What are the best free to play games on Steam? 20. Options Considered Specs. Steam Rating:Overwhelmingly Positive. Genre:Hero-based FPS. Co-Op:6 Player Online / 6 Player LAN. Controller Support:Partial. See All Specs. Top Pro. ••• Cross-platform Many players feel free to flame and insult, especially in the lower ranks and from non-english speaking countries. See More. Top Pro.
Impartial rankings of Steam games compiled from gamer reviews • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
best dating games free to play steam low specs - Best free games to play right now
If you're keen to get into PC gaming, then Steam is the best place for you to hunt for new games. That's because there are more than 23,000 available through the platform - and counting. The great thing about Steam is that you can buy a game, download it and then install it as many times as you like. Steam also rolls out automatic updates too, so there's no need to worry about manually re-downloading anything or checking to see if there's some new update you've missed out on.
Like most gaming, movie and TV catalogues nowadays, the only problem is there's too much choice. Sure that's not a bad problem to have, but it does mean that you can get lost in Steam's giant labyrinth of games, become tempted by its frequent sales and end up with a stack of titles you've never booted-up. But don't worry, we're here with a solution. Below we've listed some of the best Steam games, including recent releases and golden oldies.
We update this list regularly, so be sure to come back soon for more suggestions. Fortnite Do we really need to write up a Fortnite explainer? Well, for those who have been hiding under a rock over the past year or so, Fortnite is best described as an apocalyptic survival game.
But rather than gory deaths, it's all bright colours, cool add-ons and fancy weapons - although there is violence, it's far more than that. The game has exploded recently partly due to its highly-addictive nature, you've essentially got to survive and kill everyone else on an island over the course of 20 minutes, and the fact it's got some big celeb fans, including Drake and the England Football Team.
What Remains of Edith Finch This indie smash arrived in 2017, but as it recently won a 'best game' BAFTA award, it’s time to give it another plug. What Remains of Edith Finch is a narrative-led adventure in which you walk, first-person style, around as Edith Finch, exploring the house in which you grew up. You look over the preserved relics of dead family members and are sucked into vignettes that tell the stories of how various Finches died. This sounds grim, we get it. However, its charming style and magical realism tilt make What Remains of Edith Finch involving and touching rather than depressing.
It plays out a little like an interactive movie. You can’t fail as such, aside from getting lost, and the entire experience lasts 2-3 hours rather than 20.
Don’t buy this if you’re going to feel short-changed by its length, but if you’ve played and enjoyed Firewatch, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture or Gone Home, you’ll love What Remains of Edith Finch. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdon The first Ni No Kuni game was a collaboration with Japanese animation masters Studio Ghibli.
Ni No Kuni II is not, but retains the same charming art style. It also changes the fighting mechanics. Instead of training up avatars to fight for you, Ni No Kuni II has a fun real-time battle system.
You command three fighters with fast, slow and magic attacks, and the ability to dodge. There’s a more action-packed feel this time. It’s not all about action, though. While Ni No Kuni II is an action-adventure RPG, you also build up a kingdom, which plays a role in earning bonuses for your characters. This part is surprisingly moreish. The story is more conventional than that of the first game, which might be down to Studio Ghibli’s limited involvement.
However, there’s plenty of fantasy fuel and it’s more involving than your average game. ? Into the Breach Not every top steam game is an epic open world title that would sell for $60 on PS4 and Xbox One.
Into the Breach is an elegant sci-fi strategy blast you can play on your lunch break at work. It is made by the team behind Faster than Light, still one of our favourite PC games of the last decade.
And for the handheld gaming veterans out there, there are shades of Advance Wars to it too. Earth has been invaded, and almost taken over, by aliens. In Into the Breach you control groups of mechs sent from the future to reverse this fate. That may sound like a mind-bending premise, but it actually proves the plot doesn’t matter too much here.
We know Earth will come out tops, it’s just a case of how. Each encounter takes in an 8x8 block grid, your battlefield. Play unfolds in turns, and your mechs have to stop aliens from destroying too many of the field’s buildings and outposts. It has the tactical purity of chess. As you play you can upgrade your mechs to improve your chances.
Like FTL, Into the Breach is moreish, smart and deceptively deep. ? Surviving Mars Some screenshots make Surviving Mars look like The Sims: Red Planet edition. However it’s closer to Sim City meets The Martian. You build an outpost on a patch of Mars, and have to keep it running to avoid your colonists dying in on the planet’s harsh surface.
It’s harder than it sounds. Mis-managing resources in Sim City or Civilization may make your inhabitants angry, or lower your income. But in Surviving Mars it can cause a chain reaction that sees life support systems fail. You’ll hear “a colonist has died”, and be left scrambling to fix the problem before other inhabitants start dying like bubbles popping as they touch the ground. There’s work to be done on Surviving Mars’s interface but its survivalist approach to “city” building is compelling.
? Final Fantasy XV After the massively-multiplayer Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix has finally turned back to the series’s single player roots with Final Fantasy XV. It came to PS4 in late 2016 but was only ported to PC in March 2018.
