Why do I keep replaying the same games?

I recently started playing Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and after several hours I found myself reinstalling Horizon Zero: Dawn. They are not entirely the same game to genres very very similar and as I was playing Valhalla I kept thinking I really want to be back in playing in Horizon.

This happened to me a couple months ago too when I was playing something and it was sort of like God of war and suddenly I was reinstalling god of war and playing it again!

does this happen to anybody else when you start playing a game suddenly it triggers an itch to play a different game entirely?

I guess that is why I never seen the finish games

While it can take me a while to decide to play something, I'm usually fairly committed to it once I start. I've noticed you seem pretty fickle about what you enjoy at any given moment tho. You're constantly buying the new hotness, then selling or trading it in the threads here the instant something else catches your eye, even if that means you rebuy it later. Do you also uninstall then re-download games pretty often?

I go through this with Pathfinder, Pillars 1 and Pillars 2. Every now and then I will throw in Mechcommander 2. I would go back to Dawn of War 2 or Retribution but the load times even on an SSD are atrocious.

I would love to find a replacement for this long overlooked RTS/RPG hybrid genre.

Pillars 2 has the best class system but lacks a never ending dungeon and has a boring, uneven campaign.

Pathfinder has a great class system and has a never ending dungeon but the complexity of the class system show its warts at higher levels where you run into something you can't defeat with a well balanced party.

Pillars 1 has a better campaign than 2 but the class system is far inferior. It has a never ending dungeon but you can't access it outside the campaign.

beanman101283 wrote:

I've noticed you seem pretty fickle about what you enjoy at any given moment tho. You're constantly buying the new hotness, then selling or trading it in the threads here the instant something else catches your eye, even if that means you rebuy it later. Do you also uninstall then re-download games pretty often?

I may have a bit of ADHD for games. You are completely right.

For the most part I have decided that buying the new hotness, playing for a bit then selling is my hobby more than playing games!

I guess I am blessed not to be gaming back in the 80s/90s when games were much fewer and farther inbetween.

fangblackbone wrote:

I go through this with Pathfinder, Pillars 1 and Pillars 2.

Hey, I am not the only one :O

As for switching between games. I really try to stick to one game at a time. Though currently I feel like no matter what I play, I would rather play something else. A gaming slump.

Guess I should just replay Pillars 1. Or get back to my Pathfinder replay that hit a wall back in december
Pathfinder 2 cant arrive soon enough.

Never ending dungeons? What is this sorcery?!?

A great conference speaker once said, “People love the stories they know”, in reference to people attending talks they already saw. I don’t see this as too far off when it comes to games. Sure, the quote could be better phrased, but that’s what I remember.

There’s a reason why I’ve sunk over 300hrs across 3 separate playthroughs of AC Odyssey. I don’t know how many successful farms I’ve built in Stardew Valley, but I’ve easily amassed over 400hrs across systems and farms. Let’s not even mention Slay the Spire’s firm grip on me for a very long time...

Comfort food and there's nothing wrong with that.

Play what you want when you want to and don't worry about it. This is all supposed to be fun, so whatever is fun for you, go for it and don't look back.

tboon wrote:

Play what you want when you want to and don't worry about it. This is all supposed to be fun, so whatever is fun for you, go for and don't look back.

Exactly. It's your free time, use it how you wish. There is no master set of rules on How To Play Games.

edit: you can't do it wrong!

The wonder and excitement I felt when I watched the opening cinematic from Final Fantasy 7 forged me into a gamer for life. My parent's hadn't paid for any gamer related hardware since NES, so I was petering out because the price gate for a Playstation as 13 year old with no money seemed insurmountable. But that one moment solidified that gaming was for me and I'd be doing it until I physically couldn't anymore. So maybe I'm pursing that high again, or maybe I love the warm feeling of nostalgia. Or maybe I sometimes just need the reassurance that I'm going to enjoy the game I'm playing.

I also re-read books, so maybe that's related.

I can't say why YOU do it, but when I replay games, it's like trueheart78 and Budo said: comfort in familiarity.

