“PC MASTER RACE!”
If you’ve spent even a little time in the gaming community, then you have probably heard this statement. And to some degree, you can’t deny that using PC is the most versatile way to game — but that doesn’t mean it’s the best option for all gamers. While playing PC allows you to play almost any game on any graphical settings you want, you first have to have the money for an excellent computer.
So what do you do when you don’t have an excellent gaming PC? What do you do when you can only play on a potato? Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do, unless you’re willing to dish out quite a bit of cash to upgrade. Usually one of the biggest obstacles to a PC running certain games is the RAM requirement. RAM is arguably the most important factor when it comes to checking your system’s compatibility, so that is what we are going to focus on. If you have sucky RAM, then this article is for you.
Luckily, there are still some great games out there that aren’t going to demand an amount of RAM you simply don’t have. These 10 games only require 2GB of RAM or less — so even your weak computer can play them!
*It’s worth noting that if a game has a minimum requirement of 2GB RAM, it is still better to play it on a system with more in order to avoid lag. So if you have 4GB RAM, these games should run like a dream.
(1+ GB RAM)
Developed by Klei Entertainment, this survival game looks like something right out of a Tim Burton film! You can choose one of many characters, each of which has a special quality to them. Your primary goal is to survive and best this uncompromisingly harsh world.
The art style of Don’t Starve is a dark and alluring 2D style that is set in a 3D world. It sounds strange at first, but the world allows you to turn and change perspective in any direction, making it feel more real and immersive.
The game offers a rich crafting system based on both science and magic. Gather all the resources you can, but do so before night time. At night, you will find that there are untold horrors lurking in the dark. If you don’t have a torch or campfire nearby, you won’t live to regret it!
There are very rare and specific ways to avoid death, but you can kiss a character goodbye if you don’t figure them out — because this game boasts a perma-death system. Should that happen, both your character and the world it inhabited is gone for good. One of the key aspects of Don’t Starve is the fact that, like others on this list, each new world is randomly generated. This means that even if it comes to your character’s inevitable end, you have a new map and a new experience ahead of you!
Don’t Starve’s beautiful music and realistic sound effects, help bring everything to life. If you’re a bit of an audiophile, you’ll enjoy this game’s great sound design.
In conclusion, Don’t Starve provides a beautiful art style coupled with a brutally difficult survival-system. If eerie survival games are your thing, then Don’t Starve is for you!
(2 GB RAM)
Bastion is a game developed by Supergiant Games. This action-RPG plops players into a beautifully lush world complete with hand-painted artwork and a deeply compelling story.
You play as “the Kid” during what the (excellently voiced) narrator calls “The Great Calamity”. Your world is falling apart and your civilization is crumbling to pieces. Your only hope is to restore the “Bastion”, a place where everyone is supposed to go when things go horribly wrong.
The gameplay is smooth and polished. You have a choice of over 10 different weapons to play with at any given time, each of which pairs differently with others and is better for certain playstyles. As you progress through the game and advance the story, you will begin to unlock even more options and upgrades.
The soundtrack is arguably one of Bastion’s strongest attributes. You know that a game nailed its soundtrack when you find yourself buying the OST after playing it. Add the incredible voice acting of the narrator (basically the only VA in game) and the great sound effects, and you have a feast for the ears!
(2 GB RAM)
I know, I know. Minecraft really doesn’t need any introduction, but I added it because it is a great game that deserves mention even if some might consider it “overrated” or “over-done”. Minecraft is a 3D sanbox survival game developed by Mojang.
You are plopped into a randomly generated world comprised of nothing but blocks of different types and textures. Your goal (or the closest approximation to one) is to survive long enough to find a portal that takes you to a different dimension to kill the “Enderdragon”. Though this is the closest that Minecraft comes to in creating a set “goal”, there really isn’t one.
One of the game’s biggest component (in survival mode) is crafting. Almost every single block out there can be used to create something different or new. You can craft armor, tools, weapons, different blocks, food and much more!
And I haven’t even touched on things like redstone and mods — but I will say something about creative mode. Creative mode basically gives you the power of a god. You can create and build nearly anything your heart desires from the game’s entire catalogue of blocks. This is arguably Minecraft’s most played game mode, and with good reason. Minecraft just wouldn’t be the same without it.
(2 GB RAM)
I just had to put a game in here for you point-and-click fans out there! Fran Bow was developed and published by Killmonday Games. This point-and-click adventure game will have you going everywhere, solving puzzles, and exploring amazing worlds! I have to give you a fair warning though. This game is messed up. I’m pretty sure that you will need some psychological help after playing! All kidding aside, Fran Bow is a very charming game that many people can enjoy.
