8 Best Outdoor Activity Video Games for Adventure Sport Fans

Mar 15, 2023 BY Luke Rees

Like to play smartphone, computer, console or virtual reality games, but also love the great outdoors and adventures? Then this article is for you! We take a look at the best outdoor activity video games for adventure sport fans.

8 best Outdoor Activity Video Games for Adventure Sport Fans unsplash royalty free image by igor karimov

In many ways outdoor adventuring and the virtual world are diametrically opposed. The whole point of action sports and exploring the outdoors is to get away from screens, get the blood pumping and to experience something real. Gaming, on the other hand, is about competing in a controlled virtual environment.

Still, that doesn’t mean that gamers can’t enjoy hiking or a paragliding experience or that snowboarders and surfers don’t enjoy video games. Which is why there are many crossovers in terms of games that adventurers would enjoy, and adventures that gamers love in the real world.

8 best video games for adventure sport fans

Video games to outdoor activities

Taking a break from gaming to go outside, breathe fresh air and get some exercise is a necessity. It is also the case that adventure sport enthusiasts can’t constantly be on the mountain, in the sea or exploring the wilderness. They need down time too.

Skateboarding game Ramp is one of the best Outdoor Activity Video Games for Adventure Sport Fans unsplash royalty free image by jhonatan saavedra perales

This is especially true for anyone who is recovering from an injury. Enforced downtime from the sport you love is frustrating, and a convincing simulation is as close as you can get to the real thing.

Is this your situation? Are you itching to get back in action? Then consider trying out the best outdoor activity video games for adventure sport fans below. Hopefully they will keep you entertained while you recuperate.

How are gaming and adventure sports related?

There is a strong argument that many gamers and action sport enthusiasts have more in common than you’d think. They are often highly competitive people with a drive to improve. Whether that is to complete a level on a computer game or land a new trick, the hours of dedication are the same.

Furthermore, video games and adventure sports encourage you to take risks and try new things. The excitement of heading off on a backcountry snowboarding holiday is in part due to the risk. Likewise video games can be addictive because of the risk vs reward element of play.

Matt Ray freeriding during review of Flachau snowboarding holiday in Ski Amade, Austria

This means that both groups like to gamble and take risks. But that through practice and experience they minimise the risk of losing or getting injured. But both accept the risk and in many ways embrace it.

Best outdoor activity video games

Below are what we consider to be the best video games for adventure sport fans. Not everyone has the equipment and attention span for traditional video games, so we’ve ordered them roughly in order of accessibility. So starting with the easiest, cheapest and most accessible first.

Best free action sport video game: The Ramp

If you want no financial commitment and minimal time investment then The Ramp is the ticket. It is a great little bowl and ramp skateboarding game with no ads or in-app purchases to be seen.

Available to play on a smartphone it is the first skater game since Tony Hawk that has grabbed our attention. The touch controls take a little practice, but you can also use physical controllers if you prefer.

Best in short-form game: Slots

There is a link between those who do adventure sports and risk taking. Meaning that playing online slots is a good option if you are that kind of person. They’re short and don’t require long stretches of concentration and the risk taking appeals to the adventurous.

Some even have outdoor themes. For example, Wild Link Frenzy slot includes stunning natural views of Alaska, along with plenty of fishing references. There’s a Survivor-themed slot for those who like to push to the extreme and Arctic Enchantress for those who prefer a more snowy romp in the wild.

Best cheap cross platform game: Grand Mountain Adventure

Grand Mountain Adventure has been around on mobile for years, but it was recently released on consoles and PC. With lots of short snowboarding challenges you can play this in bursts to satisfy your need for adventure.

It has good graphics, great game play and can be played on your touchscreen or with a controller. You can even play with friends on other devices. There are a lot of games/levels across 12 mountains the first of which is free. It is not expensive to buy the full game if you enjoy it.

Best outdoor activity video game for imagination: Abzû

Abzû offers a fantastic perspective on freediving without getting wet! Again it is cross platform, although it is not available on mobile.

Players wake up in the middle of the ocean where they can start to interact with sea creatures. They can explore unknown areas, and start to understand the environmental impact on a local level. It has  beautiful visuals, simple mechanics, and a heartfelt message that will resonate with many.

Best action sport video game on consoles: Steep

Launched in 2016, Steep took the action sport video game market by storm. It’s available on PC and all major consoles – these days you can pick up second hand copies cheaply. You compete in various challenges as a skier, snowboarder, paraglider/speedflyer, tobogganist or wingsuiter.

Located in the Alps there is endless powder, perfect parks, tree lined runs and plenty of wilderness to explore. You can race, compete for freestyle points and so much more. Of the best outdoor activity video games for adventure sport fans this is without doubt the most famous.

Best in Storytelling: The Red Lantern

Not every adventure has to be high octane. Some adventurers might be more invested in the storytelling aspects and the great outdoors. For these types of gamers The Red Lantern, which is available on PC or Nintendo Switch, is a good option. It brings to life one of the coolest activities: dog sledding.

The game is based in the Alaskan wilderness where you’re in charge of a five-dog sled team. You can choose from dozens of different simulations that showcase different elements of mushing, hunting, survival, and more. This game is celebrated for its diversity of game modes, along with its pleasant visuals.

Best outdoor activity virtual reality game: DownStream

If you have VR headset set up to a PC you can explore more immersive virtual reality games. For adventure and outdoors this really ramps up the excitement and authenticity of your gaming experience. One of the top options for VR fans is DownStream.

DownStream is a whitewater kayaking game of speed. Players compete on courses to be the quickest. Along the way, you gain XP points in order to improve. There’s also a relaxing mode, which lets players float down a river and enjoy the virtual beauty of the outdoors.

Best action sport VR game: The Climb

If you’re looking to really get your blood pumping, then consider playing the most realistic of video games for adventure sport fans: The Climb (more realistic) or Climb 2 (more gamey). Once again, you’ll need a VR headset for this setup which is available on the CryEngine platform through Oculus.

It is so realistic that it’s used in training by actual climbers. The game’s mechanics require players to use their hands to find holds to climb wild and urban challenges. As it is virtual reality this could help you curb a fear of heights. In fact, it’s so realistic that some climbers use it to practice before heading on rock climbing holidays.

We hope you found this guide to the best outdoor activity video games for adventure sport fans interesting. Now don’t forget to switch off your console to do some outdoor activities. And we hope this inspires you to plan action sport and adventure holidays!


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