We all have those days where we spend just a little too long in the bathroom. There are plenty of reasons why, but let's stay PG and say: we ate too much. With the innovation of gaming —and its move into the mainstream— everyone has easy access to games, and it was only a matter of time until we started gaming everywhere. But what if you had only ever heard of Candy Crush or Temple Run? Some expeditions require a much bigger game to help pass the time.
With handheld consoles still going strong, it is entirely possible to pick up and play plenty of releases while you’re on the throne. In this list, we shall delve into both free games, mobile games, and those on handheld consoles like the PSVita and 3DS. While we are mainly looking at things that are easy to play at minutes at a time, plenty of these can be continued after you're done in the washroom. Remember, these games weren't designed to be played in the washroom, we're just taking advantage of their format. Lucky us!
Wash your hands, spray the air, and get ready to compile some great games!
15 Persona 4 Golden
We're starting off our list with a pretty long entry, Persona 4 Golden is seen by many as the height of the series. Releasing in February of 2013, P4G was an enhanced remake of the game, adding in more social links, difficulty levels, music, voices, and more. Porting over to the PSVita, P4G improved on what Persona 3 Portable did when they ported over Persona 3 to the PSP.
With over 60 hours of gameplay, you might see this as a long commitment, allowing for multiple playing sessions. Thankfully there are plenty of save points in the real world, with items to leave floors of its dungeons for later returns. You can pick it up, talk to some friends and do some shopping, save and quit, or even put it into lower power mode to start up later in your day.
14 Final Fantasy Record Keeper
Releasing on mobile devices back in March of 2015, Record Keeper has seen an immense update schedule, with several changes to the gameplay, graphics, and longevity. Taking characters from all main Final Fantasy releases, FFRK is a free turn-based mission style game, where you must follow the ever-changing history of the franchise.
While FFRK does feature some pay-to-win mechanics, allowing you to improve gear or buy better characters, it doesn’t force that mechanic too often. With new dungeons and stories added almost every month you can be certain that this game will entertain for quite some time to come. Monthly events, new characters, and a new multiplayer mode should be more than enough to warrant a download.
13 Hitman GO
While the game has GO in the name, you certainly don’t need to be on the go to play it. First releasing in April of 2014, HGO has been ported to iOS, Android, PC, Windows Phone, PS4, and PSVita, allowing for plenty of people to give it a go. Moving the action stealth of Hitman to a more turn-based puzzle game might seem bizarre, but it works surprisingly well.
Selling for 79p when it’s on sale, which Square Enix tend to do often, HGO is a must buy. With its mission system you can easily complete 1-3 missions before you finish up in the restroom. Quick, simple and enjoyable, HGO should entertain you as well as stimulate you on the later, much harder levels. If you complete this one, you can go onto SE’s other GO games like Tomb Raider.
12 Pokémon Sun/Moon
It wouldn’t be a handheld list without mentioning the big cheese, Pokémon. With the recent release of Sun and Moon back in November of 2016, many fans should already own these games. Entering the seventh generation, Sun and Moon contains 81 new Pokémon, refines the Z crystal mechanics in the form of Z-Moves, Mega Evolutions, and more. With the ability to save almost anywhere, this is a simple choice to make.
While this entry is mostly centered on Sun and Moon, any previous release is also viable, if you lack a 3DS, there are plenty of other games to choose from, just not Pokémon Go. Besides battling Pokémon, you can fiddle with the bank for trading or care for your monsters to increase their affection and effectiveness in battles later on.
11 Bravely Default
A love letter to days past; an age when turn-based RPGs were everywhere. Bravely Default is exactly what fans were shouting for from Square Enix, published through them and developed by Silicon Studio. Bravely Default was beloved enough that Square commissioned a sequel. Both games are excellent and could easily occupy a spot on the list. Releasing back in December of 2013 on the 3DS, with its sequel releasing February 2016.
With saving allowed on the over-world and at the end of dungeons it might be a risk to play this for only a few minutes at a time, but with an autosave function, you will have a backup on every floor or map change. It does lack separate save files, but the sequel adds in those.
10 Advance Wars: Dual Strike
Plenty of tossing and turning was done to select a single Advance Wars game, but Dual Strike shares the fondness memories as well as some of the better designs. This turn-based tactics game was released on the DS back in September of 2005, featuring army combat over large areas.
Like a lot of the games on this list, you can’t go too wrong with any other games in the franchises. The series stretches from the Game Boy Advance to re-releases on the Wii U. Winning several awards and high review scores, Dual Strike should be joining you in any adventure, be it in a car or on the can.
Probably the oldest game on this list, and one I am certain almost everyone has played. Tetris was first created way back in June 1984. It was a major success when it debuted on Game Boy in June of 1989. It’s hard to play a console and not see some form of Tetris lying about, either from the original creators or those who have licensed it from them.
How long Tetris lasts is totally up to the player: are you great or are you terrible? Last as long as you can, or reload to try again. If you don't have an original Game Boy, you can find variations of this game on Mobile devices, PSP, PSVita, 3DS, and more. Simply load up your marketplace, type in Tetris and you’re good to go.
