Horses are magnificent creatures, and alongside dogs, deserve the title of being the man’s best friend. Unfortunately, keeping them as companions request a lot of space, money, time, and energy, and is a full-time job for equestrians. Luckily, gaming graphics cards can not only simulate the whole experience. but satisfy the urge to co-exist and interact with these loyal animals. But what type of interaction? Realistic or cartoonish visuals? 2D or 3D? Single-player or multiplayer? That’s up to you to decide after you check our painstakingly selected list of best horse games for PC.
1. Star Stable Online
Star Stable Online is one of the best games with a horse on PC and the most successful horse-oriented MMORPG to date. It has 500k+ monthly active players as of May 2021 and gets a weekly update, without fail, since its 2011 release. The game is set in the fantasy world of Jarvik and has tens of thousands of quests to complete, e.g., hours upon hours of content. Yes, quests aren’t too different for MMOs or even too challenging. However, the writing is entertaining and often hilarious, and the storyline focuses on the “chosen one” hero – you. Finally, the game has 40+ real horse breeds and around 15 fictional ones.
2. Rival Stars Horse Racing
Rival Stars Horse Racing is the runner-up among the leading horse games for PC. Unlike Star Stable, it provides a deeper horse-based experience, has stunningly good graphics, an immersive storyline, and memorable characters. It also offers a breeding system with realistic genetics, allowing you to select your horses’ patterns, colors, stats, and pedigree. You can also raise foals alone or by hiring caretakers, which you’ll need if you plan to participate in horse racing activities, in single-player or multiplayer. The game also has a horse betting system and allows you to build and upgrade a homestead.
3. Horse Riding Tales
Horse Riding Tales is a free multiplayer PC game dedicated to horses and activities and adventures involving them. You start as a lowly stable hand named Layla and progress to become a horse-riding academy celebrity with thousands of items to customize your look with. The game is set in the town of Meadowcroft, and you’ll get to tame wild horses, breed docile horses, care for them, and train them. Moreover, you can complete quests, partake in events and challenges, and craft accessories. Finally, we’ll just casually mention the existence of Pegasus and Unicorn.
4. Windstorm – Ari’s Arrival
If horse-based storyline and beautiful graphics were the only requirements, Windstorm – Ari’s Arrival would dominate the list of the top horse games on PC. It’s an open-world single-player adventure with a touching story based on the eponymous feature film. You play as Ari, a newbie to riding and a newcomer to the ranch and horse riding. You work on your own skills while befriending Windstorm, an anxious horse who survived a fire, and eventually start riding him. The game has 15 main missions, features many supporting characters, and you can even practice horse-back Archery.
5. Horse Club Adventures
Horse Club Adventures launched in late May 2021 and already demonstrated colorful, gorgeous 3D cartoon-inspired graphics. The game revolves around 3 main characters, Sarah, Lisa, and Hannah, and is set at the Lakeside Riding Stable. At launch, you can do 40 main quests, 30 side quests, and compete in 90 horse racing courses, as well as take part in mini-games to maintain your stable and its occupants. The game also has exhaustive completionist mechanics, sending you into an item collecting frenzy for yourself and your horses.
6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is, obviously, not a horse-focused game. However, you’ll spend hours mounted on a loyal steed, traversing great distances exploring the vast medieval-fantasy open-world. It’s not only one of the top hero PC games, but also an action RPG single-player, winner of the “Game of the Year” title at The Game Awards 2015. You’ll play as Geralt of Rivia, a human-like being named the Witcher, on a quest to slay as many grotesque monsters and corrupt humans. He must also solve the underlying task: discover the child prophecies foretold.
While they aren’t the primary focus in Red Dead Redemption 2, it’s one of the leading PC games with a horse presence. You can tame wild horses, steal them from others, and buy and sell them when you unlock Stables. Additionally, you can upgrade their appearance (there are 59 available coat colors and patterns), and customize their saddles. Saddles also serve a practical purpose. They can store loot, gear, and weapons. Without one, a horse’s back can serve as space to put pelts or even dead bounty hunting targets. Finally, you must groom and clean them, and bond with them to boost their stats: stamina, handling, and performance.
8. Riding Club Championship
Riding Club Championship is a free MMO horse game that focuses almost entirely on horse jumping competitions against yourself and others. The jumping and landing look realistic, and the physics make knocking objects believable. Also, you can build jumping courses (and share them with others), play timed challenges, purchase and upgrade equipment for yourself and your horse. Another key part is horse care, performed with a sponge and a hoof pick, then a comb, brush, and towel. Unfortunately, player interaction is minimal. Also, all horses use the same model.
9. Horse Isle 3
Horse Isle 3 is a free open-world PC game for equestrians who love to explore. Like Horse Riding Tales, it has accurate horse breeding mechanics and some of the best breed variety and unusual horse shapes we’ve seen. It’s colorful, cheerful, and captivating, but its in-game tutorials aren’t the best, making it hard to get into. Some players also find it unpolished, which wasn’t an issue for us. Overall, it’s a very enjoyable experience if you have the help and/or advice from an established player. Or, at least, willingness to check a few online guides or walkthroughs occasionally.
