You’ve got a long weekend coming up and nothing to do? Sounds like the perfect opportunity to settle into a really great game. Whether they’re about exploring far-off worlds or deep, intricate narratives, these games are short enough you can beat them in just a few days.
How long is that? We looked for games around 10 hours in length for this list, but if any are drastically longer or shorter, we’ll mention it specifically. We’re also covering games from all sorts of different platforms, so no matter how you play you’ll have more than enough options from this list.
“Adventure” is an admittedly broad genre, but for this list, we sought out the titles that truly live up to the genre’s name. You’ll experience some grand tales and meet some great characters in these games, whether you’re walking through the woods or defeating ultra-hard bosses.
- Firewatch (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): This masterfully written mystery takes place in the Wyoming wilderness; you only have contact with one person, but the game’s story still manages to be worthy of the near-universal praise it has received.
- Night in the Woods (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): A sidescroller with a bit more to offer than running around, there’s also a deep and meaningful story with plenty of unique, charming characters to meet and fall in love with.
- Furi (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): Furi features an amazing catalog of boss fights you must defeat to escape prison. Each boss has its own fighting style, requiring constant adaptation from you as you master their attack patterns. There’s little else as far as gameplay goes, but the surprisingly solid story and amazing soundtrack make Furi stand out among the other boss-rush games out there.
- Hyper Light Drifter (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch/iOS): This top-down adventure takes the normal hack-and-slash gameplay and twists it into something truly unique with vibrant visuals and a cryptic story. As you explore the map you’ll unlock new abilities, fight enemies, and take down massive bosses, all while discovering the truth about this mysterious world.
- Owlboy (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): Owlboy takes you on a short journey about a sentient owl and his band of friends stopping the world from being destroyed. Enjoy some of the best pixel art around and a constant stream of new ideas in this airborne adventure.
- Transistor (PC/PS/Switch): A top-down RPG that’s oozing with style, Transistor delivers amazing visuals, fantastic music, an excellent plot, and a unique take on turn-based combat from the same team that would go on to create 2020’s Hades.
- Genesis Noir (PC/Xbox/Switch): This mind-bending point-and-click adventure admittedly places more of an emphasis on amazing sights than deep gameplay. But when the visuals are this good, it’s hard to argue against it—this game is shorter than most here (only around five hours long), but the presentation makes it just as memorable as anything else.
- SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE (PC/Xbox/PS): This is a sequel to 2016’s SUPERHOT—a first-person shooter where time only moves when you do. That core mechanic allowed players to pull off stunts like no other game, whether that was dodging bullets with ease or stealing an enemy’s gun right in front of them. MIND CONTROL DELETE keeps that gameplay but expands the runtime with procedurally generated stages so the game stays fresh hours in. For returning fans, this is a great expansion, but even new players have plenty to look forward to here.
- Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): The era of Vikings has never been given a better tribute in games than Hellblade. This game manages to do justice to the setting and mythology, look beautiful, and include a poignant, meaningful story about mental health all at the same time.
- Journey to the Savage Planet (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): Taking inspiration from the Metroid Prime games, Journey to the Savage Planet is a first-person adventure with plenty to see. Run, shoot enemies, and explore a massive, detailed world with secrets to uncover, all while discovering the truth about the planet you’re on.
Want to put your brain to the test? These titles challenge the mind better than any other game, with plenty of unique, creative ideas to ensure they still feel one-of-a-kind.
- Portal 2 (PC/Xbox): The original Portal was acclaimed for its clever, portal-hopping puzzles, and the sequel aims to one-up it in every way. The story is more involved, there are plenty of new mechanics, and it even has an entire co-op campaign to enjoy with another player (online or local play). Whether you’ve played the first one or not, Portal 2 is an absolute joy to beat.
- Baba is You (PC/Switch): Baba is You is all about changing the rules of the game as you play. Every puzzle has a flag you need to reach, but how you reach it is different every time. To help with this, you have a small arsenal of words scattered around the stage that can be arranged into phrases that change how the game works. For example, if you form the phrase “Rock is you,” you now control a rock instead of the titular Baba. It’s a one-of-a-kind mechanic that’s thoroughly explored right until the very end.
- Manifold Garden (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch/iOS): Manifold Garden aims to wow you visually as much as it tests your mind. The first-person gameplay is all about solving gravity-based puzzles to progress, but the presentation keeps that interesting. The minimalist world of Manifold Garden is full of beautiful, surreal sights that will motivate you to defeat the game’s most challenging puzzles.
- Carto (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): Carto allows you to change the layout of the world, something you’ll need to do a lot to uncover the secrets of the game’s charming plot. Finding the right path can be difficult, but the game rewards you for doing so with more narrative progression.