However, you do get all the DLC released on consoles and, if your PC is beefy enough, better frame rates. Final Fantasy XV is a little different to the FF games of old. You travel around an open world packed with Americana-style buildings, all your companions are human and the combat plays out in real time, not as turns. However, you can tell this is a Final Fantasy game just by watching a 15-second clip of it in action.
? New Indie Notable: Descenders The PC tends to get associated with the kind of games you sit down at for hours. Until your eyes are red and part of you begins to regret your life choices. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can play Descenders in quick blasts. If you can drag yourself away from its moreish-ness, anyway.
You’re a downhill free rider who has to get down procedurally generated courses with as much style as possible, prefably using a gamepad. It might remind you of the Tony Hawk games, when they were good, or snowboard console classic SSX.
The use of generated “tracks” means you can’t master courses, but it’s the mastery of the bike’s physics you’re aiming for anyway.
A career mode pits you against a series of courses in the same style of environment, each with objectives. Finish the “boss course” and you unlock a new terrain. But you have limited lives for the whole run. A mix of mobile game style and unforgiving old-school progression mechanics gives Descenders a fresh feel. Not every game has to be about destroying aliens or shooting off the faces of unnamed soldiers. American Truck Simulator is like mindfulness meditation compared to those titles.
You drive a big 18 wheeler-style truck over the long highways of the US, delivering cargo from A to B. Breaking the traffic codes doesn’t end in a GTA-style police chase, just a fine. This is the sort of game you can put on like a cosy slipper after a long day at work. There’s a business side to it too, though. At the start you’re a lowly contractor, but earn enough money and you can build your own shipping empire.
Pillars of Eternity PC gamers who have been playing since the 90s will remember all the fuss made about the Baldur’s Gate titles. Some of their biggest fans will get teary telling you about the memories of their favourite side characters. Isometric role-playing games like Baldur’s Gate don’t cut it in the AAA world anymore, but Pillars of Eternity brings back their essence for the Steam crowd.
This is a difficult, slightly throwback-flavoured RPG where you control a band of classic fantasy-style adventurers. It’s made by Obsidian, the team behind Fallout: New Vegas. Pillars of Eternity II is on the horizon too. If you like your RPGs fantasy-themed, also consider Torment: Tides of Numenera.
? Legend of Grimrock II Another throwback to a style of game that has disappeared, Legend of Grimrock 2 is a dungeon crawler where you move in blocks, not freely. Why would you want that? It changes your relationship with the environment, making it feel more like an intricate puzzle than just an open world a texture artist has been let loose on. There are an awful lot of actual puzzle involved here too, in-between the bouts of classic "dungeons and dragons" style combat encounters.
Retro as the play style is, Legend of Grimrock 2 looks fantastic, with plenty of outdoors areas to stop you from getting bogged down in dimly-lit dungeons. The battle royale that put the subgenre back on the shrinking map PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds When it comes to in-vogue games, few titles continue to capture the zeitgeist (and fill it full of bullet holes) like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
It may have one of the worst names ever, but that hasn’t stopped PUBG from putting the ‘battle royale’ subgenre on the map and making itself into a phenomenon. Sure, there’s a lot of hype still surrounding it, but the game behind all the coverage and Twitch fascination is still one of the most addictive on Steam.
That simple premise - parachute into a map with no gear, scavenge for weapons and armour, then fight for survival with a single life in a map that continually shrinks - is still gripping, even if it has a few too many bugs.
Whether you’re teaming up with friends or braving its maps alone, PUBG remains one of the most fun shooters on the market right now. A punishing but rewarding action RPG Kingdom Come: Deliverance One of the most recent releases on this list, offers an experience that’s both warmly familiar and deeply alien. Set in a fictional Medieval Europe, it’s a first-person RPG where dialogue choices shape your world as much as your ability to problem solve and your skills in melee combat.
It’s a game of incredible freedom, enabling you to carve a path through its Dark Ages setting however you see fit. You might get off your face on schnapps and get in a fight with the town drunk; you might start filling your pockets with the gold of unsuspecting townsfolk, Thief-style or stain your blade with blood in the battlefield.
Part Elder Scrolls, part Dark Souls, part something else entirely, it’s an action-RPG that punishes as much as it empowers. It also runs best on PC (with the right specs, naturally) so get it on the download pronto. A Tom Clancy success story that's fun as hell to play Rainbow Six: Siege Who knew, way back in 2015, that a Tom Clancy game would become one of the industry’s biggest success stories. But here we are, in 2018, with a game that boasts over 25 million registered players and its third year of consecutive content updates and premium bells and whistles.
It’s one of those success stories that keeps on succeeding, and for one very important reason: it’s fun as hell to play. Dialling back the Rainbow Six formula to its roots - two teams fight in the same map, one protecting an objective while the other attack and fights their way in - no two matches in Siege are ever the same. Barricading doors, breaching through walls, blasting through ceilings and building an operator that’s attuned to your playstyle.
