The Best Games for Horse Lovers
From the novice horse fan to the seasoned equestrian, all lovers of all things horsey can truly express their passion with these five games for the Nintendo Wii. Featuring gameplay that balances grooming, rearing, feeding, training, competing, and of course earning stylish tack and riding gear, "horse games" were an unfortunately short-lived mid-2000s trend that produced a number of quality hidden gems.
These five are the best of the best, truly embracing and showcasing every aspect of the equestrian life across multiple disciplines and play styles. If you're a horse lover, there's no way you can say 'neigh' to any of these titles!
For the Show Jumper - My Horse & Me
Initially released in 2007, My Horse & Me was the first official collaboration between developer Atari and the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI). Players can choose a horse to partner with and keep them happy through grooming and training before entering them into a series of a show jumping competitions featuring different patterns of jumps with increasingly difficult heights and configurations. A perfect starting point for those just getting into the "horse games" genre, My Horse & Me deserves credit for inspiring so many of the games that came after it - including the others on this list!
For the Trail Rider - Barbie Horse Adventures: Riding Camp
The first true open world equestrian game, Barbie Horse Adventures: Riding Camp sees the titular world-famous adventurous blonde get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend an entire summer at a riding-themed camp. There, Barbie and her horse partner can explore an extensive series of trails and natural vistas, train for competitions in five different equestrian disciplines, and complete quests for staff and campers to earn items ranging from food to tack to cool new racing gear. Players also get the opportunity to choose between five different breeds of horses - or can even challenge themselves to bond with and train them all!
For the Dressage Fan - My Horse & Me: Riding for Gold
Dressage is renowned as one of the most difficult equestrian disciplines - but also the most beautiful. In My Horse & Me: Riding for Gold, the third title in the My Horse & Me series, mount and must learn to move as one as they master dance-like dressage steps and patterns. For those who are looking for variety, cross country and show jumping competitions are also available. Plus, players hoping for a more relaxing experience can simply take the time to bond with their horse in the stable, learning about proper grooming and hygiene techniques. The only game to ever be certified by the FEI in every country it released, My Horse & Me: Riding for Gold is a well-rounded game that certainly deserves such an honor!
For the Collector - Horse Life Adventures
Horse Life Adventures offers players an unbeatable seven different breeds of horse to choose between. Not only that, players can also customize the coat color, mane and tail color, and markings of each individual horse in their stable. You can take your horse for a long free-ranging ride around the countryside - choosing from multiple gorgeously rendered destinations - or train them daily to compete in cross country, dressage, or show jumping events. A helpful "stable boy assistance" function allows you to keep your horses well-fed, well-groomed and happy even if you have to step away from the game for a little while.
For the Whole Stable - Petz Horsez 2
You can play together with all of your horse-loving friends in Petz Horsez 2's mini-game mode, which features a selection of multiplayer mini-games inspired by real life equestrian events including jumping courses, time trials, dressage patterns, and more. This game expands on the framework established by earlier titles in the Petz series by adding a story mode in which players are challenged to save the ranch they work on from being shut down. The rich, robust story system features different endings depending on what choices you make. Along the way, you can bond with an equine partner that you raise since birth and train them to become a champion!
If horses are your passion or if you simply want to try out a fun new horse-themed game, these five titles are some of the best the genre has to offer. So strap on your helmet, lace up your riding boots, tack up your favorite mount, and gallop away with these classic equestrian games - now available as a bundle guaranteed to provide hours upon hours of horse-themed fun!