9 Games You Can Finish In A Single Day

9 Games You Can Finish In A Single Day
Image: Steam
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Today’s a public holiday. And while that’s great for gatherings and having a good time with friends, sometimes you just want the day to yourself. That’s a great situation for playing video games – but sometimes you want something that can be done and dusted in a single day.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of great smaller titles that you can enjoy in a single sitting. So if you’re looking for a game you can start and finish in a single day, here’s 9 titles worth looking at.

Day of the Tentacle: Remastered (PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, Vita)

If you’re looking after a classic point-and-click that will keep you going for five or so hours, Day of the Tentacle: Remastered is a great choice. Even when played at a leisurely pace, the iconic LucasArts adventure – perhaps their best, even more so than Grim Fandango or the Monkey Island series – should only take gamers less than six hours.

It’s a great title to start and finish a day with. There’s plenty of humour throughout, and the remaster is an excellent homage to the original: the game has a 98% rating on Steam from nearly 1200 reviews.


Image: Supplied

If you like stealth puzzles, but you don’t want to be sneaking around for weeks on end, Gunpoint is worth a shot. It’s cheap – $US10 at most, but the game regularly goes on sale – and it’s also beloved on Steam, with a 97% rating from over 8800 reviews.

Created by Tom Francis in his spare time (Francis was working a day job as a writer for PC Gamer, although the success of Gunpoint encouraged him to go full time), Kirk found the game was fun, well written and didn’t overstay its welcome. “Like the diminutive buildings you’ll spend the game circumnavigating and infiltrating, Gunpoint itself is an intricate array of interlocking circuits and gears, finely tuned and waiting for you to bend it to your will,” Kirk wrote in his review.

A must for stealth fans, or people who like games that only last for a few hours at most. Perfect for a public holiday.


Image: Supplied

After a shooter that last only a couple of hours? SUPERHOT is perfect: hell, you can have a sausage sandwich for lunch and be done with the most innovative shooter in years by dinner. (If the last bit seems a weird thing to say, you’ll understand after playing the game.)

Now that it’s been out for almost a year, it’s not hard to get SUPERHOT reasonably cheaply. It’s well worth at least one playthrough at the full $US20 price though, particularly if you’re looking for something to test out those fancy Rift touch controllers.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare/Modern Warfare Remastered

Just want to shoot something for an evening? I present the old faithful: the original Modern Warfare campaign. It’s quick, has plenty of great missions and moments, requires little to no brainpower, and can be done and dusted in four to five hours. Hell, you can be done quicker if you take the speedrunners approach. And once you’re done, there’s always multiplayer: the original COD4 still has plenty of modded servers, although you’ll have more luck playing MWR on consoles.

To The Moon

Image: Supplied

Want to have an evening of feels? To The Moon is a simple story about two doctors trying to fulfil an ageing patients final wish before he dies: he wants to go to the moon, a journey that will take around four hours real-world time.

That’s all I’ll say. Chances are you’ve played this already – it’s been one of the more outstanding point-and-click adventures of the last five years – but if you haven’t and you have the patience for point-and-click interfaces, you absolutely should. It’s beautiful.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

But if you’re after something that’s a bit faster paced with a ton more action, Ground Zeroes might be just the treat. You can blast through the main story in under two hours, or you can take a slower approach with all of the extra content. You can be done with Ground Zeroes in a day either way, although a full 100% playthrough might take you a few days.

Regardless, Ground Zeroes is a treat for any fan of Kojima. It’s also a nice precursor to Metal Gear Solid 5 proper, and it’s currently available on PSN for about the price of a coffee. Go get it.

D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die

It’s a real shame that the insane arc of D4 will never be completed, but that doesn’t mean Swery’s second adventure after Deadly Premonition isn’t worth playing. It is, in a word, bizarre. Just read the interview Swery did with Patrick two years ago. He’s a character.

And that’s what makes D4 so charming: it’s character. You really won’t play anything else like it, but then there really isn’t anyone else in gaming quite like Swery.

The Typing of the Dead: Overkill

Image: Supplied

Who said typing can’t be fun? That’s the premise behind The Typing of the Dead, a remake of the classic House of the Dead arcade games where your words become your bullets. Literally. Screw up the typing and you’re instant zombie bait.

There’s a surprising amount of content – it’ll take you around four hours to work through the base game. And then there’s DLC to consider, including the Filth package that makes the mutant outbreak a tad more immature. Don’t overlook Typing of the Dead: it’s a genuinely good way to spend a few hours.