It might not be groundbreaking, but add in the limited time Outbreak mode (think Siege plus zombies) and you’ve got one of Steam’s most complete packages. Celeste is one of the most memorable games we've played in years Celeste Coming from the indie team at gave us TowerFall and TowerFall Ascension comes one of the most rewarding pixel platformers in years.
As you climb the titular mountain, flame-haired heroine Madeline will battle her innermost demons as much as the harsh and dangerous conditions around her. In its simplest form, Celeste is a tight, 2D, twitch-style platformer, but in reality it’s one of the memorable games we’ve played in many years. As poignant in narrative as it is unforgiving in mechanics, Celeste comes with over 700 ‘scenes’ to traverse, countless secrets to uncover and a story that will grip you as much as the muscle-memory building formula of its platforming.
For a game built around the simple mechanics of jump, air-dash and climb, there’s an incredible amount of depth to be found as you claw your way to the summit in more ways that one. Get it here: Complex combat and tactical breadth make Divinity Original Sin 2 a worthwhile play Divinity: Original Sin 2 When Divinity: Original Sin 2 arrived in 2017, it had quite the task ahead of it: living up to the legacy of its predecessor, which just so happened to be one of the most accomplished RPGs of all time.
Then what does developer Larian Studios do? It only goes and follows it up with one of the most essential additions to the genre in years. Am enchanting fantasy world, a deep and complicated combat model and one of the most gripping stories you’ll experience outside of a 1,000 page tome.
The big selling point, and the main ingredient of Divinity: Original Sin 2’s secret sauce, is the complexity of its combat. You control a party of characters alongside your own custom avatar, and you can utilise each one individually in battle.
With countless skills and attributes to mix and match, the breadth of tactics available makes this an imposing yet deeply rewarding way to test your RPG abilities.
Stellaris is a new evolution of the strategy genre Stellaris The grand and operatic strategy genre has produced some true classics on PC, experiences consoles have consistently struggled and failed to emulate.
From Crusader Kings to Europa Universalis, these are games with tactics and guile expected in bucket loads from the off. Well, it just so happens the developer of those very games has taken that deeply immersive concept and transported it to the dark ocean of space. Enter Stellaris, an evolution of the genre that takes the space exploration of EVE Online and Mass Effect and hits the hyperdrive button.
You’ll travel through myriad procedural galaxies, filled with thousands of planets and countless alien species, each one possessing unique traits, economies and social strata. Whether it’s the power (and consistent balancing act) of interstellar diplomacy or the deep customisation of starship designs, there’s a wealth of sci-fi lore and mechanics to delve into with Stellaris.
Dota 2 has a simple but intoxicating set up Dota 2 By far one of the oldest games on the list - well, that is if you consider 2013 old - Valve’s MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) is still one of the most addictive titles on Steam.
It’s also the only game on this list that’s free-to-play, so you don’t even need to have a healthy bank balance to enjoy its moreish battles. Valve has been consistently updating and overhauling the game since launch, making it one of the most evolved MOBAs on the market. If you’ve never played it before, it’s a simple yet intoxicating setup: two teams of five players face off in a large map. Each one is defending a base with an ‘Ancient; inside that must be protected at all costs.
Find your opponent’s base and raze it to the ground to win. What plays are are brilliant hero v hero showdowns, brutal ambushes, tactical plays and nonstop action. Get it here: Cuphead is as challenging as it is stunning Cuphead Run and gun platformers have carved a niche out for themselves on mobile, but they’re a rarity on PC.
Thankfully, this one was built to be a Microsoft exclusive with in mind and the result is one of the most unique gaming experiences you’ll ever have. Designed to capture the look and atmosphere of 1930s cartoons, places you in the shoes of the titular hero and tasks you with battling across three distinct words and bosses that will capture your imagination with their ingenuity that crush your resolve with their difficulty.
Recommending a notoriously tough game might sound counter-intuitive, but the steep difficulty curve is part of its charm. With a unique soundtrack and those standout visuals at your side you’ll earn every stage clearance like piece of territory in a war, each victory feeling that bit more rewarding.
Brutal and beautiful in equal measure, Cuphead is a must have Steam title. Subnautica may be new but it's making waves Subnautica Another relatively fresh release on this list, Subnautica is already making waves (pardon the pun) despite having only dropped in January of this year. A survival game set in the depths of an ocean on an alien world, it’s unique twist on the classic template makes for a game that’s both captivating to watch and challenging in its many interconnected mechanics.
You’ll explore shallow reefs, dangerous trenches on the seabed and everything in between, all the while managing your precious oxygen supply. Oh, and there’s an entire ecosystem of alien marine life to contend with. Plenty of these fishy and mammalian critters want to add you to their menu, so you’ll need to outsmart and avoid them while searching for resources to build new equipment and tools.
