The era of the horse fan is making a comeback, whether the world is ready for it or not. Part of this new influx of equine enthusiasts is because horses have played a major role in some of the most influential video games of the modern era. And with gaming becoming a more widely accessible medium than ever, more and more people are discovering the joy of horses.
Of course, not all game horses are as lovable as others, and not all games know how to pay proper homage to their four-legged all-stars. Here are some of the games that do equine representation best.
10 Red Dead Redemption 2
This game had to be the first on the list, as it has truly done the legwork in bringing together both hardcore gamers and diehard horse girls. The horses in Red Dead 2 are truly on another level: they have unique bodies, personality traits, special quirks, and an ability to bond with the player over time.
Arthur Morgan takes this even further by proving he’s a horse girl, too. His love for horses is obvious, as he’s constantly talking to and praising his trusty steed. Some characters will even comment on how much he spoils his favorite horse, in passing stating how “that horse eats better than me.” That’s love, right there.
9 Undead Nightmare
On the flip side of this is John Marston’s own adventure into horse-world territory, via the first Red Dead Redemption’s DLC, Undead Nightmare. In a zombie apocalypse, a man needs all the help he can get, and sometimes, he might just find an ally in the strangest of places. Including zombie horses, the Four Horses of the Apocalypse, and – yes – even a unicorn.
The base game’s horses are bland in comparison. After all, it’s every horse lover’s dream to be a unicorn-riding cowboy – why deny them, let alone anyone, this opportunity?
8 The Elder Scrolls Online
While prior TES titles have included horses, none have as diverse an array as Elder Scrolls Online, which features all types of beautiful beasts as far as the eye can see. Horses in TESO are as diverse as they come, with different body types, coat colors, countries of origin, and even elemental affiliation.
Half the fun of riding a horse in video games is developing a unique bond with it, thus the devs of TESO did players right by including a horse for every and any type of player. Whether running a dainty Breton warden, or a chaotic Dunmer sorcerer, there will be a horse that will suit players perfectly.
7 Breath Of The Wild
The Zelda series is no stranger to horsey love, ever since Link met his beloved Epona way back in Ocarina of Time. However, Nintendo really upped its ante in Breath of the Wild, where players can tame their own wild horse out of a selection of multiple coat colors, temperaments, and skill levels.
BOTW can be a lonely game, where Link is forced to set upon a ruined land with barely any friends left to guide him. Therefore, his bond with his horse is crucial, and not just because it can get him across the land faster than he could alone. Plus, the horses in the game are adorable, sporting chunky, fluffy bodies, and a lot of personality in their movements and behaviors.
6 Ghost Of Tsushima
Sucker Punch’s epic samurai tale is a soulful one, with personalized touches throughout its narrative that make the player really feel grounded in the world. One such touch is in giving the player their own horse, through a series of decisions that, while ultimately simple, feel very personal to how the player wants to roleplay as Jin Sakai.
Players get to pick the coat of the horse, as well as the name, which Jin will use at various times throughout the game. This gives players the sense that they’re picking their very own horse baby, which only increases the bond they have with it.
5 The Witcher 3
This game is as beloved as they come, and a large part of this is thanks to its large cast of interesting, memorable characters – including Roach, Geralt’s faithful steed. While The Witcher 3 doesn’t feature as many horses as some of the other titles on this list, it certainly has the most charismatic horse of them all.
During the DLC Blood and Wine, players will get an opportunity to actually talk to Roach, who is delightfully sassy, self-aware, and quite a keen detective. It seems as though Geralt’s witcher ways have rubbed off on her, in all the best ways!
4 Shadow Of The Colossus
Similar to the last entry, Shadow of the Colossus doesn’t have a lot of horses for the player to choose from. But why would players want any other horse than Agro, who has carried Wander through hell and back, and has proved to be the most trustworthy companion a lonely wanderer could ask for?
Anyone who plays SOTC will inevitably fall in love with Agro, who is more or less their only friend throughout the game, and who unflinchingly carries them into battle. Agro will come when called, run straight towards enemies, and accept any and all pets for being the absolute best girl.
3 Star Stable Online
Perhaps the least-known title in this list, Star Stable Online is the culmination of a decade’s worth of horse games under the Star Stable logo. These games stand out among their peers for having interesting, non-cheesy stories, quests that diverge from the simple horse game-type fare, and all kinds of horses for players to choose from.
It’s in its zaniness that this game really stands out. Typical activities range from beating a high score in a showjumping course, to defeating an ancient tentacle monster hidden within the time-space continuum, to even settling scores between ancient talking tribes of wild horses. Truly, SSO is an experience that is worth trying at least once.
2 The Sims 3
EA really dropped the ball when they didn’t include horses in The Sims 4‘s pet expansion pack. One of the biggest reasons The Sim’s 3’s pet pack sold so well was because they finally added horses to the game. After years of modders working hard to satisfy this demand, their prayers were answered.
Players could do anything and everything horse-related, from breeding beautiful new coats to taming wild horses and even becoming a show-jumping champion from the back of a unicorn. It added a level of creative mastery that had horse fans well-occupied, even to this day.
1 Barbie Horse Adventures: Wild Horse Rescue
This list would be nothing without this classic, this total epitome of what the genre could be. Anyone with a PS2 and a horse-obsessed person in the family remembers this game, and they’d do well to remember how surprisingly good it was.
Barbie’s Wild Horse Rescue was a thrilling open-world adventure in which players could customize horses to their liking, rescue foals, do cool jumps, thwart the villainy of the local skunk population, and, yes, tame wild horses that they could add to their collection. This game has what Red Dead 2 wants, a fact which only true horse gamers know.
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