I like to look at my Steam ‘most played’ list, in large part because it combines the enjoyment of numbers and the strange addiction of lists. It’s not a complete view of my gaming history, given that my Steam account is only 7 years old and not all games are played via Steam, but it’s still pretty close. The biggest missing titles are MMOs, specifically EVE and WoW, both of which I have easily 1000+ hours with, and League of Legends (also very likely a 1000+ hours title). Mobile gaming has also racked up hundreds of hours between CoC, BB, and now CR.
My top ten played, along with hours.
- Mount and Blade: Warband – 597
- Age of Wonders 3 – 327
- Civilization V – 292
- ARK – 254
- Payday 2 – 234
- Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 210
- Might and Magic: Heroes VI – 197
- FFXIV – 172
- Fallout 4 – 165
- Total War: Warhammer – 113
Two things go a long way to rack up hours with me; multiplayer (either co-op or 1v1 matchmaking) and mods. Warband being at the top is in large part due to the Prophecy of Pendor mod, which I have easily spend 300+ hours with. Skyrim also got a lot of play due to mods. Age of Wonders 3, Civ 5, ARK, and Payday 2 all benefit from multiplayer.
Interestingly, the only titles on the list likely to move up are Fallout 4 (still playing),TW: Warhammer, which I will return to at some point to play the DLC and potentially mods, and parhaps FFXIV once life settles down a bit for my wife and I. ARK is a maybe, but its an impossible game to play casually, and I don’t see a window for that one coming back again. Warband is getting a sequel ‘soon’, as is Civ V, and eventually Skyrim will as well. M&M Heroes has a sequel (reportedly a rather bad one), and I haven’t heard much about Payday 2 getting one (as the game itself still gets updates and DLC).
The list is also a reflection of different games playing differently. I’d say easily dozens of the hours for Warband are watching a siege battle play out as I’m either out of ammo or dead. ARK is similar, but instead of a siege it was waiting for a dino tame to finish. In multiplayer games like AoW3, Civ V, and Heroes, time was spent waiting for another player to finish their turn. This results in a much slower pace, and so the same content gets ‘stretched’ out over more hours. That sounds negative, but I don’t actually view it that way, as even in waiting, I was still ultimately entertained by the entire experience (otherwise I’d have stopped playing).
Games like Shadow of Mordor are the exact opposite. I have 17 hours with that game, being about 60% of the way through it, but I already feel done. That 17 hours was really good, especially the first 10, but its just not a long-term game. It’s too much coming at you all the time, and that’s just not sustainable.
I don’t think I’d go as far as saying that /played is the be-all-end-all of judging a game, but I also have a hard time thinking of a more important metric. My top 10 is pretty accurate in terms of the games I’ve enjoyed the most over the last 7 years, and I just find it almost impossible to move a game with even 30 hours /played above something I have 200+ with.