No list of video games with food that looks absolutely delicious would be complete, or even possible, without the mom who started it all: Cooking Mama.
Sure, food can be found in games before Cooking Mama’s 2006 debut on the Nintendo DS, but you won’t find the food in those games to look nearly as tasty as the food in Cooking Mama.
It’s a good thing Cooking Mama’s food looks so tasty too because the game is literally about cooking. What fun would be a game about cooking if you didn’t cook anything that looked tasty?
Sure, the cake was a lie but the hunger this moment in Portal left us wasn’t. Maybe Portal is iconic for other reasons — it does have an incredible story, great twists, unforgettable gameplay and more — but to us, we’ll never forget how delicious this cake looked.
Today, the cake has surpassed its simplicity in delectable design and taken on a new form in video games as not only a meme, but a way to express some unobtainable goal or reward promised to you that you’ll never receive, no matter what you do.
The Sims 4
The Sims 4 is really great about letting you do a lot of things you might never get to do in real life otherwise. You can pay all of your bills on time, get your dream job, own a house, have kids and you can even cook meals that people actually want to eat.
That brings us to The Sims 4’s excellent menu of snacks, entrees, desserts and more.
While the food in-game isn’t the most fantastic-looking food, it is food that does a great job of keeping that Sims spirit alive in it. Just like our Sims, each meal they make is charming and hey, if it’s good enough for our Sims, it’s good enough for us.
If Stardew Valley is about one thing, it’s about farming and if farming is about one thing, it’s about producing delicious food. Greatly realized in the game’s pixel art, Stardew Valley goes to great lengths to show you just how important food is.
It’s the reason you remain alive, for one, and it’s a link to relationships throughout the game. Similar to the way food in The Sims 4 appeases to our senses, the way turkeys, salads, pies and more look in Stardew Valley makes us wish we could take a bite out of those pixel meals.
For now, we’ll just continue feeding them to our favorite NPCs in the game.
Super Mario Odyssey
Most games deliver delicious looking food in the form of table decorations or consumables for your character, but in classic Nintendo fashion, Super Mario Odyssey gave us an entire kingdom made out of food aptly named the Luncheon Kingdom.
Featuring polygonal and colorful foods strewn across virtually every inch of the level, the Luncheon Kingdom is nigh impossible to play in without thinking about your next snack.
As you throw vegetables and hop on top of shrimp in this world, you’re constantly overshadowed by a looming pot of something delicious.
We’re not sure if it’s stew, chili or chowder, but as long as we don’t think about what the meat in it could possibly be (don’t be Koopa, don’t be Koopa, don’t be Koopa), this level will always keep us hungry.
There’s nothing more realistic than stuffing every pocket and bag you have with so much food that you are legitimately encumbered and unable to move at the speed you usually do, and no game nails that feeling more than Skyrim. Oh, just us?
Well, if you can’t empathize with a character who’s constantly slowed by the amount of food they’ve put on their plate and in their belly, surely you can empathize with someone who walks into a local shop and finds themselves staring at shelves and shelves of delicious treats and more.
If we walk into a building in Skyrim, you can bet we’ll be searching for food. Check out some of these mods for food enhancements.
You’ve saved Japan once more and what better way to celebrate than with a massive burger, a giant bowl of ramen or even a full-course meal at a fancy restaurant you usually wouldn’t be able to afford?
Persona 5 allows us to live out our favorite fantasy by not only letting us save the world but eat delicious food while doing it.
The best part of Persona 5’s food is its anime-like stylization, which matches the art style throughout the game. It’s inherently Persona 5 and all the more tasty looking because of it.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
There’s nothing worse than putting together a bunch of ingredients in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild only to get a Dubious Food notification pop up on the screen — it’s Nintendo’s way of telling you that you suck at cooking.
What makes Breath of the Wild’s food so great though are the moments when you create an excellently-seared piece of meat that will heal many of your precious hearts.
The healing factor is great, but nothing looks tastier after a four-hour Breath of the Wild session (which happens way too easily) than a kabob of meat and veggies made up of things you’ve found in your journey through Hyrule.
We’d take on an army of Bokoblins if it meant we got to try just one of Link’s delicious homemade meals.
Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter World did a lot of things for the series in its first console debut in years — bigger monsters, more exciting fights, deeper systems, expansive online play.
One thing we’ll never forget, though, is the incredible looking food the game put on our TV screens day in and day out.
Just look at this picture. Meats, stew, cheeses and more realized in high visual fidelity and nothing has made our mouths water more. Much like our hero in-game, we’re all worthy of a Monster Hunter World meal after slaying some massive monsters.
Final Fantasy XV
You knew Final Fantasy XV was at the end of this list the second you clicked on this and that’s because no game has ever done food better.
Final Fantasy XV’s cooking was revolutionary for foodie gamers in 2015 and it still sits atop a pedestal untouched today. Do you remember the first time Ignis said “that’s it! I’ve come up with a new recipe!” only to put that delicious looking recipe on a plate for you later that night? We’ll never forget.
The dish above is just one of many dishes in the game and each dish is incredibly realized thanks to the development team’s commitment to authenticity. It shows too because still today, we’re thinking about Ignis’ lunches.