The Best Low Spec PC Games You Can Play in 2021


Gaming desktops are more powerful than they've ever been. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to get themselves the latest and most powerful graphics card right now. Not especially given the current situation, with cryptocurrency miners driving up the prices of even entry-level gaming graphics cards like the GTX 1050 ti.

You'd think that a recent SXSW Gaming Awards awardee would require at least a moderately powerful PC, but Hades proves that you can make a great game that runs on decade-old hardware if not older.

With that said, not every game out there demands a powerful PC. In fact, in this day and age, some of the best games on PC can be played even if your desktop doesn't have a graphics card.

If you're looking for games to pair with the $500 PC we recommended, you've come to the right place.

Among Us

Considering that people play Among Us in phones that have been out for nearly a decade, you'll never run out of things to do and people to mess around with in Among Us.
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Graphics Card: Intel HD

In a way, Among Us has the most replay value of all the games on our list. Sure, each game only lasts around 15 minutes at most, but we'd be lying if we said that we haven't lost hours playing the base game and that's not counting the multiple mods available for Among Us on the PC.

The concept of Among Us is as straightforward as it gets. Up to 10 players are placed together in a map where they're tasked to complete something menial. Meanwhile, up to 3 players (imposters) are tasked to sabotage all the right things they do and kill them one by one. Players can then call upon emergency meetings to argue and vote over who is the imposter.

If the players get their votes right, the imposter/s are kicked and the game ends. If they get it wrong, the game continues until eventually the imposters kill everyone on board or they're voted out of the spaceship.

Among Us is a fun game that's easy to pick up for even players who haven't played video games before and you'll never run out of people to play with as it has crossplay between multiple platforms.

Plus, with more content coming, it's the sort of game that should endure for years to come.

Portal 2

Portal 2 is well worth playing even if only for you to understand that bit with the potato.
  • Processor: 3.0 GHz P4
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Graphics card: At least 128MB with support for Pixel Shader 2.0b

If we're being honest, we could have filled the list with any game made using the Source engine. Valve did such a good job with it that it's possible to enjoy Source games without having to spend money on a capable PC.

If you do have a capable PC though, we recommend giving Half-Life 2 a try. The decades-old game has looked better than ever thanks to visual mods available on the PC. However, if you're looking for a fun game that you can play on hardware that's a decade old if not older, Portal 2 is the game for you.

The genius of Portal 2 is how you can enjoy playing the puzzle game even if you had to turn all the settings down to "Low" and play it at 800x600 resolution. You're not playing the game for eye candy, although that's nice. You're playing it for the amazing job the voice actors did with it, the story, the platforming, and more.

Minecraft

Minecraft is one of the most profitable video games in the world and it's mostly because of how accessible the game is on top of its limitless gameplay potential.
  • Processor: Intel Pentium D
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Graphics card: Intel HD

Minecraft could very well outlive us all and still be playable in hardware that was released last decade.

The open-world sandbox game that has people putting in hundreds of thousands of hours of stacking blocks is as scalable as its open-world is endless. You can use it to recreate everything that you can think of and not have to worry if your PC can run it because it's built to be accessible.

There's so much to say about Minecraft that we don't even know where to begin. Instead, we'll just leave you to download and see what the game is about yourself.

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FTL: Faster Than Light

FTL: Faster Than Light might not be an easy game to play, but it is incredibly rewarding.
  • Processor: 2GHz
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Graphics card: Aynwith least 128MB dedicated memory

To the uninitiated, FTL sounds like this unwelcoming difficult game that only hardcore players who're up for a challenge will love. But, even though it is not an easy game to play, this real-time strategic space roguelike title is actually a pretty casual experience that you can play on your PC and enjoy for dozens of hours.

In FTL, players are given their own spaceship that they can fill with their own crew members and they'll then have to work hard to make sure that it's not destroyed in the process of carrying an important message to the other end of the galaxy.

Words nor screenshots really do FTL justice. We recommend giving it a whirl and see if it's for you.

The worst thing that can happen is for you to lose hours of your time.

Hades

In a crowded rogue-lite genre, Hades manages to stand out and even edge out the likes of The Last Of Us 2 for a prestigious video game award.
  • Processor: Dual Core 2.4 GHz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Graphics card: 1GB VRAM with DirectX 10

Going to hell and back takes on an entirely different meaning in Hades as it puts players in the shoes of Zagreus, Hades' son, who must hack and slash his way from the Underworld to climb his way up to Mount Olympus.

The rogue-lite and fast-paced gameplay blend perfectly together with the ancient characters in a story that's told from a modern perspective.

Hades isn't just one of the best low spec PC games that you can play in 2021. It's one of the best video games right now.

Loop Hero

Both old and new at the same time, Loop Hero manages to create a unique experience despite using familiar gameplay elements.
  • Processor: Dual Core 2.4 GHz
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Graphics card: 512MB

Just as the name suggests, Loop Hero is an endless RPG with a cyclical nature. It feels every bit like a game that should have you cashing in just to progress, but it doesn't. Instead, it's a game that has you going back to where you start with nothing to show but a shiny pair of new boots, and, oddly enough, it gives you a satisfying feeling that can keep you going for hours.

Cuphead

Don't let its cute old-school aesthetics fool you, Cuphead will challenge you to your wit's end.
  • Processor: Dual Core 3.0 GHz
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Graphics card: 512MB

"Delightfully difficult" is a word that we'd like to use to describe the experience of playing Cuphead.

Behind its pleasing art style, Cuphead is a punishing game made by friends and family members who wanted to work on their dream project. The result is a love letter to the games of old with hand-drawn graphics that look even older that takes gamers on an adventure that they likely will never forget nor finish in one sitting.

Hollow Knight

Hollow Knight tells the story of the sacrifice of an unlikely hero up against what should have insurmountable odds.
  • Processor: Dual Core 2.4Ghz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Graphics card: 1GB

There's just something about Hollow Knight's hand-drawn art that makes you feel calm and, at times, hopeful, which is important because of how the Metroidvania title tells the story of a fallen kingdom with individuals whose stories have been long forgotten hidden beneath a world that's barely scraping by.

It's a sad, sad tale that serves as the perfect backdrop for what can only be described as the best Metroidvania game to release in years.

Disco Elysium

He might be a drunk and a junkie, but this detective is all that separates between a murderer escaping scot-free and him landing behind bars.
  • Processor: Dual Core 2.4Ghz
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Graphics card: 512GB

At times, Disco Elysium feels like a game that plays itself. It's like you're just there to watch the story unfold, and occasionally, guide the drunk alcoholic of a detective that you're in control of the right (or wrong way).

Along the way, you'll work towards solving a murder that will also teach you more about who you have and why you're there.

There are numerous skills in the game, all of which are cleverly named and hilariously useful.

With multiple awards under its belt, the least you can do is to try and see if it's worth playing Disco Elysium only to watch your character argue against himself if what you're doing is right or wrong.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.