I don't know that this is a problem, as long as you are having fun. But depending on your circumstances, you might want to acknowledge if you're making bad financial choices based on your preferences. (i.e., selling then re-buying games, or buying games you aren't going to play)

On the other hand, I'll go against the grain and play Devil's Advocate on your patterns: If you aren't giving new games a fair shake, you might be missing out on creating new favorites. If you generally have ADHD-like behavior, trying to give new things a fair focused chance could build mental discipline. You shouldn't make yourself unhappy, but with many pursuits (including fun hobbies) sometimes sacrificing a little up-front fun means more fun in the long run.

Beyond the comfort-food element which is very true for me as well, the games I have in eternal rotation (or at least always on the backburner ready to go) are typically system-driven titles with no (explicit) story or defined end.

Genres like Simulation, Strategy, Colony Mgmt., etc. They're always there ready for a new pick-up & play session. The open sandbox, tinker-around nature makes them easy to come back to whether it's been months or years.

For example, I had Crusader Kings II installed on my computer(s) for 8 years straight. I only uninstalled it when CK3 landed. (Which ironically made me feel oddly melancholic, like that scene in Amélie where the elderly neighbor erases the name of a deceased friend out of his address book.)

Point is, I don't play CK all the time. I binge for a while, set it down, and come back to it weeks or months later. But there's something comforting in familiarity, of knowing it's always at my fingertips & ready to go on a whim.

Also, some games are just that good...

I mean, the Gold Box series is almost good enough to get passed the antiquated UI and keypress heavy controls. I have reinstalled them as recently as a year and a half ago. I couldn't play more than a couple hours of a few of them. But OMG if anything needs a remaster its them. Same goes for Dark Sun. I have gotten 3/4 through the first one a few times in the last year and a half. I can't get the second one to play at a slow enough speed to get passed the first 10 minutes but I loved that one too. Such a crime that series was cut short. It was brilliant.

Budo wrote:

Comfort food and there's nothing wrong with that.

Pretty much. There is something reassuring in playing a game you know from top to bottom. (Says the guy who has replayed the original Tomb Raider at least 5 times in the last 3 years.)

I do go back to Rocket League as my main multiplayer game.

I used to replay things a lot more before "the pile" started.

Still, I've replayed Mass Effect 2 more than the requisite 2 times, and a few others the last decade. But not as much comfort as I like.

Grenn wrote:

I also re-read books, so maybe that's related.

Excellent point. I do that a lot too. I also have some comfort movies I've seen dozens of times. And a few TV shows too.

There’s nothing wrong with sticking with old favorites, but personally I see three benefits of playing the field sort of speak:

1. It prevents burnout. For example, I love Elder Scrolls Online but went too hard last year when the pandemic hit. Taking a few months off has increased my enjoyment.
2. Playing diverse indie games gives me a chance to support small devs and see the world in new, interesting ways.
3. I feel less bad about my collector obsession if I actually play what I buy.

But if you don’t have a giant collection and are happy with your favorites, I don’t see any problem. Very few of us can keep up with the latest trends or new hotness anymore.

I actually replayed Breath of the Wild, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy VI in the past year and was quite proud of myself. It had been years since I finished a replay all the way through! It actually bothers me that there are so many games I purport to love but that I've hardly touched since I saw the credits roll the first time. God of War is one of them (especially with that PS5 upgrade, hmmm).

So I guess if you were more like me, you'd still be wondering if you're doing it wrong. Not much point in worrying about it.

Way to make me want to play Baldur's Gate for the umpteenth time.

RnRClown wrote:

Way to make me want to play Baldur's Gate for the umpteenth time. :grin:

Hah, I was thinking about that earlier in the thread. Not quite ready yet, but probably sometime this year.

Speaking of a replay I really am overdue for, a Mass Effect series (360 edition) replay soon. We’ll see how the legendary edition goes and wait for a sale if positive, otherwise gonna enjoy the upgraded visuals and auto HDR of the ogs.

It feels like there's an intersection between the isolation of plague-times, increasing age, and the ever-expanding Pile that lends itself to this kind of nostalgia plundering.

Like playing an old game doesn't require learning new systems and challenging yourself to the same degree that revising a known thing does.

