Familiar Games We Play Every Once in a While

Pokemon HeartGold Screenshot Totodyle

There certainly is comfort in familiarity or so they say. As somebody who spends a lot of time playing games, watching movies and reading books, I think it’s only natural to sometimes find myself playing the same games, watching the same movies and reading the same books over and over again. For now though, let’s just focus on those games that I play every once in a while.

Rare as buying a game at full price may be for me, it does happen from time to time. But I recently realized that when I do that, there’s something in particular that I take into account: longevity. If I’m going to pay $60 for a new console game (or $40 if it’s a portable one,) I need to be sure that I’ll play that game for dozens or even hundreds of hours. That is the case of Pokémon HeartGold, a title I bought the first week it came out. At the time, there were various reasons why I decided to buy that game in particular.

First of all, it’s a portable game and I knew that I could easily play it on a plane, at home, at somebody else’s house or in the car. Second of all, it included the Pokéwalker peripheral, a pedometer that can be connected to the Nintendo DS game card to transfer Pokémon and train them. At first, the device seemed like another one of those gimmicks that are bundled with a game so that users think they are getting more that their money’s worth. Fortunately for me, the Pokéwalker ended up being more than just a gimmick and to be completely honest I still use it from time to time. Finally, I had played Pokémon games before getting a new copy of HeartGold, so I knew that if I bought that game, I was going to end up playing it for years. Years after getting that game, I can confirm that I was definitely right.

As of this writing I’ve played more than 120 hours of HeartGold and I know I’ll keep playing many more. I also know that eventually, I’ll get tired of playing the game so I’ll put it back in the shelf again. A few months after that I’ll play it again and that will continue to happen until a similar game manages to catch my attention.  Interestingly enough and apart from Pokémon, there are many other titles that I find myself playing every once in a while and some of them include:

  • Quake III: Arena: although this game lacks a proper single player campaign, the amount of replayability it offers is simply staggering.
  • Serious Sam: The First Encounter: I played the campaign at least three or four times either on my own or cooperatively.
  • Super Mario Bros.: I don’t think there is a number to state the number of times I’ve played this classic NES title.
  • Rock Band: Playing this title is fun on your own, fun with other people and fun with friends/family members who keep saying they don’t like video games. Fun when you’re drunk, fun when you’re sober, fun when… OK, I guess you get the picture. This game is fun!
  • Rock Band Unplugged: Although this title lacks some of the features that made its older sibling (read: Rock Band) extremely captivating, Unplugged retains some of the most engaging elements of Amplitude and Frequency. And it can also be played on the go.
  • Pokémon HeartGold: 150 Pokémon and counting…
  • Doom: I can assure you that no matter what, this game will never be uninstalled from my hard drive.
  • Diablo II: Diablo II and I go way back. And I’m pretty sure I’ll keep playing this title for years to come.
  • Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo: Yes, you read that right. I’ve installed the Demo version of Unreal Tournament 2003 myriad times on every single computer I owned. Even to this very day and for some unknown reason, I haven’t played the full version of the.
  • Counter Strike: Great to play against others either locally or online.

Do you also have a list of games that you are constantly going back to? Or perhaps you have a similar story about a game that you love because it has infinite playability. If you do, please feel free to share them in the comment section.