15 Short (But Great) Games You Can Finish In A Few Hours

List Rules
Vote up the short games you can finish in one sitting.

Starting a new game is a lot like starting a new relationship: it requires dedication, patience, and definitely a lot of practice. Considering the state of the world, gamers have more time to stay home and play than ever. Some players may be using this time to grind through that epic adventure they've been itching to break into, but not everyone is down for the slog through 300+ hours of gameplay. The good news is that the games industry is incredibly varied, and therefore has tons of shorter experiences that are equally as enjoyable. If you're someone who prefers to keep their gaming sessions brief, check out our list of fast games you can finish in a day.

While some playthroughs may take a little longer, you'll likely be able to finish all these quick games in under 10 hours (excluding completionist times where players squeeze out every possible second of content), so you never have to be worried about losing track of which side quest you were on or why the big baddie is even mad at you in the first place.

From mysterious puzzle platformers to heart-warming narrative adventures to shooters that will get your blood pumping, there's a little something here for everyone. Check out some of the best fastest games ever made, and vote up all the ones you'd had a blast — albiet brief — time blazing through.


  • 1
    23 VOTES
    Portal 2
    Photo: Valve

    Average Playtime: 8.5 hours

    Average Completionist Playtime: 20.5 hours

    Portal 2 is considered one of the best games of all time, and for good reason — the writing is impeccable, the puzzles are challenging and rewarding, and the overgrown, underground world of Aperture Labs is endlessly engaging. In a rare case of a sequel actually improving upon its predecessor, Portal 2 builds on what made the original great and adds in brand new mechanics that feel intuitive and that fit into the world. Given the fact that Portal 2 not only has incredibly tight game design, but also has lovable and memorable characters, this is one you're likely to be thinking about for days after you've finished it.

    • Release: 2011
    • Developer: Valve Corporation
    • Genres (Video game): Action-adventure game, Puzzle game, Platform game
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  • Average Playtime: 2 hours

    Average Completionist Playtime: 3 hours

    What Remains of Edith Finch is an adventure game that chronicles the Finch family, who have been cursed so that every family member except one from every generation dies of mysterious causes. Playing as the only remaining Finch of the current generation, Edith, the player is tasked with making their way through the family home, unraveling its history, and recounting the life (and death) of each deceased relative. A compelling and creative narrative experience, What Remains of Edith Finch is lauded for its ingenious implementation of story elements into gameplay mechanics.

    • Release: 2017
    • Developer: Giant Sparrow
    • Genres (Video game): Adventure
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  • 3
    5 VOTES

    Papers, Please

    Papers, Please
    Photo: Lucas Pope

    Average Playtime: 4.5 hours

    Average Completionist Playtime: 16.5 hours

    The most important aspect of a video game is that the player is having fun, but there are also plenty of games out there that are at the same time incredibly thought-provoking. That's the case with Papers, Please, a puzzle simulation game where the player takes on the role of an immigration officer. The premise is easy enough to understand — look through each immigrant's papers and decide whether or not they are fit to enter the country. Naturally, however, while the rules by which you decide each immigrant's fate grows ever more complicated, so do the cases, as potential citizens have pretty convincing cases for why they should be granted entry.

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    • Hotline Miami
      Photo: Dennaton Games

      Average Playtime: 5 hours

      Average Completionist Playtime: 14.5 hours

      Sometimes a slow-paced, atmospheric adventure is just what you need, but other times, you need to let off some steam with a visceral, violent shooter. Hotline Miami is the latter. The unnamed protagonist begins receiving voicemails that say he needs to murder members of the local Russian mafia, and he obliges. What ensues is a blood-soaked escapade inspired by the 1980s, the 2011 film Drive, and the 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys. Players looking for a colorful, high-octane spectacle will be in for a treat.

      • Release: 2012
      • Genres (Video game): Action game
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