The Best Harvest Moon Games, Ranked

The Harvest Moon game series, now called Story of Seasons, is one of the best-selling game series that requires players to farm, socialize and manage their property. The first game in the franchise was released way back in 1996, and since then a huge number of games have been released.


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With so many games released on multiple platforms, you have plenty of choices if you’re new to the series. Deciding which game to pick up and try out can be difficult, so this list brings together the best games in the series – we’ve ranked them to determine the absolute best!

Updated on June 16, 2023 by Quinton O’Connor: We stand by our author’s excellent selection here, but we wanted to tweak the article a bit and send it back to the world wide web for more Harvest Story of Moon Seasons fans to enjoy. Yep, we just typed that in.

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12 Harvest Moon: A Tale of Two Cities

A tale of two cities

Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns was released for the Nintendo DS in 2011 and was set several hundred years before the events of the rest of the series. In the game, the towns of Bluebell and Konohana have become fierce rivals due to a cooking competition, and it is up to the player to decide which is their hometown.

Both cities offer different things, with Bluebell focusing mainly on farm animals, while Konohana specializes in produce. Like other games in the series, players must manage their own farm, accept jobs in local towns, and build relationships with NPCs. It’s fun, but it doesn’t add much to the franchise, so it’s at the bottom of this list.

11 Harvest Moon: A New Beginning

Harvest Moon a new beginning

Harvest Moon: A New Beginning was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2012 as the last title to carry the Harvest Moon name before the franchise switched to the name Story of Seasons. The story features an abandoned town called Echo Village, which the player must bring back to life through farming and other methods familiar to the games in the series.

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Attracting new residents to the city is vital, but it will take a lot of hard work. The construction workshop and city renewal plan add the ability to create new and interesting cities for potential residents, making this game innovative and engaging to say the least. Fresh Start is engaging and fun to play, but the game’s extensive tutorials and slow start can take some time to get into.

10 A story about the seasons

Screenshot showing gameplay in Story of Seasons

Story of Seasons was the first game with this title in 2015, after the franchise abandoned the familiar naming convention of Harvest Moon. The game is set in Oak Tree Town, a small village looking for people to farm. A player, bored of life in the big city, answers the flyer and accepts the assignment!

This moves the player to Oak Tree Town, where four other farmers will help teach the player how to farm their new land in the village. The goal of the game is to unlock all seven vendors so that Oak Tree Town can become an international trading destination. Story of Seasons is a perfect addition to the series, with the only real downside being that the multiplayer is region-locked.

9 A Story of the Seasons: The Pioneers of Olive City

A screenshot showing the player with two cows in Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town

Released on Nintendo Switch in 2021, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is the second entry in the Harvest Moon series to grace the hybrid console. It retains many of the same gameplay elements from the previous games, while also marking the return of the best friend system, as well as introducing character customization options and optional difficulty levels.

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The game has some performance issues, but it still manages to shine thanks to its rewarding and simplistic gameplay loop, making it arguably the best Harvest Moon game on Switch.

8 Harvest Moon: Sunny Isles

Sunny islands

Harvest Moon: Sunshine Islands was a Nintendo DS game that was released in 2009. The game took players away from the normal environment of a small town farm and introduced them to an island farm. The game allows the player to choose a gender and is a step up from the DS title Island of Happiness, which also featured Sunshine Islands.

The game adds additional marriage partners, tasks the player with expanding the island, and adds competing marriages. Players must take care of their farm while trying to find sunstones to unlock other islands in the game, including islands that helped players obtain new animals and crops.

7 Harvest Moon: Magic Melody

A screenshot showing gameplay in Magical Melody

Harvest Moon: Magical Melody was released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2005 and the Wii in 2008. The game has two main goals for the player to achieve: marry one of the lovely townspeople and awaken the harvest goddess who has turned to stone due to melancholy at the disregard of her majesty by the townspeople.

