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Best single-player games: top titles for playing solo

best single-player games: Zagreus from Hades brandishing his sword
(Image credit: Future/Supermassive Games)

Find the best single-player games right here. For a while, it seemed like the gaming industry wanted to make every game a multiplayer experience, but single-player games are immortal. Single-player games come in all shapes and sizes, whether that’s the best RPGs or the best FPS games – there’s single-player games in any genre.

There are of course so many amazing single-player games that it’s difficult to condense them to just one list. Our list focuses on games that have been celebrated for many different reason; their memorable stories, amazing visuals, many different ways to play and that special quality that makes a game fun after years and years of playing it.

Our list of the best single-player games contains games with stories you want to experience again and again, big open worlds that let players roam to their heart’s content and indie games we’ll likely never put down. From big blockbusters to smaller indie games, there’s something here for everyone.

Almost all of the games on this list are available on multiple platforms. If you’re looking to dig-further into platform-specific recommendations, visit our guides for the best PC games, the best Playstation 5 games or the best Nintendo Switch games. 

Ready to find out our picks for the best single-player games? You only need to bring yourself for this one.

Best single-player games

best single-player games – Hades protagonist zagreus surrounded by the many heads of the Hydra

Hades (Image credit: Supergiant Games)

Hades

Mythologically-infused, stylish fun

Reasons to buy

+
Comic-like art style
+
Meaty combat
+
You can pet the two-headed dog

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires patience to master
-
Can overwhelm with difficulty

Available on: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC, Nintendo Switch

If you’re looking for an excellent rougelike that will bring you hours of fun, then Hades is the one for you. Bonus points If you have even a passing interest in Greek mythology, as Hades is full of interesting references.

Developed bySupergiant Games, makers of Bastion, Hades is the story of Zagreus, the son of Hades, who attempts to escape from the Underworld to reach Mount Olympus, with the occasional bit of help from the Olympians themselves.

With a great soundtrack, satisfying combat, an interesting story and intuitive RPG systems, it has a lot going for it. Oh, and it even lets you pet Cerberus. It’s just really good fun with high production values that will last you a long while if you want to uncover everything Hades has to offer.

best single-player games – Geralt fighting a monster using a fire spell

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Monsters and myths aplenty

Reasons to buy

+
Memorable characters
+
A huge and varied open-world
+
Plenty to do outside main quests

Reasons to avoid

-
Long load times
-
Combat can feel clunky

 Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC (PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions planned)

Several years from its release, millions of players are still carrying on their solemn journeys across the war-ravaged low-fantasy world of The Witcher 3 (or starting it over, and over...). For many, Witcher Geralt's third adventure sits at the apex of video game storytelling and one of the best single-player games out there. Everything from side-quests with lowly peasants to political tinkering of lords and barons seems to have been treated with same degree of love and attention by the writers.

The Witcher hero Geralt of Rivia is recognisable to many and has even become the star a The Witcher Netflix show, where he is played by Henry Cavill. The world of The Witcher is not just astounding in terms of topographical scale and variety, but also impressive in its sense of history and life, as it seems that every village, castle ruins and cave has a story to tell.

The fact that The Witcher 3 remains as remarkable an experience today as it was when it first came out is proof of its groundbreaking role in the medium.

best single-player games – Leon trying to fight off a zombie about to bite him in the neck

Resident Evil 2 Remake (Image credit: Capcom)
A stone-cold classic cements its legacy

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning RE Engine Graphics
+
Masterful environment design
+
Heaps of replay value

Reasons to avoid

-
Voice acting falters at times
-
Continues an original story you may need to experience first

Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

A remake of one of the great survival horror games can be a poisoned chalice, but Capcom succeeded in creating one of the best-single player games both within the genre and among all video game remakes.

Like the original, Resident Evil 2 Remake has two coinciding campaigns, each with a different protagonist: Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield. While it follows the narrative beats of the original game, it’s also an archetype of modern level design, as you solve puzzles and open up shortcuts around the maze-y Raccoon City Police Department. 

Each zombie is a bullet sponge and mortal threat, resources are hardly plentiful, and an unkillable blue man dressed like a hard-boiled detective marches after you through much of the game. Remake or not, this is one of the best horror games to date.

best single-player games – Fisk talks to Toriel who says "Greetings, my child. Do not worry, I did not leave you."

