ranking-10-best-harvest-moon-games-ever-made

The Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons franchise has a long history of entertaining installments. These are the best of the best.

Harvest Moon came before Stardew Valley. The first console farming simulator was full of strange charm, charming graphics, and oddly compelling gameplay. These are the types of games that no fan could reasonably describe to a novice without seeming mind-numbingly boring, although they were astonishingly far from it.

At this point, there have been dozens of chapters in the Harvest Moon (now Story of Seasons) series, some of which are sterling masterpieces, others of which never quite attained the magical bucolic zen state that the greatest of the finest did.Stardew Valley may have outperformed this series in many respects, but the best of the best is definitely worth checking out.

Save The Homeland (PS2)

Save The Homeland (PS2)

This PlayStation 2 installment featured some great cel-shaded graphics that complemented the Harvest Moon franchise’s mild tone. It contained many of the same features as earlier editions, but it had two major differences: players only had one year to save the family farm, and they didn’t get married.

These undeniably contentious changes to the original premise were undoubtedly polarising among fans, and it’s easy to see why, but the game was still one of the best Harvest Moon experiences.

The Tale Of Two Towns (DS/3DS)

The Tale Of Two Towns (DS/3DS)

The Tale of Two Towns deviates from the Harvest Moon franchise’s usual storyline and tries something fresh. Rather than inheriting the family property and being tasked with restoring its importance among the local townspeople, players take on the role of a farmer who has lost his memory and is now torn between two opposing villages, each of which offers its own set of benefits.

This DS/3DS dual entry deserves a lot of credit for not only deviating from precedent, but also doing it admirably. It is also notable for being the first to allow players to grow both brown and white alpacas.

Magical Melody (Wii)

Magical Melody (Wii)

The name may have caused some fans to believe that this was a rhythm game spin-off, but Magical Melody was simply a new entry in the core franchise, and a fantastic one at that. It does have some musical elements, which is a really fun little addition, but it ultimately comes back to the original premise: preserve the family farm, marry, and become the toast of the town.

Magical Melody updates the original art design by include several vibrant sprites that are virtually parodies of the simpler originals. This article is notable for providing players with competition to contend with in their pursuit of agricultural fame. It’s a minor change, but it offers a nice twist to the otherwise mundane gameplay.

Story Of Seasons (3DS)

Story Of Seasons (3DS)

Marvellous Inc., the producers of the Harvest Moon titles, separated with Natsume, the franchise’s longstanding American publisher, in 2014. Natsume needed to modify the name of any future cosy farmlife simulator titles they made because they owned the rights to the name Harvest Moon, and thus Story of Seasons was born.

The first entry under the new name is among the best in the series. It includes a variety of new features, such as the ability for players to operate their own business and a variety of unique animals to grow, such as angora rabbits and camels.

Back To Nature (PS1)

Back To Nature (PS1)

Though many fans prefer the series’ more detailed new look, I find that the charming simplicity of the original Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons art style better reflects the series’ central message of embracing a simpler way of life. Back to Nature on PlayStation may have been the apex of that authentic experience.

This entry was clearly a link between Harvest Moon 64 and Friends of Mineral Town, but it also had its own distinct flavour. For example, familiar characters return, but with revised qualities and roles, and some new characters are introduced. Harvest Moon: Boy and Girl, a PSP port, offered the option to play as a girl, as the title suggests. Both versions are excellent, but the PlayStation original is simply one of the series’ best.

Harvest Moon (SNES)

Harvest Moon (SNES)

The first installment in this series is unquestionably one of the best, if only for its daring and innovative originality. In an era when games like Funny Shooter 2 sent players on adrenaline-fueled death rides across screens full of terrible screaming creatures and blinding explosions, Harvest Moon immersed them in a tranquil world of tilling, watering, establishing friendships, and discovering inner peace.

The original Harvest Moon may appear basic to modern gamers, and it is, but simplicity is a feature of this unique franchise, not a flaw.

Story Of Seasons: Friends Of Mineral Town

Story Of Seasons: Friends Of Mineral Town

Friends Of Mineral Town’s remake features an updated 3D design as well as a slew of modifications and new components to spice up an already fantastic game. There are new characters, events, and animals, as well as a plethora of new character customization options and the addition of same-sex marriages for some much-needed inclusivity.

Friends of Mineral Town: Story of Seasons may not have reached the heights of the original, but it still provides an incredible farmlife experience. It’s possible that many fans will prefer this to its Game Boy Advance predecessor.

Harvest Moon 64 (N64)

Harvest Moon 64 (N64)

Some fans consider the original 3D Harvest Moon to be a little antiquated at this point, but there are times when a game’s impact on its series is simply too great for ageing to affect how it’s ranked, and Harvest Moon 64 is one of those times.

This was the game that shed some light on this exceptionally appealing farm simulator and launched what would become a 20-game franchise. It took everything from the original and expanded on it, adding additional improvements, animals, plants, buildings…everything!

A Wonderful Life (GCN)

A Wonderful Life (GCN)

The transition to GameCube was an exciting prospect for Harvest Moon lovers. Graphics that have been boosted, a larger globe, a plethora of items and upgrades, and the opportunity to…grow old and die? Yes, this is the first title in the franchise in which the main character is not locked inside their biological prime. Players get to spend their lives until they and everyone they know become old and grey and their children reach adulthood.

This game has a lot to like and a lot to do. It truly feels like an entire lifetime has gone by the time one’s character is ready to move on to the vast cropland in the sky. Just a heads up: the age progression thing is fantastic, but it’s also terribly sad.

Harvest Moon: Friends Of Mineral Town/More Friends Of Mineral Town (GBA)

Harvest Moon: Friends Of Mineral Town/More Friends Of Mineral Town (GBA)

Although it began on consoles, the best Harvest Moon of them all ended up being a tiny little portable game. In some ways, that makes sense: the franchise’s aesthetic and appeal never required anything more than some pleasing visuals and a few buttons to be properly pulled off.

This entry immersed players in a pleasant and colourful pixelated universe that wonderfully hits both the appearance and the feel of a slice-of-life agricultural simulator. It provided a dizzying array of tasks to complete, as well as a second version in which anyone interested in becoming a female protagonist might begin their life as one right there in Mineral Town. Many of the entries in this beloved franchise have excellent things to say about them, but this one just has more of them than the others.

By Nora18

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