Like all the best survival games, the very best materials lie in the most dangerous of places. Dare you swim deep enough to find them? Wolfenstein II is visceral and dazzling Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus With so many multiplayer shooters getting a focus in this feature, it seemed high time to pay homage to one of the best single-player FPS games ever.
MachineGames gave Wolfenstein a bloody, alt-history revival in the form of 2014’s The New Order, so it had its work cut out for it when it came to bettering all that visceral Nazi slaying. Then along comes 2017’s , dialling up the violence and the depth of storytelling it would make most Call Of Duty titles look at the floor with embarrassment. What makes The New Colossus so essential is how it doesn’t deviate from its formula, but excels on it in almost every way. Bigger and more challenging bosses; intense set-pieces; myriad weapons that spit glorious death; a story that asks far more questions and presents some bold answers.
It’s also rock hard, and consistently unforgiving, so lock and load at your peril... ? Resident Evil 7: Biohazard It’s not often a franchise as iconic as Resident Evil gets a new lease of life - especially when you consider the zomb-loving licence had descended into a lifeless farce over the past decade – but here we are with a genuinely frightening horror game with the words ‘Resident Evil’ in the title.
What a world, eh? While us PC folk aren’t allowed to scare ourselves half to death in VR yet (RE7 is a PSVR at the moment), that doesn’t mean it’s any less terrifying. Dropping the third-person perspective that’s felt tired and rote for many a year, RE7 embraces the first-person view that’s helped Outlast and the like re-energize the horror genre, and boy does it make for one chilling 8-10 hour scare fest.
With Capcom’s big budget, a creepy swamp setting (honestly, just go with it) and a storyline that feeds back into the series’ winding mythology, you’d be crazy not to add this to your Steam library. ? Sid Meier’s Civilization VI How could we put together a list of the games to play on Steam and not include the latest offering from the master of turn-based strategy and tactical simulation?
The Civilization series has been through many a form over the years, but entry number six takes all the best bits from those previous incarnations, smoothes off the edges and serves up one of the most rewarding turn-based video games ever made.
There’s nothing quite like building a nation from its fledgling roots and nurturing it into a cultural powerhouse, and gives you more freedom and control than ever. Removing the pre-set paths that hampered the still stellar Civ V, Civ VI transforms into a landscape that rewards plucky explorers and confident conquerors with the opportunity to expand their budding society with new technologies and alliances. Sid Meier’s name alone is part of PC gaming’s lofty heritage, so owning this little doozy is a no-brainer.
? Undertale is one of those games that stays with you. A work of digital art whose charm and creativity never fail to lose their edge, regardless of how many times you play it through.
And considering just how many innocuous JRPGs are out there right now, that’s a pretty impressive feat in unto itself. So why is Undertale so brilliant? It takes all of the best elements from the ever-evolving RPG genre and creates a world built on choice, consequence and compassion.
As a child dropped into an underground world filled with terrors, you’ll have to face many a monster to make it home. How you face them, and what choices you make, define your journey. And its Telltale-esque consequence system doesn’t just extend to dialogue choices – you can choose to spare monsters after a fight, forging potential vital alliances for later in the game. You can even end fights by telling your opponent jokes. It’s a game of such warm and affable quality you’d almost believe it was a JRPG from the earliest heydey of the genre.
Get it here: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt For years, one game sat atop the dark and misty mountain of action-RPGs. Skyrim was its name, and no other franchise, be it Dragon Age or Dark Souls, could even come to close to unseating its cast-iron grip upon the genre. Then along came Geralt of Rivia, riding atop with a confident swagger, ready to give The Elder Scrolls a good thrashing. If you’re looking for a game that strikes a perfect balance between length of play (you could easily spend 100+ hours across its incredibly diverse map – one that’s a good 20% bigger than poor old Skyrim) and sheer quality, The Witcher 3 is a must.
There are just so many virtues The Witcher 3 has to its name – brilliant writing, unforgettable quests, genuinely challenging beasts and a pair of DLC expansions (Hearts of Stone, and Blood and Wine) make this one of the best games of this and any other generation. ? Inside will break you heart. Let that be your warning going in. Don’t see such words as a deterrent, but rather as a mystery to be uncovered scene by heart-wrenching scene.
Created by the same studio that made the wonderful 2.5D platformer Limbo – you know, the one about a little boy stuck in a nightmare world where a giant spider chases him endlessly – it should come as a huge shock to learn that Inside will leave you just as tearful as its predecessor. Thing is, Inside is a brilliant piece of art. Without a scrap of dialogue, you’ll explore a world in a similar platforming vein to Limbo, overcoming various ingenious environmental puzzles and evading both the flashlights of an oppressive government and the shadow of a conspiracy that’s clearly not going to end well.
But it’s worth every second. There’s a reason it won many a GOTY award in 2016, so you’d be a fool not to add this to Steam library. Just remember to pack a few tissues.
? Rocket League Once upon a time there was a little game on PlayStation 3 called Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. It was all about using remote control-esque cars to knock a giant football around a makeshift pitch. Thing is, no one played it and the game slowly faded into obscurity. Then came along, which was basically the same thing, albeit with tweaked physics and a greater focus on multiplayer.
