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Single player games you come back to


mdn2
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When I was younger, due to the fact I had less money to spend on games and more time to play them, I replayed games many, many times. I had all four Mario 64 save slots with all 120 stars. Goldeneye had been completed on all difficulties with all cheats unlocked. I owned all 151 original Pokemon with over 40 of them level 100. Tony Hawks 2 had all characters unlocked and all of those had every goal completed. Hell I even had time to complete Skies of Arcadia and FFVII twice.

These days, I rarely even manage to complete a game. For the last few years, the 'next big thing' has always been just around the corner and my last purchase is shelved for what comes next. There are more 'must have' releases every month and, as I have more disposable income, these are bought, played, enjoyed and then promptly shelved. This generation there are few games I've seen the end credits of, and of those even fewer I've gone back to afterwards.

This thread is devoted to these games. Those single player experiences which, regardless of the fact there's a new Final Fantasy out, or COD:MW2 is calling you back to play online. The ones where you think 'I've not played that for a while. I'll have another go...'

Super Mario Galaxy

I'm currently working my way through the

Luigi playthrough

. This keeps bringing me back as completing the game unlocks more stars followed by a second run through as

Luigi

which in turn unlocks two more stars. The end credits can be seen after 60 stars. To see everything the game has to offer takes 242 stars. And I guarantee I'll play it again in a couple of years.

Portal

This has an advantage over the others in my list as it's incredibly short. A complete run through takes about 2 and 1/2 hours. Oh, but what a 2 and 1/2 hours! It's perfectly pitched learning curve means you never feel overwhelmed and it's dark humour and clever level design means it's worth another play.

Mass Effect

This has had numerous run-throughs from me. Initially, to see the good ending. Then the bad ending. Then female Shepard. Then the ending I want to carry over to Mass Effect 2. It's many options and relatively short length are what draws me back.

Demon's Souls

An odd one this. I've completed the game, seen pretty much everything it has to offer. And yet it's unique elements keep me coming back. The oppressive atmosphere, the 'ghosts' of other players running around, the helpful hints left by other players all make me keep playing.

This gen, I've completed and loved Zelda:TP, Bioshock, Gears Of War, Halo 3, Valkyria Chronicles, Batman: AA, Oblivion and Uncharted 2. They were all amazing, engrossing single player experiences. I'll never play them again, though. They lack that special something.

Any others?

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I often find that after a night drinking I fancy playing through Gitaroo Man and then start to wish I hadn't the moment I get to the Sambone Trio.

Other than that, Rez really. But much like Portal it has that "one-sitting" advantage.

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For me it's quite simple, if I really love a game I will play it again to get everything (or at least an awful lot) out of it.

Examples this gen are Super Mario Galaxy (got all 242 stars), Ninja Gaiden II (finished Master Ninja). Uncharted 2 (almost finished on Crushing, I still need to complete that run - this is also the best game to showcase your PS3 and/or funky HDTV which is also a reason to play it again), Batman: Arkham Asylum (finished the main game on Hard and got gold on all challenges), Mass Effect 2 (unlike the first I love replaying this because it's simply a much better game, I'm almost done with my Insanity run), Dead Space (almost completed the game three times on Hard to max out all my items, I have yet to do Impossible mode). I have to admit I also replayed Resi 5 quite a bit. It's not nearly as good as 4 or as basically any of the game I just mentioned, but the co-op and quality DLC are good enough to make me come back to it. Bayonetta deserves a special mention. That's a game that gets an awful lot better after you completed it because of all the good stuff you unlock and the fact that your skills are a lot better.

I've played many other games this gen but these are the ones I come/came back to.

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For me it's quite simple, if I really love a game I will play it again to get everything (or at least an awful lot) out of it.

Examples this gen are Super Mario Galaxy (got all 242 stars), Ninja Gaiden II (finished Master Ninja). Uncharted 2 (almost finished on Crushing, I still need to complete that run - this is also the best game to showcase your PS3 and/or funky HDTV which is also a reason to play it again), Batman: Arkham Asylum (finished the main game on Hard and got gold on all challenges), Mass Effect 2 (unlike the first I love replaying this because it's simply a much better game, I'm almost done with my Insanity run), Dead Space (almost completed the game three times on Hard to max out all my items, I have yet to do Impossible mode). I have to admit I also replayed Resi 5 quite a bit. It's not nearly as good as 4 or as basically any of the game I just mentioned, but the co-op and quality DLC are good enough to make me come back to it. Bayonetta deserves a special mention. That's a game that gets an awful lot better after you completed it because of all the good stuff you unlock and the fact that your skills are a lot better.

I've played many other games this gen but these are the ones I come/came back to.

