PC Game suggestions for casual gamer who hasn't played for the last 10 years

I have bought Legion 5 Pro laptop with RTX 3070 8gb, 32Gb RAM and 1Tb SSD drive, as per the deal below:

https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/667490

The reason I bought this is that I intend to start playing games again after not playing at all for the last 10 years (due to having kids etc, and I had Macbook Pro 2014 which i still have now). Now that the kids are growing up I look forward to start playing games to enhance my mental health, and most likely casually (whenever I have free time here and there).

So I need some suggestions from experts here of what games I should be playing, based on the laptop that I bought, as I am sure that the gaming now is very different from what I had played before. I am not sure how well latest games can run on my laptop config above.

In the past, I played games such as Mortal Kombat, Starcraft 1 and 2, Command and Conquer, SimCity, FIFA, NBA, NFL, Football Manager, racing games etc. I had challenges playing Wolfenstein or Doom due to motion sickness. Not sure if the new graphics would improve so that i don't get motion sickness or not. I haven't tried.

I don't want to spend a lot of money on games but I know the old age of copying games is pretty much dead (please tell me if this is not the case). I did recently signed up XBox Game Pass Ultimate for $2 ozbargain deal which will expire in March 2022. I am male, and in the 40s, if that makes any difference.

I look forward to hear from all the gaming experts here!

Comments

  • +12

    I'm just going to suggest games that I like which I feel might be casual. Yakuza series, sleeping dogs, civilization 7, tomb raider, and metal gear solid 5.

    • +7

      +1 for Sleeping Dogs, a pretty underated game that's plenty fun. MGSV is of course best played if you've played the earlier games, still a very decent game on it's own though.

      • Ok i will check them out. I always heard great things about Metal Gear Solid series over many years, but have never played it.

    • Thank you for your suggestion, I will check them out.

  • +3

    back to where u left off! FIFA 22 lolz

    • I played FIFA Mobile on my iPad and I noticed that it has a lot of in app purchases to get better players. Is the PC version the same?

      • +2

        You can still play as in the old days as a season/cup style games and career and manager modes, with full and accurate team lists and likeness. The pay to play really only comes into FIFA ultimate team which is easily avoided imho.

        • That's great to hear.

  • +13

    Ages of Empires is a RTS like Starcraft and Command & Conquer
    Forza Horizon 5 is the hottest racing game right now.
    Both available to you via your Game Pass subscription.

    Cricket 19, FIFA 21, Madden 21, Football Manager 2021 are also on Game Pass (EA Play)

    • Looks good. Looks like I will install all these games as part of Gamepass.

      For whatever reason have never played any versions of Age of Empires. I may give it a try.

      • +10

        Play aoe 2 definitive edition. It's the best aoe in the series and with totally remade graphics :). Not only meets my teenage nostalgia but also awesomely enjoyable with extra content etc too

      • +2

        They are running sales on Steam. Campaigns alone are worth the $14 (AOE DE & AOE 2 DE).

      • AOE2 DE is the only version worth playing imo

  • +1
    • Yes I have Steam account but on Mac. As we all know there were hardly any Mac games so I guess I have to start exploring Steam again!

      • +2

        Well, apparently Qualcomm had a secret exclusivity deal with Microsoft and that is expiring.
        This means we can finally get Windows 10 on ARM devices, without a slow Qualcomm processor. So next year(s) we will likely see Samsung Exynos-AMD chips, MediaTek chips, and the new Nuvia-Snapdragon chips.

        But the real reason I'm mentioning this, is that we can get Windows on M1 Macs.
        Apple hinted that they were indifferent about it, and the way they've organised macOS/M1 is slightly different to iOS/A14. So just imagine a MacBook Pro, decced out with an M1X (max) chip, running most of your Steam Games. It can happen, and we might see it.

  • +26

    I strongly recommend Rocket League (it's free so no harm in giving it a go). The GOTY edition of Witcher 3 is currently $15 (https://store.steampowered.com/sub/124923/) which is a bargain for how good it is.

    I also recommend not giving EA anymore money, and just play last years versions of the sports games if they still interest you, as I think they're included in gamepass.