One trip into PlayStation 4’s PS Plus lineup later and the game went supernova. And with good reason, too. It’s simple concept just works – it’s a place where skill shines through as you boost your little RC car and hit the motorised equivalent of a bicycle kick.
It’s glorious, offering one of the best ways to play online (whether with friends or a bunch of randoms). Come on, who doesn’t want to spend their evening chasing a football with a car? FIFA? Pfft. ? Portal 2 Portal, back in its day, was a game-changer.
Sure, it sounds like we’re filling out boots with hyperbole, but back in 2007 all those portals, companion cubes and sociopathic AIs were blowing our minds on loop. Then Portal 2 came along and made the original look like a crossword puzzle in The Sun. Okay, the first Portal is still amazing, but took a genuinely revolutionary concept and redefined it.
Everything in this game works perfectly - the ebb and flow of its story, the growing complexity of the puzzles and the new ways you’re forced to make your mind think with portals.
It’s even got Stephen Merchant and JK Simmons in it! Portal 2 manages to take a brilliant recipe and somehow make it even more delicious, sprinkling in all new depths of platforming and puzzle flavour. If you haven’t played it, buy it now. If you have, play it again. Get it here: Stardew Valley Charming indie farming RPG Stardew Valley sees you moving from the bustling city to your grandfather's old, run-down farm near sleepy Pelican Town. It's up to you to uncover the secrets of the mysterious town while growing a thriving farming empire.
Stardew Valley's pixelated graphics, unique soundtrack and kooky characters make for a relaxed and fun game which combines elements such as farming simulation, adventure, dating simulation and crafting. Get ready to become emotionally attached because once you step foot in Pelican Town, it's hard to ever leave. Get it here: • Want to get the best deals on Steam games?
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Looking for a new laptop to game on the go? Here's our guide to the . And if you want something even more portable, here are the . Gaming laptops are more powerful than ever, but we don't all have a laptop with a GTX 1080 in it. Some of us prefer a lighter, smaller notebook for life on-the-go, and sometimes that means giving up playing the most demanding PC games. Thankfully, in this age of bountiful indies and a huge classic library on Steam, there are still tons of fantastic PC games fit for our laptops.
This is our collection of the best games for laptops and low-spec rigs—games that can give you hours of entertainment without stressing out your system. We've pulled from a variety of genres including adventure, action, strategy, puzzle, and whatever the hell Mount & Blade is. There are games here you can replay for months all by themselves, along with more bite-sized experiences great for a short trip or killing time between meetings.
If you want a selection of older PC games that will obviously run well on any modern hardware, check out . If you somehow haven't played Half-Life 2 yet, it'll run great on your laptop.
If you really want to shoot for even earlier classics, check out the . For even more options, check out our guides to and . Be sure to check the system requirements, just to be safe. Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our for more info. Prev Page 1 of 30 Next Prev Page 1 of 30 Next Into the Breach Developer: Subset Games Link: A phenomenal, bite-sized turn-based strategy game from the makers of FTL, and easily one of PC Gamer's favorite games of 2018.
It's incredibly replayable, with different mech squads and tactics to master. As we said : "Exacting, agonising, challenging, and intensely rewarding, Into the Breach delivers in the tiniest package the most perfectly formed tactics around." Prev Page 2 of 30 Next Prev Page 2 of 30 Next Slay the Spire Developer: Mega Crit Games Link: An instantly addictive card combat roguelike, which takes the strategic fun of deckbuilding board games and marries it with the sensibilities of games like The Binding of Isaac and Risk of Rain, where finding random "relics" can change how you play.
Or, if you get a lucky combination, turn you into a murderous card god. Like the best roguelikes and deckbuilders, Slay the Spire feeds you that immense satisfaction when you find a combo that absolutely wrecks. Enemies that were once intimidating fall before you like flies. It's a fun one to replay again and again, thanks to unlockables like more powerful cards for each deck type, and protagonists that play wholly differently from one another.
Prev Page 3 of 30 Next Prev Page 3 of 30 Next Unavowed Developer: Wadjet Eye Link: The latest adventure game from Blackwell creators Wadjet Eye is one of its best, bringing in demons, exorcisms, and some light roleplaying elements that affect how the story plays out. Take it from : "Unavowed is another fantastic adventure from Wadjet Eye, and it’s great to see studio founder Dave Gilbert back in the saddle. The humour didn’t always land for me and some of the voice acting is a little iffy, but otherwise this is a fine example of a modern point-and-click adventure.
The addition of character customisation and companions doesn’t sound like much, but it massively changes the feel of the game, even if other aspects, such as the puzzles, are still steeped in the past." Prev Page 4 of 30 Next Prev Page 4 of 30 Next Gorogoa Developer: Buried Signal Link: An ingenious puzzle game years in the making, hand-drawn by creator Jason Roberts.
