GameCentral readers reveal the video games theyve beaten the greatest number of times, from Morrowind to Super Metroid.
The subject for this weeks Hot Topic was suggested by reader Gannet, who asked which game have you beaten again and again and still enjoyed? What makes it so replayable and are you still finding new things each time you play it?
Dark Souls and its offshoots, and any other game with a New Game+ option, were popular choices but so too were older retro games from those days when everyone had more time on their hands.
Resident Evil 4 is one of the few games I have played and beat multiple times as a gamer. Got it on original release on the GameCube and beat it four times, then again when it was released for the Wii (I couldnt resist the chance to play with new control system) beat it three times.
Remaster then was released for PlayStation 4, so had to give it another play to completion!
Resident Evil 4 is one of the most exciting and best games ever made and no doubt if it was released again I will be back on the bandwagon.
Work of art
I had to think about this because theres probably a lot of games I beat multiple times as a kid without really think too much about it, but I think the real answer is Shadow Of The Colossus. I love the game (and Ico – not so keen on The Last Guardian) and played it two or three times on PlayStation 2. Then I bought the remaster and played it multiple times on that, and then the new remake I have played twice already and will likely do so again.
It helps that its a quite short game, but beyond simply the exhilaration of it all I return for the atmosphere and sense of spooky isolation. It really does feel like another world and Ive never played another game that is quite so evocative without seeming to do all that much to create the mood.
Its also proof, at least to me, that remakes and remaster are not something to be scoffed at. If a game is good enough to deserve it and theyre well made enough Im all for it. Games are art and the good ones should be preserved properly.
Im neither a massive Japanese role-playing fan or someone that usually replays games but I mustve beat Chrono Trigger at least five or six times now. It helps that its a really old game now, so its not like Im switching it back on every six months but Ive enjoyed it every time and still manage to find a few extra secrets each playthrough.
It also helps that its surprisingly short for a Japanese role-player. Not actually short, but at around 20 hours for a non-speed run it doesnt overstay its welcome and is engaging and exciting all the way through. Modern games could take a lessen from this and especially older games. Final Fantasy VII went on for so long I just lost interest, and as far as I can see the modern games are the same too.
Sometimes less is more when it comes to video games as much as anything else and I always remember Alien Isolation as the prime example of a game that just did not know when to stop and when it did it didnt even have a proper ending. Youve got to have a story to tell and tell it before your audience gets bored. Thats the lessen to learn from Chrono Trigger.
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I really try not to replay games – there are so many good new games out there that mostly Ill be looking to play something new rather than a game Ive played before
That said, I did buy and replay Grim Fandango and Monkey Island 1 and 2 – more as a gesture of support for adventure games than anything else.
I suspect its kinda cheating to say this but NieR: Automata I also played through several times as it was an integral part of the game to do so, even though I thought the game itself was only OK.
Probably more legitimate examples are games like Skyrim or The Witcher 3 that Ive replayed in full once significant DLC is out.
Psychonauts is a rare example of a game that Ive replayed for no other reason than enjoyment because its fairly unique, and is also fairly humorously written. I tend to find this true in most media (games, books, films). If I revisit them at all, they tend to be at the lighter end of the spectrum. And they also have to be good obviously!
Matt (he_who_runs_away – PSN ID)
Bordering on crazy
I had to think long and hard about this. I initially thought it was Shenmue, which Ive beaten dozens of times, and now can add another one to it (and a shiny Platinum to show for it this time) and another one to come as I didnt get a save game option after the credits rolled. After googling it I found its not just a rare problem. For anyone about to finish it, dont try to skip the credits as it seems to be the common factor to everyone thats had the issue. And doing the 70 man fight AND fighting Chai again isnt something you want to do straight after doing it once.
Dark Souls is another Ive beaten many times. So much so I think I overdosed as Ive not finished Dark Souls II or III once – I did the same with Oblivion, Ive not been able to finish a Bethesda role-playing game since.
The answer that eventually became obvious, but might not be to others, is Borderlands 2. I initially got it on Xbox 360 and completed it with every character at least once, then a few more times when OP levels came in for a few characters. Then I got it on PlayStation 4, and have all six characters OP8. At a rough guess Ive played it start to finish a good 60 times on two consoles, and its not exactly a quick game to get to the credits.
The only other games I can think of that might be close to 50 completions are Zombie Revenge, and House Of The Dead on the Dreamcast. My best mate and I used to play them co-op before we went out clubbing every weekend and wed nearly always finish them, although the former was pretty tough so we failed a few times. Marvel Vs. Capcom was another wed play but thatd involve swapping pads after each round so cant really be counted.
Makes me realise just how much I loved the Dreamcast.
I know GC will appreciate this one as I remember them mentioning they try do something similar but I like to try and replay Rez at least once a year. Its been re-released numerous times before so its usually easily available, and its not very long. But boy is it replayable. Its like sitting down to relax with your favourite movie and I love it just as much now as the first time I ever played it.
Of course now I play the most recent PlayStation 4 version, which also has a VR mode and extra level, and thats even better than before. I seriously consider it one of the best games ever made and for anyone that hasnt checked it out give it a go and I swear you wont be disappointed.
The games I have played for literally a ridiculous amount of times are unsurprisingly for the Super Nintendo.
Super Mario World – lost count, completed the SNES version an endless amount of times and the Game Boy Advance version a bunch of times also.
Yoshis Story – the different gameplay innovations and the to-die-for new graphical look just hooked me time and time again and completing it was just sheer bliss, just for the amazing music in itself.
The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To the Past – I managed to eventually complete this game on zero goes without dying and finding absolutely everything and 100% completing it. In todays age it would be a Platinum Trophy along with Super Mario World, Diddy Kongs Racing, and Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night, etc. I replayed A Link To The Past so many times and this is the reason why it is one of my top three video games ever.
Earthworm Jim 1 and 2 – again graphics, sound and level design which just hooked me forever.
The original Donkey Kong Country trilogy – also all Platinum completed equivalent. My favourite being the second one with its amazing sea shanty soundtrack and pirate theme setting. It was so atmospheric and basically a perfect game which hit my nautical/pirate button perfectly like the original Monkey Island trilogy.
Super Mario Kart – so much multiplayer and single-player action and getting all the cups in 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc. Words cant express the amount of fun my brother and friends would have racing and battling each other and quite frankly the cartridge just lived in the console – so many wonderful hours.
Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 1 – mmm, my best time is around 23 hours for completing it and I was getting faster and faster as I learnt the quickest and non-game delaying way of levelling up my characters, plus maximum Chocobo races stats to breed my way to the all range exploring legendary Golden Chocobo! What a game and literally my all-time favourite game ever and was one of the last to be completed on so many multiple occasions.
Just a few of the greats in my collection and these will not be matched by any games today in the amount of times completed. The obvious factors like time, length, and type of game being a major reason. I complete most games once or at the most twice with todays games – which is fair enough (of course the SoulsBorne series are slightly more for Platinum Trophy reasons) but as I said previously, immersion for a long period of time is how I play games today and as long as I have a memorable experience that is all that counts.
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