8 Games You Can Just Pick Up And Play For 20 Minutes

Mario Kart 8

Sometimes you don’t have a lot of time to spare for video games. Maybe your friend is on their way over, Perhaps your partner is getting ready to go out and you’re already ready, or possibly your child has finally gone for their nap and you don’t know how long they’ll be down for. The following are a selection of games you can play for hours or for minutes. Jumping in and out of them is easy. They’re generally not heavy on story, don’t require a huge amount of preparation and you can knock out a round or two in a short period of time.


1. Fortnite


Let’s get the obvious one out of the way now. Fortnite is great fun and you can play multiple rounds within half an hour, even if you’re good at the game but especially if you’re not. I’m not – I can count the number of times I’ve made top 10 on one finger. I haven’t played much recently due to having moved home twice in the last six months and a lack of reliable internet since my first move. But when I have been able to play it’s usually when I’ve only got 20 minutes or so before I have to go to go do something else. Fortnite is perfect for those situations.



FIFA 19 4

Whenever I’ve had internet issues over the last six months FIFA has been my go to jump in game. I have no preference of FIFA over PES, I just happened to have an Origin Access account so FIFA was “free”. I can get lost in Career Mode for hours if I’m not careful but if I have somewhere to be I can usually squeeze in a quick game. Some seasons I can finish in a day or two, others can take me weeks. The best thing for me is that after 10 minutes your match is over and you can go do what you have to do.


3. Hitman

hitman 2016

Hitman is another game that’s great to play for hours or minutes. The story is good enough to immerse yourself for a while yet the levels are so self contained that you can just jump in and play one story mission/elusive target/player made contract and then switch off again. This takes a little more time because you want to plan your play out to get the best score but even then I rarely take more than ten minutes to finish a contract. Unless I make an awful mistake, that is.


4. Faster Than Light

For those unfamiliar with FTL: you control the captain of a ship desperately trying to get to Federation Space to deliver intelligence while escaping rebels, fighting pirates and meeting people who may be friend or foe. This game is great fun to play, I’m not particularly good at this either (I like games I’m just crap) so when I play it for five minutes only it’s usually because I’ve failed in that time. But it’s also good for just doing one stage at a time. Knock out a stage in five minutes, quit, go do your chores. There’s also a great mobile game called Star Command that is in a similar vein but it’s basically a beta that was never completed so don’t expect as many features. It is great for playing on the bus, though.


5. Mario Kart

Mario Kart 8 Toad Harbor

You’re at a mate’s house and you’ve just phoned for the taxi before you go out. It’s a busy, wet Friday night so the taxi company have said it’ll be 20 minutes to half an hour before the driver will get there. How could you kill that time? A couple of rounds of Mario Kart perhaps? A couple of races or a couple of battles are a great way to keep two, or more, people occupied for a short time. The best part of course is that if the taxi turns up when you’re in the middle of a round, it’s not like you lose anything important by quitting in a rush.


6. Guitar Hero

Guitar Hero
Source: Gamespot

Music is one of my great loves. When I was a teenager I tried to play guitar, even formed a band with some mates, but I was never able to really nail it. Then Guitar Hero came out. I’m a big fan of rhythm games for a quick bit of entertainment. You can knock out three or four songs in ten minutes on Guitar Hero. Again, it boils down to not losing anything if you have to shut down in a hurry. The only time I’d find it annoying is if I were in the middle of a very long streak on Through The Fire and Flames on Expert difficulty.


7. Super Smash Bros.


The Super Smash Bros. games are great couch multiplayers that you can sink hours into. They are also fast paced, short round, games that you can pick up and play for ten to twenty minutes without any real need for commitment, or skill. It’s a good one to play with mates before a night out, just like Mario Kart. It’s also a good one to play with the kids while dinner is cooking or while you’re waiting for the Just Eat you’ve ordered.


8. Tekken/Street Fighter/Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat XL

One of the best things about fighting games like these is that they don’t take a lot of time to learn how to play. Another good thing is that the matches are invariably pretty short so you can get a good few in in a short period of time. I loved Tekken 2 when I was younger because it was easy enough to complete arcade mode in the half an hour of game time allowed before dinner.

So those are some games that I like that you can jump in and out of. What games do you play when you’ve only got 20 minutes?

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