Shack Chat is back once again, our weekly feature each Friday where we’ll ask the Shacknews staff to give their opinion on a particular topic, then open the floor to our dedicated Chatty community to provide a diverse mixture of thoughts on the subject. It’s a great way for us to get to know one another better while inspiring healthy debates with all of you passionate gamers out there.
Question: What game do you like replaying the most?
F-Zero X - Asif Khan, Yeah, you got boost power!
F-Zero X is the game that I keep coming back to time and again. It features a Death Race mode that is super addictive and has tremendous replay value. I specifically go back to F-Zero X to play the Death Race and see if I can get my time below one minute. If Nintendo ever brings back the racing game, maybe I will stop playing this game as religiously. The new hypothetical F-Zero SX game on Nintendo Switch would have to include a Death Race mode to fully pull me away from F-Zero X.
Um Jammer Lammy - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor
This is just one of a handful of games I go back to time and time again. I’ve memorized every stage, even most of the button prompts, every song, etc. I could play it in my sleep, but I go back to it time and time again because I’m so in love with this game. That’s why I got my Lammy tattoo, and that’s why I’ll always harbor hope for a sequel. It’ll never happen, but I’ll never stop believing.
The Witcher 3 - Josh Hawkins, Zelda aficionado
I have a very profound love for several fantasy game series, including the Witcher and The Legend of Zelda. After spending a bit of time thinking about this one, though, I think I’m going to have to choose The Witcher 3 as the game that I love to replay the most.
At this point in time, I’ve completely played through The Witcher 3 at least 6 times. Once on PlayStation 4, and then subsequently an additional 5 times on PC. I haven’t completed every quest each time, but I’ve spent more time in that game than I have in most, and I continue to find myself drawn back to the final chapter of Geralt’s story, especially when I just need a game that I can sink time into and not have to worry about things with too much. I know my way around the world, and it’s just a world that I enjoy getting lost in again and again.
Of course, I’ve also replayed both Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time multiple times, but I think that The Witcher 3 takes the cake, though just barely, when it comes to deciding which game I enjoy replaying the most.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - Kevin S. Tucker, A Very Obvious Answer
Nearly all of my favorite games are RPGs in some form or fashion. They were just hugely influential on me as I was growing up. But I'm grown now, or at least I'm at the age where I should be, and while I'd love to go back over all my favorite RPGs, I simply don't have the time. When I want an old-school kick; when I want to throw back a stout shot of nostalgia; and when I know I don't have an entire weekend to burn in a flight of fancy, I almost always return to the same game: Symphony of the Night.
I've said before that it's my favorite game of all time, and one of the big reasons I'm so fond of it is how well it has held up through the years. 2D platforming isn't going anywhere, and many of the best indie platformers available now call straight back to the era of Castlevania or Metroid, the very foundations of the Metroidvania (or in this case Igavania) genre.
It's not even just that the game is pretty, has excellent music, and plays like a treat. It's also very, very easy to move through quickly for experienced players. The old cheat where you can keep Alucard's starting equipment allows me to chew through the bulk of the experience in six or eight hours, meaning I can get all of my kicks in a single day, or play leisurely throughout the weekend without losing the time I should probably spend doing more important things.
Forza Horizon 4 - Chris Jarrard, Live life ¼ mile at the time
It’s nearly a year since the game launched on Xbox One and PC, but I cannot keep myself away. Forza Horizon 4 manages to pull me back in on a consistent basis, often to run through content that I’ve already seen hundreds of times. I am addicted to collecting cars, so the regular content updates always have me looking forward to firing up the game. Each time I get a new car, running it through the hundreds of possible events is always an option.
The game has received two large expansions already this year, Fortune Island and LEGO Speed Champions, each offering massive new open worlds to speed across. Class-based Rivals events have also been added to the game recently, ensuring that my friends and I compulsively build faster cars and poster better times. The Forza Horizon 4 is still arguably the best looking game on the market and having a cruise through the countryside remains a joy for the eyes.
With the Forza series taking 2019 off, I foresee myself dumping another few hundred hours into the game before this time next year. Honorable mention for my other favorite game of 2018: Dead Cells.
Halo - Sam Chandler, Interesting, the weather patterns here seem natural, not artificial
Whether it’s Halo: Combat Evolved or any of the sequels, the Halo franchise has always stood out for me as a series I could play indefinitely. I’ve lost track of the amount of times I’ve played Assault on the Control Room from Halo. I can damn near recite most of the dialogue with ease.
There was something about exploring a level that mixed vast open spaces with cramped corridors that I loved. Each engagement felt like an intense fight with real stakes. To me, it was real. And then I learned more about tricking and AotCR in particular offered so many variables to exploit.
