In 2016 we had a topic with this question and I wonder the same for myself:

Is replayability even important today or do you only play your game once?

With that many releases and so many games in the backlog I'm happy when I can finish a game. To finish it over and over again is not my thing anymore.

So what about you?
Are backlogs making replayability less important when choosing to buy a game?

1 month ago*

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Are backlogs making replayability less important when choosing to buy a game?

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Yes
No
other

I play whatever I want, one time it's a game on my backlog. Or it could be a brand new game I just discovered. And another time I'm playing a game I already spent 100s of hours in or have beaten.

For me, a backlog never really mattered. It's not something I try to clear, but rather something I look in when I don't know what to play. So no, backlogs have no impact on what I buy.

1 month ago
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Depends on the genre but overall I would say no. I value replayability not because of a lack of other games to play (if nothing else there are time sinks like Skyrim or Civilization) but because it indicates more complexity to a story-driven game. For example, if an open-world RPG is replayable it is likely a very story rich and engaging game; that type of game that is totally complete on one play through can feel short or underdeveloped. On the other hand, Portal has basically zero replay value and yet it was a masterpiece of a game.

1 month ago
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Yeah already hard enough to get everything played once, let alone twice.

Still depends i played all sierra/lucasarts games, final fantasy in the past and still played them again now.
Depends on genre.

1 month ago
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Not generally, most of the games that I play more than once are from Super Nintendo, any other cases I replay them just for achievements, I don't feel the same joy playing a game twice, knowing what's next really kills that feeling you had on your first playthrough

1 month ago
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Finished playing once. Then don't play?
No, I will play again.
However, always struggle with the "time available".
💻ヽ(Θ`ヽ≡ ≡ノ´Θ)ノ🎮

Anyway ... I'm scared of games that increase DLC. The time required to play at once increases dramatically.⌚
Either way, play instead of playing for "achievements" but for enjoying the game. The reason must not come and go.+ (o゚・Θ・) + 🎮

...Recently, I tried to climb a mountain for 50 weeks in a pot.I feel ill at 10 roop.XD

1 month ago
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what I find interesting, is that sometimes the DLC makes a game a bit too long. Like, when I played Mass Effect, I got about 90% of the way, but I stopped because I felt that the game was dragging on a bit, and however many hours I put in was just a drop too much for me. Had I played it without the DLC, I'd have finished the game.

1 month ago
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Yeah, in campaign-based games the DLC often is poorly paced too. It actually disrupts the flow of the game proper when inserted into it, or adds a confined and anticlimactic final act to a much better game. I noticed this with games like 'Deus Ex Human Revolution', and 'Arkham City'. Consequently, I now default to avoiding DLC for games like this.

(Much better are DLCs that add new play options to the core experience without messing with the flow of the story.)

1 month ago
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if i like the game, i play it twice, first run ok normal, second run on hard .
for my experience, I always find something "new" on the second run. like, look better for the environment, re.looking to the walls etc etc.

i like aventure games most

1 month ago
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what is "replayability"?
Seriously.

I don't care about 'finishing' or 'completing' or even getting to the end of the story. If a game is good, I play it. If it isn't, I stop.

1 month ago
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Mechanically: different ways to play the games, so even on the 2nd-3rd-4th runs you can have a new experience.

  • Entirely different classes ( Grim Dawn), different gameplay approach ( ranger, fighter, sweet-talker in RPGs)
    The weird esoteric approach: If Ican replay the same scripted game forever just because I like it.
    This also happens if the gameplay is fun enough, but this one is an internal feeling from the player, not a technical thing from the game.
  • The first COD campaign for me, played it maybe a dozen times and it's just cool and I enjoy it, despite being the same.
1 month ago
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There's a bit of difference per genre. For example, filler content in open world games or grind in RPGs becomes more annoying than it used to be, simply because we no longer value filler time the way we used to [ie, when some of us only owned 3 or so games, and major releases were rarer]. Conversely, replayability is still majorly important for multiplayer games, or games with modular or procedural components [such as deck-building or roguelike games], where replayability factors into the overall genre concept.

Overall, however, the fact that games are much more readily available means that it's a lot easier to be picky about games (and by that consdieration, we can say the underlying factors behind a backlog make replayability less important, even if a backlog itself does not). On the other hand, a much-loved game will still naturally invoke replayability among those to whom it appeals. In summary, it isn't that backlogs make replayability less important, it's that backlogs allow us to be more picky with how we approach games.

That said, while that is the primary consideration, I do believe that our views towards gaming in general have changed since the earlier decades of gaming, where most any game or genre was a facinating novelty. So a lot of the lost replay appeal should also be ascribable to that (not just for older gamers, but also due to the fact that younger gamers grew up in a different, less game-scarce environment).

As far as decreased replayability specifically due to backlog [pressure]? Maybe it is an influence, in the end. But, compared to the other influences involved, it seems likely to be a relatively minor one. Personally, while I tend to rush through my backlog, mostly due to the regular need for tossing aside broken and underdeveloped games , I still regularly end up with a small batch of games that I play regularly and, in some cases, even replay extensively. Likewise, the kind (and quality) of games that invoke replayability for me haven't at all changed, and I feel no hesitation towards replaying them under compelling enough circumstances.

So, at the very least, I can firmly state that my backlog doesn't reduce replayability for me. Plenty of other factors do (heck, aging alone is a major enthusiasm-killer), but just not that particular one.

Also, props for the site-topical discussion topic (even if, by what is stated within the OP, it does seem to be a repeat one). Those are always an appreciable addition to the forums.

1 month ago*
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Hearty agreement "In summary, it isn't that backlogs make replayability less important, it's that backlogs allow us to be more picky with how we approach games." I said much the same less succinctly in my own reply. Shoot, in the late 90s and early 00s, I was fracking many hours of play out of demos. That's a very different mentality than I operate with now.

