In a world where games are coming out like there is no tomorrow, finding a title that’s not just good but spectacular, as in, you’d want to play it over and over again is no easy task. How do you even measure the replayability of a game? What makes it so good, that you would get more from it from a rerun? Can games be replayed and be more fun than with the initial encounter? Can you find a game that’s so good, that it makes sense to play it twice or more times?
The short answer is, heck yeah! How many times have you played the first few Mario games? Yes, exactly! Back when the gaming industry wasn’t putting out killer titles every other day, the games we used to get were valuable and truly replayable. It was not just about getting the newer titles. It was always about getting the new title, and then playing it and replaying it over and over again until you’d be sick of it. Or the cartridge would simply die on you.
What Makes A Game Replayable
Contrary to popular belief, you can actually, sort of, calculate the replayability of a game. How do you do that? First, you look at the length of the game. For a game to be replayable, it needs to have at least 20 levels, or missions, or whatever you want to call it. And at least a few of those missions have to be memorable, in the sense of them being not impossible but not easy either. There’s a sweet spot in which missions are just the right amount of demanding.
The second characteristic of a replayable game is the difficulty. You do want a demanding game but one step too far and you’ll turn a lovely title into a one-time deal. Although with replayable content, the gamer will think twice before replaying the game if even three missions are beyond impossible. If instead, the game offers a challenging yet passable experience, the title is instantly deemed fit for a replay, especially if the first try was interesting enough to leave room for more.
And finally, the third characteristic that makes a game replayable is the updates! With so many games getting constant, regular updates not just with new levels or missions but also graphics and features now, most games can be considered replayable. Yet we are not looking at updates straight when thinking about how they make a game replayable. Updates are there to simply enhance the experience. The game’s core should be directly responsible for the gamer wanting to replay it or not. If the desire is not there, no update will ever suffice.
The Best 10 Replayable Games
Right, now that we know what makes a game a reputable title for a replay, let’s dive into the matter and see what games are among the best for this feature. We went through our entire library of more than 1000 games and specifically pulled out the best of the best when it comes to keeping the gameplay fun no matter how many times you’re playing the same game. These games are fun to play once, twice, and so on until surely, you’ll get bored! But it is going to take a heck of a while to get there so these titles? Great investments for long-term entertainment.
The Walking Dead - Monkey Island or Sam&Max are just two of the big names Telltale games worked on throughout the 2000s. The Walking Dead is just one of the defining titles of the now-dead studio, coming with comic book style art, intricate characters, and a story that matters. The story in the game at hand, as well as the choices, make it so replayable. If you've played the game in 2012, that's enough of a reason to replay it as you probably forgot what it was all about. Every choice that you make will shift the story in a whole other direction. With all gameplay rounds feeling different thanks to choices, you will feel like playing another game every time.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - The sheer size of this sandbox in stealth mode is a good enough reason for continuous replays. The completion of the campaign will take you at least 50 hours of playtime. 50 HOURS. This is daunting in itself, and if you add the complexity and the three possible endings of the game, then MGS V: The Phantom Pain becomes a must and an assured replayable. The twisting story dives players into the unknown and lets them experiment with the endless ways in which they can complete levels. Maps are immense, so visiting areas that you've never seen before will take place even after 10 replays. A surprise stealth route will always be stumbled upon regardless of the number of re-runs.
Cities: Skylines - In a quest to find the most replayable games in our library, or ever made for that matter, there's no way to pass on the game that looks different every single time you play it. There is simply no way to reproduce a previous city exactly the way you did it the last time. Build a city organised neatly in blocks around public squares. Or build a hilly town, with narrow streets looking like a picturesque village in mountainous France. Go for a metropolis the size of London, jammed with highways, industrial areas, a bustling city centre and neverending skyscrapers. With the addition of the many DLCs, this title is not just replayable. It is the pinnacle of replayable games!
