Here are just a few of the games that keep us playing and why they keep bringing us back. Well, me anyway, as most of this list is based on my personal gaming experiences. It's by no means an exhaustive list of the great games that will keep players doing what they do best: playing.
A recent addition, but it seems to have captured gamers by storm. Our review gives it a solid 10, saying that it breaks new ground for console shooters. You might think that the PlayStation LifeStyle staff talks business behind the scenes, but I can assure you the 90% of our conversation is about Overwatch. The variety of styles in which to play offer people of all skill levels reasons to jump in again, and again, and again. And again, if our current obsession is anything to go by.
You knew it was coming so I thought I'd get it out of the way quickly. Destiny is a game that I have already sank more than a thousand hours into. From our first review, to The Taken King, Destiny offers many reasons to come back an play, with both free and paid updates, competition, leveling, and loot. The one thing that keeps me coming back is community and friends though, because there's nothing quite like meeting up with people I don't usually get to see in a party chat to go chill on the moon.
You an probably sub in any Final Fantasy game for this one and it would be the same. I've played Final Fantasy VII numerous times and still bought it again on PS4. Same with Final Fantasy X and its remasters. In fact, it's not just Final Fantasy games. Many games getting the HD remaster treatment get me pumped up to replay something I haven't played in over a decade, like Jak & Daxter or Ratchet & Clank. Nostalgia brings me back time and again for these classics that played a pivotal role in my gaming development.
Seamless online play, accessibility, and the ability to increase the game's difficulty through multiple playthroughs give Alienation a strong place on this list. It's a game that's easy to play a quick level or two, but just as easy to sit and play for hours. I haven't gone back to it as much as I would like to lately, though it's something that's always in my considerations when deciding what to play.
Where Destiny stole all of my time before, Garden Warfare 2 seems to be my current kryptonite. The variety of the characters and their variants is enough to make every match unique, and Popcap is dedicated to bringing free content into the game regularly, including new levels, modes, and characters, and customizations. That's right, completely free. They offset the cost with microtransactions, so it's a great way to keep the community from being fractured, and still make money for continued content updates.
If the vastness of the base game isn't enough to keep you exploring the wasteland endlessly, Bethesda released new content for Fallout 4, including updates that add to the existing map, and an expansion that gives players a whole new area to explore and quests to complete. Open world games like Fallout have been enticing players to continue playing them for years, so when the content expands even further, it's a snare that is hard to escape from.
Dead Star is pure competition, pitting players against each other in a battle for control of various zones in space. Leveling up your pilot is a great reason to keep coming back, and the limited time events such as custom pilot portraits are a great reason to check in with the game each weekend. They recently added Ratchet and Clank's portraits to the PS4 version of the game just for logging in during the promotion period. I'm devastated to report I missed getting Clank, but that will teach me not to check in!
It's hardly one that needs to be talked about. It's not the campaign that keeps people playing here. It's the Zombies mode and the multiplayer that have enthralled all Call of Duty players for a decade. Featuring competition, rankings, new map packs, level ups, and unlocks, Call of Duty players constantly seek to prove that they are the best in any match up, and to climb their way through the leaderboards. If there is any game that taps into our primal sense of competition to keep us playing more and more, it's Call of Duty.
Another game like Fallout that offers players an enormous world and hundreds of hours of quests to complete, The Witcher 3 adds even more on top of that with the addition of the expansions. Blood and Wine reportedly touts over 30 hours for the story content alone, and we know that there will be plenty else to do once the narrative completes.
So it may not have given the plastic instrument genre a roaring comeback, but Freestyle games is still supporting Guitar Hero Live with its constantly updating Guitar Hero TV network, which is essentially a free playable music video network that gets new songs added to it weekly. It's not something that I play daily, but I often find myself jumping in for an hour or two every week or so just to check out the new music and see what random tracks come up in the TV playlist.
World of Tanks is built on the idea of players proving that they're the best in a tank, and the idea works. It's a free to play title that gives free updates to players, including new maps and tanks, so the playerbase is never fragmented. So in all actuality, you could play World of Tanks and all of its content without ever paying for a thing. Premium memberships do help you to rank up faster, but even ranking up faster won't immediately give you the skill needed to take on the higher tier competition, so the game stays far from being pay-to-win.
Techland's support for Dying Light has surprised players, and they are constantly giving people a reason to keep playing. From community challenges to full on expansions, and even updating the game's very graphics with a free update, the constant support for a game that could have very easily been left behind is a great reason to take on the undead with a parkour flair every now and then.
On this list as a shoutout to our own Jowi, Persona 4 is yet another game with compelling characters and a memorable world that keeps players replaying the game, despite how long it takes just to beat it once. Jowi says he finds himself revisiting the title every couple of years for the sake of just playing a great game again.
Who knew that putting rockets on RC cars and telling them to play soccer would have been such a hit? Rocket League has been a staple of competitive players everywhere, with many people booting up the game every once in a while for just a few matches. Psyonix is dedicated to continuing to support and update the game with both free and paid content, giving players even more reason to come back and check it out.
It's kind of a gimme that the king of the toys-to-life genre would make this list. Skylanders maintains a strong investment for anyone who has any of these toys, and many people will even go back and play the older games. While this one probably mostly applies to kids, I know there are plenty of adults out there who like to play some Skylanders as a guilty pleasure. And really? There's nothing to be guilty about. Skylanders is a fun game to play for people of all ages.
Often compared to Destiny, even though they are nothing alike, The Division seeks to keep players coming back to compete for ever more valuable loot. Free new content also fleshes out the game for those who may find themselves bored of what is already there. Pretty soon we'll be getting paid DLC too, and that is sure to draw even more players back to this gritty shooter MMO.
Alright, so it's not quite there yet, but free updates to the multiplayer mean that Uncharted 4 is definitely worth keeping an eye on. As they add new modes and maps, I'm certain that I'll find myself logging back in, even if it is just to check out what's new with Drake and friends for a few matches.
That being said, the single player isn't too shabby either, and trophies, collectibles, and bonuses are enough to keep people playing that for a long time to come.
Oh man, The Witness. A beautifully stunning game that is even fun to explore after all of the island's puzzles have been solved, just because there is so much more lying around than just conventional puzzles. Great design is what keeps me coming back to this, and yes, I do play it every once in a while even though I got the Platinum trophy ages ago. It's like visiting a special place that I want to keep going back to and learning something new each time I go.
Like I said, this list is in no way exhaustive, and I am sure there are tons of other games out there that keep all of you playing long after the initial release. So what games keep you playing, and why do you come back to them?