ByRob, writer at
Father. Husband. Teacher. Cook. Gamer! It's hard to fit in gaming with all that, but somehow I still do! Twitter: @robcovell

Depending on the person, a video game can take up as much or as little time as you'd like. There are games good for a quick session, and ones that could last days. Then there are those that you could practically play forever; games with so much content that you could get lost in them for hours (or more!) at a time. Here are 5 such games!

Rules! I have to have played them! One game per franchise (although including a whole franchise might make sense in some cases). I've decided against MMO games as they would fill this list alone. Also, this isn't a top 5, just 5 games I think could eat away at my time forever!

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

I would add an image directly below the name of the game

I played the original UFO/XCOM a lot when I was younger, so I was somewhat apprehensive when this remake was first announced. But I was wrong to worry. Very, very wrong. This game has consumed a huge amount of my time already, and would have had more if not for the sequel taking some of it. The overall base and operation management alone could account for a pretty good game, but when paired with the ground level strategy missions you've got a lot of content here. The addition of perma-death for your soldiers makes the game all the more tense (even more so when you name them all after your friends).

Ground based missions take up most of your time.
Ground based missions take up most of your time.

Add in the Enemy Within DLC and the Long War mod, and you've got a recipe for a very, very long game. It's not without its flaws, such as odd glitches and a lack of map variety, but these will quickly be overlooked if you let yourself be absorbed into this. Whilst XCOM 2 did add more variety, a story, and Steam Workshop support, I founded that it was a little more bloated in terms of features. The more streamlined original remake is where my heart lies. It also doesn't hurt that this game is on pretty much every last gen platform known to mankind.

Fallout 4

"What's over that hill?" "That building looks a little different. What's in there?" "Is that a Deathclaw over there? Reckon I can kill it." All statements that will pop into your head at one point or another as you explore the post-nuclear wasteland of Fallout 4. The odds of you getting from your current location to the destination for your next quest without you being sidetracked for long periods of time are low. Everything almost begs to be explored and looted for equipment or components for crafting a settlement creation.

Early game shot.  Want to follow that road though!
Early game shot. Want to follow that road though!

There's a lot to sink your teeth into here, even if the role playing aspect seems to have been pretty much removed since the previous games. I'm tempted to skip the settlement creation altogether and just roam the wastes seeing what I can find. I remember running into a group of very friendly cannibals in Fallout 3, who lived in a small community as though the apocalypse had never happened. It wasn't marked, it wasn't a quest, it just happened. I'm hoping for more like this this time around!

Football Manager

I'm not a huge football fan. I watch it here and there and suffer through supporting a local team, but I'm not someone who avidly watches everything to do with it. This also extends to games, I don't play a huge number of football games. But there are times where one version Football Manager or another has consumed hour upon hour of my time. I found myself carefully studying the statistics of countless players, trying to get the maximum potential with the fewest weaknesses. Needless to say, I wasn't very good at it, but the stats interested me a great deal.

Some simple mid-match statistics.
Some simple mid-match statistics.

You can literally keep playing this until the end of time, starting a new season every time one finishes, discovering new talent, moving from team to team and building them up to European glory. There is no end here. The last ones I played was the 2013 edition and the one on the iPad. I pray I don't relapse and get an updated version.

Civilization V

The series that pretty much invented the expression "Just one more turn". The franchise that is responsible for so many gamers looking away from their screen and realising that it's 3AM, and not 7 in the evening after all. Selecting a nationality to lead throughout the ages, to world domination (or perhaps a less aggressive victory) will eat into your life in ways that few other games can. Varied country choices, an extensive tech tree, and a number of ways to achieve victory mean there's plenty for anyone interested in the 4X genre.

Yes, Kathmandu IS part of the US!
Yes, Kathmandu IS part of the US!

You could play this over and over with different combinations of map, nationalities, and victory conditions. Or do as I do, and set the game length to maximum and have a game of truly epic length. Although doing this can be frustrating if you end up in an impossible situation 15 hours in. I decided on Civ V rather than previous versions as this one chose to get rid of unit stacking, the ability to place units on top of one another. In previous versions this meant waiting a very long time as the computer attacked with every single unit which could get tedious. Civ VI is on its way, and I'm looking forward to seeing what they change and refine once it arrives.

Elite Dangerous

There is literally a galaxy to explore in this game. Billions of stars divided into countless sectors. Each system has space stations, planets, players and NPCs going about their business, and how you interact with them is up to you. Are you going to happily trade your way to success? Smuggle illegal goods? Become a pirate? Fight those who prey on the less powerful? There are a lot of options to pursue, and even more space (PUN!) to pursue them in.

It doesn't hurt that it looks gorgeous!
It doesn't hurt that it looks gorgeous!

There's so much in this game, even more now that the planetary landing expansion has been added. Part of me thinks that it wouldn't be possible to see everything in the game's galaxy in your lifetime, but that's really just guesswork. If you're one of those people eagerly awaiting No Man's Sky, this would be an excellent choice to play in the meantime. If only the tutorials were better...

So that's my list! There were a lot of others that I could have included, both modern and older. Do you agree? Think others deserve a place more than these? Let me know!


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