Then beyond the first title there were countless others that upped the ante. I lost hundreds, if not thousands of hours in Halo 2’s multiplayer modes. Custom games were incredible, as was the ranked matchmaking system - a industry-altering mechanic.
I could go back and play ODST’s Firefight mode for hours on end. Even the newer Halos, while paling in comparison, still offer countless hours of replay value.
I can’t wait to dive into Halo: Infinite and see how I can lose myself once more.
Dark Souls (franchise) - David L. Craddock, Longreads Editor
Replay value has been paramount to me since I was a kid. My parents tolerated my gaming hobby as long as I kept my grades up, so until I was gainfully employed with a paper route at the age of 11 or so, I’d only get new games for Christmas and my birthday. My birthday is in March; that meant a nine-month dry spell until Santa Claus would come shooting down our chimney like Mario down a warp pipe with something new to play. I got pretty creative at wringing every last drop of fun out of old games.
Today, replay value is less of a concern because developers build in features such as New Game Plus to compel you to play again (and they don’t want you taking your discs to GameStop). With so many great games to replay, however, I come back to the Dark Souls trilogy, usually several times a year.
Dark Souls 2 has a(n undeserved) reputation as the black sheep of the series, and while it does have its flaws, it also has virtually limitless replay value thanks to countless combinations of weapons, armor, and spells. Dark Souls 3 has nearly as many character builds, plus weapon arts to play around with. And half the fun of returning to the original Dark Souls is figuring out new paths through Lordran, many of which are only available to players depending on their knowledge of gameplay strategies and gear loadouts. Three games, three million ways to play (give or take a few).
Like many Souls fans, I’m disappointed that FromSoft won’t be announcing Dark Souls 4 anytime soon. But with so many ways to replay the “Dark” trilogy, not to mention Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne, the current set of games will keep me entertained for years to come.
Fallout 4 - Bill Lavoy - Brotherhood of Steel
Given that the quest specifically asks what game I like to replay the most and not which game I feel has the most replay value, my answer changes drastically. If I were to choose based on just objective replay value, I might land on something like Tetris Effect, Super Mario Maker 2, or even Detroit: Become Human.
The game I like to replay the most is probably Fallout 4. There are parts of that game I’ve never experienced and I’m about 500 hours in across PC and PS4. The guns, armor, environmental storytelling, choices, and nearly absolute freedom to do as I please pull me back in over and over again. In fact, I’ve been thinking of going back soon, but I’m trying to resist so that I can play new games and hopefully find my next Fallout 4.
Pokémon Soul Silver/ Heart Gold - Donovan Erskine, Intern
The entire Pokémon franchise has a solid level of replayability thanks to the variety in Creatures you can choose from. This is at its peak in the gen 4 remakes of Silver and Gold. With 16 badges and 2 regions to cover, there’s a plethora of different ways to experience Soul Silver and Heart Gold. You can even implement your own challenge to up the difficulty or immersion factor, such as doing a Nuzlocke or Monotype playthrough.
Gunstar Heroes - Blake Morse, Reviews Editor
Gunstar Heroes is one of the best run-and-gun side scrollers ever made and I’ve beat it more times than I’ve watched the entire run of The Office. I got my first copy of Gunstar Heroes when it originally came out on the Sega Genesis and it was a staple part of my solo gaming roster as well as when friends came over to play stuff. The game’s level design is colorful and mixes things up here and there in a way that hinders monotony. Every time a new port comes out in one form or another I’ll pick it up and won’t put the controller down again until I’ve beaten it. Gunstar Heroes is chock full of robots, spaceships, colorful characters, and some great custom bullet combinations that give me a reason to keep coming back to it.
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor
Call it a nostalgia trip, but there's always one old school game that I feel the need to go back and play every other year. Super Mario RPG is one of those games that just brings me back to my happy place, reminding me of simpler days when Mario in a role-playing game felt like a novelty. But it was more than a gimmick. Thanks to SquareSoft, it was an incredible story, one that was unlike anything in the series to this point.
Part of what I truly loved about it was that it felt like one of the first games to make the dynamic between Mario, Bowser, and the Princess feel like a routine, like nature unfolding. Then some outsider showed up and it disrupted the closest thing the Mushroom Kingdom had to nature. Mario fighting Bowser was portrayed as less of a war and more like a way of life and when something threatened that, they came together to defend that way of life. And once that way of life was defended, Mario opened his eyes and found a much bigger world to explore.
I could go on for several pages about this, but I'll end it here. I'm not at an age where I can replay a lot of games, but I'll gladly make an exception for Super Mario RPG.
Disagree with our picks? Think we're a bunch of clowns? Let us know in the Chatty below.