With the thousands of games available to play on a computer, it can be overwhelming to find what’s right for you. A game is an investment of time and money, both of which are not something people want to lose. This list will help ease that feeling. We will break down some of the best games available right now, sharing what makes them so great and their overall premise. You’ll be sure to find something of interest no matter how picky or specific you are.
1. Dwarf Fortress
Dwarf Fortress is a randomly generated colony simulator that places you in control of a band of Dwarfs. Slowly over the course of months and years, your base will grow as random events send the base into chaos. Everything from dragon attacks to floods can cause panic as you and your dwarfs scramble to figure out a solution. Or perhaps you prefer causing the destruction, sending your dwarfs on a raid into enemy territory to claim resources and victory. Each world is unique and will have you playing for hundreds of hours.
The origins of Dwarf Fortress date back longer than Steam has been around. Two developers, brothers Tarn and Zach Adams, initially created this indie game. Although a free version does exist online, new players should opt for the Steam release, which has updated graphics and quality-of-life changes. While the game does have a steep learning curve and will have you looking at the wiki every few minutes, the community is active and growing. Players are always willing to help. Dwarf Fortress is perfect for anyone looking for a game with depth and intricate design.
2. The Binding of Issac: Rebirth
The Binding of Issac is one of the most successful and recognizable indie games ever created. Rebirth is a remake of the original Flash game that adds a ton of new items, bosses, enemies, and more. You play as Issac, a five-year-old child who runs away from his mother before she can murder him. Issac battles his way through randomly generated rooms, collecting items and friends along the way to become more powerful. In this Roguelike RPG, players will fight to make it down each floor level until reaching Mother and put an end to the nightmare altogether.
The Binding of Issac: Rebirth truly is a remarkable experience. Each playthrough offers its own experience, as players can choose from dozens of playable characters and collect hundreds of unique items. The game offers difficulty options, and challenge runs for you to complete. The game also supports Steam Workshop mods that can alter gameplay with the click of a button. Item description mods are helpful for inexperienced players who haven’t learned every item yet. Even after playing hundreds of hours, players can still find new items or enemies, further perpetuated by the additional DLCs.
Much like Dwarf Fortress, RimWorld places you in control of colonists who have crash-landed on a planet. These colonists can be anyone from cobblers to cooks to nobles. RimWorlds purpose is for players to make their own stories. It’s not about getting to the end, it’s about the journey. Dealing with issues and drama or celebrating a successful harvest. It’s the small things that matter in this game. As you play, your colonists take on personalities of their own. At first, they might be no one to you, but their actions and traits become clearer as you progress. This leaves players with a connection they never expected to have.
RimWorld is perfect for those looking for a colony simulator but without a steep learning curve. While the game does feature advanced and intricate game mechanics, the tutorial is more than enough to get new players started. The controls feel intuitive, and with the added DLCs and Steam Workshop, the replayability for this game is endless.
4. Baba Is You
There are puzzle games, and then there is Baba Is You. This puzzle game takes a new approach by putting you in control of how it works. The more creative you are, the more options you have at beating the levels. While other games will have your character looking for the exit, Baba Is You lets the player bring the exit to the character or turn the character into the key that unlocks the exit. There is no shortage of solutions to this game.
While the game’s 8-bit graphics may be a turnoff for some players, it more than makes up for it with its innovative and revolutionary gameplay mechanics. The game will have you laugh at how ridiculous it can get while making you think. One of the best parts of this game is seeing how other people get to the solutions with an entirely different approach.
5. Escape Simulator
Escape rooms have become all the rage in the past few years, placing participants in a room with nothing except their intelligence and a timer. Escape Simulator takes that exact same approach but by placing players inside unique themes like ancient Egypt or the Wild West. Battle against the timer as you solve puzzles and search for clues. For players who prefer a more casual approach or those who get stuck, hints are always available to help you along the way.