80 Days

Image: Supplied

If you’re after something relaxing with some good writing, it’s hard to go past the Jules Verne-inspired choose your own adventure that is 80 Days. You play as Phileas Fogg’s butler as you set out around the world, ideally within 80 days.

The strategy comes from what paths you take, how you respond to encounters along the way, and how you prepare for the journey ahead. But most of the enjoyment is really in the artstyle and the writing. It’s a great adaption of the original novel and it’s a lovely way to spend an hour or two. The Steam version is available for $US10, although you can get a version that’s just as satisfying on Android or iOS.

What are your favourite games you can play from start to finish in a single day?


  • Still have To the Moon sitting in my Steam Library. This is purely because i hate the fact the resolution is restricted and an official work around is using the windows magnifier to “increase” screen size. :WutFace:

  • Firewatch is another great one, though if you’re like me you’ll probably want to come back to it another day to try some other things that you missed or listen to the commentary (planning to do that sometime this week).

    • Had that back when I had a PS4, didn’t get very far in (day 9 I think), I just could not find a way to get to where I was supposed to go. After about an hour I got frustrated, turned it off and never went back to it.

    • I tried to start it last night, got twenty minutes in, and my save corrupted. Will give it another go at some point because I liked the intro, but that left a sour taste in my mouth.

  • Just about any of the Resident Evil titles can be cruised through in around 12 hours. Every single one of the Telltale adventure games is a nice and casual 10 hours.

    Here’s an idea, take Friday off and have a 4 day weekend, that way you can extend your gaming list to the likes of Fallout 4, Witcher 3, Skyrim Remaster, Divinity: Original Sin and Wasteland 2……. 🙂

    • RE2 can be finished in around 7 – 8 hours your first time, then when you know what you’re doing, you can burn through it in just under 2 hours! :O

      • They all have some crazy speedrun that gives you an infinite rocket launcher or something, don’t they? Any news on that RE2 remake? *hopeful*

        • Yeah from memory you unlocked a rocket launcher I think? You also got Hunk and Tofu. I actually DID get through years back when RE2 came out, only once, with pure knifemode. It was so goddamn hard. I played that game and only that game, for something like six months trying to perfect my run. Every damn night.

          • I think my best run on Leon A back in the day was 1 hour and 36min. I just looked at the speed run records and was blown away. 1:15. How the hell? My runs were like a well oiled machine!

          • I probably got down around your time, at least in that ballpark, around that sort of thing, its been like nearly 20 years lol

    • Confession: I have never finished any of the Resident Evil games. Hopefully I can break this trend with RE7 next week.

      • I actually sought to rectify this recently as I was the same, despite liking what little of the series I’d played. Have now finished RE4, 5, 6, and Revelations.

        RE4 is genuinely still spectacular, but is bogged down by really ordinary controls (after an hour or two I found I’d adjusted well, the PC port is still really dumb though…); 5 is less good but very playable and I had a lot of fun; 6 was outright trash and a waste of time, there was nothing good about that game except the controls; Revelations is hands down my favourite, a great mix of RE4 and RE5, getting the best of both worlds. Keen as for 7.

        Don’t think I could ever finish any of them in a single day though haha.

      • Considering the “average” finishing time is 8 hours for RE7, you’ll have a good chance. Speed runners already have it down to 2 hours.

  • Bless you for this Alex, exactly my problem at the moment.

    I built a PC from the ground up, basically, in late 2015.

    Thing is, a lot of the belters I’ve got on it have been really hard to get back into.

    This would be fine on its own, but it started to affect my desire to try out the ‘lesser’ stuff in my library, graphically speaking.

    I adore and in many respects enjoy the ‘smaller’ experiences more than the bally-hooed stuff and that’s something I’ve had to discover about my PC gaming tastes on my own.

    I’ll add one such game to the list which actually made me realise this: Her Story.

    You won’t be disappointed.

  • Pony Island.

    At least until Alex and Tegan tell you that you didn’t actually finish it properly and you’ve got to go back and play it again and goddamnit

  • Had The Typing Of The Dead sitting in my Steam library for ages. Probably should finally get around to playing the damn thing.

    Also, I would guess that it would be pretty impossible to finish in a day if you can’t touch type.