8 Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Gaming (and war) have changed. Peace Walker hit the PSP in June of 2010 showing the world how well MGS could work on the go. Because of its extraordinary quality, Peace Walke eventually hit consoles.
During the game, the Boss makes his way through several mission areas more akin to his MGS3 title. This action-adventure stealth game continues the franchise's legacy, adding in the base development and Fulton recovery system to “persuade” soldiers to your side.
One of its breakout features was dubbed "Transfarring," which game players the ability to move their save data between handheld and home console. With hours of story missions, side-ops, and hidden mechanics, this game should last you long enough. Just stay away from the grilled snake.
7 Final Fantasy Tactics
While a short-lived series, Tactics holds a very solid fan base behind it. This tactical RPG game hurls you into a fantastical world full to the brim with races, classes and missions. Tactics Advance was released back in October 2003 on the Game Boy Advance, whereas Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift was released on DS in June 2008. You can also get a remake of the original Tactics in the form of Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions for PSP and mobile devices.
Any of these games should do well on your shelf, though each has a distinct flow to them, from their gameplay to the stories they tell. While it may prove difficult or expensive to get the earlier games, they can be well worth the time and effort.
6 Golden Sun
One of the best gems on a handheld system, Golden Sun was one of the few RPGs that allowed you to use your powers both inside and outside of combat. Freezing water, growing vines and generally making traversal fun was what made Golden Sun such a cult classic. Released as a two-part game to start back in 2001 and 2002 on the Game Boy Advance, Golden Sun received plenty of positive reviews but sadly fell into darkness afterward. A sequel was released in 2010 on the DS that continued the story.
Golden Sun is a must-play for RPG fans as it holds many mechanics the genre sorely needs as well as innovating on already present mechanics. It even included a password system to keep your save for the next part The Lost Age. Golden Sun will stick with you for a long time.
5 Gravity Rush
With plenty of fans flocking to the newest release of Gravity Rush 2, it is a shame more people haven't played the original game on PSVita.
Seldom are gravity games very good. Most end up with glitches or poor gameplay besides their physics. Surprising, Gravity Rush astounded many a gamer, with both its beautiful world and engaging gameplay. Forming a big fan base, which warrented a sequel later on, this game isn't one to miss.
The game does feature Auto-save but if you want a dedicated save you will need to return to Kat’s hideout. Thankfully the game has fast travel, so hopping in, doing some gaming and heading back shouldn’t cause too much trouble. This is one game that will get you moving, due to its tilting aim mechanics, keeping you active even when atop your throne.
4 Fire Emblem: Awakening
Finally, a game that requires you to clench on the lo: will they die or will they live? Fire Emblem is known for its perma-death mechanic as well as top notch gameplay. Seen as one of the best games on the 3DS, Awakening released back in April of 2013 to many fans delight. It featured a new cast, a personalized character, and many improvements all around.
Featuring a casual mode, players could enjoy the game without worrying too much if their units would die in battle. If you want the full experience, you can instead opt for Classic mode, along with even harder difficulties. You can get through a battle or two, or even talk with your allies to gain relationships and ranks with them. Awakening is the best Fire Emblem to my mind and definitely one to pick up.
3 The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
The hero of time will follow you forever, even into the forbidden rooms of your house. Releasing on the 3DS in November 2013, A Link Between Worlds follows our young boy Link as he works to rescue Zelda yet again. This release had some interesting concepts, mainly its mechanic that allowed Link to merge into walls to access areas previously inaccessible. Traversing the lands of Hyrule and Lorule, this handheld experience will last you around 15 hours (or more!)
Garnering plenty of sales, high review scores, and fan adoration, A Link Between Worlds is another must have on your 3DS. One major issue is the lack of saving, having to find a weather vane to actually save the game, so you may want to take this adventure outside of your domain.
2 Minecraft: Pocket Edition
Minecraft is the phenomenon that never ends. It is available on almost every major console, and even has a story spin-off game. Hours upon hours have been spent in Minecraft, mining the world, building cities and creating electrical circuits. While the mobile release may lack mods, it still allows players to do all the basic things that the game offers. With several updates already released and future updates in the works, you can be sure that the pocket edition will continue for a long time.
While the move to mobiles was slow, being behind the PC in terms of updates, it still holds the ability to play with others. With its Realms service, you can even pay to have your own persistent online world.
While the popularity of Hearthstone has died down in recent years, back in 2014, this game was number 1 on many people’s lists. Hitting both iOS and Android, Hearthstone allows players to play cross platform and with the same account, allowing you to progress both on PC and on mobile. Reaching over 10 million players, Hearthstone has an active player base, plenty of updates and high praise from reviews.
How long a match lasts will come down to both your skill, as well as your opponents. Sometimes you can even force an opponent to surrender in the first few minutes or continue until no cards are left. Hearthstone itself is free, but it does push you towards buying card packs, which plenty of other players do get. If you want to have some fun, you might want to craft a good deck before joining the online matches.