Reality. That boring world in which we live. Commuting, paying taxes, working 9 to 5 every day — what a way to make a livin'. Sometimes we all need to escape to another world where we don't have deadlines to worry about, exams to study for or an annoying boss who constantly undermines us.
And that's where these #videogames come in. Games that will take you to magical, mysterious far-off worlds where day-to-day responsibility will never find you again. So get ready to take the red pill and jump down this rabbit hole, because once you pick these games up and immerse yourself in their worlds, you won't be putting them down for a very long time.
Released in 2011, #Minecraft has taken the world by storm, selling more than 100 million copies globally for PC, console and mobile platforms. There is even the annual #MineCon convention, the most recent of which attracted more than 12,000 crafty attendees.
But what exactly does one do in Minecraft? Well, you mine. And you craft. In all seriousness, though, it is an absorbing game. When starting out, you'll shape and name your world, choose your mode — standard survival or creative mode — and that's about it. You'll be dropped into your very own world, free to mine, gather and build to your heart's content. You can even invite a few friends to jump in and help out — though I'm not promising they won't steal your diamonds.
Furthermore, there's a whole community of people dedicated to creating vast amounts of extra content for players to enjoy, and all for free. Recently, 1,500 players spent five years building their enormous worlds, complete with a detailed railway system! With extra maps to download, huge online servers to join, and even a variety of handcrafted quest mods available online, Minecraft is an essential title for any gamer, and one which will probably take over your life.
2. Grand Theft Auto V
It goes without saying that Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most expansive, detailed games ever created. With a combined production and marketing budget of $265 million, #GTA5 sits as one of the top five most expensive entertainment products ever made.
But all that investment wasn't for nothing, with Grand Theft Auto V selling more than 70 million copies globally. Assuming each copy was sold at $60 (a rough figure, not taking discount sales into account), the game has made estimated revenues of around $4.2 billion. It's so popular that it still sits in the top five on the UK game charts, topping recent titles like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and #Battlefield1. And this is a game that's been out since 2013!
In #Rockstar's must-have game, players get to explore the sprawling city of Los Santos, based on the sunny and scenic Los Angeles. With everything from skyscrapers to underground tunnels, the detail packed into the city is astounding. Ever wanted to visit Venice Beach but without making that traffic-clogged commute? Now you can! You can buy guns, rob banks, join in crazy car chases and much much more, all from the comfort of your home.
As well as the wide variety of activities you can take part in, you can also enjoy an array of regular, fresh content from Rockstar for GTA online, a hallmark in open-world online gaming. Create your own character and work your way up the ranks of the criminal underworld, buying fast cars, new apartments, and even orchestrating daring heists with your friends. Grand Theft Auto V is the gift that keeps on giving, and one which should be a part of any gamer's collection.
3. Fallout 4
Back in 2015, #Bethesda dropped a nuclear bomb on the world of gaming when it announced its coming title #Fallout4. After years of waiting, a mysterious countdown clock with the words "Please Stand By" appeared on Bethesda's website, signaling the imminent arrival of the next entry in the groundbreaking Fallout franchise.
Fast forward to release day and Fallout 4 lived up to the hype, selling more than 12 million copies in its first 24 hours.
From the very start, Fallout 4 presents the player with unlimited freedom in a post-apocalyptic "paradise." The harsh, unforgiving take on post-war Boston is chilling to behold, and from the moment you step out from the safety of your vault to face the ominous Commonwealth wasteland, you're tasked with finding your son, but also finding your place in a world shattered by nuclear warfare.
However, that all sounds a bit too serious, does it not?
Don't worry about that, because Fallout 4 has wacky gameplay and quests in abundance! Explore the Commonwealth and see what there is to discover. Some say there's even a species of aliens watching over the Commonwealth. And who knows? Maybe one day we'll get to meet them.
Fallout 4 presents a brilliant, immersive world for the player to explore, and with the addition of mods (on both PC and console), plus a number of DLC packs, it's certainly a game that will have you glancing at the clock, wondering how 12 hours have flown by and how the hell you forgot to go to work that day.