Undertale (Image credit: Toby Fox)

Undertale

One that'll stay with you

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful, memorable soundtrack
+
Incredibly charming and funny
+
Fantastic modern-day JRPG

Reasons to avoid

-
Combat mechanics can be a pain

Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox, PC, Nintendo Switch.

Undertale is the kind of game that will pull you in and then stay with you long after you’ve put the controller down.

Taking many of the best elements from the ever-evolving RPG genre, it weaves a world built on choice, consequence and compassion. As a child dropped into an underground world filled with terrors, you’ll have to face a whole host of monsters to make it home. How you face them and what choices you make define your journey. This is one of the best single-player games because it’s challenging, both mechanically and emotionally. the strong impact it had on so many people makes it a great addition to our list of the best-single-player games.

 

best single-player games – Celeste kneeling in an elevator, saying “I can’t breathe”

Celeste (Image credit: Matt Makes Games)

Celeste

A hidden masterpiece

Reasons to buy

+
Challenging and engaging
+
Thought-provoking narrative
+
Super-tight gameplay

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be repetitive

Available on: PlayStation 4, XBox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

The makers of Towerfall, one of the greatest couch multiplayer games around, took some of the game’s best mechanics and transformed them into a winning 2D platformer about seemingly nothing much but climbing a mountain. In reality, it's an emotional journey packed into a challenging platformer.

The core mechanic is the ability to rush in eight directions, but as you progress, you’ll find yourself confronting a constant and growing trickle of different obstacles and challenges. Ultimately, Celeste amounts to a tough old time.

Many levels can be played through in different iterations, and all that finger-cramping platforming is wrapped in a touching story about friendship and tribulation. Celeste feels as significant and seismic for the modern 2D platformer as Super Meat Boy was when it came out a decade ago.

best single-player games – Link is facing a huge stone golemn

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild  (Image credit: Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

A compelling adventure

Reasons to buy

+
Hours of gameplay
+
Plenty to explore and secrets to find
+
Engaging narrative

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be overwhelming in size

Available on: Nintendo Switch

A gam you can only get on Nintendo Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the standouts on the platforms no Switch owner should pass up.

Setting players loose as longtime protagonist Link in a beautifully realized (and ruined) Hyrule, Breath of the Wild is the first truly open-world Zelda title and immediately one of the best open-world games around.

Rolling plains, puzzle-filled shrines, and dense forests are there to be explored, while combat slowly reveals its impressive nuance after some tough early skirmishes. With crazy physics that allows for new solutions to each problem, Breath of the Wild is the gift that keeps on giving and it's definitely worth playing before Breath of the Wild 2 releases.

best single-player games – two armies clashing, monsters flying overhead

Total War: Warhammer 3 (Image credit: Sega)
Embrace the chaos

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly varied factions
+
A rich and focused campaign
+
Wonderful fantasy unit designs

Reasons to avoid

-
Tedious campaign management
-
Underdeveloped diplomacy system

Available on: PC

Creative Assembly first brought its signature brand of strategy to the grimdark world of Warhammer in 2016, but it wasn’t until 2022 that the studio refined it. Total War: Warhammer 3 builds on its predecessors in every way to deliver a superbly inventive strategy experience and possibly the best Warhammer video game of all time and one of the best-single player games for strategy enthusiasts. (If you are looking for more strategy recommendation, check our list of the best strategy games of all time.)

The open-ended sandbox gameplay that characterized past Total War games is reigned back in favor of a more directed grand campaign. You’ll still be raising armies, growing cities, and crushing your enemies under the hawkish boot of your ever-expanding empire, but you’ll no longer be conquering for conquest’s sake.

Instead, a central questline will have you delving into the twisted Realms of Chaos to defeat the champions of the dark forces. The semi-linear segments act as tense, challenging dungeons that provide structure to the single-player campaign, and punctuate its gameplay to make your warring that much more engaging.

But Total War: Warhammer 3 really shines by spotlighting Chaos, letting you command the brilliantly colorful legions of Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch. Combined with the magic-imbued Cathay, the swords-and-spears of Kislev, and the hero-focused Daemons of Chaos, Warhammer 3 has one of the most varied faction rosters of any Total War game.