10. The Sims 3 Pets
This one has the same premise as the rest of The Sims game series, except with horses. And the quality shows – the game publisher hasn’t made another expansion pack (or The Sims game) with horses since this one released in 2011. With that said, it adds an Equestrian trait for your Sims, and a Lifetime Wish to be the Jockey. As for horses, they can be customized in minute details, and have distinctive skills and unique personalities. You can also build stables, care for them, and train them. Finally, fan-made mods for The Sims 3 expansion packs take it to the next level.
11. Starters Orders 7
Starters Orders 7 is a horse racing manager game that also includes in-depth breeding mechanics, training them, and building the stables for them to live in. Also, you can be a jockey and enjoy horse racing personally. And not only in 3D on a monitor screen but also in VR (Virtual Reality) with an Oculus VR headset. The game also has elements such as various racecourses, different types of races (Newspaper style, for example), and even form cards to rate horses. Starts Orders 7 is also available as a 2D game named “Starters Orders Classic” for low-spec gamers.
12. My Riding Stables: Life with Horses
My Riding Stables: Life with Horses is a horse farm build-up game where you create a character and a horse, then spawn to arrive at a rundown farm. After you get the horse from the paddock, then groom and clean its hooves to get its trust. Then, you begin exploring the open world to train your horse and unlock farm buildings such as Training Hall or Therapy Center. Additionally, you must maintain the stable while playing minigames to earn money for upgrades, which, while realistic, gets tedious. Also, you can only go horse racing one day of the in-game week, on Sundays.
13. Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is both a leading kingdom PC game and among the most storyline-oriented PC games with a horse. While the story isn’t horse-driven, you’ll spend a lot of time atop one. After all, you’ll be amid a medieval war in the year 1403. And because you’re the son of a nobody, a village blacksmith, you’ll witness and endure a lot of brutality and crime in your endeavors. Granted, your actions directly affect the plotline and the ending. So, because combat is challenging and ruthless, choosing stealth over fighting can keep you and your beloved animal alive.
14. Petz Horsez 2
Petz Horsez 2, also sold as “Pippa Funnell: Secrets of the Ranch” is named after MBE Pippa Funnell, a British equestrian. You’ll play as Emma, a veterinarian stranded in the French countryside who meets a stud farm manager. The story is then told through animations, voice acting, cutscenes, and bonus dialogue. The farm/barn management makes for a large chunk of gameplay, and day-night cycles affect available events and challenges. You’ll get to explore the vicinity, train and care for horses, and compete in jumping and riding. Ultimately, you must solve the mystery of the missing farm owner, Marie.
15. Alicia Online
Officially, this is a Korean MMO that’s been among dead horse games on PC for years. However, Alicia Online was resurrected by the fanbase, translated to English, and offered and upgraded as a free passion project. In the game, your ranch is your hub, allowing you to tend to your horse, using brushes, toys, and foods to interact with it. Moreover, you can enjoy horse racing against other players on a variety of maps. Uniquely, that this involves double-jumping, gliding, flying using magic (think Pegasus), using power-ups, and avoiding slow-downs and obstacles.
16. Riding Star – Horse Championship!
Riding Star – Horse Championship! is a child-friendly horse sports simulation. The game is action-packed and offers 3 main types of challenges: dressage, cross country riding, and show jumping. The gameplay is typical – train horses, then win challenges by riding. The places where all this happens are not, however. Riding and jumping take place is an accurate reproduction of the Aix-la-Chapelle WM station in Aachen, the largest riding stadium in the world. In contrast, dressage championships happen in Deutsche Bank stadium in Germany.
17. Secret of the Magic Crystals
Secret of the Magic Crystals is a casual indie game released in early 2010. Its primary focus is on horse breeding, which includes giving them tender love and care, and buying equipment, items, and accessories. Weather change is realistic, you can spawn 5 different buildings and upgrade them to 5 different levels, as well as acquire 700+ items for stable decoration. There are also quests for magical crystals, and you can compete in 25 racing cups. Most importantly, you can breed 5+ different types of fantasy horses, including Pegasus and Unicorn.
18. Let’s Ride: Friends Forever
Let’s Ride: Friends Forever is among older games on the list and released in 2007, but its core and charm remain to this day. The game is all about bonding with your horse. You pick the foal’s name, color, and pattern, then start nurturing it to adulthood by feeding, grooming, taking it for walks, and even putting a dressing occasionally. When it gets to the age of 3, you can train it, ride it freely, and compete in horse jumping. The horse can get sick or injured too, forcing you to nurse it back to health.
19. Glory Horse Racing
Glory Horse Racing is a single-player adventure that is, you guessed it, all about racing horses. You’ll scramble to make the best time on the racecourse, and get awarded training points. However, you must also take the weather into account, manage horse betting to increase your funds, and carefully use skill points to boost the horse’s abilities. Furthermore, you can take part in Glory races which are riskier but can multiply your winning. The game also has horse breeding functionality and lets you dabble in ranch building and management.
20. Pony Island
Pony Island is a very underrated indie single-player game that requires plenty of cleverness to beat. You’ll be trapped in the body of a pony in a malfunctioning arcade machine game designed by the Devil himself. He claims he hates his puzzles solved and scheming discovered and your goal, is, of course, is to anger him. The end goal is to beat his machine programming by thinking outside of the box, repair the broken code, and escape your virtual prison. This won’t be easy because he will insult your decisions every step of the way.