See, out of the games you listed, I would only agree about SMG. Granted, I haven't played Mass Effect 2 yet (I'll probably agree with you on that one), but while I loved Uncharted 2, Dead Space and Batman:AA, when they were done, they were done. I had no wish to go back.

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Rez

Years I've been playing this, it's just so completely different to anything else out there that I just keep coming back to it again and again.

Bioshock

I've had 7 playthroughs of this game since it's release; the setting, the art design, the dialogue, the atmosphere, the choice of plasmids.....I just know I'll be visiting Rapture again in six months time.

Wipeout

I've always come back to the games of this series since Wipeout 2097 for the sheer pad-gripping intensity of the racing, and thanks to Wipeout HD with it's online element, I'm still no closer to being bored of airbraking around tight corners, laying a mine, and boosting off to the sound of an opponent hitting it. The music has always been a major part of the game and I play all the tracks from the first 3 games whenever I play HD.

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Bejewelled

Zoo Zeeper

Two very similar games but they both have that, beat your own highest score factor. Bejewlled Blitz on Facebook is taking over my life. they're simplee too and most people can play them so there's massive competition in my house.

Prince of Persia on the 360 also gets my vote as, once complete, the point to point races are a thing of beauty to watch and play.

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I've finished Mario Galaxy maybe 5 times now - although always with a friend. I played through Super Mario World about 3 times last year, and I've already played through it once this year. Um, Chrono Trigger's been finished maybe 4 times. I'll probably go through it again some time this year. Halo 1 is on the cards if I can get an Xbox sorted. It's something I've gone through at least 15 times previously.

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See, out of the games you listed, I would only agree about SMG. Granted, I haven't played Mass Effect 2 yet (I'll probably agree with you on that one), but while I loved Uncharted 2, Dead Space and Batman:AA, when they were done, they were done. I had no wish to go back.

Well, then we clearly differ on those. :doh:

I felt they were so good one playthrough wasn't enough for me. In Uncharted 2's case it's probably because the game's rather superb combat only gets better on higher difficulties and the big moments are so awesome that I wanted to see them more than once. And, like I said, it's the ultimate game to show to others.

In Batman's case it's both the items (one of the few games that has items worth collecting, in particular for Bat-fans) and the friggin' ace combat system. So good that I just had to grab all those gold medals.

Dead Space both loses and gains something on subsequent playthroughs. It's not nearly as tense the second time, but when you power-up all your weapons it becomes a rather fun game of payback. I only used the Plasma Cutter on my first playthrough, so it was really fun to toy around with all the other tools on my second run. The Line Gun, the Ripper, that awesome shotgun-esque weapon... Great fun.

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For no particular reason this weekend I started playing Dead Space again. Got 3 achievements left to get on it for 100%, may as well have a go.

Actually achievements are an interesting incentive. I kept going back to Crackdown in the (vain) hope of finding those missing two orbs. I'd never start it again, though.

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Well, then we clearly differ on those. :doh:

I felt they were so good one playthrough wasn't enough for me. In Uncharted 2's case it's probably because the game's rather superb combat only gets better on higher difficulties and the big moments are so awesome that I wanted to see them more than once. And, like I said, it's the ultimate game to show to others.

I bought Uncharted 2 and loved it on your recommendation after hating the first game, so I'll let you off.

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This is why game length is actually a drawback for me. Replay value is where it's at. I've got more value out of games around the 10-hour mark than those 50+ jobbies.

Halo

Link's Awakening (just downloaded lameboy for my DS)

Super Mario Galaxy (did exactly the same as OP, all 242 stars)

ICO and SOtC

PoP (the one where he wasn't all FUCK YOU BITCH)

A lot of adventure games (Broken Sword, Hotel Dusk, Layton, BaSS)

...and relax.

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As mentioned Mass Effect, and its sequel Mass Effect 2.

Skies of Arcadia - played and completed this a few times, just because its so good. Loved the music, and the atmosphere. Went so well together.

Darius 2 on the Sega Saturn - Liked the music and it was easy enough to blast through and still not get frustrated while playing and listening to the music :P

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I bought Uncharted 2 and loved it on your recommendation after hating the first game, so I'll let you off.

Awesome. :P

Funnily enough the same topic also popped up on GAF today.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=389527

If we take older games into account there really are too many to mention, but Super Mario 64 and Resi 4 are two prime examples.

Every time I restarted Mario 64 I just had to get all 120 stars and it was always a joy (though Galaxy is a better game, folks) and Resi 4 kept being awesome. I played through the game once and loved it. I played through it again with the Chicago Typewriter for laughs, followed by a rather epic Pro run. I think I did Assignment Ada twice, unlocked all the shooting gallery figurines and completed everything there was to complete about Mercenaries. Brilliant game.

