Senua peeking above water in Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2
Image Source: Xbox Game Studios

10 Best Short Games to Play in 2024

When you're looking for something a little more palatable.

Short games are the perfect palate cleanser between longer experiences and give you a greater sense of accomplishment for getting through them and seeing the credits roll relatively quickly. Their short and sweet nature means they don’t need to fluff out your game time with unnecessary or repetitive gameplay – you’re only getting the best bits. The following titles are the best shorter games to play in 2024!

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Recently, the former President of PlayStation, Shawn Layden, made a plea to developers to make shorter games, in a chat with We found ourselves nodding fervently in agreement, as the videogame landscape is chock-full of wonderful experiences that we simply don’t have the time to play.

Don’t get us wrong, we love a good 100+ hour adventure with the best of them. They allow you to get to know some of gaming’s most beloved characters. Games with humungous run times also include gigantic open worlds to explore and get lost in. However, with so many video game behemoths out there, it can all feel a bit much to sit down and play them all. That’s where the less intense honest-to-goodness shorter games come in to save the day.

10. Still Wakes the Deep

Image Source: Secret Mode

How Long to Beat: 4.5 hours

Coming from acclaimed developer The Chinese Room, Still Wakes the Deep draws upon a previous library of horror classics for an intense and terrifying narrative-driven adventure. As with Amnesia, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, and Dear Esther before it, Still Wakes the Deep is a short and sweet experience that will have you at the edge of your seat throughout its palatable 4-5 hour runtime. The game sees you control Caz as he attempts to escape a monster-infested oil rig out at sea where things continually take a turn for the worse.

You’ll spend most of your time attempting to survive aboard this dangerous oil rig while trying to find a way to escape. Along the way, you’ll face all kinds of dangers as you battle a raging storm and attempt to run, climb, and swim your way through this dangerous broken-down vessel. On top of all that, you’ll encounter a variety of Lovecraftian-inspired monsters, prompting you to sneak and hide in an earnest attempt to survive. All in all, it’s an intense horror-packed adventure that gives some decent thrills.

9. Botany Manor

External shot of garden in Botany manor
Image Source: Whitethorn Games

How Long to Beat: 4 hours

This immersive puzzle-based walking sim is full of delight and whimsy. First off, the strikingly vibrant color palette serves as a pleasant set dressing for the 1890s Victorian English manor you’ll spend your time in. The game follows a curious botanist, Arabella Greene, as she sets to complete her botanical research book, ‘Forgotten Flora’. You’ll be exploring the many rooms and outside gardens contained within this quaint countryside manor, all while gathering clues and completing puzzles as you go about your research.

While its story is nothing to write home about, solving the mystery of the manor’s various fauna serves as a satisfying and relaxing gameplay loop. With its short game length, you can knock out this mellow adventure on a cozy and quiet Sunday afternoon. A perfect accompaniment to a spot of afternoon tea and crumpets, wouldn’t you say?

8. Little Kitty, Big City

main street little kitty big city
Image Source: Double Dagger Studio

How Long to Beat: 4 hours

Gamers have been graced with a variety of cat games in 2024, with one of the best of that bunch being Little Kitty, Big City. The premise is a nightmare for us cat owners: the impossibly adorable black-haired feline protagonist falls out of their high-rise apartment window and is lost in a big, bustling city. While a horrifying thought for all the feline lovers out there, this kitty has a few tricks up its sleeve to ensure they can find their way back home safely. That’s if they don’t want to do a little exploring of their own first.

While taking control of this curious little black cat, you have the option to explore a semi-open sandbox, filled with puzzles to solve, quests to complete, and humans to pester. The main goal is to consume enough fish to regain your strength so you can climb back up to the safety and warmth of your apartment home. Your quest for fish will introduce you to various memorable characters, including an overconfident Chameleon and a fraught Duck that needs you to round up his lost ducklings. Naturally, you’ll be able to perform various cat-based feats, such as being able to fit in small crevices and pounce onto high ledges.

7. Braid: Aniversary Edition

Platforming in Braid: Anniversary Edition
Image Source: Thekla, Inc.

How Long to Beat: 5 hours

The original Braid released in the heyday of the Xbox 360 era, gaining well-deserved critical acclaim for its gorgeous visuals, delightful musical score, and tight platforming gameplay. Braid: Anniversary Edition comes almost 16 years after the release of the original and is the perfect entry point for those who missed this award-winning indie hit the first time around.

Fans of the original will still find the same interesting time-bending gameplay mechanics and thoughtful puzzle design. However, developer Thekla, Inc. has gone the extra mile to give the Anniversary Edition a distinct visual overhaul. This time, each pixel has been painstakingly recreated to add more visual fidelity, increasing the game’s resolution and adding new details such as fancy new brushstroke effects. It looks better than you remember it and is as much of a joy to play as it was back in 2008.

6. Go Mecha Ball

Ball combat in Go Mecha Ball
Image Source: Super Rare Originals

How Long to Beat: 4 hours

While roguelikes are a saturated genre, Go Mecha Ball does enough of its own thing to make it a worthwhile venture. As a fast-paced and action-packed twin-stick bullet hell shooter, Go Mecha Ball’s most compelling element involves the ability to switch up your gameplay on the fly. At any point, you have the option to transform from a hobbling gun-toting mech suit into a bouncy ball of destruction that gives Sonic a run for his money.

