Games you have finished and loved, but never want to play again?

Ok, so I have been thinking about how most people have a game or movie that they frequently will return to out of nostalgia or love of, and how that parallel between the two mediums is fairly easy to make. But what about the movies we don’t want to revisit? Y’know, those movies. The ones that for whatever reason leave such an indelible mark on you that you just can’t bring yourself to seek them out again. You think about them, talk about them, sure, but never sit down and watch them again. Where is the video game parallel to those?

It would seem that games are, if not succeding in invoking this kind of reaction moreso nowadays, then at least seeking out to do so with greater frequency. An argument could be made that the inherrent pursuit of that goal is a bit misguided as it seeks to hit what at its core is a deeply personal and subjective mark, and therefore terribly hard to design towards as a goal. another reason could be that since games inhabit the space of funcionality as well as artistry, a very easy way to ensure that people won’t want to return to your game is just to make broken as fuck.

Never the less I want to hear if anyone else have had at least some sort of experience with a game at one point in time, where for some reason or another we have finished a game that left a very profound impression on you but you for some reason just can’t bring yourself to go back to it.

For me personally, and this is such a friggin’ cliché, I have still not been able to return to Undertale. Undertale works for a lot of different reasons, chief among them being it’s character work and how it makes you care deeply for those characters through the insane meta story the game tells. I also think the gameplay is great, and there are parts of it that I wish I could return to right now so I could play them again. But I can’t. Well, I can, but I won’t, but I honestly don’t think I can get myself to do it. I have tried booting up that god damn game 3 times since I beat it and I just can’t bring myself to do it, such is the connection I felt to what I readily accept is in actuality just a bunch of ones and zeros.

That got a bit longer than I expected but oh well, feel free to post your own examples!


I haven’t been able to play Super Mario World again since I was a kid. I always get to about the first cave level, or pressing the first switch, and say “OK, well I’ve seen this”.

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I must have played through Ocarina of Time a dozen times on the N64, and when the 3ds remake came out I was all over it.

Part way through the remake I sort of decided that this was going to be a farewell tour. I know the game back to front, and I really don’t think I ever need to play it again.

But the Legend never dies.


I immediately thought of Okami, because, well, I feel like I could play 3 games in the same time as playing through that one. It is excellent though, and I’m confident that visual style would feel as fresh and important now as it did the first time.

In a similar vein, I really liked Twilight Princess, but most of what I remember are the last 5 or so dungeons, which are excellent, and my numerous failed attempts at a replay, which I chalk up to the beginnings lack of pacing.


Great topic. As a chronic restarter of RPGs I really appreciate a game that I can play through, get my fill and never touch again!

Batman Arkham Asylum is one of these games for me. It’s a really well paced game, introducing new gadgets, enemies and areas to keep you moving forward. I got to the end after 8 - 10 hrs play, I’d had a blast but had no desire to go back for collectables or replay on a harder difficulty, I was satisfied.

I can see Breath of the Wild being one of these games too. I’m not finished yet but the real joy in it is the exploration and sense of discovery, I can’t see it being the same second time round. It’s one of the best games I’ve played in years but I will be quite happy to have my fill and walk away.

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This is me with most of my favorite games - even games that are designed to be replayed. Off the top of my head, there’s The Witcher 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2. I adore all of these games, but I’ve only played them once and don’t intend to return. I’ve tried to go back, but the initial magic of that first experience isn’t there. Whenever I meet a favorite character again for the first time, I remember where their story goes. It’s somewhat akin to the feeling of walking around in a game world after beating the final mission; it’s the same world, but everything feels artificial now. I just can’t recapture the feeling of that first playthrough!

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The Witcher 3 (base game) hands down. I pumped over 500 hours into that brilliant game that summer. I count the dlc as separate experiences, because they pretty much are. But for the base game, I cant see myself playing more of it anytime soon. I just feel like I’ve experienced enough of it.

