I am really bad at finishing games!


#1

Hello friends! I don’t know why I am like this, but I find it incredibly difficult to finish games. I think the last game I finished was Horizon Zero Dawn last year. Since then I have started countless games and haven’t finished a single one, even games I enjoyed playing way more than Horizon Zero Dawn! I didn’t finish Persona 5 despite dumping 70 hours into it. I haven’t played more than half of the second arc of Nier Automata despite loving the characters and the world and wanting to know more. I’ve played 50 hours of Monster Hunter World, but have only ever hunted a single Elder Dragon. I played Ni No Kuni II for around 4 hours a day for two weeks straight because I loved it so much but even that I haven’t touched in weeks. This list goes on for maybe 10+ games but I’ll spare y’all anymore details.

Does anyone else struggle with finishing games despite actually enjoying them? How do I power through this?


#2

Depends. Is the reason that you keep starting new games? That used to happen to me. If that’s the case, what helped me is to cap the number of games I’m playing at the same time at 2 (not including Overwatch). I don’t think I’ve dropped a single game since I’ve started doing that (unless I decided not to keep playing at all, of course).


#3

Agreed with BigNono! I do think it’s tough sometimes; at one point last year I was juggling way too many games as I was trying to distract myself mentally from some life stuff, so what I did was cap them to two or three, apart from certain multiplayer games. That said, I also realized that I had to be ok with not finishing some games too, as they didn’t all need to be finished for a worthwhile time to be had with them.


#4

I have the same thing, although I have been trying to curb that a bit in the last year or so.

I never finished Morrowind, Oblivion or Skyrim, even though I spent hundreds of hours in those games, and started them over multiple times. The only “one of those” I really finished was New Vegas (a few times, god that game is so good). This year I’ve only finished Celeste I think, but I don’t have much time to play stuff nowadays.

Its definitely connected to starting new games as @BigNoNo suggested, but for me more-so to the “possibility” of new games, not just knowing that I have some already, but that I can get more at any point, and if I get even slightly bored, despite wanting to know more or go further in the game, I start something new up and bye bye old game.

As I’ve been getting into writing about games a bit, I decided to try and finish most of the games I play, and that has definitely helped me. But then again - not finishing games is fine, IMO. You can get what you want out of a game without finishing it, or finishing its main story.


#5

This post spoke to me, because our resume on this issue is basically identical (although I finished P5 after putting in almost twice that amount of time and I dropped Horzion on purpose.)

If we’re being real I would say there’s not really something to fix here and that feeling kind of exacerbates the whole situation.

To give kind of contrary advice to what everybody else said, the times that I’m least likely to finish a game is when I feel like I’m obligated to finish it before I touch anything else. For example I had some anxiety about not playing Nier enough until I decided I would take a break after finishing the first play through and wound up beating Night in The Woods (granted I’ve yet to go back, but that’s a different story.)

My best advice would be just to listen to you’re feelings and if you’re not in the mood to finish a game don’t finish it. Do something else you enjoy like reading a book, watching TV or a movie, going outside or even starting another game. At least for me I know wanting to be a part of the discourse can be a motivating factor to get through games (as well as getting the most out of your investment) but if you’re not feeling a game at any given moment it doesn’t serve you to force yourself through it.

Also not completing a game doesn’t necessarily dictate the quality of experience you had. I haven’t beaten Breath of the Wild or Monster Hunter: World, but I can honestly say I’m completely satisfied with my time with both of those games.

Not to mention if you’re honest with yourself the next time you play a game you absolutely can’t put down you’ll appreciate it way more.


#6

I rarely finish games because I find that I’m usually done with them before the developers decided the game should be done. Not much I can do if a 30 hour game is only grabbing for the first 10-15 hours.


#7

The games are too damn long!

My feelings on Persona 5 were incredibly high between 15-40 hours, and the game kept going, and explaining things to me that I already knew, and offered no new mechanics or big twists, so I ended up burning out on it pretty hard around the time @moomin did (Palace 6?). I put it down for 5 months and just now picked it up again and I’m having a good time, but the game does very little to combat player fatigue considering it’s like 100 hours long.

My problem is I have trouble starting games. I could there are a ton of games I love that I played an hour of the first time, thought they were OK, and didn’t touch for another 3 years.


#8

Yeah I’d say that’s a lot of the reason. I also think it has to do with games being very long and that I crave different experiences often enough that I decide to start a new game to scratch whatever itch I’m having at the moment. I’m definitely going to try and go back to some of these games because I actually do want to eventually finish them and stop buying new ones because I’m bored. So #NoNewGames2018 is what I’m saying.


#9

I find that the games I don’t finish are usually because they are just too long. I had this with the new Doom; I just got out of hell for the first time and I had no desire to play anymore. I really enjoyed what I played of Doom 4, but it wore out its welcome. I would have loved that game if it was as long as the original Doom was.


#10

I mostly have a problem with it because of adhd / low motivation. Its something ive dealt with forever and im infamously slow at finishing anything (halo 2 took me almost a year when i first played it at, like, 14). I tend to stick to games with a repetitive nature to them though, i guess because theyre easier to just run through the motions, but usually i dont finish them anyway.

Also being dirt poor means i only buy maybe one new released game a year at most (if at all) so most of my time is spent playing very old games i havent played before but want to.


#11

OP and a few other folks are talking about games that are major timesinks, so no shame on not finishing them. I started Divinity last year and played it exclusively for two months - 90 hours later and I still hadn’t finished it. At some point I just wanted to move on - though I’m hankering to dive back in and dust the main quest before Divinity 2 releases on console!


