Greetings! My fellow farming social simulator enthusiast! Today we will settle our nerdy debate about which game is officially the worst and go up to the best Harvest Moon game in the franchise’s history.
A quick heads up first. We’re only ranking the games available on most platforms; if we miss out on any obscure game, we’ll tough break. Why wasn’t it remastered for modern consoles if the game was so good? Eh? Eh?
Now settle in; we’re not wasting time and jumping into the list immediately.
10. Harvest Moon: Sunshine Islands
Released in 2009, the Nintendo DS game Harvest Moon: Sunshine Islands is perhaps the most well-known entry of the franchise for introducing players to a whole island farm, as mentioned in the title, instead of a traditional one.
The game’s big departure from a small town farm that had become synonymous with the series was a welcome change. Yet, it focused on other aspects of the game, such as relationships and rival marriages, and that was something people couldn’t let slide. It didn’t help things that Harvest Moon: Sunshine Islands required grinding to find those pesky sunstones to unlock more islands.
The divided focus on the game’s multiple objectives made the entire experience jarring. (Sorry to say Sunshine Islands snowflakes) it is our choice for the worst game in Harvest Moon history.
9. Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns
Coming in at number 9 in our Harvest Moon Game Rankings and continuing the trend of repetitious gameplay elements that didn’t offer anything unique, Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns is the canonical prequel to all other Harvest Moon games.
Despite the year of release being 2011, when enough variation and innovative features could have been added to the game, the developers chose to push out a generic and uninspired product into the market.
Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns severely limits players by having them choose between animals and crops for their farm, and the reason for that is a rivalry between the two titular competing towns.
Caring for one means you can’t have the other unless you’re crazy and start two concurrent playthroughs, which is extreme even for RPG fanatics.
8. Harvest Moon: Back To Nature
Harvest Moon: Back To Nature is an improvement over the two titles mentioned above in this list. The very first game to release on the original PlayStation. Harvest Moon: Back To Nature, introduced the audiences to the franchise, and it’s this nostalgia that people have fond memories about.
The premise is straightforward, after playing a young man or woman who inherited their grandfather’s farm, they must restore it. Players will tend to the vegetables, feed the animals, socialize with the locals and manage their time.
Harvest Moon: Back To Nature isn’t winning any awards if you visit the game today, mainly due to the simplistic plot and the graphics, which can be hard to look at, even by retro classics standards.
7. Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life
Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life was originally released in 2003 on Nintendo Gamecube and PlayStation 2. The game lived up to the hype and provided players with the farming simulation element the series needed.
In Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life, you can cross-cultivate different crops using hybrid methods. Combining the traditional crops, you can create a new breed, a groundbreaking feature at the time.
The social element of Harvest Moon: Another Wonderful Life was another great addition to the game, as your child, which you had with your partner in the game, is shown growing up and helping around your farm.
6. Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town
Story of Seasons: Friends Of Mineral Town is a game remade with overhauled graphics and crisp animations, released for Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows.
You will enjoy your character’s interaction with the different NPCs as you work alongside most of them to develop friendships. One of those friendships will foster and develop into a romance.
The crop farming with its chibi-inspired visuals in Story of Seasons: Friends Of Mineral Town is a feast for the eyes. You can purchase different outfits to make your character stand out from the NPCs.
5. Story of Seasons
Now that we’re halfway on our Harvest Moon Game Rankings list, we’ve entered the top-tier category. Surprisingly, many people might have some confusion about the naming of the Harvest Moon games. The franchise is also known as Story of Seasons.
Funnily enough, the next game on our list is named Story Of Seasons. The game introduced the options to players for playing in either 2D or 3D. A revolutionary feat if you considering not many games offer that choice.
Aside from the 2D and 3D choices, Story Of Seasons made the players work to sell their farm produce by incorporating a supply and demand system in the game’s economy. You also had a complex crafting system that took a while to grasp but was worth your time in the long run.
4. Harvest Moon: Animal Parade
Harvest Moon franchise usually has a tried and tested plot that is followed in all games, so people were pleasantly surprised by the premise of Harvest Moon: Animal Parade when it came out.
Adding a dash of the supernatural to the game and the ability to ride different farm animals made Harvest Moon: Animal Parade stand out in the Harvest Moon franchise.
The fantasy element of Harvest Moon: Animal Parade is tied to the dwindling population of animals, which you have to work to get back up by helping out two deities introduced in the game.
3. Harvest Moon: Magical Melody
Harvest Moon seemed to have its stride with the magical fantasy element. Evidence of this fact is that at the time of the release of Harvest Moon: Magical Melody, it was the biggest map in the franchise’s history, and as a result, exploration was a big part of the game.
You quickly lose track of time in the world map of Harvest Moon: Magical Melody. Enjoying countless hours farming for resources and fishing. After you’ve had your fill of the open-world gameplay, there’s also a fantastic story to fall back on.
There’s also a greater emphasis on customization for clothing, your house, and the farm you manage in Harvest Moon: Magical Melody. All of the mentioned elements combined make for an excellent Harvest Moon game that, ironically, is quite different from other Harvest Moon games.
2. Harvest Moon: A New Beginning
With the release of Harvest Moon: A New Beginning, the Harvest Moon franchise reached a turning point, as after the game, the next entries were rebranded as Story of Seasons.
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning featured not the best graphics, and it didn’t even have enough customization options for players, so why does it rank high on our list? The answer is that the game’s shake-up of the traditional farm management formula bumped it on our list.
Harvest Moon: A New Beginning tasks players with bringing people into an abandoned town. You must manage your farming duties and build attractions to get people to notice your town.
1. Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns
Now we cap things off in our Harvest Moon Game Rankings list. The undisputed and undefeated winner of the best Harvest Moon game ever! Which, hilariously, isn’t even named Harvest Moon.
Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns is the game that’s won our hearts with its charming graphics and incorporation of the story involving three towns. You get to choose the humble beginnings protagonist from one of the towns.
The main themes of Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns are cooperation and friendship. You will have to put in the effort to bring the people of all three towns together. Create cross-cultural relations between themselves and your character.
Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns also introduces pets that will accompany you on your way to the market. There are also plenty of side quests to do to earn extra money. You can’t go wrong with a little extra moola.
Well, there you have it. From worst to best, our ranked Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons list. The best Harvest Moon game in the franchise’s history. Now came at us with your pitchforks and rage-induced comments! We’re ready to die on this hill!
We hope you enjoyed viewing our list, and if you’d like to see another list on an unrelated and more visceral type of game, check out our ranked list of All Hitman games from worst to best.