Games you love but don't like playing

I’m wondering what games y’all have loved for whatever reason (art, music, story, setting, themes) but when you play them it just doesn’t click.

For me it’s Rain World. I saw the game on kickstarter and backed it immediately solely based on the art style and the gameplay footage. As the game came closer to release, obtained a publisher, and hit the shows I kept following it feverishly. Pouring over the backer updates on the player control system and ai pathing seeing just how much polish the game was getting, I was ready to throw hours and hours into the game.

When the game came out however I couldn’t put in more than an hour. The player character, the slug cat, felt aptly named as to just how sluggish you moved and the penalizing nature of player deaths kept me from going further. I love rain world, I love that I got to see it in development and back it. It’s a beautifully dark game that I just can’t keep playing.

So with that said I’m curious what are some games you’ve come to love from a distance?

I had been following Hyper Light Drifter for a while before its release. When it finally came out I really appreciated the artwork and minimalistic storytelling but the gameplay was not enjoyable at all. I’ll probably go back to it sometime in the future but it just seems like a game I don’t have the patience for.

I think Diablo 3 has to fall into this for me. D2 was a game I both loved and liked. 3 seems like this mega streamlined world that doesn’t have the clickiness I need. It’s ana amazing world because Diablo lore is the best, but fuck a Deckard Cain for 3.

Eve online for me. Have tried so hard to get into it, but I just can’t seem to crack it and get to where all of the cool stuff happens.

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For me it would mostly be games where I mainly want to know the story, but don’t really like the in between. LPs can certainly be handy for some stuff like that.

Deadly Premonition is the big one. But also some pretty old RPGs can feel the same way. In some cases emulation frame skipping can help a lot for pure tedium.

At the moment I’m working through Persona 3 Portable. There’s a lot to love about the game. Battles are fun. But the grind, oh man, the grind. Not a “grinding” fan.

Oh man yeah, I tried to get into it twice but couldn’t. Scott Manley’s done some really great videos summarizing the wars between the player factions though.

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I love everything about Darkest Dungeon. I love the aesthetic, I love the sound design, I think the voice acting is absolutely incredible. I think the stress mechanic is an ingenious design choice that recontextualizes dungeon crawling in a super fascinating way and I love, love, LOVE how the game uses it to create tension for the player.

I have also never gotten further than the apprentice necromancer. My nerves just cannot handle playing that game, I can’t live with my adventurers dying, I can’t handle getting boned by RNG and the mere thought of how many hours I would have to sink into that goddamn game to finish it fills me with utter dread.


I think Dragon Warrior Monsters 2 is very close to being the best monster-catching JRPG on the Game Boy - its breeding and roguelike post-game hooks elevate it past Pokemon Crystal in my mind - but the system it uses to catch monsters is infuriating. You just throw out meat in a given fight and hope the last thing you killed likes the meat enough to join you. Post-game when you can buy enough Sirloins this doesn’t matter as much, but the early-game meats are ineffectual and it’s awful how often they don’t work.

I love the story, atmosphere and characters in The Last of Us but really hate the gameplay. I love action games and I love stealth games but I don’t like their hybridization at all.

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Mafia III is the most recent one. The first four hours of the game are outstanding, but it is a prime example in misguided open world design. All you ever did in that game was murder people and drive cars.

I liked the story and characters of Mafia III a lot, but man does that game make you go through so much bullshit to see it.

I 100% agree with this. I can’t push myself to get past the first real boss.

I’m sure there’s a lot I’d like about The Witcher 3, and I really enjoyed the writing and the world design in what I got through, but I just could not get past how bad it felt to play. The controls were clumsy and imprecise, which kept getting me killed, which would send me back like 20 minutes because I had forgotten to constantly manually save. I also felt constantly under-leveled, even for the side-quests that are traditionally used for leveling up. So I was just stuck in this weak and underpowered state, and I couldn’t even control Geralt well enough to make up for it. I know people adore this game, and I really wish I could’ve gotten to all the parts everyone loves, but I couldn’t deal with it anymore.

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I’m ashamed to say Papers, Please. I love everything about the idea of the game, and even the mechanics in theory, but once more and more mechanics got added I just felt like I was going too slow. I know that’s kind of the point of the game, but it felt like I was incompetent at a job and it just wasn’t fun to play. I’m a strong believer than all games don’t need to be fun so I still appreciate it on an intellectual level.

I think Pokemon Sun might be boring the hell out of me? I bought it at launch and still haven’t finished it, so…

I love its art style and everything; the use of bright colors is really appealing to me. But gee whiz, this story is a slog.

yeah, papers please is one that I bounced off of. I kept getting fired on the day that some secret guy is supposed to slip through and stopped playing. Amazing game though, especially in how people can easily be a part of an authoritarian regime.

When people ask me what my favourite game is, I usually say Zelda: Majora’s Mask. And I stand by that!

But also, when I actually think about playing it…there’s a whole lot of that game that I think is a slog and don’t actually want to replay. I think most of the dungeons are pretty tedious. Gathering the Zora eggs in Great Bay is a torturous nightmare. The challenge rooms before the final boss are a huge pain in the ass. That entire underground section where you bring miscellaneous items to the Gibdos, holy shit.

I think I just like so much about what the game is trying to do thematically, and so much of the side stuff, that I end up counting it as a favourite even when there are giant swaths of it I never want to play again.

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I have found with EVE getting involved in a Corp that is active in the stuff you find cool is a good way to break in. Usually you’ll find a rich benefactor who will help speed along your progression.

As for me, deadly premonition cones to mind. I love what they were trying to do, but I’d rather just watch someone else play it vs exposing myself to it

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well. i fucking hated every second of playing silent hill 2 because i am a giant baby. but i’m very glad i did cos i still think about it very often it’s amazing.

also for probably my favourite game series playing a souls game makes me very tense and a bit anxious. as they’re supposed to i guess, but i need a little push to start playing and i need a little break afterwards.

Oh man I hated playing L.A. Noire but I love that it exists and want more games to try that game style.

I love that they got all of those actors to come and do that crazy extensive mo-cap, I love the noire soundtrack and how it subtly played throughout the game, I loved the styyyyyyyyle of the game…


I didn’t like the driving and moving around the city, I didn’t like the sometime ambiguous facial expressions/animations, and I didn’t like the pacing of the game.

I find myself thinking about L.A. Noire every few months - it just festers in the back of my brain somewhere. I look back at 2011 and realize that’s one of the games I find myself thinking about more often than anything else that year.

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Does Everything count? Playing Everything wasn’t my jam, but I love leaving it open during my workday and letting the game play itself. I’ll glance over and there will be a tiny police cruiser chasing a dust mite or a flock of galaxies crossing a city street.