Replay Value: Games I Keep Coming Back To

Keep Coming Back

Some game you play through once or twice, and then move on. Other games you’ll never even finish due to a bevy of reasons. And then, once in a while, you’ll come across a game that you just can’t help coming back to, over and over and over. For those of us interested in getting the most bang for our buck (and who isn’t?), here is my personal list of games I’ll keep playing and never tire of.

Minecraft

If you haven’t heard of Minecraft yet, I can only assume you live under a rock or are a hermit. The indie superstar’s success isn’t just a fluke or dumb luck. This game is wildly addictive. I find myself constantly thinking about it, wondering if I shouldn’t be playing Minecraft instead of whatever other title may currently be taking up my time. Perhaps it’s the open world sandbox nature of the game. Or maybe its wildly moddable element that makes skinning unbelievably easy for the average gamer. Or maybe I just need to build giant phalluses. Whatever it may be, this is one game I just can’t get enough of.

Mount & Blade: Warband

What may be the best medieval war simulator, Mount & Blade: Warband is a great game to just start up and dive right into. With multiple play styles ranging from the classic sword and shield warrior, ranged bowman, or lancer on horseback, the gameplay experience allows for a variety of approaches. Like many indie titles, the game has its flaws, but with an open-ended play style and exciting combat, you can easily ignore the weaker spots. And there are few things in life more satisfying than storming a castle with hundreds of troops at your back.

King’s Bounty Series

When you’re looking for a turn-based RPG/strategy combo, few games are as fun as the King’s Bounty series. Similar to games like Heroes of Might and Magic and Disciples, the games see you buying and building armies, solving quests across varied landscapes, sailing the open seas, and fighting many, many turn-based battles. The humor, colorful art style, and variety of enemies all help make this great fun.

Eufloria

Perhaps not as well known as some other titles, Eufloria is a beautiful real-time strategy game with a simple concept. You take over small planets with flying plants. Yeah, I know, that sounds a bit strange, but you have to see it to really understand the simple elegance of the game. Your seed/plant troops will migrate to a planet you direct them towards. If another species of plant life exists, they battle it out, and provided you have superior troops, you’ll soon see their trees fall and your own seeds growing slowly into beautiful new trees. I can’t stress enough how pleasant this game is to play and look upon. Check it out, and support a great indie title.

Master of Magic

This is an older game, and could be tough to get going on some modern machines (unless you buy it from gog.com) but proves to be an infinitely enjoyable 4X fantasy world domination title: Multiple races to choose from, all varied in their strengths and weaknesses; it offers many ways to customize your spell selection; lets you focus on magic, combat, diplomacy, or a combination of all three; randomly generates worlds based on what you’re looking for. Hell, I can go on and on as the degree of customization is unbelievable for a game from the first half of the 1990s. The simplest way to describe MoM is Civilization – with magic!

Roller Coaster Tycoon

Who’d have thought a game that lets you build your own roller coaster theme parks could be so much fun? Okay, maybe it’s a lot more obvious than it seemed before I wrote that last sentence. Roller Coaster Tycoon is a fun management sim that, as stated, lets you build theme parks with a wide range of rides and attractions. You can design your own coasters, with a variety of themes and styles such as mine carts, water-log rides, or ultra modern steel coasters. Set up eateries, restrooms, casual entertainment, and more. Hire repair crews, janitorial staff, and guys in big animal costumes. Possibly the reigning king of the tycoon game genre, it’s a wonder a new one hasn’t been made in so long.

Sims 2

No, not Sims 3, for despite its many improvements and neat features, the second Sims game will forever remain my favorite. This is one game I’m always ashamed to explain to people. “So, what’s this game about?” “Well, it’s a people simulator… you make people, and then have them do the day to day mundane activities that you’re avoiding doing in real life in order to play Sims 2…” Yeah, go ahead and expect people to look at you like you aren’t a nut after something like that. Nevertheless, the oddly voyeuristic game proves to be a great time waster, with more expansion packs than just about any other videogame, Sims 2 offers countless hours of fun. And don’t even get me started on the massive modding community.

