Hello and welcome to the Story Arc, I am your host Skeith and I’m back with another gigantic project for you all. Have you ever been playing a video game and then suddenly out of nowhere you need to begin fishing? Of course you have, the fishing minigame is one of gaming’s oldest traditions and is a mainstay mechanic of both Japanese RPGS and Western Open-World games now.
So why don’t we take a few hours to look back on this trend of gaming and judge every fishing minigame we can individually. I have taken the liberty to pick out 50 fishing minigames to look over and review individually. I’ll discuss the mechanics of each one as well as how many fish you can gather as well as their purpose in the game as a whole. At the end of the article we’ll then look back and decide which games have the best fishing.
I would like to express great thanks to anyone on Twitter and Discord who sent me examples of fishing minigames over the past two months, as well as fellow Story Arc contributor Lynx as this whole thing was their idea that I sort of hijacked and expanded the scope beyond what they could imagine.
The scope of this article is so big in fact that there was no feasible way I could do it alone. So while I will be writing a good majority of this article myself I have brought in three other Story Arc writers to help write this. All of our sections shall be clearly marked so you always know what was written by whom.
Before we move into the article I would first like to clarify some things. The most unfortunate of which is the definition of minigame. I thought the term was self explanatory but as there was always people insisting I include games like Sega Bass Fishing or those fishing machines you see in arcades. A minigame is a side activity included inside of a different, larger game. We all have that clear? Good.
Next let me clarify that we’ll only be covering the classic rod and line style of fishing. I was considering including things like spear fishing and games where you catch fish with your hands, but I felt that would bloat the article even more than it already is and would expand the scope of what kind of minigame we’re looking at a little too much.
With all of that finally out of the way let’s move on to the first ever fishing minigame in gaming!
Link’s Awakening (1993)
Section written by Skeith
Like many concepts in the gaming industry Nintendo was the originator of the fishing minigame. Well, I think they were anyway. I asked my Twitter followers to tell me every game they ever played with a fishing minigame and of the nearly 50 games I was told Link’s Awakening was the earliest. If I am wrong and there are prior fishing minigames I’m sure you will have already commented on Reddit or Twitter before you got to the end of this paragraph.
Now you may think that because this is one of the earliest examples of fishing in video games it’ll be very simple and rudimentary but as you’ll see throughout this article the industry as a whole sees no need to make fishing a complex thing and as such this minigame hasn’t aged at all.
You choose the direction of your line with the left and right buttons on your D-pad before pressing A to cast. Your hook will then sink into the water and within a few seconds one of the fish will come forward for a bite. Once they have bitten, mash that A button and begin to reel them in! Be careful though, the fish will try their hardest to reach the left side of the screen and escape you!
This fishing minigame is very easy. I can only think of one time a fish actually got away and even then it was because I hooked them on the very left of the screen. However they’re not supposed to be difficult to catch, they’re supposed to be a money sink.
Link’s Awakening started a long standing Zelda tradition of locking a piece of heart behind the fishing minigame. There are two types of fish in the pond: runts and the big one. Catching the big one will grant you a piece of heart but here’s the catch; Runts will almost always bite your hook first so you need to catch them first.
It costs 10 Rupees to fish a single time and runts only give a 5 Rupee return. In order to catch the big one and get your piece of heart you thus need to spend a lot of money catching the smaller ones. The fisherman is scamming you!
And that was our first fishing minigame! I sure hope you liked reading about casting rods and reeling fish in because you’re going to be hearing a lot about that in this article. Part of the reason there’s two of us writing this thing is so you have some variety in writing style as we talk about what is fundamentally the same thing over and over. Now let’s move on to our next game.
Breath of Fire 2 (1994)
Section written by Skeith
When it comes to JRPGs where you kill God, Capcom was ahead of the curve and made that the premise of a game in 1994. Speaking of being ahead of the curve, they started the long standing tradition of putting a fishing minigame in your JRPG.
Fishing can be accessed at nearly any time in the world map if you see a little fish sprite jumping out of the sea. However keep in mind that the fish won’t always spawn, so if you are really itching to catch some fish just get into a few random encounters until they spawn.
Once they have spawned we’ll encounter a system I have not seen in a single fishing minigame until I started playing this game for this article: You need actually equip your fishing rod in your equipment menu like you would your weapons and armor. Not only that, but you also have to equip your bait as well! While said bait is pretty cheap and can be bought at town there are only four fishing rods in the game of varying quality, the first of which can be found within a few minutes of booting up the game if you’re thorough in your exploration.
While this was charming at first I quickly grew annoyed with having to open the menu after each and every cast to reequip bait. Even if you have a pile of worms in your inventory you will have to equip each of them one by one after each task. It may only take a few seconds to do this each time but that time adds up and grows bothersome.
As for the minigame itself you must first first select how much power you’ll put behind your cast via pressing A on a meter that rises and lowers in power. Once you’ve cast your line it will only take about a second for a fish to bite, once one does you must begin to mash the A button to draw the fish in closer to you and drain its HP. However be careful as your fishing rod has its own HP bar that depletes when you mash X, if that HP reaches 0 then the line will snap and you’ll lose your fish!
As you might expect, the later rods in the game will have more HP than the first rod you get. Early game you’ll have to settle for just catching small fry fish like sardines near the left side of the screen. However if you stick with this minigame long enough and buy the charm rod you’ll become a fishing master in no time!
This is the first example of me picking up a game I have never played before for the sake of this article. So if any of you think fishing minigames have never done any good I am the evidence that they have, they made me play a bunch of new JRPGs.
Ocarina of Time (1998)
Section written by Skeith
That’s right, one of the most famous adventure games of all time has a fishing minigame too. Being one of the first 3D games in general, of course Nintendo wanted some way to show off the power of depth perception by having a section of the game where you must reel something toward you. At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself, otherwise I have no idea why this minigame exists.
This minigame is available once you get to Lake Hylia and can be played as either child or adult Link. After paying the man at the counter 20 Rupees he’ll hand you a fishing rod that will replace your sword. Now we can begin our first 3D fishing minigame!
First we’ll need to cast our line toward some fish. You’ll see plenty of fish swimming in the pond and you can even focus on them via Z-targeting, however casting your line while Z-targeting isn’t an instant victory as how far your line goes is set. So try backing up or moving forward a few feet so your line will actually land on this fish.
If your line lands close enough to a fish it will quickly jump at it and bite. Once it does you need to quickly press the A button and hold your control stick downward in order to set your Hook. Once you have all you need to do is keep holding in the A button to reel while holding your analog stick toward Link.
Once the fish has approached your young hero you will be told how much it weighs. This weight is the important part of the whole fishing process because your reward is dependent on it. If you are capable of fishing up something that weighs more than 10 pounds as a child then you will be gifted a piece of heart. Likewise if you are capable of catching a 15 pound fish as adult Link you’ll receive a scale that can be used to get another piece of heart. Why are there extra steps as an adult? I dunno.
Aside from the fish that give rewards you can earn personal pride by trying to catch the legendary Hylian Loach somewhere in the pond, a task so meaningful that it is remembered for generations and referenced in future Zelda games such as Twilight Princess.
All in all, a good start for fishing minigames in the 3D era of gaming.
Pokémon (Main Series) (1998)
Section written by Victiny
Fishing Rods. Fishing Rods, Fishing Rods, Fishing Rods. The most wonderful constant in the majority of the Pokemon franchise. Long predating the discourse of “a badly textured environment” or “half the Pokedex shoved off to god knows where” there was the secret fourth starter Pokemon. In the 90’s it was believed you could only sign your life away to four options: Charmander, Squirtle, Bulnosor or if you were rich and bought the enhanced edition, Pikachu. But there is another way. Though it starts as a lowly but mighty Old Rod, which can only be used to catch Magikarps (a necessary evil) it defies the odds and transitions into the stronger Good Rod, which can mind-blowingly catch Magikarps AND Goldeen. Then comes the Super Rod. The baddest of the Rods in the franchise, all eyes stop when she enters the room. That magnetic charisma can even catch you something as incredible as a Dratini if you’re supremely blessed in Generation 1. With regions being mostly occupied by water to begin with. The idea of using a key item that gets progressively better as you play to catch new members of your team sounds heavenly.
This is all without discussing how fishing in Pokémon works to begin with. Each rod you receive can be cast so long as the player character is standing in front of a body of water. You’ll then see one of two things. An ‘But nothing was caught!’ indicated that this fishing attempt was a failure, while a ‘!’ above the players head means it’s go time. Pressing A once you see this feedback initiates the encounter, and from there it’s battling as normal.
Fishing, mechanically, has always worked exactly the same through the franchise, though every odd gen has specific hidden details that sometimes aren’t even seen in normal gameplay. For example, an infamous glitch in Red/Blue allows the player to fish on the statues inside the game’s various gyms, which is due to the game accidentally mapping them as water tiles for whatever reason. In Diamond and Pearl, the player can catch the ephemeral Magikarp as usual with the super rod (as sort of a min roll), but the Karp that spawns has the chance of being between the levels of 1-99! That makes the fish the single highest level Pokemon one can find in the wild. X and Y introduced chain fishing from there, where fishing in a given spot a certain number of times uninterrupted will eventually yield a shiny, though this is a maddening process I can’t say I recommend.
What’s upsetting though is that Scarlet and Violet seem to have cut fishing entirely, as the minigame is entirely absent in those entries. Perhaps this series long convention is gone for good. Fishing, for all of your oddities and stupid sexy rods, you will be sorely missed.
Mario Party 1 (1998)
Section written by Skeith
It was only a matter of time before everyone’s favorite plumber, Luigi, tried his hands at fishing. The Mario Party franchise is known for its huge variety of minigames so it was only natural one of them would involve fishing in some shape or form. Plus this take on fishing is one of the most unique we’ve ever seen.
Instead of catching fish the gang is instead casting out lines with cartoon gloves on them to grab at coins and boxes of treasure. In order to catch these coins players must first use the control stick to select how far they’ll throw their line before casting. The reason for this is that the coins and chests are spread across several rows, with the chests primarily being further in the back where they’re both moving horizontally and harder to catch.
Once you’ve cast your line you must have it land on the coin or chest you wanted in order to reel it in. If you did not land on it do not bother waiting around for it to pass you as there is no other way of catching it! Just reel in your line and try again on your next cast.
Reeling in said line is the worst part of this minigame as it requires you to spin the N64’s control stick around in a circle over and over. While it seems Nintendo wanted people to do this with their fingers, a majority of people of course used the palms of their hands. The N64 control stick is now known to be a jagged health hazard because of Mario Party 1 and this lead to a lawsuit where Nintendo was found liable for injuries and had to issue out gloves to all the children this game injured.
Now, Mario Party 1 actually has several minigames where you need to rotate the analog stick rapidly, however considering this particular minigame lasts a whole minute where you are only giving your palm a break for a few seconds at a time while you recast your line I wouldn’t be surprised if this minigame is particular caused a lot of those injuries.
At the end of this article we’re all going to talk about the best fishing minigames but I think it’s safe to assume this one wins worst by default as nothing else in our list caused people actual harm.
Sonic Adventure 1 (1998)
Section written by Skeith
Here we go baby! It’s time to talk about the absolute king of fishing minigames: Big the Cat! Growing up in the 2000s and experiencing the peak of Big the Cat hatred online and now being an adult during this resurgence where everyone decides they love Big the Cat has been one of the greatest and weirdest experiences as a Sonic fan.
As for me, while I absolutely love Big the Cat as a character and want him to appear in as much media as possible, I don’t really enjoy playing as him. Why? Because I utterly suck at his segments. His levels are really hard and I don’t understand why! This is one of the final sections of the article that I’m actually writing. I have played more fishing minigames this month than most people have in their entire lives, and yet this big cat has bested me because I am just not good at his minigame!
Let’s actually talk about the minigame that I’m really bad at now. Big the Cat has several stages throughout his campaign in Sonic Adventure 1 where you’ll need to fish for his beloved friend Froggy in the various pools of water spread throughout Sonic Adventure 1’s stages. To do this we must first locate him and then press the B button to aim and cast our line as close to him as possible.
After a while Froggy will hopefully bite and the game will begin to play one of the best songs in Sonic Adventure’s entire soundtrack as you begin to reel him in. To reel him in you need to continuously spin your analog stick while mashing the B button. Be careful that you don’t mash it too much though as on your UI you will see a stress meter, if it gets too high your line will snap and you’ll fail to catch Froggy!
After some long, agonizing reeling you will have caught your long lost buddy and complete the stage, free to move on to the next. Of course, Froggy isn’t the only thing you can catch in these stages. There is a plethora of fish you can spend time catching. The game even has several optional missions where you need to catch fish of certain weights to win a medal. I didn’t do those though, I spent a whole paragraph talking about how I suck at fishing in this game you can’t make me!