    • I will have a look at Rocket league and Witcher 3 as I have Steam account on my Mac. I am happy to play last year version of EA Sports. They are pretty much the same except new players?

      • +1

        I am happy to play last year version of EA Sports. They are pretty much the same except new players?

        Yeah, same for NBA 2K games as well. Most sport games have stopped progessing in terms of innovation or new features, it's just graphical improvements and roster updates.

        • +1

          That's good enough for me for casual play. Thanks!

      • +1 for Rocket League, very action-packed quick game and easy to play as a 'casual gamer'. You don't need to spend too much time to get to a reasonable skill level and it's easy to pick up, play a couple of games and put it down in 30 mins or so.

    • +1

      Is The Witcher 3 standalone or would I need to play one and two first?

      • +3

        Storywise it continues on from W2 so sometimes they reference things that have happened in the previous games but W3 is it's own story so you can enjoy W3 by itself. I recently started playing it myself and been running around completing all the side quests and treasure hunts even before touching the main storylines. Great fun

      • +4

        It'd help, but I just played 3 with no prior knowledge and had a great time

      • +2

        It's not needed, but Witcher 2 is a really great game too so why not. Witcher 1 a bit old school now, but still fun if you want to go there.

      • Thank you for your replies. I'll give it a shot next time it's cheap.. or free. :)

  • +12

    Welcome back to the #PCMasterRace friend :) First things first, subscribe to alerts for Prime Gaming and Epic Store and start harvesting the free games every month (Prime) or week (Epic). There's a really weird anti-Epic Store subcurrent in PC gaming, but we're here for bargains and they've legitimately given out 100+ free games over the last few years, so take them and enjoy them I say! Right now the Prime giveaway includes Control, which is a absolutely fantastic third person shooter with a cool story, as well as Dragon Age Inquisition which is a pretty great RPG.

    You mentioned Gamepass which is extraordinarily good value, that should keep you going for awhile. I'd suggest starting with Forza Horizon 5 for a cruisey arcade racing experience, or the new Age of Empires is great too. Evil Genius 2 is coming next week as well, so if you played the original back in the day that should be a nice nostalgia trip!

    Beyond that mate just have fun, the world of PC gaming has exploded over the last 10+ years and there's thousands of games waiting for you, from blockbuster AAA titles to incredible indie gems. If you do find yourself at a loss though you can always swing past https://www.reddit.com/r/gamingsuggestions/ :)

    • Yes I have Amazon Prime, but never activated Prime Gaming. I do have Epic account and claimed a few free games early on but stopped it since most games were pc based any I had MacBook Pro. This is also the reason I did not buy the new MBP even though I love MacBook and their os compare to Windows.

      Will definitely investigate continuation of Game Pass post March, as it seems for everyone here thinks gamepass is good value. I will look at your suggestions.

      Also sorry for being naive, what is AAA?

      • +3

        AAA is just industry slang for for a top tier/hollywood blockbuster style game. Think your Halos, Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed etc. Definitely recommend jumping onto Prime gaming now before the November games expire - it's free for members so no reason not to!

        EDIT: I should say, EA Access (their subscription service) is also now folded in to Gamepass, so you can grab all your sports games through your Gamepass sub. The latest and greatest version is generally only a 10-hour trial, but if you don't mind playing the prior year's edition those are unlimited play!

        • +1

          Yes I've just logged into Prime Gaming and claimed Control and Dragon Age Inquisition. Thank you for explaining AAA.

          I also noted that there are lot of loot packs available for claims. So i guess most games now make money by selling loot packs, like the ones that I have seen in games on iPads?

          • +2

            @edisonAU: There's essentially two tiers to prime gaming: the free games, plus a monthly drop of free loot boxes/skins/currencies for a wide variety of free to play titles. That's not to say that paid games don't dabble in the microtransaction world, because they do, more just saying you can safely skip all that and scroll down to the free games!

            All in all it's a pretty solid haul for no extra expense on top of your Prime subscription! Just be aware the free games are never Steam keys, they will always be for another launcher or service like Origin or GOG.