Warhammer 3 may well be one of the most ambitious single-player strategy games to release, but it’s also one of the most accessible. If you’re looking to jump into the strategy genre, start here.

best single-player games – Elden Ring characters fighting large enemy wielding a double-sided axe

Elden Ring (Image credit: FromSoftware Inc.)
Not for the faint-hearted

Reasons to buy

+
Outrageously rich open world
+
Combat to die for 
+
Endlessly inventive

Reasons to avoid

-
Difficult to learn

Available on: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC.

FromSoftware’s latest game may be on our list of the best single-player games, but playing it can be an almost communal experience. There are so many secrets to find in its sprawling open world that you will likely exchange notes with friends for a while to come.

Outrageously difficult as the other FromSoftware games, Elden Ring will allow you to find alternative routes to your goal- sometimes that can involve playing with other people from its online community, but this is fundamentally still a single-player game. Our five-star Elden Ring review called it huge, consistently inventive and absurdly good – an invitation to dive in if we’ve ever had one.

best single-player games – Arthur Morgan holding a pistol and a rifle

Red Dead Redemption 2  (Image credit: Rockstar games)

Red Dead Redemption 2

An epic for the ages

Reasons to buy

+
Huge open-world to explore
+
Plenty of activities
+
Exciting story and interesting characters

Reasons to avoid

-
Red Dead Online is lacking
-
Prologue is very long

Available on: PlayStation 4, XBox One, PC

Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption 2 took the gaming industry by storm, giving us the gun-toting, western open-world we had been waiting for for a long time. 

A prequel to the original game, Red Dead Redemption2 tells the story of Arthur Morgan, a member of the notorious Van Der Linde gang living at the tail-end of the Wild West era. Arthur’s narrative deals with his many transgressions, which makes it lack immediacy, but it weaves itself through one of gaming’s most detailed open worlds with true artistry.

Red Dead is certainly a game that will keep you busy. Between story missions, mini-games, activities and side quests, you will find yourself sinking plenty of hours into this title without even noticing it, making it one of the best single-player games of all time.

best single-player games – the Finch house on the horizon, seen from the nearby forest

What Remains of Edith Finch  (Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

What Remains of Edith Finch

An unforgettably strange tale

Reasons to buy

+
Emotive and poignant
+
Creative and bizarre at times
+
We don't want to spoil it

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for those who enjoy a lot of action

Available on: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, iOS, XBox One, PC

A breath of fresh air from the big-money behemoths that dominate this best single-player games list, Edith Finch is so poignant and exquisitely crafted that it will soften the hearts of even the most resolute walking-simulator naysayers.

You meander about in her sizeable but recently abandoned family home set on a haunting island in Washington State. You explore the richly detailed house by visiting the still-furnished rooms of each family member and get swept up in the dreamy haze of surreal vignettes that show you how they died.

It’s a meditative game about piecing together the story of a family that seems to be afflicted by a merciless curse.

Edith Finch is the kind of thematically heavy, highly curated experience that doesn’t feels like more than 'just' a game, and yet works wonderfully just the way it is.

best single-player games – Kratos swinging his axe towards a tall troll

God of War  (Image credit: Sony)

God of War

Kratos is great at raising hell, but can he raise a son?

Reasons to buy

+
Engrossing and heartfelt story
+
Characters have depth
+
Semi-open world offers plenty to explore

Reasons to avoid

-
A bit slow-paced

Available on: PlayStation 4 (with Playstation 5 upgrade), PC

2018's God of War is a soft reboot of the series and sees a fresh beginning for Kratos, the titular God of War. Here, the antihero has moved from ancient Greece to the frigid colds of Norse Mythology and started a new family. After the death of his wife, he takes his son, Atreus, to cast her ashes from the tallest mountain in the realm.

Of course, things don’t go to plan, and our protagonist finds himself in the sights of a whole new pantheon of gods. With incredible combat (the Leviathan axe might be one of the best weapons in all of gaming) and an environment taht works without camera cuts or loading screens, God of War is gaming nirvana in many ways. Definitely play this one before the release of the sequel, God of War Ragnarök.