I want to love playing this part of the game as much as I love Big the Cat but some supernatural force just makes me bad at it. Farewell Big, hopefully there will be another better fishing minigame for you later in this article.
Survival Kids (1999)
Section written by Skeith
It’s always incredibly interesting to learn about a long running franchise that you’ve never heard of before. The Survival Kids by Konami franchise had six entire games and lasted an entire decade. This is a commendable amount of games yet I had never even heard of this series until I began writing this article. Time to find out what this series is all about under the excuse of playing it for a fishing minigame.
At the beginning of the game you are stranded on an island with only a singular goal: Survive. If we’re going to survive then we’re going to need to gather some meat! Sure we could simply kill some frogs or other animals with our knife to get some meat, but I’m here to fish dang it!
A very cool mechanic of Survival Kids is that it requires you to craft your basic survival tools yourself by merging two items you pick up as you travel across the island. For our purposes we’re going to combine a flexible tree branch and a fishing hook in order to create a fishing rod. The game basically railroads you into trying to combine these two items by placing a fishing hook and a branch very close to each other on the same screen. I actually really like this as it encourages you to experiment and merge these items without making it an obtuse combination.
Now that we’ve forged our fishing rod let’s go catch some grub! We can’t just fish anywhere or else we’ll catch nothing. No, we need to find a spot in the river where we can see a fish sprite jumping up and down in the water. Once you’ve cast your line you need to pray to lady luck that you actually catch a fish. It is complete RNG on whether or not you get one as time continues to pass and your character begins to get cold and hungry.
Once you do catch a fish that means we can just eat it and move on, right? Wrong! You can’t eat raw fish you idiot! You need to cook that by first using two sticks to create a fire and then cook the fish. Taking these extra steps probably seems like an annoyance to most people but in my short time playing Survival Kids for this video I absolutely fell in love with the concept.
Out of all the games I started playing for the first time in this article just to study their fishing, this is the game I feel I’m most likely to come back to and actually beat. It’s cute style and obtuse gameplay mechanics are right up my alley!
Animal Crossing (series)
Section written by Lynx
Get prepared here, I have a lot to say. I’ve been fishing in Animal Crossing since I was a tiny baby, like I came out of the womb with a Gamecube and a copy of Animal Crossing GC. It was almost certainly the first time in my life I encountered a fishing mechanic in a game, so I honestly find myself judging a lot of other fishing mechanics in games against it.
Animal Crossing fishing is very simple mechanics-wise, but gets more complicated in practice. All you really do is equip your fishing rod, head over to some water, find the shadow of a fish, and then press A to cast. It takes a bit of practice to get the bobber in the right spot, since you’re supposed to land it in front of the fish’s face so they can see it. This can get surprisingly frustrating sometimes, as the fishing rod casts the same length every time and you just kind of need to stand in the right spot next to the water to get it right. Also, the fish like to move because they’re alive and stuff, so sometimes you’ll land the bobber in the spot where you think the fish will see it once it moves up a little, only for it to turn and swim the opposite way. And then if you’re fishing in the river, you have to walk all the way over to your inconveniently placed bridge to get on the other side because now the fish refuses to look back!
When you finally get your fish to see the bait, it’ll lock on and start nibbling at the bobber. It nibbles up to 5 times, and it’s completely random on which nibble you have to hit A to pull the rod. You have to react quickly once you see the bobber go under and hear a louder glug noise, and then you get the fish! On the contrary, if you press A at any other time while the fish is locked on to your bobber, you will lose the fish. What I find is that having the visual of the fish come up to the bobber messes with my reflexes a little, because I know that a nibble is coming and I have to be prepared to hit A at that moment if the bobber goes under. Then because I focused so much on being ready, I just hit A without thinking and then I lose the fish because it wasn’t the right nibble. I alleviate this problem by closing my eyes and going by sound alone, which helps a lot because then all I have to make my brain do is listen for the glug noise. The downside of this technique comes on the occasion that you cast really close to the fish and then it pulls down the bobber on the first nibble. I really don’t have time to get myself in this position if that happens because then the pull timeslot is immediately after the cast. I’ve straight up gotten jumpscared by that happening more than once.
In Animal Crossing, fishing is made out to be a pretty big deal. You can rack up quite a few Bells selling fish you catch (if you know what fish to look for), which makes them one of your biggest possible sources of income. There is also an event that happens called the Fishing Tourney, where you catch fish and bring them back for special prizes to the host of the event (Chip in GC-New Leaf, C.J. in New Horizons). In New Horizons, also, you can use fish to cook food that you may either eat or use as decorations. Finally there is, of course, the museum, where you can donate different fish species and you’ll see them appear in the aquarium tanks located in the fish exhibit. This, along with the Critterpedia where you log all of the types of fish you’ve caught, gives a big push to catch as many types of fish as you can.
So just how worth it is it to try to get every single fish in an Animal Crossing game? Of course, it depends on which game you’re playing. It might not be so bad doing it in Animal Crossing GC, which has 40 fish variants, however if you’re playing New Horizons, then you’re looking at twice as many fish, 80 to be exact. The first factor to consider isn’t very frustrating: location. There are three different bodies of water you may fish in: ponds, rivers, and the sea. Each fish in the game is only available in one of these, (i.e., clownfish can only be caught in the sea, koi in the pond, etc). You can also gauge what type of fish you might get based on how big the fish’s shadow is (some even have a fin sticking up to tell you it might be some type of shark). However, to make it a more painful task, certain fish are only around during certain times of the real-time day and during certain seasons of the real-time year. If that sounds horrible, it kind of is, but what you can do to save time is to mess with the game’s internal clock. This allows you to time-travel to other seasons/times of day, though that comes with risks that vary depending on the franchise installment you’re playing. For instance, if you jump a few months in the future in Animal Crossing GC or City Folk, you may end up with a letter in your mailbox from one of your villagers saying they’ve moved away (unfortunately speaking from experience here). So if you don’t want to screw with that at all, you’re looking at a year-long process. A few fish only appear during certain weather conditions, as well, and there is no way to predict the weather in the game, so good luck trying to get that coelacanth.
In addition, the rare fish in Animal Crossing are, well, rare. I don’t have much experience trying to get them in the older games as I didn’t really try for them back then, but it’s definitely got to be annoying, because the fish don’t respawn in the same spot after catching them. They’re spread out in the bodies of water and will only come back to that spot once a certain number of fish have either been caught or scared off elsewhere. So it’s a lot of moving around, going all the way to your bridge to cross the river, etc. Doing this for a while gets quite grindy and is kind of the reason I didn’t try for rare fish in the earlier installments.
New Horizons is different though, because you have an extra tool up your sleeve: fish bait. If you throw the bait into water, a fish will appear, guaranteed. This makes getting rare fish so much easier because you can craft a bunch of them and just keep trying, and it’s very useful for certain fish that only appear AROUND THE PIER on your island. I’m not even sure it’s possible to get those fish without the bait, since I don’t see them appear on their own. The big problem with the fish bait, though, is that it’s a huge pain to craft. One fish bait requires one manila clam, which you can dig up on the beach where these little spurts of water happen in the sand. This takes a minute on its own to get a certain amount, and then crafting them in bulk sucks because New Horizons doesn’t have bulk crafting! So making these things is just mashing the A button for like 5 minutes. On top of that, the clams don’t stack in your inventory and you can’t put them in storage, so they fill up your inventory really quickly. It’s all a big pain, really, I remember going through like 70 or so bags of bait just to catch a single stringfish.
Even if you aren’t looking for rare fish and you just need some money, you’re still not going to have a particularly pleasant experience. You can catch literal garbage that the Nooklings will tell you all they can do is dispose of it for you (in Animal Crossing GC you had to take it to the dump yourself). At least in New Horizons they have value as crafting materials, but they’re still rarely what you want to see. Also, the titular sea bass that you’ve probably heard so much about? Yes, it’s really that annoying. Sea bass are, one, in the sea where all the big bucks fish are, two, have a large shadow the same size as several said big bucks fish, three, are worth barely anything, and four, are very common and sit their fat fish asses down in your town/island’s waters all day, every day, every season, 365 days a year. I. Hate. Sea bass.
I still feel an inclination to complete the fish Critterpedia (as well as the bugs and sea creatures), but I don’t think it’s going to happen. There’s a lot of complicated factors that you have to work around, which isn’t the worst thing ever for a game like Animal Crossing that you’re supposed to play long term. I’ve had fun with it, and the satisfaction you get when you finally get that rare fish and immediately hand it to Blathers at the museum is unmatched, but it’s still frustrating sometimes, and frankly I’m too lazy and/or busy to actually put the effort I could into it. If I’m just trying to get fish to sell, though, it’s a pretty mellow and easy system to get good at, and despite the sea bass, I still enjoy it even after all these years of playing the series.
Pokemon (Spin Offs)
Section written by Victiny
Pokemon fishing is not simply bound to the main series though. Released on mobile devices in 2017, Magikarp Jump is a cute little high school based game where you raise the titular fish to become an unstoppable killing machine via lighthearted tap-based minigames. When a given Magikarp is retired though, you’re tasked with scrounging up a new one; which is as simple as casting an unspecified rod and fishing one out (the color of the magikarp is completely random as well, it could even be its gold shiny coloration). From there you enter your desired catch and the vicious cycle begins anew. It’s a low stakes, highly entertaining, fun mobile game.
Now, in turn what’s absolute life or death, and I mean a game of undeniably colossal magnitude, is called PokePark: Fishing Rally DS. A name spoken on the cusps of the wind, rumored that its mere presence would melt the fact of anyone gazing directly at it, Indiana Jones style. Back in 2005, Japanese theme parks had a number of these gaming kiosks that were both showing off the brand-new Nintendo DS hardware and software. One of the chosen games was a fishing minigame that took advantage of the hardware’s new capability for 3-D models (this was before Diamond and Pearl, so Pokemon on the console was scarce). titled PokePark: Fishing Rally DS, the game was beautiful in its simplicity. You cast a rod from a first-person view, catch a preset pool of various water types, and weigh them with the goal to catch the largest Pokemon possible. That was it. No discourse, no online drama. The perfect video game. Nintendo’s Sistine Chapel. But man can only hold the fire of the gods blessed by Atlas for so long, for after the user downloaded the game, an in-game timer dictated that after 12 hours the game would auto delete itself from their library. As is such, the game has never been recovered in its original state and it is considered truly lost media. Humanity may never advance without something as ambrosial as PokePark: Fishing Rally DS existing on the same planet with us. Until the day a ROM is uncovered (no doubt in the basement of Gamefreaks personal vault) we are left wandering the globe like Sisyphus performing a menial task with no relief in sight. Forever.
Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life (2003)
Section written by Skeith
I don’t know why I have to say this to all of you, but farming games are and have always been a pretty popular niche in Japanese gaming. Despite this being a fact for several decades of gaming every time there’s a Nintendo Direct you will see at least twelve YouTubers who only play 1st Party Nintendo games make videos about how there shouldn’t be so many farming games.
With that said let’s look at one of the most iconic farming games of all time, Harvest: Moon A Wonderful Life. This game is part of the famous Story of Seasons franchise, a franchise that’s name change is a very complicated and messy situation that I do not understand fully.
This is another example of a game I began to play through for the first time for the purpose of this article and I am willing to admit that I was instantly intimidated by the game basically having no tutorials at all. However through perseverance and a wee bit of checking old Gamefaqs guides I was able to get through a single harvest and grow some scrumptious tomatoes!
Of course we aren’t here to talk about my tomatoes, we’re here to talk about fishing! On the eight of each month in the game a business man named Van will set up shop in town. One of Van’s wares will be a fishing rod which can be used to fish in the town’s rivers. Unlike a majority of modern games I’ve played where your lure will stay in place even if you throw it into a raging river, the light stream of A Wonderful Life will push your lure down the river slowly. This is a really nice touch that I wasn’t expecting in a game this old.
Fishing can be done at any time but keep in mind that time doesn’t slow down at all while you’re waiting for a fish. Speaking of waiting, it can take quite a while for fish to bite. While waiting for a fish to bite you may get a few fake outs as your lure bobs up and down but don’t press X just yet, you’re waiting for a real bite not a nibble. A real bite will happen when your controller rumbles and there’s various splash effects on your lure. Once you see those press X and get ready to reel that sucker in! Like every other fishing minigame I have talked about so far you must mash your X button to lure in the fish. They won’t fight back too much so just relax and bring it in.
What can fish be used for in this game? Well, basically anything that your crops can also be used for! You can cook them into soup, you can give them to people as gifts, and of course you sell them to Van for cash! There are ten types of fish in the game, each worth a different amount of cash. Now while fish make significantly less profit than crops, it all balances out because you can catch fish much faster than you can grow tomatoes. So whenever you’re not doing anything important, sit down and catch some fish!
