As the industry leans into Games as a Service models and recurring subscriptions, games which don’t have any of that become more and more precious with every passing quarter.
We have prepared a handy list of games you can play entirely offline (or at least without being bothered by online functionalities) and which are crafted specifically with such experience in mind. Some may have a multiplayer component, but it is their singleplayer that’s the main drive here. Some might be even good for travel, or a laptop break between lectures. Either way they don’t lose any functionality without the internet connection.
|Slay the Spire||2019-01-23||Indie||MegaCrit||53%||Read more|
|Hades||2019-12-10||Indie||Supergiant Games||Read more|
|Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (US)||2019-03-22||Adventure||From Software||Read more|
|Doom||2016-05-12||Action & Shooter||id Software||70%||Read more|
|Dishonored||2012-10-12||Adventure||Arkane Studios||66%||Read more|
|Sid Meiers Civilization VI||2016-10-20||Economy||Aspyr (Mac, Linux)||90%||Read more|
|Yakuza: Like a Dragon||2020-11-10||Action role-playing||Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio||Read more|
|Monster Train||2020-05-21||Strategy, deck-building||Shiny Shoe||64%||Read more|
|Dead Cells||May 10, 2017||Action & Shooter||Motion Twin||58%||Read more|
|Football Manager 2021||2020-11-24||Sports||Sports Interactive||49%||Read more|
|Hotline Miami 2: The Wrong Number||2015-03-10||Action & Shooter||Dennaton Games||79%||Read more|
|Hellblade: Senuas Sacrifice||2017-08-08||Adventure||Ninja Theory||70%||Read more|
|Stellaris||2016-05-09||Strategy||Paradox Development Studio||88%||Read more|
|Sniper Elite 4||2017-02-13||Adventure||Rebellion||87%||Read more|
|Binding of Isaac Rebirth||2014-11-04||Action & Shooter||Nicalis, Inc.||9%||Read more|
|Divinity: Original Sin II||2017-09-14||Adventure||Larian Studios||Read more|
|The Witcher||2008-09-16||RPG||CD PROJEKT RED||Read more|
|The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings||2011-05-17||Adventure||CD PROJEKT RED||82%||Read more|
|The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Game of the Year Edition||2015-05-18||RPG||CD PROJEKT RED||66%||Read more|
|Bioshock: The Collection||2016-09-15||Adventure||2K Australia||54%||Read more|
|Heroes of Might & Magic III HD Edition||2015-01-29||RPG||DotEmu||Read more|
|Devil May Cry 5||2019-03-08||Action||Capcom||80%||Read more|
|Outer Wilds||2020-06-18||Action, Adventure||Mobius Digital||16%||Read more|
|Dark Souls 3||2016-04-11||Adventure||FromSoftware, Inc.||15%||Read more|
|Portal 2||2011-04-18||Adventure||Valve||Read more|
|Half Life 2||2004-11-16||Action & Shooter||Valve||7%||Read more|
|Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar)||2015-04-14||Adventure||Rockstar North||65%||Read more|
|The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim||2011-11-11||Adventure||Bethesda Game Studios||69%||Read more|
|Spelunky 2||2020-09-29||Platform adventure||Mossmouth, Blitworks||Read more|
Slay the Spire
|Developer:||Mega Crit Games|
Slay the Spire is a fantastic game to play whether you have fifteen minutes or are looking for something to occupy your entire afternoon. It’s a roguelike, but unlike the Dead Cells and Hades of the world, StS doesn’t test your reflexes. It tests your deck building skills. There are even several characters, each with unique mechanics, such as the Defect who collects elemental orbs to fuel their abilities.
Your task is to climb a titanic spire, room by room, fighting monsters, collecting relics and new cards, or resting in a rare safe room, if you need to. An interesting twist on a card game formula is that you almost always know what kind of action your enemies are going to take, giving you a chance to prepare. Also: the only thing, outside of the base game, you can spend money on is the soundtrack.
One of the best-received games in recent memory, Hades is a Greek mythology-themed roguelite. As a prince of the underworld, Hades’ son Zagreus you have one mission: fighting your way out of your father’s domain. To do it you have to beat three regions, several bosses, and potentially hundreds of enemies. Thankfully your Olympian family provides you with mighty divine boons to help.
