How do you tell a game is really good?

My acid test:

If I walk around the house mimicking the lead character, either in action or speech. (Or just growling.)

Hahaha I'm in the same boat...

If Im still playing 2 weeks after I get it. So few meet that criteria.

If I stay to play instead of going out...

Mild-to-complete arousal.

Um, I meant enjoyment.

Ah!

I go with the "dream test". If I find myself dreaming about playing, then the game is high quality. New Super Mario Brothers, Mario Kart, Gears of War, Guitar Hero and WoW all invaded my dreams. Top shelf are the games that I see when I close my eyes too long. Puzzle Quest DS, Tetris, Battlefield (1942 and 2142, not much in between) and Rise of Nations were all in the blink category.

When I'm playing game, and I'm up late playing the game. After I'm done, when I go to bed, I dream about it...but before I fall asleep. hard to explain the feeling. Or, if I think up new ways to play the game when I'm not playing it

Ulairi wrote:

When I'm playing game, and I'm up late playing the game. After I'm done, when I go to bed, I dream about it...but before I fall asleep. hard to explain the feeling. Or, if I think up new ways to play the game when I'm not playing it

Yup, same here. Or when the only way that I can explain the game is "woah".

When I can't wait to start playing the game again. If i'm sitting somewhere, trying to come up with any excuse to start playing again, I know it's good stuff. The best games stay in my head for days afterwards.

If you have so much fun that you play for hours without saving, then die and have to start waaaay back, but you just don't care. Stalker is like that, the game is never the same so death isn't so bad.

Other than the usual sign - hitting the hay way latter than originally intended thanks to a game - I usually notice how good a game is when I'm not playing it. It's the urge you feel then.

The most recent example for me would be S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - I'm not going to buy it before I have a better PC, but I played it for 2 hours at some friend's place after it came out. And as soon as I was back at home I wished I could fire up the game right there to keep on exploring or trying out a different approach. And I'm sure you all played that one really frustrating game, the one that almost made you smash the keyboard/controller, the one that made you quit the game/switch off the console, being like "I'm not going to touch that again today/this week/ever". And then, 5-20 minutes later you were back, playing it again.

1Dgaf wrote:

My acid test:

If I walk around the house mimicking the lead character, either in action or speech. (Or just growling.)

"Hey Mum, eat sh*t and die!" ?

When I finish the game, remove the disk, put it back in the case, put the case on the shelf and think "should I return this, or will I play it again someday?" and the answer is the latter.

All day I look forward to playing. When I'm not playing, I'm thinking about playing: How to play more. How to play better. I dream about playing, and what the game could become. I do silly things for the game, and open my wallet a little wider than I should for the little digital nosegays -- just to make the game happy. I'll call the game late and night, just to talk.

And sometimes I think about proposing to the game. I imagine our little children, running around in the park.
They have her eyes.

Seriously, though. Go back and read some of these. Kind of eerie. Also, Atras, if you dream about games that much, you might want to check just how much of your life you've committed to games.

When the game is the reality and time away from the game is the game.

Real answer : What others have mentioned. Thinking about the game when away from it (where to go next, what to do next, what to do differently), and constantly looking forward to playing again soon.

I think about playing WoW almost every other day since I quit before the expansion came out. I keep trying to make excuses to come back, but I made a list of things I want to get done first...

I know I'm hooked when I'm away from the game and I have the urge to register in the official forums, spam and all, just to talk about the game.

This would fall into the category of thinking about the game when away from it.

Aang wrote:

I think about playing WoW almost every other day since I quit before the expansion came out. I keep trying to make excuses to come back, but I made a list of things I want to get done first...

Save your dignity! Don't date your ex!

I conduct a mouth swab before and after every gaming session to measure the adrenaline difference. I then plot this on a graph to create an accurate comparison of my relative enjoyment from game to game.

If I miss (or nearly miss) my metro stop because I'm playing (handhelds).

If I turn the game off, and I still hear the music... not like, "that song's stuck in my head," but more like, "but I turned the damn thing off!" Thankfully that's only happened once... made me paranoid for a while.

You spend your time away from the game plotting to get ahead.

If I play before I go to work.

If I'm still playing after my wife goes to bed.

If I wake up in the middle of the night, half asleep and half awake, unable to get back to sleep because I think I'm still playing.

If I want to do nothing else but play the game.. or find myself sketching parts of the game dialogue in my notebooks during lecture.

Thankfully this doesn't happen a lot, but when it does I'm hooked for a long time.

If I close my eyes and concentrate for a second, I can see the main character or the interface screen in great detail.

If I wake up in the morning with a whole new way to beat the map/level/boss, some alternate path, or some other new idea, then I know my subconcious likes it too. This happens more often than I care to admit.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

If I play before I go to work.

Yeah, its a bad sign when I'm debating if I have enough time for a level or a round before my commute. When this happens its inevitable that I will be late for work.

I play it so much that I start having dreams about it. I had fun chainsawing others as a female Cog.

If you don't have a computer/console that will run it, the game will be the most fantastic experience imaginable.

I know that a game is really good if I find myself wanting to share it, especially with those close to me.

KillerTomato wrote:

If you don't have a computer/console that will run it, the game will be the most fantastic experience imaginable. ;)

Ain't that the truth.

Then years later, you get a system that can run it, and then you play it... and you can't figure out why people liked it.

Atras wrote:

I go with the "dream test". If I find myself dreaming about playing, then the game is high quality.

That's totally me. By morning, I often have a whole different perspective than I did when I stopped playing the night before.

Baggz wrote:

I conduct a mouth swab before and after every gaming session to measure the adrenaline difference. I then plot this on a graph to create an accurate comparison of my relative enjoyment from game to game.

I would declare Baggz the winner of the thread, but adrenaline isn't my only criteria for a good game. In fact, I think games with rich and deep content usually win me over more. I think it's because they'll spark up the imagination, and that tends to carry over into my sleep.

Speaking of imagination, I really have put waaaay too many hours into my Space-APC in Garry's mod. I've successfully (crash) landed into multiple planets without the use of hoverballs, though.

When a game gets me into the zone, and then realize it's late and just burned up a few hours without even noticing.

And when I think of playing while at work, and the earlier I think of playing when at work the better the game.