Top Product: Golf Story | $15 | Target
Many full releases that come out now are designed around keeping you playing their game and nothing else. Living games, or games-as-a-service, or whatever you want to call them—they all demand your free time to a point you experience some major FOMO if you skip some content. I had a good six month bout where the only game I played was Destiny. I have 1,000+ logged into the franchise and for awhile made sure to play a bit every Tuesday for the weekly reset. During that time, I missed out on a lot of other great games.
Recently, I’ve fallen in love with the opposite. My favorite games I’ve played in the last couple years are ones I was able to beat to completion in one or two sessions. Return of the Obra Dinn I beat in maybe 10 hours and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I played it on release. It remains my favorite game of the 2010s.
Earlier this week, we had reached out to our readers to let us know their favorite games that clock in at these much shorter lengths. These are games you can experience and then walk away from having enjoyed your time with them—games you can beat over a weekend. Here are the best short games according to our readers.
Titanfall 2 | $8
Titianfall 2 would be my pick. Quick, but very satisfying campaign with a few levels that will stick with you for life. Easy to control, but makes you feel like a elite fighter. Plus its cheap and easy to get on any platform.
Donut County | $13
Donut County I will always have a soft spot in my heart for. I bought the game on a lark the morning it came out and I beat it by lunch. It’s not challenging, it’s not long, and it’s also not expensive. What it is, however, is damn good fun. The soundtrack is a delight, the art style is adorable, and it’s clear that the dev had the time of his life making it.
INSIDE | $20
One of the best puzzle platformers I’ve ever played. Can be completed in under 10 hours and the narrative is thought-provoking, complex, and completely unlike anything else in the genre.
-Perry Van Shrike
Golf Story | $15
It’s an SNES style pixelated RPG with some simple & fun gameplay that captures the wacky side of golf better than anything else. I love Hot Shots and Mario Golf for the gameplay, but Golf Story follows an ambitious young golfer through his pursuit of a (misguided?) childhood dream to to compete as a pro. As someone who worked at a golf course for my first job, this game is charming in how well it captures the feel of being at a golf course. Even if you aren’t a golfer in real life, it might give you a behind the scenes look into golf culture through the lens of its caricature. It gradually becomes more and more absurd as it progresses, without ever losing its delightfully goofy charm.
It was over quickly, but the fond memories of this game will stay with me forever.