Open Forum: Who Actually Replays Games?

Collectibles, cheats, modifiers, achievements and alternate endings are just a handful of devices used to create a sense of “replay value” in modern video games. Once upon a time, when arcades were afire with flashing lights amid a chiptune chorus, most of these concepts didn’t exist. Though they’re admittedly a little before my time, it isn’t hard to imagine the joy players would get out of classics such as Pac-Man, Tetris, and Space Invaders despite having to play the same sequences over and over. As long as there was a high score to beat, that was all the replay value this older generation needed.

For better or worse, things are dramatically different today. Although a handful of games slip the net each year, the majority are tagged with a mandatory bells and whistles designed for the second playthrough and beyond. Some, like Uncharted 4’s modifiers, allow players to distort subsequent playthroughs in weird and creative ways. However, many fall into that same rut, building themselves around a checklist of hidden objects and challenges used to unlock trophies and achievements. To be fair, Uncharted 4 has these as well, and we’re at a strange point now where these padding techniques are almost impossible to avoid amongst today’s constant barrage of games.

There are some developers that manage to strike a good balance, but it’s no easy feat to pull off, making their product fresh and engaging enough to warrant subsequent playthroughs in the first place. After all, the last thing a studio wants is for fans to label their game as “too short” or lacking in content. That said, the concept of replay value is starting to mean less to me as the years go by. I still love to get my money’s worth when paying top whack for new releases, yet I can rarely find the time and/or motivation to go back to them once the credits start to roll. Of course, that excludes games which have a multiplayer component.

With my backlog only getting worse over time, I can no longer boot up a game I’ve already completed without feeling the urge to swap it for one I haven’t. Uncharted 4 is the latest victim to what some might see as irrational behaviour. Having sunk a few hours into my second run, I was torn away by an unfinished copy of The Evil Within. It’s a much weaker game in comparison, yet knowing that I’ve yet to beat it made it more appealing to my mind.

It seems that many of the team share my predicament when it comes to actively replaying video games. In short, we often find ourselves strapped for time. Aside from Bubble Bobble, Tuffcub will only go back to certain games if they’ve been remastered on newer systems, like the recent Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls remasters.

Providing an appropriate meme Dave only replays a select number of personal favourites. These include classics such as Streets of Rage 2 and Gunstar Heroes, which he usually goes back to every year. Among them are slightly longer games from his childhood including Final Fantasy VII and a suite of Mario games.

Nostalgia has had a similar impact on Kris. For him, the Sonic franchise is entrenched firmly within his heart, older Sonic titles making a regular appearance. Local multiplayer titles also seem to find their way back off the shelf, especially the Mario Kart series and Soul Calibur II.

In recent memory, the only game Aran has gone back to is Journey when it launched on PlayStation 4. Like many of us, he uses his own spare time carefully, seeking out new experiences instead of simply digging up old ones.

How about you, dear reader? Tell us if you’re the kind of player who will play through a game several times in a row, hunting for every last collectable, or if you’ll only revisit something truly special from your childhood?

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Written by
Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualShock at this point.

22 Comments

  1. Well I still play the games that I already own if I remember correctly I think I Platinum Dead Space after 4 playthroughs but have completed DeadSpace 7x more after the Platinum since it was my 2nd favourite (Resident Evil is my 1st fave) Then Resident Evil HD came along and I have completed it 8 times yo obtain the Platinum. It is worth replaying a game you love and a challenge thanks to the trophies for complete it under 3hrs, complete Knife only etc…
    But I love Resident Evil 2 on PS1 as it has 4 different scenarios and the keys/items are placed elsewhere when you start on a B scenario as Leon or Claire…. in a way you are looking at 4 different style of RE2 playthrough. I miss that game and tempted to play it again on PS2 but hoping to wait it out for the HD remake for the PS4
    Everyone here knows I do replay the games for the Platinum lol

    • I’d be lying if I said I didn’t expect this comment. It’s gaming willpower on a whole new level with Del :P

  2. Nah, will only revisit if it’s a really good game or it has the content tucked away there. I recall playing Dragon Age: Origins four times over, two with a mage taking them through different skill trees, and one each on the other classes. It had the challenge and variability to keep on entertaining.

