Games With The Best Playable Hours
With so many compelling games hitting the market month after month, year after year, at times it’s difficult to stay focused on one for a long period of time. However, there are a few titles that truly deserve more than just a passing fancy because of the massive amount of content available, such as multiple quests, an open-world playground, online play, and even mods.
It’s because of this nearly endless stream of content that you proudly brag that you put hundreds of hours into a specific title. According to you, the Tom’s Hardware community, the following games keep you entertained for hundreds of hours to the point where you can play them for months or even years. We'll present the following 15 games in order from the bottom of the list to the number one spot.
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#15: Project Cars
Slightly Mad Studios changes the way you play racing simulators by simply allowing access to any level of its many racing disciplines from the moment you start the game. This way, you no longer have to climb the ladder from rookie racer to motorsport legend. You can start your journey in the Formula 1 circuit or simply participate in a race against other everyday vehicles. When you’re done beating the AI opponents across the game’s 102 different track layouts, which span 37 different locations, you can race against other players online for the ultimate test of skill.
If you’re looking for a true way to test your driving endurance, play the Circuit de la Sarthe, aka the Le Mans circuit, and recreate the full 24 hour race in real-time from your own home. Additional brownie points are up for grabs if you play the full race in virtual reality.
#14: Mass Effect: Andromeda
Bioware’s latest entry in its science fiction series puts you in the shoes of a Pathfinder. As you search the unexplored galaxy for a new home for humanity, new alien races and unknown enemies threaten to derail your plans.
As is the case with any Bioware title, there are large areas to explore with sidequests to complete, resources to collect, and enemies to vanquish. All of these activities mean that you can easily spend hours on one planet alone before moving on with the storyline. If you need a break from the exploration, there’s the multiplayer mode, which will yield rewards if you and other players survive against multiple waves of enemies.
#13: Just Cause 3
Sure, you can help the rebels overthrow a ruthless dictator, but don't miss out on an opportunity to cause some mayhem on the islands of Medici. With a grappling hook, parachute, and an arsenal of weapons, there are many ways to create chaos such as destroying bases, participating in a high-speed chase with jeeps and tanks, or hijacking an enemy helicopter for a quick bombing run. Creating all this mayhem is so enjoyable that at some point you completely forsake the main story because you just want to destroy everything in your path. After all, the entire game world is your own destructive playground.
#12: Total War: Rome II
The Roman Empire was the envy of the ancient world, and Creative Assembly’s sequel to the 2004 strategy title lets you become the ultimate armchair general and lead the empire to greatness. By assembling armies led by your hand-picked generals, you begin your conquest in earnest, but the path to ultimate domination takes some time. Different factions and civilizations own massive territories called provinces, and these provinces are further broken down into regions. To add a province to your growing empire, you need to conquer each region within it, which can take some time, especially if you suffer heavy losses in recent battles.
The first few turns give you the impression that your campaign is moving at a snail’s pace, but as you continue to gather more territories, your army has the potential to become an unstoppable force. However, the military campaign isn’t the only aspect of your conquest. You’ll also have to watch the politics at home to make sure that the other Roman families don’t attempt to disrupt your campaign with civil war.
If the armies of Rome are too easy for you to command, you can try your hand at controlling the game’s other civilizations. Once you gather enough soldiers from conquering smaller tribes and other factions, you’ll be able to cross the Rubicon (metaphorically) and bring about the fall of Rome.
#11: Battlefield 4
Before DICE returned to the fields of World War I for the series’ latest installment, there was Battlefield 4. You can fight for supremacy on multiple maps throughout the modern world that include a series of small islands, a maze of hallways within a prison, and even on a massive radio telescope.
You have the option to play as one of four soldier classes on the ground, but there are also boats, tanks, and fighter jets you can use in combat. Some players also find creative ways to kill opponents by ejecting from a jet in mid air to shoot an enemy helicopter with a rocket launcher or using explosives to launch a log that easily destroys aerial vehicles. These exploits are captured in GIF form and posted on sites such as Reddit and Imgur, and they attract more people into the chaotic battles of Battlefield 4.
If conquering all of planet Earth is too easy, try taking over an entire galaxy for a change. In the early stages of Stellaris, you’re in charge a single planet, and you’ll have to bring more planets under your influence in order to have any sort of reputation on the galactic stage. In addition to maintaining multiple aspects of your empire, you’ll also have to navigate galactic politics. You can win by claiming a specific number of planets through warfare, or you can ally yourself with another faction to bring a majority of the galaxy under control.
In the later stages of the game, you have the opportunity to further impress allies and rivals alike by building Megastructures. These multiple paths to victory take some time, and you’ll have to carefully consider the moves you make each turn in order to keep your citizens safe and happy.
#9: Arma 3
Bohemia Interactive’s military simulator is unlike most shooter titles. You need to consider your stamina and stance when aiming your firearm, and enemies can take you out with a few shots before you can even see them. Because of this, the game’s single-player will test your patience more than anything else.
If you want to get the best experience out of Arma 3, however, you need to play online. You can choose from a plethora of servers that contain custom matches where you compete against other players, or find a dedicated group, aka “unit,” to join and play weekly or even daily co-op scenarios where you’ll have to complete a player-designed mission while also fighting the tough enemy AI.
#8: Half-Life 2
It’s no surprise that one of Valve’s most prestigious titles made this list. The game’s many puzzles and alien enemies make Gordon Freeman’s journey memorable to players, and the release of two subsequent episodes further expands the story.
The loyal fanbase continues to show its love for Half-Life 2 and the series in general with the creation of numerous mods that range from building simple game enhancements to creating a different title altogether—one that’s based in the same universe. Even with the game and its many modes, we’re all still waiting for the confirmed existence of Half-Life 3. It should be any day now...
#7: XCOM 2
Hostile aliens and the governing body of A.D.V.E.N.T. are in control of Earth, and it’s up to you to build a resistance and command soldiers to eliminate the hostile threat. The turn-based battles work like a chess game as you move your soldiers closer and closer to the enemy aliens.
With your forces in the right spot, you can create a barrage of deadly attacks — that is, if the odds are in your favor. Each combat action, such as shooting an alien or throwing a grenade, carries a specific percentage of success based on multiple factors such as height, line of sight, and the overall strength of the weapon.
In addition to combat, you’ll have to continue research within your base to get access to better weapons and armor. The ongoing cycle of research and combat results in a lengthy campaign that can take weeks. You can download additional features, most notably the “Long War” mod, in order to prolong your guerilla warfare against the aliens.
#6: The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Bethesda’s third entry in the Elder Scrolls fantasy series is hailed as one of the best games of all time because of its details. You encounter many characters of different races, factions, and roles as well as complex stories told through a plethora of quests. The combination of characters and story result in a rich storyline, and those who crave more backstory can find a plethora of in-game literature that enriches the overall lore. If that wasn’t enough, the abundance of quests within the game provide even more history about the different factions in Vvardenfell. The journey to complete the main storyline is lengthy, to be sure, but all of these details ensure that you’re getting way more than a simple glimpse into the island within the Morrowind province.