We’re going to be talking about a multitude of farming games in this article, and I haven’t played any of them before writing this. However, I am willing to bet that fishing being used as a secondary but lesser profit method is going to become a trend of this genre as we move forward.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky (2004)
Section written by Skeith
Alright, here we go! When I asked Twitter and Discord to tell me about fishing minigames, almost every reply mentioned Kiseki in some shape or form. The fishing in this franchise has clearly touched people’s hearts in a way no other fishing mechanic has. Heck, the funniest video on Youtube is about fishing in Kiseki so that must mean something So let’s travel back in time to the very first Kiseki game, Trails in the Sky, and examine how fishing began in this franchise.
My journey to unlock fishing in this game was significantly more perilous than you’d assume. Because there’s a chance I may play the Kiseki franchise myself some day, I wanted to get through this as fast as possible without getting too sucked into the game just yet. As such I ran past nearly every enemy I could and closed my eyes as I mashed through each cutscenes because I assumed it wouldn’t take long to get to the end of the game’s first chapter.
Little did I know because I did that I would have an extremely hard time fighting through several dungeons extremely underleveled and barely beat the three bosses in the chapter before I finally made it to the Valleria Shore and unlocked fishing.
Alright now let’s go down to the shore, select our bait, select from three choices where to cast our line, and then select from three choices how to reel…wait a minute. This isn’t a minigame! It’s a series of choices that determine what kind of fish you get. All that work for something I can barely say anything about, but I’ll try my best!
There are eight types of fish you can catch based on your choices. The first of these is of course your bait. You have three types of bait you can select; a lure, live bait, and a fly. Your other fish determining choice is how quickly you reel it in. You can reel immediately, wait a little bit, or wait even longer. I have no idea why that is a determining factor since by that point the fish is already on the line, but it is.
Honestly, I’m a little sad that this is all Trails in the Sky fishing had to offer. Thankfully, it won’t be the only Kiseki fishing minigame that we’ll be covering in this article, so keep reading if you want to see my thoughts on that one!
Section written by Skeith
You know what dogs love? Eating fish. At least I presume anyway, I would never give any of my precious fish away to another living being. Capcom however is much more gracious than me as they included a fishing minigame in their cult classic Okami.
At various points in the game Amaterasu can interact with fishermen who will ask for assistance catching fish. To begin we must simply draw a line from their fishing rod to the fish. Wait a second. These fishermen didn’t even bring lines with them? What were they planning to do if we didn’t show up to help them?!
Anyway, once we’ve drawn the line it’s time to reel in the fish. To reel you must hold your analog stick in the direction opposite of where the fish is currently swimming. Doing so will raise a line on a meter. If the line is below the green the fish will begin to distance itself from you, if it’s in the green the fish will be reeled in closer, and if the line goes into the red your fisherman friend will begin to lose health. If he loses too much health your entire fishing session will end.
Once a fish has been reeled close enough to shore it will jump out of the water in a last second ditch attempt. When it does this you need to quickly pull out your paint brush and slice at it. If done successfully you’ll damage it and have caught a delicious fish.
Unlike a lot of fishing minigames, the one in Okami doesn’t encourage being precise or using specific kinds of bait to catch better fish but rather encourages repetition and spending a long amount of time in the same fishing spot. The reason for this is that the more fish you catch the larger the fish that you can see in the pond become.
As the fish become larger they of course become harder to catch. This applies to reeling them in, which can take a very long amount of time with larger fish as they will constantly change the direction they’re swimming in, as well as the final paint brush slash as the larger fish will survive a single slash and require you to reel them in again until you slash them up to three times.
Okami may wear its Zelda influences on its sleeves, but I honestly think this is a better fishing minigame than anything Zelda has ever done. Very few games are capable of combining their main mechanics with their minigames, and yet here is Okami doing so effortlessly by incorporating the paint brush into fishing twice, automatically giving it points for when I discuss the best fishing minigames at the end of this article.
My Sims DS (2007)
Section written by Skeith
It was only a matter of time before we covered an EA developed fishing minigame in this article. EA may be evil but one thing they excel at is copying the idea of others. Speaking of copying idea, we’ve got MySims!
MySims was EA’s attempt to make an Animal Crossing style franchise using the Sims title. The premise of the original game was that you would be a new neighbor in a small town who would make friends with all the residents by talking to them or playing minigames. While the franchise has become the subject of ridicule over the past few years I won’t lie about how I really enjoyed the original Wii game when I was a child.
Today however I shall not be looking at the Wii version from my childhood but rather the DS version I never played. Why? Because it’s a lot easier for me to get a screenshot of a DS game than a Wii game. Also because based on all the replies I got on Discord and Twitter it seems that more of my audience played this version anyway, so it all works out.
To fish in this game we must first complete the tutorial and then walk on over to the west side of town to speak with Mr. Joseph the Fisherman. He’ll hand us a rod and send us out to fish in the river beside town. To begin fishing we must stand by the river and then press the R button on the DS.
When on the fishing screen you’ll see a bunch of fish swimming around in the water below you. Let’s start things off by tapping the screen and casting our line. Once the line is cast don’t bother waiting around as the fish will never bite it. No, instead you must use your stylus to move your lure around in circles. As you do this at least some fish will become pleased with it and swim on over for a bite.
Once a fish eventually likes your spinning enough to bite your lure it will sink underwater, once it does all you need to do is double tap on your lure and you’ll yank that fish right out of the water!
Fish in this game can of course be sold for a profit which can be used to buy furniture, clothes, and of course flowers. Of the minigames in MySims DS which can get you a profit it’s by far the easiest to grind as there isn’t a fail state so if you really want that frog plush for your cabin go on down to the river and fish to your heart’s content!
Overall, it’s an okay fishing minigame. We’re covering a lot of DS games in a row right now, and they’re all trying their hardest to take advantage of the touch screen. Spinning your lure with the stylus is certainly a unique way of doing it, so it gets points for that in my book.
Wii Play (2007)
Section written by Lynx
I have a weird nostalgia for Wii Play, it was the party game that I used to play with my family when we didn’t feel like playing Wii Sports. For those who don’t know, Wii Play consists of several minigames that amount to about 5 minutes a round (though some you can play for quite a while as long as you don’t lose). One of these minigames is, you guessed it, fishing.
Obviously, Wii Play fishing is quite different from other fishing minigames on this list. It’s a competition rather than something to further your progress in the game somehow; the only point of doing it is to beat your friend or your own high score, or to get the Platinum metal that you can earn for each of the minigames if you get enough points in a round. How it works is you are put on a time limit, and every fish you catch earns you points. The number of points per type of fish depends on how rarely the fish appears/how hard it is to catch. The points you have when the time runs out is your score, and in the case of 2 players, the player with the most points at the end of the time limit wins.
While playing this game, your Wii Remote is your fishing rod, and you basically just lower the remote so that the hook enters the water. You want to move your hook gently in front of the fish, otherwise it’ll get scared and begin swimming in circles around the pond like crazy, making it uncatchable for a moment or so. If you do it right, it’ll begin nibbling, and when it grabs on and starts swimming away with your hook, that’s when you’ll want to hoist your Wii Remote up to catch the fish.
The key to getting a high score is to not waste your time on fish that are worth less points if there are better fish around (In 2-player mode, this becomes a competition). For instance, when the King of the Pond, a fish worth a whopping 330 points, shows up, it’s imperative you shift your attention there. You can also earn double points on a fish if it’s currently a bonus points fish, indicated at the top of the screen. The bonus points fish changes every 15 seconds or so, it’s important to pay attention to that. Lastly, the only fish you don’t want to catch here is the Small Fry. Getting this fish actually deducts 50 points from your score. Why? No clue, I guess he just sucks. If he latches onto your hook by accident, you can just refrain from yanking the remote and wait for him to fall off.
Fishing is not the worst minigame in Wii Play (I’m looking at you, Billiards), but it’s not exactly amazing. By virtue of being a motion controlled minigame where you need to be fairly precise, it can get annoying trying to get the hook where it needs to go. There’s also the fact that there’s only so far your rod can go back in the pond, so if the fish you want is facing the wrong way, then you just can’t catch it. It’s not overly frustrating as a whole, but it’s definitely not something I would do for fun at this point. I like the music, though.
Magician’s Quest: Mysterious Times (2008)
Section written by Skeith
Not only am I covering two DS games in a row but I’m also covering two Animal Crossing clones in a row! This is also the second Konami game that I had plain never heard of in this list so this game is all about being a number two for me.
I don’t mean that as an insult though, I absolutely love running into games I’ve never heard of before and this game was immediately charming. Maybe it’s because I just got done covering a much worse Animal Crossing clone but everything here from the character designs to the models themselves just felt like a perfect imitation of the game they’re obviously mimicking.
To fish we must first turn our magic wand into a fishing rod by pressing our R button a few times to cycle through transformations. Once we’ve got a rod in hand we can run over to any body of water and cast our line. Of course you even though you can cast it anywhere you should make sure there’s actually fish in the water first. If you don’t see any ripples you aren’t going to catch a dang thing in that river!
Interestingly enough this is one of few games where your lure will actually float down a river as you wait for the fish. So far in this list the only other game to do that was Harvest Moon. It’s nice to see a small detail like that pop up once every few years.
After you cast your line tap the X button to slowly reel it in, as you do the ripples will swim close to your lure and eventually bite on to it. Now we need to start mashing that X button as fast as we can to bring that fish to shore. Once you’ve worn it down enough your character will automatically yank that fish out of the water and you’ll get your prize.
There are an impressive 64 types of fish you can catch in this game and like in a lot of games we’ve covered, the main purpose of fishing here is to sell them for a profit. Kind of, you can’t sell the fish themselves but instead need to trade them in for valuables which you can then sell. It’s a bizarre middle step that I don’t really see the point of.
The fishing in this game may be incredibly basic compared to some other games but I am glad it’s here because Magician’s Quest seems like a game filled with charm that I would have never discovered if not for this feature. Plus, it’s far from the most morally dubious video game about wizards you could be playing in February 2023, so play this instead of that other game that shall not be mentioned.
Persona 4 (2008)
Section written by Skeith
At the tail end of the Playstation 2 era Atlus finally decided to make the Persona franchise a true JRPG by adding a fishing minigame! This minigame can be accessed at any time from the Inaba’s local floodplains and is a complete pain in the neck!
Now of course we need some bait if we’re going to fish, so head on down to the town’s shrine and catch some bugs! Once you’ve successfully gotten some bugs to attach to your fishing rod the real fun can begin. Once you’ve cast your line you’ll need to wait a few seconds for fish to bite, with your controller vibrating as they swim near it. Once one has bitten press the circle button to begin reeling them in!
The method for reeling fish in Persona 4 is to move your analog stick to the left and right to keep a now yellow line in the center of a meter with varying colors. The fish will constantly fight you by pushing the bar far to the left and right. Try your hardest to keep the bar away from the edges because if it touches the sides your line will break and the fish will get away!
If you’ve successfully held down the circle button to reel fish in without your line breaking you will receive your grand prize: A fish! There are only six fish in Persona 4 and normally in this article we’d complain about this being a small amount, but in this case it ends up being an evil amount because only one fish matters!
See, unlike a lot of later Persona side content they actually tied a social link to fishing. In order to reach 10 with the Fox social link you need to catch the mythical River Guardian. Catching this fish is a complete pain because not only does it require you to use a specific type of bait but it only appears during specific types of weather! To add insult to injury, even if you use the correct bait during the correct weather it’s still a random chance on if you’ll catch the guardian or not!
Keep in mind that fishing in Persona 4 takes time. You can only fish three times during a cycle before time moves on. This is precious time you could be spending doing other things that you have a random chance of completely wasting. This aspect alone makes fishing in Persona 4 a stressful and annoying experience.
“Oh, Skeith, why don’t you just save the game before fishing until you get the guardian?” Because that’s cheating! If I’m going to write an article about all fishing minigames I have played then I’m going to do it with honor! Losing precious time and agonizing over it is how Atlus intended you to go through this minigame. It’s an actual form of torture.
To make things even worse the game’s remake Persona 4 Golden made completing the fox’s social link harder with the addition of a second fishing spot! Now not only do you have to catch a River Guardian but you also need to then travel to the sea and fish out a Sea Guardian. This Sea Guardian does not appear unless you’ve already caught the River Guardian but at least catching it is less annoying as there are only three fish available to catch in the sea.
People claim that the Persona franchise is far too easy to have the Shin Megami Tensei name, but with fishing minigames like these I’d say it’s earned that name.
Yakuza 3 (2009)
Section written by Skeith
What is an open world game without a fishing minigame? Yakuza was ahead of the curve here as it was in 2009 with a fishing minigame before it was cool! Of all the minigames in this article this is the one I dreaded talking about the most. Not because fishing is automatically bad in Yakuza, it’s only sometimes bad, but because there is just so damn much to talk about! I don’t think a single minigame has changed as much game by game as fishing has!
