If you ask different people, you’ll probably come up with several different things that make a game worth playing. What makes a game really stand out as worth playing depends on what your priorities are as a gamer. Do you love the storyline more than anything else? Does a game have to sweep you up in the lore and character interactions to make it worth your while? Or perhaps you have to have razor-sharp graphics on your monitor to enjoy playing a game. Or maybe it’s the music: maybe you just can’t stand to play a game that has a less than perfect soundtrack, even when you’re playing online casino games.
Whatever you lean towards, there are a number of factors that, when combined, make a game genuinely mind-blowing. If a game lacks any of them, it’s likely to be something of a letdown. Let’s take a look at our list of the top ten things that make a game worth playing.
We love a game that has a great story! What happens in the game, the world that the writers and devs have created, the paths that the characters are on; these things are essential in any game. If all the other factors are there, but the story doesn’t make sense, it’s too predictable, or there’s just not enough meat to it, we lose interest.
This goes hand in hand with an exciting story-line. The more the video game industry evolves, the more layered and, well, human characters become. These days a game isn’t complete with just a cool-looking set of characters: they have to have some kind of back story. We want to know who these characters are, understand what’s brought them to where they are in the story, and what will drive them forward; the best games are the ones that give us the goods.
Thankfully, animation technology has advanced so far that this is rarely an issue. Stunning visuals can make or break a game; it’s true! With motion capture technology, some of the best artists in the world, and animators who work on cutting-edge software, most big game releases these days are nothing short of spectacular in the visual department. The trailers that precede big game releases are mini-movies, and when that technology and commitment is brought to bear on the in-game graphics, the result is incredible.
These will vary with preferences and from genre to genre, but any game you play has to have goals worth attaining, or there’s really no point. The goals also need to be within reach: not so hard that all but the best 1% of players in the world can play the game, and not so easy that the game isn’t challenging at all. If a goal isn’t worth the effort you need to put in to get to it, why would you bother playing?
The games that do the best are the ones that feel good to play. When controls in a game are set up just right, they shouldn’t be too easy to master and not so tricky that playing is no fun. The controls in any game you play should allow for you to make decisions at the speed of the game: it’s no fun playing a split-second game and feeling hamstrung by the time it takes to get anything done. Camera controls are especially important in the playability of a game: you need to be able to orient your viewpoint to be able to control your character well.
Whatever game you’re playing, you want to play it to great music. Some games have full-on soundtracks produced just for them, sometimes featuring well-known musicians. Other games have a more arcade sound to them instead of real songs. Whichever kind of game you play, the music should accent it and add to the ambiance rather than fight against it or detract from the overall feel of the game.
Originality or Consistency
This might sound like two different points, but really it’s two sides of one coin. Originality is essential in every new title, but if a game is part of a series, it shouldn’t be so original that it doesn’t have the same feel as the rest of the games in the series. You don’t want to buy a brand new game only to find out that it’s just like one you played three years ago, do you?
No gamer wants to waste their money on a game that they can only play once! Sure, some games take less time and effort to finish than others do; this will vary from genre to genre and between difficulty levels. But once you’ve played a game the whole way through, you should be able to play it again ( not necessarily immediately) and enjoy the experience just as much. Whether the game has a whole range of potential endings or is just packed with so much detail that you see something new each time you play, it should be re-playable.
This applies to every part of the game. It’s the details that really make something stand out: that extra secret level, the free loot on the road less traveled, the moody music, or the location-specific flora and fauna.
While this is impossible to define, it’s true, your preferences when playing a particular game will be a significant factor in determining whether that game is worth playing for you. What you like and don’t like matters more than any other factor since you will be playing the game.
All of the factors on this list have to combine and balance perfectly for a game to be worth playing. Which of these is the most important to you?