Gaming

Best Games With Infinite Replayability

Highlights

  • RimWorld: Unpredictable & Versatile survival game with unique characters and modding community. (100 characters)
  • Factorio: Procedural technology allows for endless factory optimization and multiplayer mode. (99 characters)
  • Fallout: New Vegas: Huge modding community, complex narrative, and reputation system for unique playthroughs. (99 characters)


Everyone has that one game that they keep coming back to again and again. Some titles are built with this in mind, having players experience the game in short bursts. Other projects are simply so good that players can’t help but play through it every once in a while.

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Games with infinite replayability are like chicken soup for the soul. The player is so familiar with every aspect of the experience that playing it feels like slipping into a warm, relaxing bath. The game might even be so pulse-poundingly fun that it’s borderline addictive. No matter the case, these titles will likely last into the next eternity.

Updated on January 20, 2024, by Mark Sammut: The specifications have been added for every replayable game mentioned in this discussion.

Genres mainly known for their multiplayer have been left out (battle royales, hero shooters, MOBAs, etc)


21 RimWorld

Unpredictable & Versatile

animals in wild in RimWorld

RimWorld

Released
October 17, 2018

Developer(s)
Ludeon Studios

Genre(s)
Simulation

Metascore
87

RimWorld is a survival game that features a level of unpredictability that is encouraged through its complex AI storyteller system. The game generates a unique set of characters, events, and environmental factors for each playthrough, creating a new experience every time.

The game’s characters have a wide range of skills, traits, and backgrounds, making each playthrough feel distinct as players must adapt their strategies to work with or around the characters they are given. Additionally, RimWorld has multiple difficulty levels and options that allow players to customize their experience further. The game also has a robust modding community, which adds even more replayability through user-generated content.

20 Factorio

Procedural Technology

A rocket being launched from a factory in Factorio

Factorio

Released
August 14, 2020

Developer(s)
Wube Software

Genre(s)
Simulation , Real-Time Strategy

Metascore
90

Factorio is a management and automation game where players have to optimize their factories and production lines. The game has a procedural map generator, creating new terrain, resources, and enemies for each playthrough.

Additionally, the game has a wide range of technology trees and upgrades, allowing players to experiment with different approaches to building and automation. Factorio also has a multiplayer mode that allows players to work together or compete with each other to achieve different goals, further adding to the game’s replayability.

19 Fallout: New Vegas

Robert House

Fallout: New Vegas

Released
October 19, 2010

Metascore
84

Fallout: New Vegas is a role-playing game with a rich and vibrant world that further engages players through its complex narrative. The game has multiple branching paths and endings, depending on the player’s choices and actions, making each playthrough feel unique. The title also boasts a wide range of factions, each with its own agendas and storylines, allowing players to experience different perspectives on the game’s world and events.

The game also has a reputation system, which affects how different factions perceive and interact with the player, adding another layer of complexity and replayability to the game. To top it off, Fallout: New Vegas boasts a robust modding community, which adds new quests, items, and gameplay mechanics to make every single playthrough feel as fresh as possible.

18 Hades

Action Roguelite Epic

hades-64-heat-complete

Hades

Released
September 17, 2020

Genre(s)
Action RPG

Metascore
93

Roguelike games famously have a high replay value, simply due to their randomized nature and continuous meta progression, even after death. Hades is no exception and is one of the most popular games of the genre.

Playing as the son of Hades, Zagreus, the player must escape their father’s grip and the Underworld, slashing their way through anything that stands in their way using the legendary weapons of Olympus from Greek mythology. Hades is designed for several replays, as the world’s unique bosses will remember the players’ previous escape attempts, with new interactions every time!

