In an ever-evolving industry such as video games, embracing new content is important. Still, we’ve all got our favorites, and one important criteria for video game criticism is replayability. Many gamers have a reliable favorite to sink into and waste away an evening with, one that we can always turn to for a diversion, or is the source of particularly beloved memories that never get stale. We have a few picks, and we’d love to share them with you!
Civilization 5. I put hours upon hours at a time into that game already, and there’s almost endless permutations of ways to play that I could probably literally devote the rest of my life to figuring out the best strategies. Plus I can work through my desires of worldwide conquest and still be otherwise productive.
As someone who has put in thousands of hours into Super Smash Bros. Brawl and hundreds into the latest installment, my game of choice is Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. It’s one of those rare games that you can play for hours on end without getting bored. There were multiple nights during college where I played with my buddies until the sun came up. I think the best part about the series is the community surrounding it. I now play with a dedicated group of coworkers during lunch every Friday and I started attending tournaments again. My gaming tastes change month to month, but Smash is the only game that never goes out of style for me.
If I could only play one game, it would have to be Diablo 3. It’s a title that I definitely consider to be in my top five favorites. So much creativity with all of the classes and different builds, infinite replay value, continuous challenge, rewarding, stimulating. There are few games that I’ve dedicated as much time to, but among them, Diablo 3 is constantly adding new content and creating new situations that draw me back into it.
I literally never get sick of NBA 2K. Basketball simulation (and basically all sports simulation) is the ultimate radiant quest generator. You can use real-life characters and organizations who, if you own a copy of 2K, you likely have some sort of feeling about, or you can take a MyLeague, or any other career mode, 50 years into the future, and the sports narratives write themselves. It doesn’t have the emotional impact that other games do, but for me, that means endless replay value. Plus, it’s a reliable way to come home after a long day and unwind, and what more can I ask of a game than that?
The more I think about it, the more I’d want a deck of cards. I instinctively considered the Mass Effect Trilogy (I consider it one game because it is one complete story in trilogy form like Lord of the Rings), or World of Warcraft, but neither feel quite right. If I can only play ONE thing for the rest of my life, I want it to be flexible, and allow me to socialize and see friends. A deck of cards isn’t technically a game, but is the means to play a ton of card games with friends. And hey, if I need alone time, I can play solitaire.
Disgaea 5. The series’ sense of humor and amount of unlockable content only increases with each new game. I’ve only been able to play the fifth entry for a little bit, but I clocked in over 1,000 hours for each of its predecessors before deciding that I should take a break. Plus, every Disgaea has been my go-to game when I know I have an all-nighter to pull. Why? Well, they’re about the only games that will keep me up all night strategizing and grinding my stats. For someone who’s will to resist the comforts of a bed is weak, that part is essential to staying up at all. It also helps that it’s turn based or else trying to do work alongside it would definitely backfire.
Either Civilization V or Super Smash Bros. If I was to play one game only ever, it needs to be something that can be different every time. Even though these are not my favorite games ever (although they are some of my favorites), I would be too scared to play my favorite game over and over again in case it might lose its luster after playthrough 100. I need to have a game that I can play with people as well, because to me the interactions with friends while playing the game is so much more important than just the game itself.