Unlike Slay the Spire, Hades is action packed and absolutely will test your reflexes. Fights are fast, and colorful, especially once you collect a few boons upgrading your attacks and dodges. There’s also an interesting story you learn bit by bit every time you return to the starting area, accept a boon, or meet a friendly NPCs during your escape. It’s only you, the controller, the game, and its challenges.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (US)
Unlike FromSoftware’s previous games, which featured limited co-op/PvP a, Sekiro is a solitary experience, and better for it. As a disgraced ninja trying to save his master, you’ll explore a fantastical version of the Sengoku-period Japan, fighting corrupted samurai and twisted animals alike. Sekiro quickly became famous thanks to its fast, precise, and brutal combat system.
The key to success in Sekiro is learning the timing for a parry, as well as other context-specific counters. A good parry will throw the enemy off-balance bit by bit, eventually opening them up for a killing blow. It feels great when you perfectly parry a flurry of blows and follow up with a killing strike, ending a fight in moments. And if you screw up, you can revive once before having to respawn.
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
2016’s Doom singlehandedly revitalized the franchise. Not only does it have excellent, old-school FPS action, but also a lot of story, and a pretty decent one, too! While the Doomslayer doesn’t say anything, the developers gave him very expressive hands. And by expressive, we mean things like ending a video chat with a condescending scientist by wrecking the screen or fist-bumping a figurine of himself.
The gameplay itself is excellent too, fueled by the powerful weapons and the brilliance of glory kills and chainsaw kills, which give you health, armor, and ammunition. This way you’re always encouraged to give demons a faceful of fist. It doesn’t hurt that the game has a kickass heavy metal soundtrack which is just a cherry on top of a fast, violent, modern take on one of the most classic series in gaming.
Dishonored is one of the best games of the 2010s. Although it’s mission-based, rather than open-world, it’s an exceptional super-powered stealth and assassination sandbox. As Corvo Attano, a man imbued with weird powers by a gloomy deity you’ll deal with the people who orchestrated the assassination of Dunwall’s empress and kidnapping of her daughter.
Once you start a given mission, you can complete it however you want, as long as you target is dead or otherwise removed. You can be an unseen thief and saboteur, you could set up deadly traps, or use your eldritch powers to stop time, possess guards and make them kill their employers instead. The game does judge your lethality, however, so unless you like disease-ridden rats, keep killing to a minimum.
Sid Meiers Civilization VI
|Developer:||Aspyr (Mac, Linux)|
When you’re in need of a game that will keep your attention for hours at a time, the Civilization series is one of the best games you could turn to. It certainly didn’t change with Civilization VI, at the time of writing the most recent instalment of the franchise. With 50 civilizations (including DLCs) to lead, Civ6 has enough content to provide hundreds of hours of engaging gameplay, turn-by-turn.
As always, you can work towards making your Civ pursue one of several win conditions. As usual, you’ll assign new research topics, try to build wonders before other civs, engage in wars and diplomacy, as well as expand your cities. This time you actually expand them, thanks to the district system, which makes cities more modular and mechanically interesting. Now get to hexing your civ.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
|Developer:||Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio|
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a fascinating mix of jRPG-like turn-based combat and the enthusiastic weirdness of the Yakuza series. Its protagonist is Ichiban Kasuga, a life-long fan of classic Japanese RPGs and a yakuza who volunteered to go to jail instead of the real culprit, his boss. This went awry, and twenty years later Kasuga has a mystery to solve, and a party to gather to help him out.
Unlike the action-packed previous games in the series, Like a Dragon plays like an older Final Fantasy titles, with lists of actions and up to three people supporting Kasuga in combat. There are even Jobs, which are, effectively, classes. Outside of combat, however, you can still expect plenty of quick-time events, weird side stories, and a believable, lively city to run around in.
