The best offline games for PC 2023

No internet connection, no problem. These offline games for PC and the rich worlds they have to offer, whether they're RPGs or platformers

Looking for the best offline games? If you’re disconnected from the internet for any length of 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.

Though you’d expect multiplayer games and MMO games to require an internet connection, there’s more to think about when preparing a stockpile of the best offline games like Red Dead Redemption 2 for your long commute or holiday. Lucky 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 taste and need, so read on if you’re on the computer but don’t have an internet connection, or are travelling and need a game without demanding controls.

The best offline games on PC are:

Best offline games for PC: deciding which card to play in Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire

Card battlers and rogue-lites are some of the best offline games around, 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 that you can create over the course of a single run. It truly doesn’t feel like there’s one right deck to secure victory, in fact, it feels like there are dozens.

And it doesn’t all end when you finally reach the summit. There are daily challenges and dozens of modifiers that 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 best card games list.

Best offline games for PC: Threepwood talking to a clerk in Return to Monkey Island

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 of all time.

If you’re unfamiliar with this series, then you can expect gorgeous painterly vistas and characterful animations, whimsical, witty dialogue, and some fiendishly tricky puzzles.

Best offline games for PC: dodging hundreds of projectiles in Vampire Survivors

Vampire Survivors

If you’re offline gaming because you’re commuting or travelling then you probably want a game that’s not too mechanically demanding. Vampire Survivors is a roguelike game where you don’t really have to do any of the combat. Instead, your aim is to survive against hordes of night creatures by choosing various upgrades and building an overpowered character. Your attacks are completely 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 that you can use to become stronger and progress through the game. It’s ridiculously easy to pick up and play, it’s a great cheap PC game, and you could sink a hundred hours into it without really noticing.

The best offline games: A man fighting a large shrouded figure in Elden Ring

Elden Ring

Elden Ring, Fromsoftware’s fantasy epic is entirely playable offline. The big concession in doing so, however, 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 realise offline mode is a bigger 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 on how to approach its dozens of challenging Elden Ring bosses, from using spirit summons and the best Elden Ring weapons to the time-honoured ‘tactical retreat’. Read our Elden Ring review to understand why we awarded this game a perfect score.

A man with a sniper rifle stands beneath a glowing neon sign in Hitman 3, one of the best online games

Hitman 3

Hitman 3 gives Agent 47 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 3 features some of the most varied and challenging locations, with a dizzying array of solutions to every problem, and a devilish variety of problems to find, create, and escape from. Read our Hitman 3 review to see a complete break down of the the stealth game.

A young hunter runs past an aggressive lizard in Monster Hunter Rise, one of the best offline games

Monster Hunter Rise 

Monster Hunter Rise reimagines what Monster Hunter can be, streamlining its more complex elements and adding new ways to master your favourite weapons. The result is, as our Monster Hunter Rise review explains, 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 first major Monster Hunter Rise expansion, is out too, adding ferocious monsters, new areas, armour, and stories, all set against the backdrop of 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 toughest challenges alone in offline mode.

Casting a spell in a large fight in Divinity Original Sin 2, one of the best offline games

Divinity: Original Sin 2

If you like your RPGs in the style of tabletop games, then Larian’s Divinity: Original Sin 2 is made for you. From a distance, it’s a sweeping tale of high fantasy, religion, and politics, complete with fantastical enemies and a deep combat system that rewards creative thinkers (and those with a penchant for setting things on fire).

The moment-to-moment action is much more personal, though, as you weave an intricate tale of hope, vengeance, ambition, and tragedy for your chosen character and anyone they come in contact with. Think carefully before making your choices. You never know whose life one seemingly offhand comment might ruin. We awarded Larian’s RPG a 9/10 in our Divinity Original Sin 2 review – give it a read to learn why Jeremy Peel loved this game.

Speaking to a woman on a bridge in Trails in the Sky, one of the best offline games on PC

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 special. 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, what makes Trails in the Sky stand out is its rich world. The people you meet on your journey have their own stories that develop alongside, and sometimes intertwine with, your own.

Tracking the Norwegian invasion of England in Crusader Kings 3, one of the best offline games

Crusader Kings 3

Popes and princes are at your disposal in Crusader Kings 3, along with essentially 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 manoeuvre 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, Paradox’s latest update finally adds more same-sex relationship options. You can read Ian Boudreau’s Crusader Kings 3 review to find out exactly why he scored this game a 9/10.

A shootout in the streets in Disco Elysium, one of the best offline games on PC

Disco Elysium

ZA/UM’s debut game is widely considered one of the finest RPGs on PC, just read our Disco Elysium review by Richard Scott-Jones 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 to perishing due to opening the mailbox. Disco Elysium has a streak of grim humour underlying almost everything, which is just one part of what makes the game’s writing among the best in the genre.

Protagonist Raz in Psychonauts 2, one of the best offline games on PC

Psychonauts 2

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 in spectacular fashion, 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 deeper and thoughtful message about mental health and acceptance. This is an adventure like no other and a worthy recipient of our PCGN award for best narrative of 2021.

A man in a blue shirt and cowboy hat looking pensive in the countryside in Red Dead Redemption 2, one of the best offline games

Red Dead Redemption 2

Nearly five years since it first released, Rockstar’s wild west sequel is just as engrossing and expertly designed as it ever was. The slow disintegration of Dutch’s outcast family unit juxtaposed against the backdrop of Gilded Age America makes for one of the most poignant narratives and settings in games, but 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 mould, its tasks and activities are much more rewarding than most. We awarded this game a perfect score in our Red Dead Redemption 2 review.

A lady with a determined expression holds her hands over a masked man's arm in Tales of Aries, one of the best offline games on PC

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 a more serious and incisive story.

Tales of Arise may look gorgeous, but there’s a dark heart of oppression and prejudice underneath that glittering surface, and Bandai explores its themes with a surprising level of balance and sensitivity. As Jason Coles wrote in our review, “Tales of Arise takes the foundations that have underpinned the series, but dials 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 of them offer local co-op. Those of you that don’t have any issues playing online, read our online games list to discover all of the amazing internet-based games you’ve been missing out on.