Labor Day: 10 Video Games You Should Play

splatoon 2 salmon run, splatoon 2, splatoon 2 labor day


It’s Labor Day today, and chances are you have a lot of time on your hands (unless you’re one of the many men and women who have to work on Labor Day in which case I salute you).

There are plenty of activities to do on Labor Day, but if you want to get your game on then here are 10 video games you should play.

1. Destiny

Destiny, Age of Triumph

Since Destiny 2 is releasing on September 6, why not play the original? Not only will you get up to speed on some of the lore of the game, but you will also gain appreciation of what came before so you can go into Destiny 2 and enjoy all of the improvements they bring to the table. It’s also a great game to play with friends.

2. Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2

What better way to celebrate your day off from work than by toiling in the scum-covered, salmonid-infested shores of Salmon Run for a pay day from Grizzco Industries? Salmon Run is Splatoon 2’s horde mode where you beat waves of salmon-like enemies and collect their eggs. It’s great, cooperative fun that can often times be tense as you barely scrape by to collect golden eggs.

In the event that Salmon Run is unavailable, there’s plenty of other content to chew through such as the main multiplayer mode or single player campaign. And since Splatoon 2 is such a summery game with its bright summer locales and squirt gun combat, it’s a great way to celebrate the end of summer.

3. Any Bethesda Game

Since you’re going to be free for most of the day, you’re going to have a lot of time on your hands. That means you’ll have plenty of time to play an open-world game from Bethesda. They’re all good, so just pick one and play it. I’d personally recommend Fallout: New Vegas since that’s my favorite of the whole bunch, but you’re welcome to play and enjoy your own favorite.

4. Nioh

Nioh Game

Nioh takes its Dark Souls and Bloodborne inspirations and combines it with its own brand of tough-as-nails gameplay and Japanese mythology to create an experience on par with From Software’s legendary games. Even if you struggle, you’ll have plenty of time to get better. If you missed this game during the massive influx of great games earlier in the year, you own it to yourself to take the opportunity to play this great game.

5. Overwatch

Soldier 76 Overwatch


Do I really need to say why you should play Overwatch? It’s one of the best shooters of this generation. And the summer skins make it perfect to celebrate the end of summer. Why shouldn’t you be playing it on Labor Day?

6. Cart Life

cart life

Richard Hofmeier

It may not be an initially tantalizing prospect to play a game about barely getting by with your job on your day off from barely getting by with your job, but since Labor Day is a celebration of workers and their rights it’s only appropriate to check out Cart Life on the day. As you play as a Ukrainian immigrant, a young mother providing for her daughter, or a bagel chef, you play out their day to day jobs with gameplay reminiscent of the repetitive daily grind while also acting quickly to keep customers happy to get tips. Along the way you get to know the nuanced characters and their lives, which often intersect with the gameplay. It’s an honest and often brutal depiction of labor and you can’t pick a more appropriate day to play it then today.

7. Sonic Mania

sonic mania, sonic mania tips, sonic mania cutscene

Screenshot by Jack Fennimore

Maybe you’re spending your time doing other things on Labor Day and you don’t have much time for games. Well the recently released Sonic Mania has you covered because it’s fun no matter if you have a minute or and hour to spare. And if you have the Switch version, you can take it on the go wherever you want. Enjoy some high speed thrills while you chill on Labor Day.

8. Minecraft

Minecraft is one of those rare games where you feel like you can do anything. If you want to travel to the very edges of the world, you can do that. If you want to slay the Ender Dragon, you can do that. If you want to recreate William Dafoe’s face with blocks, you can do that. And the experience is even more fun with friends. So grab a diamond pickaxe and boot up the grand adventure once more.

9. Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing

While much of Animal Crossing’s gameplay can feel like work as most of what you’re doing is paying off your high mortgage, it’s still fun none the less. The repetitive gameplay is actually quite relaxing, and it’s rewarding to slowly amass a collection of fossils, insects, and fish. Any one of the games is good, but I recommend you track down the Gamecube version so you can play one of the many NES games found within.

10. Papers, Please

papers please

Just like with Cart Life, Papers, Please is a harrowing simulation of labor. You work at a border checkpoint letting people into a fictional Eastern Bloc-like country where you have to admit people into the country based on if they meet the correct requirements and have the right documentation. Along the way, you’ll have to weight the happiness and well being of the people you admit with your own bottom line. Add to that the rising resistance group and you have a real thriller on your hands. The puzzle gameplay is fun on its own but its the themes of the game working in the background that really propel this game to stardom, making it more than deserving of your attention.

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