Video games come in various lengths. Large AAA titles may take about 70 hours of the player’s time. Narrative-driven offerings can take about 4-5 hours to complete, depending on how quickly they get through each part.
Users may enjoy both kinds of video games, according to their preference. Many people enjoy shorter titles that can be finished without much time put into them, while others revel in offerings that require their attention for many hours, spanning days.
This list includes games of both types, some of which can be done and dusted within a day, while others can take up to weeks.
Note: This article reflects the writer’s opinion.
Five video games that take a day to finish
Portal, the original title of the series, was developed by Valve as a puzzle platformer game and released on October 10, 2007. This video game received much critical acclaim for its plot and in-game portal mechanics, which were crucial to its story and gameplay.
While Portal was an enjoyable game, which holds up even today, it was pretty short. With Chell discovering the portal gun and GLaDOS revealing herself to be a psychopath and soon dying, the main campaign takes about 3 hours to complete.
If fans were too nosy about looking for achievements and seeking 100% completion, the game would take about nine hours to finish. Despite this short length, Portal still stands as one of Valve’s best video games ever released, with fun, engaging gameplay that requires thinking four dimensionally.
2) What Remains of Edith Finch
Giant Sparrow’s What Remains of Edith Finch was a first-person adventure game released in 2017. It follows Edith Finch as she returns to her ancestral home for the first time in seven years.
Edith’s family is believed to be cursed, with every family member except one dying in unusual ways every generation.
The entire game constitutes going around the Finch home and interacting with various memorabilia belonging to different family members. Each interaction leads to a flashback reiterating the deaths of each member.
Each such sequence is presented in a gameplay element, with varying genres and gameplay styles.
The entire game takes only about two and a half hours to complete. The title has received much praise for its narrative and changing gameplay structure. It is even considered one of the examples of a video game as an art form.
3) The Stanley Parable
A completely story-based video game with no other gameplay element other than moving about, interacting with objects, and pressing buttons at times, The Stanley Parable stands as one of the best meta commentaries about video games inside a video game.
Developed and published by Galactic Cafe, the title was first released on October 17, 2013.
The game follows the titular character Stanley, a non-speaking protagonist, guided by the unseen narrator who narrates events of the game as they are supposed to happen. Players may have options at specific points, where they might choose to disregard the narrator’s direction and go their own route. More often than not, this will irritate the narrator.
The entire game can be finished at least once through one ending in 1 and a half hours or so. However, for the curious mind not sated with anything less than 100%, the game provides a variety of different endings and optional areas to look around. All of this may be explored in about six more hours’ worth of playtime.
Released in 2015, it was a video game developed chiefly by one person known as Toby Fox. The warm reception and later popularity of the title saw Fox rise to quite the level of fame. This was a 2D role-playing game that incorporated user choices that could affect the game’s ending.
Undertale tells the story of an unnamed character who has fallen into the Underground, a land full of new and mysterious creatures, some of which offer a helping hand while others seek to harm. The gamer’s objective is to find a way back to their world, fighting monsters along the way and making new friends.
A simple, straightforward playthrough for this video game may take up to 6 hours, although the disparity between this and the 100% completion mark is relatively high. Completionist would need to sink in about 20 hours into the title to have exhausted all possible options.
While P.T. was not supposed to be its own game, it now stands as the only remaining visual experience of how a Silent Hill game in the modern-day, directed by Hideo Kojima, might have looked.
In fact, P.T. is not available to buy anymore, and the only copies available are those already owned by people or on sale on eBay.
Showcased as a playable teaser, this video game demonstrated what an upcoming Silent Hill game was supposed to look like. But since that title was eventually canceled, P.T. remains as its own game.
Players embody an unnamed protagonist stuck in a looping corridor, which is also haunted by various supernatural entities, the chief of which is Lisa.
At the time of release, there was no indication of how to end the game, with players continuously circling the same looped corridor. But later on, a few cryptic steps to trigger an ending made their way into social media.
Relying on a couple of movements from the player and an opportunistic phone call, the game could have ended in about an hour and a half if users were lucky. If not, they were stuck with Lisa for at least as long as the phone rang once more. Good luck.