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This might end up being Breath of the Wild for me. I want to do all the shrines, but I’m at like, 109 out of 120 and finding the last 11 or so I need will require looking them up in a guide, and even just finding them in the guide will be a serious degree of effort.

Regardless, I have put nearly 200 hours in to Breath of the Wild, and unless the DLC somehow knocks it out of the park, I will probably never touch that game again for another 15 years.


Wow. Hmm. Any JRPG, really. Especially those from the SNES and PS1 era, I burned through all of the major names on those systems when they were new, and I loved them all (especially Chrono Trigger/Cross). I just don’t have the time to go back to any of them, especially the ones that push the upper limits of their own in-game timers (like Final Fantasy 7).

I cannot imagine ever replaying Undertale. It would feel like an absolute betrayal.


Uncharted 4.

I think I’ve vaguely stated it in a few places, this feels like a better place to just expand on it.

Uncharted had very life specific tie-ins for me, and in a really weird way helped me process shit that I just didn’t when I was a kid. So, I saw other perspectives on a similar interpersonal story kinda playing out, and it gave me a really tearful catharsis about like, the divorce of my parents, and the death of a childhood friend in college, and a few other things. All of which resulted in it probably being the most affecting piece of media I’ve interacted with in my life.

But -

I have 0 interest in going back to it. I didn’t like the game part of the game, or the combat, or the super hand-holding on puzzles, or a tutorial for the boss fight for the entire final boss fight because it was just… a new thing the game had not built to in any way mechanically… Outside of maybe someday going for plat trophies, absolutely no desire to play the game again. (Which I think still falls under “not wanting to play it again.”)

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I can’t imagine To The Moon affecting me as hard the second time through and don’t really want to find out.


I feel the same way about Oxenfree. I bet I will someday, but it’ll be a while down the line once the emotions are further back.


About eight years ago things got really bad in the way where I was alone with too much time on my hands and little else to do but start the copy of Persona 3 FES that had been on my shelf for months. That game saved me in ways I don’t want to go into details about right now. I finished it in two weeks right around the time that things started to get better in my life. After sobbing all through the end credits, I saved with every intention of starting a new game plus and also working my way through The Answer. Neither ever happened.

A few months ago when Persona 5 was delayed again, I picked up my Vita and started playing Persona 3 Portable. I got about an hour into it and a flood of emotions washed over me and I stopped. I played through 5 fine when it finally came out last month and had played through the Golden edition of 4 a few years ago with no issues so the emotional block is with 3 alone. I’m giving it a tentative never right now because I love the game enough that I may be able to process my emotions in a way I can play it again.


Undertale for me, too

The fact that the game pretty explicitly asks you not to drag the characters out of their happy endings was enough for me to leave it at that.


There is only one game that fits that bill for me, and it’s That Dragon, Cancer. I really believe this is a must play game for anyone who is serious about mature (in the being an adult kind of way, not the violence and sex way) games. But by god, it’s something I could only ever witness once. I can’t even bring myself to watch the documentary, even though I’m pretty sure it’s up on Steam for free.

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I thought I would never want to play through Dead Money, the Fallout: New Vegas DLC, more than once; then I did it at least twice more. Because I hate myself.

.Hack IMOQ and GU.

I stuck with the series in my teen years. Had a blast playing the simulated mmo, receiving fake in-game mail and seeing the huge story unfold. But I know IMOQ hasn’t aged well, the textures were muddy and combat mindless and clunky. GU fixed a lot of these issues and it still looks pretty alright. But without me being an edgy angry teen yearning for love, I probably can’t stand the protagonist anymore.

Probably the first Nier, in that Nier: Automata plays a lot like how the first should’ve felt and now my memories can be blended effortlessly into a non-sluggish version of Nier and I really love that.

Almost all of them. Zelda sticks out in my mind since it was so recent though. I’ve tried to go back and finish up some stuff and I just have zero desire to touch any of the time consuming tedious stuff. Which makes the big stuff very difficult because I have no healing items.