Welcome fall with these autumnal PC games

Overcast skies are looming, leaves are dropping from the trees, and there’s an icy chill in the air. Yes, it can only be autumn (or fall), the finest of all the seasons. And so, to celebrate, we’ve wrapped ourselves up in our thickest scarves to bring you a list of the best autumnal PC games to play whilst cradling a mug of hot chocolate, or whichever heated liquid you enjoy.

Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars

The city of Paris provides the backdrop for this tale of murder, mystery, and the occult. The first thing you see when hero George Stobbart wakes up after almost dying in a cafe bombing is a swirl of brown leaves kicked up by the wind, and you can almost feel your cheeks redden in the autumnal chill. Broken Sword perfectly captures the romantic image of Paris in the fall, and the peaceful, leafy streets provide a stark contrast to the sinister crimes you find yourself investigating there. —Andy Kelly

Lieve Oma

A mushroom-picking walk with your grandmother acts as a deft, bittersweet tribute to the people who give us supportive spaces. My favourite thing is how it uses a player’s natural tendency to scamper about while walking with a slow NPC to recreate the sense of a child rushing around on the margins of a leaf-strewn pathway as a watchful grandparent provides an anchor point. —Philippa Warr

Night in the Woods 

This funny, honest, and occasionally heartbreaking coming-of-age story is set in the sleepy town of Possum Springs in the fall. As feline hero Mae Borowski runs along the detailed, lively streets she kicks dead leaves into the air, and the colour palette is a delight of oranges, browns, and reds. —Andy

Life is Strange

Something about Life is Strange which often gets passed over in all the chat about time-based jiggery-pokery and story is how well it captures that sense of summer giving way to autumn. Everything from the lighting to Max’s zip-up hoodie gives the sense of a slight chill creeping into the air as the sun arcs lower over Arcadia Bay. —Pip

Alan Wake

Taking its cues from Stephen King and Twin Peaks, Remedy’s horror game features a beautiful slice of the Pacific Northwest where the leaves are just shifting from green to brown. A lot of it takes place in the dark, but in those rare quiet moments where you can explore the town of Bright Falls without being besieged by shadows, it’s palpably autumnal. — Andy

Virginia 

Virginia uses its autumnal setting (well, summer cusping on autumn as green leaves fade into golds) to augment the game’s sense of uncertainty. The world is suffused with the idea of change, of warm decay and sudden chills, and that reinforces the moody oddness of the plot. —Pip 

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

While much of Skyrim is cold, wet, and snowy, venturing south-east to the Rift reveals a gorgeous landscape of golden trees, hazy sunlight, and shimmering rivers. It’s one of the prettiest holds in Skyrim, and not even Riften—a shady city popular with criminals—can spoil its lazy autumnal beauty. —Andy

Shelter 

Leaving aside the fact that having to nurture a cete of baby badgers (cete being the real collective noun whereas I prefer to use my own - an idiocy of baby badgers) makes me more angry than anything should, Shelter uses its unique aesthetic to conjure up an autumn patchwork quilt. Squares of grass make a chequerboard layer on the ground only to be interrupted by leaf-print shrubberies or an owl-and-bark-print tree. The world becomes a beautiful blanket. —Pip

Costume Quest 

We had to have one Halloween game. Double Fine’s cute RPG is set in a beautifully realised suburb in the grip of autumn, and is a joyous celebration of carving pumpkins and eating candy till you puke. —Andy

Proteus

Proteus is an amazing experience no matter which season you’re currently pottering through but it’s the autumn which prompts the most delight for me. Little shapes jump up and down making the sound of typewriter keys - I think they’re crickets - while orange and yellow leaf blobs drift down from the trees and onto the silhouettes of chanterelle-type mushrooms. Mist shrouds the early morning and passing rainclouds punctuate the afternoon. Proteus’s autumn manages to be magnificently mulchy. —Pip 

Bully

Tearaway student Jimmy arrives at Bullworth Academy in the fall, and although it’s a hell of rules, sadistic teachers, and thuggish bullies, there’s no denying it’s a pretty lovely-looking place to spend some time. New England in the autumn is a setting I’d like to see featured in more games. —Andy