12 games that you can finish in one sitting

The value of a game should not be judged on how long it takes to complete, but on its quality.

People often judge the value of games by how long it takes to complete them. Games that you can complete in one sitting are often thought as unworthy, but the quality of a video game should not be judged on the time it takes to complete. We live in a fast-paced world where many gamers have full-time jobs or are parents, and so the prospect of a game that requires a hundred hours to complete is daunting. 

However, a game which you can complete in 1-3 sittings is ideal! Whether you’re looking for a sense of adventure or fancy a go at solving puzzles, all of these games will scratch that itch. While the stories may be short, they certainly don’t cheap out on depth. If you’re a short game pessimist, try out one of our incredible suggestions and let us know if we’ve managed to break the “short video games” stereotype.

All of the games listed below will include ‘Bish points’; these are my own ratings and so are entirely subject to my own taste and preference in games.

1. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person story-driven mystery game that focuses entirely on exploration and discovery. Playing as the detective, you receive a disturbing letter that leads you to the discovery of Ethan's Disappearance. The immersive story is inspired by strange fiction from the early 20th century and involves a few mental challenges.

The producers focused solely on the atmosphere, mood and humanity of their characters. As the game moves on, you will slowly uncover the dark ancient forces lurking in the shadows and the fate of Ethan Carter.

8/10 Bish Points

This game is beautiful in everything it does, from the scene transitions to the graphics (for its time), to the storyline. While it may have left me with emotional scars, I can’t dispute how perfect it is.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is available to play on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

2. The Stanley Parable

Also a first-person exploration game, The Stanley Parable allows you to play as two different characters. In one story you will play as Stanley, and in the other, you will not. In one game you will follow a story and in the other, you won’t. In one game you will have a choice and in the other, you will not. In the end, the game will end, and in the other, the game will not end.

This game wasn’t designed for you to understand it, it breaks the rules of how to play a game, and then breaks them further. As you delve deeper into The Stanley Parable, you begin to see its meaning, and the paradoxes may start to make sense. Occasionally breaking the fourth wall, this immersive game provides a thrilling adventure.

9/10 Bish Points

I cannot express enough how amazing this game is! Even the demo is incredible I could be wrong, but The Stanley Parable could be the first second-perspective game and certainly paves the way for more to come. This game is more of an experience than a game, definitely worth my wallet. 

The Stanley Parable is available to play on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

3. Untitled Goose Game

It's a lovely day in the village, and you are a horrible goose. During the game you (the goose) will go around the village, ruining people's days. Set up pranks on the village green, steal people's hats from their garden, Honk loudly in the high street shops, and more.

You hate people, and so you love ruining their day.

7/10 Bish Points

You definitely need to play this game, especially if you loved Goat Simulator! However, unlike Goat Simulator, this game requires you to complete a checklist of chaos to complete. I loved the minimalist style and how easy it was to play, so it is definitely a game to play if you feel like not concentrating too hard.

Untitled Goose Game is available to play on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, PlayStation, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

Soon coming to Steam and Itch as well.

4. Typoman Revised

This game is brilliant for puzzlephiles! You play as an unlikely hero made of letters, struggling through a dark and hostile world. However, you possess a powerful gift: you can affect the hostile environment with the words you have crafted. But be careful! You must choose your words wisely, as they can either be a blessing or a curse.

6/10 Bish Points

While the game’s atmosphere and graphics are dark, beautiful, and unique, the puzzles can sometimes feel pointless and time-consuming. The game often felt like a clone copy of Limbo, but if you love puzzles and are looking for something new, then this is the game for you. 

Typoman Revised is available to play on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo Switch.

5. Sea of Solitude

In a world where humans turn into monsters when they get too lonely, you take a personal journey of loneliness with Kay, a woman who was so lonely, that she turned into a monster. Take an adventure in a small dinghy, and experience the beautiful and evolving world where nothing is what it seems on the surface. 

Throughout the game, you will meet incredible creatures and monsters, learn their stories, and solve challenges. Dare to lift the curtain and face the haunting struggle of darkness and light - discover the true meaning of what it is to be human.

10/10 Bish Points

This game is deep. Like deep, deep. It explores mental illness extremely well and also manages to remain sensitive to the subject matter. It's incredibly short, but it left me wanting more! This game is for those who are a slut for story-driven indie games….like me. 

Sea of Solitude is available to play on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

6. What Remains of Edith Finch

A collection of strange tales about a family in Washington state: playing the role of Edith, you search for stories on her family history, figuring out how she is the only one left alive. With each story, you experience the life of a relative on their death day.

The only constants in this game are the first-person perspective and that each story ends with death. This game will teach you about the importance of being humbled and astonished by the unknowns in the world around us.

