Prices for gaming graphics cards did not make us happy in the best of times, and now it’s definitely not the time to upgrade old computers. What can you play on a weak PC or laptop, if you like shooters, and your system can not afford the latest projects? Turn to the hits of the past years. Many great games still delight with their gameplay and, moreover, are very liberal about the capabilities of the PC. In this article, we have collected 20 shooters for weak PCs and for convenience divided them into two conditional groups – those who are less than 10 years old, and “very old classics”. The division turned out to be quite conditional, as in 2012 there were several games from this list, so if desired, one or another project can be considered to belong to the neighboring group.
20 shooters – relatively new
Year of issue: 2020 | Developer: Crowbar Collective | Steam
Yes, this is the first Half-Life, but “in a new wrapper”. In the beginning, Black Mesa was a custom mod, which began to be developed in 2004, immediately after the release of Half-Life 2, and borrowed from it a new at the time, the Source engine. It has been in development for more than 15 years and was finally released in 2020 as an independent commercial game (the cost of Steam is 279 UAH). Black Mesa looks very good even now, boasts some updates in classic gameplay, and generally plays very well even now. In terms of system requirements, Black Mesa can run on a system with even 4 gigabytes of RAM (although the official minimum configuration requires 6 GB) and a 10-year-old dual-core processor.
The game that started the rise of Arkane Studios. Until the series Dishonored in its assets was only a good but underestimated Arx Fatalis and unsuccessful Dark Messiah of Might and Magic. It was at Dishonored that the developer formed his corporate style of atmospheric adventure in the immersive sim genre – a share of action, a share of stealth, a bit of magic, a complicated plot, and freedom of action with the exploration of the game universe. After the success of the first part, 4 years later there was a sequel – Dishonored 2, which also received very positive reviews, although slightly worse than the original.
Year of issue: 2016 | Developer: id Software | Steam
The “reboot” of the classic shooter, released in 2016, can not be suspected that it can “run” on weak systems due to the great and “technological” look its graphics have. However, the developer managed to create a miracle – DOOM (2016) is an example of almost perfect optimization, so the official minimum configuration recommended by the developer – Intel Core i5-2400, 8 GB, and GeForce GTX 670. And it’s true, on Youtube, you can find a lot of evidence that even on GTX 660 in Full HD and low graphics settings in this game you can get a stable 30+ fps.
Grand Theft Auto V
Year of issue: 2015 | Developer: Rockstar North | Steam
Most likely, you have already played GTA V. Simply because almost everyone has played it. According to official information, as of March this year, the game has sold 165 million copies. However, if you still missed it, and you like this genre – you can give the game a chance, especially since even in the official system requirements, the developer recommends the NVIDIA GTX 660 video card (2012 release); as for minimal requirements, GTA V can be run on a 10-year-old laptop with 4 GB of memory and built-in video.
One of the few relatively new games Ion Fury was released just three years ago, but the graphics in it look like it is the same age as Duke Nukem 3D. The fact is that in recent years there has been a kind of “fashion” for retro shooters that copy the appearance and gameplay of legendary hits of the distant past – DOOM, Heretic, DN3D, Quake, and more. For the most part, this is the case only for the nostalgic, and some successful projects cannot leave temporary access for years (such as Prodeus or WRATH: Aeon of Ruin), but Ion Fury is a good exception to the rule. The game is not only visually similar to Duke Nukem 3D, but is almost as fun to play. Ion Fury uses the EDuke32 engine (a modified Build on which DN3D was running), so the system requirements for the game are the same: you can run it even on a system with 1 GB of RAM and 512 MB of video.
Mad Max from Avalanche Studios was easy to miss: the fact that this is a game behind a movie franchise, which was also released specifically for the release of Mad Max: Fury Road, immediately sets in a skeptical mood. And the ratings in it were quite mediocre – but as an action in the open world, Mad Max is actually quite good and certainly not the worst for this developer (the current rating on Steam is as much as 91%). As for system requirements – the 9-year-old system is officially recommended (Intel Core i7-3770, 8 GB, GeForce GTX 760), but you can run it on 4 GB of memory and built-in video, although to get a decent framerate you have to look optimized settings on Youtube.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Year of issue: 2015 | Developer: Konami Digital Entertainment | Steam
The fifth part of MGS turned out to be quite unusual – The Phantom Pain is a kind of “sandbox”, stealth action in the open world with a lot of side quests, and even base management. Interestingly, if you play MGS V now, you can see where in the last game of Hideo Kojima, Death Stranding, some gameplay decisions were made. And The Phantom Pain is played, if you don’t give up on the first hours of the “prologue”, and it’s still very good – for example, I spent almost 100 hours in it last year. System requirements as of today are very moderate: at least Intel Core i5-4460, 4 GB, GeForce GTX 650, recommended – Intel Core i7-4790, 8 GB, and GeForce GTX 760.