Gorogoa tells a story with its puzzles, rather than simply placing puzzles in a thematic wrapping. This is part of what makes it something special, and particularly engrossing, as we wrote in : "The story itself is an interesting, ambiguous framework through which to explore the idea of repeating patterns. You aren’t quite seeing the underpinnings of the game’s universe so much as you’re tuning into refrains that recur across time and scale—coherence rather than transparency...
A fantastic feat of interlocking storytelling and design." Prev Page 5 of 30 Next Prev Page 5 of 30 Next Unexplored Developer: Ludomotion Link: A wonderfully clever roguelike that will run on integrated graphics. Unexplored retains much of the complex, interlocking systems that make ASCII roguelikes brilliant and endlessly replayable, like magic scrolls and potions you have to identify, and can craft yourself with the right materials.
But it presents those pieces in a clean, intuitive interface instead of text, and makes combat a real-time affair instead of turn-based. You can still pause to think through your actions, but there's now an element of physical skill involved in wielding swords and axes and lances, which all have different attack animations. Unexplored's real innovation, though, is how it procedurally generates bits of lore that tie floors of the dungeon together, foreshadowing future opponents.
It manages to make each dungeon feel like a unique place with its own history better than any randomly generated game before it. Prev Page 6 of 30 Next Prev Page 6 of 30 Next West of Loathing Developer: Asymmetric Link: The funniest game of 2017, and maybe the funniest RPG we've ever played. This is a game you explore for jokes, not loot. They're in every corner of the world, and even in the options menu, and it's a joy to discover them.
West of Loathing is also a genuinely fun and clever RPG, with classes like the Beanslinger and Cowpuncher instead of genre standards. As we wrote in : "Flush a toilet for an XP gain, search a haystack for a needle or dig through a mine cart for a hunk of meat ore (West of Loathing has a meat-based economy), and insult yourself in a mirror to gain a combat buff because you angered yourself so much. Most importantly, sticking your nose in every corner of West of Loathing isn't just beneficial for improving your character's stats and filling your bottomless inventory with weapons, garments, food, hooch, and hats (there are over 50 of them!).
This is a funny game, and you'll want to root out every last shred of humor before you're done with it." Prev Page 7 of 30 Next Prev Page 7 of 30 Next Cuphead Developer: StudioMDHR Link: Quite possibly the prettiest game you can play on a laptop or low-end system thanks to its hand-drawn, classically animated 2D graphics. Cuphead channels Gunstar Heroes and other 90s platformers with tough as nails multi-stage bosses, but learnable tells and patterns make it conquerable if you keep a cool head and stick with it. It's worth playing for the phenomenal soundtrack and art alone, but why not team up with Mugman and take down a few bosses while you're admiring the craft?
Prev Page 8 of 30 Next Prev Page 8 of 30 Next Undertale Developer: tobyfox Link: 2015's breakout RPG inversion might owe a bit of its to the fact that a toaster could run it.
This isn't to say it's not a looker or fun. For those versed in RPG and popular video game tropes, Undertale is a colorful, charming, upsetting swan ride through your habits and behaviors.
Date a skeleton, pet (or kill) some dogs, think way too hard about mice and cheese. Undertale will make you second guess every key press except the 'Buy' button.
Prev Page 9 of 30 Next Prev Page 9 of 30 Next Darkest Dungeon Developer: Red Hook Studios Link: A brilliant, stressful strategy dungeon explorer that channels Lovecraft with brilliant narration and truly terrifying quests.
As your party encounters horrors in the dark, the stress piles on, and too much stress causes them to take on new personality quirks that snowball into yet more stress and loss of sanity. This creates a constant tension. What if your plague doctor is the most reliable member of your party, but insults his comrades every few minutes, raising their stress levels? Permadeath is brutal in Darkest Dungeon, but you'll find it hard to quit even when an entire party of heroes gets wiped out.
Prev Page 10 of 30 Next Prev Page 10 of 30 Next Thimbleweed Park Developer: Terrible Toybox Link: A throwback point-and-click adventure from Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert. It's full of classic point-and-click puzzles, but is open-ended enough to allow you to wander and find a new path when you get stuck. In , we called it "a quality adventure game with challenging puzzles, oddball characters, and an intriguing, mystery-laden plot." Prev Page 11 of 30 Next Prev Page 11 of 30 Next Stardew Valley Developer: ConcernedApe Link: An indie sensation that brought the idyllic farm life of Harvest Moon to PC.
Build your farm into a vegetable empire, go exploring, learn about the lives of your neighbors, fall in love and settle down. Simple graphics ensure this one will run like a dream on your laptop, and it'll make long flights pass by in a snap. Prev Page 12 of 30 Next Prev Page 12 of 30 Next N++ Developer: Metanet Software Link: A finely tuned platformer with approximately one billion levels. Okay, not that many. But it's literally thousands, and with modding support, billions is within the realm of possibility.
