When players fork out cash for games they generally want to make sure that they are getting something that is going to give them hours and hours of story, gameplay and memorable experiences. Not some “flash in the pan” game that finished before we even know what the game is about.
Players want games that are going to allow them to invest time into the game and feel like they are getting something for it. Either from the story unfolding, added customization or unlocking additional tiers of difficulty. Developers work achievements in a way to sort of accomplish this, but I feel that developers use them as a crutch in many instances to hide lack of actual replay value of a game.
This list is in no particular order and is by no means all-inclusive. It covers a number of games that either has inherent built-in mechanics that make the game have a ton of replay potential or have huge communities that generate additional content for them, that add to the replay value of a game.
Any Elder Scrolls Game
Price: $15 – 60 depending on which game and version you purchase
This is an easy one, with many of them having hundreds of hours of gameplay, easily, and that is before you even complete the main quest. Couple that with a massive modding community and you have the recipe for a never-ending adventure of exploration and dragon killing. Mods range from things as small as new playable races and skill tweaks to amazing remakes of older games in the series or all new content that is in many cases the equivalent (or more) of what you would get form a DLC, and usually free! To be clear, I’m only talking about the non-MMO RPG games.
Price: Free to play
Free-to-play, expansive and constantly adding new content?! Where do we sign up? Normally a game like Warframe wouldn’t make a list like this; as action games tend to have a limited repertoire that limits replay possibility. What makes Warframe different is the fact that its levels are procedurally generated. That’s right, every mission map is random (and with few if any issues/bugs that arise from this).
Hand of Fate Series
Price: $20 – 30 depending on the version
Now, I have yet to play the second game in the series, but I have little reason to think it is any different from the first, at least in regards to playing style. Part Action RPG, part card game, Hand of Fate is an interesting mix.
In hand of fate you are going on an adventure (to defeat specific enemies, at least in the first game), what makes it interesting (and adds an amazing amount of replay value) is the deck of cards, which you build (mostly) is what decides what happens and what enemies you fight. The cards are dealt out like a playing board, face down when landing on a card you flip it over and face the consequences of its actions or its boons (usually with a few choices and chance mini-game, something akin to a four-card monte).
Anything Made with Valve’s Hammer Editor
Price: Free to Play or Free (if you already own core games like Half-Life 1 or 2), $5-10 Depending on which games and maybe more expensive in the future with newer stuff added.
Specifically games in the Half-Life series and Team Fortress 2, but this engine has a huge modding community (and perhaps the oldest in modern iterations). A community constantly pumping out new maps, weapons, and full conversion mods. Once again, the vast majority of this (probably in the realm of 99%) is free.
What games have you been playing forever, which never gets dull?