Games have been an integral part of our childhood. While some people choose to outgrow such a hobby, many of us remain hooked to the virtual world, the characters, and the story that it has to offer.
Some games look fantastic with next-gen graphics while others even with their simplistic 2-D shady visuals manage to grab our attention with their intuitive gameplays.
In this list, you’ll find the 25 best single-player PC games you can play in 2021.
Some of these games are recently released titles while others can be a decade old. This list has games from almost all genres you can think about from survival to horror to simulators to first-person shooters and everything in between.
We’ve selected the best of the best from different categories allowing this list to have something for everyone. Most of these games are also playable on a mid-range PC which is a thumbs up for the majority of us, however, there are some games that require high hardware requirements.
Before downloading any of these games, don’t forget to check whether the game is compatible with your system.
Without any further ado, let’s start with the 25 best single-player PC games that you can play in 2021.
25 Best Single Player PC Games
1. Horizon Zero Dawn
Genre: Action Role-Playing | Release Date: 7th August 2020 | Other Supported Platform: PlayStation 4
Aloy, banished by her tribe was raised by an outcast named Rost. As a kid, Aloy had gotten her hands on a focus, an augmented reality that is able to give her special perceptive abilities. A couple of years past, Aloy gets a chance to be part of a competition that will give her the right to be part of the tribe that had initially cast her out.
She wins the competition, however, everything takes a turn for the worse when cultists attack the Nora tribe almost killing Aloy during the raid. As she awakens, Aloy starts to search for a reason and slowly starts to unravel an ugly truth about the world, the underground system, and most importantly about herself. Her battle not only lies with human beings but also the robots that rule the world.
2. Minecraft Dungeons
Genre: Action-adventure game, Dungeon crawl, Action role-playing game | Release Date: 26th May 2020 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Xbox One
Minecraft Dungeons follows the same world that is seen in Minecraft. A homeless Illager, Archie, is a town’s fool that is ignored or avoided by the townsmen. A fortunate event where Archie discovers an orb of dominance leads him to gain powers beyond comprehension.
Now, in a position of power and controlling an army, Archie attacks and raids towns of people who did him wrong. As a player in the game, you will eventually reach a point where you face the final boss, Archie, and destroy him.
As the orb of dominance shatters, Archie is knocked back to his original self and free of the orb’s influence. The evil is eventually defeated and the townsmen finally embrace Archie with open arms. The game is different than the original Minecraft as this one has a linear storyline with cutscenes.
For fans who can’t get enough of Minecraft Dungeons, check out games like Minecraft.
3. Half-Life: Alyx
Genre: First-person shooter | Release Date: 23rd March 2020 | Other Supported Platform: PC Compatible with VR
Launched in March 2020, Half-Life: Alyx is VR Game, for this to play you would need a VR ready PC build.
This game story follows up on half-life 2 but is set 5 years later. Gordon freeman finds himself waking up from a 20-year sort of a comma only to realize that the planet Earth is inhabited by a colony of aliens.
Gordon is assisted throughout the story by Alyx Vance, daughter of his former companion. Alyx is part of the resistance and is a huge follower of freeman.
She finds herself in a series of twists and turns when her father, Eli, is captured. Alyx embarks upon a journey of her life as she finds a secret superweapon that makes things a lot more complicated than it seems.
Half-Life: Alyx puts you directly in the driving seat from the get-go, you start busting soldiers and aliens while solving really cool puzzles to proceed forward. The interactions in the game are superb just like the previous ones but better and Valve deserves an applause for that.
4. Doom Eternal
Genre: First-person shooter | Release Date: 20th March 2020 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Google Stadia
The hell’s demons that were once locked up on Mars, have now been released and unleashed upon Earth. As the world sees complete destruction, Doom slayer takes it upon himself to send these demons back to where they came from. However, things are not as black and white as it seems.
The entire attack on Earth seems to be planned by Hell for years and has been accomplished with the help of Heaven. Hell requires souls to sustain and therefore coming to Earth to collect as many souls as possible seems to be the right option. While on the other hand, Heaven requires Argent energy to continue existing thus joining hands with Hell.
