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Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Your most played video game
Skyrim – not a quick game

GameCentral readers reveal the games they’ve spent the most time on, with thousands of hours spent on World Of Warcraft and Halo.

The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Tom Meadows, who asked what single game have you put the most hours into? Some games actually list the number of hours (and days) you’ve played them for, but even if you have to estimate what one would you say you’ve played the most and over what kind of time frame?

As you’d expect it was multiplayer games that claimed the biggest numbers, with one reader admitting to have spent five years playing World Of Warcraft. Skyrim and other role-players also claimed hundreds of hours of people’s time, along with the likes of Darks Souls and Zelda.

Hard to move on

I’ve probably put the most time into Bethesda’s role-playing games, namely Fallout 3, Oblivion, and Skyrim. Those types of games eat up the hours, especially Skyrim because I tend to walk everywhere.

Most recently I’ve put the most time into Grand Theft Auto V. I love that game, I’m on my fourth playthrough of the main story. I love just mucking about in the world Rockstar have created and that’s how the hours mount up.

If I’m honest with myself I’m an unadventurous gamer at the moment. My time would probably be better spent playing something new, I still haven’t played The Witcher 3 or Dishonored 2 for example, games which I’m sure I’d enjoy and are highly rated.

The problem is that Grand Theft Auto V is so compelling. The game seems to generate an appetite for mischief in me. Just one more rampage, I find myself saying. I love going crazy on the streets of Los Santos just to see what happens next.
msv858 (Twitter)

Multi-format completion

I guess it must be Resident Evil 4 for me. Over the years I’ve played and completed it countless times on GameCube, PlayStation 2, Wii, and PlayStation 3 (I’ve also got it on PlayStation 4 but haven’t gotten round to that edition yet!).

It’s one of my favourite games of all time and the most perfectly paced game I’ve ever played. On top of the main game there’s also the addictive ‘one more go’ vibe of the brilliant Mercenaries mode which I must have sunk a lot of time into over the years (I even managed to get all the 5-star ratings with all the characters on all the maps, unlocking the Handcannon on PlayStation 2!)

Over the last year I’ve also been playing a lot of Uncharted 4’s survival mode – which has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you can put Nate in the scantily clan Warrior Drake outfit – honest!
LastYearsModel09 (PSN ID)

Indie time

If you added up all my time on the various Call Of Duties I think you’d be talking about months, if not years of play time. The one I played the most was probably Black Ops II, so I’m looking forward to the new one, no matter how they write the Roman numerals.

I assume most of the answers for this are going to be multiplayer games, as that’s something you can play again and again and there’s no real ending. Although I have played a few role-playing games that felt that way as well!

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that I guess, but the problem is, especially with all this games as a service business, that every game now wants you to be the only game it plays. I don’t think that’s healthy for anyone really and is going to narrow the types of games available even further. It’s why I’ve found myself playing indie games a lot more lately: shorter, more varied, and cheaper.

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Never-ending gameplay

I don’t know exactly how long I’ve played (if there’s a way you can tell I don’t think I want to know) but I have definitely been putting a lot of time into Rainbow Six Siege lately. It’s held up as one of the best games as a service games and you can see why. It started off pretty rough but Ubisoft has been adding and changing things ever since and now they’re talking about a 10 year game plan, which is mad.

It’s actually one of the things that makes me wonder whether all this talk of the PlayStation 5 can actually be real. A 10-year game plan basically admits that graphical improvements have hit a plateau and there’s not really much more to do at the price point of a standard console. I don’t see how a new generation of consoles fits into that.

Only thing is of course if games start lasting that long then people are going to be racking up tens of thousands of hours in the end. I think they already do that with MMOs like World Of Warcraft.

Failing Destiny

It’s got to be Destiny 1 for me. I used to play that game almost every day for at least three hours, and that lasted maybe four to five months and didn’t go down much from that for probably a year after. I know that will probably sound mad to some people, especially given how repetitive the game is, but it was all about playing with my mates and just shooting the breeze with them (as well as the fallen, etc.).

After a while you just started playing the game on autopilot and it became a kind of zen thing where you chatting away but also blasting the aliens with total precision.

I don’t know what happened with Destiny 2 though. On paper it’s a better game but after about two weeks I just completely lost interest. Whatever mojo they were able to put together for the first one they couldn’t get it back for the new one. I don’t know if it was all this fiddling the numbers behind the scenes, to make people buy loot boxes, but it’s just not something I’m interested in anymore. (Saying that it probably still adds to up to a good 100 hours on it’s own – yikes!).

Games of your youth

Since people have been reminiscing about Halo recently I think my most time spent must have been Halo 2. I don’t think there’s anyway to get an exact number (not that I’ve got my Xbox 360 set up any more) but we used to play this constantly at university. I when I say constantly I mean almost every day, for often several hours. It was a community thing of course, since we were all in the same digs or close by, but it became an amazing tradition.

We couldn’t afford to spend much down the pub so Halo 2 became a sort of stand-in. Only problem is it didn’t impress the girls, but that’s probably for the best or we would’ve played it even more than we already did.

Nowadays I just don’t have the time for anything like that. But it’s not just the time, it’s having lots of mates close at hand that are interested in the same thing. Playing purely online just isn’t the same and I do miss those days.

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Slow progress

On the subject of which game I have put most hours into, I have been gaming for 30+ years now. Back in the days of the Spectrum 48K, I had a great deal more spare time, and less money to spend on the fewer games which were available. Also, games took a lot longer to load, so once it was loaded, you felt compelled to stick with it for a while.

However, there are a few games in recent years which I have put a lot of time into. Rocket League, as a quick and easy six to seven minutes per game experience, and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has had me coming back to it since the day of release.

If they ever make a sequel to Rocket League, I can’t conceive of what else they could throw into it to improve it. The simplicity and consistency of the controls make it an absolute joy to play – one of the few games which have me jumping out of my seat when I make a (rare) awesome save, or (lucky) decent shot at goal.

The Phantom Pain, however, is an ongoing project. I have completed all missions except Sahelanthropus (just can’t beat it, but refuse to seek guidance online; I’m doing this on my own), and have barely played multiplayer. I have now set my mind on developing all weapons, like a trainspotter, expanding my bases, and getting to grips with the FOB infiltration system (I’m quite bad at these, but enjoy the challenge).

I have a seven-year-old now, and we have put a lot of hours into Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart, and Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, all of which are fantastic video games in their own right.
Mart74 (PSN ID)

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