When do you re-play games?


If it’s Souls I will replay it. Really, with every one of those games I’m in the middle of a playthrough, even if I only actually play once or a twice in a year. I don’t even try new builds or set challenges… it’s just something I do automatically.

I don’t think I’ve completed a second playthrough of any other kind of game in a good 4-5 years, but I tend to play through intros a lot. I’ll happily replay the first ten hours of NieR:Automata or a Persona game, for instance. I suppose I get enough satisfaction remembering why I liked a game to begin with, and don’t particularly need to relive every single story beat.


I tend to return to my faves when I’m sure my muscle memory has fallen apart somewhat, and when I do I tend to take my time with it. I rely on my gut mostly though, I’ll just get an urge to go back to something every now and again. Sometimes it’s a recent release reminding me of stuff that did it better or that sort of thing, or some thematic resonance, or maybe it’s just playing into my current hyper obsession.

As for replaying stuff as soon as I’ve finished it, it takes something really special to get me to do that, as well as some sort of incentive, like the possibility of a different experience or a new level of chalange.


Question for the folks in this thread: how do you distinguish between re-playing a game which involved a narrative ending and something like a rogue-like in which each time you play it is a new thing? Is that not re-playing a game or does it count as different given the time investment?

I ask because reading this thread made me realize I no longer replay games when I reach the story’s end. There are some exceptions but, on a whole, I would rather try something new or devote my time to something else. However, there have been recent games like Into the Breach, Wizards of Legend, and Dead Cells that I initially invest a lot of time in—perhaps the equivalent of 10-20 hours of a standard single player game—and then, weeks or months later, I will pick up the game for a short while—a few hours stretched over some dayss. I get on some level it is not the same thing as trying to re-play Breath of the Wild but I do find it notable as these are games that involve me reaching a point of completion that I then re-play for a new experience but also the comfort of something familiar that I enjoyed.


I like to replay skill-based games that center around action gameplay. The reason for this is that it will be significantly faster to beat on the repeat playthroughs, especially if you’re skipping the cutscenes like I am. Mega Man 2 took me probably 10 hours to beat the first time but now I can play through it all in like 30 minutes. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was like 16 hours for me and now I can play through it in maybe 2 or 3. Even something like Dark Souls is drastically cut down in time on repeat playthroughs because you know where to go, what to do, and you will probably die way less than you did the first time.

For me to revisit a game that is either story-driven or puzzle-driven (is driven a word?) there needs to be a significant gap of time to where I’ve forgotten essential aspects of the story/puzzle solutions. I hope to replay Breath of the Wild in 10 years, but then again I also hope Nintendo makes a follow up to that game in the near future.


I have a few games I replay every year, even if I don’t really set out to.

  • Around October I do a whole run-through of RE4 but I’m always changing up what handgun I’m going to stick with the whole game or forcing myself to use god-awful weapons like the TMP.

  • Whenever I run out of things I’m excited to play I always go back to Dishonored 1/2. I’m very comfortable in those games and I feel like it always resets my palette. In Dishonored 1 I force myself to go different paths and never kill anyone and in Dishonored 2 I alternate between Emily and Corvo.

  • Whenever I’m feeling down I pick a Souls game and just jump in. I know that with those games I’m always capable of coming out on top if I just make the right moves and choices.


I used to have a tradition of replaying certain games during the winter holidays (mostly old FPS, or Deus Ex with some cheats so it’s actually fun), which was really mostly nostalgia. I don’t think there’s many games I’d replay now (that aren’t designed to actually be replayed a lot, like roguelikes).


I think there’s definitely a distinction for me: I v rarely replay games with strong narrative elements (and am less likely to the more “narrative” is is), but have much more often replayed games with weaker or no narrative elements (“arcade games”). I think, for me, the point of a game with a plot is more tied up with that plot, and, even if there’s multiple endings, it’s less interesting to go through the entire thing once you’ve done it once. (That said: part of this is probably that narrative games tend to be longer experiences, so the investment in “replaying them all the way through” is much higher.)

1 Like

Until recently, I almost never replayed games, but in the last few years I’ve started to more often. Not entirely sure why I’ve had this change of heart, but I know part of it is that my partner loves re-reading books, and that has inspired me to replay games and see what a fresh perspective brings to them.

I’d say there are several reasons I’ll go back to replay a game:

It’s an old favorite / classic
I recently replayed Link’s Awakening and am in the midst of replaying Pokemon Silver (by way of the SoulSilver remake). For these kind of games I’m replaying them partly for the comfort food / nostalgia factor, and partly to try to see them with fresh eyes and notice things I didn’t years ago when I first played them.

There is new content, or content I missed
A lot of more recent games have substantial “post-game” content or DLC, so I’ve found myself going back to games after reaching a stopping point and putting them down for months. For me this is the Celeste B-Sides, or unlocking new mechs in Into the Breach, or doing the DLC shrines in Breath of the Wild. To me this still feels like “replaying” even though the content is all new, probably due to the familiarity of the controls, mechanics, and world. I think this is a lot like what @Alveric is talking about.

To share a game with someone else
I’ll replay a game to share it with my partner, or if my partner wants to share one with me that I haven’t played. We’ve played Minish Cap and Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue for that reason. We are thinking of playing the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets game soon, which my partner hasn’t played before. Often these are games that are nostalgic to one of us, so it’s similar to the motivation behind the “old favorite” category. But there is something distinctly special about getting to see something you enjoyed being experienced for the first time by someone else!

It’s a ritual / tradition
Last year my partner and I replayed Night in the Woods to mark the onset of fall, and I think it’s likely we’ll do it again this year. This is the only game playing ritual I have, but it was pretty great and I kind of wish I had more like the ones several folks have mentioned earlier in the thread.

Anyway, replaying games is new to me in the past few years, but I feel like I’ve been getting a lot out of it so far!

1 Like