Fallout 3

What I would call my ALL-TIME FAVORITE GAME EVER! Fallout 3 is Bethesda’s sequel to the classic ’90s RPGs. Explore a massive post-apocalyptic Washington D.C. wasteland fighting off gangs of raiders, mutants, wildlife, and whatever else gets in your way. Play as a wandering do-gooder, helping people out in a harsh realm, or be the guy who makes it such a crappy place to live by robbing, killing, and exploding your way through such a massive and well-designed world that you’ll never see the whole of it. NEVER. Don’t argue with me.

Left 4 Dead 2

A great game to play cooperatively online, Left 4 Dead 2 has you and three friends desperately running through a number of New Orleans locales trying your damnedest not to get eaten by zombies. And, oh, how you will face off against swarms and swarms of zombies. No other game captures a sense of immediacy and danger like L4D2. You will die, a lot. The first game is highly enjoyable as well, but the added content and quality of the second makes it stand out as the better choice.

Red Faction: Guerrilla

Sometimes, you just want to take a heavily armored vehicle, drive it into a massive building, fill the core with explosives, and than have a cool action movie sequence where you’re running away from the explosion as it throws you into the air, all in slow motion! You can do that in Red Faction: Guerrilla! Well, all but the slow motion part. The game is all about smashing and destroying buildings, and if you’ve had a long or stressful day, a few hours of this game will cure what ails you. Sadly, it has strange graphical glitches on Windows 7 for me, so I can’t enjoy the game anymore.

Rebuild

What has to be my favorite Flash game, Rebuild is a turn-based city management/zombie survival game. You start off with a small group of people and a couple of blocks of city space surrounded by zombie hordes. Your goal is to try to take over the whole city, building housing and farms, training troops, scientists, and scavengers, developing better ways to combat the zombie hordes, and having an all-around fantastic time. Sure, there are millions of Flash games to choose from on the internet, but this is one I find myself coming back to over and over again.

Share Your Thoughts: What games do you find you keep coming back to and playing over and over? Let me know in the comments.


Comments
10 Responses to “Replay Value: Games I Keep Coming Back To”
  1. Please PLEASE pick your reason for liking Minecraft so much, Armand! Nothing personal – I just need to know if I need to add you to my Big Book of Creepers… ;P

  2. Chad M. says:

    Great choice on Red Faction: Guerilla. I’m pleased to say the PS3 version doesn’t suffer any graphical glitches.

  3. Gregg B says:

    Nice varied list there Armand! I’ve gotta say, I rarely replay any games — there are just so many fresh experiences out there. Me and my girlfriend talk about this quite often, should you focus your attentions on a single experience and really give it the extra time it deserves ie. multiple playthroughs, or should you move on and keep consuming different experiences? I don’t think I’ve ever finished a game twice come to think of it so I most definitely fall into the latter. Having said this, I’ve never felt compelled to play something through more than once either.

    I literally cannot think of a game which I consistently go back to. FAIL! 😉

  4. Cassie says:

    Haha. I was playing Roller Coaster Tycoon this morning! I just bought an expansion pack.

    I prefer Left 4 Dead to Left 4 Dead 2, but to each his own. And I wouldn’t say that no other game gives you that experience considering it’s a sequel.

    Great list, I agree with everything I’ve played on there…and now I want to play the others.

    • Armand K. says:

      Hah hah, that game just doesn’t get old! I need to reinstall it since I updated to Windows 7. They’re also supposed to migrate all the L4D content into the second one. Then we won’t ever need to play the first again! 😉

  5. Steerpike says:

    Good calls, Armand, each and every one. I didn’t know MOM was available on GOG. I’ll have to rectify my non-ownership of it immediately!

  6. I played Eufloria when it was called Dyson. I loved the game but unfortunately never felt the need to go back. It has a remarkable ambience though. It’s totally frightening when the AI rushes you though.

    And that is all I can contribute to your discussion.

    • Armand K. says:

      I think it’s pretty cheap on Steam. The game is much improved since it was Dyson (which I also played). If you see it on a sale, I’d recommend checking it out. It’s very… soothing. 🙂

  7. Scott Carmichael says:

    I see no Plants vs. Zombies or Civilization IV.

    I could play those games over…and over…and over…and over…

    Good list though – I’ll have to check out some of them for sure!

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