As Shaun wrote about N++ , "as far as I’m concerned, N++ is more a toy that you’ll stop and fiddle with occasionally, just to relish the silky smooth, momentum-oriented pleasure of knocking a stick ninja around a bunch of austere platforming gauntlets. I don’t think there’s a better feeling platformer out there." Prev Page 13 of 30 Next Prev Page 13 of 30 Next Heat Signature Developer: Suspicious Developments Link: Made by former PC Gamer editor Tom Francis, creator of the also-excellent (and low-spec-friendly) , Heat Signature is a game about sneaking onto spaceships, braining guards with a wrench or using all kinds of gadgets to carry out a mission, and dealing with the chaos that ensues.
In our review, we wrote: "Heat Signature inspires creativity through emergent complexity like any great immersive sim. I can't stop regaling friends with my stories of heists gone bad or boasting about my flashes of brilliance in the heat of the moment.
Heat Signature is brilliant at teasing these anecdotal threads out of a procedural universe." Prev Page 14 of 30 Next Prev Page 14 of 30 Next Torment: Tides of Numenera Developer: inXile Entertainment Link: A successor to Planescape: Torment? It seemed too good to be true, and yet inXile took the engine Obsidian made for Pillars of Eternity and managed to return to the world of Torment in an RPG that recaptures much of what made the original so special.
Lucky for laptop gamers, it can also run on low-end hardware, which is fitting for a throwback RPG. In , we wrote that "a slow start gives way to a thought-provoking adventure in a remarkable setting. A fitting follow-up to a beloved RPG." Prev Page 15 of 30 Next Prev Page 15 of 30 Next The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Developers: Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl Link: The original version of Isaac looks like the kind of game that could run on anything, but it was a weirdly CPU-hungry little game that pushed Flash to its very limits.
Re/demake Rebirth is much more comfortable on laptops and netbooks, thanks to its new engine—it doesn't hurt that it also boasts a lovely new visual style, bigger rooms, and a ton of extra content. 2D roguelikelikes like The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth tend to be quite at home on lower-spec machines, so if you have room in your life for more permadeath and procedural generation, be sure to check out the likes of Dungeons of Dredmor, Spelunky, FTL and Rogue Legacy too.
And once you're hopelessly addicted, make sure to check out Isaac expansions Afterbirth and Afterbirth+, too. Prev Page 16 of 30 Next Prev Page 16 of 30 Next Portal 2 Developer: Valve Link: We could have included pretty much any Source engine game here, such is the impressive way it scales to lower-spec hardware.
(Admittedly, that might be because it's getting on a bit.) While Half-Life 2 shines these days with visual mods and at higher resolutions, Portal 2 remains one of the funniest, smartest puzzle games around, even if you had cause to play it at 800x600 with all the settings turned to 'Low'. You're not playing this one to be wowed by fancy graphical effects—you're playing for Stephen Merchant's, J.K.
Simmons', and Ellen McLain's terrific voice acting, and of course for that bit with the potato. Prev Page 17 of 30 Next Prev Page 17 of 30 Next Minecraft Developer: Mojang Link: One of the main questions you see asked online about laptops is “Will it run Minecraft?”, to which the answer, for future reference, is “Yeah probably”. Mojang's infinite block-'em-up isn't terribly demanding specs-wise, and it's the perfect game to mess around with on a laptop when you're supposed to be writing features for PC Gamer about low-spec games.
While it's often played on a tablet, phone or console these days, you're getting the latest updates and mod support if you choose to build stuff with your PC. Here's our of the best Minecraft mods. Prev Page 18 of 30 Next Prev Page 18 of 30 Next Civilization V Developer: Firaxis Games Link: Civ is usually a safe bet when it comes to low-end machines, and you won't need too beefy a PC in order to play the second newest entry in the series.
Just don't go blaming us when you forget to sleep, so embroiled are you in your quest to wipe the warmongering Gandhi from the face of the Earth.
4Xs in general tend to be quite kind to laptops, so if you meet the (slightly less modest) requirements, it's worth casting your eye over Amplitude Studios' fantasy-themed , and Triumph's as well. Prev Page 19 of 30 Next Prev Page 19 of 30 Next Valkyria Chronicles Developer: SEGA Link: The great thing about the surprise release of a game from 2008 is that it's from 2008, and should therefore run on most computers with a pulse.
Valkyria Chronicles is a fine tactical RPG that plays a lot like Firaxis' XCOM reboot, with a beautiful illustrative art style that absolutely shines on PC.
It's at the forefront of a new wave of belatedly ported, laptop-friendly JRPGs, including Trails in the Sky and Falcom's hyperactive Ys series. Prev Page 20 of 30 Next Prev Page 20 of 30 Next Mark of the Ninja Developer: Klei Entertainment Link: Klei all but mastered the stealth genre on their first try with Mark of the Ninja, a sidescrolling ninja-'em-up that effortlessly surpasses most 3D sneaking games.
