- Single-player games offer a chance to enjoy a game’s narrative and play at your own pace, dominating game-of-the-year discussions.
- Genshin Impact stands out as a live-service single-player game with regular content updates that excels in open-world exploration, story, and combat.
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a classic RPG with universal acclaim for its gameplay and narrative.
Multiplayer games are always fun to dive into, but it’s nice to go on a little adventure alone every once in a while. Single-player games are a way for you to enjoy a game’s narrative and move at your own pace. These games also tend to dominate conversations for game-of-the-year awards.
Some of the better single-player games out there are showcases of either awesome storytelling, unique game mechanics, or an immersive world. The very best games ever made tend to include all three. If players are interested in experiencing some of the best single-player titles ever, look no further than your PC.
Updated on November 23, 2023, by Sanyam Jain: Multiplayer games might have a longer life than single-player, but a lot of people still tend to gravitate towards the single-player experience. To keep up with the demand, there have been many new additions to this experience over time.
12 Grim Fandango
Those who enjoy an old-school computer game should check out one of the greatest point-and-click adventures of all time. Grim Fandango, originally developed by LucasArts, was remastered by Double Fine Productions and original director Tim Schafer. The game revolves around Manny Calavera, a travel agent in the Land of the Dead, whose job is to help souls reach their final destination.
However, after a client is misassigned to go on the longest journey to reach peace, Manny goes on an adventure to save her. The game itself is rather difficult, but its writing and music are among the top-tier games out there.
11 Genshin Impact
- September 28, 2020
- RPG, Action, Adventure
While talking about single-player games, you’d mostly think of a one-and-done experience. However, Genshin Impact is one of the few live-service single-player games that get regularly updated with more content as you slowly progress in the main story of Teyvat.
In this game, you play as a Traveler who gets separated from their sibling at the start, which leads to a big journey of finding them again. Be it open-world exploration, immersive story, and difficult combat, this game excels in all these aspects at the same time. While playing, you can also get a bunch of currency that can be used to get new characters in the limited and standard banners.
The best-selling game of all time across multiple platforms, Minecraft continues to have an active player base a decade after its first full release. Of course, the game is well known for its multiplayer.
However, it’s also a solid single-player experience where players can load up a world all to themselves. Placed in a world made of blocks, players must collect supplies and attempt to survive in a world filled with dangerous mobs. Of course, those who rather just build in the sandbox game can do that in the game’s Creative Mode.
9 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
While CD Projekt Red’s reputation might not be the best after the Cyberpunk 2077 incident, it’s worth remembering the classic the studio brought the world right before. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was the third game in the story of Geralt of Rivia, a monster slayer in a Slavonic fantasy world.
The plot of the game revolves around Geralt’s search for his adopted daughter who is running from the Wild Hunt, spectral warriors from a different dimension. The game received universal acclaim for almost every element of its gameplay and narrative.
8 Doki Doki Literature Club!
While it may seem like a generic dating sim game on the surface, Doki Doki Literature Club! is so much deeper than that. There’s a reason for the game having over 190,000 Overwhelmingly Positive reviews on Steam with the number growing constantly. However, this game does require a bit of patience.
At the start, it will look like a slice-of-life experience, but it’ll take an unexpected turn quickly. You won’t expect the twists in this game, and honestly, it’s best played completely blind. Make sure you keep your lights on while playing this because you’re sure to get spooked a little!
7 Disco Elysium
One of the best indie games of the last decade, Disco Elysium combines table-top roleplay with a deep mystery. Players are a detective who wakes up with amnesia, only to find out that they are in the middle of a murder investigation.
To start the game, players are asked to assign various numbers to stats such as Intellect, Motorics, Physique, and Psyche. Players must use skill checks and dialogue trees to navigate every situation they end up in, from interrogating suspects to just trying to discover who they are.
There are a lot of games that take place in dystopian worlds, but few do it as well as the original BioShock. Set in 1960, players control a man named Jack as he roams an underwater city called Rapture.
The city was once a thriving utopia before a power-granting material known as ADAM was discovered and pulled the civilization into ruin. The game is a first-person shooter, but the player can figure out many different ways to handle certain situations and enemies, including the legendary Big Daddies.
5 Grand Theft Auto V
A game that will never die, Grand Theft Auto V came out two generations ago, yet upgrades continue to come out for it. That is for good reason, however, as it is one of the best single-player campaigns of all time.
You play as not just one character but three different characters over the course of a long story arc in the fictional city of Los Santos. The game revolves around doing ridiculous story missions that include heists, assassinations, family drama, and so much more.
4 Portal 2
- April 18, 2011
- Puzzle, Platformer
Puzzle games can be a lot of fun to figure out, but no puzzle game has ever been as engaging as Portal 2. Set after the events of Portal, players are once again Chell as they are back in the Aperture Science facility. You and a core named Wheatley break out of the room Chell has been staying in to escape the facility.
However, along the way, they accidentally reawaken GLaDOS, who is ready for Chell to grind testing chambers again. The twists and turns of the narrative and the unique puzzle mechanics are what make this game stand out.
Another game that has yet to receive another iteration since its release a decade ago, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was hailed as an all-time action RPG and is still beloved by many today.
In the game, you are the Dragonborn who is tasked with taking on a dragon Alduin the World-Eater, who seeks to destroy the world. The game revolves around traveling around Skyrim, completing quests, and exploring secret dungeons. This is likely the best game to play if you are looking for something to get completely lost in, for good reason.
2 Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 2
- November 20, 2007
- Action RPG, Third-Person Shooter
Single-player games may not be what they are today if it wasn’t for the deep story of the Mass Effect trilogy. While the original Mass Effect is iconic in its own ways, many players have suggested skipping the first game and diving into the second as Mass Effect 2 has an overall better gameplay experience and is arguably the story at its peak.
Players once again take on the role of Commander Shepard as they look to form a team that is strong enough to take down the Collectors, an insect-like alien race.
1 Half-Life 2
When it comes to PC gaming, there’s no game more famous than Half-Life 2. Developed by Valve, the first-person shooter revolves around Gordon Freeman as he looks to stop the Combine, an alien empire, from ruling over Earth.
The game built off of the combat sequences and puzzle-solving of the first game while throwing in new mechanics such as driving vehicles. It is currently the highest-rated PC game that isn’t a re-release on Metacritic, sitting at 96. The game was also among the first to use Valve’s iconic Source engine.
NEXT: Half-Life vs Portal: Which One Is Better?