The 5 best games in which you get to ride a horse

You'll go 'giddy' when you see the stallions 'hoove' been selected for our equine parade.

In real life, horses are worked or raced until their legs break, and then they get turned into Tasty McHoofster's Genuine Beef-ish Lasagna. But in the digital realm, no-one boils Binky up for glue. In video games, horses are powerful companions, trusted steeds. Sometimes they're even the stars of the show. Here are five of our mane contenders... 

5. Assassin's Creed (2007)

The horses in the first AC are a nice piece of level design - you're basically just transitioning between two maps, but you feel like you're really covering some ground. And you get to fight other horse-based people, which is a bonus, or trample pedestrians into the dust of the Holy Land with your thundering hooves.

Hoof rating: four well-shod hooves 

4. The Last of Us (2013)

Some games have maps so large that a horse is necessary just to get around. Which is how it used to be back in the days before automobiles, and it's how it'll be once more when Angry Fungus starts sprouting from people's heads and we have to take to the badlands with just a horse and a gun. And some sugar lumps. 

Hoof rating: Five hooves and a nosebag

3. Final Furlong (1997)

No-one's going to argue that Final Furlong isn't a rubbish game. It definitely is. It involves exactly no skill, is impossible to complete, has graphics that are dull even by late-1990s budget-arcade-game standards. And yet, you get to ride a little plastic horse, a real one, while you're 'playing' (it's basically just luck). Think about how brilliant it would be to have a Final Furlong machine in your garage. 

Hoof rating: Three hooves, but they're nice old hooves. 

READ MORE: The 10 best arcade games of ALL TIME

More after the break...

2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)

Rapid transport is for warriors of low birth, and lower standards. One does not simply zap about Skyrim, fixing oneself a cup of tea during the loading screen and then getting distracted by biscuits. One saddles up one's pony and trots there, possibly doing a bit of sightseeing and taking in a few side-missions on the way. It's just a nicer way of getting about, forsooth.

Hoof rating: Five hooves, all shod with sky-iron.

1. Red Dead Redemption (2010)

Well of course Red Dead Redemption is the best horse game. It's the quintessential horse game. It's 40 hours or more of staring at a horse's big fat galloping butt, and enjoying every minute. Like all Rockstar games, a great part of the attraction isn't finishing off the story, it's just climbing aboard the form of transport and bombing around the map, shooting at things and crashing. Normally in Rockstar games that's a car, but in RDR it's a steed. Darn purty steed, too.

Hoof rating: A hundred hooves.

And special mention goes to...

Poonikins, the Magic Warrior Princess.

We're not sure who Poonikins is or where she came from, but we will never be able to look Grand Theft Auto IV in the eye again without smirking. Probably the best horse in any situation, ever.

WHAT IS GOING ON

Japan World Cup 3, that's what's going on. It's a game where you put bets on a horse race, and then you go insane. We think that's what happens, anyway.

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