            EDIT: hopefully this isn't mansplaining, but to be clear launchers just refer to other companies that have their own store or service similar to Steam. Origin belongs to EA, Ubisoft has one called Uplay, and GOG Galaxy belongs to Good Old Games. Despite the latter's name they have lots of new releases too.

            • @Dominus: All good. Thank you for explaining all! Appreciated!

          • +1

            @edisonAU: Control is awesome hope you like it!

  • +13

    Cities Skylines to scratch that city building itch:

    https://isthereanydeal.com/game/citiesskylines/info/

    Not that you were asking for one, but 'Hell Let Loose' to satisfy your strategic slower paced WWII first person shooter. I got motion sickness with earlier FPS, but I think having a high refresh rate for a smooth experience makes a big difference. Fortnite, Call of Duty, Battlefield… all a bit too fast and hectic for me.

    https://youtu.be/6-ajN5q7qpo

    These games are actually the only ones I play regularly!

    Edit - Changed the clips i linked to)

    • Yes I have Cities Skylines somewhere in my Steam account ….. I cannot remembered if I got it very cheaply using ozbargain deals, but never got around to play it. Will check out hell let loose.

      • +3

        Check out the steam workshop for the astronomical number of free mods and addons. Then cross every other game mentioned in this thread off the list as you spend every waking moment tweaking your city!

        • I think I will be very busy during the summer holidays!

      • Cities Skyline IS amazing.The flexibility of building cities was something everyone who loved Sim Cities was waiting for, instead of being restricted to tiles. It can be just enjoyable hovering over your city looking at the buildings light up as the sun yet.

        HOWEVER, I do miss part of the economic management of Sim City. While managing the transport in Cities Skyline can occupy you for hours to try and get it to run smoothly, I feel that the game itself can be a little too easy. Back in the Sim City days I felt like a few bad years could bankrupt you while with Cities Skyline, it doesn't take long to get on a solid financial footing and then the game becomes a bit more like perfecting a model railway, i.e. attending to an aesthetically amazing looking city, rather than the underlying economy.

        Just my totally unsolicited 2 cents!

        • It's an interesting one. I tend to cheat and play it as a sandbox, with unlimited money etc. I still enjoy dealing with the challenges of the city and watching it grow and making new neighbourhoods. But perhaps I'd enjoy it more if there were some greater consequences for my poor decisions to build underground freeways :)

          • +1

            @tdth99: Oh man underground freeways! I'm a latecomer to these and my latest city has them everywhere. Despite what Sydney is doing with Wesconnex, I do feel like it's cheating a little.

            I guess I love problematic cities. I love having limitations and building a city that seems to work in spite of them (i.e. Sydney!). For me, where Cities Skyline did disappoint a little is when you reach a cap of schools and polices stations where you build the big monument and the individual schools don't actually count for anything any more.

            But I'd also love a city simulator where the cost of demolition makes things prohibitive. Or where land value dictates development (or lack of development) more ruthlessly.

            But yes, some of the customisations are amazing

            Sydney

            https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/filedetails/?id=13793420...

            Melbourne

            https://www.reddit.com/r/CitiesSkylines/comments/8l7y6y/last...

    • +3

      I was going to say Skylines too, as (with DLC and mods) it has way passed anything SimCity ever was.

      If you more particularly like the public transport side of city builders, then Transport Fever 2 (with thousands of mods, NO expensive DLCs) could be for you.

      Whatever you look at, search it on YouTube and/or Twitch to watch players playing any game. Some in 20-40 minute video episodes, others in long live streams…

      • Oh interesting tip on Transport Fever 2 - cheers!

  • +1

    OP, are you looking for MMOs or FPS multiplayer games (TF2, CS:GO, LoL, etc.)? Or are you looking for more single-player titles? Very different, both styles can be played casually (meaning not trying to grind daily).

    • +2

      For me, I prefer single person campaign, as I don’t know anyone in my age bracket that are gamers anymore!

      • There are plenty of older gamers on americas army: Proving Grounds

      • +2

        Gamers come in all ages! But to those coming back and with family etc commitments, single player games are most adaptable and playable.