Monster Train is a creative marriage of a single player card game and a…tower defense? Hard to say. The point is that you’re protecting a demonic train from invaders trying to destroy the last bit of heat left in a frozen-over hell. The train car has four floors, and your enemies move up a floor if you don’t kill them quickly enough. If they get to the top floor uninhibited, they’ll start cracking the crystal.
Monster Train features several distinct clans you can pick from to protect the hot cargo, there are over 200 cards to build a deck from, and a satisfying layer of strategy. Much like in Slay the Spire you can choose different routes towards your destination. You also need to decide how to do the best job protecting the train’s several floors. Not always first-floor kill is worth the cost of resources.
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
Dead Cells is a pixelated, side-scrolling roguelite-vania set in a dark fantasy world. A world so dark, in fact, that you play a goop of cells controlling a headless body dumped into prison sewers. To get out, you’ll have to dodge and slash your way through legions of unfriendly creatures, using your picks from a decent arsenal of weapons, and handling various upgrades, both temporary and permanent.
Dead Cells is an excellent roguelite, one of the highest rated in the genre, and has lived to receive great expansions, bringing new zones, bosses, even new weapons. For those want it, there’s even an interesting story you’ll learn bit by bit, and boss by boss. There are even several endings, including some which can reveal some interesting mysteries, if you can reach them.
Football Manager 2021
|Genre:||Sports, Management simulation|
The Football Manager series is an acquired taste by virtue of it being very different from most other sports games. If you are a fan of the management side of football, however, live and breathe the transfers, the league deals and training contracts, there’s no game that’s going to give you anything close to the fully featured, comprehensive simulation you get with Football Manager 2021.
There are dozens of featured nations, hundreds of included teams, and plenty of systems to help you manage every facet of your team on its way to the top. You even get to interact with players and the press, providing an additional layer of simulation. After all that hard work you’ll be able to watch your carefully managed team whiff every shot in a crucial match, setting your career aflame.
|Developer:||Coffee Stain Studios|
Goat Simulator is a strange game. Usually, you’d treat glitches and physics bugs as issues with the game, but Coffee Stains Studios managed to turn those into a game of its own. Goat Simulator is a parody of video games themselves, but somehow manages to still BE a game. Only the game-breaking bugs were fixed, so you can enjoy all the glitches with little risk of the game crashing on you.
Goat Simulator is very short, but well worth the time put into it. The game relies hugely on emergent storytelling facilitated by the buggy physics. There’re a lot of secrets and cool little tricks to be found within Goat Simulator’s cityscape, but for the most part, it’s a laid-back experience for a single sitting, although it’s likely that’s you’ll come back to it a few times when in a mood for something silly.
Hotline Miami 2: The Wrong Number
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
Hotline Miami was something of a gaming landmark: a small game developed by an indie developer, published by the legendarily weird Devolver Digital and absolutely brimming with personality, story and action. Hotline Miami 2 takes on that formula, perfects it, and expands it into a worthy successor.
The Wrong Number, like its predecessor, is an isometric 8-bit shooter, with its simple graphics contrasting the brutal and visceral combat. It shakes the players and keeps them strongly invested throughout. It is not an easy game and completing various later levels can almost become a puzzle, contributing to the length and enjoyment of the game.
Doki Doki Literature Club
Doki Doki Literature Club is a truly unique dating sim of sorts. It boils down to dialogue and watching the story unfold, conveyed through beautiful art, but throws many a curveballs at the player. It presents itself as a simple and straightforward game, but it subverts everything you know about the genre and manages to ask profound questions. While still featuring the cutesy art style, mind.
It’s the kind of game that knows what it is and uses that knowledge to the fullest potential and will leave you sleepless at nights with sheer existential terror. The game has little in the way of replayability, but it’s a thing that should be played at least once by everyone. Even if you aren’t keen on the genre. Maybe even especially if you think you’re not keen on the genre.
