The Best PC Games of 2023: Low-Power Gems That Don’t Require a Graphics Card


In 2023, the gaming industry has gifted us with an abundance of great games. However, not everyone has a high-end gaming rig capable of running graphically demanding titles like Baldur’s Gate 3 or Lies of P. But fear not! There are plenty of amazing games that don’t require a powerful computer to enjoy. Whether you have a lower-end desktop, a laptop without a discrete graphics card, or even a Steam Deck with limited battery life, this yearly review of low-power PC games will introduce you to some incredible options. These games are not only compatible with Windows but also significantly more affordable than new AAA releases. Here are my top picks for low-power PC games of 2023, in no particular order.The Best PC Games To Play In 2023 - GameSpot


Pizza Tower


If you’re a fan of the quirky, visually distinct cartoons from the late 90s and enjoy twitchy platformers, Pizza Tower is the perfect fusion for you. This game takes inspiration from Sonic’s fast-paced gameplay, Wario’s multiple forms, and adds a unique blend of catchy tunes. The result is a highly skill-based experience that will keep you on your toes. The pixel art in Pizza Tower is reminiscent of vibrant, animated doodles created on MS Paint during your middle school days. However, don’t be fooled by its seemingly simple art style. Large sections of the game require you to navigate levels at high speeds, and boss fights can be challenging, demanding mastery of movement and offensive tools. But that’s part of the appeal for platformer enthusiasts who thrive on such experiences. Pizza Tower is available on Steam for $20.


Book of Hours


Calling all book lovers on TikTok! Book of Hours is the game you’ve been waiting for. Step into the shoes of a library manager in this occult-themed game, where you’ll restore each room and explore mystical tomes to uncover a deep mystery. The gameplay combines elements of a management simulator and a crafting-focused RPG, all presented in the unique style of developer Weather Factory, known for their work on Cultist Simulator. Unlike traditional RPGs, Book of Hours doesn’t feature direct combat. Instead, it allows you to immerse yourself in the role of a librarian, serving the library’s eccentric visitors. The game offers various character backgrounds and story choices, ensuring plenty of replay value. If you’re passionate about books and love delving into esoteric realms, Book of Hours is a must-play. You can find it on Steam for $25.


The Last Spell


Part tower defense, part grid-based strategy, The Last Spell throws you into the role of a defender, protecting a city from an unending onslaught of undead monsters. Your goal is to keep the mages alive long enough to cast the titular spell, which will eradicate magic and vanquish the relentless horde. The Last Spell’s charming pixel art may deceive you, but beneath its cute exterior lies a game with surprising strategic depth and variety. Its roguelike setup provides a hardcore challenge, while offering strategic progression that gradually expands as you play. This allows you to tailor each run to your preferred style or experiment with new strategies. While The Last Spell may not be the best fit for the small screen of a Steam Deck, it is an incredibly rewarding experience for those who enjoy strategic gameplay. You can purchase The Last Spell on Steam for $25.Dead Space and Other Video Games We're Playing in February 2023 | Reviews  by Wirecutter


Dave the Diver


Describing Dave the Diver is no easy task, but here goes nothing. This game revolves around the core gameplay loop of exploring the depths of the ocean, collecting treasures, and bringing them back to a local sushi bar to serve up delicious dishes. However, Dave the Diver is not your average underwater adventure. It surprises players with its unconventional storytelling and combines it with a range of minigames that add depth and personality to the overall experience. While some reviewers have criticized the game for its lack of a clear identity, many players find its constant introduction of new characters and elements to be part of its charm. The game’s wacky surprises and unpredictable gameplay will keep you engaged as you navigate both treacherous waters and seemingly tranquil land. If you’re looking for a charming and unpredictable game, Dave the Diver is a delightful choice. You can find it on Steam for $20.


The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood


Telling fortunes with tarot cards is not a new concept, but doing it on an asteroid prison certainly is. Enter The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood, where you assume the role of Fortuna, a young witch crafting her own deck of mystical cards. The game’s clip art-style visuals, reminiscent of the classic Kid Pix software, create a unique atmosphere. Prepare to immerse yourself in atmospheric storytelling and engage in creative drag-and-drop gameplay. The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood offers a blend of deep relationships, adult themes, chill music, and stunning 2D visuals. However, it’s important to note that this game isn’t suitable for children or those seeking explosive action. Instead, it offers a tranquil experience with immense creative potential for the player. You can discover The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood on Steam for $18, or on GOG.