Escape Simulator is a great solo experience but is enhanced further with co-op; two minds are better than one. While the main game can be short, depending on your skill level, the game features the Steam Workshop, where players can create and submit their own rooms. If you find yourself wanting more after the campaign and DLCs, lots of fun can be had with mods. The community features a variety of competitions where players submit rooms to be judged and scored accordingly.
6. FTL: Faster Than Light
Faster Than Light is easy to learn but hard to master. The concept is simple: get your spaceship and crew to their destination while battling enemies and helping strangers. While the game features a straightforward battle system, the engagement comes from the unknowns of the universe. One minute you are caught in a meteor shower, while the next one has you battling against a rogue spaceship with your oxygen room on fire and enemies boarding your ship.
Each jump you make rewards you with resources used to upgrade your ship. You must decide how you want to play and what is important at any moment. This all culminates together for an end battle that is sure to give you trouble. New players should choose the easiest difficulty, which won’t feel easy your first time through.
7. Halls of Torment
Halls of Torment is a survival bullet hell that has you battling against the underworld. Players choose from seven different classes, each with their own unique attack styles. You are then dropped into the world and face wave after wave of undead creatures and monsters. Kills will reward you with experience that you can use to raise attributes such as attack speed, damage, radius, etc. As you level up, waves will get bigger and stronger, forcing you to dodge and weave your way through until the clock runs out.
Halls of Torment also features mini-bosses that you’ll encounter throughout your run, with an end boss on each stage. While the game does offer as much variety in abilities as something like Vampire Survivors does, it still creates an engaging experience with replayability. The Diablo 2 style graphics are nostalgic and give a level of grim and darkness to the world that other bullet hells lack. You can easily download and start playing in seconds with no tutorials needed. Whether you want to grind each character or play to pass the time, Halls of Torment is a fun plug-and-play game.
8. Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy
If you are looking for a challenge that will make you want to rip your hair out, Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy offers just that. Getting Over It is all about getting to the top of a mountain. There are no enemies, nothing that forces you back down or cheap effects. The only thing standing in your way is you. Made with reused game assets, the game features narration from the creator Bennett Foddy, offering a unique insight into video games, difficulty, and life.
The frustrating part about this game is learning to be better. It may be right at the very beginning with a small tree or later on as all your progress gets lost because of one simple incorrect mouse movement. While losing your progress can cause you to ragequit, it’s important to embrace failure. After all, is there anything more intense than starting over?
Dorfromantik is a cute puzzle colony builder game with the purpose of helping you relax. In this game, you will place tiles down, slowly growing a dynamic landscape full of villages, rivers, train tracks, and forests. The game offers a variety of modes, such as Classic and Creative. Classic has you placing tiles until you run out. You can collect more tiles by completing quests or with strategic placement of your tiles. Creative mode gets rid of any constraints and allows you to build whatever you’d like. Want to build a large town with canals, lakes, and farms? Go right ahead.
The game’s relaxing nature is perfect for casual gamers who want something they can pick up and put down at any moment. You can strive to beat your high score or go for the most visually appealing landscape. The game also features biomes that change the visual of the tiles, like a winter or Halloween theme. These biomes will naturally occur in the game, giving you a seamless transition from one to another.
10. Project Zomboid
In video games, you are supposed to be the hero who overcomes adversity and stands at the top alone in victory. Other games tell you, you can be the winner. Project Zomboid, on the other hand, tells you that you will die, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. In this open-world zombie survival game, players are dropped in and forced to loot and kill to survive.
Project Zomboid is for players looking for a challenge to test themselves in an actual apocalypse situation. There are consequences for every action, and a zombie hoard could surround you in a split second. While some of the game’s features can be seen as tedious or repetitive, it is unique. No other game makes you feel as alone and vulnerable then Project Zomboid. The game is still in early access but still has a level of polish and impressive gameplay mechanics. It also features a co-op mode with up to three friends that will make you realize who the weakest link is.