The story is simple and expanded through collectible items but the adrenaline-pumping action is what Doom is always about.
5. Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
Genre: Action role-playing | Release Date: 9th January 2020 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
The game is set in a fantasy world where humans and sentient races fight to create a new world. The new world is said to be a completely different continent from the old world. It is a turnaround in terms of environment and resources.
The new world is a relentless and harsh wilderness where monsters reside. The continent is also a center of subject for researchers who are looking towards uncovering new mysteries. Humans have already sent their fleets to set a basis in the new world and commence their research and operations in the area.
You are able to control a hunter who is sent in these fleets to control the new world. You will be assigned various tasks to explore and find resources, artifacts, and more. In the quest to gather items and information, you will face monsters like none before.
Genre: First-person shooter | Release Date: 2nd June 2020 | Other Supported Platforms: N/A
Valorant is similar to counterstrike global offensive. Just like the latter, there are a series of rounds with one team attempting to plant a bomb at designated sites while the other team tries to defuse the bomb or stop the process of planting.
The game is a bit more technical but is really fun to play with your friends online. It tests the communication skills and also reflexes of players making it really competitive while remaining an entertainment powerhouse.
It is a bit different from counter-strike since every character has special abilities that allow gamers to create special tactics and deliver beautiful skill shots. The ongoing updates make the game very promising in the future as well.
7. Fortnite: Battle Royale
Genre: Third-person shooter | Release Date: 2nd June 2020 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Android, iOS
Fortnite was said to be the kid version of Player Unknown Battlegrounds. However, it has turned into an arena shooter with a bit of sass. The game has a superb reward system as it provides points according to good aim.
The map has many different terrains ranging from lush green forests to concrete jungle skyscrapers. Fortnite is continuously refined by developers through frequent updates that bring in new skins, tools, weapons, and more.
Fortnite is worth the time as it has a fantastic building system better than Minecraft, but it takes time to get used to it. With the trend o
8. Call of Duty: Warzone
Genre: First-person shooter | Release Date: 10th March 2020 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Call of Duty Warzone is similar to Player unknown battlegrounds and Fortnite, however, it does not have the Fortnite building mechanism. What is it? It is a step up from PUBG that provides an exhilarating hunt-and-chase open-world map first-person shooter gaming experience.
It has different game modes but the most interesting one is blood money. Players are required to either play alone or team up in duos, trios, and quads while collecting money through contracts and other interactions.
The mode offers a fast-paced game with different terrains, weapons, vehicles, and more, making it an interesting gaming experience. It surpasses PUBG in terms of graphics and also gameplay and is one of the best Call of Duty created thus far.
9. Resident Evil 2: Remake
Genre: Survival horror | Release Date: 25th January 2019 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
If you were a fan of resident evil 2 back then, then you’re going to love the remake. Gamers can select two different storylines set in the same place. The bits that were missing in the game in the original version are all connected through cutscenes, amazing storyline, and visuals.
Every minute of the game is exhilarating and tense but it is nonetheless enjoyable. Players are found stranded in racoon city and make their way to the police department to further investigate what is happening in the city.
There are hordes of zombies across the map, however, the game steps it up a notch with Mr. X that does not seem to slow down. It keeps the game exciting every moment.
As you push through a series of incidents, riddles, hidden passages, etc., the game truly shines as it has more to offer than the original. This deserves to be on this list of 25 best single-player PC games for all the right reasons.
10. Grand Theft Auto 5
Genre: Action-adventure | Release Date: 17th September 2013 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox Series X
Grand Theft Auto 5 is an open-world game and is considered to be one of the best games of the decade. The game replicates the entirety of Los Angeles, giving you a vast city, the sprawling atmosphere, and the scorching heat.
The campaign is what sets GTA 5 among the others as it involves ambitious heists, collusions among players, and extortions among businesses. The game is fun to play at all times as it offers something for everyone. The game also has online gameplay too which takes it up a notch.