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The game is slightly different from the game structure of others in that the player has to collect musical notes by completing tasks and reaching milestones.

This will eventually allow the player to create a magical melody that will revive the Harvest Goddess from her stone prison. The game brought something new and different to the franchise, making it a fun and innovative entry into the series.

6 Harvest Moon: Parade of Animals

Animal parade

Harvest Moon: Animal Parade was released for Wii back in 2009. The game features the same elements and characters as Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility. As the title suggests, there are many animals available to the player, all of which the player can ride.

The story revolves around the island of Castanet, where a divine tree is missing from the pond of the harvest goddess. As a result, the island’s animals leave and it’s up to the player to bring the Harvest King back to the island to help bring back the Goddess Tree and restore the animal population to Castanet’s former glory. Thanks to the inclusion of circus animals, this game is fresh and inviting. This is a wonderful addition to the franchise!

5 A Tale of the Seasons: A Trio of Cities

Screenshot showing gameplay in Trio of Towns

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns once again took the series in a surprising direction by adding three separate towns. A DS title released in 2017 featuring three different cities modeled after three different cultures. She introduced several different dog breeds, took pets around town and could decorate your home. The game also attracted many veterans with a list of 14 unique marriage candidates.

The player is tasked with uniting the three cities and learning to explore their unique cultures. Thanks to the wide range of villagers, there are more NPCs than usual, giving players who are focused on the more social elements of the game series a lot to work with and more lore to dive into.

4 Harvest Moon DS

Split image of a farmer by a pond with a group of women and a farmer tending to crops

Harvest Moon DS was a bizarre combination of the mechanics and overall graphic style of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town and the setting and characters of Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. Released shortly after the latter, this title puts you in the Forget-me-not Valley where you’re tasked with the usual Harvest Moon experience.

The game featured many of those seen in Mineral Town, such as upgradable tools made from materials found in the mines. But it also brought new levels of customization, such as building and placing barns and other structures wherever you want, and even upgrading them.

It also made heavy use of the Nintendo DS’s trackpad, with interactive mini-games replacing things like milking, shearing, petting animals, and more. Some of the edges are rough, but the amount it offered compared to other titles of the time is impressive.

3 Harvest Moon: Back to Nature

Harvest Moon: Back to Nature was the first game to be released on a non-Nintendo console, having launched in 1999 on the original PlayStation. The characters from Harvest Moon 64 were carried over from that title to this game, although they received updated lifestyles, family relationships, and personalities.

Two versions of the game were released, so players could take on the responsibility of looking after their grandfather’s farm as a man or a woman. In the base game, the player is a young boy who grows up and takes over his grandfather’s farm, which he has to restore for three years. While the graphics are a little dated, this exciting addition to the franchise is often cited as “one of the best” games on the PlayStation.

2 Harvest Moon: It’s a Wonderful Life

A wonderful life

Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life was released on the Nintendo GameCube in 2004, but was later ported to the PlayStation 2 and PS4. The game begins on the shores of Forget-Me-Not-Valley, where the player must take ownership of his father’s farm and restore it to its former glory.

Much of the gameplay is focused on breeding and caring for animals. The game starts with a dog and a cow producing milk for 40 days before they have to mate. Over time, players are given ducks, goats, chickens, and other animals to care for while growing crops to collect money and increase their overall productivity.

1 A Tale of the Seasons: Friends of the Mineral City

Cultivation field

Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town was released for Game Boy Advance in 2003 and remade for Nintendo Switch in 2020 under the Story of Seasons brand. As an early entry in the franchise, the game introduced many gameplay elements that would become a staple in the series. The remake brought us back to those staples and presented them in a clean, updated way.

When the player grows up, he finds that the old man died and left his farm in ruins, but it was left to him! The player then sets about the task of restoring the productivity of the farm while working with other villagers, marrying one and impregnating his son. Friends of Mineral Town often tops lists like this one thanks to its deceptively engaging gameplay that keeps players coming back time and time again.

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