10/10 Bish Points

This narrative is so so good. What Remains of Edith Finch is magnificent, heart-wrenching and just darn right beautiful. While the game includes quite violent deaths, none of them appears to be gore-y in nature, so, it can be played by younger players. The game doesn’t require much speed or skill, so it is quite relaxing - it mostly carries you on a journey and certainly left me with a tear-stained pillow at night. 

What Remains of Edith Finch is available to play on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

7. Little Nightmares

You’ve probably seen this little gem on TikTok or Instagram, but just in case you haven’t, we’ll fill you in. This dark, immersive tale will confront your childhood traumas. Help Six and Mono escape The Maw - a vast, mysterious vessel inhabited by the corrupt souls who are searching for their next meal.

As you progress through the game, you will explore a disturbing dollhouse, escape the prison, and discover a playground full of secrets to unveil. The whole point of the game - using your imagination to find the way out.

10/10 Bish Points

This game often made me feel on edge... IN A GOOD WAY! With a sort of hide-and-seek atmosphere, this game had me yelling at the character as I was running away from The Maw. It executes a perfect level of creepy without making it feel like I'm playing horror. I genuinely cannot wait for the second instalment. 

Little Nightmares is available to play on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Stadia.

8. Myst

Another incredible puzzle game; Myst begins with your arrival on a mysterious island. The game aims to explore its beauty and mystery: the more you explore, the more is uncovered - revealing a tale of injustice that exceeds the boundaries of space and time. Everything you look at, interact with, or unearth may provide vital clues that uncover important secrets to the story. Each puzzle you solve will bring you a step closer to undoing the injustice that has gone unchecked for much too long.

The original game is currently available at half price on Steam, but if you can be patient and want to play the game in an updated visual jacket, or in VR, then you can already wishlist the upcoming reimagined version of Myst.

7/10 Bish Points

The only reason this game isn’t rated higher is that was something missing for me; I feel like it hasn’t aged as well as other games. Otherwise, the immersion and puzzles are so innovative and unique, and genuinely they force you to use your brain.

Myst is available to play on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, PlayStation, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, iOS and Android.

9. Limbo

Uncertain of his sister's fate, a boy enters LIMBO. This game is designed for “trial and death”. You are meant to fail and try again, guiding a small boy through the dark and dangerous environments, traps, and situations in order to find his sister.

As you puzzle your way to find the correct solution, the gruesome deaths of the boy will make you try very hard (or not) at solving unsolvable puzzles the first time.

9/10 Bish Points

This game is amazing for its atmosphere. At times, I felt crushed and suffocated, with no colour and little light the darkness of the game absorbs you. Usually, I would get frustrated and give up when dying all the time. However, due to the vast amount of generous checkpoints, and the creativity of the deaths, I'm left feeling murderous instead - killing my character on purpose to see what gore-y end awaits him. The art, animation and puzzles are brilliant - if you're itching to be a little sadistic, then this is the game for you. 

Limbo is available to play on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android.

10. Inside

Created by the same game developer as Limbo, this equally dark but beautiful game follows the story of a brave, young man who sets off on an adventure to travel through the treacherous terrain and large, gloomy buildings. He meets a race of ‘dull people’ who reflect the possible future for society.

8/10 Bish Points

If you loved Little Nightmares and Limbo, then you’ll fall in love with Inside. Intriguing and obscure, this game is totally worth it: the tiniest details the developers included in the environment, the storyline and the well-timed music queues will make your heart skip a beat. For me, however, the ending was a small letdown after such a suspenseful build-up. 

Inside is available to play on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android.

11. The Beginner's Guide

From the creator of The Stanley Parable, this narrative game follows no traditional mechanics, goals or objectives. It tells the story of a person who is struggling with a problem that they do not understand.

While many feel that the game is a general commentary on the highs and lows of the relationship between a game developer and their players, others argue that it's an allegory to the creators' struggles with the success of The Stanley Parable.

6/10 Bish Points

If I can describe this game in one word, it would be profound. The story and writing make for an emotional rollercoaster, which will have you sobbing uncontrollably one moment, and screaming with rage the next. However, I felt like I was watching a film from a first-person perspective due to there being very few gameplay elements. However, if you're a fan of beautiful storylines and want to enjoy the environment for once, then this game is spectacular.

The beginner’s guide is available to play on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS.

12. Portal

This classic and innovative puzzle game is set in the mysterious Aperture Science Laboratories and offers unique gameplay that remains unrivalled to this day. With a gun, which echoes similarities to Half-Life 2’s gravity gun, the player is able to approach, manipulate and surmise any possibility in any given environment.

To get through a level, players must create portals to solve physical puzzles and challenges to manoeuvre objects, and themselves, through space.

10/10 Bish Points

Portal is FANtastic, everyone I know who has played it fell in love with it. The gameplay is incredible and has aged well, and so has its sharp and witty script. It brings a unique twist to puzzle-solving and has kept me entertained for hours. I totally recommend it!

Portal is available to play on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Xbox One, Playstation and Android.