17 Vampire Survivors

Addictive Gameplay & Great For Short Sessions

Eleanor using Spellstrom in Vampire Survivors Tides of Foscari Weapons

Vampire Survivors

Released
December 17, 2021

Developer(s)
Luca Galante

Genre(s)
Roguelike

Metascore
95

If roguelikes are the pinnacle of games with the most replay value, then roguelites are the runner-up. Incorporating many of the same elements with a slight twist, roguelites like Vampire Survivors can be played for hours on end. Vampire Survivor‘s gameplay loop is all about choosing a character and attacking creatures of the night with bullet-hell-styled gameplay.

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They get to choose their weapons of mass destruction and passively upgrade them as they level up. Players also earn coins through playing the game, allowing them to purchase additional permanent power-ups. Some items synergize well together, allowing for powerful weapon evolutions to destroy the enemies en-mass. Vampire Survivors is an excellent game for those who revel in chaos and enjoy steady character progression while unlocking new items.

16 Stardew Valley

Lead Another Life

community center in stardew valley

Stardew Valley

Released
February 26, 2016

Developer(s)
ConcernedApe

Genre(s)
RPG , Simulation

Metascore
89

Stardew Valley is the masterpiece of ConcernedApe and was originally released in February 2016 on PC, before coming to numerous other consoles, including Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Stardew Valley has already become a poster child of games with infinite replayability, and it is still being enjoyed by many players today, some of whom have surpassed the eye-watering landmark of 1,000 hours of playtime.

Like many farming games, Stardew Valley kicks off with players inheriting a plot of land from their grandfather and are then free to cultivate it in any way that they choose. Farming isn’t all that players will be doing, however, as it’s the game’s engaging life simulation features that have differentiated Stardew Valley from other farming titles and kept players engaged for some more years.

15 Terraria

Expansive 2D Sandbox

Castle in Terraria

Terraria

Released
May 16, 2011

Platform(s)
PC , PS3 , PS4 , PS5 , Xbox 360 , Xbox One , Xbox Series S , Xbox Series X , Switch , Vita , iOS , Android , macOS , Linux , 3DS , Stadia

Genre(s)
Action , Adventure , Sandbox

Metascore
85

Terraria is a 2D sandbox game that has remained popular for over a decade. The game has many similarities to Minecraft, with the core mechanics being exploration, crafting, and mining. There are an infinite number of things to do and accomplish, from building a town for Terraria‘s host of NPCs to tackling all the world’s bosses – the world is the player’s oyster!

Another similarity to Minecraft is that Terraria has procedurally generated worlds. This randomization is at the heart of Terraria‘s infinite replayability, as players are guaranteed to have a different experience every time they start a new world and embark on a new adventure.

14 The Sims Series

Live Multiple Lives

the-sims-4-neighborhood-stories-free-will

The Sims 4

Released
September 2, 2014

Genre(s)
Simulation

Metascore
70

The Sims series originated in February 2000 and kicked off the new millennium in style by providing a truly revolutionary experience. The iconic life simulator won numerous Game of the Year awards from places like the Game Developers Choice Awards, while also becoming the best-selling PC game of all time.

The Sims series is today one of the gaming industry’s most well-known infinitely replayable games, thanks to its true-to-life gameplay that sees players guide multiple generations of characters through their lives. The Sims 4 went free-to-play in recent years, meaning it is now wholly accessible to players who want to pour hours into this delightful life sim.

13 Rollercoaster Tycoon Series

Fun For All Ages

aerial view of a theme park in rollercoaster tycoon 2

RollerCoaster Tycoon

Released
March 31, 1999

Developer
Chris Sawyer Productions, Frontier Developments

Genre(s)
Simulation , Management

The marketing campaign for the original Rollercoaster Tycoon basically wrote itself in 1999, as the classic game gave kids the chance to try their dream job of building and testing rollercoasters. It truly popularized the theme park genre, paving the way for many other successful tycoon games like Planet Coaster.

Although the series does have campaign missions with pre-determined end conditions, the games give players the option to continue building their theme park indefinitely while also offering a separate sandbox mode. The success of Rollercoaster Tycoon has been ever-lasting, proving popular even 20 years later.