  • +5

    Dark Souls Remastered.

    • Wil look into it!

    • Its a tough game that's definitely not for the feint heart. I gave up and any of those types and mostly play turn based rpgs now

  • +1

    Have a look at frost punk, they are billions and age of empire 4.
    For quick shooter games try counter strike go or payday 2.

    • Definitely will look at Age of Empire 4 as it was mentioned a few times already. Will look at counter strike and payday.

      • If you like RTS I can strongly recommend Frost Punk. It's Player vs Environment rather than fighting another player which is very refreshing.

        I had to play through about 6 or so times before I beat the campaign and it is about 4hr journey from start to finish but very engaging. It's best thing I've played in recent memory.

  • ASK your kids, they will help you out and will be able to help you.

    • +3

      I've found kids like very different games to adults…

      • +1

        You'll end up playing Fortnite, Minecraft, Roblox and Among Us if you do that

    • +1

      My kids won't know as I haven't let them play games yet. That's also why I haven't played for so long. I am sure he will be interested once I start playing again.

  • +2

    plenty of free games available these days to try and find out what interests you. you can also watch streamers play a game and get an idea if it is something you would enjoy. check out some modern fps and see if they still affect you as they have advanced quite a bit. https://www.metacritic.com/browse/games/score/metascore/all/... is a decent reference of what is worth your time.

    • Thank you. Will have a look at that link!

  • +8

    I am 54 years old myself, still enjoy gaming but very selective with games.

    The game that I probably have enjoyed most in the last several years is GTA 5 (Grand Theft Auto 5). I also enjoy the Zeldas, but they are not PC based.

    I will be signing up for PC Game pass as well, I want to try Forza Horizon 5 which looks like a fun driving game.

    I highly recommend going to epicgames.com and signing up with an account, they give away good games every week for free. They gave away GTA 5 at one point, I'm sorry you missed it.

    • +1

      Yes i did have epic games account and claimed some games before, but 99% of those games were PC games so I stopped claiming the games after a while (and missed GTA5). Oh well better late than never!

    • +1

      Recently you can sign up for 3 months for $1, have a look if it's still valid.

    • +1

      +1 for GTA V

    • Actually, the best way to play the latest Zelda game, Breath of the Wild is on a PC using the Cemu emulator. You can actually play it at 1080p or better and 60FPS or better, which is a big improvement over playing it on the Wii U or Switch.

      Some say it's the best game available right now for any platform, despite being a few years old now, and it's easily in the top 5. One of those games that will amaze you repeatedly with things that aren't possible in any other game, and remind you of how amazing it was when you first played Command & Conquer or Doom or Mario 64.

  • +5

    Check out the OzBargain Free Games page. With all the freebies posted here you probably won't need to spend much on games, unless you want to play the latest AAA titles.

    • +1

      Thank you! Ozbargain is providing value once again!

  • +1

    Overwatch has to be one of the most accessible shooters and online multiplayer games out today. Not as fun as it used to be, but it's more accessible than ever.

    • I will have a look at this. Thank you!

  • +2

    , Starcraft 1 and 2, Command and Conquer,

    Age of Empires 4, get game pass trial $1 for 3 months

    • +2

      Yes I've got the Game Pass until March. I will give it a try. Seems like lots of people recommended it here.

  • +3
    • The Kingdom series
    • The Creeper World series
    • Space Run and Space Run Galaxy
    • Mindustry
    • Turmoil
    • Mini Metro and Mini Motorways
    • Infested Planet
    • Fallout Shelter
    • FTL
    • Sheltered
    • Reassembly
    • Plague Inc
    • Project Highrise
    • Train Valley
    • Teleglitch
    • Party Hard and Party Hard 2
    • Carrion
    • +1

      Throwing my recommendation behind this list, particularly Creeper World, Mindustry, Turmoil, Mini Metro, Infested Planet and FTL. All great indie games, and you can find them easily on steam.

    • Thank you! That's a lot of games ….. :) I think I don't have time for all. I will have a quick peek for them first.

    • If you like FTL you should try Into The Breach (same devs).

