Depends on the game really.
For games that aren't extremely demanding on the CPU, including most indie games, yes.
I've built a handful of systems on a budget with LGA1155 Pentiums that could handle many new and popular titles fine in 720p with medium details or higher just fine.
Games like Just Cause 2, COD Blackops II, Source Engine Games, Tomb Raider, Dead Island and Sleeping Dogs i have seen running fine in rigs built with an LGA1155 Pentium and entry level ~$100 graphics card . Check out the list in my sig, most of the rigs were built on Pentiums and play all the games i mentioned just fine with reasonable details and framerates.
Also, this thread is from Tom's Hardware, but it's got some benchmarks where the Sandy Bridge Pentium does just as good as a Core i3 for games like BF3 and Just Cause 2.
Short answer, the Pentiums these days are decent for gaming, not for 1080p high settings (sometimes.. again, depends on the game and how well optimized it is)
For 720p med-high details most games are fine with decent framerates.
If you've got some extra cash, forking out for an i3 could be a better choice and you'll always have that bit more CPU power and HyperThreading if you ever need it.Edited by PoisonousRakija - 4/24/14 at 7:04am