Don’t you just hate DRM? Constant stream of data-mining, targeted advertisement, awful algorithms and let’s not forget the incessant microtransactions. You’re probably completely fed up with the industry pushing for live services and just want to play a game within the safety and comfort of your own computer.
Well, look no further! I have prepared a handy list of games you can play entirely offline 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.
Top 10 video games to play offline:
This time I’m actually doing a proper top 10 list, the games are categorized mostly by how much content and replay value there is to each one, so you can stay offline, no WiFi, no hassle, no nothing, and enjoy them for as long as possible. Without further ado, let’s go!
Number 10. Goat Simulator.
|Developer||Coffee Stain Studios|
Broken physics—the game.
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.
It is a very short game, but well worth the time put into it. The game relies hugely on emergent storytelling facilitated by the buggy physics. There’s 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. For the most part, it’s on this list for those of you who want to go offline, but not for too long. Worth playing at least once.
Number 9. Hotline Miami 2: The Wrong Number.
|Developer||Dennaton Games, Abstraction|
A heart-pounding action in 8 bits.
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 expands it into a worthy successor.
The Wrong Number, like its predecessor, is an isometric 8-bit shooter, with its simple graphics contrasted by the brutality and viscerality of the combat. It shakes up the player inside and keeps them strongly invested throughout. It is not an easy game and completing various later levels can almost become a puzzle in itself, contributing to the length and enjoyment of the game.
Number 8. Doki Doki Literature Club.
Absolute masterpiece of horror.
I could write a whole dissertation on the fascinating phenomenon that is Doki Doki Literature Club and one of those days I will. For now, know that it 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 curve-balls at the player.
Ostensibly, it is a simple game, but it subverts everything you know about these kinds of games and manages to ask profound questions. It’s the kind of game that knows it’s a game 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.
This one is actually free. If you’re ready for it. Get it here.
Number 7. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
A meta-narrative delight.
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 generations. People In film schools will be learning about things the developer have done in this game. It 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.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a personal journey, both for the titular character, and for the player 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, because it simply doesn’t need one.
Number 6. Stellaris.
|Genre:||Space Grand Strategy|
|Developer||Paradox Interactive, Tantalus Media|
The final frontier.
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 most friendly to newcomes.
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.
Number 5. Sniper Elite 4.
An accurate shot
There’s few things that put as much of a smile on any face as killing Nazis. And usually I would put Wolfenstein here due to sheer quantity, but 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.
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. It shouldn’t be possible for that to get boring.
Number 4. Binding of Isaac.
|Developer||Edmund McMillen, Florian Himsl|
A bizarre theme, a bizarre setting, a fantastic game.
A rogue-like as a genre is by design tailored specifically for a singleplayer 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.
A strange little game, 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 singleplayer experience.
Number 3. God of War.
|Genre:||Hack and Slash|
|Developer||Ready at Dawn, Javaground, Daybreak Game Company|
Boy and dad.
Look, this one had to be on this list, even if it is a PS 4 exclusive. We’re talking about a game that has become so beloved in such a short time, that people should start question whether the developers didn’t engage in some kind of Faustian bargain to create this masterpiece.
A game that manages to revitalize a series of action brawlers in a clever, tasteful and effective way, without resorting to gimmicks, but just by sheer passion pumped into it.
God of War is an action game greatly focusing on its story, taking the infamous hero Kratos from the warm waters of the Mediterranean into the harsh, frozen lands of Scandinavia. It explores his character as a man filled with guilt and pain, who tries to raise his own son, as best as he can, but recognizes that he’s a monster and is woefully unprepared for this.
The journey of Kratos and Atreus will lead them through carious mythical realms and many hardships, until they can fulfill their quest. It’s a modern gaming odyssey. It’s a personal journey, filled with tough, fast and satisfying combat, that is absolutely worth your time.
Number 2. Divinity: Original Sin II
A modern reshaping of tried and tested formula.
I am not personally an oldschool isometric RPG guy. Which is why the second place on this list should tell you just how good this game is. And you know who is an oldschool isometric guy? You are. Like statistically, you probably are.
Which is exactly why you might like Divinity: Original Sin II as it builds up on the first game in the series, attempting to recreate the lightning in a bottle that constituted the old timey RGPs like Neverwinter Knights or Baldur’s Gate, but uses all the new solutions created over the years to make the experience perfect. Spectacularly, it succeeds.
The singleplayer campaign of Divinity 2 is a masterpiece of writing with a gripping fantasy story, strong characters and numerous twists. There’s a whole lot of side activities as well and importantly everything in the game is achieved by your own effort as you experience this story and is fully playable offline for hours on end without you finding all the possible junctions in the story.
Number 1. Witcher 3.
|Genre:||Action RPG Game|
|Developer||CD Projekt RED|
Geralto Riviera on a hot trail.
While the hour of its peak popularity has passed, people will not shut up about 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 taking the boring and menial formula of an isometric RPG, which even the first game in the series isn’t entirely free from, it’s a fantastic action RPG with fast pace and a lot of vriety.
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 Sapkowski are complex, nuanced and drive the story with their various conflicts. It’s a mythic journey of politics, intrigue, fantasy and even in some respects parenthood. And all that designed purely for a singleplayer campaign.
Have fun being a complete NEET for a change.
Hey, I’m not judging you, all of us need to just close off from the buzz of interconnectivity for some time. You know, recharge them social batteries and whatnot. No text-messages, no Facebook pop-ups, no pings on Discord, just you, your favorite video game and couple of hours of free time. We all need that once in a while.
Hopefully, one of these bad boys will be able to keep you company adequately. They each cater to unique tastes and you can explore them for hours on end and each time you revisit them, they’ll have something new to offer. Whether it’s with great gameplay-loop or branching story, these will keep you entertained.