Button Mash

16 Obscure PC Games You've Probably Never Played Before  

Inigo Gonzalez
832 votes 224 voters 19k views 16 items

List Rules Vote up the little-known PC games you're going to pick up right after this.

There are tons of truly amazing PC games out there, more than enough to satisfy entire lifetimes. It makes sense, since PC gaming has been around for decades. The bench is super deep. Sure, there are some really good AAA games out there, but there are way more PC games no one knows about. Often, they can be more entertaining than the bigger titles.

Fun indie PC games have to be, well, really fun simply because they don't have the budget to render super-shiny graphics. In other words, they actually work super hard on the gameplay, character development, and story. That makes their titles shine. Check out these little-known PC games; hopefully you'll pick up a few and play 'em!

Prison Architect is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 16 Obscure PC Games You've Probably Never Played Before
Photo:  Introversion Software

You get to build prisons. Boom. Sold. 

Prison Architect is a game that requires a sarcastic or cynical player. It has a ton of social commentary bubbling just underneath the surface. While you might begin the game wanting to give your prisoners a decent life, it isn't long until you start calculating just how... cozy you can make their cells, just so you can cram in more prisoners. The game is all about making more money at the expense of human misery, and it might make you learn something about yourself in the process. 

More Prison Architect

#14 of 39 on The Best Playstation 4 Strategy Games #4 of 33 on The Best PlayStation 4 Simulation Games #10 of 24 on The Best Xbox One Strategy Games #8 of 22 on The Most Popular Simulation Video Games Right Now

see more on Prison Architect
2
Stranded Deep
Stranded Deep is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 16 Obscure PC Games You've Probably Never Played Before
Photo:  Beam Team Games

While Minecraft was certainly the pioneer of sandbox crafting games, others have come in its wake, such as Savage Lands and 7 Days to Die. Stranded Deep is much different, as it isn’t set in a dark fantasy landscape or amidst a zombie infestation, but rather a handful of islands in the middle of the ocean. 

This poses a pretty different problem, since all of the things that can kill you do it slowly. Agonizingly. Well, except for the sharks. They'll take you apart pretty quickly. Just... don't fall in the water, okay? 

Evil Genius is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 16 Obscure PC Games You've Probably Never Played Before
Photo: Elixir Studios

Evil Genius features base building and invader repulsion, similar to Dungeon Keeper, except with a '70s veneer. What more could you want? This game is a bit like tower defense, before tower defense became a thing.

Because this title has more strategic depth, it's far more engaging than simply "keep invaders out," especially because of all the superspy hijinks. Beware James Bond John Steele, one of the super agents who breaks into your lair. He wrecks bases like nobody’s business. Seriously, take him out no matter the cost. 

More Evil Genius

#13 of 33 on The 20+ Best PC Base Building Games On Steam #17 of 45 on The Best God Games of All Time

see more on Evil Genius
4
Curious Expedition
Curious Expedition is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 16 Obscure PC Games You've Probably Never Played Before
Photo:  Maschinen-Mensch

In Curious Expedition, you play as a historically-significant scientist or explorer (such as Charles Darwin or Marie Curie), and go forth on exciting expeditions. But these adventures are fraught with danger, from starvation to killer tigers to volcanic eruptions. To win the game, you have to finish your expedition before the others do AND bring back as many artifacts and items as you can carry. 

Sure, you could totally bring that sacrificial mask back with you to gain vast fame and fortune, but it means leaving your rations behind. You should make it back to the ship before you starve. Break a leg!