    • Yeah, if you’re a Dark Souls fiend that knows the whole thing inside out, and then some 😛

      Remember I got about 40 hours into Dark Souls II and was nowhere near the end before giving up (from what I’ve read I wasn’t even halfway through).

      • I just did another run through of the whole series, and apart from like two moments, ds2 looks and feels like utter garbage in comparison to the other titles.

  • Victoria is a well driven story “walker” which can be done in a few hours. Think Twin Peaks but in game form.

    I also played and finished Spec Ops: The Line in an afternoon and its a GREAT game purely for the story alone, shooting is a bit “meh” but well worth it, think Apocalypse Now.

  • Now that it’s been out for almost a year, it’s not hard to get SUPERHOT reasonably cheaply. It’s well worth at least one playthrough at the full $US20 price though, particularly if you’re looking for something to test out those fancy Rift touch controllers.Caeat: Superhot VR is a separate game from Superhot, and is only available from Oculus Home. The Steam-or-otherwise versions are just the original desktop game, and don’t let you play in VR unless such a thing is possible via mods or something I guess.

    Personally I think the desktop game is a much better/more complete game than the VR one, which feels more like a gimmicky demo (except the gimmick is flashy enough for most people to give it a free pass on that front) so I’d recommend going with that one instead.

  • I would add:

    One Shot
    Hyper Light Drifter (maybe a push)
    A Bird Story
    The Count Lucanor
    The Stanley Parable

  • Gone Home is one of my favourite gaming experiences of the last few years, and it’s only 2-4 hours long even if you really take your time with it.

  • I eb rented until dawn and finished it in a day. Great game, but apart from achievement hunting, no real reason to go back

  • I’d highly recommend “Inside” for a really short-but-sweet experience. Then when you’ve finished, you can spend another hour staring at the wall and wondering WTF just happened… ;-p

  • Some of my favourites;

    Journey (2-3 hours)
    Hotline Miami (3-4 hours)
    SOMA (8 hours)
    Amnesia: The Dark Descent (6-7 hours)
    Portal (3 hours) and Portal 2 (8 hours)
    Metro 2033 (6 hours)
    Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon (3-4 hours)
    The Stanley Parable (2 hours)

    • I didn’t get into SOMA nearly as much as I did Amnesia. Was expecting Horror and Mystery and instead got a really good Sci-Fi story with annoying enemies (who were supposed to be scary).

      • Yeah TDD was definitely a lot more terrifying than SOMA, but the story of SOMA really made it an awesome game/experience for me. It’s one of those games I wish I could experience for the first time again.

        • I spent the first few nights of January running through SOMA with some friends. So much screaming. I’d played through Amnesia and I still found SOMA to be downright terrifying (although it became less scary and more frustrating towards the end as a few encounters devolved into sessions of trial and error).

          That story, though. Big thumbs up.

  • Depends what you count as a day. Most FPS games have a 10-12hr SP campaign, and I got through the main storyline of Shadow of Mordor in ~20 hours, so technically it’s still in a day.

    • Technically but most ppl aren’t going to game 20 hrs in a day! 2-3hrs is probably more the case for most.

      But I did get past the 6hr mark a lot in my teens and early 20s. Can’t do it now I’m 30s. Keep feeling like I’m ‘wasting life’ or something.

      • Keep feeling like I’m ‘wasting life’ or something.

        I guess that’s a matter of perspective =D If we’re just meatbags made of stardust hurtling through space and life doesn’t have a purpose, then technically it’s impossible to waste it!

        • I see your point but likewise, that’s just your perspective.

          I feel like I need to accomplish things to be satisfied with my life. Just existing is not enough. I only get one life so I want to push it as hard as I can and that means keeping gaming to just a hobby and working hard on things that can really help my life.

          But that’s just me. Nothing against the hard core gamers. It’s their lives and they can do what they want with them.

          And you know, technically, our DNA exists only to perpetuate itself. So we were put here to reproduce. That’s our purpose. Just sitting gaming makes you less attractive and less likely to reproduce, so really, it’s like, the worst thing ever.

          Just sayin’ 😛

  • Killing Time at Lightspeed is a great “visual novel” that goes for about two hours and was made by Australian indies. Would recommend

  • Add Minesweeper to the list. You can beat that in a couple of hours and that includes toilet breaks, a drive to the bottle-o to pick up drinks, finishing the drinks, cooking a bbq and having to retry a dozen times due to clicking on a bomb.

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