Every gamer seems to have that go-to game (or games) to play when they just don’t have anything else to get into. Whether you're broke, or don't see any enticing new releases, or simply have a game hangover, we all tend to fall back on that one game at some point or another.
These games are kept on the back burner because they are reliably fun...and addicting. Most of the time, these titles are in the 100+ hours club and usually have already been beaten (or completed to their fullest extent) at least once.
But that go-to game isn't just any major release. Games like The Witcher 3 might be addicting and deserving of many playthroughs, but oftentimes are lacking a certain open-ended element that other games use to suck you in.
So what games do most gamers default to when they're between games or just looking to spend time in a world they know and love? Let's take a look! For curiosity's sake, we've also included stats from HowLongToBeat which show the average playthrough time for each game, plus the amount of time needed for "completionists" to do everything there is to do.
Don’t Starve is equal parts engaging and punishing. The objective is right there in the title, but there are enough additional features in the game to keep players engaged past basic survival.
The multiplayer version, Don’t Starve Together, only adds to the addiction by adding friends into the mix. Then when the vanilla world gets dull, you can load up the “Reign of Giants” or “Shipwrecked” DLC.
This game was the indie darling of 2016 for a good reason. It’s a farming sim, which is a recipe for addiction alone. But combine that with mining, crafting, sandbox and genuinely endearing NPC interactions, and you have a game that is going to slowly but surely take over your waking hours.
The Long Dark might be the most dedicated-to-realism game on the market right now. Everything from the clothes on your back to when and if you decide to sleep affects your survival probability in the Canadian wilderness. This game is still in Early Access, but has so many features and worlds to explore that it just sucks players back in.
(Data average from Sun and Moon, X and Y, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Black and White and Red and Blue)
The games within the Pokémon series are the only ones on this list that aren’t indie and sandbox. What makes them have the addiction factor, however, is the ability you have as the player to explore. You can rush through the story, sure, but that’s not where the fun of Pokémon comes from. Finding the perfect team of pocket monsters and training them to their best is what makes all other games in your digital libraries slowly fade away.
Plus, gotta catch ‘em all right?
This list just wouldn’t be complete without Minecraft. This is the game that incites a cycle. Start up casually, find an amazing spot to build, don’t quit for a billion hours, leave the game, forget about for a few months, start up again, repeat.
Are there any games that you just can't stay away from? I would love to know so I can add to my collection. Let me know in the comments below!