Hi folks, Drew from PaXaN here. Our daily adult lives rarely give us the opportunity to really enjoy the glorious virtual worlds that many game development teams have spent months of their lives creating. There are a select few games that just grab you by the body clock and shake you into a bleary eyed mess of just ‘one more hour’ compulsion. These games are so brilliant and expansive that you just pour your entire being into them for months on end. Sucking dry everything the game has to offer, causing you to stay up far later than is sensible despite having to go into work early tomorrow morning and send lots of important emails. Consider this list a celebration of all those times we have willingly sacrificed countless hours of our real life into our favourite video games, sorry life but also definitely not sorry. So here are 5 games you can easily spend 200 hours playing.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4, Xbox One)
Our first entry on this list is a fantasy RPG epic with a main campaign that will have you chiseling away for weeks on end whilst you gorge on its well established lore and a cast of characters that have Mariana Trench level of depth and intrigue. Add to that the endless list of side quests, monster contracts, treasures to discover, bandit camps to dismantle and monster nests to destroy the game just seems endless. One of the main reasons so many of us have sunk hours of our life into this game is the setting itself. This imagined world allows you to just wander about and gaze at incredible vistas and skilfully dispatch any curious wildlife that you might encounter along the way. Temeria, The Skellige Isles and Kaer Morhen are so beautiful in their own separate ways you’ll often find yourself forgoing the option to fast travel around a map that snuffs its nose at the diminutive size of Fallout 4’s Boston and opt to instead gallop endlessly on the back of your trusty horse or glide across the ocean on a rickety dingy shooting the odd siren. All of this is accompanied by a soundtrack that totally immerses you in each and every location you will encounter. The endless ruined castles and hauntingly inviting forests are married with such an outstanding musical score that each time a new marker appears on your mini-map the compulsion to delve once again into another adventure is almost too much to ignore. All of this is just the main game, add on the two DLC (downloadable content) packs that give you even more campaign missions and an entirely new and equally as large area of Toussaint to gawp at and you’ll find that a measly play time of 200+ hours almost seems like you aren’t giving the game the time and attention it rightly deserves. If you want to delve even further into the time sink that is The Witcher universe then you may want to play the first two games in the series, read the books by author Andrzej Sapkowski and even watch the original Polish television series titled ‘The Hexer’ and watch the upcoming television series making its way to Netflix sometime in the near future.
Destiny 1 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One) Destiny 2 (PS4, Xbox One)
The next entry on this list can be attributed to either the first or second iteration in the series. Two games in which the ‘must play it every waking moment’ frenzy was so hard that the PaXaN team even has its own WeChat group dedicated to suggested Raids, Nightfalls and mocking each other’s performance in Crucible, we of course are talking about the Destiny games. The main campaign for both of the games is quite short, taking only a relative 10+ hours to finish but that isn’t the reason for this juggernaut of a time eater. The tight multiplayer modes are the real reason you will keep coming back to Destiny 1 or 2. When you’re deep into a session of Destiny the game just doesn’t seem to want to let you go. Being yanked out of fireteam a bit too quickly will almost give you the gaming equivalent of the bends and leave you feeling as though you have actual real physical pain that needs attention. The cure for this, Destiny will almost hypnotically suggest, is another crack at a Skirmish round or to head out on patrol to farm some much needed Olympus Tears from Mars so you can upgrade your gear to be just a fraction of a bit better than it was fifteen minutes ago. Destiny will even make a mini-game of actually forming a fireteam. You will hurl desperate messages into the cyber void praying to Xŭr that a not clinically insane member of society will reply just so you can keep playing and feebly attempt to stay awake as you take on the Leviathan raid one more time. There isn’t anything about the two games that suggests you stop playing, each activity taking different amounts of time that will range from the one minute of decoding your Engrams to the one hour of farming for more Engrams. These time shaped puzzle pieces fit perfectly together to reveal a picture of your own face with a look that says “I’m tired, hungry and definitely late for work but I know my grandchildren will sing of the day I unlocked the Legend of Acrius shotgun”. What’s that? A complete stranger I’ve never met or heard of wants me to carry out a Strike with them? Gaming etiquette compels me to yes. Lead on my new friend. To victory, glory and a Mote of Light.