Fishing first debuted in Yakuza 3 and despite the beginning of the game showing Kiryu catch a fish with his bare hands like Tarzan himself the actual minigame has you use a regular fishing rod.
Of course in order to fish you must first get some bait. The type of bait here is important as bait affects what range into the sea you can cast your rod. Once you’ve selected your bait you will see some fish on a line in your UI and a bar moving over them. In order to cast your rod you must press X on one of these fish and watch Kiryu throw the line.
And now we come to the fun part: waiting. Any good fisherman knows the importance of patience, just relax and wait a few seconds for the fish to bite your line and once they do press X to reel that baby in!
While reeling fish in you must hold in R1 to drag the fish closer to you but be careful! If you put too much stress on the line it will snap and you’ll completely lose that fish! So every once in a while press L1 to give the fish some slack. After a long and hardy battle with the fish you’ll eventually pull it all the way to shore and get your prize!
Being the first time they had a fishing minigame, RGG only put in eight types of fish. Well, “fish”, one of the things you can catch is a junk umbrella. As someone who platinumed these games in reverse order and dealt with the huge fish lists of later games, this quaint amount is super welcome.
Overall I find fishing in Yakuza 3 to be super relaxing, sure it can be a bit frustrating when you’re trying to catch that legendary tuna and keep pulling out pufferfish but the immaculate vibes of Kiryu relaxing at the beach and enjoying life on Yakuza 3 is just something that cannot be matched. It will take you a while to catch all the fish, but it won’t take up your whole day. Just enjoy the beach and your time in Yakuza 3.
Rune Factory 3 (2009)
Section written by Skeith
While Story of Seasons is easily the biggest farming game franchise out there, there exists another farming game series that’s been growing popular in the west. I am of course talking about Rune Factory. Rune Factory is a franchise that I have never played before writing this article, but I have at least two friends who love it. So I guess I have more hardcore Rune Factory fan friends than Story of Seasons fans. Huh.
Fishing in this game is unlocked relatively early in the tutorial, just wait for a request from Carmen to appear on the request board and she’ll become your fishing master! Learn from her and you’ll be a master of catching in no time.
To fish in this game you must equip your rod and approach any body of water before pressing the B button to cast your line. Once you’ve cast your line you must wait for the silhouettes of fish to come and bite. While the process of waiting for a bite is longer here than in a lot of games we’ve covered so far it happens quick enough that you aren’t expending a large amount of your day trying to catch a single fish.
Once a fish has been attracted to your lure it will begin to nibble at it. Do not press B to lure it in now, you need to wait for an actual bite. Once that bite happens IMMEDIATELY press the B button to yank that fish out of the water and into your hands. The timing on this button press is easily the strictest I’ve encountered since far, if you aren’t immediately on that B button you can kiss that fish goodbye. In the process of grabbing a screenshot for this article I was incapable of getting a screenshot of an actual bite because they happen so fast!
This difficulty in fishing is how the game balances out the actual process of getting fish being fast. Like in the Story of Seasons game we covered earlier, the main purpose of fish in this game is to be sold in order to gain your farm money. In a game where the entire gameplay loop is centered around making money this kind of balance is super important.
Rune Factory 3 boasts an impressive count of thirty fish. Like many things in this game, what fish you can get depends on when you’re fishing. I don’t mean the time of day, but rather the season; Fish that are available in the summer won’t necessarily be available during winter and vice versa. There are also special fish that can be caught by fishing in the desert! You may think catching fish in the sand is incredibly silly and insane, but believe it or that there will be several other minigames in this list that will feature fishing in a desert.
While Rune Factory 3’s fishing is less of a minigame and more of a spontaneous QTE, I still enjoyed examining it and how it differed from the fishing mechanics in gaming’s other major farming franchise.
Deadly Premonition (2010)
Section written by Skeith
Life is beautiful. This article was finally the excuse I needed to actually buy Deadly Premonition and experience its madness. This game is an unforgettable experience that I heavily recommend buying when it’s on sale.
Part of this game’s madness is of course it’s insane fishing minigame. At one point during the game’s story you will be required to play this minigame to fish up some police files but you can actually play it at any time if you just buy the fishing rod first. Said fishing rod can be bought for a fair price of $125 dollars at the inn you start chapter 2 in. What can’t be bought at a fair price though are the worms you will be fishing with. A pack of 6 worms costs $120 dollars. They’re worms! How are they so expensive?!
When entering the minigame itself we once again get a traditional fishing minigame waiting sequence. Just sit around and watch York’s fishing line float around in a way that makes you think the game is breaking until you eventually get a bite.
Once a fish finally bites you are presented with a spinning roulette wheel with images of fish, guns, a present, and a screaming woman where you must press the A button to stop the wheel and claim your prize. What? I have just written about nearly thirty fishing minigames and they all follow the same basic templates of either being button mashers or making you pull your analog stick. Now here comes Deadly Premonition with a completely unique and utterly bizarre minigame that only Swery could dream up!
The actual minigame itself isn’t the only thing that sets this apart from everything else we’ve talked about though. This might be the only fishing minigame in existence where you don’t lose bait unless you’ve actually obtained a fish. If you fish up a piece of junk or a box of bullets you’ll keep the worm you used. This just makes sense because of course the bullets didn’t eat my bait, it’s the type of detail you don’t think about until you actually see a game do something about it.
Another small detail about this minigame that makes it stand out from others in our list is that once you actually catch a fish you don’t just automatically add it to your inventory. Instead you are given an option to actually release it! Agent York is a lot of awful things, but he cares about the ecosystem gosh dang it!
There is nothing like Deadly Premonition in the game industry, and I’m glad to say that extends to its fishing minigame. If this were a more uniform minigame, it would almost feel out of place in this game. Instead, we got something that only this game would do and probably the most unique minigame in our list.
Section written by Skeith
Now please imagine this scenario. You’re on a typical fantasy adventure where nothing will go wrong. Traveling the world with your sparky talking book companion, when suddenly the pain from your daughter’s illness becomes unbearable and you need to give her some pain killers! What is a poor dad to do? Go fishing of course!
In the town of No Map Available Nier and Weiss will come across a beach shore covered in seals where they can spend several days trying to catch a trout for Yonah in one of the most infamous fishing minigames of all time.
Once you cast your line you need to pay very close attention to your fishing pole. Unlike a majority of games on our list there is no quick indicator that a fish has bitten your lure anywhere on the UI. Instead you must pay close attention to the movements of your fishing pole, if a fish pulls the pole a lot that is your indication to press a button and begin to reel the fish in.
Once you’ve begun luring the fish in, you must break down the fish’s health bar by mashing the circle button and holding your analog stick in a certain direction. That last part is the most important as you won’t lower the fish’s health at all if you’re pulling in the wrong direction. The direction you must push the analog stick is determined by what direction Nier’s body is pointed in. Despite the game giving two entire tutorials about this aspect of the minigame many people online don’t seem to understand that that’s what you need to do.
While the main plot of Nier will direct you to play the fishing minigame you actually don’t need to catch any fish for it because if you fail to lure a fish in three times the game will just give you the plot required fish for free. No, instead you’ll be fishing a ton for the game’s various side quests.
There are over ten quests in the game that will require you to catch and deliver the game’s 15 fish types to various NPCs, considering how many games just put fishing in them with no side content other than maybe being able to sell the fish for money it’s a breath of fresh air to see so much story content be tied to a fishing minigame.
There are several fishing spots in this game and although I don’t have much to say about them I would like to note that there is a spot in the desert where you can fish in the sand. This increases the amount of games we’ve covered where you can do that to two.
There are a lot of pretty infamous and somehow we’ll spread claims that the Nier and Drakengard games were intentionally made to be unfun despite the fact that they are very fun and somewhere down the line people decided to drag this minigame into those arguments! This is one of the better fishing minigames in gaming. Don’t drag it into your weird theses!
Section written by Lynx
Minecraft is a game all about living off the land and using resources given to you in the blocky world you’ve been spawned into, so it would be a crime if this game didn’t have fishing. I really don’t have a lot to say on Minecraft fishing – it’s probably one of the easiest and superficial fishing mechanics in video games. You can’t get much simpler than pressing the action button to cast into any river or sea and then just waiting for the bobber to go under and then press it again to get the fish. That’s it, really, nothing else to it. You don’t even have to aim the rod for casting or anything. I’m glad it’s not complicated, though, because Minecraft has so many facets to it in other areas that I’d be frustrated if I had to think about what I’m doing when I’m fishing.
To craft a fishing rod, you only need 3 sticks and 2 strings, which are easily obtainable from punching trees and killing a few spiders. This makes fishing a very easy way to get food quickly, since you can cook and eat the two most common fish (cod and salmon). More importantly, you can also leave them raw and feed them to cats so they’ll become your pets and love you forever. Other than cod and salmon, you can also catch pufferfish, which are used to make water-breathing potions and tropical fish, of which there are an astounding 2,700 varieties! None of the varieties do anything special, and they’re basically all only used to make decorative aquariums, but it’s incredible that so many of these fish were made so that many different aquariums can be created.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (2013)
And here comes the big one. Final Fantasy XIV not only has fishing, but it has an entire fishing job as one of the game’s fieldcraft jobs. Meaning not only can you be a Fisher, but you can lvl that Fisher all the way to lvl 90 like any other job! A lesser writer would just fish a few times, write about that, and then call it a day. Not me, though. I am seeing this through as much as possible and completing the main Fishing quest line all the way to Stormblood. I would go all the way to Endwalker, but I haven’t played enough FFXIV to actually get to Endwalker yet.
Upon starting the Fisher job in Limsa Lominsa you will immediately be shocked at how different this job is from the other gathering fieldcrafts in FFXIV. Most fieldcraft jobs just require you to go to specified gathering spots, cast your skills, and then select what you want to gather in a menu. The Fisher job meanwhile not only lets you fish in literally any pool of water but the actual process of getting fish is different from any other material in the game.
To catch fish you must of course use your Cast spell. Once you’ve cast your line it’s a manner of waiting until an exclamation point appears over your character’s head, once it does quickly cast you Hook spell to pull up that fish! At the start of the Fisher quest line this is all there is to fishing, with the only thing that determines whether or not you catch the fish or it gets away being random chance and maybe your gathering stat. Trust me though when I say things are going to get much more complex as we lvl up.
Our first quest requires us to fish up five Lominsan Anchovies right in the harbor next to the guild. This will come very fast as we currently only have a single type of bait we can attach to our rod. Speaking of bait, Final Fantasy XIV features what may be the largest selection of bait I have ever seen in a video game. There are dozens of bait types for catching various fish in certain locations, with some bait not being usable in some rivers or oceans. Most bait can be bought from various merchants spread throughout the world however there are several types that can only be forged by various other tradecraft jobs such as the Goldsmith.
After completing our first quest we’ll likely be lvl 5 and thus be able to tackle the next one. This quest tasks us with fishing up three Harbor Herrings and even though we’re getting less fish this time it took me significantly longer to fish these up. So long in fact that by the time I caught them all I was lvl 12 and ready to take on my next task: catching a Princess Trout. Unlike the previous two quests we can’t catch this fish in Limsa Lominsa and need to travel out into the world.
From this point on I had to rely on the fantastic Final Fantasy XIV community for assistance. If you look up any fish online you’re likely to find not only the exact area to fish and what bait to use, but also exact coordinates for where to fish! I love this community and thanks to them I caught the princess trout within a few casts.
Unfortunately, because we just caught the princess trout almost immediately, we aren’t a high enough lvl to take on the next fishing quest. That means it’s time to grind! Thankfully, FFXIV features a very fast way to lvl your secondary jobs via levequests. Performing a levequest for one of your fieldcraft jobs will grant you a ton of experience and makes leveling these jobs go from a huge commitment to something that will only take a few days. All fishing related levequests just require you to turn in three of a specific type of fish, so go out there and enjoy your job!
As we lvl up our Fisher job this will be the basic gameplay loop. You do a quest, you get some EXP from doing that quest, and then you do one or two levequests in order to lvl high enough for your next quest. As we lvl up though we slowly gain access to a few skills to make the process of catching fish more complex.
The first of these mechanics is something every good Fisher must learn at some point: Patience. When activating this skill you will fish up larger fish for a short period of time, but you must use more advanced hooking skills to pull the fish out of the water as your normal hooking skill is almost guaranteed to fail in this state.
The next mechanic we’ll learn is almost barbaric in concept: Mooching. If you catch a particularly large fish you can keep it on your line instead of putting it in your inventory. If you do this your next fish is guaranteed to be a rarer one but it’s horrific to imagine. Even worse is that at near lvl 50 you learn double mooching where you keep that second, rarer, fish on the line to catch a third fish! A verified conga line of death!
