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Every gamer has their preference as to how long they want to play a game before beating it. They also have a preference as to how much time they're willing to invest to actually complete whatever challenges or missions are available.
With the plethora of games available, you'd think that it would be easy to find a game that matches your gaming preferences. For short burst players, it's rather easy to find games that you can just drop in on and play for a few hours and be done. But for gamers that are looking for a lengthy relationship with their games, the problem arises that not many titles are worthy of the time. Whether it's because the story dries up after putting 10+ hours into it or the gaming environment isn't engaging, or possibly that the character development is just lacking. Whatever the reason, there are, on occasion, games that can satisfy your long term relationship with your console of choice.
1. 'World Of Warcraft'
This is one of those games that is a no-brainer, in terms of requiring a major time commitment. World Of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that is actually designed to make you want to come back for days, weeks, months, heck, even years. World of Warcraft accomplishes this by constantly updating the game with new content. The new content includes more team based dungeons, areas to explore, more quests and even new mechanics that keep the stale replay feeling from setting in.
Blizzard Entertainment has turned long-term gaming into an artform with World of Warcraft, as it has been established as one of the foremost games to retain players. WoW has been keeping gamers online since 2004, so I think it's safe to say that it has staying power.
If there has ever been a game that has usurped more of my time than Pokémon, then I obviously don't have a very good memory. But regardless of my memory, Pokémon has, since its creation over 15 years ago, taken more hours of my day than I'm willing to admit.
Now, technically I wouldn't recommend spending hundreds of hours playing the same iteration, but if you want to play through the same version, then more power to you. Since 1996 (in Japan) and 1998 (in the US) we've been introduced to the following main games: Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, Crystal, Ruby, Sapphire, Fire Red, Leaf Green, Emerald, Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, Heart Gold, Soul Silver, Black, White, Black 2, White 2, X, Y, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, with Sun and Moon both planned for the future. So that makes 24 releases just on the handheld systems (Gameboy through Nintendo 3DS).
If you can't find hundreds of hours of playtime in these games, then you obviously don't plan on being a Pokémon master.
3. 'Disgaea 4/5'
If you're looking for a game similar to chess, in terms of being a turn-based strategy game, then you should look no further than the Disgaea series (especially 4 and 5). The Disgaea series adds so many layers of complexity and depth that you could easily spend hundreds of hours delving into the gameplay. Disgaea 4 in particular is packed to the bursting point with weapons, armor, spells, upgrades, levels, levels, and even more levels. The series is known for its humorous story and deep strategy, which is why it's so easy to get lost for countless hours in your campaign to become ultimately powerful.
4. 'Final Fantasy 7'
Going back to what I said about Pokémon usurping the majority of my teens, twenties, and admittedly thirties, as I have played it since I turned 30 last year (no judging). Yet, by comparison this singular game is where I devoted the most time to. Final Fantasy 7 is often looked at as being one of the best, if not the best game, of the franchise. FF7 brought together all the aspects of great gaming and finally combined them: ease of play, narrative, controls, and characters. FF7 pits you and your collection of nine playable characters as they progress and attempt to avert an apocalyptic event.
5. 'Civilization V'
In reality, almost all of the Civilization games could compel a player to devote hundreds of hours to the game. Civilization V is a game that makes you feel like you HAVE to play another turn, and eventually when you look at the clock, you'll be shocked at how much time you actually invested in your gaming session. Civ V requires massive strategic planning as you can devote your time to focusing on your cultural advancement and set aside combative gestures. Or vice-versa, you can devote your civilization to growing militarily and bring about your forceful world domination. Civ V has an incredibly in-depth combat system because it adopted a hex-based grid style while also revising the advancement system to an almost RPG-like tree structure.
6. 'Dota 2'
In the same vein as the Disgaea series, Dota 2 is ridiculously deep. Not just deep, we're talking Marianas Trench deep. Dota 2 is, in essence, an online real-time strategy game where two teams of five players attempt to destroy the others' base. Sounds pretty straight forward, right? Well, when you consider that each player can choose from over 100 'heroes' that each have unique abilities, it can take a considerable amount of time to master them. Dota 2 thrives on strategy as winning will require a well-balanced team effort, and many players admit to spending upwards of 1,000 hours figuring out strategies and mastering the game.
Ultimately there are so many incredible games that you could invest countless hours into, especially as of late. Many game developers have devoted a great deal of time to creating the content that allows for gamers to truly delve into the story, the character, and basically do whatever their hearts desire. Most of the games that I've listed in this article are considered somewhat classic, or old-school, but there are a ton of recent additions to the 100+ hour club. Skyrim, Fallout, Borderlands, and Dragon Age are all games that, once you've dived in, can easily drain countless hours of your life.