Now bring your friends in and raid other’s turfs, support your mates and get your vibe on with the LAPD. There are thousands of mods you can choose from. It doesn’t get any better than this. GTA 5 is the best single-player PC game out there if you’re a fan of open-world gaming.
11. Dishonored 2
Genre: Stealth game | Release Date: 11th November 2016 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Dishonored 2 is set 15 years after Emily is back on the throne all thanks to Corvo. The game sees a serial killer that is referred to as the Crown killer who goes about ruthlessly killing Emily’s enemies.
It might seem good for many, but most of the townsfolks are starting to believe that both Emily and Corvo may be responsible for all the mass murders. Dishonored 2 is a highly immersive game with the option to choose among 2 characters who have different storylines.
This is great if you want to play the game again but with the second character. If you’re not a stealth player, then dishonored 2 offers many more non-lethal ways to play the game, unlike its first part. It is more interactive than the first giving users multiple options to choose from.
12. Hitman 2
Genre: Action-adventure | Release Date: 9th November 2018 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
It’s been more than 20 years since Hitman first started taking out his targets in its first-ever installment. 2 decades have passed and one would expect that the game is getting redundant but Hitman 2 is the best and IO developers’ masterpiece so far.
Hitman has always had a simple storyline, a contract assassin taking out targets across the globe. What has changed is how interactive the game has become. Every single movement has a repercussion and every action has a different response from the environment.
The game allows gamers to play upgraded versions of the hitman reboot game by purchasing the different levels.
13. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Genre: Action-adventure | Release Date: 18th May 2015 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
The game follows the monster slayer, Geralt as he makes his way through the medieval fantasy world fighting monsters and even humans. It is considered to be one of the best open-world RPGs currently on the PC platform.
The storyline is clever and very well-written. The world is enormous, therefore expect all sorts of monsters from ghouls to vampires to wraiths and everything in between. Every quest has a history that is worth exploring making it an interesting game.
The funny one-liners and humor are perfectly delivered by Geralt. You do not need to play all the previous games or read books to know what’s going on. The game will definitely take up a couple of hundred hours from your life as it has a lot to offer.
14. Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
Genre: Action RPG | Release Date: 23rd March 2018 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4
JRPGs have been around for a while, however, Ni no Kuni II is said to be the most ambitious JRPG game ever released. The game has stunning visuals that will catch you breathless time and time again.
The story follows Evan a half-cat king who envisions a new kingdom and new friends after he was technically dethroned. It is an open-world game and features superb third-person combat. Ni no Kuni II allows gamers to visit different kingdoms, have a duel with minibosses, scavenge for resources to build your own kingdom, and more.
It is a kingdom simulation game that is enjoying every bit. The animations, the music, the interactions with the environment, exploration, and combat, all of them are tuned perfectly creating a serene gaming experience that shouldn’t be missed by anyone. It is definitely a meaningful and cute fairytale that will leave you wanting for more.
15. Stardew Valley
Genre: Simulation and Role-playing | Release Date: 26th February 2016 | Other Supported Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Android, PlayStation 4, Linux, Xbox One, iOS, PlayStation Vita, Classic Mac OS
This was the most talked-about game in 2016 for many different reasons. Initially, the game was released for the gaming console; however, looking at its success, the designer Eric Barone decided to bring it to PC.
The concept of the game is simple. It is a simulation game with farming a larger aspect of it. The game starts with you inheriting a farm whereby you need to take care of the crops and the fields.
The game tests your management skills since you do have to maintain a balance, not just as a farm owner but also as a socialite among the locals. The game is fun as it allows gamers to approach the gameplay through multiple angles.
Focus on maximizing your income through farming, develop a relationship with a local, explore the valley from the fishing spots to abandoned caves festered with monsters.
There is so much you can do or do nothing at all by simply mucking around. It is a minigame and became a hit with gamers for a long time. Playing this in 2021 is still worth the time as the mechanics used in Stardew Valley is complex and intuitive.
