Doom Screenshot
Screenshot: id Software

The 10 best games for low-end PCs

High quality on the low end.

We can’t all be running the newest and greatest PC hardware; it costs a fortune and takes an age to learn to install. Running an older PC may cut some of the AAA games from your library. However, some amazing games run perfectly on low-end PCs.

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10. Valheim

Valheim: X best games for low end PCs
Screenshot: PC Invasion

Welcome to the land between worlds. In Valheim, you play as a Viking, now deceased, and working towards Valhalla. Valheim takes place in purgatory, and it is up to you to defeat the various gods of the realm.

Valheim will have you and your friends collecting resources, building incredible bases, and trying to survive the various biomes. You must level up and survive the onslaught of enemies, slowly becoming strong enough to defeat the gods and take their power. This is a wonderfully immersive game best played with your other low-end PC friends.

9. Stardew Valley

Steam Stardew Valley X best games for low end PCs
Screenshot: ConcernedApe

Stardew Valley was released back in 2016 and is still being updated with incredible content. This farming game is the best in the genre by a mile and deserves all the praise it gets. After inheriting a dilapidated farm, it is up to you to get it up and running again. The adventure will take you through caves, towns, communities, and many more exciting places on your quest to build the perfect running farm. The game’s simple graphics can be run on even the most low-end PCs, making it accessible to all.

8. Risk of Rain 2

Risk Of Rain 2 Screenshot
Screenshot: Gearbox Publishing

For high-octane games that can easily run on even the most low-end PC setups, you could do a lot worse than picking up a copy of Risk of Rain 2. This game has created something unique and can be easily obsessed over.

Alone or with friends, it is up to you to defeat the various bosses of the realms you enter. On your journey, you will pick up many wild and wonderful power-ups, eventually becoming a destructive force. Your base character determines just how each one works, but rest assured, no game is ever the same.

7. Hotline Miami

Both Hotline Miami 1 and 2 are masterpieces of modern gaming. The top-down slaughter-fest is as fast and intense as gaming gets. It is up to you to shoot, slash, and hammer your way through enemies, doing your best to survive. Every foe can one-tap you, and your reactions need to be lightning-fast. The game’s simple graphics, along with the intense gameplay and soundtrack, make this perfect for any low-end PC setup.

6. Papers, Please

Papers Please
Image via Lucas Pope

Ever wished to live the life of an immigration officer? No? Well, you should. Papers, Please sets you up as the immigration officer of an Eastern Bloc-type country. It is up to you to stay on top of the new regulations and your own finances. This simple yet incredibly beautiful game will have you admitting, rejecting, detaining, and questioning people as they try to enter through your gate. Empathy and moral dilemma all feature in this wonderful art piece by 3909.

5. DOOM

Doom Screenshot 1
Screenshot: id Software

It’s DOOM, and if you don’t know what that is, maybe it’s time to give up PC gaming altogether and go back to card games. DOOM is the OG shooter that will have you mowing your way through hordes of monsters in an attempt to save the Earth. Yes, this is an old title, but it’s a classic. This will easily run on your low-end PC. In fact, I think you could probably run it on a Samsung smart fridge.

4. Terraria

X best games for low end PCs
Screenshot: Re-Logic

A simple, procedurally generated world awaits in Terraria. Alone or with friends, the simple 16-bit 2D game invites you to mine, craft, explore, and survive in a world bursting with adventures and opportunities. With over 44 million copies sold, it’s one of the most successful games of all time.

Terraria has a huge scope of possibilities hidden within the simple graphics. Resources and loot can be combined to create all sorts of crazy items, with complex build trees and rare finds. It is up to you and your friends to build your characters and bases up as you defeat the various bosses.

3. Cuphead

Cuphead Screenshot
Screenshot: Studio MDHR Entertainment Inc.

I love the art style of Cuphead, and it is the perfect game for low-end PCs because of it. The simple side-scrolling shooter game is adorned with beautiful, classic cartoon graphics and amazing sound. However, don’t let the cutesy graphics fool you — this game is seriously hard.

Alone or with a friend, you need to work your way through the colorful world of Cuphead to defeat the side-scrolling levels. Then, at the end of each is an amazingly designed boss with unique attacks and fantastic animations. The game could almost be Souls-like if it weren’t so cute.

2. BioShock

X Best Games For Low End Pcs Bioshock
Screenshot: 2K Games

The BioShock series of games has always been on my replay lists, and I return to them over and over again. Despite being incredibly rich and immersive worlds, you will find that you can play all of these games, up until Infinite, on low-end PCs.

BioShock sets us in a world under the sea where science and technology are God. However, the heathenous folks have pushed themselves too far, becoming godless mutants. It’s up to you to fight through them, augmenting yourself along the way. The game is dripping in spooky atmosphere; you won’t forget your first encounter with a Big Daddy in a hurry.

1. Project Zomboid

Project Zomboid Screenshot
Screenshot: The Indie Stone

The end is upon you as you strive to survive the zombie apocalypse. The game’s basic top-down graphics are perfect for any low-end PC. However, the game’s simple appearance hides a complex and deep world to explore.

You and your friends wake up as a character imbued with traits and boons of your choice. Now, setting off into the world, you need to search and scavenge everything you can to survive the zombie hordes. As time moves on, the world slowly breaks apart. After a few days, the water will shut off, and so will the electricity. Food will spoil, and snow will begin to fall. All of these have effects on you and your character. If you die or get bitten — and you will, many, many times — you will eventually turn. However, you just start with a new character, building their skills and eventually finding your shambling corpse. It feels weird killing your old self and wearing the clothes you died in, but that’s the only way to survive.


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Author
Leo Gillick
Leo is a Freelance Writer for PC Invasion. He has a degree in English Literature and Film Studies and more hours buried into videogames than he cares to admit. He has worked extensively in the Videogame and Travel writing industry but, as they say, get a job doing something you love and you'll never work a day in your life. He uses his writing as a means to support indefinite global travel with the current five year plan seeing him through Latin America.