Games with near infinite ceilings?
  • So I'm talking less about skill ceilings and more just about games you could replay forever or at least for a very long time.

    I've been playing Final Fantasy Tactics A2 on the Nintendo DS and feel that it and the Disgaea games, you could play for a very long time as max level just seems so far away by virtue of the RPG system.

    Gran Turismo also pops in mind as a game you can sink tonnes of hours into so long as your interest in cars don't wane.

    And then there's stuff like Counter Strike or Minecraft that you could play for a really long time as well.

    What comes to your mind when you think about games you could play for long amounts of time? So long that their ceilings seem to escape your grasp?
  • I'd think maybe Elder Scrolls games fit here. My first character on Oblivion had like 260+ hours, I tried to do everything on him.
    Then I also made other characters, not doing ever quest, but say, Fighters Guild and Main Quests on one, then later Mages Guild on another. etc.
    And mods can add a ton of time to that.

    I know it had a mountain of issues. but I loved Phantasy Star Universe. From Oct '06 to about Sep '12 I had over 10k hours.. Though that's not all play, I left my characters afk all the time, when I was away or asleep etc. 

    Edit: No Man's Sky. /s 
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  • I don't think there is a game where I am getting better after hour 100. There are games like Skyrim or Heroes of Might and Magic, where playing is simply a calming ritual. Something to relax and veg out to, like listening to music.
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  • Dungeons and Dragons.

    The tabletop version,
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  • Counter strike source was a game I would go back to get and over when I was in college but now. Now I have nothing. I don't have a game I keep going back to, sometimes I wish I did.
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  • Dark Souls obviously. My hundreds of hours attest to it. As far as versatility of gameplay goes, not many games can hold a candle to it.

    Overwatch. It's the same game at hour 1 as it is at hour 1000, yet it's easy to rack up those hours. Blizzard seem to be masters of this category actually, since Diablo 3 and WoW have cost many their livelihoods also.

    FIFA - Or so I've heard.

    Resident Evil. Seems like a strange choice but if Mercs mode sinks its hooks into you you'll be lost for a long time. I never really got into Raids from the Revelations games but I loved the shit out of Mercs, especially the co-op versions in RE5 and RE6 (arguably the best part of either game).

    And in a negative sense, Let It Die. But I'll let this guy explain. His reasons for finally quitting the game echo my own.

  • I would rather say Forza Horizon, I am a big fan of Gran Turismo but for 6 games the way you choose the race games have been the same, new cars cannot change that it always does the same, Forza Horizon those that better and it is easier to add new events in that environment.

    Let it Die i still like it but i won't play it forever.

    games like warthunder, World of Warships, World of Tanks can go forever because the maker will come with new tanks and events to keep the player hooked 
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  • @NewAgeRed Oh yes, Oblivion! I booted up Skyrim SE with a bunch of mods just the other night and started losing myself in quests. It was great but I miss my Schlongs of Skyrim. Was Phantasy Star your most /played game ever? I played Ragnarok Online and remember leaving the computer on all night just to keep my shop open and see what awaited me in the morning.

    @westsw I’ve never played Heroes of Might and Magic. I think I’m too dumb.

    @Manio Very jelly that you have D&D going in real life. I’ve never found a group of people to regularly sink time into this and honestly, I’d be the worst offender in terms of missing the schedule. Very sad and wish that I had stumbled upon a group in the past. My little big cousin is getting into D&D and it just sounds so amazing.

    @nutta27 I am also lacking in the palette cleanser/go to department. Have any games come close for you?

    @Dr Flibble I am too casual for Dark Souls. Actually, I loved Demon Souls; the one with the giant dog with the sword. It was one of the most atmospheric games I had experienced at the time. I tried Bloodborne recently but just couldn’t get into the swing of things.

    I’m avoiding Blizzard after losing a year of /played to WoW. I kind of wish I could go back and pick it up again but my guild disbanded and I never felt the same. I’ve still got them on Facebook and talk to them.

    @Epke I’m waiting for Forza Horizon Aussie edition to come down a bit in price but will pick it up shortly after. I played the previous one and coming in from Gran Turismo, I did not like how it filled my garage quicker than I could drive all the cars. I genuinely like the slow grind in Gran Turismo but I’m such a casual peasant now that I think Aussie edition will be just right, especially if I pretend I just did so well that the game is handing over a bunch of cars as reward.