The 2D art style of Fran Bow is definitely very quirky and adds to the overall feel of the game. You play as Fran, a girl in a mental asylum after the murder of her parents. You must work your way through elaborate puzzles to find your way out of the asylum, taking many drugs along the way.
The art team for the game did a fantastic job at capturing the essence of the story and turning it into a visual treat.
The gameplay is a standard point-and-click formula with some form of “crafting” mixed in. An added mechanic is one where you make Fran take her medication in order to “see things differently” which can at times help you solve the puzzle. The attention to detail also grabs you, as nearly every small thing is clickable and provides at least a few lines of Fran’s thoughts about it.
Overall I would highly recommend Fran Bow to anyone. If you like point-and-click games, be sure to try it. Even if you just enjoy creepy psychological horror games, I would highly recommend this one!
(256 MB RAM)
This game is pretty old, I admit. Is it a bit of a cop-out? Yes. Do I make any apologies for it? No. GTA: San Andreas (developed by Rockstar North) is an amazing game, and one of my favorites of all time. Besides, I never said that this list would only contain recent games, just good ones — and GTA:SA is a game that undoubtedly falls in that category.
San Andreas has you playing a character called Carl Johnson (CJ to his friends). CJ returns home after the murder of his mother. After a life of running away from his past as a gang member, he is forcefully pulled back into the gang life upon his return. You will go from a nobody gangster to one of the most powerful people in San Andreas, fighting your way up every step of the way.
GTA – SA is an open world sandbox game. Most of the game’s mechanics centre around gunfights and driving cars or aeroplanes. But there are moments like stealth missions and dancing with either CJ or the low-rider he’s driving that really brings the game to a well-rounded whole.
Overall I would rate GTA – San Andreas as one of my favourite games of all time. If you enjoy a good story within a GTA-styled open world, you’ll love GTA – San Andreas. I highly recommend it to everyone!
(2 GB RAM)
Stardew Valley is an amazing game developed by ConcernedApe and published by Chucklefish Games. If you like games that completely draw you in and make you lose hours of the day, then this is the game for you. Stardew Valley is a farming simulator similar to Harvest Moon, with quite a few RPG elements in there.
You play as the heir to a little farm left to you by your grandfather, and it’s your job to take care of it and make it flourish once again. Not only can you farm all different kinds of crops, animals, produce, flowers, honey, crustaceans, etc. –but you can also catch fish, delve into the mines, make friends, build your farm up, craft, and a whole lot more. There is a reason this game can suck up so much of your time, and just playing it will show you why.
The art style of Stardew Valley is absolutely breathtaking. The game is gorgeous, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise! All joking aside, this game really is beautiful and my favorite season has to be Fall just because of the leaves that change color.
The OST of Stardew Valley is one of my favorite parts of the game. While there is no voice acting and the sound effects are slightly forgettable, the music of this game is absolutely stunning! Every season has a few different songs that fit the time of year. I love this OST and I cannot express just how amazing it sounds!
I cannot recommend Stardew Valley enough. If you want just a single, good game that you can come home to, relax and sink a few hours into each day, then you cannot go wrong with this. I would rate Stardew Valley as one of my most enjoyed games of all time.
(2 GB RAM)
The Banner Saga games are developed by Stoic. Yes, this technically counts as two games, but they are just so good that I had to lump them in together. If you’re looking for a story that’s reminiscent of Game of Thrones (but with a Norse theme) and turn-based combat….then these games are for you.
The sun has stopped dead in the sky and ancient dangers called Dredge are suddenly emerging from below the surface of the earth. The alliance between humans and Varl (giant, horned humans who live for hundreds of years) is fragile — and with the Dredge returning it will only become more strained. You play as a cast of a few people and it is your job to navigate the crumbling world around you.
The game uses tactical, turn-based combat that requires the use of careful positioning as well as careful planning. A wrong move or two and you could lose the whole battle. That being said, as someone who usually isn’t a fan of this type of combat, I really enjoyed it because of how well it was done.
The art style of The Banner Saga is amazing. They skilfully use 2D animation in a way that makes it feel like you’re watching a film at times. Not to mention the amount of detail the artists put in. The world map, for example, is absolutely huge and fairly well drawn. Each little detail has its own little bit of lore. Sometimes it is astonishing just how much detail goes into the art of this game. And the sound is equally as wonderful — I bought the OST on Steam just to have a little epic music in my life.
