The Best Games You Can Beat in a Day

by Flyerim
14 minutes
The Best Games You Can Beat in a Day

As video games have evolved, they’ve generally grown in scale and complexity, offering expansive worlds and stories. While these grand adventures are often rewarding, sometimes players crave a shorter, more concise experience. Here’s a selection of fantastic games that you can complete in a single day, offering engaging narratives and innovative gameplay without demanding a huge time investment.

These games aren’t afraid to tell a tight, compact story, or to explore a single gameplay concept, and then call it a day without stretching things out. They are no less impactful or memorable than their massive counterparts, and may even be superior in some player’s eyes. Here are a few of the best games you can beat in a single day to cleanse your palate with some more experimental titles.

Minit

Platforms

Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Genre

Puzzle, Role-playing (RPG), Adventure, Indie

Developer

Kitty Calis, Jan Willem Nijman, Jukio Kallio

Publisher

Devolver Digital

Release

April 03, 2018

Minit is a unique indie game that stands out for its minimalist design and time-focused gameplay. Inspired by classic 2D adventure games like The Legend of Zelda, Minit introduces a unique twist: your character can only live for 60 seconds at a time. After each minute, you respawn at your starting point, but the progress you made remains. This mechanic turns the game into a series of bite-sized puzzles and tasks, encouraging strategic thinking and quick decision-making. Despite its brief duration, Minit offers a charming and engaging experience that can be completed in about one to two hours.

Inside

Platforms

PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Genre

Platform, Puzzle, Adventure, Indie

Developer

Playdead

Publisher

Playdead

Release

June 29, 2016

From the creators of Limbo, Inside is a dark, atmospheric puzzle-platformer that improves upon its predecessor in every way. Inside places you in control of a young boy navigating a dystopian world filled with danger and mystery. The game’s narrative unfolds through its haunting environments and clever puzzles, creating an immersive experience that keeps players on edge. The story, combined with the game’s eerie ambiance and fluid animation, culminates in a thought-provoking ending. Completing Inside in one sitting allows you to fully immerse yourself in its unsettling yet captivating world.

Journey

Platforms

PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 3, iOS, PlayStation 4

Genre

Platform, Adventure

Developer

ThatGameCompany

Publisher

Annapurna Interactive, Sony Computer

Release

March 13, 2012

Journey is a visually stunning and emotionally resonant game that tells its story without a single word. You play as a robed figure traversing a vast desert, moving toward a distant mountain. The minimalist design, coupled with an evocative musical score, creates an immersive experience that is both meditative and exhilarating. The fluid movement mechanics, including sliding, jumping, and floating, are simple yet satisfying. Journey’s brief yet profound narrative, explored through its beautiful environments and subtle cues, makes it perfect for a single-session playthrough, leaving a lasting impression.

SuperHot

Platforms

Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Genre

Shooter, Puzzle, Tactical, Indie

Developer

SUPERHOT Team

Publisher

IMGN.PRO, SUPERHOT Team

Release

February 25, 2016

For those seeking pure action, SuperHot delivers a unique twist on the first-person shooter genre. The core mechanic of SuperHot is that time only moves when you do, allowing you to plan your moves strategically and execute combat sequences with precision. This mechanic transforms each level into a dynamic puzzle where you must dodge bullets, disarm enemies, and use the environment to your advantage. Watching the real-time playback of your successful attempts makes you feel like a protagonist in an action movie. SuperHot’s concise length ensures it remains fresh and exciting from start to finish.

Portal

Platforms

Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Mac, Android, Nintendo Switch

Genre

Shooter, Platform, Puzzle

Developer

Valve

Publisher

Valve, Electronic Arts

Release

October 10, 2007

Portal is a groundbreaking puzzle game that combines simple yet innovative mechanics with a darkly humorous narrative. Equipped with the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, you must navigate a series of test chambers by creating interconnected portals. The game’s puzzles gradually increase in complexity, challenging your problem-solving skills and spatial reasoning. The sinister AI, GLaDOS, provides a constant stream of sarcastic commentary, adding to the game’s charm. Portal’s concise design, engaging puzzles, and memorable writing make it a perfect game to complete in one day.

The Best Games You Can Beat in a Day

With these concise and captivating titles, you can enjoy a complete and memorable gaming experience in just a few hours. Whether you’re short on time or just looking for a refreshing change of pace, these games offer compelling adventures that won’t demand weeks of your life.

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