Some video games offer compelling stories and can be exhilarating for the 60 odd hours that are required to complete them, and then there games whose main focus is on gameplay. These games are often accessible for anyone to play and easy to pick up, but often prove to be addictive and difficult to put down. It’s not uncommon for players to log over 600 hours into these open-ended or matchmaking games, dwarfing the commitment required for a 60 hour quest. The following are the 10 most addicting video games ever created. It would be very easy to lose a full day while playing these engaging games.
10. SimCity (Series)
SimCity is widely regarded as an addictive experience, one that is so engaging that it will cause hours to fly by. While this notion may no longer apply to 2013’s ghastly SimCity 5 (simply titled SimCity), the concept remains in place that the brand offers endless entertainment by providing simple tasks. SimCity 5 may have proven how addictive the series is moreso than the previous entries accomplished. That’s due to all the inherent flaws in SimCity 5 being exposed and yet gamers still playing the game. The always-online component (that has since been squashed) caused major issues for players when it first launched. The servers were not functioning properly and there was a period of time where nobody could actually log on and play the game. However, players continued their attempt to play. The enormous launch fiasco was propelled by the fact that so many people actually wanted to play the game. That’s the true mark of an addictive endeavor.
A community that has been running very strong for 16 years lends credence to the fact that Counter-Strike is an addictive game. But this level of dominance in the marketplace is unprecedented and should not merely be glossed over. The first-person shooter video game genre is a highly competitive arena. The genre has seen revolutionary changes in the years since Counter-Strike was initially released, however the game’s fan base will never disappear. The FPS genre is generally one whose titles fade after several years. It’s not a genre of gaming that can age particularly well. The amazing thing about Counter-Strike is the longevity the title has experienced. Simple, hectic fun is advertised and the game certainly delivers on that aspect. Counter-Strike goes further by drawing the player in and allowing this seemingly repetitive experience to never grow stale.
8. Mario Kart (Series)
Mario Kart proves that fun, simple gameplay still has a home in the hearts of even the most intense gamers. That’s because Mario Kart is addictive. Offering thrilling fun, the longstanding series will have many groups of friends staying awake all night long competing in multiplayer mayhem. The series began on the Super Nintendo and has become a Nintendo staple since that point, often appearing as a bright star in a Nintendo console’s library. Many gamers will purchase a console for the sole purpose of playing Mario Kart, as this addictive romp will have players invested to play. The series is influenced heavily by luck, causing Mario Kart’s races to become more casual and fun in the process. The dreaded spiky blue shell which chases down the first place racer is the bane of many players’ existence. With this element of luck in play, a player can race flawlessly and still suffer multiple unavoidable projectiles inches from the finish line and consequently finish in last place. And yet even after this outrageous turn of events, players will already be navigating for a rematch. Mario Kart remains as addictive as ever and will continue to shine bright among a myriad of imitators.
7. Civilization 5
The revolutionary Civilization franchise has occupied billions of hours of spare time among a wide array of gamers by offering a turn-based strategy game that becomes relentlessly addictive. Intending to play for the evening, eventually without warning, the entire night has passed and the sun is rising. Civilization 5 is the most addictive game in the series since it appeals to wider cast of gamers. The fifth entry in the series is less intense than the previous entry and offers fewer barriers for entry. It’s easy for newcomers to enjoy Civilization 5, which is a welcomed change, but still appeals to any strategy gamer seeking strong gameplay. Civilization 5 does have many welcomed improvements from the previous entry, such as a greater focus on combat and the hexagon tiles that replace the square tiles in the game. The hexagon allows for far more strategy and building options. Civilization 5 draws players in with simple yet deep gameplay and it quickly becomes one of the most addictive games of all-time.
6. StarCraft 2
StarCraft 2 represents real-time strategy at its finest and as RTS games usually are, it proves to be supremely addictive. ST2 is perfect for online battles, as there are varying skill levels to suit everyone’s needs online at all times. This is a game that proves to be extremely difficult to play in moderation, as players will always want a rematch. It’s easy to allow an entire day to go by while simply playing online matches and you’ll never get bored. With a competitive ranking system, an addiction to being the best often follows. Moving into Diamond League (and from there into Master League) is a long-term investment that will cause StarCraft 2 to become addicting. With sights set on the Grand Master League, this long road is fortunately filled with tremendous gameplay for players to enjoy.
