We asked. The community answered.
If video games offer anything, it’s a near-constant, never-ending stream of new distractions to tear us away from old favorites. So when something sticks with us for a while, it’s got to have a lot to offer.
Still, we fall out of games more often than we fall into them. That made us wonder what draws our community back into the fold:
Community Question: Pick a game that you played forever, then stopped, then came back to. What got you to return?
— Raptr (@Raptr) August 20, 2013
And let’s just say that, as a result, we played host to a lot of awesome nostalgia. It wouldn’t be easy to include every game that came up in conversation, but we’d be remiss not to start off with the obligatory Shenmue shout-out, conveniently provided by Steve Kay, who’s played it, “Over and over again.” Karl Ainsworth also kept it old school, throwing the original Half-Life into the mix. Why? “Cos it was the first shooter I ever played,” Ainsworth wrote. “Couldn’t leave it alone.”
We also saw a fair mix of JRPGs. Joseph Raymond Ortiz called out Final Fantasy Tactics for, “Sheer awesomeness,” while Rayjan Koehler favored Chrono Cross. “Just when I got off school, I found a box of PS1 games my sister put in the basement,” Koehler wrote. “So naturally, I had to play it!”
A trio of Quakers also popped up. Salvatore Pugliese offered up Quake III: Arena, “Because I’m old,” but if that’s the case, he wasn’t the only senior citizen around. Andrew Ogier, “played it almost every day for about 6 years, and Quake Live got me back into it again.” Curtis Putman also mentioned Quake Live, a free-to-play variant of the original game, as motivation behind his return. “I missed everything about it.”
Triston Goodwin shared his secret shame — “Not gonna lie…Pokemon.” — before Jesse Crocker backed him up. “The pokemon series for me,” he wrote. “Sometimes I’ll take a break for a while, then something happens that makes me think, “Wonder if I could do that on a Pokemon.” Next thing I know, I’m EV training again.”
MMOs held their own as well…superhero-centric games in particular. James Hawkins III brought up Champions Online and Streets of Rage 2, “the former because no other game has as powerful of a character creation suite, the latter because the gameplay never gets old.” Darren Buds Hodge went in for City of Heroes/Villains, “because it was a superhero game that actually felt like you were playin’ a superhero, and it’s always nice to be a little OP, for a while anyways.”
The fairly twisted “Meet the Pyro” video brought Ashish Patil back to Team Fortress 2. His clanmates brought Dorukhan Alp back to APB:Reloaded. But the big reason people re-engaged with an old favorite is easy to sum up. Mods did a lot to keep people invested, but new material re-ignited interest more than anything else.
Joshua Vance, Nikki Adrain, and Jeremiah Boeninger cited DLC for Boarderlands 2 as what got them playing again. Maurice de la Rie left World of Warcraft for two years until the Cataclysm expansion released. Bruce Gray put it more bluntly: “It seems like every time WoW adds an expansion I want to try it out.”
But the franchise most singled-out by Raptr community members? No contest: The Elder Scrolls got more returnees than all the others combined. Oblivion and Morrowind had their fans, but the most recent edition, Skyrim, got plenty of love…boomerang-style.
Mods brought Chris Spangler back, and “sheer awesomeness” alone did the job for Chaz Clarke. But Elio Ortiz dove into everything…repeatedly. “Played a Battlemage first playthrough with no DLCs,” wrote Ortiz. “Now started a pure caster character to play Dawnguard and Dragonborn. I’ll also choose Imperials instead of Stormcloaks, and it’s a brand new game.”
So it doesn’t really take an entirely new game to distract us from that near-constant, never-ending stream of distractions. It just takes a little something that adds something new to the old favorites.
Maybe that’s why they’re old favorites in the first place.