Top 10 best games for laptops that won’t melt your machine

The best laptop games are there for you whenever you’re on break for work and you just need to kill some time before you get back to the grind. Because they’re so easy to run, even cheap laptops will be able to play these games just fine.

Don’t think you’re getting some third-rate games here, either. Games like Disco Elysium are not only easy on your laptop, but engaging and hilarious to boot. The laptop games on this list are among the best PC games on the market right now, and really goes to show the flexibility that PC gaming offers.

Even if you’re using one of the best gaming laptops, the games on this list have a lot to offer, even if they’re not quite up to snuff to the mighty graphics in more powerful notebooks. This list is by no means extensive either: but we narrowed down the 10 games that everyone should consider installing on their laptops for some nice gaming on the side.

Disco Elysium

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 or AMD 1800 equivalent
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA Geforce 1060 or equivalent
  • Ever had grand dreams of becoming the greatest detective in history? We know we did, and we have just the game for you. Disco Elysium is digital heaven for those who’ve always had a knack for problem-solving skills and fancy themselves the coolest (or most crooked) PI in their daydreams.

In this open-world RPG, among the best laptop games that you can play right now, you have unprecedented freedom to do whatever you want as a detective – whether that’s solving murder mysteries and helping people or taking bribes, manipulating others and becoming a millionaire. And, that’s with a plethora of wild skills and cool detective tools at your disposal.

The city you’re running around in, of course, has that certain mystery je ne sais quoi atmosphere to it, like Gotham-meets-Neo-noir. And, it only adds to this extremely charismatic title. If you’ve got hours to kill, or really even if you don’t, this game needs to be on your laptop right now.

Among Us

  • CPU: Intel Pentium 4
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • GPU: Intel HD

Among Us(opens in new tab) seems a bit more casual than other titles on this list, with each game lasting 10 to 15 minutes but that doesn’t mean you won’t lose hours playing it. The concept is relatively simple. 4 to 10 players are placed in a map, either a spaceship or space station, and are tasked with some menial errands. Up to 3 of the players are secretly imposters who pretend to do the same things but actually go around sabotaging things and killing other players. Emergency meetings can be called where players argue over who the imposter is and then vote to kick someone out. Considering how short each game is, just about everyone will have a chance to play as an imposter after a few games.

What makes Among Us such an enduring game is how it can bring friends together the way a good board game can, combining socializing and strategy in a way that most online games don’t.

Cuphead

  • CPU: Intel Core2 Duo E8400, 3.0GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+, 3.0GHz or higher
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • GPU: Geforce 9600 GT or AMD HD 3870 512MB

You might be turned off by the tremendous amount of challenge it poses, but we promise you that Cuphead is worth a shot. If you don’t already find its vibrant, whimsical art style delightful, then you might be convinced by some backstory of how it was made.

Cuphead is from indie developer Studio MDHR (short for Studio Moldenhauer), named for the two brothers who started the project, Chad and Jared Moldenhauer. In fact, the whole company is made up of family members and friends who sought out to finish their dream project.

Marija Moldenhauer, Chad’s wife, was responsible for the inking and clean up in this hand-drawn ode to 2D platforming classics like Mega Man and 1930s Fleischer cartoons like Betty Boop. And, if the 19 bosses aren’t enough for you, Cuphead is getting a major DLC next year featuring new bosses, areas and a new playable character

Humankind

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 4th Gen
  • RAM: 8GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 770 or AMD R9 290

If you’re a fan of history-based strategy games like Civilization or Age of Empires but are looking for something a little different, then Humankind is for you. This game takes that format and gives it a little twist, allowing you to customize your gameplay as you go. You can upgrade to different cultures as you progress and shape your empire with all sorts of decisions regarding religion, war, alliances, and more that can have long lasting impacts. In fact, every play through will be different.

You can wage nuclear war or destroy the world with pollution in Humankind, but your goal is to be the most famous empire by the end of the game to win. While it does seem to share a lot of similarities with the aforementioned giants of turn-based historical strategy games, that added level of customization, different mechanics for city-building and waging war, not to mention the ability to essentially rewrite history makes Humankind a worthy and unique addition to the genre.

Stardew Valley

  • CPU: 2 GHz
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • GPU: 256 MB video memory, shader model 3.0+

If you’re obsessed with farming sims (and, considering how well the likes of Farming Simulator and Harvest Moon sell, there’s a few of you out there), then few games will get you jumping for agricultural joy more than the enchanting busywork of Stardew Valley(opens in new tab).

Taking cues from the Harvest Moon games, Stardew Valley’s top-down point of view and cutesy characters feel blended together seamlessly, making it one of the best laptop games available.

It doesn’t seem all that exhilarating, tending to fields, growing produce and raising livestock – but that’s the beauty of it. There’s a special kind of peace to the mundanity of Stardew Valley’s minutia as you expand your farm, catch some fish down at the river and even head into the village to strike up friendships (and maybe something a little more) with a cast of NPCs. Farming has never been so much fun or addicting.

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