It’s Groundhog Day, and in honor of the amazing movie starring Bill Murray, we’re going to feature eight games that have a ton of replay value. After all, what’s better than having a game that you want to play again?
When forming this list, I had to ask myself one hard question: Is it fair to include games because of their mods? I decided that it was, because the decision to include mods is a big one for developers to make, and the longevity it adds to games shouldn’t be understated. I know, there are plenty more viable options than these. Head to the comments to tell us what games we should have included.
Company of Heroes
Strategy games as a whole pack in a ton of replay value, and one of the best of those is Relic’s World War II offering, Company of Heroes. It offers a full campaign that lets you play through iconic moments from the war, including D-Day, the Battle of Carentan, and more. It also has a fully featured multiplayer mode with AI players that are quite capable, and the ever-present challenge of people who are waaay better than you in the online multiplayer. Add to that the plethora of player-created maps and missions, and this RTS has more than enough to keep you coming back for hundreds of hours.
Beginning your life as wee babe in Vault 101, you’re given a huge array of choices in Fallout 3. Not only in how you approach the story, but how you interact with NPCs, how you progress your character, and even who you leave alive. All these permutations meant hat you can have a vastly different experience every time you play through, and that’s what keeps us heading back to the Wasteland just one more time, over and over again. Plus, you get a chance to come back from the dead in the DLC!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
You could insert any of the last three Elder Scrolls games here and be correct. The series as a whole has been amazing for gamers, offering vast worlds to explore and a huge variety of characters to interact with along the way. Like Fallout 3, there are a multitude of options for customizing your character, and a huge world to explore at any pace you like. More intriguing are the enormous number of mods that can be installed, from simple character models, texture updates, and additional quests and dungeons. You can even find yourself sinking as much time into installing mods as you into playing the game.
Just Cause 2
Just Cause 2 puts players in the shoes of Rico Rodrigeuz on the fictional island of Panau, and tasks him with causing chaos. That chaos is the crux of the game, and the reason that so many people just can’t stop playing it. Shooting a wrist-mounted grapple at a helicopter, pulling yourself up to it, and then hijacking it? Happens every day on Panau. A parachute that repacks itself as soon as you land? Got you covered. If you want to jump off a mountain, shoot some guys, then escape by lassoing a passing jet, Just Cause 2 is the game for you.
“Just one more turn.”
That phrase has been the bane of every Civilization fan for years, and Civilization V is no different. It’s not at all unusual to spend hours playing, and then look up and realize that it’s the middle of the night and you have to be at work in a few hours. While the base game was a bit disappointing, the two expansions (Gods & Kings and Brave New World) not only improved the game, they made it into one of the best Civ games of all time. Not only do you want to play just one more turn, you want to play one more turn with each of the game’s 43 civilizations. Good bye, free time.
There’s really no better example of a game that can suck your life away than Minecraft, although you might no notice at first. Mojang’s block-based world-builder is deceptive like that. One day you’re merrily exploring and punching trees, and then suddenly you’re building massive redstone-powered logic gates, delving into the dark places of the underworld for one more diamond, and trying to gather the necessary materials to confront the Enderdragon. Once that’s done, you think you’re free, but then you discover mods, and it begins all over again. An infinite world with infinite things to do means you can spend an infinite amount of time with this one.
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3
Hi, my name is Ron, and I’m a Roller Coaster Tycoon addict. The Tycoon games were always addicting, but RCT 3 was by far the worst offender, because it offered up more control of your personal theme park than ever. Building roller coasters, placing attractions, and trying to make sure you have enough janitors to clean up after all the slobs in your park took a long time, and once you discover all the downloadable user-created content, you’ll have an even harder time walking away. The only thing that will stop RCT 3 from sucking your time might be the impending release of a sequel this year.
Borderlands 2 almost perfectly embodies the things I look for in a game that will consume a ton of my time. It’s got a ton of content, a diverse roster of characters and playstyles, and multiple ways to progress those characters. It also features subsequent playthroughs that ramp up the difficulty beyond just adding hit points to enemies. Bosses get more abilities, rewards get better, and the game as a whole is insanely challenging. Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode is simultaneously the most challenging and frustrating thing I have played in a long time that didn’t have “Souls” in the name, but at least I could get a friend to experience the pain with me.