11. The Long Dark
Survival games aren’t just about the enemies in your way. Sometimes the biggest enemy is Mother Nature, and she is mad in The Long Dark. Set in northern Canada, The Long Dark drops you into a hell that’s been frozen over. Players are truly alone in this game, with no NPCs or interactions besides the occasional wild animal.
However, that is the least of your concern since battling hunger, thirst, and frostbite is an everyday occurrence. Before moving on, you’ll travel from town to town, raiding houses for supplies and resources. You may find yourself stranded in a blizzard with the difficult choice of staying and starving or leaving and freezing to death. This expansive open world is for casual and veteran players alike. It also features a story mode for anyone not interested in an endless cycle of starting a world and dying.
12. It Takes Two
While other games have co-op as a feature, It Takes Two makes it a requirement. This game is specifically designed for you and a friend to complete together. The story centers around an estranged couple, Cody and May, as they plan on getting a divorce. This causes an upset with their daughter, Rose, and the two get magically transported inside her dolls, where they must find a way out and fix their relationship along the way.
The game delivers a heartwarming story that has you rooting for the two. Not only that, but it also features an online co-op or local co-op to play on the couch with your friend, a concept lost in today’s modern gaming world. The gameplay is innovative, and while not particularly difficult, it does offer mechanics that require you to work together and communicate. No part of the story or gameplay is boring and will keep you coming back together until the end. Also, with the free Friend Pass, only one person has to purchase the game to play.
Parkitect is a modernized RollerCaoster Tycoon that puts you in charge of operating and constructing a theme park. The game makes you think about theme parks like never before. Making you get creative on how to transport supplies across the park without guests noticing or what prices meet supply and demand.
The main attraction is the chance to build your own rollercoasters. Whether it be for children and the elderly, or thrill seekers, you can customize the track however you’d like. As your business expands, keep in mind how to keep guests happy and coming back for more. If your park entry fee is too high, you’ll see a drop in tourists and begin losing money. But if your fee is too low, you won’t make enough to keep the electricity on. Everything is trial and error. You can play with up to eight players in co-op mode for an even more hectic experience.
14. 60 Seconds! Reatomized
The apocalypse just got…boring. 60 Seconds! takes a new approach to the survival genre. In comparison, other games will have you trekking through the wastelands, battling foes, and scrummaging for resources, 60 Seconds! has you wait it out in a bunker. At the beginning of each game, players will have 60 seconds to collect items and family members around the house before an atomic bomb drops, laying waste to the area. After that, players must care for the McDoodle family, rationing food and water and resolving any issues that come about.
When supplies are running low, it’s up to one family member to leave the bunker, hoping to return with more resources, if they return at all. While the game skips out on the typical post-apocalyptic action and has you dormant in a bunker, the interactions and dialogue are hilarious to read. Random events cause bizarre results that may help or hurt you. The objective is to survive long enough, complete quest lines, and be rescued.
15. Persona 5 Royal
Persona 5 Royal, initially exclusive to PlayStation, was released on Steam with overwhelming praise and support. In this, you play as Phantom Thieves, a group of high-schoolers who have a knack for doing what’s right in the world and getting rid of evil. By entering your enemy’s palace, a materialized distorted desire, the Phantom Thieves are able to change a person’s personality. While this may sound confusing, it’s best to think of it as Inception, which may not help some people.
This mega-game features 7 palaces for players to explore and experience. Persona 5 Royal can take over 100 hours to complete, making it one of the longest games ever. The gameplay offers an open world to explore, albeit limited, and a turn-based combat system with an interesting twist. The use of personas gives the characters their powers and alters how you go about problems. Due to its captivating story, relatable characters, groovy music, and solid game mechanics, it’s easy to see why some consider this to be a masterpiece.
Hopefully, you found a game to enjoy or a few that piqued your interest. While you may have a genre you enjoy the most, it can be great to expand your horizon and try something new. If you didn’t find anything or have played all of these games, there is an ever-expanding world out there. With new games, both AAA and indie, coming out every day, you’re bound to find the next masterpiece you can binge and quickly lose track of time.