragoon remake. Absolutely nothing can top her immense love for The Lord of the Rings.
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