Best games that you’ll finish in less than one hour

When all runs are speedruns.

Stanley in his cubicle in The Stanley Parable.

Video games are the best pastime in the world. I won’t bother sourcing my claim because I know my editor believes me. Games can also, however, take up too much of our time as adult human beings, and that sucks.

Recommended Videos

Luckily, instead of playing fewer games, we can attempt to play games that take less time to beat. I came up with a list of gloriously original titles that won’t take up much of your time nor make much of a dent in your wallet.

Screenshot by Destructoid


Paratopic features the most intriguing mystery in the history of short games. Even though it doesn’t take more than 40 minutes to beat, it has time to put you in the shoes of three different characters in three different but intertwined stories. I really don’t want to spoil it — not that I think I could, anyway — but Paratopic is one of the most original-looking and feeling games out there.

Also, just so we’re clear, you won’t take long to beat Paratopic, but it’ll be a long while before its mystery leaves your head.

Iron Lung Photo Screen
Screenshot by Destructoid

Iron lung

The horror of Iron Lung may have been overshadowed by a real tragedy, but we should not forget it. It has players visiting a completely alien location just to take pictures inside a sea of blood. Things naturally take a turn for the very worst after a while, but you’re gonna love every minute of seeing things turning more and more ominous.

If you love horror, simple mechanics, and claustrophobia, this is the one for you.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Buckshot Roulette

If you don’t find Russian Roulette thrilling enough, then perhaps it’s time to give something more badass a try. Buckshot Roulette replaces the revolver with a shotgun loaded with a mysterious number of blanks and live ammo. It also adds a bunch of items that reinvigorate the questionable classic by making it even more stressful.

Buckshot Roulette puts you up against a sinister dealer who looks like he might have all sorts of unfair tricks up his sleeve, but the game is surprisingly fair, stressful, and very fun.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Stanley Parable

The most famous game on this list is also one of its strangest. I’m kind of cheating by putting it here, as seeing the entire world of Stanley Parable might take you a bit more than one hour, but please let me try to make my case.

The Stanley Parable base game features 19 different endings, and its Super Deluxe version features 42. Finding every single one of them makes this as time-consuming as any full-length game, but I’d argue that finding one or two endings might be more than enough for some, and that already counts as beating the game twice. And if you want more, you can just go after a few endings every day and you have many games that you’ll beat in less than one hour in one package.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Fears to Fathom – Ironbark Lookout

Tired of AAA horror games that don’t know less can be so much more in this genre? The most recent chapter of the Fears to Fathom anthology invites players to learn that even mundane jobs can turn into absolute horror.

Ironbark Lookout has you playing as a forest fire lookout for a few in-game days until things get really weird. It sells itself off as an interactive rendition of something that totally happened, and, even though I find that hard to buy, I buy that something similar must have happened to some unlucky soul at some point.

If you need an awesome horror experience but don’t have the time needed to play an old-timey Silent Hill game, then consider taking a concentrated shot of Ironbark Lookout.

PS: The other episodes in the series are also damn good.

Screenshot by Destructoid

Tales from Off-Peak City vol.1

And lastly, we have what is by far the weirdest game on this list. The most accurate definition I can come up with for this game is a pizza-making and delivery sim, but Off-Peak Vol.1 is so much more than that.

Cosmo D’s experience invites players to discover this marvelously surreal city where players will have a short blast meeting its inhabitants and getting swallowed by the game’s beautiful soundtrack.

I have a soft spot for all of Cosmo D’s games, but some of them might take players a bit over one hour to beat, so stay the hell away from them.

About The Author
Tiago Manuel
Tiago is a freelancer who used to write about video games, cults, and video game cults. He now writes for Destructoid in an attempt to find himself on the winning side when the robot uprising comes.
More Stories by Tiago Manuel