Five titles that can take ages to finish
1) Forza Horizon 5
It’s not often that a racing game takes weeks to complete, but Forza has outdone itself with the activities in its open world. Forza Horizon 5’s campaign can be steamrolled through in about a day’s worth of grinding, provided gamers take necessary food breaks.
However, 100% completion takes about 96 hours.
This racing video game for car enthusiasts was developed by Playground Games and released in November 2021. As with other titles in the Forza Horizon series, this offering brings back a Forza festival that overarches the main story and gives players a reason to get into cars and take to the road.
There are tons of events to try and various permutations of races to take part in. Aside from normal races, they can check out stunt events and time trials.
The title also offers a host of side activities to shake up the gameplay, such as a photography challenge. Completing each and every one of these activities needs a certain amount of dedication.
2) Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar Game’s second cowboy simulator, in the form of Red Dead Redemption 2, hit the shelves in 2018 for the PlayStation and 2019 for PCs. The title tells a prequel story from the previous games, following the Van der Linde gang.
Protagonist Arthur Morgan is the likable outlaw who gamers control, taking on the Wild West once more.
With a map twice the size of the previous game, RDR2 provided them with a litany of side activities to partake in, aside from the main story. Exploration was a big part of the title, with random encounters happening along the road every so often. There was never a time when players felt bored playing this video game.
The main story takes about 50 hours to complete, and that’s if users don’t die too many times. Yet, getting a 100% in this title is a monumental task, with an in-game codex of all kinds of plants, wildlife, and fish that gamers must come across to note down.
Along with the various secret locations and missable side missions, a completionist needs to put in a whopping 173 hours to have any hope.
3) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The best game in The Witcher series of video games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, is a massive open-world title that takes place on the fictional continent of Andrzej Sapkowski’s work. Once again, following Geralt of Rivia, the white-haired Witcher, this game sees him on the search for Ciri, his adopted daughter.
The open world provides a great sandbox to play around in and role-play throughout as the fantasy monster hunter many fans have always dreamt of. The main story of this game can be completed in about 50 odd hours if players feel lucky.
However, when it comes to discovering all of the interest points on the map and chance encounters and mini-story arcs, it’s a different tale.
This video game features tons of side quests as well as contracts that are to be picked up from notice boards across various settlements. This means having to find these on the map first.
Additionally, chance encounters happen only in specific parts of the world, not shown on the map. Completing all of these and getting a 100% in this title requires about 172 hours of dedicated input. And this is without the DLCs.
4) Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
Odyssey is the largest video game in the Assassin’s Creed series. With one of the largest explorable maps, spanning the Greecian isles and hundreds of side quests ranging from multi-stage mini adventures to simple one-time fetch quests, it simply has a lot to do, which was even a complaint against the game.
Sitting pretty with a 42-hour-long main campaign for the average player, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey will require long hours of gameplay to finish the misthios’ primary story. Yet, the game also has two more side stories dealing with the character, which are not part of the main questline.
Aside from this, it also features a questline to hunt down legendary animals, as well as one to find some important historical landmarks.
With additional exploration, ship battles, and eliminating cultists, all of the above take up to 132 hours. And still, gamers would not have discovered every corner of the map due to its sheer vastness.
It is an Odyssey, after all.
5) Elden Ring
Of course, Elden Ring would make this list. Following the Breath of the Wild formula, players are let loose in the world of The Lands Between in FromSoftware’s new offering and are encouraged to explore.
There are no gate-keeping bosses and nothing stopping users from going wherever they want. That is apart from the enemies, but even they can be circled around.
FromSoftware knows that a boss fight is the most sought-after experience its fans are looking for, so bosses are placed in every nook and corner of the game map. Defeating enemies and bosses gains runes which gamers can use to level up and become stronger.
The game largely depends on their level to determine which areas are suitable for them to attempt and which should be left for later, although there’s nothing stopping players from trying their luck. The game can be completed, at least the main story, in about 90+ hours, although the longest recorded playtime to beat the game is 152 hours.
Note: This article reflects the author’s views.
Q. Do you prefer shorter games or ones that take a while to complete?
I like games which take more of my time
I like games which are short and sweet