Cardboard Town


In a world where modern city-builders strive for hyper-realistic accuracy, Cardboard Town takes a different approach. This game deconstructs the conventional resource management and spatial planning elements, offering a more organic and imperfect city-building experience. The visuals of Cardboard Town resemble a craft store’s papercraft materials, and the soothing music adds to the overall charm. Placing each building unfolds it in a satisfying and visually captivating manner. A recent update even introduced a first-person perspective mode, allowing you to explore your town from the eyes of one of its tiny cardboard residents. This feature doubles as a delightful screen saver. If you’re looking for a unique and relaxing city-building game, Cardboard Town is a fantastic choice. It is available on Steam for $20.




As a self-proclaimed keyboard enthusiast, I couldn’t resist including Typecast in this list. This game successfully combines the excitement of twin-stick shooters with the fast-paced, twitchy typing mechanics of classics like Typing of the Dead. Typecast offers fast and frantic arcade-style sessions, filled with a plethora of weapons and power-ups. Each run presents new challenges and opportunities, making it a fresh and dynamic experience every time. If you’re not a fan of bullet hell shooters, you may find the tight and twitchy gameplay frustrating at first. However, as you become more skilled and unlock more powerful tools, the game becomes incredibly satisfying. Just be mindful of potential carpal tunnel syndrome from excessive typing! Typecast is available on Steam for $5.


Sea of Stars


If you have a fondness for 2D RPGs reminiscent of the Super Nintendo era, Sea of Stars is the cream of the crop in 2023. The turn-based combat system, with a focus on combo attacks, will remind you of beloved classics like Chrono Trigger. However, Sea of Stars also incorporates timer-based bonus damage to keep you on your toes. The game does away with outdated RPG elements such as random encounters and excessive grinding, ensuring a more enjoyable and streamlined experience. While the story may feel familiar and follows anime conventions, the incredible 2D visuals and a wide range of engaging minigames ensure you’ll never run out of things to do. The orchestral music composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, renowned for his work on Chrono Trigger, Mana, and Xenogears, is a particular highlight. Dive into the enchanting world of Sea of Stars, available on Steam for $35.


Cassette Beasts


What happens when you combine the nostalgia of 90s Pokemon with the iconic Sony Walkman? You get Cassette Beasts, a monster-fighting RPG that takes you on a global adventure powered by a magical cassette player. In this game, you’ll not only collect and train musical monsters but also fuse with your partner to unlock their most powerful attacks. Whether you prefer playing alongside an AI-controlled partner or teaming up with a human Player 2, Cassette Beasts offers a unique twist on familiar gameplay mechanics. Its retro-inspired visuals, blending 2D and 3D elements, are optimized for integrated graphics, making it accessible to a wide range of players. Cassette Beasts is available on Steam for $20 and is also included in Xbox Game Pass.The best PC games of 2023 (that don't need a graphics card) | PCWorld


Laika: Aged Through Blood


Laika: Aged Through Blood is not just another game inspired by the Soviet space dog or stop-motion animation studio. It combines the physics-based motorcycle motion of Trials with the intense 2D shooting action of My Friend Pedro, all set in a furry post-apocalyptic world reminiscent of Mad Max. Mastering your motorcycle’s speed and momentum while engaging in slow-motion shooting sequences against waves of enemies is as challenging as it is thrilling. However, what truly sets Laika apart is its unexpected emotional depth. The game’s story unfolds between levels with surprising sincerity, complemented by beautiful 2D scenery. While the adorable character designs may initially deceive you, be prepared for shocking violence and mature themes. Laika: Aged Through Blood is available on Steam for $20, as well as on the Epic Games Store and GOG.


Honorable Mention: Moonring


Fans of the original Ultima series should not miss out on Moonring. This top-down dungeon crawler combines old and new ideas, offering a frantic mix of deep RPG systems, roguelike randomness, and challenging turn-based combat. Each run in Moonring is unique, thanks to its fast-paced combat mechanics that allow you to plan your actions on the fly. The neon-on-black visuals may seem simple, but the game surprises players with its nuanced variations on core combat. The best part? Moonring is completely free on Steam, making it an absolute must-play.


In conclusion, if you’re looking for PC games that don’t require a high-end graphics card but still offer incredible gameplay experiences, the options in 2023 are plentiful. From platformers like Pizza Tower to occult library management in Book of Hours, from tower defense and strategy in The Last Spell to the charming world of Dave the Diver, there’s something for every gaming preference. Explore the mystical worlds of The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood and Cardboard Town, test your typing skills in Typecast, and embark on epic adventures in Sea of Stars and Cassette Beasts. Finally, experience the emotional journey of Laika: Aged Through Blood and discover the hidden gem Moonring. These low-power PC games prove that you don’t need a high-end rig to enjoy immersive and captivating gaming experiences.


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