Yeah, I'm finding that I look at a new, complex game, and instead of being an exciting challenge to master, it feels more like a burden to overcome. I'm not that young and flexible anymore, and learning an intricate new system takes real work, and I'm often not sure that the eventual sense of accomplishment will be worth the effort. An old game that I already know becomes an exercise in already-gained mastery, which can be very rewarding.

I think that's part of why I bounced off the Crusader Kings series... between having to learn it and the endless DLC, those games just don't appeal anymore. After getting absolutely stomped flat by France because I didn't really understand how the warfare system worked, I ended up just dropping it.

edit: that said, I absolutely loved Horizon Zero Dawn and AC:Odyssey both, because they trickle the information you need, instead of giving you a gigantic hill to climb before you can do anything. Mindustry also handles that really well, too, giving you a simple set of systems to begin with, and a nice sense of progression.

HOMM 3 Random maps and Civ III... Seems the loop of my life. Whenever I install a new game, I quit during the tutorial and start HOMM 3 again.

Now and then a game of colonization (yes, the old one.. I have an old windows laptop that is able to play the game)

This hit home with me. I have especially tended to replay old games since being in lockdown last year.

I had a fun time replaying the old Sierra Quest for Glory games last year, though that was more of a 'blast from the past' experience.

Otherwise, I think it was a case of going for comfort and familiarity, rather than a challenge. I tried XCOM Chimera Squad for a few hours, which made me start up another XCOM 2 campaign. I was playing Pillars 2 on PS4, and mostly enjoying it, but it was so slow and buggy that I bailed somewhere before the 3rd Act and begn another Divinity Original Sin 2 playthrough. I did the tutorial in CK3, then ran back to the comfy blanket of Civ 6.

Malor wrote:

Yeah, I'm finding that I look at a new, complex game, and instead of being an exciting challenge to master, it feels more like a burden to overcome. I'm not that young and flexible anymore, and learning an intricate new system takes real work, and I'm often not sure that the eventual sense of accomplishment will be worth the effort. An old game that I already know becomes an exercise in already-gained mastery, which can be very rewarding.

Yeah, it's part comfort food and part this. Same reason I rewatch a lot of movies, TV shows and miniseries, etc. My time gets more limited as I get older and therefore I have become less patient when things don't work for me. In other words, I've become a picky, cranky old person.

Spending a lot of time and energy on multiple new games, forcing my way through them, dropping them because they don't work, and then trying again can get exhausting. Getting further appreciation from a game that I know completely appeals to me and will scratch that itch from minute one is therefore a very attractive proposition.

Of course, the benefit of playing older games on a newer PC is also nice, and the current trend of remasters or even just enhanced backwards compatibility on the newer consoles is making even console games have a similar refreshed feeling. Replaying my favourite games from a decade ago is even nicer when I can jack the settings to the max and play at 4K with a smooth framerate.

farley3k wrote:

does this happen to anybody else when you start playing a game suddenly it triggers an itch to play a different game entirely?

All the time. I rarely finish anything.

I can fall on both sides of this equation.

I start A LOT of new games. The modern PC gaming ecosystem is bonkers and insists on presenting me with a firehose of free and/or fixed-price content (a la Game Pass), so I play less than an hour of a lot of games.

That said, often I'm avoidant of starting those new games for precisely the reasons outlined above. Can't be arsed with the challenge and just want a warm pair of PJs of a game.

Same for me, but I fully embraced it and started speedrunning. If I'm going to keep replaying games I might as well have a goal to work towards. I save a lot of money on games these days too.

Djinn wrote:

Same for me, but I fully embraced it and started speedrunning. If I'm going to keep replaying games I might as well have a goal to work towards. I save a lot of money on games these days too.

This is the only time I have bothered doing platinum achievements or the soul level one challenge run for Dark Souls: I wanted to keep playing a particular game anyway, and that gave my playtime some structure.

The fact that my kids have essentially taken over our PC saves me from the Steam/PC game firehose.

Another external factor that biases me toward the games I already have is the limited HD space on my PS4. Downloading or re-downloading a game can take hours; even if you have the physical disc, there is often a 3G update file. If a game is already on there, it's ready to go.