Doki Doki is free 2 play game
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
A lot can be said about Ninja Theory’s magnum opus. A self-contained story with so much artistic merit it will be remembered for a very long time. It also manages to break the 4th wall in a way that is neither forced nor contrived and leaves the player with haunting questions and deep feelings for months after finishing the game. For the first time breaking the 4th wall is immersive.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a personal journey, both for the titular character, and for the players themselves. Framed as a classic journey to retrieve the soul of a loved one from the Underworld, the story branches into exploration of psychosis, powerlessness and loss. It is short, but profound and entirely singleplayer with no multiplayer component to speak of, it simply doesn’t need one.
|Developer:||Paradox Development Studio|
Paradox is known for their grand strategy games, games that have a large number of subsystems inside them, work on slow and deliberate timeframes and nudge those receptors in your brain responsible for giving you joy when you see something small grow into something great and beautiful. Stellaris is their most recent endeavor and it’s the friendliest to newcomers.
The game takes place in space, where you will custom-build your civilization and expand it to be the greatest race in the galaxy. Stellaris is fantastic at teaching you its various systems piece by piece and easing you into the process while its complexity steadily rises. It’s the kind of game that can easily devour hours of your lifetime and while it has a great multiplayer, the singleplayer game set up against the AI is a journey you’ll find yourself revisiting time and time again.
Sniper Elite 4
What Sniper Elite lacks in quantity it makes up with quality, allowing the player to execute spectacular shots, all in glorious slow-mo and x-ray cam. Taking place during World War 2 in Italy, Sniper Elite 4 will have to sneak around enemy compounds, setting traps, and looking for the best spot to line up that one perfect shot that hits your target just right, in full x-ray glory.
Some games simply do one thing and do it as well as possible, and that’s where Sniper Elite 4 comes in. It’s a game interested in doing one thing: complex sniper combat. As mentioned, it mixes it with over-the-top kill cams and great physics. Plus you can kill Hitler in a thousand and one ways with a slo-motion camera showing you all the bits and pieces. It shouldn’t be possible for that to get boring any time soon.
Binding of Isaac Rebirth
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
A rogue-like as a genre is by design tailored specifically for a single-player experience. The procedural generation of areas, the novelty of finding new ways known elements can interact, the randomness of the experience making each run unique. Here’s where the Binding of Isaac comes in, and it’s a strange little game which will nevertheless have you returning to it for years.
Binding of Isaac is filled with odd satanic imagery and morbid elements, but these form a coherent whole and always tie in with the narrative. The game can be played hundreds of times and there’s always more to find. Secret characters, secret upgrades, secret bosses, the game can be played for days without scratching the surface of the content and all of that tailored specifically for a single-player experience.
Divinity: Original Sin II
Divinity: Original Sin II builds on the first game in the series, but it doesn’t rest on its laurels, and introduces new abilities, a new armor system, and the excellent Origin system, letting you pick from several unique characters with their own stories and tailored Source powers if you don’t fancy making your own PC this time around. Either way, you can customize their skills through classless progression.
The singleplayer campaign of Original Sin 2 is a masterpiece of writing with a gripping fantasy story, strong characters and numerous twists. There’s a whole lot of sidequests as well, and, importantly, everything in the game is achieved by your own effort as you experience this story. DOS2 is also fully playable (and replayable) offline without you finding all the possible variations in the story.
|Developer:||CD PROJEKT RED|
While the hour of its peak popularity has passed, people will keep discussing this game for years to come, and with good reason. It’s an absolute landmark in storytelling as far as RPGs are concerned, and instead of following the classic formula of an isometric RPG, it’s a fantastic action RPG with fast pace and a lot of variety in its landscapes and its stories, both in the main arc and the plentiful sidequests.
Witcher 3 is a game that fully immerses the player in a mythical world that never strains your suspension of disbelief. Characters inspired by the works of Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski are complex, nuanced and drive the story with their various conflicts. It’s a mythic journey of politics, intrigue, fantasy and even parenthood. And all that designed purely for a singleplayer campaign.
Turn off the Wi-Fi and enjoy these offline games!
This concludes out list of the best offline PC games which won’t bother you with notifications, special offers, and invited from people you haven’t spoken to for three years. It’s just you, the game, and the satisfaction from playing something cool. Some even have offline co-op, so you aren’t necessarily confined to single player experiences!
Hopefully some of these have caught your eye, and if so, you can find them on the G2A Marketplace, just a few clicks away.