16. Kerbal Space Program
Genre: Space flight simulation | Release Date: 27th April 2015 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Classic Mac OS, Linux, Wii U
If you’re into building and simulation games then the Kerbal space program is definitely up your alley. The game allows you to build a spacecraft and fly it. So, what could go wrong? Well, a lot of things since constructing a spacecraft is definitely not an easy task. The game offers so many different parts to create a spacecraft, that the wrong part or a right part in the wrong place will often result in an explosion.
As you get into the game and try which combination of parts works well, you will end up unlocking a lot of options. You’re able to create different types of spaceships that allow you to push boundaries of time and space travel plunging your alien-like character deeper into space.
The slapstick comedy is on point and does not get annoying like the minions in despicable me. It is silly but exploration can be majestic.
17. Total War: Warhammer 2
Genre: Real-time tactics | Release Date: 28th September 2017 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Classic Mac OS, Linux, Wii U
If you enjoy dark fantasy, then this is for you. The game has two mordors and a couple of draculas that will shake you to the core. It is a historical strategy game that requires gamers to be focused on large-scale nation management and unit shuffling during battles.
The game can get really complex, so if you’re one of those people that enjoy light adventure games, then stay away from Total War: Warhammer 2. The game has a campaign mode where every nation or race fights for control of a magical vortex that will result in complete domination.
The game is the best of both worlds as it has aspects of total war and also Warhammer. It stands out as the game is compatible with the older version enabling gamers to combine both the maps to create one large map for an epic battleground.
Genre: Turn-based tactics | Release Date: 24th April 2018 | Other Supported Platforms: Linux and Classic Mac OS
There is a reason why we didn’t mention XCOM in this list and it’s because of BattleTech. You’re in charge of a mercenary company that provides its services ranging from assassination to escort to missions and more. The game is all about mechs and combat and when the fight is over, it’s all about salvaging the scraps for cash.
The cash can be used to pimp up your gear, spaceship, and many other things. The mechs are loaded with 11 different armor segments, a variety of weapons, and different ammo.
All these make for countless combinations of mech which is not seen in XCOM at all. Small things like durability, speed, the stability of the mechs contribute towards winning the fight. Therefore be sharp and calculative as the combination you choose should suit your mech’s stats.
Related Read: Best turn-based RPG
19. Portal 2
Genre: Action-adventure | Release Date: 18th April 2011 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Classic Mac OS and Linux
Portal 1 was truly a great game but lacked inventive puzzles which would’ve made it an even greater game. However, portal 2 is on another level. It is able to deliver more of all of those things that made portal 1 great in the first place.
The titular mechanics of the game changes the way you think enabling you to create paths for easy travel. The puzzles are much grand and complex than the first one and the storyline is even more grim yet hilarious.
The single-player on its own is stellar, however, playing with a friend online or co-op makes it even more enjoyable. The game is mind invigorating as the puzzles get complex and complicated as time goes on. The game is almost a decade old, however, it is still enjoyable to this day.
20. What Remains of Edith Finch
Genre: Adventure | Release date: 25th April 2017 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One
If you’re into games that are mostly like a movie or story, something like life is strange, then what remains of Edith finch will keep you hooked. This tops life is strange in all aspects.
The varied narrations of a doomed family and their curious home is enough to peak one’s attention. Submerge yourself into character development as each character has an interesting story that shouldn’t be missed.
Play the game with a curious mind and interact with every character in the finch family to take you on a journey of a lifetime. You will find yourself thrilled and then devastated as you discover the secrets of the mysterious finch house.
21. Euro Truck Simulator 2
Genre: Simulator | Release Date: 19th October 2012 | Other Supported Platforms: Classic Mac OS, Linux
Well, its another simulator game like many others. However, people can’t seem to stop talking about it. The scenery is Europe and you’re driving in a truck across the continent delivering whatever it might be. You’ll witness different countries in the game, different environments, and most importantly the scenery.