As if to compensate for making you do this for the late game fishing quests, Final Fantasy XIV joins the ranks of being one of few fishing minigames to involve a release option when catching fish. This both makes you feel good as well as keeps your very limited inventory space open.
Why limit ourselves to fishing in the sea and rivers, though? As you lvl up your Fisher job, your horizons will expand, and the whole world will look like a fishing pond to you! Not only is Final Fantasy XIV yet another game that allows us to fish in the desert, but we can also fish off other impossible locations. It starts out ridiculous enough with us fishing off of cliffs, but soon we unlock the ability to fish in clouds, in volcanoes, and even on the moon itself! An experienced Fisher can fish anywhere! There is no safe place for the fish to hide!
Fishing in Final Fantasy XIV is downright addicting. It’s crazy how much of this game has a perfectly designed gameplay loop that keeps pulling me in. Because of this Final Fantasy XIV’s fishing job is easily one of the best fishing minigames in this article.
Yakuza Ishin (2014)
Section written by Skeith
While the Yakuza games stuck with Yakuza 3’s fishing minigame for a long time, they eventually introduced an entirely new variant of it in Yakuza 5: River fishing! It is a much more simplistic minigame than sea fishing as all you need to do is select your bait, cast your line, and then wait for your lure to sink beneath the water. Once your lure has sunk press X and your character will automatically yank a fish out of the water!
There are several river fishing spots in all four of Yakuza 5’s cities, some making less sense than others as anyone who has ever fished in Kamurocho’s sewer can tell you. Spread across these fishing spots are fourteen different fish that all react to specific types of bait. I find river fishing in Yakuza 5 to be a completely frustrating RNG based experience. There is next to no gameplay here so every time you fish it just feels like you’re rolling the dice on whether or not you get what you want! I spent hours in Sotenbori alone throwing dozens of egg salad sandwiches into the water trying to get a specific fish, it was a real sore spot next to Golf in my Yakuza 5 platinum experience.
Because River Fishing was pretty bad in Yakuza 5, Ishin made the decision to remove…sea…fishing, The minigame they’ve had since Yakuza 3, Huh, okay. In fairness though it seems like RGG did this in order to put their focus on fixing River Fishing.
As you can see from the header image above this style of fishing has been changed drastically. Now you need to aim your rod at shadows of fish in the water and cast it at them. After this the fish will come toward your rod and if they bite it you can instantly yank them out of the water to claim your prize.
The RNG factor of this minigame has been completely removed in Ishin as what type of fish you get is determined by two things: Shadow shape and location. A circular shadow in the top left of the fishing area is guaranteed to be a certain type of fish and a fish of the same shape in the bottom left of the map is guaranteed to be another type of fish. There are some fish that only appear if a specific type of bait is used but it’s easy to keep track of that as there’s only three types of bait and they last for several minutes instead of a singular cast.
River Fishing in Ishin was surprisingly relaxing compared to the previous games, but I’m willing to bet that’s almost entirely because the guide I used to play this game in Japanese included a link to images showing what fish would appear where and thus I didn’t have to deal with the same frustration that other fishing minigames forced me to deal with.
Atelier Shallie (2014)
Section written by Skeith
It took sixteen entries for one of my favorite JRPG franchises to finally incorporate fishing in some form, but here we are with the first Atelier game to have fishing: Atelier Shallie.
Because this game has two protagonists with their own unique skills you can only fish if you started the game as the green haired tomboy Shallotte. Fishing is unlocked very early on in her story and can be performed at any location with a marked fishing sign.
There’s not really a minigame tied to this mechanic as all you really do is walk up to a fishing pond, press the X button, and obtain the fish. It’s basically another way of gathering that has a different animation. However because this is Atelier, a franchise all about gathering, there are a few things we can talk about here.
At the start we can only catch a singular, low quality, fish with our rod. This is because we don’t have any bait. None of the good fish are going to try and bite a hook with nothing on it! We need to go back to the Atelier and craft ourselves up some bait.
One of the best mechanics of Atelier as a whole is how you craft every item you use throughout the game. How good that item is depends entirely on your skill while making it and what items you’re using while doing so. When it comes to fish bait we need to focus on the quality as well as the blue energy bar on the bottom. If we focus on high quality blue materials then we can craft a bait that will get us a lot of high quality fish in no time flat!
Once we’ve gotten our fish, we can, of course, use them to craft other items! That’s the beauty of Atelier. It’s a franchise about alchemy where every single aspect of the game is a step further to crafting better stuff. This creates one of the most satisfying gameplay loops in any JRPG franchise. Fishing is just another method of getting materials to do that, and I welcome it with open arms.
Final Fantasy XV (2016)
Section written by Skeith
We’ve got another Final Fantasy game in the article, folks! With two mainline games in a row releasing with fishing, is it possible that Final Fantasy XVI will keep up this trend? I really hope this article is released before we get an answer to that question!
To fish in Final Fantasy XV you must first drive out to one of the game’s various fishing spots. So take a load off and relax, listen to some classic Final Fantasy music. The fish will wait for you. Once you’ve arrived at your destination you must then select your rod, reel, lure, and line. The only two of these you’ll be switching out often are your lure and line.
Your lure determines what kind of fish you’ll catch as obviously some fish are more likely to bite certain things than others. Your line on the other hand you’ll be switching out because they break after long use. The more you fish with a line the more its HP will lower, once it snaps you’ll need to either switch to a new one or buy another. Different types of lines have different health bars as spider silk is going to snap a lot easier than a line made of baleen.
With all of that out of the way let’s talk about the fishing minigame itself! Amusingly enough once you’ve cast your line the game will portray fish coming closer and biting it in the same way it portrays an enemy encounter approaching. This extends to after the fish bites as the game will play super intense music as you reel it in.
To reel it in you must hold in the R2 button and hold your analog stick in whatever direction the game demands. Occasionally fish will jump out of the water to resist your attempts to catch them, but you can quickly silence this rebellion by passing a quick QTE. Eventually the fish will get close enough to shore and Noctis will pick it up.
Final Fantasy XV features easily the largest variety of fish in this entire article as there are 109 types of fish you can gather in this game! To put that in perspective that’s nearly ten times the amount of fish the average game dev puts in their fishing minigame. In order to catch all the fish in Final Fantasy XV you would have to be a fishing madman, thankfully the protagonist is one.
Yes, Square considered fishing such an integral part of Final Fantasy XV that one of Noctis’ core character traits in every release after XV has been to portray him as obsessed with fishing. Whether it be in a Terra Wars collab or a one off line in Dissidia, Square Enix will never let you forget that he loves fishing.
Noctis loves fishing so much in fact that one of the more sizeable additions to Final Fantasy XV Royal Addition was the ability to drive a boat around and fish on that! A whole new avenue of fishing just for returning and new players. Square even decided to release a VR version of Final Fantasy XV fishing for the Playstation store!
I think it’s safe to say that no JRPG has embraced the idea of fishing nearly as much as Final Fantasy XV has. This game’s devs clearly loved the idea of players spending a long time doing this minigame, and you can’t help but admire them for it.
Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada (2016)
Section written by Skeith
Musou games are all about high paced action and orchestrating a battlefield of thousands. So of course Koei’s Warriors franchise has added fishing several times over its lifespan, it only makes sense. In Spirit of Sanada’s small castle town hub you can perform many activities such as get your fortune told at the shrine, do a little farming, invite other characters over for tea, and of course: go fishing.
Fishing unlocks almost immediately as soon as you’re able to explore your little town. Just go to the harbor where the hook icon is to begin. Once you’ve started the minigame you of course have to select a piece of bait before your character throws the line into the water.
The fishing minigame here is a lot simpler than others we’ve covered or will be covering in the PS4/Xbox One/Switch era of gaming. A bar will appear at the bottom of your screen. Once a fish bites your line the image of a fish will begin to swim along it as part of the bar turns red. To catch the fish you must press the X button on your controller when it passes over the red line. If you succeed you’ll yank that fish right out of the water and claim your prize!
Fish don’t have much purpose for the main musou gameplay of Spirit of Sanada but they can be used as gifts to give to other characters and I believe can also be used to craft medicine to heal yourself, so at least they’re more of a gameplay mechanic than fortunes at the shrine.
Fishing is a fun distraction from the main gameplay of Spirit of Sanada, as are all the activities you can do in your castle town. It’s really astounding to me that as far as I know, no other Musou game has attempted to replicate the gameplay and vibe of these sections (Does Fire Emblem Three Hopes? I haven’t actually played that one) It certainly would have been a better direction for the series than what Dynasty Warriors 9 pulled a few years down the line.
Stardew Valley (2016)
Section written by Lynx
I must confess, I haven’t played Stardew Valley nearly as much as I should have. Everyone tells me to get into it because I’m an Animal Crossing fan, and though the two games are vastly different, I see the point they make. It’s a (mostly) chill game that you can sink a lot of hours into and see your work come to fruition. I just haven’t felt the desire to dedicate a lot of my time to it yet, but I will get there. I have, however, played enough to get a solid grasp of how the fishing in this game works, I believe.
You can start fishing in the game almost immediately, as the game forces you to learn it on your second day of being on the farm. The more you fish, the more your fishing level goes up, the less energy your character consumes, and the farther you can cast your rod, increasing what’s called your Fishing Zone. This is a good thing, as the bigger the Fishing Zone, the more benefits you will reap, including rarer fish, easier attempts at catching, and a lower chance of catching trash. Using better fishing rods as you level up increases rewards as well (in fact, the Iridium Rod may have lures attached to it to have even better chances). You can also try to cast your rod onto bubbles that appear, which will make fish bite faster and simulating a Fishing Zone 1 level above your current zone.
I’m going to be honest, fishing in this game is HARD. Not so much if it’s a common fish that’s easy to catch, but my goodness, I still don’t know what the trick is. In order to fish, you hold and release the action button near water while holding a fishing rod, and you wait for your little character to have an exclamation point appear near their head. Once you press the button again, a gauge appears on the side with a little fish icon that will move up and down along a line. Your job is to press the button as many times as needed to keep a box around the fish so that the meter on the side fills up. This meter will start going down if the box isn’t around the fish. If you fill the meter, you get the fish. If it runs out, you lose the fish. If you manage to never let the box leave the fish, you get a “Perfect” and the fish’s quality increases/you get more EXP. This whole mechanic gets surprisingly difficult sometimes, because there are times the fish icon instantly springs up to a higher spot and you’re left struggling to get the box where it needs to be before the meter starts going down too much. In addition, there’s often a treasure chest popup on a different spot on the meter than you have to hold your box around in order to get, so if you want that, you really have to master ways on how you’re going to catch the fish AND the treasure.
You may sell the fish you catch, but they serve many other purposes as well. You can use them in food recipes, which can be made and consumed for health replenishment. Some of them are gifts that certain characters really like to receive, so you can boost your friendship/romance with them. Finally, some of the fish are required to fill out item logs in the community center, which serve to help restore the place (a major plot point in the game).
The kinds of fish you can catch, like Animal Crossing, depend on the season you’re in. However, unlike Animal Crossing, Stardew Valley doesn’t run on a real-time clock. The days are only about 13 minutes long, and the seasons are 28 of these days long. This makes getting all of the fish a little more realistic than in Animal Crossing, I would say, which is a plus for Stardew Valley. There are 83 varieties of fish, including Legendary fish that can be only caught once per save file and are only in specific locations at a low spawn rate. I think there isn’t as much of a push to catch every fish as there is to catch the ones needed to restore the community center, but it certainly looks like a challenge. A challenge I will not be pursuing, personally.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana (2016)
Section written by Skeith
Picture this dear readers; You’re stranded on a cursed island with twenty other people and are being hunted down by dinosaurs. What is a poor adventurer to do? Go fishing of course! For the first time ever in Ys Adol will pick up a fishing rod himself and catch some good grub.
While you can technically go fishing in any body of water by pressing up on your D-pad you won’t be catching anything other than wood and mucus unless you cast your line at a shadow of a fish in the water. You’ll also require some bait but you’ll probably have piles of over a hundred bait on you if you’re playing the game normally.
Once you’ve cast your line wait until the fish bites and then press the X button to begin reeling that sucker in. The process of reeling fish in has you mash the X button over and over as a gauge begins to fill on the top of the screen. Once that gauge has been filled you’ll have caught the fish. Be careful though as a lot of this game’s fish will fight back against you, in order to combat this the game will display a direction to pull your analog stick in as you mash. This direction will change periodically so pay attention and keep mashing your X button.
Another interesting fact about Ys VIII’s fishing minigame is that some characters have an easier time with it than others. Sahad has spent his whole life fishing so he’s going to have an easier time pulling them in than Laxia who hasn’t fished before in her life. Of course this difference can be combated by simply equipping an accessory to increase a character’s fishing skill. So if you’re willing to do that fish as whoever you please.
