There has been a lot of discussion this week about overlooking games based on review scores, and the different opinions regarding replaying a great game vs trying something new that might not be as good.
Technomage made a good point that players who only stick to the "top level" games could very well be missing out on some fun titles. He also states that people who play games once and move on have the chance to try more titles, so there is less pressure to make sure every game played is a "9".
However, I still feel he's missing something important.
There is also something to be said for the enjoyment you can get out of a game that you really delve deeply into and spend a lot of time with. I'm in the camp that plays fewer games, but re-plays them often. Every now and then, I'll purchase 4 or 5 games in 1 month, and I actually end up feeling bad about it because I don't get to put the time into exploring each game that I would like to.
I think my point is that these games are often the product of the combined efforts of dozens or even hundreds of people, over 2 or 3 years of hard work. To blow through the entire game in 8 hours is not only a disservice to the game makers, but it often doesn't give the player enough time to really experience everything a game has to offer.
I'm not suggesting that every single game should be played over and over and over, but that if you play a game that really grabs you, you just might enjoy it MORE the 2nd time through, not less.
I can't count the number of times I replayed Halo CE. I don't think there is a single pixel in that game that I haven't seen. When I think back to my fondest memories of the game, none of them came during my first playthrough. The highest levels of enjoyment I got from the game came from tackling the same encounters in new, inventive ways, or discovering routes I had missed in my previous playthrough, or from truly mastering all the different weapons in the game, learning the intricacies of the combat systems, enemy AI, knowing which way an Elite was about to dodge based on the animation of his feet. These are things that simply cannot be done in a single playthrough, and every great game is full of these kinds of experiences.
I can't help but feel that people who only play games once are missing out on a lot of deeper enjoyment.