Metro 2033 Redux / Metro: Last Light Redux
To be honest, these two games are indirectly related to the first group. The original version of Metro 2033 was released in 2010 (Metro: Last Light – in 2013). However, remasters of both parts were released in 2014, so we will assume that they have a place in the “relatively new” category. It is probably pointless to tell our readers about the Metro series of games – after all, it is one of the main Ukrainian shooters of recent years. So let’s just say that although they once required a fairly powerful “hardware”, now, 8 years after its release, the system requirements of both games are very moderate – any quad-core (or even dual-core) processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a GeForce GTX 480 graphics card in the recommended configuration.
The game has a very unusual concept: time passes in it at different speeds depending on the movements of the protagonist. If you stand still, time is almost frozen and the bullets are barely moving in the air, but you should start doing something and it will immediately speed up. This creates interesting gameplay solutions, a kind of “puzzle”, the solution of which requires strategic thinking and planning their actions in advance. SUPERHOT has deliberately simplified graphics (low poly), so the system requirements are very moderate – the minimum is Intel Core2Quad Q6600, 4 GB, and GeForce GTX 650.
20 shooters – “Old but Gold”
A psychological thriller from the developers of Max Payne also came out cinematic, but completely different in atmosphere. The game was originally an Xbox 360 exclusive, but two years after its release in 2012, it finally got a PC. Alan Wake is still considered one of the best game thrillers, so if you missed it, you can now give the game a chance.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
It’s hard to believe now, but Battlefield once had a plot. And what a plot! The single-user campaign Battlefield: Bad Company 2 once was no worse than the then Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and has not yet become an “appendix” to the main mode – multiplayer. The game can be purchased on Steam, but it should be borne in mind that in recent reviews, users complain about the lack of a key without which multiplayer is not available. Although it is unlikely that you can find many players there now …
Year of release: 2012 | Developer: Gearbox Software | Steam
If your system requirements are not enough for Borderlands 3, this is not a reason to be frustrated. The previous part of this wild “loot shooter” is not only played the same way but also not very different visually, thanks to the “cartoon” graphics. And by the way, the ratings in Borderlands 2 were also significantly higher than its sequel.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition
Year of release: 2017 (2011) | Developer: People Can Fly | Steam
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is a remake of the 2011 game. It’s hard to call it a remaster, there are too few differences in the Full Clip Edition from the original Bulletstorm, and the most important is … the rejection of the Games for Windows Live service, which was closed in 2013. Bulletstorm gives the impression of a kind of “fun” Gears of War, which is not surprising – its developer, the Polish studio People Can Fly, previously participated in the porting of Gears of War and the development of Gears of War: Judgment.
Year of release: 2012 | Developer: Sergeant_Mark_IV | Mod DB
Custom version of Doom (the first, from the 90’s), is based on a modified GZDoom engine and adds new gameplay elements and updated special effects. Modification is free, in addition, the game requires resources of original games contained in WAD-files, and one of the modern ports –GZDoom or Zandronum.. How to put it all together is explained in the text file that comes with the modification.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Year of release: 2009 | Developer: Infinity Ward | Steam
Probably the most popular part in terms of the plot. Two years ago it even received a remaster of a single-user campaign. Although 13 years have passed since its release, Modern Warfare 2 is still played well in a single. And there is a mission No Russian, which still makes Russians mad.
Dead Space 2
One of the best survival horror movies on PC. The first part, which was released three years earlier, was also a great game, but unfortunately, it is not played as well as it used to. But Dead Space 2 is not so old, and even today it offers addictive gameplay (at least I was happy to go through it again a year and a half ago).
Far Cry 3
All Far Cry after the first part is more or less the same, only the setting changed, and the game mechanics, starting with Far Cry 2, have not undergone drastic changes. One of the best “classic” parts is probably Far Cry 3 – with a good plot, a canonical thief, and good graphics even today.
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
Year of release: 2009 | Developer: Monolith | Steam
In the 2000s, a series of “paranormal” shooters F.E.A.R. was quite popular, but after an unsuccessful third part, it was gradually forgotten. And it’s really a shame because the F.E.A.R. 2 is still playing very well, and the artificial intelligence of opponents still remains at a very high level. To better understand the plot, you still have to start with the first part, but it is now noticeably inferior to the sequel, mainly in graphics and direction, although the shootings there were even better.
Yes, Mirror’s Edge is not a shooter at all, but it is also worthy of being included in this selection. Mirror’s Edge is a kind of first-person parkour simulator with small doses of action, and in the late 2000s, its gameplay was truly revolutionary. After that, parkour elements appeared in other games (such as Dying Light), but never again did it become such a major part of the gameplay. Seven years later, the developer released a reboot – Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, but it could not repeat the success of the original game. Separately, thanks to the visual style of graphics in Mirror’s Edge, even now, 13 years after its release, it does not seem outdated.
Year of release: 1996 | Developer: id Software, MachineGames | Steam
Yes, the legendary Quake. Its wild dynamics and canonical monsters are still very well received, and its current publisher Bethesda Softworks continues to support the game. Last year there was a significant update that improved graphics and monster models and even introduced a brand new addition with great level design – Dimension of the Machine. However, now Quake’s system requirements are much higher than in 1996 (although still quite moderate): the minimum configuration includes Intel Core i5-3570, 8 GB of memory, and GeForce GTX 650 Ti.