The best games for when you only have an hour to spare

For those who don’t want to put too much of their life into a game.

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Image via Psyonix Studios

While there are plenty of games you can lose hours of your life into, that is not always the preferable way to enjoy your games. If you have only a short amount of time to devote to gaming, it can be difficult to get into a large RPG with an expansive world and complicated skill tree. Instead, if you are short on time, you want a great game to unwind with for short bursts or even potentially finish in one sitting. Here are our picks for the best games to play when you only have an hour to spare.

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The ten best games to play when you only have an hour to spare

Donut County

Image via Annapurna Interactive

Donut County is one of the most chilled and relaxing games you can play. The idea is simple: you only control a hole in the ground and drag it around. The more items that you make fall into the hole, the bigger it will slowly grow, letting you get even more in there. If you want to unwind after a stressful day, there are not many games that we recommend you destress to than Donut County.

Hitman 3

Image via IO Interactive

Hitman 3 is a game that will have you hunting down and eliminating targets and escaping the scene without being found and killed by the area’s security. Sometimes, this is much easier said than done, but a single playthrough of any level should generally fall between 20 minutes to an hour. It depends on how you attack each situation with your gear and whether you take a stealthy approach. You can spend plenty of time exploring these areas and figuring out how best to take down Agent 47’s target without being discovered.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Image via Nintendo.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is such an easy game to play for an hour and then put down for later. Of course, you can play the many Grand Prix tracks available in the base game or the Booster Pass, or you can take the challenge online and face off against random players from around the world. If you want a more head-to-head experience, you can also play some Battle Mode, but the races are much more varied and filled out in this entry.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Image via The Pokémon Company

Pretty much any Pokémon game can be picked up and enjoyed for a little bit before you end up saving it and putting it down for the next day. With Scarlet and Violet, the map is much more open and less linear. This can lead to you organically exploring the area and creating a bit of a unique experience for yourself as you find more creatures around. There is no pressure to be set on any path here; just go where you want when you want. You can also run around these areas with friends in local or online multiplayer, making Pokémon collecting even more fun.

Rocket League

Image via Psyonix

Rocket League is one of the more popular competitive games out there. Essentially, you are playing soccer in rocket-powered cars. Unlike the real-world soccer game, matches are pretty short, with regulation lasting five minutes and overtime ending whenever someone scores if the teams are tied. Rocket League is a stimulating game with a ton of excitement in short bursts that can be enjoyed on your own or with friends.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Image via Nintendo

Speaking of games that are fun either solo or in a group, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate lives up to its name by providing the most robust Smash experience to date. With a roster filled with dozens and dozens of gaming icons, you will enjoy the colorful stages and unique move sets of each character. You can use single-player modes or test your prowess in online and offline tournaments. These matches are a lot of fun that can fill you up after an hour of play.

Tetris Effect

Image via Enhance/Steam

Really any Tetris game could appear here, but we put Tetris Effect because it is the most recent and gorgeous entry in the series. If you are looking to destress and relax following a busy day, you can get lost in the simple music and scenes that pass by as you clear lines in this classic puzzler. It is simple Tetris, so you know what you are getting into, but sometimes a familiar game is all you need to play in an hour.

Vampire Survivors

Screenshot by Gamepur

Vampire Survivors is one of the best games to completely shut your mind off while you play. All you need to worry about is walking your character around and dodging the countless enemies that come in and attack you. Things look a lot more complicated than they are. The game will automatically use the attacks you unlock as you level up and become more powerful. Even if you have a successful run, the longest you can go in this game before it ends is a half hour, so it is perfect for shorter sessions.

What Remains of Edith Finch

Image via Giant Sparrow

There are plenty of walking simulators that can fill an hour pretty easily for you. Our choice for the best one is What Remains of Edith Finch. You play as Edith as she travels back to her family home and explores the rooms of her cursed and deceased family members. This is a very linear game that is just meant to tell you a story as you walk through it, so don’t expect anything special on a gameplay front, but the story is definitely worth experiencing.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel

Screenshot by Gamepur

If you are a fan of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, we highly recommend getting into Master Duel. This free-to-play title lets you unlock cards from the many years of the series and create decks to face off against other duelists in online matches. Matches don’t last that long, and there is crossplay and cross-progression support for all current game consoles, PC, and mobile devices, making it a perfect game to take with you on the go and pick back up with when you get home.