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I don't even have to think much about this. Throughout the years and the shifting face of my games collection there are a handful of titles that have just stayed put since they came out, while countless others stake temporary spots among them. They're still right there on my shelf:

Dungeon Master / Chaos Strikes Back - Even though I rarely break out the hardware to play the original discs I still have the boxes the postie pushed through my letterbox over 20 years ago. I play through it at least once a year thanks to the Return to Chaos remake.

Resident Evil 2 & 3 - The heights of the series. In fact I did a speedrun of Resi 2 just last week. I've completed both more times than I can remember and I'm pretty much always up for another go.

Vagrant Story - Another game I've totally rinsed but can still play through and be competely absorbed.

SCUMM Adventures - I play through the first two Monkey Islands regularly, but I'm always up for revisiting any of them.

More arcade-based experiences of course go without saying, seeing as they take a few minutes to play through / fail on. I imagine that for as long as I'm playing games at all I'll be regularly firing up:

Street Fighter

Virtua Fighter

Stargate

Galaga

Rez

Geometry Wars

Tempest

Pac-Man

The King of Fighters

Gravitar

These are all series or individual games where I think things have been nailed perfectly at some point, regardless of age.

I think I'm finally done replaying things like older Final Fantasies.

The only thing unique to this generation is probably Mass Effect 1&2. I can imagine I'll be occasionally replaying them for a good few years.

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Surprised nobody's mentioned Mirror's Edge yet. I can't imagine anybody being able to reconcile the high accolades with their own, personal experience of the game without first becoming completely obssessed with the time trials, because only there does the game realise its true potential.

If only the DLC were a little cheaper, I might still be playing it now.

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Surprised nobody's mentioned Mirror's Edge yet. I can't imagine anybody being able to reconcile the high accolades with their own, personal experience of the game without first becoming completely obssessed with the time trials, because only there does the game realise its true potential.

If only the DLC were a little cheaper, I might still be playing it now.

Got the game but never really got into it as much as I'd have liked. Always seemed to have other games I wanted to play more.

Maybe I should give it a whirl sometime.

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More arcade-based experiences of course go without saying, seeing as they take a few minutes to play through / fail on. I imagine that for as long as I'm playing games at all I'll be regularly firing up:

Street Fighter

Virtua Fighter

Stargate

Galaga

Rez

Geometry Wars

Tempest

Pac-Man

The King of Fighters

Gravitar

I must also add Outrun 2 - and when I say "come back to" I also mean "buy four times over" - with OR2 for the Xbox, OR2006 for the PC and PS2, and OR Oniline Arcade for XBLA.

I'm thinking of getting the PSP game too. :P

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I have to play quake 2 every couple of years. I dont know what it is about the game that makes it stand out above the others because I doubt it would be anyone elses choice out of the id games.

If I fancy a spot of gta I go back to vice city to remember when it was fun plus an 80s soundtrack.

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Condemned - It's simply unrivaled in the next-gen horror genre, a fantastic achievement for a launch game, great characters, music, brilliant shit you up moments, i'm always going back to knock a tramp's teeth out with a 2x4 every winter.

Mass Effect 1+2 - 75 hours on Mass Effect 1 and 35 on 2 (and still counting) both of these games have something to bring me back, whether trying new classes, dialogue choices, or just to see the epic sights and listen to the fantastic music, just brilliant games. About to start ME1 again to import a perfect runthrough to number 2. Just keeps on giving.

Streets Of Rage II - Just a brilliant game that is so stress relieving, the SFX and music are enough to pull you back, the pipe on skull effect in particular hasn't got old in 15 years.

Max Payne 2 - finished on all difficulties, again, just a brill game, the mechanics are so smooth and fantastic, ace soundtrack, excellent script and voice acting, top shooting action. Set pieces that put most of this gen to shame pull me back.

Batman: AA - finished 100%, its the challneges that bring me back.The combat system is so refined and rewarding, and the lure of high scores always gives you a fresh challenge.

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I can't think of many recent titles (current or last gen, say) that I've had the urge to play through more than once. Shadow of the Colossus springs to mind (3 times), and God Hand, but that's about it.

There are plenty of older titles that I go back to a lot, however. I couldn't count the number of times I've finished OoT - I played it several times through back in the day alone, and have been back to it a few times since.

Goldeneye gets the same treatment. Every now and again I just get the urge to dig it out with a mind to starting a new file and unlocking all the cheats again (I usually give up at invincibility.)

And there's a few older RPGs that I replay often. I've finished Secret of Mana countless times, and its sequel, Seiken Densetsu 3, twice. The same goes for the first Paper Mario.

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