Unlike a majority of games we’ve talked about so far, Fishing is actually very important to Ys VIII as one of the castaways in your village requires you to give them every type of fish in order to max out their friendship and get the best ending. There are twenty eight fish in the game and they can all be found at various locations on the island. So make sure you cast your fishing rod every time you see fish during your journey to make the process of getting them all easier.
I really love Ys VIII and IX’s methods of getting the players to 100% them and explore every mechanic to its fullest and VIII’s fishing is included in that. Turning the minigame into a collectathon as part of getting the game’s best ending may be a turn off for a lot of people but I’ve always loved when video games do things like this. Ys VIII is one of my favorite games and I always look forward to fishing whenever I revisit it.
Nier Automata (2017)
Section written by Skeith
2017 saw the release of Nier’s sequel: Nier Automata. Being the sequel to a game with one of the most infamous fishing minigames of all time Nier Automata of course this game needed to include a fishing minigame of its own.
Any time one of your characters is close to a body of water you can hold down the circle button to materialize a chair and begin to fish by throwing your floating pod companion into the water. After waiting a while for a fish to bite your pod you will need to mash the X button to reel them in. After a few moments you will have obtained your fish with no issue at all.
Yeah, the fishing in this game is a lot more simple than in the original Nier. Disappointingly so I’d say as the minigame itself wasn’t the only thing simplified about fishing. No longer will you be running around and between several towns to deliver fish to civilians for sidequests and get small bits of character development. Now fishing exists just to fill out a fishing log and to obtain a few items for gameplay.
Said gameplay items of course make fishing completely worthwhile. Not only can you obtain the classic pipe weapon by fishing in a sewer, but you can also obtain a third pod companion if you fish in the ocean!
Honestly I think this change to fishing perfectly sums up the difference between Nier and Nier Automata. While the original Nier was a slow paced game that took its time developing its world and characters, Nier Automata is a much more fast paced adventure that focuses on gameplay set pieces and puts its world and characters to the side. Having side quests where you’re fishing would have been seen as too much of a pace killer for Platinum Games.
I don’t really know how to close off this section after typing something as pretentious as that, so I’ll just say I preferred the original Nier’s fishing and move on. Oh, and the joke ending where your character instantly dies if you eat a mackerel is hilarious.
Tokyo Xanadu eX+ (2017)
Section written by Skeith
Here’s an odd one. A game that rips its fishing minigame from another game entirely. If you visit the arcade on Tokyo Xanadu you will see a machine where you can fish as “Demon Prince Rean” and be transported to what is apparently the fishing minigame from Trail of Cold Steel, a game I have never played. Thank God I haven’t though, because that allows us to put this game on the list instead and increase the variety of games we’re talking about.
To fish we must first buy coins from the arcade. The machine has three available fishing spots for us and each of them cost a different amount of coins per fishing attempt. With the first spot costing only 10 coins per cast, the second 100, and the third a whopping 1000 coins every time.
Once you’ve cast your line, wait only a few moments for a fish to bite and then press the buttons the game prompts you to and reel the fish in. There is a time limit when pressing these buttons but it’s extremely generous so don’t panic as pressing the wrong button will snap your line and waste your coins. After a few button presses you’ll have caught the fish and make away with your prize. While the process of catching fish themselves is extremely quick, the real depth of this minigame comes from the types of fish and what they’re worth.
At any point in the minigame you can see all available fish in the pond and their catch rates at the bottom of the screen. These fish are separated into four separate columns. The far left column has the most common fish that are worthless, catching one of these will make you take a net loss on the coins you spent to fish in the first place. The column to the right of it has slightly less common fish, catching these will either make you break even or make a miniscule profit. To the right of that column is some rare fish that will give you a great profit. Finally on the far right column is the big one, a fish that will give you over ten times the amount of coins it cost to cast your line!
Looking at the image above with the catch rates of every fish you’re probably thinking that it isn’t even worth playing this minigame as you at best will break even with these catch rates, and you’d be right. Well, at first anyway, as this minigame has a special trick. Every time you catch a fish the catch rates of all fish in that column will lower by half a percent and the catch rates of the two columns to the right will increase.
So while you’re going to be wasting your first few casts catching common fish over and over. Before long those common fish are going to become extremely rare to catch as you begin pulling in fish from the other columns. If you keep at it long enough then eventually you’ll raise the catch rate of the big one enough to rank in the maximum profit.
This addition of what is basically gambling makes this fishing minigame one of the most addicting ones I have ever played as I couldn’t help but grind coins in the second and first fishing ponds in order to have enough to make a true sizable attempt at the pond and its jackpot. Making this one of the most enjoyable fishing minigames I have played. Good job, Tokyo Xanadu. Er, I guess good job Trails of Cold Steel.
Revue Starlight: Re LIVE (2018)
Section written by Skeith
It’s impressive how there are a multitude of mobile gacha games in this article, some of which I had never even heard of before. Thankfully I had heard of this one as it had a Sakura Wars collab a while back. So let’s finally dive into the world of Revue Starlight and experience this game’s fishing!
Right off the bat, I have to give Revue Starlight credit for how fast the fishing unlocks. With the other gacha games being covered in this article I had to play for nearly an entire day just to unlock fishing. Here fishing is available immediately after the tutorial. It’s right there on the home screen too so you can access it immediately every time you boot up the game.
You’ll be taking control of the elegant Claudine Saijo as she attempts to catch as many fish as possible. The minigame begins immediately with a fish swimming back and forth on a bar with red and green sections.
In order to catch the fish you must tap your screen whenever it’s swimming past one of the green sections to tap away some of its health. The amount of times you’ll need to tap a fish is determined by its size. 1M = 1HP. Once you’ve tapped the fish enough times you’ll catch it and move on to the next fish, which will likely be swimming faster than the previous one. If you tap the screen at all while the fish is swimming in the red you will fail and the minigame will end immediately.
As you tap you’ll notice little bottles on the bar that will fill up a meter on the left side of your screen if you manage to tap the screen as the fish is swimming over the bottle. Once this meter fills up you will enter a fever time where the size of the fish will increase but so will the difficulty of the minigame as the green area of the bar will decrease and may even have gaps in it!
This minigame is downright addicting. I spent over thirty minutes playing it for this article trying to see if I could catch 5 fish in a row without failing. I couldn’t but I assure you I got close. All in all, a fantastic minigame from the Revue Starlight team.
Dynasty Warriors 9 (2018)
Section written by Skeith
I absolutely hate Dynasty Warriors 9 and its implementation of Open World mechanics. I think an open world Dynasty Warriors game could have worked but the way they attempted to do it was completely misguided. One of this world’s biggest flaws was how the actual Dynasty Warriors gameplay and story of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms was almost completely separate both spatially and tonally from the open world mechanics such as cities, hunting, and of course fishing.
To fish you must first obtain some bait from any town and equip it to one of your five item slots. There are several types of bait that will determine what kind of fish you can get but don’t expect anything fancy like fish types. This will just affect that chance of getting a normal fish or a “quality fish”.
Once you’ve equipped your bait, move to any pool of water in the game’s world and press up on the D-pad to begin fishing. After waiting a minute for a fish to bite you must then begin to mash the square button to pull it in. The entire process is visually bland as not only do you not see fish in the water but your character is completely static the whole time. Even when you’re mashing the square button to reel the fish in they’re standing still as a rock. The only animation in this entire minigame is when they pull the actual rod out of the water.
After mashing the square button long enough you will pull your rod out of the water and obtain your prize; up to ten fish you’ll obtain one by one as the game plays the exact same fanfare that the game plays when you defeat an enemy officer for each individual fish you’ve caught.
If it isn’t clear already I’m not a fan of this fishing minigame. Not only is it extremely bland and feels like a last minute addition, but it’s also completely pointless. I cannot think of a single use that fish actually have in Dynasty Warriors 9 and I platinumed the dang game. Now to uninstall the game again and pray that one of my favorite franchises has a better tenth entry.
Section written by Lynx
This is what you want in your roguelites, right? I mean, what’s a journey through the depths of hell without a little fishing? Once you reach the Temple of Styx for the first time (the fourth level of the game), and you have bought the Fated List of Minor Prophecies (a glorified title for a set of tasks you can do for rewards), you can purchase a fishing rod by throwing a diamond at the House Contractor in Hades’ house.
Fishing in this game is not that complicated, which is a blessing since the game is already as hard as it is (I seriously feel like I’ll never beat it). When you clear a room, you’ll hear a ding alerting you to the fact that there’s a place you can stop and fish if you would like. The fishing spots are indicated as little sparkles in the water or lava (yes, lava), and all you have to do is press the action button to cast the line there. You then wait for the bobber to submerge, and you press the button again. Be quick, because the game actually counts how fast you reacted as a factor in your likelihood of catching rare fish, down to the millisecond. 0-340 ms guarantees a rare fish with a 50% chance of legendary, 340-680 ms guarantees a common fish with a 50% chance of rare, and over 680 ms results in losing the fish. Fishing spots only occur every 10 rooms or so normally, but you can receive a boon from Poseidon called Huge Catch, which increases the chance of a fishing spot spawning as well as eliminates the requirement of needing to pass through a set number of rooms before another fishing spot has a chance of spawning.
Each area in the game has one common, one rare, and one legendary fish possible to catch, for a total of 18 fish types. The higher the quality of the fish, the better the reward the head chef in Hades’ house will give you for bringing him good seafood to cook with. These rewards are generally items you can use to buff Zagreus’ abilities or unlock new weapons. It’s just a simple way to advance your game progress a little further, really, since beating the game relies on you beefing yourself up.
Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018)
Section written by Skeith
Of course Red Dead Redemption 2 has fishing. It’s the ultimate open world cowboy experience and as such we need to include every single way an outlaw can possibly get a meal. Hunting and fishing are major parts of Red Dead 2 and today I’m going to talk a lot about the fishing.
Now both Google and your friends will tell you that fishing unlocks mid-way through the game’s second chapter and you’ll foolishly believe that you won’t need to play a lot to unlock it. Then as you play through the game you’ll start realizing it’s taking a lot longer than you anticipated to get the first fishing mission and before you know it your playtime has hit the 20 hour mark! That’s a shared experience we’ve all had, right? Not just me?
Anyway, the minigame itself. When you walk up to a body of water you must select your fishing rod from your weapon wheel. If you think selecting the rod from your Rockstar Games signature weapon wheel is weird, just wait till you have to select bait from an identical wheel known as the bait wheel! Selecting a piece of cheese the same way you normally select a machine gun in this studio’s games is extremely disorienting and a bit hilarious.
After selecting our bait we need to grip our rod with the L2 button, take aim, and then cast our line with the R2 button. After our line is cast we must wait a very long time for our controller to vibrate, indicating that a fish has bit, and then press R2 again.
Like pretty much every game we’ve talked about until now, it’s time to begin reeling it in. To reel you must spin your right analog stick in a circle rapidly Mario Party 1 style. However, unlike Mario Party, I think it’s actually impossible to use your palm to do this because you still need to keep your hand on the L2 button. I guess you can place your controller on your table and do it that way? Just use your fingers like the devs want you too!
Anyway, after reeling the line close to shore you’ll get your nice fishy prize. Red Dead Redemption 2 only features 15 types of fish but they have plenty of uses for the average outlaw. You can cook them by any fire you set up to regenerate your health, you can sell them at markets, and you can even donate them to your camp to make a small profit.
While fishing is a counterpart to hunting that serves the same purpose, I actually prefer it to hunting. Maybe it’s the stockholm syndrome I’m suffering from playing dozens upon dozens of fishing minigames in a row but I find the nice, instant satisfaction of fishing preferable to the long process of tracking down animals and shooting them with arrows.
Fishing in Red Dead Remote 2 is a nice quick process that’s also very relaxing as you watch the game’s beautiful streams flow and the sun pass over the horizon. Red Dead 2 is a game all about enjoying the small details and the little things in life and what could embody that more than a good fishing minigame?
Sea of Thieves (2018)
Section written by Lynx
You would NEVER expect there to be fishing in a game about pirates. There would NEVER be anywhere you could fish, finding a body of water would be IMPOSSIBLE. Okay, I’ll stop being silly now, obviously it’s not even a question as to if fishing is included in Sea of Thieves. Everyone has a fishing rod from the get-go when you start a new crew, so you can immediately do the only thing worth ever doing in video games right away.
