I find that one of the most difficult things about being a parent is having to limit my time with my favorite hobby, playing games. With two little ones running around, flushing toys down the toilet, eating glue like pudding, and using my walls as a canvas for their beautiful artwork, it almost feels impossible to stay glued to a game for too long. Of course, it doesn’t help that I also have a short attention span and can’t stay focused for too long, anyway.
While I am, occasionally, given ample time to complete formidable games like Dragon Age: Inquisition, Dying Light, and most recently Batman: Arkham Knight, there are a slew of other games that I simply can’t get through because I can’t find the time to sit down and follow the story, like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (which, as of writing this, I’m only 24% through. sighhh…). It goes without saying that I wish I could sit down and binge game for 7 or 8 hours to take big bites of these sorts of games, but between having to work full time, run this website and take care of my two
demon spawns darling children, I find myself scoffing at the thought of these longform, single player experiences. Now, I look for quick fixes. Like a junkie only able to offer pocket lint for his fix, I do what I can to get what I need.
So, if you’re one of those who say you don’t have enough time for video games, here are 7 games for girls and boys with short attention spans that are great to play in short bursts:
#IDARB is a fantastically fun multiplayer game that is great for short bursts of gaming. Each match is furiously played, filled with energy in every moment (aside from the annoying halftime games). The average match doesn’t take long at all, and it probably helps that most people rage quit when they’re losing too badly. One of #IDARB‘s greatest strengths is the fact that it’s pretty mindless, and you can play it whether you feel like paying attention or just need something in your hands to pass the a short amount of time. Basically, it feels like a smartphone game that’s intended for your Xbox One.
2. Rocket League
I just recently picked up Rocket League on a recommendation from, well, the world, and I wasn’t disappointed. Matches are just 5 minutes, and now there’s even a vote to concede mechanic available if the opposing team puts an early beating on you. It’s like soccer, but with cars, and while it doesn’t sound like much, it somehow works. I’ve been able to spend a lot of time playing Rocket League over the past week, because I can simply turn my PS4 on, hop into a game quickly, play a match or two, and then go do what I need to do. If you’re looking for awesome pc games to play in short bursts, start with Rocket League.
3. Mortal Kombat X
Mortal Kombat X is another great game that you can play with one foot out the door. Each match takes just a few minutes of your time, and getting into a new game is quick and painless. If you love fighting games and quick fits of competition, MKX is a great option. The girls and boys of the gaming community seem to love MKX, as it’s filled with cool, albeit graphic, fatalities, brutalities and quitalities.
My wife and I actually just got into Minecraft a few short weeks ago, after scoffing at the idea of playing such a ridiculous-looking game. We were admittedly wrong about Minecraft, and before we knew it, it was 2am and we were still playing. What’s great about Minecraft is that you can go into your game, enter whatever map you were working on last, and just continue making progress on whatever you’re building. Whether you’re in game for 10 minutes or 4 hours is up to you. But if you know you’re not going to be available to play video games for very long, you can still jump into Minecraft and leave feeling like you’ve accomplished something. You could slowly work your way towards building a rollercoaster, even (like in the video above). And, it’s not a $60 game like most are, but instead comes in under $20. What’s more, it’s available on virtually anything — your PC, Xbox, PS4, Switch, iOS, Android, a potato…
Hearthstone is a great game in short bursts, with the average game taking just 10 minutes of your time. And, since it’s available on the go now on iOS and Android, you’re able to take it with you if you’re in the middle of a game and you get interrupted. It’s also simple to pick-up and learn, and after a few games (and probably some Googling when you find time to), you’ll feel like a pro player in no-time. A lot of people seem to have a growing concern that it might be a little pay to win, as you’re more likely to win with better cards from decks that you can buy with real money, but I haven’t paid a cent and I have a pretty formidable deck and am able to pull out quite a few wins. If you love CCGs, you might also want to check out Infinity Wars, as it’s basically the same idea.
6. Mario Kart 8
Admittedly, my Wii U doesn’t get much love nowadays, since I’ve already played the hell out of Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, and Super Smash Bros. But, all three of those games are great for a quick gaming fix, especially Mario Kart 8. Each race lasts roughly three minutes, and if you have the time, you can play a full Grand Prix in about 15 minutes. You can also opt for a quick online game to race against others from around the world, as those tend to go by quickly, too. So if you have a Wii U and haven’t picked up Mario Kart 8, you definitely should.
7. GTA V/GTA Online
Grand Theft Auto V is still going strong, and it’s still one of the best available games for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC. If you somehow haven’t completed all of the missions yet, you can quickly hop in and do a mission or two. Or, if you’re like me, you can jump into GTA Online for a few minutes and simply wreak havoc. Go shoot other players for no reason at all, do short online missions, or try to pull off cool stunts in cars. It’s one of the best video game sequels available right now, and has us wanting a Grand Theft Auto 6.
What are some other great games to play if you have a short attention span? Sound off in the comments!