10 Short, But Sweet Games You Should Play Through This Long Weekend

Woooo, long weekend coming up! For a lot of folks with no extra room in their schedules, long weekends are just about the only time any gaming gets done, so the time has to be spent wisely. Now, you could start on an epic RPG this weekend (which you’ll get around to finishing sometime in 2017) or you could get a complete experience over the span of a single weekend.

Short games tend to get a bad rap from gamers, but there are plenty of games that are great despite being over quickly. Hell, there’s some games that a great partly because they’re short. Here are some great, brief gaming experiences you can have this weekend while your stomach churns through its Easter ham…

Star Fox 64

Time required for a basic playthrough: 1 – 2 hrs

Pretty much the ideal short game. You can beat Star Fox 64 in about an hour, but the game’s multiple paths and the ever-present challenge to improve your score, makes the game hugely replayable. Also, the game features Peppy, the greatest rabbit in video game history, so it’s thematically appropriate for Easter weekend. For those who don’t have an N64 plugged in any more, there’s a really well done remake of the game for the 3DS.

The Cave

Time required for a basic playthrough: 3 5 hrs

The Cave, last year’s criminally underrated adventure-platformer from Ron Gilbert (the creator of Monkey Island) is lean, mean, and makes it’s point without an excess of padding. And hey, if your first playthrough is over a little too quick, you can always venture through the game with a new combination of characters.

Cave Story

Time required for a basic playthrough: 7 – 10 hrs

Hey, let’s stay on the cave theme, shall we? If you still haven’t played Daisuke “Pixel” Amaya’s indie classic, Cave Story, well, you have some homework for this weekend.

DuckTales Remastered

Time required for a basic playthrough: 5 – 7 hrs

DuckTales, a-wooo-ooooo! Hey, remember when you heard Capcom was remaking the classic NES DuckTales game last year? Pretty awesome, right? Hmmm, but you didn’t actually end up buying it, did you? Well, it’s time to right this wrong and tackle some d-d-d-danger this weekend.

Dead Space: Extraction

Time required for a basic playthrough: 5 hrs

So, back in 2009 EA quietly released Dead Space: Extraction, a rail shooter for the Wii, and it’s actually kind of amazing. No, really! This game is probably the deepest, most gripping rail shooter ever, and deserves to sit alongside the core Dead Space titles. Oh, and there’s also a spiffy HD edition for the PS3, so you don’t need to still have your Wii plugged in to play it.

Pikmin 3

Time required for a basic playthrough: 7 – 10 hrs

Pikmin 3 has a ton of extra modes and supplementary material, but the main quest can be breezed through fairly quickly. Trust me, even if you don’t like strategy games, hell, even if you didn’t like past Pikmin titles (I didn’t) this game will charm your butt off.


Time required for a basic playthrough: 1 – 2 hrs

Do I really need to tell you why Portal is a game you need to play at this point? The quintessential “yeah, it’s short, but play it anyway” game.

Metroid Fusion

Time required for a basic playthrough: 5 – 7 hrs

Picky fans often dismiss this Gameboy Advance follow-up to Super Metroid, but it really doesn’t deserve such treatment. Metroid Fusion a tight, thrilling morsel of a game that’s fully deserving of the Metroid moniker. For those not up to digging through drawers for their old GBA and some double-A batteries, Metroid Fusion has just been re-released for the Wii U virtual console.

New Super Mario Bros. 2

Time required for a basic playthrough: 5 – 7 hrs

While this game doesn’t do anything radically new with the Mario Bros. franchise, it’s still delivers a pure hit of happy juice to the nostalgia core of the brain. This isn’t the best New Super Mario Bros. game, but it’s a perfect bit of light weekend fun.

Mirror’s Edge

Time required for a basic playthrough: 5 – 7 hrs

Nitpicked to death at the time of it’s release, Mirror’s Edge has undergone a critical re-evaluation and it getting a next-gen sequel, so you’d better play the game so you can act like you “got it” right from the start.

Well, those are my picks! What are some of your favorite “short but sweet” gaming experiences?