In my limited experience playing this game, I struggled to learn how the hell you reel the fish in. I couldn’t do it! I was pulling the control stick every which way that looked correct and everything! Looking back, however, I think I was having a skill issue or something, because the mechanic here makes a lot of sense and shouldn’t be too hard. Hold and release the action button to cast at different lengths, however distance doesn’t affect your chances of getting a fish at all, so it’s kind of useless to try getting a good way’s out. You should see the fish circling your line, and when it takes the bait and starts pulling the line, pull in the opposite direction with the control stick to tire the fish out. When the fish stops pulling, begin reeling it in, but stop if the fish begins to pull again and begin pulling the rod like before. Repeat this process till you’ve acquired your marine life. Optionally, you can find bait while digging that you can add to your rod to catch types of fish you couldn’t otherwise, such as earthworms, grubs, and leeches.
There’s a surprisingly low variety of fish in Sea of Thieves, only 10, though each has five variants. Catching junk is also a possibility, which I can assure you is far from any treasure you hope to find in the game. You may use the fish you acquire to cook some hearty meals for you and your crew as health replenishment, or you can hand them off to the Hunter’s Call, a trading company that will give you good booty for any fish you catch. You’ll also earn reputation points with the company the more you sell, giving you access to the Killer Whale set of items and customizations for your ship. Fishing is just an integral part of a pirate’s life, I feel, and Sea of Thieves executes the mechanic well enough for this purpose, I think.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses (2019)
Section written by Victiny
Fishing in Three Houses is simple. You cast a rod, have a low chance of nabbing a rare fish via a cutesy rhythm based minigame, and gain professor points that can be used towards strengthening your time at Fodlan’s prestigious Monastery. Fishing is an added plus here, one that grants small bonuses in exchange for mastering a Quick Time Event (Resident Evil 4 and the first Bayonetta prepared me for you). However, I would like to examine something far more insidious that can only be ascertained by reading between the lines. It’s no secret that fishing has all the makings of a gacha game; the “seasonal” rate-ups that give exclusive fish, the pay to win system of buying better and better bait to encourage a strong yield. Even your rod needing consistent upgrades and patches can be directly connected to buying a new phone to run the hottest gacha game of the month.
What I’m saying here is this: Three Houses including fishing, which was previously unknown to the franchise, was influenced in part by the success of Fire Emblem Heroes, a gacha game that debuted the year prior to the game’s launch. Intelligent Systems, as it dawned on them that fishing holds the very same serotonin rush that a banner character pull yields, in turn made Heroes’ pull rate abysmal and its power creep obnoxiously bad to spur players to continue pulling for the “latest and greatest”. The free hit lied in the Three Houses fishing game. Only you don’t pay with money. It was a Waifu Chess coated domino effect that led IS down a dark path. Was it really worth it for a few extra professor points, Byleth?
Shenmue 3 (2019)
Section written by Skeith
In its commitment to realism and making you pay rent to live, Shenmue 3 added a minigame where you can catch fish and sell them for yuan. Of course you’ll need to first rent a rod from the local tackle shop. Unlike a majority of fishing minigames in this article Shenmue 3 also makes you obey a strict time limit of legal fishing hours. You may fish from 10 AM to 6 PM and not a second later, once the time runs out Ryo will automatically return his rod to the store and sell all your fish.
Now for the minigame itself. Like a majority of minigames in this article you’ll simply press the X button to cast your line and wait for a fish to bite. Once one does, you must then begin to rotate your right analog stick in a circle over and over again to reel the fish in because the gaming industry hasn’t learned a thing from the Mario Party incident twenty years ago. Occasionally the fish will try fighting against you and in order to combat it you’ll need to flick your left analog stick in whatever direction is displayed in an on screen QTE.
After a successful reeling you’ll have caught your fish and will immediately be able to cast your line and catch another! The more fish you catch, the more money you make so try to catch as many as you can during the time limit!
There is a wide variety of fishing spots in Shenmue 3, probably the largest in the entire article excluding games where you can fish at any spot of water. While most of these fishing spots are unlocked automatically there are a select few secret fishing spots where you must first complete a side quest to fish at them. These secret fishing spots aren’t much to write home about but some of them are extremely small which means you can quickly reel in your fish.
And quickly reeling in fish will be the key to preserving your sanity if you plan on platinuming Shenmue 3. Some mad man decided to make one of the game’s trophies require you to catch 1,000 fish. I don’t need to tell you this but that is a lot of fish! On average it takes about a minute to catch a single fish so prepare to spend more time in this minigame than in any other part of Shenmue 3.
It took me three entire real-life days to catch 1,000 fish in Shenmue 3. By the end of it, the palm of my hand hurt a lot, and I began to grow a headache from looking at the stupid pond. I will never play this minigame again unless it comes back in Shenmue 4, then I’ll happily catch 1,000 fish again because I am nothing if not a sheep.
DBZ: Kakarot (2020)
Section written by Skeith
In 2020 we were all blessed with a Dragon Ball RPG for the first time in what felt like an eternity. Kakarot received mixed reception on release but has gained a loyal fanbase who appreciates the game for what it is and eagerly await the upcoming DLCs. At least I hope they’re still upcoming by the time I release this article.
Being an open world RPG released after the year 1995 that of course means that Dragon Ball was introduced to its first ever fishing minigame. This honestly makes a lot more sense as a gameplay feature than people think. Goku has always been shown as capable of providing food for himself and his family and is known to be a skilled farmer. So in a game where a lot of the smaller parts of the Dragon Ball world are highlighted it’s only logical to include some sort of mechanic where Goku obtains food.
Of course Goku isn’t patient enough to grab a fishing rod and sit at a pier though. Instead he sticks a prosthetic tail on his pants and sticks it into the water. This is where the minigame begins, the player will always see three fish swimming around in whatever pond you’re fishing in. In order to attract them to you you must wiggle Goku’s tail around with your analog stick. Once a fish has been enticed enough by your wiggling they will come over and bite your tail.
Once a fish has bitten you must pass a QTE where a line will move back and forth along a meter and you must press the button the game demands when the line is over the colored portion of the meter. After passing that QTE, Goku will pull an absolutely gigantic fish out of the water which means your task isn’t done yet! Another QTE will appear where you must press a button when a circular line overlaps with a highlighted circle so Goku will punch the fish and kill it.
After you pass both of these QTEs you will obtain not just one fish, but several in a list. This is a very nice way of handling the RNG that typically comes with fishing minigames while also keeping the fast pace of all of Kakarot’s slice of life elements as the process of catching a specific fish goes by much faster. Interestingly enough if you fail both QTEs in the actual minigame you will still catch some fish, however you will catch much less. So even a failed fishing session doesn’t feel like a waste of time.
Kakarot features a bait system similar to Yakuza Ishin/0’s fishing minigame where you throw in bait before you cast your “line” in order to attract a pool of rarer fish types to pull out. Kakarot makes these rarer fish easy to identify by having them appear golden as opposed to a typical shadow.
Fishing is something the general player of Kakarot will only be required to do once, but there are plenty of side quests that require you to catch certain fish and deliver them to the quest giver. So while you don’t have to fish, I dare you to look Mr. Satan in the face and tell him no. Plus, many of the stat boosting meals you can cook require fish as ingredients, so there’s a benefit to you as well.
Overall, I love Kakarot’s fishing minigame just for the pure novelty of it. Seeing a character who is the pure personification of screaming and fighting like Goku taking a moment to relax and fish in a video game of all things will never get old to me.
Genshin Impact (2020)
Section written by Burner
Oh Genshin Impact how I could write an entire dissertation on how much I hate you but also how much I want to love you, alas, that is for another day today I will fairly judge your fishing mechanics.
In Genshin Impact there are over 28 fish species available and an equal amount of ornamental variants for you to collect across 44 fishing spots in 4 different regions. While this in the grand scheme of things isn’t a lot we do have to keep in mind that the game is still being updated and these numbers will increase as time goes on.
As for the fishing itself, it’s in all honesty just alright, the mechanics are pretty simple, there’s a bar that moves left and right and your objective is to keep your fishing marker in the bar, as you keep your marker in the sweet spot the fishing meter gets filled in once the meters full you get yourself a fish. The minigame itself doesn’t really excite me all that much or get me hyped to go fishing due to its lack of depth. However the mechanics surrounding the minigame have me intrigued.
First off, you can craft various kinds of bait which have an actual effect on fishing since certain fish only respond to certain kinds of bait, second, fishing can also be used for cooking allowing you to turn these fish into useful items, third, you can also exchange these fish for more effective fishing rods and other items, and lastly you can actually display these fish in your teapot as a nice decoration piece!
Guilty Gear Strive (2021)
Section written by Skeith
Guilty Gear Strive is an amazing game with god awful online lobby design. Most of the time I think people who complain about Arc Sys lobbies are just crazy people who hate fun but this is the exception. It’s as clunky as you’d expect and more importantly to me: Ugly.
For some reason though Arc Sys seemed proud enough of this lobby design to allow you to fully customize it and how your character looks in it. How, you may ask? By fishing of course!
After every online or Arcade Mode match in Guilty Gear Strive you will earn a small amount of in-game currency. This currency can then be spent on fishing in the main menu. There is no minigame attached to this, you just watch your online avatar cast their rod and pull up your prize. Said prize ranging from furniture to decorate your online lobby to poses for the game’s strange photo mode.
This is basically a gacha minigame disguised as a fishing minigame. Every once in a while you’ll catch a ‘rare fish’ while playing this minigame. If you catch ten rare fish then your next cast is guaranteed to get you an item you haven’t gotten before! Granted, there must be hundreds of items in this pool so there is no way you’re going to get the one you want anyway but it’s nice to have this for completion purposes.
It costs 200 money for a single cast or 2000 for ten entire casts. This may not sound like a lot but as someone who had to grind a lot of fishing for the game’s platinum trust me, you gain this currency very slowly. Not that any of you will have to worry about that anyway because if you aren’t planning on platinuming this game you’ll probably not mess with this at all because who cares about making your Strive online lobby look slightly more unique?
Cruelty Squad (2021)
Section written by Lynx
Cruelty Squad is one of the most bizarre games I’ve ever had the pleasure of running on my PC. With its grotesque, trippy imagery and graphics, it takes a moment to learn how to not get dizzy looking at it. The game is a satirical commentary on the horrors of capitalism, set in a world where death doesn’t matter if you have money. If you die, you can simply pay for reanimation technology and become biologically augmented! You as the protagonist are a member of the Cruelty Squad, performing grisly assassination missions for your corporation as you rise to a position of capitalistic power.
Unsurprisingly, this game has a stock market. What do you sell there? Well, the organs of the people you kill, but also…fish! Yep, you can catch fish wherever there is water in the levels (or basically any other totally not suspicious liquids that appear to be present in a massive amount upon the earth), and you can buy and sell them as your stock-master self pleases. During the third level of the game, Sin Space Engineering, you can steal the Fiberglass Fishing Rod from a character named Fish Fred who lives in a house on a tiny island, and from then on you can catch all your favorite species of fish to sell on the market, including “Zooper”, “Blurpo”, “Fish”, “Dead Fish”, and “Mistake”. Only the most exotic varieties.
The mechanics here are very simple, not that much different from Minecraft. Simply hold down left-click and release to cast while holding the rod, and wait to hit left-click again when you see a splash. After this comes my favorite part of the fishing in this game, where a crappy fish 3D model kind of just approaches you from the water while rotating around the y-axis. You know, like normal video games. All in all, the fishing in Cruelty Squad is just another easy way to further your totally humane capitalist dreams. Aim high, my friends.
Alchemy Stars (2021)
Section written by Skeith
Oh my God, they put fishing in a gacha game. I was expecting to download a wide variety of games for this article but this might just take the cake. I had heard of Alchemy Stars from a few friends before but none of the designs I’ve seen have ever appealed to me. So I guess fishing will be my potential gateway drug into this game.
The lovely thing about starting a gacha game years after release and on New Year’s day is that they’re likely to just dump a ton of stuff on you to help you catch up to other players. Because of that, although the designs that pop up when you Google Alchemy Stars don’t appeal to me at all, I was able to get a full party of Skeith-core character designs by the time I unlocked the fishing minigame.
Does any of that have anything to do with the actual subject of the article? Nope, but I spent like an hour downloading the game and doing a few free gacha rolls for a game I won’t be playing at all after today, so you get to read about my journey!
After about five hours of playtime you’ll finally unlock this game’s simple fishing minigame. Like a majority of games we have covered, it will only take a few seconds for a fish to bite your line. Once you’ve hooked the fish you must hold in the reel button to raise a yellow line on your meter. If you can keep this line in the green area of your meter the fish’s health will begin to decrease, if you can get the fish’s health to 0 you’ll win! Be careful though, if your line is out of the green too long the fish will get away and you’ll need to start over.
There are about eight fish to catch in Alchemy Stars and you may be asking yourself, what is the purpose of this minigame? The answer is none! The fish you catch are purely for decoration and bragging rights. This is a minigame in its purest form with absolutely no effect on the main game.
