Here’s the scenario. You’ve just eaten breakfast and now you have 15-20 minutes of free time before you have to leave to go to school/work. Mulling over your options, you decide that you want to get in a quick game of something before you go. What game would you choose?
The truth of the matter is that sometimes our time to game may be scarce, particularly with the responsibilities that we carry out in our everyday lives. On certain days, spending a significant amount of time gaming will not be feasible. But the good thing is that because there are such a vast number of games of all different types, you probably have a few games in your library that you can go to in a cinch.
The games that work best for me in this scenario are multiplayer first/third person shooter games. My favorites are Battlefield 2 and Star Wars Battlefront II (2005) for the PC. Being older games, they load up very quickly and the menu navigation is much more straightforward than the later Battlefields and the more modern versions of Battlefront. The beautiful thing is that they both also give me the ability to just play with A.I. teammates and A.I. enemies. I also have the option to set the number of units and time limit of the round. Playing with the A.I. controlled bots means I don’t have to depend on other players syncing up to the server and have a wait time before the round starts. With the A.I., I can boot up the game, set the round to five or 10 minutes, go all out and then be done with time to spare before I walk out the front door. It’s great.
Battlefield 2 and Battlefront II top my list of go-to games because the rounds contain all sorts of action on the field of play. Beyond just being great for short runs, these two games are definitely in my Top 10 of my all-time favorite games. With Battlefield 2, you have infantry, vehicular and aerial combat all taking place simultaneously and you can do it all within a single player experience. Battlefront II (which in many ways was inspired by Battlefield’s engine) can have these three elements working together with mods. Speaking of such, the mod selection on these games is fantastic. Look up these games on ModDB.com and you will find a plethora of mods that you can use for the two games. Just to give you an indication of how many mods I’ve incorporated, Battlefield 2 takes up 90 gigabytes (GB) and Battlefront II consumes 134 GB. It has been well worth the space on my external hard drive. Keep in mind that the original size of the games for the two games combined are just over 10 GB.
Any Call of Duty, Counter Strike, Unreal Tournament and Quake games also work in these shorter instances. I love going with multiplayer shooters because they pack a lot of punch regardless of how long you play. It doesn’t take much time to get into the heat of the action and to get my adrenaline pumping. Because the goal of deathmatches is to take out the enemies while preventing yourself from being taken out, it heightens my awareness and focus. If I wasn’t fully awake before the deathmatch, I definitely will be afterward.
Wrestling games are my next favorite type to play in a limited time slot. They don’t require as much concentration but still provide some good solid action in a short amount of time. With Fire Pro Wrestling World, WWE 2K19 and any of the N64 AKI wrestling games (i.e. WWF No Mercy, Virtual Pro Wrestling 2), 15-20 minutes is more than enough time to whip up something interesting. I can have one longer match or a few shorter ones. And the fact that its a wrestling game means the matches can be of all different types of varieties. There is a lot you can do within a wrestling game in 15 minutes.
An honorable mention for quick gaming goes to Super Mario Maker 2 for the Nintendo Switch. It is a game that I can load up and find some quick levels to play. Because the game allows you to search for the types of levels you would like to download/play, you can easily choose ones that will take a shorter amount of time to complete. I recommend the Super Mario Maker series (the original game was on the Wii U) over other Mario games for the purpose of this article because some Mario games don’t allow the player to save after every level.
There are definitely some titles that I would not personally recommend for short gaming segments. Games that I stay away from when I am in a time crunch are role playing games, regular sports games (i.e. football, basketball, baseball), beat-em ups, fighting games or any other type of game that would put me in a position where I have to turn my console/computer off in the middle of a cutscene, battle or sequence. The thought of watching a cutscene advance the story of the game but also have to look out of the corner of my eye at the clock is brutal. So if the game isn’t a multiplayer shooter or a wrestling game, then I leave it for when I can spend at least a good hour playing it. So playing something like Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel would not be a good idea before leaving for work/school or in a limited time frame.
I’d love to hear what your go-to games are in a time crunch and why. Happy quick gaming.