    There’s no real pattern, either the game moves me to replay it or not. I’ve never understood the need to replay games like Heavy Rain and Beyond though. There’s an originality in the decisions you take, I can’t see why I would want the story playing out another way, especially if there’s not going to be any surprise twists or turns. If I’ve replayed different decisions in RPGs, it’s in part because they often change the character and its abilities, and that’s where it gets interesting.

    Currently got a host of BC titles to complete, including the Rainbow Six Vegas series which still entertain just like they did years ago. I’ve learned to ignore the nostalgia factor though, as in some cases the game never quite seems to be as good as when I played it years ago. Perhaps a testament to how games are constantly evolving.

  3. I’ve played through quite a few games twice this generation, but that’s simply because I don’t have anywhere near as many games as I did on PS3. Currently on my 2nd play of Uncharted 4 for no other reason than I loved it.

  4. Oh forgot to mention RPG I have played Champions of Norrath (1 and 2) and I like to try out different classes. Think my cousin and I had Champions of Norrath session last year on the PS2 xD really want another Champions of Norrath on PS4…..

  5. Sometimes the trophy list will be my motivation to replay, the Uncharted series being a great example. Other than that, not really…I played FFVII twice because it was such a great game and at the other end of the scale my daughter and I replay some Octodad occasionally just because it is funny.

    Other than those type of scenarios it is rare I will play a game twice. It could also be that I can afford more games than I used to so the need to play longer is reduced.

  6. Being a big fan of RPGs, especially the stranger Japanese ones, yes, I replay games many times, for various reasons.

    It could be a New Game+ thing with stupidly overpowered characters to fly through the game in a fraction of the time and kill extra bosses or do optional dungeons. I can think of several such games that take 40+ hours the first time, and then 4 or 5 hours for a NG+ playthrough.

    Or in some cases, half the game is hidden from you until a second playthrough. Sometimes that might be a case of reloading the game and doing something different to get to a different ending, although sometimes I’ll go right back to the start, get some extra levelling up in and play it all the way through to the other ending.

    Never did do a 3rd playthrough of Nier though (weird cult RPG with unexpected sequel). That gives you more idea what’s going on the 2nd time, and then the 3rd time it can completely delete your game.

    I may also play bits of other games many times. Collectibles are often just run around for hours having fun trying to find the stupid things in ridiculous places. I may go back to an older game and spend a couple of hours finding some of them and having a bit of fun. Or it might be the dreaded mission select thing. Play through a bit of the game again, trying to find certain collectibles or do certain things, and then get to the end, realise you’ve missed one, and promise yourself you’ll come back to it again later. Which I usually forget to do.

    As for those games where your make important decisions (Heavy Rain or Beyond: Two Souls were mentioned, but also the Telltale games), no, you can’t go back to them. Make your decisions and live with them. I hate the fact that some of them have far too many trophies tied to certain decisions. Anyone getting platinum trophies on those shouldn’t be proud of this fact. You’re playing it wrong.

  7. Nope. Not me. Very rare that I play through a game more than once. Simply because I’m not a trophy hunter and I also have too little time to play all of the games on my ever-growing list, as it is.

    A few hallowed titles are known to get repeat-lovin’ from me. Divinity: Original Sin, Journey, The Last of Us. Mainly because they’re some of my favourite games of all time.

    • I’m just about to start on Divinity, have you any tips on starting classes & talents etc? I’m a bit overwhelmed with all the different options on offer!

  8. Depends on the game to be fair. For the most part, I tend to play through a game and trade it in towards my next purchase, but there are some games (Uncharted2, Resident Evil 4, God of War, etc) that I can replay over and over and not get bored. I can never be bothered to replay long games however; they are typically a “one and done” for me.

  9. I only replay games for platinums & most games give you no option for one play through for platinums. So the replay tends to be no care of the story or whatever is going on, it’s just a replay for the sake of the trophy.

    I have bought remastered version of games like God of War & Last of us, UCC, but I love those games & worthy the platinum chase

  10. Additional: I shall be replaying Uncharted 4 again. There’s just too much good stuff take in, in one sitting.

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