The Most Popular Video Games featuring Animals

07.06.2019, 12:28

You may not appreciate it, but there are loads of video games with animals nowadays - whether on computer or console, from fighting games, open world games, platformers or FPS. It’s very likely you’ve run into some mostly positive form of pet friend, who generally come in very useful, create a bond, or cast exciting shadows that pervade the entire experience.



Overall, it might be said that animals stand on a par with weapons, explosions and aliens. 


In this article, I would like to (re)-introduce you to some popular games that make memorable use of  animals, and in fact, many of them probably wouldn’t have been so successful - or been such fun - without them.


As you will see, games set in the past generally have the most fun because, well... there were more animals roaming the planet back then. We seem to have replaced future scenarios filled with animals with... robots and machines. Maybe that's a shame?


1. Minecraft


There is a wealth of content already but much room has been made for various animals. Players can hunt pigs, cows, chickens etc... and there’s one particular ‘animal’ that gained a lot more popularity.


Creepers are common, stealthy hostiles who silently approach players and explode shortly after coming within 3 blocks of their targets.


‘Due to their distinctive appearance and high potential for killing unwary players as well as damaging the environment and players' constructions, creepers have become one of the icons of Minecraft, notorious both among players and non-players.’


But that’s not all, for when struck by lightning, they become charged, and this substantially amplifies their explosive power.


2. Fortnite


Llamas. In Battle Royale mode, there are lots of them, hidden in random places, and when you open them in your inventory, there will be a load of useful items in the form of building materials and ammunition. If opening a lama seems terrible and inhuman to you, then you are right, but at Fortnite, these are pains that are not painful. Their role is not limited to supplying players, because they also act as loot boxes to be opened in the menu.


3. Red Dead series

You might have heard of this little saga from Rockstar Games, especially thanks to the latest mega-blockbuster Red Dead Redemption 2, but many of you probably don’t know the earlier ones. RDR 2 is not even the second instalment, but the third! It all started with Red Dead Revolver on PS2, which allowed for many main characters to be selected, long before GTA V. However, no matter what Red Dead we have, we can be sure that animals will play an important role in it.


Games with animals include very many intriguing varieties, but this cowboy tale at the fall of the wild west offers the most realistic - and without the exaggerated - reproduction of predators. Virtually every animal can be skinned or torn up in feathers. Wild horses can be saddled if you have the nerves. The most interesting part of the world is the possibility to completely wipe out a given species. In RDR 1, we were able to put an end to the buffalo, and in a continuation of this, rare kinds of parrots can be made extinct



4. Monster Hunter: World

This latest and most profitable work from Capcom shows us that games with animals do not end only with dogs, cats, horses and other conventional species. Monster Hunter takes us on a real escapade, during which we will deal with the most fanciful creatures that can be imagined in our minds. We will not find here much of a sophisticated plot or outstanding character, but these elements have never been sorely missed in games by this studio.


The whole Monster Hunter series focuses on the title: hunters and their game. This was done so well it was enough to drive the core of the game. We have a wide arsenal, and the diversity of flora and fauna is huge. This creates a near-perfect recipe for ‘toying’ with animals.


5. The Elder Scrolls series

Unknown to a great many, Bethesda spent decades on better games than Fallout 76. Their most popular series was The Elder Scrolls, with emphasis of course on the last one, Skyrim. This, like any other realm of this universe, has a very rich bestiary. We often deal with strange crossings of crabs and turtles (?) and bears, but sometimes in our way will stand the dragon, in its full glory. Fighting with them is a big challenge, but if we get bored with the limits of the basic game, we can use magic that will allow us to turn dragons into ... trains. It is something amazing.


6. Far Cry Primal


This well-known title in the Far Cry games took us back - vividly - to early caveman days. Never before had animals added so much to an open-world shooter. Consequently it both sticks out for exploring this potential so well, at the same time forming a strong part - and evolving - the outstanding series of open-world FPS shooters. In fact, it should really be at number one on this list, if it wasn’t for its age restrictions.


Animals feature widely, bringing back to life extinct species, merging them with familiar ones, and making the world incredibly dangerous. From an early encounter with a sabre-tooth tiger to a huge all-out battle with a mammoth later on, your wits and your primitive weapons had to be used wisely.


Not only this, but the ability to transform or control animals (especially eagle vision) not only created hours of entertaining possibilities to unleash onto enemies (and other animals), but also formed a vital part of making it through the game. Animal AI and ‘emergent behavior’ created its own brand of entertainment as bears wrestle tigers before your very eyes, as you traverse stealthily through their midst.


Also, never had a game perhaps made players really appreciate just how teeming and how dangerous was planet Earth in the earlier days of humanity. Staying in clans and fashioning weapons allowed us to hunt without getting hunted.


Watch a video of the Mammoth encounter
Watch a video of wolf-riding


As you can now see, there are a lot of animals to thank for enhancing our level of engagement with video games, where they improve the gameplay or depth itself.


The presence of various creatures can not only enrich the experience of the game, but sometimes completely change it. What are the most memorable animal gaming moments you can recall?



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