12 Devil May Cry 5

Deep Combat That Rarely Gets Old

Dante and Cavalier Angelo in Devil May Cry 5

Devil May Cry 5

Released
March 8, 2019

Metascore
89

Hack and slash games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta are not exactly known for their long campaigns, with most entries in both franchises requiring maybe 10–15 hours to complete. However, these titles live and die by their replayability since the fun comes from mastering all the mechanics. In Devil May Cry, the goal is to defeat enemies as stylishly as possible, something that only really becomes possible after hours upon hours of experience.

Devil May Cry 5 takes things a step further by featuring three playable characters (or four, if Vergil is included). The game also has one of the longest and best campaigns in the franchise, one that is considerably less repetitive than Devil May Cry 4‘s story. More importantly, DMC 5‘s combat is brilliant, perhaps the best of all time in the hack and slash world. When someone gets bored with the campaign, they can also jump into the Blood Palace.

The Road To The Top Is Endless

Football Manager 2024 Formations To Try 4231

Football Manager 2024

Released
November 6, 2024

Genre(s)
Management , Simulation , Sports

Metascore
84

Much like Rollercoaster Tycoon, the Football Manager series gives players the chance to experience a dream job. Sports Interactive, the game’s development team, initially worked on the critically acclaimed Championship Manager series before teaming up with Sega to kick off the Football Manager franchise in November 2004.

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As the name suggests, the Football Manager games let players take the hot seat of any major club and give them the freedom to create tactics, make transfers, and oversee training, with no end conditions whatsoever.

10 Risk Of Rain 2

Many Characters & Great Gameplay Loop

Risk Of Rain 2 gameplay

Risk of Rain 2

Released
September 11, 2020

Developer(s)
Hopoo Games

Genre(s)
Third-Person Shooter , Roguelike

Metascore
85

In the category of pulse-pounding fun, there is Risk of Rain 2. Having a decent list of characters that all play very differently is enough goodness to fill most players’ hearts, but this game takes it one step further by allowing people to explore a wealth of customization that allows them to enter the realm of the absurd.

By collecting power-ups over the course of a run, a player can develop their character in any direction they want, so long as said upgrades are enough to fight off the increasingly dangerous enemies. Players can decide to continue their run indefinitely, as Risk of Rain 2 features indefinite combat scaling for guaranteed hours of adrenaline-fueled entertainment.

9 FTL: Faster Than Light

Classic Roguelike

FTL-Wipe

FTL: Faster Than Light

Released
September 14, 2012

Developer(s)
Subset Games

Genre(s)
Strategy , Roguelike

Metascore
84

One of the most influential roguelikes of the last decade, FTL: Faster Than Light lures players in with many unique ships and ship variants that they can work to unlock. The encounters the player will face will be random and numerous, leaving the fate of the run in their hands, either to triumph with smart commands and quick thinking or in absolute defeat because they forgot to turn the oxygen back on.

If that is not enough, there are mods available that expand on the wealth of content or literally make it infinite. FTL: Faster Than Light was one of the first proper roguelikes ever made and has stood the test of time to become one of the most beloved indie gems of all time.

8 Civilization 6

Runs Are Constantly Fresh

civ-6

Sid Meier’s Civilization 6

$19 $40 Save $21

Released
October 21, 2016

Genre(s)
Strategy

Metascore
88

Any player of the Civilization series will recall the code phrase that, upon hearing it, will enter them into a trance that traps them in an endless cycle of concentration. That phrase being, “One More Turn.” The latest entry in the series, Civilization 6, is no different.

With a randomly generated world, whose parameters can be adjusted at the player’s discretion, the player will choose a civilization to embark with and grow their meager village into an unstoppable empire. Every match is different, especially when other players are thrown into the mix.

The Ultimate Mod Game

Skyrim-Bloated-Mans-Grotto-Aerial-View

Skyrim

Released
November 11, 2011

Metascore
96

If the fact that Skyrim is still being played religiously after more than 10 years is not enough to convince players of its staying power, then simply look at the endless list of mods available for both PC and console. As the Dragonborn, players can explore the vast world with a bountiful number of secrets to discover, all the while playing in just about any way they want to.

