The Best PC Games Without Graphics Card


These games offer high-end graphics supported by dedicated GPUs, surround-sound audio experience, detailed gameplays, and maybe console-based control over PCs as well. But, for users having low-end PCs and laptops, and seeking an enjoyable gaming experience for fun can’t play such games on their systems; at least not without unwanted lags and crashes. And certainly, no person looking for fun while gaming would want that. But, there are options you can choose from to play games on PC without graphics card.

Some of these games are a bit old-school and were released a long time ago, but they are still fun to play. Though they might’ve required greater specs back then, modern-day processors can easily hold them without having a dedicated GPU. And when you’re looking for a short break on your busy schedule, then these games playable without graphics card would suit you the best. Here’s a list of games you can play on PC without having a dedicated graphics card:

Best PC Games Without Graphics Card

1. Assassin’s Creed [2007]

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Image Source: Ubisoft

The first playable game among best PC games without graphics card is the first installment of the best modern-day game franchise. Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed has spawned eight games in the main series, with several tie-ins, graphics novels, as well as side-sequel games for mobile and other portable consoles.

Assassin’s Creed, the first in the series, was released in 2007 and demanded highly extensive specs be played. Most of the GPU requirements can now be fulfilled by the new processors. Though playing the game without graphics card may cost you high-definition experience; however, the game’s amazing storyline and action-filled adventures would compensate for that.

2. Need For Speed: Most Wanted [2005]

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Image Source: Electronic Arts

There have been tens of future installments in the most beloved racing game franchise, but this one remains my favorite of all time. I still play it while my i7-powered laptop can hold a bunch of games with high-end graphics. But street racing and evading cops on this one is an experience of a kind. Released in 2005, NFS: Most Wanted is the most applauded game of the franchise which set records at the time of release.

While the original system requirements demanded an NVIDIA GeForce2 MX or an ATI Radeon 7500, the Intel i-series and AMD’s Ryzen processors would smoothly help you play the game without graphics card.

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3. Counter-Strike 1.6

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Image Source: Tech Spot

It has been almost two decades since the game was released, but still, there are world championships held for the same. It is highly popular among young masses and has a cult following, which is unlikely to diminish even in the future. Though the game has been overshadowed by its own successor Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and PUBG but the old one is still loved by all.

Given its old age, CS 1.6 is probably one of the best playable PC games without graphics card. No stutters, no crashes, no resolution issues; CS 1.6 would run as fast and smooth on any modern PC, and no other game might give you the adventure and thrill like this one.

4. Age of Empires 1-3 [1997-2005]

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Image Source: Age of Empires

This was the first game that actually settled the way of success for Microsoft in the gaming industry. If it hadn’t been for Age of Empires, we might haven’t got Xbox. In fact, it was this game that laid grounds for future simulation games for all platforms, with Clash of Clans being one of the most famous ones among them.

The game allowed players to build entire civilizations, the elements of which were inspired by true historical ages such as Stone Age, Iron Age, etc. The recipient of Computer Strategy Game of the Year, it can be played over quite low specifications even for modern PCs quite smoothly. Though the first three installments are playable games on PC without graphics card, the soon to be released Age of Empires IV won’t be included in the list.

5. Call of Duty

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Image Source: Fandom

Yes, CoD has become a global franchise with much better games having detailed graphic design work and more realistic and practical shooting experiences, Call of Duty remains unforgettable. The first reason is that it follows the traditional WWII storyline and that too on multiple war fronts. Honestly, if CoD: WWII had not launched in 2017, the franchise would have lost its roots. The other reason being the detailing developers went through to create war scenarios and into ensuring classical 1940s weapons used by different military units.

Released back in 2003, the game’s graphics are very compatible with modern-day PCs, thus making it a playable game for PC without graphics card. You can also smoothly run its successors CoD 2 and CoD 3 without having dedicated GPU.

6. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne [2003]

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Image Source: IMDB

The highly anticipated sequel to Max Payne, The Fall of Max Payne, did not disappoint me at all. I played the game years after its release when better alternatives were available, but this one literally got into me. From its darker tone and a gripping narrative to the intense atmosphere and exciting storyline, everything about this game is to be loved. Thankfully, I can still play this game on PC without a graphics card and enjoy the nostalgia of powerful gun battle action.

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The game has been followed by a much more detailed Max Payne 3, which compensates for the lack of detailing in action and shorter storyline found in this one.

7. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City [2002]

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Image Source: Lifewire

There are hardly any game lovers who won’t remember the cheats to this installment of the GTA Franchise. Vice City is one of the most popular installments of the series and has an international following. Following Tommy Vercetti’s rise to the highest ranks in Vice City’s organized crime, the game’s setup and background, as well as the action-adventure narrative is what makes it quite enjoyable even today.

While there are successors to the game, they might not be playable on PC without graphics card; however, Vice City would run quite smoothly without tweaking up your game settings.

8. Project IGI 1-2 [2000-2003]

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Image Source: Game Spot

This was the time when first-person shooter games were preferred over third-person perspectives. Blending action game themes of covert ops, espionage, and infiltration, Project I.G.I.: I’m Going In allows players to have fantastic gaming experience. It is well-known for its graphics and sound design.

Comparatively small in storage size, the game could be easily played on PC without graphics card, along with its sequel Project I.G.I.: Covert Strike. For those who love the game, the third installment with modern-day graphics detailing is to be released in 2021, which is currently titled Project I.G.I.: Origins.

9. Freedom Fighters [2003]

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Image Source: Games Radar

When I first played the game, I liked the storyline a lot. A Soviet-led United States invasion in New York City. Then I played it to the end, and I began to like its exciting narrative. The only fault, all the missions were too focused on extensive shooting, overshadowing the rest of the story. Most mission sequences were infiltrations and face-to-face shootouts with enemy forces. But again, the lack of stealth and spy-like missions made it less fascinating and more enjoyable. Just kill the enemies and make your way into New York.

It’s easily playable for PC games without graphics card and can run efficiently on basic, lower-level processors launched in the past couple of years. Despite an incomplete ending, the game’s sequel never made it to life.

10. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Series

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Image Source: Wired

All games, starting from Sands of Time to Forgotten Sands, are playable on PCs without graphics card. However, the later installments might require a few tweaks into the graphics settings of the game to avoid lags. The game is well-known for both stealth and combats action, as well as character portrayal and interface. It was the Prince of Persia franchise, which finally spawned a worldwide hit franchise based on Assassins (Assassin’s Creed), which had a small part of the game’s storyline.

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11. Cricket 07 [2006]

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Image Source: EA Sports

Unfortunately, EA Sports never released a cricket game after this one and dedicated itself to its more successful FIFA series. But, Cricket 07 has its own last-longing following, especially in cricket playing nations. In the past years, the game has subsequently lost licensing from most of the cricket boards, with only England, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa still honoring those deals. Its repetitive commentaries and strange aliases assigned to players of other nations are quite a trend on social media memes.

The game never required a high spec PC, and with the recent developments in the capacity of integrated GPUs and processors, it can be easily played without graphics card on PC.

12. Pro Evolution Soccer [2012-2014]

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Image Source: GameSpot

The competitor to EA’s FIFA series developed by Konami, PES is an excitement-filled game focused on Soccer. PES allows you to play major international and continental soccer tournaments with your favorite clubs ranging from Real Madrid to Manchester United, and create the best team of players. The player’s face likeness has been extensively improved over the years.

While the latest versions require some dedicated GPU specs, the versions before 2014 can be played without graphics card without much hassle. Though some users claim to play versions 2015 and 2016 without dedicated GPU as well, it may require you to compromise over game resolution.

In order to play PC games without graphics card on low-end specs, you either need to go a bit old school fun gaming or compromise with graphics resolution. Playing newer games on low-spec PCs with constant lags and crashes is obviously not the right choice. The games on the list might be old but have a lasting fan following, and having them on your system for fun’s sake is not a bad idea. These are playable games for PC without a graphics card and will run without any lags and crashes.

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