You don't need a supercomputer to run it—it plays surprisingly well on older PCs. Prev Page 21 of 30 Next Prev Page 21 of 30 Next Mount & Blade: Warband Developer: TaleWorlds Entertainment Link: The dictionary, probably, describes TaleWorlds' Mount & Blade as a “roleplaying simulation strategy sandbox”, and it's one that still has an active community several years after its release.
Warband is your way in if you've not had the pleasure of piking bandits on horseback (it's the original game, essentially, but with extra stuff). Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord promises to add fancy visuals to the business of conquering settlements, but if you can stomach its basic appearance, Warband and its expansions will keep you battling for many months. Prev Page 22 of 30 Next Prev Page 22 of 30 Next Night in the Woods Developer: Infinite Fall Link: A bittersweet coming of age story about doing crimes, solving mysteries, and struggling to connect in an alienating world.
Night in the Woods is light on puzzles—play it for the characters, who are genuinely touching despite sharing the same affected cuteness, and the playful melancholy. Bounce around on power lines, make mistakes with old friends, disappoint your parents, question authority. Its pace is languid at first, but engrossing. Highly recommended for rainy train rides.
Prev Page 23 of 30 Next Prev Page 23 of 30 Next Unity of Command Developer: 2x2 Games Link: Don't let the cutesy units fool you: this is a serious WW2 strategy game set on the Eastern Front.
It's also, yes, incredibly cute, boasting an uncommonly attractive interface that sits atop a wargame of great depth. If you've long fancied dipping your toe in the genre, but you've been put off by the nested web of menus that tend to greet you in wargaming, give the unusually approachable Unity a try. Prev Page 24 of 30 Next Prev Page 24 of 30 Next 80 Days Developer: Inkle, Cape Guy Link: 80 Days is a wonderful take on Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days, and appropriately you'll be spending most of your time reading.
It's a choose-your-own adventure novel with , and some light strategy elements help break up the text as you navigate your trailblazing path around the world. A laptop is our favorite way to play—a large enough screen to appreciate the art direction and easily read the text, but still portable enough to play on a plane or curled up on the couch.
Prev Page 25 of 30 Next Prev Page 25 of 30 Next Snakebird Developer: Noumenon Games Link: Don't let Snakebird's deceptively cute presentation fool you, because it's actually one of the most challenging puzzle games we've ever played.
The mechanics are incredibly simple—move your Snakebirds around the level in order to eat all of the fruit, then make your way to the exit—but the puzzle design is excellent, and seemingly straightforward levels can be difficult to work your head around.
If you are a fan of puzzle games, Snakebird will definitely give you a run for your money. Prev Page 26 of 30 Next Prev Page 26 of 30 Next Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove Developer: Yacht Club Games Link: Booting up Shovel Knight feels like unearthing treasure, like digging through your parents' old NES collection in the attic and stumbling into Mega Man or DuckTales for the first time.
But , an homage that wraps in more secrets, buried mechanics, and subtle artistic tweaks that extend beyond anything the 8-bit era was capable of. Challenging, but fair, Shovel Knight's simple platforming controls work wonderfully on a keyboard.
Its 8-bit aesthetic doesn't require a hog to run either, which makes it perfect for any laptop out there, controller or not. Prev Page 27 of 30 Next Prev Page 27 of 30 Next Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Developer: Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd., Abstraction Games Link: We've kept our visual novel recommendations light, but Danganronpa earns a spot by being the most talked-about, craziest Japanese visual novel of the past few years.
This bundle comes with the first two games in the series, Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair. attempted to summarize the first game like so: "A twisted, mischievous villain called Monokuma, who appears in the form of a mechanical bear, traps the students in the school and forces them to play a sick game.
The only way to leave this makeshift prison, or ‘graduate’ as he calls it, is to kill another student in cold blood." And it's good. Prev Page 28 of 30 Next Prev Page 28 of 30 Next Pillars of Eternity Developer: Obsidian Entertainment Link: We're undergoing a cRPG revival at the moment, which is great news for those of us with cheap computers.
While a few games, such as the fully 3D and rather gorgeous Divinity: Original Sin, will need a bit more oomph in the specs department, others stick fairly close to the Infinity Engine blueprint.
Thanks to its pre-rendered backgrounds and relative paucity of flashy visual effects, Pillars of Eternity runs pretty well on modest machines. Its requirements might be a little more insistent than Baldur's Gate's or Planescape: Torment's, but you're getting something that looks and plays great out of the box, without you having to install a bunch of visual and convenience mods first.
Read for the full lowdown on Obsidian's old-fashioned RPG, and make you check out Harebrained Schemes' equally laptop-friendly Shadowrun: Dragonfall as well. Prev Page 29 of 30 Next Prev Page 29 of 30 Next Hearthstone Developer: Blizzard Link: As long as you have Wi-Fi, you can keep on battling the world in Blizzard's card game, still the reigning king of the genre on PC.
New expansions keep Hearthstone fresh and exciting, and it's free to play, so there's thousands of hours of competitive play ahead of you for as much or as little money as you'd like to invest. Prev Page 30 of 30 Next Prev Page 30 of 30 Next • • • • • •
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