It will keep you hooked for hours as you drive across Europe in a truck listening to the European radio show. It makes you feel like you’re actually in control and pushes you to continue playing for hours exploring parts of Europe that you might’ve not even seen in real life.
The controls and gaming experience is nothing special but its mesmerizing and with the addition of mods it becomes more fun. It is one of those games that will keep you glued to the screen even though it’s been a decade since it was first released.
22. Frost Punk
Genre: City building and survival | Release Date: 24th April 2018 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
This has got to be one of the most exciting games on this list. Frost Punk is a city builder but mostly a survival game. It would be best if you managed the entire city during harsh conditions. The game will create scenarios where you have to make difficult choices to survive the harsh winters and simultaneously deal with your decisions’ consequences and results.
Your main aim is to ensure that the population survives the cold, is well-fed, has proper health facilities, and more. The game is not an open-ended experience and therefore gamers are given different scenarios in a span of 45 days.
If you think you’ve got the hang of it, something will ruin your smooth gameplay creating problems for you to clean up. It is highly entertaining and also a challenging game that will test your decision-making skills.
23. Overcooked 1 & 2
Genre: City building and survival | Release Date: 24th April 2018 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
This list can never be complete without Overcooked. It is a highly simple game that is played online with three other players. What could go wrong? Ever watched hell’s kitchen? Yep, that’s exactly what happens when you’re playing overcooked.
It is a kitchen catastrophe simulator as working together always ends up going wrong if there is no communication. Instead, overcooked is a game filled with shouting, cooking, waiting for ingredients, and more. The game becomes challenging when you’re cooking outside a kitchen, say for example on a pirate ship.
The ship moves back and forth and so does your players and the counters! Another stage can see cramped up places where two people are a crowd. The game requires coordination in movements and solid communication to deliver hungry customers the food that they so desperately came in for.
Both overcooked 1 and 2 is good, however, we recommend the second one since it has online play which spices up things.
24. Cities: Skyline
Genre: City building | Release Date: 10th March 2015 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, macOS, Linux
Cities Skyline is another great city building game. It is more complex than any other city building game out there. The game allows users to build an extremely detailed blueprint of the city.
There are so many options for various purposes. For example, you cannot have a normal road in places where you would expect really heavy traffic. Then the quality of the road affects the community and buildings surrounding it. You have to be very careful with your planning.
This game requires focus and commitment to creating the best city ever. Choose from different landscapes and build your way to greatness. Oh also, disasters are just around the corner so be prepared. Cities Skylines is hands-down the best single-player PC game in terms of city-building there is.
25. Rocket League
Genre: Racing | Release Date: 7th July 2015 | Other Supported Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, macOS, Linux, and Classic Mac OS
Rocket League is the perfect combination of sports and cars. In this whirlwind of a soccer match, controlling rocket-powered cars, and using physics and speeds earn that goal!
In simpler words, smash the giant soccer ball with your car into the goal post. The twist is that the cars have rockets and they can jump, flip and even fly into the air! It will take some time to get used to it, however, the game is the next adrenaline-pumping Fifa on the market.
The game is continuously being updated with newer obstacles, moves, challenges, and more. Learning to steer and drive on walls like you’re in the movie Matrix will take some time getting used to but it is worth the practice.
Start playing with bots first or in training modes so that you’re up to speed because no matter how calm you think sports is, this one will have you geared up for the worst.
This game is definitely a great experience when playing with a controller rather than a mouse and keyboard.
The PC games market is really saturated as more PC games are launched each year than all the console game launches combined. Only a few PC games each year stand out and from there only a couple of them remain to live in our hearts for years to come. That is the power of games, creating memories and cherishing moments with your friends, family, or even alone.
We’ve gathered some of the classic games, some modern games, and some games that bring a hint of nostalgia but with a twist. Our list of 25 best single-player PC games that you can play in 2021 will help you narrow down your hunt for the best game to play right now. Do leave a comment in the sections below with your all-time favorite game or any game you think deserves a spot on our list.