5. The Sims (Series)
The video game equivalent of playing God, The Sims is destined to be addictive. Offering many varied gameplay elements ranging from the initial creation of a family to building a house and eventually furnishing the home, The Sims has something for everyone. For some, that initial jolt of creating the neighborhood is the biggest thrill around. For a likely majority of others, The Sims is appealing for controlling the fates of these created Sims. Suffering an addiction for The Sims is quite common, as the absolute control the player has over every detail is exciting to think of in real life. The Sims is an open-ended game and can be played forever. There will certainly be an appeal to create new families and new houses but the amount of time players spend with each is limitless. The Sims is easy to pick up but very difficult to put down. Just like any addicting game, its seemingly simplistic offerings prove extremely entertaining and long-lasting.
With the game’s wide-reaching popularity, there’s a good chance you’ve logged a hefty amount of hours into the cultural phenomenon Minecraft. The creative digital sandbox offers simple graphics and accessible gameplay yet offers one of the most rewarding games in the business. With creative mode’s endless possibilities, it’s quite clear how this title can become addictive. Not only will the hours of construction in the game add up, players will be so engrossed in their Minecraft efforts that a visit to YouTube is often in the cards after playing. The community of Minecraft is built from the desire of players to see other inspirations on similar ideas. The idea of sharing and discovering go together with the style of play that Minecraft engages in. It is an addictive experience that is insanely difficult to quit even after logging off.
3. League of Legends
The most-played game in the world, League of Legends is a pioneer in its genre. Offering a free-to-play gaming model, it is incredible easy to pick up and get sucked right in. League of Legends is also one of the most competitive gaming arenas in the world and has certainly made eSports more popular and mainstream. Tournaments for League of Legends give out enormous cash prizes, with The World Championship event routinely awarding $1 million dollars to the winning team. Viewership for League of Legends is also one of the highest in the video game industry. Regional tournaments attract millions of viewers and the World Championship obliterates network television ratings. With competition that is this involved, League of Legends becomes an addictive experience. The rank-based matches provide the opportunity to climb the ladder and this becomes obsessive. League of Legends currently offers 130 characters to choose from (the majority of which do require a one-time form of payment), and with this selection, it’s difficult for players to ever become bored.
Solitaire is known as a time-waster and is seen as a productivity-killer, yet it continues to be played everywhere and is one of the most famous distractions conceived. Solitaire was always beloved but when it turned to digital form rather than physical cards, it became one of the most addictive video games of all-time. Solitaire was initially included in Windows 3.0 in order to teach mouse fluency; it was a training tool that was well-disguised as a game. In today’s landscape, people take for granted what wasn’t common or intuitive behavior during 1990 (the release year of Windows 3.0). Dragging and dropping with the mouse as well as differentiating between left and right button clicks were ideas that needed to be taught and a great way to do so was through the amazing game of Solitaire. Decades later, with consumers fully understanding the concept of dragging objects with a pointer, Solitaire remains a staple on computers. With an infinite amount of more ambitious titles available, Solitaire remains a popular choice for gamers and one they will inevitable return to. Solitaire is addicting and will never become old.
1. World of Warcraft
Synonymous with the topic of addictive video games, World of Warcraft has commanded an endless amount of gaming hours from the public. The massively multiplayer online game laid the foundation for future MMOs as well as World of Warcraft itself in the form of its expansions. With longevity since 2004, WoW is the perfect example of an addictive video game. The game offers rewards that are known to be addicting. “Leveling up” is the example with the biggest pedigree but there are many other rewards in World of Warcraft that will keep gamers going. Finishing quests, earning new loot and finding new locations are all exciting portions of the gameplay that World of Warcraft has to offer. There’s no game quite similar to World of Warcraft and there’s no game more addicting either. Since its arrival, players have been calling Azeroth home and that popularity is not about to change.