Games That I Play On My Laptop

So I've got a decent gaming PC, but sometimes I just feel like laying back on my bed and playing something on my laptop. Problem is, it's getting a bit old. It's still pretty nice and pretty quick at regular ol' computer things like the internet and movies and stuff, but it's even further behind for games than it was then. Still, there are some pretty satisfying games that I have played on it, and I thought it would be nice to put the list here. All of these are games that I have managed to run at around 30 frames per second or more. Sometimes that means lowering the settings all the way down. I am not concerned about looks, just performance.

Anyway, here are my specs:

  • Intel HD Graphics
  • i3 M350 2.27GHz
  • 4GB RAM

Also note that there is a vast treasure trove of games available through emulation, provided those games haven't been made available in a modern form. I will not, however, be listing games that I suggest you emulate. I'll also try not to list old-school games unless I find them especially noteworthy or engaging. GOG.com is a great place to go looking for good laptop games if you don't find anything to your fancy here.

List items

  • I'm not going to list all of the Doom games separately. Instead, consider this entry a representation of all of the pre-Doom 3 Doom games. That is, Doom 1, 2, Final Doom, and Master Levels for Doom 2. The first game is the best designed one, but all of these are very fun FPS experiences that hold up very well today. There is also a whole lot of content in any single Doom game; combine them all and you have tons of demon-shooting content.

    Available on Steam. I suggest you use zDoom instead of launching them through Steam; zDoom allows higher resolutions, mouse control, joystick control, and a myriad of other easy-to-use options to make the games look and feel more acceptable in a modern age.

  • This is the first action-RPG I have ever really liked, and man, it's amazing from beginning to end. For me, anyway. There is quite a variety of environments and classes to go around, and the story's not half-bad either.

    Available on Steam. You can get a solid, high framerate at a good resolution if you turn off shadows, Vsync, and lower texture settings - and it still looks pretty good.

  • Do you enjoy first person dungeon crawling? Or are you completely lost on that idea because very, very few Western companies are making them anymore? Well, then, this is probably the game you should be playing. You are dumped into the dungeon in Mount Grimrock, which has an exit at the bottom, and are expected to make it to the bottom. Involved is a bunch of traps, puzzles, and enemies ready to kill you. It's actually kind of hard to explain how this game works without seeing it. There's a good Quick Look on the site.

    Available on Steam and Gog. I had to lower the resolution to 1024x768 and detail all the way down, but it runs quite admirably. Impressive, considering that this game looks really good when everything is bumped to max.

  • A brilliant little roguelike where you control a small crew on a spaceship trying to deliver something away from the rebels. The game is two things - very difficult, and very good at making the player feel like Captain Kirk or Picard as you desperately consider every move you can make to keep your ship and your men alive.

    Available on Steam. No issues running at my monitor's resolution at a rock-solid framerate.

  • Well, duh.

    Available in your local store via a card with a code on it, or at Minecraft.net. I find myself turning the settings and visibility down to a minimum to keep a very good framerate. However, you can download Optifine and potentially get better performance. Note that more mods equals worse performance, so don't expect to play on an FTB server or something even with your graphics turned far down.

  • Some fans of this game might roll their eyes when I call it a "2D Minecraft", but that's seriously the best way to start describing this game. I will not let this description go without telling you that Terraria feels more game-y than Minecraft. Sure, you can get more powerful in MC, but the point is to build bigger and better stuff in MC; here, the point is to continually get more and more powerful so that you can beat the bigger and more powerful bosses. There's tons of stuff to do here and it's often cheap so check it out.

    Available on Steam. Runs at a rock-solid high framerate with no issues.

  • NOT The Witcher 2. Note that. The Witcher 2 isn't going to run on a weak laptop like mine. However, I found to my surprise that The Witcher 1 does, in fact, run fairly well on it. A bit of slowdown here and there but hardly enough to make it unplayable. From what I understand, the game is about 40 - 60 hours long so you should have plenty of stuff to do here.

    Available on Steam and GOG. You can buy the Steam edition and put the key into GOG and get a DRM-free version for, well, free. How 'bout that? Anyway, it does run respectably but only with the settings and resolution turned all the way down. And yet it still looks pretty decent.

  • Wow. This game is deep. It took me quite some time to get a hold of a Civ game, but I finally did. I haven't actually played this much, but it runs quite well with good settings on my laptop so I have no reason to believe that it will stop running well.

    Available on Steam. Once again, I run it on high settings and at 1600x900, so if you have a similar set up to mine you should have no issues playing this.

  • For better or worse, this is the game that made shooters on consoles viable. Say whatever you will about Goldeneye, but that game is both very harsh on the eyes and pretty difficult to control. This game, on the other hand, still doesn't look bad and controls well on consoles. Those controls and those looks transfer well to the PC and this game remains a rock-solid shooter. It doesn't escape criticism entirely unscathed, but it's still a rock-solid shooter from beginning to end.

    Unfortunately not available in any form except physical, to my knowledge. As far as running it goes, I've never had an issue playing it at a good resolution and framerate.

  • Morrowind is a weird game, both in terms of mechanics and story and world. Its strengths are the same as but greater than those of its successors, but its weaknesses are also the same as and worse than those of its successors as well. If you like Skyrim and are willing to put up with the jank/mod out the jank, then Morrowind is definitely worth your time.

    Available on Steam. Also being re-released in an Elder Scrolls Anthology with the other four games in the series. It's an old game, and I had no problems playing it at decent resolutions and settings.

  • As far as CRPG's go, this is quite often considered the cream of the crop. I actually started playing it soon after I made this list so I haven't made it that far, but I've had fun with it and it works quite well on my laptop.

    Available on GOG. I suggest taking a look at this mod

    http://www.gibberlings3.net/widescreen/

    to get a bigger resolution, as well as finding one that makes text bigger because it's freaking miniscule at higher resolutions. If screen tearing bothers you, you will also have to find a way to force Vsync. Other than that, I've had no issues running this. It's a legacy game that works surprisingly well on modern OS's in my experience.