10 Under 10: The Best Short Games Of 2017

This year has delivered an abundance of excellent, massive gaming experiences. You can easily lose yourself for days in titles like Persona 5, Horizon Zero Dawn, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. But if you don’t have dozens of hours to sink into a digital world, 2017 also has a fantastic selection of quality games with less daunting commitments. 

We’ve singled out 10 of the best games of 2017 that clock in at 10 hours or less. These are still complete and engrossing titles – they just require a smaller time investment.

What Remains of Edith Finch
Estimated time to finish: 3 hours
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC (review)
This narrative-focused experience from developer Giant Sparrow follows a young woman named Edith as she explores her eccentric family’s house. With novel gameplay moments and storytelling techniques, players see the world through the eyes of different Finches through the years – and witness the bizarre fate that awaits them all.

SteamWorld Dig 2
Estimated time to finish: 9 hours
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Vita, PC (review)
If you love exploration and upgrades with some undeniable Metroid influence, then Image & Form’s SteamWorld Dig 2 is for you. Robotic heroine Dot digs down through the dirt to find resources, and then spends them on a variety of clever weapons, bonuses, and enhancements that make her even better at digging. Though it’s fun on all platforms, SteamWorld Dig 2 is especially good for portable play on Switch or Vita.

Night in the Woods
Estimated time to finish: 9 hours
Platforms: PS4, PC (review)
Anthropomorphic cat Mae has dropped out of college and moved back in with her parents. Infinite Fall’s Night in the Woods is a 2D side-scrolling adventure game about Mae figuring things out and reconnecting with her hilarious friends and family. However, it’s also about a sinister mystery lurking beneath the desolate small-town charm.

Tacoma
Estimated time to finish: 4 hours
Platforms: Xbox One, PC (review)
What happened to the crew on the space station Tacoma? While the answer to that question is important, the real draw of this game from Fullbright (developer of Gone Home) is learning about the intriguing characters and their relationships through a system that lets you view their recorded interactions.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Estimated time to finish: 8 hours
Platforms: PS4 (review)
Nathan Drake has been the face of Uncharted for years, but The Lost Legacy proves the spirit of the series can live on through other characters. Naughty Dog puts Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross in the starring roles, but the gameplay and setpiece moments hit the same spectacular notes Uncharted is known for.

Battle Chef Brigade
Estimated time to finish: 9 hours
Platforms: Switch, PC (review)
Match-three puzzles meet hack-and-slash action is this surprising hybrid from Trinket Studios. Kind of like the show Iron Chef crossed with the game Bejeweled, players alternate between playstyles as they gather special ingredients and then prepare dishes for a panel of judges. Battle Chef Brigade is strange, intense, and unlike anything else you’ve played this year.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Estimated time to finish: 8 hours
Platforms: PS4, PC (review)
Senua is an ancient warrior struggling with psychosis, so players can never be sure of their surroundings in Hellblade. Developer Ninja Theory deftly uses sound design and visual tricks to impart fear and uncertainty throughout Senua’s journey. These aren’t just gameplay gimmicks; Hellblade uses them to confront serious (and sometimes uncomfortable) issues relating to mental health.

Observer
Estimated time to finish: 6 hours
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC (review)
A cyberpunk detective story starring Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner, Hobo with a Shotgun), Observer uses jump scares and a grim atmosphere to create a unique, narrative-driven horror game. Players jump into character’s minds to extract information, resulting in dream-like scenarios that developer Bloober Team has crafted to toy with your perception of reality. Fans of sci-fi and horror will love seeing how the genres collide in Observer.

Little Nightmares
Estimated time to finish: 4 hours
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC (review)
Fans of Playdead’s Limbo and Inside should definitely play this puzzle/platform adventure from Tarsier Studios. As a tiny girl named Six in an oversized world, you navigate seemingly mundane obstacles like drawers and shoes, all while avoiding nightmarish horrors. The unsettling (but not gory) imagery makes Little Nightmares memorable, and the rising and falling tension keeps you engaged from beginning to end.

Everything
Estimated time to finish: 3 hours
Platforms: PS4, PC (review)
In Everything, developer David OReilly gives players the ability to hijack any object. From living creatures to inanimate structures, you hop from entity to entity in order to see what wonders (or horrors) the universe holds. The unbelievable wealth of things to possess and control is a major draw, and the relaxed approach to exploration makes for a delightfully weird game.

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