I would definitely recommend The Banner Saga to anyone. If you like a compelling story, get this game! If you like beautiful art, get this game! If you like turn-based combat, get this game! If you like beautiful music, get this game!
(2 GB RAM)
The Binding of Isaac is a very difficult rogue-like game with a steep learning curve. If you like games that don’t hold your hand and can keep you occupied for hundreds upon hundreds of hours, then look no further than this indie gem.
BoI doesn’t have a set story per se. Some people speculate on the true nature of what is going on. If, however, you take the game at face value, the story seems simple. Isaac is a young boy who was tormented by his overly religious mother. In a fit of religious zeal, she tries to kill him and he escapes via a trap door in his room that leads to the basement. From here you go lower and lower, fighting hordes of different enemies.
The art style of BoI is both basic and disgustingly brilliant at times. There will be a lot of times where you might make a face because you just killed a sentient pile of poop or a fetus (or even a heart if you make it that far). There are many dark and disturbing themes in BoI with a lot of religious symbolism. The game’s developer has gone on the record for saying that his experience of growing up in an abusive, religious household inspired him to create the game.
If you want a rogue-like game that offers a challenge and some very intense themes as well, then Binding of Isaac is for you. Honestly, I love this game and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for that extra challenge.
(2 GB RAM)
If you haven’t yet read my first impressions on Salt and Sanctuary, then I highly recommend you do so if you want more information on it. SaS is a brutally difficult game developed by Ska Studios. It basically feels just like a Dark Souls game, except with its own world and art style.
The story of SaS is pretty basic, as you would expect from a game akin to the Souls series. Of course the world has its own lore and such, but your character is basically a nobody. You start off as a sailor that shipwrecks on the coast of an unknown land. From there you will traverse the world, fighting to survive every step of the way. Enemies can be unforgivingly brutal, and you might find yourself using the dodge mechanic a few hundred times per hour.
The artistic style of SaS is, in my opinion, one of the game’s strongest qualities. You have a beautifully done 2D world with amazing detail and a dark theme. What more could you want from a game? Even character creation is highly detailed within this 2D world. If you like eerie and foreboding settings, then this game has you covered. Not to mention the interesting, yet (at times) disturbing design of some of the bosses.
The sound design in SaS is also superb! From the swing of a blade to the crashing of a hammer, the combat sounds bring it all to life. The background music is just as amazingly awesome and makes you really feel like a bad ass at times. Though there are some in this list that does sound better, this game truly does make the best of the sound design implemented.
If you liked any of the Souls games or similar games, then this one is for you! I highly recommend it to those seeking a true challenge. If you are up to it, try it out and see just how brutal this dark, yet beautiful game can be!
(2 GB RAM)
GW2 is an MMORPG developed by ArenaNet and published by NCSOFT — and depending on who you ask, it’s either the best or worst thing since WoW. I am a massive fan of this game and I play it daily.
The story of GW2 is pretty vast and quite hard to summarize, but I will do my best. The Elder Dragons have arisen once more after their millennia-long slumber to devour Tyria’s (in-game world) magic. You, along with some help, will take the fight to each and every one of them.
Honestly, because it’s an MMO (and one that has been out for nearly 5 years too), the mechanics are just way too vast to cover in this limited space. Just take my word on it here, guys. GW2 revolutionizes many MMO concepts and takes core mechanics to the next level.
Artistically, GW2 is one of the most beautiful games I have ever seen. It’s not only stunning in-game, but the painted cutscenes and concept art is beautiful enough to frame on a wall. Not to mention the fact that I just love the brush-painted effect that they integrated into the UI. GW2 has a lovely visual style all around.
And the music in GW2 is absolutely gorgeous! The music released at launch was all composed by Jeremy Soule — the guy behind the OST for games like Skyrim. Not only that, but the sound effects are just as good. When you are in the heart of the jungle, for example, you can hear every bird and wild creature around you. Every attack you do feels like it has weight because of the “meaty” sound effects that accompany it. The voice acting in the game is also as superb and deserves no less praise.
Guild Wars 2 has time and again surprised and amazed its fans, and with good reason. You’ll be getting all that and more from an MMORPG with absolutely no subscription fee (no pay to win either)! It even has a good free-to-play (F2P) option — so you can try this game out without even spending a cent. An excellent game to round this list off nicely.
I hope you’ve found at least one game in this list that suits your tastes. Just because you can’t afford a great gaming PC doesn’t mean you have to stick to watching others play great games from the side-lines. There are a ton of great games out there that can be played on nearly any system. You just have to know where to look.