4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
If you're all about dragons, swordplay and magic, and you haven't played this game, then the only question really worth asking yourself is: When am I getting a copy? #Skyrim is one of the best games ever released and one that has had players addicted since it first released back in November 2011.
You play as the #Dragonborn, a hero whose destiny is to destroy the evil dragon Alduin and save the province of Skyrim from certain doom. Protected only by your armor, the weapons you wield and the power of the Thu'um (basically just a super-loud shout. It's more badass than it sounds, OK?), you embark on a quest to battle the great dragon and save Skyrim forever.
Or alternatively you could spend your time riding around the world, doing funny quests and modding the game so that you look like Sonic the Hedgehog (seriously, that's a thing). The choice is all yours, and that's the beauty of Skyrim — player freedom is paramount and it truly delivers a rich, rewarding gameplay experience.
The modding community for this game is insanely creative, hardworking, and is still releasing fresh content to this day. One such mod was Enderal: The Shards of Order, a Skyrim conversion set in its own handcrafted world, complete with a riveting storyline and an impressive level of complexity. It even scooped the award for Best Fan Creation at The Game Awards 2016, a prestigious honor for an expansion made by dedicated fans that was released free to all players.
So if you're looking for a critically acclaimed adventure game to sink hundreds of hours into, and one that can be expanded enormously with award-winning fan-made content, then look no further than The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
CD Projekt RED's masterpiece The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has garnered more than 250 "game of the year awards," with around 10 million copies sold worldwide. #Witcher3 sets the bar for game developers everywhere. Made and marketed for a relatively low budget of around $75 million, the game has surpassed all expectations and is considered one of the best #RPGs ever made.
In The Witcher 3, you play as the titular witcher Geralt of Rivia, a professional monster hunter who is trained from a young age and enhanced with potions to turn him and his ilk into ultimate killing machines. Using your trusty silver and steel swords (one for monsters, one for humans), and an array of magical abilities known as signs, you'll travel across colossal landscapes bursting with bright foliage and dotted with quaint villages as you take on monster-killing contracts and play through the sprawling 90-hour main story (I'm serious, it took me around 92 hours to finish my first playthrough).
The story is a work of art, comprising of well-developed characters and detailed dialogue. There's action and adventure, love and pain, all woven into an impressively lengthy story that keeps every player captivated for days on end. Oh, and did I mention the #DLC? Every player — that's right, every single player —receives 16 pieces of DLC content absolutely free. These DLCs are comprised of armor, weapons, additional outfits, and also a number of detailed quests, which add a few extra hours to a game already bursting with content.
And if that's not enough, for a few extra dollars you can buy the season pass, unlocking both the Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine expansion packs, which when combined add around 50 extra hours of content — and that's only if you're rushing through them.
Aside from the story, exploring the map can be a time-consuming yet rewarding task. From the bubbling marshes of Velen to the cobbled streets of Novigrad, all the way to the glistening isles of Skellige, The Witcher 3 never fails to impress with the sheer level of detail and complexity packed into its extraordinary world.
And we haven't even talked about #Gwent, the simple card game built into The Witcher 3, which has caused many players to go mad in their desperate search for hero cards hidden across the land. Rest assured, Gwent is the most addictive mini game ever made; so addictive in fact that due to popular demand, CD Projekt RED has released it as a standalone collectable game. I myself own all of the physical decks, and I'd sell one of my kidneys before I even considered selling any of them.
So if you need an escape from reality, then look no further than these five games. With experiences ranging from open-world sandbox gameplay, to masterfully crafted stories with beautiful, sprawling landscapes to explore, you'll never be in need of other forms of entertainment. All you need is a controller and maybe a few years' supply of food, because these games will undoubtedly take over your entire life and you won't regret it at all.
You might also like:
- CD Projekt Red Gets $7 Million To Work On 'Cyberpunk 2077'
- 'Sea Of Thieves': Why Rare's Swashbuckling New Pirate Adventure Will Have You Hooked!
- Terry Crews Visits Blizzard, Could He Be Voicing Overwatch's Elusive 'Doomfist'?
If you've got any games you've played for hundreds of hours, then let us know in the comments below.
Which of the above games would keep you immersed for the longest?
[Image via www.gamepur.com]