Back on the SNES, Harvest Moon spawned what would become the modern farming sim genre. With insanely popular titles like Stardew Valley and upcoming releases like Palia, it’s safe to say that Harvest Moon has had a long-lasting impact. Even now, a new entry, Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos, will release later this year. Although the future of farming sims is looking great, sometimes it’s nice to take a look back as well. Though they lacked the same technological advancements we have now, Harvest Moon entries have always had extremely addictive gameplay and excellent immersion. Here are the 10 best Harvest Moon games of all time.
10. Harvest Moon: Magical Melody
First, we have Harvest Moon: Magical Melodies for the Gamecube and Wii. Releasing in 2005 for Gamecube and 2009 for Wii, Magical Melody was a very strong addition to the franchise. Specifically, looking at the Wii entry, the motion controls weren’t super intrusive and provided a bit more uniqueness to gameplay. However, the classic Gamecube controls likely felt better for some.
9. Harvest Moon
Although it’s the original version of the series, the first Harvest Moon holds up even by today’s standards. Released in 1996 for the SNES, Harvest Moon brought an interesting gameplay premise that was fresh and innovative at the time. Though there are a few problems with dated designs and mechanics, Harvest Moon showed a strong start for a wonderful, long-lasting series.
8. Harvest Moon: A New Beginning
Next is Harvest Moon: A New Beginning for the 3DS. This entry was an excellent step forward for the series. It included many new features, including crops, town customization, and much more. Additionally, players had the opportunity to date and romance characters before hopping straight into marriage.
7. Harvest Moon DS
Harvest Moon DS is an interesting game that reuses many characters and locations from the series. Players can interact with popular characters from both Friends of Mineral Town and A Wonderful Life. Additionally, this entry takes place in Forget-Me-Not Valley from the latter A Wonderful Life.
6. Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns
For another 3DS Harvest Moon, we have Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns. This entry provides an interesting gimmick of allowing players to explore and farm in three different towns, each with their unique residents and crops. With so much content to explore and a charming style, this is one of the best Harvest Moon games to check out.
5. Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility
Next up is arguably the best of the Wii games, Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility. Although this entry brought motion controls to the series, players weren’t forced to use them and could stick to a classic controller layout. Tree of Tranquility also places great importance on festivals, allowing players to socialize and meet with their neighbors.
4. Story of Seasons
Though under a different title, Story of Seasons is the first of the newly re-branded Harvest Moon series. Although Story of Seasons is fairly standard in its gameplay, it’s still an ideal and fun farming experience. Plus, this entry includes its difficulty options, so less experienced players can have an easier time getting into it.
3. Harvest Moon: Friends Of Mineral Town
Next, we have Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, the best portable Harvest Moon game. Friends of Mineral Town is a well-balanced entry with lots of content to explore. For many, having such a strong Harvest Moon experience on the GBA was a dream come true. Friends of Mineral Town and its remakes are worth checking out.
2. Harvest Moon 64
Although close to the number one spot, Harvest Moon 64 is the second-best Harvest Moon game. This entry introduces many amazing aspects of the series, like deep character relationships, intriguing stories, and 3D models. On top of this, many of the characters from Harvest Moon 64 are brought back in later entries, including Friends of Mineral Town.
1. Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life
The best Harvest Moon game of all time would have to be Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life for the Gamecube. A Wonderful Life provides a remarkable experience with an attractive town to explore, an impressive overhaul to graphics, and an excellent narrative. Between the vast amounts of farming sim content and the fun of upgrading your farm, this entry’s gameplay is top-notch. Plus, A Wonderful Life introduces some of the best and most memorable characters of the series.