Red Dead Redemption 2 - Rockstar Games have never gone for replayable games in their recent or distant history. Games are slower than usual with them, and carrying out lazy chores around the camp over and over again is not a heart-racing activity. Yet size does matter with games that are considered replayable. Red Dead Redemption 2 comes with a huge map, a world you can explore at your will and that will unfold before your eyes the more you explore it. If you take your horse away from the main story, you can do anything over the vastity of the lands. Like, go hunting for hours in the colder north. Or visit town after town, trying foods and haircuts. Perhaps roam the country like a notorious bandit, stealing from travellers and breaking out prisoners from wagons.
Fallout 4 - Look, we don't know if 4 is the best of the Fallout series. It's a heated debate and we're more into actual gaming than writing on forums. For us though, this is the king when it comes to replayability. The scale of the map, the questing, and the systems you have to play through, all make Fallout 4 a must. Missions are just part of it, as you have crafts, economy, settlements, factions, companies, and all sorts of other things to look out for. This is a post-apocalyptic wasteland with tons of little details that will just make you want to explore more and more. Are you a finisher? Head in the other direction next, and everything will change.
Grand Theft Auto 5 - Here we are talking about replayable games, so there is no way this list would be complete without the Five. Grand Theft Auto games are in general favourites for those who are into “replayables”, yet the Five is just on a whole other level. And we're not even taking the Online version into account but just the simple campaign mode. There are so many ways to personalize your experience, it's simply endless. Although the game is 10 years old, it's still one of the bestselling games today. Even though there is news of a Grand Theft Auto VI coming our way, people will most likely still play this game a decade from now... and beyond.
NieR - Automata - While most games come with a few different endings, let's say 3 for a common, magical number, Automata comes with 26. There is one ending for every single letter of the alphabet. Yet, this is not even the main reason why NieR - Automata made it to this top ten list of replayable games. Once the end credits are rolled out, a new playthrough starts and it comes with an entirely different perspective than the first one. And when the second gameplay ends, a third one is ready for you to enjoy. While most of the endings are jokes, some of them are extremely meaningful and different from others. With deep character customisation thanks to the plug-in chips, you've got a truly replayable game you can try again and again, up to 26 times in a row.
Disco Elysium - Introducing an RPG that's combat-free and old-school to its core. The dialogue is everything, and the characters and the story make it a unique experience. The writing on Disco Elysium is what makes the game shine, with a protagonist that's both washed-up and an alcoholic, a detective you won't trust with your pen, let alone your life. Sparks start to appear when the personality of the main character collides with the ones of other NPCs. You can change the way your detective behaves, does his missions and interacts with other characters, therefore be in for a different experience every time you role-play. Test your inner core to see just how far you will go this time around.
Elden Ring - Completing this game for real, as in, completely, is one of the greatest challenges in video gaming history. You will have to go through the entire thing a couple of times just to get a hang of what is what. That alone is a great reason why this is such a replayable game, besides the story, characters, graphics and so on. There are multiple endings and a great arsenal of weapons to choose from, as well as tons of secrets, making Elden Ring a fantastic experience overall, and in particular. This is one of the games that you can play for literally years on end without feeling the dread of boredom. Getting lost in the world, or stuck with a boss, are just some of the perks of one of the gaming masterpieces of modern times.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim - Here you have it, this title is undoubtedly the ultimate replayable game. It comes with a gigantic world, packed with villages, quests, and NPCs, as well as a neverending number of playstyles to master. Try playing a stealthy archer, with a passion for dark arrows and alchemy, or a brawler who charms anyone when opening their mouths, a mage putting on their battle suit and is also a vampire. Whatever you choose, Skyrim is the ultimate gaming experience for you no matter how many times you play it. It is so accommodating and generous, you will never have the same experience twice even if you were to quest and develop your character in the exact same area.
How To Keep Replaying The Same Games Fun
One of the first things you need to remember about these games is that there are many reasons why you should keep playing them, as stated in their descriptions above. Yet there is a possibility that, after a while, you will get bored with them. What should you do? Try a new main character, if that is a possibility, and it is for most of these games. Personalize your experience so that it is entirely different from before.
Another thing to do is to try one of the many different endings. Don’t just go through the same gameplay over and over again. Go for another NPC this time at that crucial crossroads. See what happens, what the game throws at you once you take a left instead of a right. And surely, if it does get repetitive, there’s always another game out there you can play and discover. And then get through it over and over again.