I suppose that things would need to be this way. When a gacha game’s entire purpose is to needle you and make you feel low on resources constantly having this minigame give any at all has the potential of breaking that weird balance that most gacha games strive for, as such it’s just a weird thing that exists as part of the game.
I am unlikely to ever pick Alchemy Stars up again once I’ve finished writing this, but I do appreciate that a gacha game took the time to put in a neat little mechanic like this. Oh, I suppose Genshin Impact is another game that tried to do this, but that game copies everything, so it feels less special to see fishing there.
Tales of Arise (2021)
Section written by Skeith
Despite being one of the biggest JRPGs in the world it took seventeen games for Tales to finally add a fishing minigame, but here we are with the most recent title fishing our hearts out! It takes a long time to unlock fishing in this game as you won’t be able to do it until Kisara permanently joins your party, but once she does you’ll be fishing for days.
There are many marked fishing ponds in the world, so why don’t we start things off by walking up to one of them and pressing the button prompt. From here we will begin the option to select our rod and bait as well as be able to see a full list of fish available in the pond. Certain lures are needed to catch certain fish so make sure you cross reference which fish your lures can catch with the list of fish in the pond.
After selecting your rod and lure it’s time once again to cast your line. Look for where fish are jumping up and down in the pond and cast your line there. Or if that’s too hard for you, look for the parts of the pond where your aiming reticle turns from blue to orange. After casting our line we must then lure fish to us, this is the main mechanic which makes Tales of Arise fishing stand out from the other JRPGs in our list. Most of the time you just have to wait for a fish but here the process of what you do while waiting is what determines which fish you’ll get.
While waiting you’ll see a bar with fish appear on your UI, to lure them close to you you must press a combination of buttons. For example a Dahnan Bass will be lured to by pressing the X button twice in a row while a Pond Tilapia will be lured in by pressing the X button and then the triangle button. I absolutely love this mechanic as it’s not only unique among fishing minigames but also takes away a good deal of the RNG that typically comes with fishing.
Once we’ve lured the fish in its time to begin reeling them in. To do this we must simply hold our analog stick in the direction opposite of where the fish is swimming, the game will even display arrows so you don’t get confused on the direction. Occasionally the fish will try to jolt away and break your line so to counter this you must pass a QTE and then continue reeling.
After a hard and well fought battle you’ll have caught a task fish. There are 44 fish in this game separated across the game’s 12 ponds. So prepare yourself to travel the entire globe just to fill out your fishing journal. What purpose do fish serve though? Well they’re the world of Dahna’s main economic resource of course! Money can be very scarce at times in Tales Of Arise, so if you’re ever low and need some cash, why not take a moment to fish?
Overall, I think this is one of the best fishing minigames in recent years, if not solely due to the clever way the game has you lure fish in. If Fishing ever returns to the Tales Of franchise, I hope they keep that mechanic in.
Monster Hunter Rise 
Written By Burner
To say Monster Hunter Rise has fishing is kind of the same as saying that the hot meals section of your local gas station is “food”. Like yes, it counts but by a very slim margin, and it’s not very nourishing. Monster Hunter Rise has no minigame or mechanics surrounding it, you don’t need to buy a rod, you don’t need bait, you don’t have to do anything but walk up to a pool of water with fish in it, press A, and aim where you want the rod to cast. Eventually (and by that I mean like less than 10 seconds) a fish will latch onto the rod, once it does just press A and it’s yours, that’s it, that’s how you fish. There’s only 19 fish to catch in base Monster Hunter Rise across 15 different fishing spots divided across 5 areas. Of those fish, 4 of them are in high rank only but thankfully different fishing spots have greater odds based on the area so go nuts hunting for them. As for what you do with the fish themselves, well they act as more efficient versions of already existing items/ act as alternative materials for item crafting. Unfortunately once you reach a certain point in the game fishing just becomes obsolete, but hey, its a decent time waster.
Toontown: Corporate Clash (2022)
Section written by Lynx
I was not a Toontowner when Disney was still hosting the official servers, like many people my age were, so I’m specifically going off of fishing in the currently active recreation of the game, Toontown: Corporate Clash. My gut is telling me there wouldn’t be a difference, but I know there’s some things that have been improved/changed from the original so I really cannot be sure. I haven’t gotten very far into Toontown (I’m addicted to FFXIV at the moment and honestly it is very hard to play two MMOs at once), but dear god I love the fishing in this game. It’s so easy to pick up and it’s such a vibe, every fishing minigame in video games should be like Toontown.
Fishing is a really good way to get Beans, which you can then use to purchase Gags for combat or clothes and furniture.Throughout the game, you can obtain better fishing rods that cost more Beans per cast, but they unlock the ability to catch more valuable species as well. Any fish you catch can be sold to the fisherman Toon that’s usually standing right near the pond. In order to fish, you find the pond in the area you’re in, walk up to one of the docks on the pond, and you automatically pull out your rod. Then to cast, you click and hold while pulling the mouse back, aim at a fish shadow in the water, and let go of the button. Depending how far back you pulled, the line will go farther. There’s no gauge telling you how far your line will go, so you have to develop a sense of how far back you have to pull to get the fish you’re aiming for. This makes it more fun, though, and it’s not a major inconvenience if you miss the spot, as you can cast again within less than a second. It’s really fast paced compared to a lot of fishing minigames, which I think is why I like it so much. I will get cranky if my fishing minigame is really slow, so Toontown fishing is honestly perfect. Bonus points for the silly fish varieties you can catch, such as the Peanut Butter & Jellyfish, Piano Tuna, and the always classic literal “Clown Fish”.
The icing on the cake with this minigame, though, is the Fish Bingo. This is a special event where you can play bingo with the fish you catch, and if you fill out the squares that need to be filled (indicated on the card), you get a fair sum of Beans. The harder it is to get the bingo, the more Beans you get. Your friends can come help you out too and all try for the bingo together, so there’s a layer of multiplayer to it (not surprising for an MMO, but I do think multiplayer fishing is fairly uncommon in games, so that makes it interesting). It’s so entertaining to attempt getting as many of the silly fish that this game has as you can with your friends so you can win the bingo, which I believe gives all of the players the full amount of Beans. It’s so much fun, probably one of my favorite fishing minigames of all time.
Sonic Frontiers (2022)
Section written by Skeith
After Sonic Adventure 1’s less than positive reception to fishing, Sega didn’t even consider putting a fishing minigame in Sonic for over two decades! However in 2022’s Sonic Frontiers we not only had the glorious return of Big the Cat in a mainline Sonic game, but he brought fishing with him!
Fishing in Sonic Frontiers can be done at specific fishing holes that you can find portals to throughout the world. Each island has one fishing portal with the exception of the much larger final island which has two. Big the Cat will provide you with a fishing rod and lure, but in exchange he’ll ask you for purple coins. How many purple coins he’ll ask for per cast varies by fishing spot, with the better fishing spots obviously costing more.
Sonic Frontiers fishing minigame has you cast your rod and almost immediately after hitting the water you’ll get a bite. Once you get a bite a large red ring will appear on the lake’s surface. Then a yellow ring will begin to expand from your rod toward this ring, it is your duty to press the X button when these two rings align so Sonic can yank the fish out of the water. Harder fish may have more rings appear (up to a total of three) thus requiring you to make more correct inputs in order for Sonic to pull the fish out.
The game features a wide variety of fish but unlike a majority of games not only is there a handy in-game fishopedia for you to keep track of them but it’s actually impossible for you to pull duplicate fish from a pond until you have successfully pulled all fish types in that pond! I was anticipating a huge fishing grind to platinum Sonic Frontiers but it will take you less than an hour to catch all the fish in a pond if you’ve collected enough purple coins.
The rewards for fishing in this game are exponential compared to most games. When catching fish you will receive fishing currency from Big that will allow you to buy various items from his shop. While the early game fishing holes will only give you enough currency to buy like a single item per fish, the late game fish give you more fishing currency than you know what to do with!
This shop is not only the best and easily fastest way to lvl up Sonic’s stats but there is also audio logs from Dr. Eggman in here. These audio logs contain a great amount of lore and character development that fans have been craving for for years now, so they’re definitely worth getting.
Oh, and another reason to do fishing is one I personally love; they lock fast traveling behind it! I think modern games rely on fast travel too much as a crutch for world design so I love when games like Horizon, the Yakuza franchise, or Pathologic 2 find a way to limit the player from doing it while not abandoning the feature entirely. Sonic Frontiers opts to make you need to fish up two fast travel scrolls from each island’s ponds. One of these will let you instantly warp to hermits and the other will let you instantly warp to elders. Allowing players who enjoyed the game to the fullest and spent time with Big to have extra convenience in their future endeavors.
Sonic Frontiers is the ideal when discussing modern fishing games. A short, relaxing time with a great reward that encourages players to actually participate in it. Other companies can learn a lot from many aspects of Sonic Frontiers’ game design, and I think we can add how to design fishing to that pile.
Fire Emblem Engage (2023)
Section written by Skeith
At the time of writing this Fire Emblem Engage has to be the most recent example of a fishing minigame in a game. When I began writing this Sonic Frontiers was the most recent but it’s taken so long to write that a new fishing minigame has sprung up! Fishing is too ever-present to make a definitive article on!
Fishing is unlocked in the Somniel as soon as the player befriends the kingdom of Brodia early in the game. The game puts a limit on how many fish you can catch as you can only play this minigame three times between maps, so make it count.
The actual fishing in this game is very different from fishing in Three Houses. Here the player must select their rod and then select where in the pond they’ll cast their line. After waiting for a few seconds a fish will bite and the hunt begins. A triangle shaped UI will then appear on screen with the shadow of the fish swimming along it.
Your goal here is to mash the A button as fast as you can to decrease the fish’s health while also holding your analog stick in the direction opposite of where the fish is swimming in order to slow it down. If the fish reaches the top of the UI it will escape so make sure you lower its health to 0 before that happens! Once it’s run out of HP you’ll be required to do one final QTE where you need to press the A button when two circles align to finally catch the fish!
There are four different rods in Fire Emblem Engage, with each being able to catch three different types of fish. You’ll begin with a basic rod that can only catch fish the game will insult you for catching but as you progress through the game you’ll be able to buy more from Anna’s flea market.
Fish in this game serve several purposes but they’re all minor. You can feed them to Sommie to increase your trust with him and you can throw them in as extra ingredients for your support increasing meals. You can’t even sell them on the market for extra gold!
Normally I would be a bit upset over fish not being super useful, but I think one of the major things that makes Engage better than Three Houses is that it doesn’t waste your time requiring you to do things at the Somniel so I suppose I can’t complain.
And there we have it! Yes, I lied about this article being 50 minigames but I have a good reason for that. I didn’t realize that Konami’s Lost in Blue minigame had spear fishing instead of rod fishing and I didn’t have time to play through a large RPG in order to review Solatorobo’s fishing minigame. So please deal with the 48 that we have.
Now it’s time for what you’ve all been waiting for, it’s time to look back and decide on what games have the best fishing mechanics! Obviously games that barely have fishing at all like Trails in the Sky or Atelier are disqualified from this ruling because they’re barely minigames.
There are a few games that have a great variety of fish and usage for them like Sonic Frontiers and Animal Crossing, but they lack great reeling mechanics. On the flip side we also have games with great reeling mechanics like Red Dead Redemption 2 that lack a large variety of fish.
When thinking about the best fishing mechanics in gaming a few very obvious winners come to mind even after looking over 50 games. Tokyo Xanadu’s fishing may not have the largest variety in the world but it is extremely addicting with its changing percentages and gacha mechanics, Nier has both a sizeable variety of fish as well as several large questlines revolving around fishing, and Final Fantasy XIV has both a large amount of mechanics and a gigantic variety of fish for days upon days of fishing fun. In the end though, I think all of these kneel to the true king of fishing minigames though
Yes, I am handing the ultimate fishing award to Final Fantasy XV, a game that loved fishing more than any other. This game had every mechanic you could possibly want from a fishing minigame in addition to over 100 fish and plenty of locations where you could do it. Fishing was such a big part of this game that it’s now Noctis’ primary character trait and that has to count for something.
I’m positive that a lot of you are going to disagree with my final decision here, so if you do please comment on Twitter, Reddit, or even on this very website why you think I’m wrong and what fishing minigame you think is the best!
After writing all of this, my mind has been fully corrupted, and I now support the idea that all video games should have a fishing minigame, regardless of the genre. Sega, if you’re reading this, put a fishing minigame in Shin Sakura Wars 2 and let Azami fish just to please me, okay?
Once again, I would like to give a huge thanks to my cowriters Lynx, Victiny, and Burner for helping write this thing. I’d also like to thank again anyone who sent me fishing minigames on social media, I could not have found 50 minigames without you people. I’m Skeith from The Story Arc, signing off.