What are the best offline games? If you’re disconnected from the internet for any time, you’ll need the best offline PC games to help tide you over. Not every game lets you play offline, though. Some games require a license check before launching for anti-piracy reasons – and although this doesn’t take long to perform, it means you can’t access the game without an internet connection.
There’s a lot to consider when preparing a stockpile of the best PC games, but luckily for you, there’s no shortage of fun offline games to choose from, whether you’re a fan of classic RPG games or the biggest modern open-world games. We’ve got something to suit nearly every need.
The best offline games on PC are:
Starting in a cave with nothing but a whip, bombs, and some rope, you play as Ana Spelunky, an explorer who has embarked on a quest to find her parents after they went missing on an expedition. Spelunky 2 builds on the last game by ramping up the difficulty with a variety of dangerous creatures, hazardous traps, and new environmental effects to watch out for.
If you’re new to the series, don’t let the game’s difficulty deter you from experiencing one of the best roguelikes ever made. This game is made to be extremely punishing, but the lessons you learn each time you die force you to become a better adventurer. You can get killed by a trap over 20 times, but you’ll learn how to avoid it eventually, and that’s what makes this game so addicting. The satisfaction you feel after clearing a set of difficult levels is practically unrivaled. Read our Spelunky 2 review to see why this game earned an incredible 9/10 from us.
Card battlers and roguelites are some of the best offline games, especially if you’re playing on a laptop or Steam Deck, and Slay the Spire represents the very best of both genres. You pick one of a few classes and battle across multiple stages to reach the top of the titular spire. What keeps it all feeling fresh over hundreds of ascent attempts is the range of cards and potential synergies you can create over a single run. It truly doesn’t feel like there’s one right deck to secure victory; it feels like there are dozens.
And it doesn’t all end when you finally reach the summit. Daily challenges and dozens of modifiers combine to make Slay the Spire an evergreen obsession if you give it a few attempts to wriggle its way under your skin. Read our Slay the Spire review to understand why this game made our list of the best card games.
Return to Monkey Island
Few genres are as synonymous with offline gaming as classic point-and-click adventure games. While there are plenty of great adventure games you can play offline – from the Broken Sword games to more recent, cerebral hits like Gemini Rue – our top pick is Return to Monkey Island, the new sequel to one of the best LucasArts series ever.
If you’re offline gaming because you’re commuting or traveling, then you probably want a game that’s not too mechanically demanding. Vampire Survivors is a roguelike game where you don’t have to do any combat. Instead, you aim to survive against hordes of night creatures by choosing various upgrades and building an overpowered character. Your attacks are entirely automated, but you still have to move your character around, which makes this easy to play if you’re not at your main desktop with a mouse and keyboard.
The fun comes from slowly figuring out the hundreds of secrets and weapon evolutions you can use to become stronger and progress through the game. It’s straightforward to pick up and play, and it’s a great cheap PC game you could sink a hundred hours into it without really noticing.
Elden Ring, Fromsoftware’s fantasy epic, is entirely playable offline. However, the big concession in doing so is that you don’t get to see messages from other players. But once you’ve perished because “try finger, but hole” was placed next to a ladder, you realize offline mode is a blessing than anything the Erdtree could ever offer.
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Fromsoftware’s first open-world game is beautiful and unforgiving in equal measure, a set of poignant reflections on misguided faith, the pursuit of power, and the nature of life and death. Best of all, it gives you a great deal of freedom to approach its dozens of challenging Elden Ring bosses, from using spirit summons and the best Elden Ring weapons to the time-honored ‘tactical retreat’. Read our Elden Ring review to understand why we awarded this game a perfect score.
Hitman World of Assassination
Hitman World of Assassination brings together all three Hitman games to create one unified collection, complete with all of the quality-of-life tweaks and visual enhancements from Hitman 3. Take a trip around the world as Agent 47 through some of the most inventive missions of his career, from solving (read: committing) a murder mystery in England to gatecrashing a rave in Berlin to turn the tables on his would-be assassins.
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Hitman features some of the most varied and challenging locations, with a dizzying array of solutions to every problem and a devilish variety of situations to find, create, and escape from. Read our Hitman 3 review to see a complete breakdown of the stealth game.
Monster Hunter Rise
Monster Hunter Rise reimagines what Monster Hunter can be, streamlining its more complex elements and adding new ways to master your favorite weapons. As our Monster Hunter Rise review explains, the result is one of the most playable and enjoyable Monster Hunters, with adorable Palamute companions, smartly designed Wirebug skills, and an excellent mix of classic and new monsters to contend with.
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Sunbreak, the major Monster Hunter Rise expansion, is out too, adding ferocious monsters, new areas, armor, and stories, all set against what looks suspiciously like a setting out of Monster Hunter World. Unlike World, though, you don’t have to worry about always heading out with friends. Rise is also expertly balanced; you can complete even the most demanding challenges alone offline.
