You may love epic games that you can sink your teeth into, but life can get in the way. When things are hectic, what you need are digestible games that you can dip in and out of with ease.
That’s why we’ve rounded up a collection of PC games that either don’t take long to complete or are perfect to play for five minutes at a time. Game on!
If something beautiful is what you want, Abzu is the perfect choice. This is a meditative underwater adventure that puts you in control of a diver, swimming amongst the hidden wonders of the ocean, and it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing games you can play.
There are objectives, but they’re relatively loose, and you can soak up the atmosphere as you explore coral reefs and ancient ruins. Discover a vast array of aquatic life and let the enchanting soundtrack pull you in. Abzu totals a couple of hours; you might find that you complete it in a single sitting, emerging from its moving and awe-inspiring grasp.
2. Lara Croft GO / Hitman GO
Lara Croft GO and Hitman GO are turn-based strategy games based around the two respective franchises. You’ll need to engage your brain as you take out enemies and overcome obstacles to make it to the end of each level. They increase in difficulty as you progress, but make for perfect bite-sized plays.
In Lara Croft GO, become Lara Croft as you explore lush forests and ancient tombs, wielding spears and guns to off deadly animals. In Hitman GO, become Agent 47 in an amazing diorama-style world, sneaking through passages and silently killing enemies. Each game offers a number of challenges and bonuses, helping them offer around six hours of gameplay apiece.
Take control of Henry, a man who has escaped his normal life to become a fire lookout in Wyoming. In this first-person adventure, you need to keep your eyes out for smoke in order to keep everyone safe. Your only human contact is a lady called Delilah, accessible via walkie-talkie. But something draws you out of your watchtower, sending you deep into unknown and mysterious territory.
If you like interesting stories, driven by well-acted dialogue, you can’t go wrong with Firewatch. As you play you’ll need to make choices. The decisions you make and how you respond to Delilah will shape the narrative. To make things even better, it’s all set against a stunning, colorful environment that is a joy to explore.
Rocket League is best described as soccer with cars. Although, it’s so much more than that. This is a fast-paced, exciting game that you can play online or with friends locally. Send your car whizzing across the track and flying through the air as everyone scrambles to smack the giant ball into the goal.
Although each match only lasts five minutes or so, be careful not to find yourself drawn in. The fun is addicting. Plus, there’s bonus modes inspired by hockey and basketball, along with a slew of cosmetic goodies to unlock. Rocket League is always being updated too, with new modes, arenas, and cars, ensuring it’ll stay fresh for a long time. You can even get mods to enhance Rocket League.
The Darkside Detective is a classic-style adventure game with delightful pixel artwork. Francis McQueen is an investigator in a police department that look into demons, cults, and all things creepy. But this isn’t a scary game. Actually, it boasts a hilarious wit, and you’ll enjoy solving nine cases of mayhem as you point and click your way to solutions.
It’s designed to be light and breezy and you can easily whizz through one of the cases in a single sitting. Though the cases do have elements connecting them, they can be enjoyed individually, meaning it doesn’t matter if it’s months before you get a chance to play again.
Despite its unwieldy title, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is an utterly fantastic game. You simultaneously move two young boys within a fairy tale world, guiding them through land, air, and water as they desperately seek to cure their dying father.
The scale is epic and the puzzles inventive, but this one is more about the journey and the emotions it’s sure to stir in you. It’s not a difficult game, nor a long one, but that makes it perfect to pop on and get immersed into this brilliant fantasy adventure.
7. A Way Out
A Way Out is a unique experience. It can only be played with someone else, either locally or online, though only one of you needs to have bought the game. A Way Out follows Leo and Vincent, two prisoners who escape and go on the run from the authorities. You choose who you want to be and you and your partner must work together to progress through situations—like climbing up an elevator shaft, dodging police cars, or smuggling something past security guards.
Sometimes the game will separate you, other times you’ll both be on the screen at the same time, but it works really fluidly. While the story is a bit cliched at times, it’s undeniably tense, and you’ll find it an entertaining bonding experience. Clocking in at six hours total, separated into chapters, this is a great game to play when you and a friend are both free.
If you ever played Theme Hospital back in the day, Two Point Hospital is the spiritual successor to it. In fact, a lot of the same people worked on both games. This simulation puts you in charge of building and running your own hospital. That means creating clinics, researching cures, decorating, keeping staff morale high, and much more.
There’s a lot to dive into, but it’s surprisingly easy to pick up and play. It helps that the campaign mode is split into levels, each with their own objectives. Also, don’t worry if the idea of a hospital game sounds clinical and depressing. Two Point Hospital is all about the humor, as demonstrated by illnesses like being turned into a mime or having a light bulb for a head.
If you’re in the mood for revisiting classic gameplay experiences, check out our article recommending the best remastered video games worth playing.
Admit it: you’ve always wanted to play as a bird lawyer in 1840s France. Okay, maybe you haven’t, but thanks to Aviary Attorney you really should. You play as lawyer Monsieur Jayjay Falcon, a literal bird, as he picks up cases, investigates Parisian crime scenes, and interviews witnesses. Alongside your trusty apprentice Sparrowson, you then take everything you’ve learned and battle it out in court.
The artwork is taken from 19th century caricaturist, J. J. Grandville, and it complements the comedic brilliance of the witty and biting script. The game is split into four chapters, spanning a number of in-game days. As such, you can drop in and out at leisure before readying yourself to take the stand.
When Valve released Portal in 2007, it took the world by storm thanks to its unique gameplay and witty writing. Set inside the mysterious Aperture Science Laboratory, you wield a gun that creates portals. You need to use this to solve puzzles within the environment, moving objects and yourself to get to the end. All the time you’re overseen by an omnipresent robot with questionable morals…
Valve followed this up four years later with a sequel, which expanded the scope and gameplay mechanics. It also included a co-op story mode for online and local fun. Both Portal and Portal 2 are pure genius, as highlighted by the endless awards they won.
More Games to Play for 5 Minutes at a Time
Not only can you pick all of these games up on a whim and play them in small chunks of time, they’re also some of the best games available on PC, period. So, we thoroughly recommend them to everyone.
Do you want even more brief gaming fun? Then check out our recommendations for addictive web games perfect for short breaks.