    Also, World of Tanks is a great answer and I really want to have a get together to give that a go one weekend. The idea of the game running on anything is great.

    I’ve been playing Pokemon HeartGold pretty regularly since its release. Maybe once a month or 15 minutes every few nights before bed. I think its my go to game where I just like walking around with my Blastoise behind me because I get to feel like that 10 year old with wide eyes and a whole world to explore. The music is completely nostalgic and its my happy place.

    For most hours, I think WoW is my game and any Northrend music will send me right back to many nights fishing for raid food. I even got that 1% turtle mount from a fishing pool which was quite the highlight.

    What prompted this thread is that I’ve been playing Final Fantasy Tactics A2. I completely love it because I’ve never really played these strategy games so its so fresh and yet crazy polished because of how established the franchise is. It just feels like it can go on forever and I love that. A near infinite world in my pocket. But I’m a little bit embarrassed to be on the train with my DS Lite.

  • The Big Three of these types of games have already been mentioned - FIFA, Minecraft and Forza/Gran Turismo (I'll lump those two together).  It's a matter of public record that at least two of those games are major reasons that my backlog has grown, not shrunk, over the last few years.

    The 'Ceiling' on Forza 4 is apparently quite achievable (complete every race, own every car) but I'm still nowhere near that despite hours and hours of in the game.  And even then, that isn't a hard ceiling -  I think I would still want to play FM4 as much as I do now even if I did achieve that as, just like Dr F says with the Souls games, every experience with Forza is different to the last: Which car are you in? Which track are you at? What are you racing against?  Have you upgraded the car to change how it drives?  Are you trying a new racing line through turn 3?  Have you given your car a fresh new paintjob...?

    FIFA offers the same upwards-spiral of constant progression where you feel like you are building your team, with a short enough gap between transfer windows and meta-game boosts (like scouted future stars and the financial takeovers that you can buy through the in-game XP marketplace) that make you just want to see who you can sign and how much better you can make your squad next time around.

    As for Minecraft, I had to make a conscious decision to walk away from that before it really sucked me in - there was a point when I had first bought it for my 360 early last year (the first time I'd played the game!), where I was giving serious consideration to buying an Xbox One just to get the larger map-size, the small map on the old consoles felt a bit restrictive.

    It's daft really - I get a massive buzz from completing story-based games (I can't get Bioshock Infinite out of my head at the minute), but it probably says a lot about my mental state that I always end up defaulting back to the old gaming comfort food of these types of games.
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  • TES games will probably always have this spot for me. In the last 3 years I've put easily still 150+ hours into 3, 4, and 5 combined. I don't doubt I'll still get the inkling to boot them up from time to time. The world and lore is so carefully constructed and fascinating, even if the game engine itself is not so.

    The last few years have been eaten up by Diablo 3 and its ilk. Which makes sense, I guess, since I put a lot of time into Diablo 2 and some other similar games, like Divine/Beyond Divinity, Titan Quest, etc., but Diablo 3 and Marvel Heroes and Path of Exile have all been big time evening wasters over the last several years. Something about a distilled, polished loot grind where you are constantly trying to improve your gear, dungeon clearance times, and build, is pretty addicting. It's simple to get in and get going right away and doesn't take the long commitment an MMO dungeon might, but it still leaves a nearly infinite ceiling of gear and hotbar clicking improvement.

    There definitely were some games that seemed on the route of "forever playing" but eventually I grew out of. Ragnarok Online, WoW, NFS, Virtua Tennis, all of these were games I went to for years and 100s of hours but eventually discarded. Even something like Monster Hunter, while I still play the new ones, is more of a 20-40 hour commitment instead of 100+ it was back on the PSP days. On the flipside, Overwatch for the last year has chewed up a ton of time and besides Diablo has been my go to game for needing to chill. I've played over 1100 matches.

    I think probably though in terms of longevity, the TES games now going back to 2003 or whatever still being played are my current record holders for games I could continually put time into. And that doesn't even cover how much time I've lost to just browsing the TES wiki.
  • I think I have put like 400 hours into Dark Souls 1 across different platforms. ;p

    I have a really hard time getting into Loot games because I hate inventory management. I still have Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil on the XbOne unopened for this reason.

    I do think that I could play a Geometry Wars type game forever. NOT Geometry Wars 3, something about that one just didn't hit me right. And also some Bullet Hell games can be very time void. ;)

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