When in mech suit mode, you can play around with an array of standard weapons, ranging from shotguns to machine guns and more. When you curl up into a ball, the game moves at a lightning-fast pace which feels satisfying as you zip and dash into each enemy in one of the game’s four diverse worlds. As roguelikes go, this is a pretty short experience that genre veterans will likely get through in no time at all. We see it as a refreshing interlude between your endless runs of Hades 2 and Dead Cells.

5. Children of the Sun

THE GIRL aiming her sniper rifle in Children of the Sun
Image Source: Devolver Digital

How Long to Beat: 4 hours

Children of the Sun is a third-person shooter where you only have one bullet to take out your enemies. Despite such a paltry amount of ammunition, you are thankfully given the ability to control that bullet, allowing you to change its direction on impact and curve around obstacles. Because of this unique gameplay hook, each level becomes a thoughtful puzzle where you must figure out the most efficient way to take out all the cultists in one fell swoop.

It’s a creative take on the third-person shooter genre and is very satisfying when you pull off a series of incredibly stylish kills with just one bullet. Though it doesn’t take long to complete, its unique one-bullet mechanic encourages lots of replayability as you look to take out your targets in a variety of creative and interesting ways.

4. Pepper Grinder

Traversal in Pepper Grinder
Image Source: Devolver Digital

How Long to Beat: 4.5 hours

The colorful pixelated visuals and the stylishly fluid movement in Pepper Grinder make it a joy to play and experience. You play as a sea-faring adventurer, Pepper, who must use her trusty overpowered drill, Grinder, to explore and traverse through an eye-poppingly gorgeous world. The movement and traversal are surprisingly fluid as you weave your way in and out of dirt piles and leap over large open spaces.

Over time, you can access upgrades to add more power to your trusty drill, allowing you to take on more enemies and deal with the game’s more challenging platforming sections and puzzles. Though short, you can rest easy in the fact that developers Ahr Ech and MP2 Games made sure to focus on giving players an extremely satisfying and tightly crafted experience.

3. Animal Well

Animal Well Cat
Image Source: Bigmode

How Long to Beat: 9.5 hours

Animal Well is a densely packed Metroidvania that is one of this year’s most successful indie hits. As one of the first games published by Bigmode (run by YouTuber Videogamedunkey), Animal Well is a gorgeous pixel-art explorative puzzler, filled to the brim with secrets to discover.

Much like many other Metroidvanias, you will spend a lot of time exploring Animal Well. Eventually, you will learn how to progress through the game’s sprawling levels, gaining needed upgrades to access previously blocked-off areas. The game’s length will vary depending on how much of it you are willing to see. It is possible to complete Animal Well within 5 hours or so of playtime. However, we recommend spending more time spelunking in the game’s atmospheric cave system to get the most out of this delightful and charming experience.

2. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake

Two brothers standing next to troll in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Remake
Image Source: 505 Games

How Long to Beat: 3.5 hours

Roughly 10 years after Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons graced our video game screens, Avantagarden has come out with a remake of this cult indie classic. The game follows a harrowing and emotional story about two brothers (surprise!) setting off on a journey to find a cure for their father’s fatal illness. In addition to the puzzle-solving and environmental storytelling you’ll encounter along your path, A Tale of Two Sons allows you to control each brother with the left and right stick on one controller.

The recently released remake not only gives the game a pleasant graphical overhaul, it also allows you to play in co-op for the first time. This adds another intriguing element to the gameplay. Top that all off with a re-recorded soundtrack with a live orchestra and you’re in for an unforgettable time with a beloved classic.

1. Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II

Senua’s Saga_ Hellblade landscape
Image Source: Ninja Theory via Twinfinite

How Long to Beat: 7.5 hours

Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is the much-anticipated sequel to Ninja Theory’s thought-provoking dark fantasy series. Much like the first game, Hellblade II centers around the titular Senua as she navigates through a Viking-inspired Iceland on a perilous journey filled with insurmountable odds and psychological horror.

The team at Ninja Theory has knocked it out of the park with the game’s visuals once again, creating one of the best-looking games we’ve seen from this generation. Its narrative is as intense and overwhelming as it is captivating and breathtaking. Though Hellblade II’s overall runtime is short-lived, this seems to serve the explosive nature of its story structure in the best way possible.

That’s it for our top ten best short games in 2024! For more content like this, be sure to check out the top ten Xbox franchises we want to see adapted into a TV show and the best deals to pick up during the Steam Summer Sale 2024 here.

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Image of Alpay Dedezade
Alpay Dedezade
As a passionate gamer and an experienced writer, Alpay uses his enthusiasm and knowledge to cover a range of game topics and has been featured on Twinfinite, The Game Crater, GamingIntel,, and TheGamer. When not clacking away at his keyboard, he can be found exploring exciting virtual open worlds, lost in a high-concept TV show, or spending an unnecessary amount of money on yet another Steam sale for games he doesn’t have the time to play.