Baldur’s Gate 3
How Larian Studios’ ability to tell stories improves drastically between its games is a feat that’s hard to comprehend, but we think that Baldur’s Gate 3 is among the best RPG games ever made. It entices players with the hook that your playable characters and Baldur’s Gate 3 companions all have parasites in their heads that threaten to awaken, turning them into Mind Flayers. However, as our Baldur’s Gate 3 review hints, there are so many paths you can explore, and the characters you meet are full of depth compared to most RPGs.
Combat uses Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition’s ruleset but also mixes a bit of the Larian combat system from its Divinity games, meaning that battles can quickly descend into chaos whenever you exploit the environment. If there’s one game we recommend you play this year, it’s this one. Of course, if you need a helping hand starting this huge DnD game, we have a list of the best Baldur’s Gate 3 classes and Baldur’s Gate 3 builds you can work your way toward completing.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky
Nihon Falcom’s classic RPG might be pushing 20 soon, but it’s lost none of what makes it unique. Trails in the Sky is part family story and part tale of political realism, set in a pacifist kingdom enjoying a fragile peace. Internal unrest threatens to bubble over into civil war as the nation’s former military leader – your father – disappears under mysterious circumstances.
Aside from the carefully planned plot, sparkling character writing, and unique blend of tactics and traditional turn-based RPG combat, Trails in the Sky stands out in its rich world. The people you meet on your journey have their own stories that develop alongside and sometimes intertwine with your own.
Crusader Kings 3
Popes and princes are at your disposal in Crusader Kings 3, along with everyone else. Nothing can stand in the way of your ambitions for world domination – except maybe yourself and those rather undesirable traits you saddled your poor ruler with.
Whether you maneuver your dynasty to prominence with backhanded deals and espionage or let the marriage bed do your diplomacy for you, the paths to success are nearly endless and always unpredictable, thanks to the detailed personalities of everyone you come across. What’s more, an update finally adds more same-sex relationship options. You can read Ian Boudreau’s Crusader Kings 3 review to find out why he praised this game so highly.
ZA/UM’s debut game is considered one of the finest modern RPGs on PC; just read our Disco Elysium review to understand why. It’s ostensibly a grim tale of emotional distress, of a downtrodden investigator solving a baffling crime and encountering people even more troubled than him. Underneath the bleakness lies a much more thoughtful and considered tale about the struggles people face in daily life.
Your choices can lead to helping influence a neglected child down a new path, treating the locals to an (admittedly unwanted) spontaneous poetry reading – with mixed results – or even perishing due to opening the mailbox. Disco Elysium has a streak of grim humor underlying almost everything, which is just one part of what makes the game’s writing among the best in the genre.
Double Fine’s follow-up to the original Psychonauts might have been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait. Raz’s adventure continues spectacularly, seeing him track down a mole in the Psychonauts and work towards reconciliation with his less-than-tolerant family – or he would be doing all this if the Psychonauts hadn’t made him a lowly intern. Modern technology lets Double Fine run rampant in its stage design.
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One moment, you’re hurtling through a hospital-turned-casino, and the next, you’re helping a former Psychonaut work through his anxieties on a brutal cooking show hosted by goat puppets. Underneath the zaniness is a more profound and more thoughtful message about mental health and acceptance. This adventure is like no other and a worthy recipient of our PCGN 2021 award for best narrative.
Red Dead Redemption 2
Nearly five years since it was first released, Rockstar’s Wild West sequel is just as engaging and expertly designed as ever. The slow disintegration of Dutch’s outcast family unit juxtaposed against the backdrop of Gilded Age America makes for one of the most poignant narrative and game settings. Still, if you’re just in it for the train heists and gunfights, there’s plenty of that, too.
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Red Dead Redemption 2 is bursting with things to do, and while it doesn’t break the open-world mold, its tasks and activities are much more rewarding than most. We awarded this game a perfect score in our Red Dead Redemption 2 review.
Tales of Arise
If you’re looking for a flashier, more modern JRPG game, look no further than Tales of Arise. Bandai revitalized the long-running Tales of… series with Arise, nearly perfecting the combat system and doubling down on the game’s narrative with an intelligent story with serious overtones.
Tales of Arise may look gorgeous, but a dark heart of oppression and prejudice is underneath that glittering surface. Bandai explores its themes with a surprising level of balance and sensitivity. As Jason Coles wrote in our Tales of Arise review, it “takes the foundations that have underpinned the series but dial them up so everything feels better than before.”
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That concludes our list of the best offline games on PC – if you’ve got a friend over while your connection’s out, check our list of the best co-op games, as many offer local co-op. Are you searching for more offline games? Many of our best old PC games don’t have any DRM, so we recommend checking out that list if you want to experience some of the classics.