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There is something there for everyone. People don’t even need to play it differently to feel drawn back in. The world, quests, characters, and RPG elements are enough to keep players satisfied for hours on end. If that isn’t enough, PC players have tons of mods they can download to keep the game fresh and exciting, from adding new flora in the environments to brand-new quests to experience.

6 Mount And Blade 2: Bannerlord

Long, Challenging, & Diverse

Mount-and-Blade-2

Mount and Blade 2: Bannerlord

Released
October 25, 2022

Genre(s)
Action RPG , Strategy

Metascore
83

Mount And Blade 2: Bannerlord is the true embodiment of starting from nothing, and then working up to kinghood. Players can invest in many skills that will determine what kind of person they are, but that’s the least of their worries. The greatest challenges come from raising and maintaining an army, making investments, and siding with the right faction.

The journey to becoming a king is long and arduous, but with enough perseverance, any player can climb the social ladder to the top. Then, they consider doing it again, as in true RPG fashion, no two playthroughs of Mount and Blade 2 will ever be the same.

5 The Binding Of Isaac

The Power Of Random Loot

Binding-of-Isaac-Jacob-and-Esau-Cropped

The Binding of Isaac

Released
September 28, 2011

Developer(s)
Edmund McMillen , Florian Himsl

Genre(s)
Roguelike

Metascore
91

It is somewhat unbelievable that a game all about a young biblical Isaac, and various other characters, crying on his enemies until they pop would become the juggernaut of an indie title that it is. That being said, the execution is what brings players back to The Binding Of Isaac every day.

In a similar vein to other roguelikes, the player will collect upgrades that will drastically change the way they play the game up until they are fighting God, the Devil, or whatever biblical figure. With a randomized layout and different items every time, the player is always kept on their toes throughout the whole unnerving experience.

4 Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2005)

Galactic Conquest

star-wars-battlefront-2-2005-troopers

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2005)

Released
November 1, 2005

Developer(s)
Pandemic Studios

Genre(s)
First-Person Shooter

Metascore
84

If the response to EA’s Battlefront games was any indicator, it’s that surpassing the original was always a goal too high to reach. All the game’s aspects were great fun, but the true ticket that still puts the original Star Wars: Battlefront 2 above any that have come after is the Galactic Conquest mode.

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Players will try to maneuver their fleets and armies across the galaxy, trying to conquer it as opposing forces try to do the same. Of course, this endless fun would not be nearly as good as it is if not for the enjoyable moment-to-moment gameplay.

3 Cities: Skylines

Build It All

cities-skylines-industry

Cities: Skylines

Released
March 10, 2015

Developer(s)
Colossal Order

Genre(s)
City Builder

Metascore
85

A game where players build their ____. Any number of things can fill that blank. Almost all of them involve an immense amount of freedom and creativity that ensures no two creations are exactly the same. In the case of Cities: Skylines, the thing that players build is a city.

Not just building a city but setting it up to thrive and work as efficiently as possible. For the player who just wants to build something unique unimpeded, some mods provide an unprecedented amount of control over every little aspect of their city.

Cities: Skylines 2 is also quite replayable.

2 Sid Meier’s Pirates (2005)

Perfectly Paced

Sid Meier's Pirates

Sid Meier’s Pirates!

Released
November 22, 2004

Genre(s)
Strategy , Action-Adventure

Metascore
88

If there was ever a game that desperately needed a sequel, it was Sid Meier’s Pirates. Until that day comes, players can occupy themselves with the original remake of the 1987 classic. No single game goes on for too long, and yet within that short period of time, the player can live a life of love, violence, and absurd wealth.

Players can hunt targets, search for buried treasure, accumulate an optimal fleet, or even seek revenge on the man who destroyed their family. Every time players come back for more, eager to do it all over again.

Antonio Josse

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