There’s a reason that one of the biggest stereotypes of stoners is that they’re video gamers—video games, while fun all of the time (well, depending on what you’re playing), just have that special extra something when combined with weed.
As with anything, video games aren’t one-size-fits-all for every setting, so we’ve laid out a few situations with some recommendations to get the most out of your high!
Stony Scenario: I Have A Group Of Friends Coming Over For A Smoke Sesh
It can be a little daunting when you have friends coming to YOUR place to smoke and hang—all of a sudden, you’re in charge of entertainment that everyone will enjoy, and you’ve already done four full rewatches of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. The best solution? A video game, of course!
Sportsfriends is a collection of five games, each related to sports in the same way that macaroni is related to pasta; one game has players trying to score points while balancing on javelins. While Sportsfriends can be played with four controllers, the developers have made it so that teams can each use one-half of a controller—you and your partner each get half, leading to a lot of hilarious teamwork and quite a bit of blaming your teammate for hogging the controller and making you lose (or vice versa—we’re all guilty parties here).
It also means you’re able to play with one hand and hold a joint with the other. Welcome to the future!
Available on PlayStation 4.
Any of our readers who are old enough to remember sinking quarter after quarter into local arcades remember Gauntlet, alongside classic mainstays like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Whereas those were only two-player games, Gauntlet allows four players to work cooperatively, each possessing unique abilities to take down the hordes of enemies. Gauntlet has gone through many iterations—from its original arcade game to the most recent release—but they all possess the same top-down, single-screen exploration the game is known for.
Shout out to all the Wizard mains out there!
Probably any system you can imagine.
Stony Scenario: I Really Just Want A Night In—To Smoke, Relax & Enjoy An Interactive Story
A genre that went almost as quickly as it came, the so-called “walking simulators” are perfect to play stoned and alone. They typically focus on less of a guided story and intense button reflexes and instead place you in an environment to figure out yourself what happened. That sense of discovery and ‘eureka!’ moments when you figure it out are priceless and a perfectly relaxing way to spend a night with a bowl.
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture finds the player alone in an English town where everyone who lived there seems to have vanished. Guided only by orb-like lights that reveal conversations and moments from the inhabitants prior to the ‘rapture,’ it’s up to the player to figure out exactly what happened.
This game is a perfect example of ‘discover, don’t tell’—the reward is discovering the pieces of the story and putting them together. Side note: this game is perfect for playing high for the above reasons, but also because the main character walks so slow.
Available on PlayStation 4 and Windows.
Firewatch finds you alone in the Wyoming wilderness during increasingly strange circumstances, with only a walkie-talkie to communicate to the outside world. Through the game, you unravel a conspiracy and develop a relationship with the speaker on the other end of the walkie-talkie—a relationship determined by your interactions throughout the game.
Firewatch is not only a great stoner game because of the exploration aspect, but because of the stunning graphics. The artwork is so beautiful that brands from Ford to Salesforce have been accused of lifting it.
Available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows and Mac.
Stony Scenario: I Really Just Want A Night In—To Smoke, Get Hyped Up & Trash Talk Strangers/My Friends About How Much Better I Am Than Them
For some, smoking allows them to chill out and relax. For others, it brings out the competition, whether against strangers or best friends (either way, they’re still likely to get cursed out multiple times throughout the night). There are so many games here that just jump to the next level when stoned—where are my Timesplitters fans at?—so here are two that will put a strain on your friendships in all the best ways.
Rocket League became a sensation upon its release in 2015, instantly addicting gamers and remaining one of the most fun competitive experiences around. The basic idea is playing a game of soccer with cars, but it’s so much more than that. Local split screen or online match-matching means you’ll never run out of teammates or opponents. Plus, the game has some great downloadable cars—the Batmobile, the DeLorean Time Machine and Hot Wheels, to name a few. Wow! Nice shot!
Available on Windows, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
The Jackbox Party Pack 1, 2, 3, 4
Again, some of our older readers might recognize the name here—it’s from the developers of the incredibly popular 2000s trivia game “You Don’t Know Jack,” but with a focus on much more than trivia here. By far the most accessible of the multiplayer games on this list, The Jackbox Party Pack has the ability to draw in people who typically swear off video games to beg “Can we play one more game???” due to the fact that no one has to use a physical controller—you log into a website on your phone browser, and your phone becomes the controller. (Just ask High Times’ Director of Digital Media how many nights have stretched into mornings due to Jackbox.)
Plus, every game across all three versions are perfect for high-capades—our particular favorite, Fibbage, is one where everyone submits fake answers to a question, with the hope you choose the right answer and everyone chooses your wrong answer for maximum points. It’s one of those moments where you realize just how truly weird your friends’ minds are.
Stony Scenario: I Want To Play A Game So Weird That It Doesn’t Make Sense Sober, And Only Slightly More So When Stoned
Some games are ‘out there’ for reasons related to the story (the ending of the first Uncharted), gameplay (Bayonetta using her hair as a transforming weapon to defeat demons) or just for cool factor (Dante from Devil May Cry using an electric guitar made out of bats and electricity is awesome, no matter how much sense it made in the context).
On the other hand, some games are weird for the sole fact of being weird, making them perfect for stoned gaming.
One of the original ‘weird games,’ Katamari Damacy graced audiences way back in 2004. Since then, no other game has been able to replicate its style or gameplay. The basic idea is that you roll around a ball collecting items to make it grow bigger, starting out with thumbtacks and ending with skyscrapers and buildings.
It’s truly one of those games that needs to be experienced—not only for the innovative gameplay but also for the absolutely stellar music. Listen to the above song while smoking a bowl and it will never leave your head. The rest of the music is just as good—the game won “Soundtrack of the Year” from both IGN and Gamespot in 2004.
The original game is available on PlayStation 2, with other variations of the game appearing on PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, iOS, Android, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. Do yourself a favor—skip those and emulate the original.
Stony Scenario: I Want More Than A Game—I Want An Experience To Really Accentuate My High & Remind Me Why I Smoke
We all play video games for different reasons, most of us for the ones listed above. Some of us, though, want more than self-guided tours and multiplayer fight fests. Just as there are books and movies that transcend their medium to deliver an experience that stays with you long after, video games have the added benefit of your input adding to that experience.
Here are two that will leave you thinking long after you’ve finished them.
Hailing from Clover Studios, the company behind the vastly underappreciated Viewtiful Joe, Okami hit the PlayStation 2 just as it was ending its lifecycle (the PlayStation 3 would come out just a few months later). This means that many people missed out on controlling Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun, in one of the most artistically expressive video games ever made.
The gorgeous watercolor graphics, combined with the paintbrush you use to draw enemy-damaging calligraphy, ooze with Japanese style and looks like a moving painting. The subsequent high-definition releases brought the graphics into even sharper focus, leaving you with no reason to skip this one.
Available on PlayStation 2, Wii, PlayStation 3, Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Journey is a game that lives up to its title. There’s no dialogue or context, just your robed figure traversing through the desert and mountains towards a distant goal. While the game can be played entirely by yourself, the magic is exploring the world when another player unexpectedly pops up. There’s no communication other than musical chimes, and no player-versus-player combat, so you can either work together with another player, if you find one, or leave them to their devices.
The best journeys are always with someone else, though, especially with people who have been before and can guide you to the best spots and secrets. Get stoned, find a stranger in Journey and rediscover how beautiful humanity can be.
Available on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.