Rocket League (PS4, Xbox One, Switch)
When Rocket League first came out many a gamer thought the idea of football (or soccer for our American readers) being played by a selection of rocket powered cars just seemed like a bit of silly fun. When you add on the fact that each match will only last for around five minutes then surely there is no way this game can do anything but keep me entertained for about half an hour, at a push. However the genius behind Rocket League is the entire premise seems to be built on not the original sport and not the nitrous boosted vehicles you control but on the big fat lie every gamer tell themselves, “I’ll just have one more round”. You’ll often find yourself shouting actual advice at your television screen, akin to many fans of actual sport yelling at their supposed favourite teams. If you’re brave enough to sift through the endless torrent of online players then you’ll eventually find a group of people who you will likely come to view as your team. You’ll end up exiting out of single player games when you see a party invitation for Rocket League, the allure of dominating strangers is often just too much to resist. The game itself has captured the essence of the duality of sport and it’s fandom, in the sense that in one moment you will cheer in elation as your team steals a last second victory only to slump inconsolably as your victory is taken away from you at the last second in the following match. Once you’re in with Rocket League there really is no coming out. You will play it over and over again, mashing the buttons match after nail biting match. Now you can even download car basketball. Yet another reason to just let go, cancel all your social plans for the rest of your life and allow this glorious fusion of sports, that many of us are bad at in real life, take you.
Fifa Series (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch)
Our penultimate entry on this list can be substituted for any game of a similar idea. The PES, Madden, NBA or WWE series all falling into a similar category. If you’re anything like us here at PaXaN then after romping through a fantasy world hurling lightning at all manner of fools you sometimes just need a game to cool down on. A game that doesn’t ask you to save the galaxy or stop Sir Evil Bad Guy before he gets back his favourite bit of precious finger jewellery. Such a game can often be found in the Fifa series or one of the aforementioned. The premise of these games is very familiar and simple, and they help get rid of all that excess adrenaline, or at least that’s what we tell ourselves. Often you’ll find playing this type of game for a bit of a cool down will turn into a game that you now need to cool down from. The issue, or best thing, about this genre is that it’s saving grace of not having an antagonist showdown at the end of an epic campaign means that in essence the game will last forever. The virtual world allows you to do away with the annoying notions of athletes getting older or hurt and instead let’s you create that fantasy football (again soccer) team you’ve always dreamed of, having your boys be a part of each other’s virtual lives forever. The various game modes that each game in this genre has to offer will keep you coming back for more. With the addition and subtraction of what seems to be core game mechanics, looking at you in particular Fifa 18 for Nintendo Switch and your lack of obvious Tactical Instructions placement, each new iteration of your chosen sporting simulator will keep your time wallet well and truly empty.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Switch)
For our final entry in this list it would be impossible to talk about anything other than the super-king-daddy of open world RPGs. A game that despite being made just shy of decade ago is still just as exciting as death sliding into Christmas morning. The sheer beauty and diversity of this open world stands as one of the main reasons this game took over the lives of many and remained a near permanent feature in their disk trays. The soundtrack on the start menu alone will keep you there for a good ten minutes, just sitting and letting one of the most iconic musical scores in fairly recent gaming memory wash over you. This pregame ritual allows just enough time for all your adrenaline and attention to reach that pivotal point in your fingertips that will make you the ultimate Dragonborne badass. When you actually boot up a new game or save file you’ll be thrust into masterful fantasy land full of secrets, adventure, dragons and guards with arrows in their knee related injuries. This game, like many other Bethesda’s creations, doesn’t announce huge narrative choices with pomp and fanfare. Your character simply acts within this imagined world and in turn the imagined world and story shape themselves around you. You have an endless amount of choice when it comes to preferred play style. You can be an evil dark head of an assassin’s guild whilst being the benevolent leader of warrior cast known as ‘The Champions’ all at the same time. The game even gives you the rather quaint and surprisingly enjoyable option of getting married, adopting a child or two and building up your own homestead to the style of your choosing. This joins together the idea of modern social familial values with popping out to the alchemy store in the next village whilst thwacking a giant on the way for good measure, virtual fantasy domestic bliss at its finest.
That’s our list for the 5 video games that you can easily lose your life in and spend up to 200 playing. We’ll throw a few honourable mentions to the likes of the Mass Effect series, the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the Dark Souls games, the Final Fantasy series and the obvious GTA V and its online counterpart. Do you have any other games that have totally consumed every second of your free time? Give us a like and let us know down in the comments. Thanks for reading!
Article written by Drew Lewis and edited by Gillian Anderson
Hi folks, Drew here from PaXaN. I am an up and coming video game journalist looking to inject your daily cravings for virtual screen time with various features on video games and the industry itself. Keep an eye on this space for more news and features on your favourite games both new and old. Have an idea for a feature piece or something you’d like for me to cover? Send me a message on WeChat or email me and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. WeChat ID: DrewAW, Email: [email protected]
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