“The enemy of art is the absense of limitations.” Orson Welles
Is your PC drastically out of date? Does playing certain games turn it into grill plate? Computer hardware, including cooling, is expensive and keeping up with technology is nigh-on impossible. Nonetheless, there are good games out there for even the humblest of machines, if you know where to look.
Luckily, you won’t have to hunt too far. We’ve compiled a list of 10 great games, from a range of genres, with relatively low minimum PC-spec requirements. If you’re unsure whether your PC meets them you can check your ability to run most games at Can You Run It.
NOTE: All specification requirements (and prices) have been taken from Steam and are presumed to be correct.
Release Date: February 2017 Developer: Adriaan de Jongh
Hidden Folks is a fun, point-and-click, hidden object game. It features a cute, hand-drawn art-style as well as additionally cute ‘mouth-originated sound effects’. The game has a number of levels, each with a different theme and interactive scenery.
OS: Windows 7+ (64-bit) Processor: SSE2 instruction set support
Her Story, a non-linear crime fiction game, is a unique experience. The premise is seemingly straightforward, with the game granting the player access to an old, relegated computer and its police database. They must then sift through a plentiful array of video clips from a series of interviews in order to piece together the narrative. The initial query has already been entered in the search bar – murder.
OS: Windows XP+ Memory: 2 GB RAM DirectX: Version 9.0
Graphics: 512 MB Storage: 2 GB HD space
Release Date: December 2018 Developer: Nomada Studios
GRIS provides a beautiful and emotional take on the traditional puzzle-platformer genre. You play as a young girl attempting to deal with a painful experience. Her sorrow and journey through it are represented in her dress which grants an increasing number of abilities as you progress through her world of grief.
It is an aesthetically stunning experience, relaxing yet emotional, with no risk of death. You can read Loading Indie’s full review here.
OS: Windows 7 or later Processor: Intel Core2 Duo E6750 (2 * 2660) or equivalent / AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5000+ (2 * 2600) or equivalent
Memory: 4 GB RAM Graphics: Geforce GT 430 (1024 MB) / Radeon HD 5570 (1024 MB) Storage: 4 GB available space
Batttleblock Theater, a comedic, puzzle platformer, can be played single-player or multi-player (online or local). The game features a story mode, arenas and a level builder. It has a cartoon-like art-style, funny narration and boasts over 450 levels in total, making for plenty for fun gameplay.
OS: Windows XP Processor: 2.8 GHz Intel® Core™2 Duo or better Memory: 1 GB RAM DirectX: Version 10
Graphics: 512 MB Storage: 2 GB HD space Network: Broadband Internet connection (multiplayer)
To the Moon
Release Date: November 2011 Developer: Freebird Games
To the Moon is an adventure RPG with pixel graphics and an intricate narrative. It tells a sentimental story in which two doctors travel backwards through a dying man’s memories in order to artificially fulfil his last wish. The game touches on a range of difficult subjects such as death, loss and managing life with developmental disabilities but does so in a heartfelt and informed way whilst managing to include an enjoyable hint of silliness.
OS:Windows 98, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 Processor: 2 Intel Pentium III 800 MHz Duo or better Memory: 512 MB RAM
DirectX: Version 9.0 Graphics: 1024×768 High Color + Storage: 100 MB HD space
Release Date: October 2016 Developer: The Chinese Room
Dear Esther is a game changer- literally; it essentially founded and defined the ‘walking simulator’ genre. Starting as a Half-Life mod, progressing to a full game and now the beautiful landmark edition is the default. However, the previous version is included in the landmark edition so I will list minimum specs for the earlier edition.
As the protagonist you wander a Hebridean island piecing together bits of your past through triggered voice-overs, scenery and items; all of which are randomly generated and non-linear, ensuring every player has a unique experience!
OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / Vista64 Processor: Intel core 2 duo 2.4GHz or higher Memory: 1GB XP / 2GB Vista DirectX:9.0c
Graphics: DirectX 9 compliant video card with Shader model 3.0 support. NVidia 7600, ATI X1600 or better (Pre-Sandybridge Intel graphics chipsets not yet supported) Storage: 2 GB HD space
FTL: Faster Than Light
Release Date: September 2012 Developer: Subset Games
FTL is a strategic, spaceship simulation, rogue-like in which you must successfully manage and run a ship trying to save the galaxy. Every encounter presents a unique challenge with multiple solutions and randomised environments and perma-death add to the tension in each play-through.
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7 Processor: 2.0 GHz Memory: 1 GB RAM Storage: 75 MB HD space
Graphics: 1280×720 minimum resolution, OpenGL 2.0 Support, and recommended dedicated graphics card with 128 MB of RAM
Release Date: October 2016 Developer: Osmotic Studios
Orwell is a politically themed, dystopian point-and-click game with multiple endings. It is also the name of a new governmental security program that has the power to survey the online presence of every person in The Nation. The game consists largely of using Orwell to explore websites, personal files and communications to find information about people of interest following a terrorist attack.
You can read Loading Indie’s review of Orwell and its 2018 sequel here.
OS: Windows XP SP2+ Processor: 2.0 GHz Memory:4 GB RAM
Graphics: GPU: DirectX 9 compatible Storage: 3 GB available space
Return of the Obra Dinn is a murder-mystery, puzzle game set aboard the Obra Dinn. After setting sail from Falmouth in 1803, the ship never reached its destination and was declared lost at sea. Four years later, the Obra Dinn drifts back into port and the player must assume the role of insurance investigator and prepare an assessment of damages.
OS: Windows 7 or better Processor: 2 GHz Intel i5 or better Memory:4 GB RAM Graphics: Discrete GPU
Storage: 2 GB available space Additional Notes:Requires 720p or higher resolution and outputs 16:9 aspect only, letterboxed if necessary.
Along the Edge is a compelling interactive novel set in a rural European countryside with choices that affect the narrative as well as the protagonist,Daphné’s appearance. It boasts “a huge amount of content, enough to fill a two years compendium of a comic-book series [with] over 450 hand-made full-screen illustrations and 20 characters with over 400 different variants and attitudes”.
OS: Windows 7 or later Processor: Intel Core 2-duo or equivalent
Memory: 4 GB RAM Graphics: Intel HD 4000 or better Storage: 1 GB available space