The most effective single-player PC video games

Competitive gaming is more popular now than ever before, but that doesn’t mean single-player titles have been thrown to the wayside. Expansive open-world games are a staple in the marketplace, and these types of outings are perfectly suited for a solo adventure. PC gamers also have access to several great strategy titles that can be enjoyed offline against NPC opponents.

  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  • Doom Eternal
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Civilization VI
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Fallout 4
  • Disco Elysium
  • Grand Theft Auto V

No matter your taste, there’s bound to be a single-player PC game you’ll enjoy. The following list is by no means exhaustive, but these entries are among the best solo titles you can dive into on your computer.

Further reading

  • Best free-to-play games
  • Best free games on Steam
  • Best single-player games

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Bethesda’s sprawling epic is among the best single-player games on PC. Players are free to do as they please while roaming the snowy landscape of Skyrim. A lengthy main story is present for folks who need a bit of guidance, but before long you’ll be going on unsupervised adventures in labyrinthine caverns, sneaking through castles on the search for valuables, and modding the game to your heart’s content. Skyrim is one of the most popular games of the past decade, and it’s easy to see why.

Read our full The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim review

Red Dead Redemption 2

read dead redemption solo shot

It doesn’t get as much fanfare as Grand Theft Auto, but Rockstar’s take on the wild west is a masterpiece all its own. Step into the shoes of Arthur Morgan of the Van der Linde gang as he struggles to adapt to a world that is slowly becoming more civilized.

When the game jumped from consoles to PC, it gained a host of new weapons, missions, hideouts, and graphical enhancements. PC is no doubt the best way to experience Red Dead Redemption 2, and it gives players a living world to explore that will keep them busy for years to come.

Read our full Red Dead Redemption 2 review

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

Assassin's Creed Odyssey review

The Assassin’s Creed franchise had fallen into a bit of a rut prior to the release of Odyssey. Because of this, Ubisoft decided to lengthen the development time of this installment — something that is immediately evident. Garnering the best reviews the series had seen in years, Odyssey was much more focused on role-playing aspects than ever before, offering multiple endings and various ways to complete certain quests.

Players can unlock new abilities using a massive, branching skill tree, and nearly every other aspect of the game has seen some form of improvement. One thing that didn’t change too much is the plot, which is just as bizarre as past titles and still jumps back and forth in time, thanks to the Animus. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla releases later this year, so now is a great time to dive into Odyssey.

Read our full Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey review

Doom Eternal

Somehow, Doom Eternal is able to translate everything we loved about the original games while modernizing them for a new audience. It’s fast, it’s brutal, and it’ll get your adrenaline pumping within minutes of playing. There is a multiplayer mode available, but the single-player campaign is the main draw of Doom Eternal.

Unlike many shooters that throw dozens of similar guns and attachments at you, Doom Eternal‘s limited arsenal is composed of truly unique weapons. You’ll wield firearms such as the Plasma Rifle, BFG 9000, and the Combat Shotgun, each of which is useful in very specific situations yet all serve the same purpose — move the action forward and keep the demons at bay.

Read our full Doom Eternal review

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

By far the best game in The Witcher series, Wild Hunt continues the journey of Geralt as he searches for Ciri, the daughter of Emperor Emhyr. There’s enough political intrigue to make Game of Thrones jealous, and plenty of content to keep players busy for months.

The Witcher 3 has also received numerous expansions, adding wonderful new storylines to the Continent. It doesn’t offer as much freedom as another RPG on this list — Skyrim — but it does give players a more fleshed-out narrative and a complex combat system that puts other titles to shame.

Read our full The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt review

Civilization VI

Civilization VI review

Anyone seeking an elaborate strategy game should look no further than Civilization VI. Players will take on the role of one of 20 historical leaders as they attempt to build the most powerful civilization in the world. Bartering, waging war, and managing resources are all top priorities, and Civilization VI makes it easy to lose track of time with its enthralling gameplay.

“Just one more turn” has been the mantra of many Civ players, as they stay up into the wee hours of the night building their virtual dynasty. The strategy game is surprisingly easy to learn, but skilled players know there is a lot more to the game than meets the eye. Newcomers and seasoned strategists alike will find much to love in Civilization VI.

Read our full Civilization VI review

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro easy mode mod FromSoftware Souls games gameplay difficulty

From the developer of Dark Souls comes Sekiro, a punishing action-adventure that’s among the best-reviewed games of 2019. It’s not the easiest title around, but once the combat system clicks, you’ll be hooked.

You’ll slowly work your way through a beautiful — yet terrifying — 1500s Japan, acquiring new skills and increasing your power with each small victory. Some of the bosses in its world will have you smashing your controller in frustration, only to breathe a sigh of relief when you finally discover their weakness.

Read our full Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review

Fallout 4

Fallout 4

You’ve got to hand it to them — the team at Bethesda knows how to craft a great open-world title. Fallout 76 may have been a bit flat, but the latest single-player installment in the franchise stands as a testament to what the team can achieve when it sticks to what it knows best.

Much like Skyrim, Fallout 4 gives players a massive, post-apocalyptic world to explore in whichever way they see fit. The V.A.T.S system makes a return from previous games, allowing you to slow down the action and target specific body parts on your enemies. It’s a unique system, and one that will keep you playing for hundreds of hours.

Read our full Fallout 4 review

Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium is a love-letter to classic RPGs. Featuring an open world, turn-based battles, and a twisting narrative full of colorful characters, it’s a game that will stick with you well past the final credits.

Players take on the role of a detective in the city of Revachol, a place rife with drugs, crime, and violence. As you interact with suspects using a branching dialog system, you’ll quickly become embroiled in a murder case where nothing is as it first seems.

Grand Theft Auto V

Although its single-player mode isn’t receiving the same attention as Grand Theft Auto Online, GTA V still stands as one of the best solo games on the market. Los Santos is a virtual playground, filled with entertaining ways to upset law enforcement and annoy its citizens.

It’ll take around 30 hours to beat the base game, but completionists will be wandering the roads of Los Santos for upward of 80 hours before stepping away from their keyboards. With three playable characters that can be swapped out at any time, GTA V proved that there are still ways to innovate on the age-old GTA formula.

Read our full Grand Theft Auto V review

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