How An Xbox Series S Made Me Rethink Everything I Thought I Knew About Cozy Gaming

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As much as I have always been a gamer, I tend to always miss out on the latest console and somehow still became a fan by playing anything I can get my hands on. Usually only getting to play one console in a generation, I had to make a very important decision as to which one I would go for. Most of the time it was because I mostly leaned toward a certain series and I just had to play that one before anything else. Thankfully, later on, things like backward capability and digital versions made things easier as I tried to play through a backlog of games that I didn’t get to try. But even in that endeavor, I really never got to try cozy games—AKA the games that give you the warm and fuzzies and are a lot more calming than most genres—because it felt like something I would always get back to.

So when Xbox gave me the chance to try out the Xbox Series S, I jumped at the chance of finally getting to slow down and try something new. There were no limits and with a 1TB version now in hand, it felt like I could download, well, anything. So where did I start?

a room with a couch and a tv

Witch Beam

Unpacking by Witch Beam

I finally gave Stardew Valley a try, which has been recommended to me so many times but I just never got the chance to just sit down and play it. New Super Lucky’s Tale was on my list for a long while after I got to try a demo of it over four years ago and its art style is something that I still think about. And then there was Unpacking, which just packed a wallop of beautiful storytelling and stunning moments that reminded me just how human and incredible games can be. And if this seems like a lot, thankfully the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership made it super easy (and also affordable) to jump in between since they are all available under there.

Xbox Microsoft Xbox Series S 1TB Console

Microsoft Xbox Series S 1TB Console

Xbox Microsoft Xbox Series S 1TB Console

But then I went a little bit rouge. I finally picked up a copy of Baldur’s Gate 3, the now current reigning Game of the Year at the 2023 Game Awards that my Dungeons & Dragons loving heart had been wanting to play but couldn’t since it wasn’t available on the system until recently. This was the complete opposite of what I’ve been playing. Fierce battles, your character’s fate left up to virtual dice rolls, and even many different endings and opportunities, I was hooked in a whole new way. After just one week of playing over a week-long vacation, I had already generated almost 24 hours of play. I still hadn’t reached the game’s second act, but I was having the time of my life getting to see what the hype was about. And then it dawned on me.

Cozy gaming isn’t necessarily about playing a specific genre, although they are an important part of gaming culture. It’s actually really about letting go, diving in, and having the time of your life playing these games.

a man standing in front of a large screen with a large image of a mountain and a fire

Larian Studios

Baldur’s Gate 3 by Larian Studios

As long as you’re having a good time, you’ll always be a cozy gamer and trust me, your gaming life will be a lot easier now once you figure this out. So here’s to making cozy games our own thing because there’s no better way to play.

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