You're certainly right about genre too. I play a ton of puzzle games and, with the exception of the sort of thing Zachtronics puts out, they are almost by nature non-replayable. It would be odd to expect any different. On the other hand, if a rogue-like or arena shooter isn't "replayable" then it's just a fundamentally defective game.

1 month ago
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It’s not mainly about the backlog, I just don’t have enough time to replay every single game I play. I’ll go back to a game if I really loved it and the game has more to offer beyond just achievement hunting, but I’m generally more of a one and done person (including movies and books)

1 month ago
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It depends on how devs want to make their game replayable :)
Sometimes it feels forced - like all they wanted was #replayabillity tag in store.
Achievements locked to ng+, half of options of game hiden until you finish game once or difficulty levels locked until finishing game once (if there is no reason for it).

And yeah - it hurts my backlog. But when I'm focused on one game enough to play it second time - I don't really care about unplayed games, just enjoy what I'm currently playing.

1 month ago
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Weirdly, replayability was never an important thing for me, for the single reason of barely getting/being able to buy games, and mostly buying based on covers and box art + screenshots. With that in mind, having fun (Like in Shogo: MAD) or having just SO MANY options (Like in Arcanum) was important but came from experience.
Today I mostly buy games from bundles or on deep discounts, and for that money usually even one playthrough is enough if it is good, I rather focus on the experience part. Also, good replayability means I have more options to do what I want on my (likely only one) playthrough, and in case I would return sometime, I can play it differently.
So, kinda: being a good experience and fun game is more important for me than replayablity, while it is still very much welcomed if it is well implemented. (Telltale games have choices and should have replayability, but having A or B talk to me twice and having a scene in the two hours before they inevitably die is not something I consider compelling replayability)

1 month ago
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I've never cared that much about replayability, to be honest! Not in the sense that it's usually used for games, anyway. If the game is a good storytelling experience, I'll probably come back to it eventually, the way I would with a good book.

1 month ago
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Kind of. I want to play through Stardew Valley again after all of the updates but I'd rather get through some of the games in my backlog before they turn to fossils. Now I try to avoid games if they are overly grindy or require 20 playthroughs to finish.

1 month ago
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I'd say yes, and I see it with my friends who have fewer games. They seem to replay the same games several times, and only move on once they've had all the achievements, and with certain games not even after that.

I feel my backlog somewhat pressures me to finish a game, its main campaign that is, and then move onto the next one. I also don't care much about achievements, so that's usually not a factor for me.

Something I've noticed with a few games now is that I tend to do quite a bit of side stuff while progressing through the main campaign, but once I've completed the latter it's hard for me to muster the enthusiasm to go back just for side stuff.

1 month ago
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I always played most games only once, just as I read most books only once. I'd complete the game (provided it was the sort of game with a clear end) and likely not do a lot more with it. If it provided a good experience I was satisfied with that, and glad to be done with it if not. That really hasn't changed, except that I probably play fewer open-ended arcade type games than I did in middle school.

Only special favorites get more attention. I'll go achievement hunting in something I really enjoy (SpaceChem, Transistor, DMC); return to favorite experiences every few years (Bioshock, Minecraft); and play certain things daily for a long time trying to "get gud" (SF IV, Overwatch, Arkham City challenges). But I don't demand or expect that, and don't feel like I got a bad value for money in games that don't offer it. Also, the way in which those games are repayable for me isn't something I was really aware of when I bought them. I can make guesses , but mostly I replay what I really like.

What the backlog has done is make me more ready to put down experiences I don't care for, perhaps without even finishing them. I have too many options and too little time to force myself to complete a play through.

1 month ago
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For me personally - it's exactly the same.
In the past, one of the main things I thought about when purchasing a game was how many hours will I get from it (compared to how much it costs).
So if a game like Civilization or Fallout can be playerd & replayed for hundreds of hours, and I'm willing to pay $60 for it (for example). This means I won't pay $60 (or even $30) for a game I can finish in 5 hours.

Now it's actually the opposite.
I actively seeks games that are as short as possible.
I try to avoid games that apear too long on HowLongToBeat, because I know I won't have time to play them, and they'll just sit in my backlog until they become too old & obsolete.
(I have a time limit on games in my backlog, if a game is over 10 years old, I move it to the "won't ever play" pile. Because if I haven't found the time to play it until now, and there were so many new games released since, that there's no chance I'll ever find the time to play it)

There are exceptions - and these are the exceptionally good games (that get praised all over, and get 90%+ scores everywhere) which I'm willing to try even if they are long. For example, Kingdom Come: Deliverance which I finished last year. Or new installments of games with nostalgic value for me, for example, Civilization VI.

1 month ago
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Usually for me, a single, complete playthrough of any game is enough. There's a few rare exceptions but they are rare. So, I don't usually consider replayability when I'm deciding whether or not to buy a game. It's a nice "plus" but I won't prioritize it.

Now, since I don't really consider replayability as an important factor when purchasing a game, my backlog, which like most people is substantial, probably won't matter in this case :P So I voted No

Edit: I think I should also point out that I'm not an achievement hunter and that I don't mind not having a high percentage of "perfect games" on my Steam profile :)

1 month ago
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I don't think that replayability has ever been a factor to me. I've never picked up a game with the idea that I'll end up playing it through more than once¹, so if I do find something enticing enough to be replayed over and over, I consider that the exception. However for those selected few, I do reason with myself that I can't be replaying them now when my backlog is still godawful.

¹ Not counting any of the choice based games where the story changes depending on choices, so you'll be experiencing (partially) new game during a replay.

1 month ago
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