#12

I have about 300 games in my steam library and I tend to finish very few. But I’ve been finishing more. Here’s some things that help me:

1. Be judicious about what you buy and return it if it isn’t what you expected

Often I find that I’m looking to buy something rather than looking to play the game or, alternatively, I’m looking for something like the game but it doesn’t live up to the hype. I’ve never regretted returning a game. What I do is when I want a game I add it to my wishlist. I can’t get a game unless it’s on my wishlist and has been for at least a week. Often I find either the immediate urge to get the game or the desire to get the game at all fades with time.

2. Don’t be afraid to just watch a let’s play or just the cutscenes.

I have so many games where the gameplay is not my cup of tea but I’m interested in the story. Often they’re 70 hours or more and I just don’t have that time any more. I just watch the cut scenes or a let’s play and maybe I decide to get the game, maybe I don’t. There’s no shame in it.

3. Sometimes you can burn out on a game you love. Put it to the side but keep a list of games you’ve done this with

Sometimes I love a game but I get bored or I hit a lull in the story and it loses me. I found this when I got to the desert in BOTW and about 40 hours into Into The Breach without winning it once. Don’t feel bad for putting the game down. I’ve made a list of the games I’ve done this with and it helps because often I do want to revisit these games, I’m just craving something different. I look to this list when I’m craving something new and often find I’m actually craving something from one of the games I’ve put aside.

4. Look for shorter experiences

There’s a lot of brilliant 4-8 hour games out there. Often they don’t have the marketing budgets of the 70 hour epics so you might not have as much excitement to get them but take a plunge! It’s unbelievably relieving to actually finish a game after months of muddling through endless roguelikes, half finished midpoints and time guzzling multiplayer games.


#13

Same – and I’ve stopped judging myself for it. I play the game until it feels like I’ve learned what it has to teach me, and then I rapidly lose interest.

What helps me a lot is community. If I have an opportunity to talk about my play with other people playing, I can keep at it longer. Ultimately that’s what got me into and through the hump on FROMsoft stuff and I STILL go back and play those years later after beating DS1 and BB multiple times.


#14

I’ve slowly been letting go of my completionist tendencies, but 2018 was the year that I really broke free of it. I haven’t finished a game so far this year and feel pretty good about it. Part of it is life getting in the way and only giving me 30 minute chunks to game, and the other part of it is that I am playing more stuff off of subscription services like PS+ or Game Pass. Not being able to attach a specific monetary amount to the experience has significantly lessened my guilt about letting games go, and I am happier for it.


#15

Controversial opinion: finishing games is overrated. I can’t even tell you how many times forcing myself to finishing a game has damaged my overall enjoyment of it. Everyone’s citing P5, and for good reason; I adored that game for about 50-60 hours, but that final stretch was miserable. I’d have a better opinion of it if I’d stopped after the 6th palace and never gone back. Even with something like BOTW, which I have inhuman amounts of love for, the actual ending is such a footnote to my time with that game.

So, I don’t know, just go with your gut and think about why it is you stop playing certain games. If you get distracted by something new and shiny, and genuinely want to spend more time with a game, then by all means, go back to it. But if you fall off of a game because it’s not holding your interest, maybe it’s not worth finishing. If you’re like me, your leisure time is limited, so be judicious about how you spend it.


#16

I agree with you wholeheartedly!

I rarely finish games, if only because A) I really don’t have the time between working part time and going to school full time and B) once game isn’t fun anymore, what’s the point? I’m considering packing it in for Ni No Kuni 2 recently, because even though I have finished a great deal of the games content the stuff remaining isn’t really that fun ( the top down battlefield stuff doesn’t do it for me!) and the remainder of the game is mostly grinding and getting townspeople. Noty discounting the latter two, because the kingdom stuff was actually a big draw for me, but overall my experience has largely flatlined due to the larger and larger asks the game makes of me before I get tired of it. The same thing happened with Subnautica, which I also really loved and found relaxing but I got tired of farming for materials and put it aside for the time being. I also loved the Divinity games but after 50-60 hours in each, I got exhausted with how long they go on for!

With that being said, quit games whenever they stop being fun, or whenever you stop getting whatever it is you get out of playing games. I play them mostly to relax these days so I don’t put much value in anything that wants me to work basically a second job in order to get a morsel of enjoyment!


#17

I am bad at finishing games too that’s why I prefer online games like CS or League of Legends. The mechanics of the game is great. It feels crisp and responsive. I like the character of the heroes, they have jokes and can funny dance. But the most important is that I can play with friends https://dreamteam.gg/lol/players and take part in tournaments. It’s nice to win:)


#18

I’m the same way, and I used to feel really bad about it. This quote from a Guillermo del Toro interview helped me out a lot:

He plays a ton of games, though he doesn’t finish anything he doesn’t like — and this holds true for books, film, whatever. “If it doesn’t engage me, I leave it,” he said. “I do not do homework with my life.” link to full Q&A

Finishing games started to feel like homework to me. To the point that I made a spreadsheet of all the games I hadn’t finished and tried to devise a formula to determine the order in which I should finish them – which I almost immediately abandoned to play something new that wasn’t even on the list.

I think the real secret is that most people don’t finish games, but for some reason games are always talked about as if most people do. Maybe it’s because game journalists are expected to finish a game in order to have a valid opinion about it (which is dumb).


#19

Steam thinks I’ve completed 724 games of in my library (19%) that can be possible. Statistically most players don’t finish games. On average single player games get about 11 hours of play over the first weekend and then are never picked up again.

The game is finished when you stop playing it, just like not finishing a book, or movie.