- Reventure (PC/Switch/Android/iOS): A game with 100 different endings to discover, each with a different puzzle attached. Some are simple, but others will take a while to finally piece together as you explore the entire map.
- Fez (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch/iOS): Fez makes heavy use of perspective in its puzzle design, requiring you to rotate the entire stage to uncover solutions and secrets. Throw in a great soundtrack and some fun visuals, and you’ve got a great time on your hands.
The modern-day successors to such classics as Super Mario World and Banjo Kazooie, this genre wears its description on its sleeve: They’re all about jumping on platforms. But the best in the genre find ways to keep that interesting, which all the ones here are excellent examples of.
- Celeste (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): Celeste is about climbing a mountain while also grappling with themes of mental health. The collection of levels all feature unique designs and obstacles you’ll need to overcome, and the game is constantly introducing new things right until the very end.
- Katana Zero (PC/Xbox/Switch): What if instead of pure platforming, we introduced some more action into the mix? Katana Zero is a fast-paced, action platformer where killing every enemy is not only asked of you but extremely satisfying to accomplish.
- Ori and the Blind Forest (PC/Xbox/Switch): In the beautiful world of Ori and the Blind Forest, you must repair the forest of Nibel. The story is emotional, the level design clever, and the game is always looking for new ways to surprise you. And if you’ve already played Blind Forest, then its sequel, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, will is an excellent follow-up upgraded visuals and deeper combat.
- A Hat in Time (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): 3D platformers are a somewhat rare sight nowadays, but A Hat in Time aims to fix that. Inspired by the likes of Super Mario Sunshine, every mission has a unique objective you’ll need to accomplish with the game’s robust movement system.
- Cyber Shadow (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): Remember Ninja Gaiden? Well, Cyber Shadow takes that core gameplay, thrusts into a new sci-fi setting, and builds on top of it a modern, fast-paced retro platformer.
- Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): Shovel Knight was widely praised when it was first released in 2014 for mixing older visuals with modern game design. In the years since, the developers have added three more campaigns to the original game, each with its own story and gameplay styles. The Treasure Trove pack includes all four, and they are all worthy of your time—so take your pick.
- Narita Boy (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): An action-platformer with style seeping out of every pixel, Narita Boy is a game like no other. The visuals constantly impress, the story treads on familiar tropes while injecting enough new ideas to keep things fresh, and the gameplay balances exploration, platforming, and combat well. If you’re on a search for a new sidescroller that feels one-of-a-kind, you’ll definitely want to play Narita Boy.
- Getting Over It With Bennet Foddy (PC): Ever climb a mountain with a sledgehammer? Me neither, but Bennet Foddy certainly wants you to have an idea of what it would be like. This extremely difficult platformer requires precision unlike any other, and the punishment for failure is consistently brutal. Fair warning, this game is unlike the others here, as depending on how fast you pick up the controls, a first playthrough can range anywhere from 5 to 15+ hours.
If you’re not playing alone, then you’ll want to look here. These games all offer an adventure that can be shared between at least two players, either through local play or online multiplayer.
- Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): Set in a fantasy world, Trine 4 sees you and two other players taking control of a knight, archer, and mage. You all have to work together to complete the various platforming and puzzle challenges, in either local play or online multiplayer.
- Biped (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): In Biped you and a friend each take control of a robot in local or online play to solve puzzles together. There are multiple worlds full of stages to play through, as you both master the game’s obtuse controls to overcome challenges.
- A Way Out (PC/Xbox/PS): You and a friend play as prisoners, and it’s about time to break out. The gameplay is intense as you devise a plan to escape without being caught, while also learning more about the inmates you play as. Whether you’re playing on a couch together or through online multiplayer, A Way Out is one of the most immersive co-op experiences on the market.
- Little Nightmares 2 (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): Little Nightmares 2 aims to bring some horror elements to the typical sidescroller action. Stumble your way through these terrifying stages with a friend by your side—literally, it only has local play—as you discover the secrets of this strange world.
- We Were Here Together (PC/Xbox/PS): This game has you solving puzzles together in a unique manner. You’re each in different rooms, but the answers to the puzzles in your room are only available in your partner’s. Because of this, only online multiplayer is available—I hope your communication is on point here.
- Unravel 2 (PC/Xbox/PS/Switch): The original Unravel was a gorgeous 2D platformer, albeit a basic one. The sequel still keeps the gameplay simple, but on top of upgraded visuals, the game now focuses on local co-op play (no online multiplayer, unfortunately). Now you and a partner can jump around and solve puzzles as adorable yarn creatures together, all while gawking at the scenery. And don’t worry, the story here is incredibly simple, you don’t need to worry about playing the first game.