What games would you play again, and again?
by Jeremy

What games have sunk their hooks into you so much that you’ve actually replayed the main singleplayer campaign several times? I don’t mean multiplayer games where you replay levels in each match, and I don’t mean strategy games like Civilization where each game is a unique campaign. I mean singleplayer games with a story, stories that you repeat despite knowing how they end because there’s something about that world that really grabs you; some reason you particularly enjoy experiencing it from within. Like a favourite movie, only you can linger more meaningfully over the parts you enjoy the most.

For example, and for no particularly good reason (“achievements” are not a good reason), I’m on probably my half-dozenth playthrough of Half Life 2, having completed it on PC, then original Xbox, then along with Episode One, then as part of the orange box on 360, then on PC again on Steam. City 17 both horrifies and fascinates me, and there’s something powerful about that abandoned landscape (particularly Highway 17 and the road to White Forrest) that really strikes a chord with me. You wander through humanity’s twilight, where we’re on the way out but individuals are still hanging on, waiting their turn to disappear, without hope. It’s civilization as it becomes a ruin. It’s haunting and beautiful, and it still evokes strong feelings even though I am now completely aware of what’s coming next and know the levels well enough to see behind the curtain. It’s got a certain magic to it anyway.

And, even if Half Life 2 isn’t your thing, I doubt I’m alone in the condition I’m describing.

What are your addictive favourites?

12 Responses to “What games would you play again, and again?”

  1. Bernie says:

    Cool topic.

    Metal Gear Solid 4, although I don’t sit through all of the cutscenes again. The music and atmos get their hooks into me, the level design and moveset allows me to play the game differently each time — sniper, CQC master, no killls, you name it. I can’t find better stealth on the PS3.

    Fallouts 1, 2 and 3 — 1 and 2 to try different character builds, 3 because I find the post-apocalyptic landscape eerily relaxing and I love hearing that “Ching!” noise of getting XP.

    Oblivion, basically for the lush scenery porn and so many things to do, once again it’s fun trying different builds.

  2. Rohan says:

    The original ‘Mafia’ is right up there for having gone through it multiple times. As is The Secret of Monkey Island, Ultima VII, GTA: Vice City and GTA IV.

    I’d also have to agree with Bernie about Fallout 3. Also Fallouts 1 & 2 except that I only recently played them at all (within the last few years) so I haven’t had time to play them through again – though I’m certain I will.

  3. Lloyd says:

    Space Quest, Larry, Day of the Tentacle. I know exactly what’s going to happen, but I continue to enjoy playing them over and over.

  4. Alexander says:

    Fallout 3. i played the game so much that my friend started calling me fallout fag (yeah we dont hang out anymore)
    But the thing I found so great about Fallout 3 is the way it grabbed me. I mean I actually felt sad when i killed Midea when I decided to side with Ashur because I didnt want to take away his baby. The characters were so lovable that you couldn`t help but feel sad when they died.
    Plus the sheer scale of the map is a real turn on as well. I still have yet to see it all.

  5. Jeremy says:

    Question: when did you guys last play these games? How many times? Do you play them in preference to new games, or when there’s a gap?

    I seem to go back to HL2 every year or so, and I’m in the middle of a Steam playthrough atm.

  6. Bernie says:

    MGS4: played about every 6 months since it came out. Partly prompted by game gaps, partly by by playing another game with stealth and feeling that it wasn’t as good — I am doing another playthrough now after finishing Alpha Protocol.

    Fallout 1 and 2: played once a year for the last 4 years … the second time was prompted by my girfriend monopolising our PS3 for a few weeks and I got bored and started noodling around on the PC. I was impressed by the quest solutions were different with a different character so I resolved to play them again. Once you finish 1 you just want to move straight on to 2.

    Fallout 3: played twice before the DLC came out, then played through the DLC with those two characters and again with a new character. The most recent playthrough was prompted by trying Borderlands and getting rather bored by it (I didn’t play it online)

    Oblivion: played twice with a different character — I started up my second character one night after we’d had a 2-week Star Trek: Next Gen bender and I wanted to show my girfriend Patrick Stewart. I made an Atronach as a gag and then got sucked into the different style of play and levelling him up.

    I often play these games in preference to my pile of shame and while I am waiting for a new game’s price to drop.

  7. Alexander says:

    I`m usually playing fallout once in a while, the way i play games is that i binge them with a few exceptions (example: one of my friends wants me to play another game or I got a new one) but of all my games Fallout has lasted the longest and I usually play it every other day or once a week while competing with Bad Company 2 for my attention.

  8. Anthony_ says:

    Played through the Mass Effect games few times each. Have played Civ Revolutions to death on 360 (1000/1000) achievements and will still throw it in for a game.

    Halo series played all of them countless times.

    Have a half started Fallout 3 for the second play through will get back to it eventually…maybe.

  9. Alexander says:

    I know this is off topic, but do you guys think that major game titles like Mass Effect, Gears of War, Fallout and similar games should have single player demos of the parent games releases prior or at the launch of the parent game? Personally I thigh they should because a few weeks ago I downloaded the Mass Effect 2 demo and found it to be amazing and superior to the first game. I`m planning on getting it soon when I`ve got some spare change, but the main point i`m trying to make here is that without that demo I wouldn’t have bothered with buying the game itself. Though there are a few games where it makes sense to not add a demo for the big title games, especially if the big title is a movie, which relies more on the weight of the title of the movie it is being made with to sell it rather then releasing a demo and hoping to attract sales with a taste of gameplay.

  10. Anthony_ says:

    Will be adding Transformers : WFC to my re-play list, awesome game. Have already re-done a few chapters with online co-op.

  11. Magpie says:

    The X-Coms, the Civs and the Total Wars get occasional re-boots. I think it’s because they basically *make* stories, and different stories each time.

  12. Jarrah says:

    “What games have sunk their hooks into you so much that you’ve actually replayed the main singleplayer campaign several times?”

    Not counting strategy games and achievement hunting… none for a long time, mostly because gaming has changed so much over the years. Thinking back, the most recent one I can think of is Quake.

    Man, I feel so old.

    I’m off to play some Quake now :-)

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