      It leans more into the strategy and away from the much maligned RNG in FTL.

  • +2

    Control is really great, I think you can get it for $0.99 cents with all dlc
    Fallout 4 with all dlc under $30
    Half Life 2
    Prey
    Black Mesa
    Tetris Effect
    Wreckfest

  • +4

    League of Legends or DOTA

    Really helpful and positive community to get you started.

    • +14

      OP said they wanted to improve their mental health, not end up in an emergency room πŸ˜‚

      • I heard so much about LoL and DOTA …… I've read it everywhere. I probably have to start watching Youtube vids to see what they are all about …

        • Heavily team game, but good to train your mental health…

  • Axis Infinity.

  • +2

    I'd highly recommend The Stanley Parable as a narrative-driven first-person singleplayer game. It centres around how you respond and react to the narrator of the story and is well worth a dozen play-throughs!

    • Second this. Got it on a whim and thoroughly enjoyed the humor!

    • This looks interesting ….

    • i really couldnt see what was so great, yeah funny comments but so does come dine with me

  • Bladur's Gate II Enhance edition $4.84 wonderful story telling and move at your own pace. No online component apart from Steam so no need to hunt for people to play with or tolerate toxicity etc

    Path of Exile. Free but you are going to get RSI and you WILL NEED a degree in understanding builds!

    Other good alternative is to download the Epic Launcher and just play the free games.

  • +2

    I'm in a very similar situation to you. Kids have left less game time the last few years, and I've never been that into competitive multiplayer (except as a very casual Battlefield player). I also can't justify spending too much on the latest and greatest gaming gear, so don't tend to play the latest games.

    A couple of recommendations: go through the games you haven't already played in your accounts. Now that you have the Windows machine, your world is opened up again, so do it the ozbargain way ;)

    Secondly, make use of isthereanydeal.com. If you hear about a game that you like the look of, add it to your waitlist at a steep discount and then get on with playing other things while you wait for the price to drop. I used to get games via Linux ISOs but these days I don't bother, I just add them to my wait list and buy when a good special comes up.

    Here are some of the mostly single player games I've enjoyed:
    - Ghost recon Wildlands
    - The Division 2
    - Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
    - Far Cry series
    - Crysis
    - Skyrim
    - Just Cause Series
    - Battlefield 3, Bad Company and 4
    - Some of the Medal of Honour and Call of Duty games (mostly acquired as Linux ISOs if you catch my drift)
    - Mini Metro
    - Port Royale 3
    - Civilisation 6
    - Sniper Elite and Sniper Ghost Warrior games
    - Total War: Rome II
    - Tropico series
    - Wargame Series

    • +1

      Nice list.

      Very good point about waiting for discount. You can get awesome games which are 1+ years old for awesome discounts if you are willing to wait for a deal.

      I

      • Thanks, it's kept me out of mischief :)
        Any suggestions I should check out in similar realms? Not that I really need any more on my backlog haha

        • +1

          Nah. Sadly not. I just keep have a back log.
          Last games i played was Skyrim and Diablo 3.
          Wouldn't recommend Diablo 3 unless you have a lot of spare time! Most of the fun is in the hours of grinding rather than actual storyline IMO.

    • Thank you for your recommendations! I think it will take me a year to explore them all …. :D

      • Haha that's what I've played over the span of about a decade, so you'll be doing better than me to get through them in a year! πŸ˜‚

    • +1

      I have been using https://gg.deals/ for price history and comparison. Similar to isthereanydeal but I reckon the UI is a little bit cleaner.

      • Nice one, haven't heard of that! I'll check it out.

    • +1

      Definitely a +1 for the Tropico series. 40-something gamer here who also spent way too many hours playing Starcraft and SimCity - honestly, you will love Tropico.

      • Yes, I love me a bit of Tropico from time to time! I obviously have a small mind because I find the tongue-in-cheek jokes hilarious :D
        Even better, because they're not massive titles, you can get each of them for less than a coffee if you wait for a sale.

  • +3

    http://freegalaga.com/

    You only have a 3070, so low detail settings.

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