Stuck indoors with nothing to play? Rather than splash out on the latest big release, why not dig into your backlog to find some games that are better the second time around? And if you do want to buy something new, choosing one of the best games to replay offers far better value, because once you’ve beaten it once you’ll want to go and do it all over again. If you’re stuck for ideas, we’re here to help with a list of the best games to replay on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
First, some rules for this list. We’re excluding live service games that go on indefinitely – that means no Destiny 2 or Warframe. Similarly, we’re not listing multiplayer games that you can play for round after round (if you want that, check out our best multiplayer games). Instead, we’re focusing on huge worlds that deserve to be seen at least twice, RPGs with branching stories that let you decide their outcomes, and games with flexible mechanics that feel completely different on your second playthrough.
Here’s our list of the most replayable games on PC and consoles.
30. The Walking Dead
Telltale Games worked on some big-name series throughout the 2000s, including Monkey Island and Sam & Max, but it’s 2012’s The Walking Dead that really defined the now-defunct studio, with its comic book art style, deep characters and branching story. It’s that story, and those choices, that make it worth replaying. There’s enough distance between now and 2012 that you’ve probably forgotten what happened, but even if you haven’t, the choices you make can send the story in a completely new direction. Layer in more decisions in its second, third and fourth seasons, and you have a series that feels unique to each player and, even better, unique to each playthrough.
Play it now: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
29. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
The 2019 version of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is one of the best remakes we’ve ever played. It keeps everything that made the original 1993 such a classic, but gives it one of the fanciest paint jobs imaginable. The original 8-bit art style is transformed into dreamy pop-up book heaven: trees look like detailed plastic miniatures, while a combination of blur and realistic shadows make it feel like you’re looking down on a digital version of your favorite board game. Other enhancements include a freely-explorable map and more easily understood puzzles, which make this remake the best version you can play of an already wonderful game.
Play it on: Nintendo Switch
28. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
The prospect of jumping back into a stealth sandbox this huge (expect to take 50 hours for the full campaign) is daunting, but you’ll thank us later. The Metal Gear Solid 5 three endings aren’t the main reason to replay it – instead, you should focus your re-run on diving into the twisting story and experimenting with the near-endless ways of completing its levels. Maps are vast, so visit areas that you avoided the first time around. You’ll nearly always find a surprise stealth route, or a new way of finishing an objective that you didn’t think possible. Plus, exploring rewards you with story tidbits, which feel even more significant if you know what happens later on.
Play it on: PC, PS4, Xbox One
27. Dark Souls trilogy
Dark Souls changed gaming forever. As much a cultural touchstone as a memorable hack-and-slasher, its ultra-hard enemies, dense lore doled out in cryptic text and sparsely-spread bonfire rest spots have become reference points for the action genre at large. If you’ve never played the series before, then you’re lucky, because you get to experience them for the first time. But even if you’re already a hardened veteran of Lordran’s battlefields, there’s never a bad time to return. Dark Souls and its two follow-ups keep surprising us, with secrets and unexpected story connections hiding in every twisted corridor. Play with a new class or take a different route through its mazy world the second time around.
Play it on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
26. Cities: Skylines
The best city builder you can play right now, and the flexibility of its creation tools, which let you zone huge areas at once and mould hillsides to your liking, allow you to create vastly different towns every time you start a new game. You could build a city organised in neat blocks around public squares, a hilly town with narrow streets straight from the Alsace, or a metropolis jammed with skyscrapers and highways. Its freeform nature encourages you to set your own challenges, and its DLC pipeline is constantly adding new buildings and systems to an already-packed game. If you’re a newbie, its on-boarding is pretty decent, too.
Play it on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
25. Choice of Robots
“Choice” is the operative word here. You can question whether this interactive story, told entirely through text, is a game or not, but you can’t question the unparalleled scope for player expression it gives you. The narrative is shaped nearly entirely by your choices, from the type of robot the main character builds to which of nine characters you want to romance. The density of the choices is impressive: sometimes, it feels like you can’t go two mintues without being able to decide what to do next. The fact it weaves those decisions into a 300,000-word sci-fi novel is nothing short of remarkable.
Play it now: PC, Android
24. Dragon Age Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition might not be the most replayable Bioware game (see Mass Effect at number three), but it’s still a massive sandbox RPG with tonnes of side quests and locations to find. For every quest you complete, 10 more will pop up on your mission map, and exploring off the main path can start a diversion that lasts five hours. These distractions are far from filler, and should be the focus of your second playthrough. You’ll gain new insights into your companions and the world’s races, and find ever more powerful weapons to do battle with. Its tactical combat, and variety of both classes and sub-classes, will mean two characters do battle in completely different ways: if you picked a tank the first time around, pick a mage now. You’ve got as many choices in dialogue as you have in combat, and your words will decide who rules, who lives, and who dies.
Play it now: PC, Xbox One, PS4
From Software’s PS4 exclusive looks a lot like Dark Souls, but it plays far faster – you can pull off complex combos by switching between a weapon’s two modes, carry sidearms to chip away at enemy’s defences, and leech life from your enemy by attacking them soon after they damage you. Bloodborne has 27 optional bosses, which should tell you a lot about its replayability, and its compelling combat is paired with story secrets that you have to hunt to find. The various classes, called origins, and a wide arsenal of weapons will keep it feeling fresh.
Play it now: PS4
22. Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar’s magnum opus isn’t, on first inspection, the most immediately replayable game. It’s deliberately slow in places, and the thought of carrying out monotonous chores around Van der Linde Gang’s camp all over again hardly gets our hearts racing. But there’s simply such a big world to explore that every time we return we find a new obsession away from the main story. Perhaps we’ll spend four hours hunting in the cold northern expanses of the map. Perhaps we’ll go town to town, trying out different haircuts at the barbers. Or perhaps we’ll roam the country as a bandit, robbing travellers and breaking prisoners out of wagons. Red Dead Redemption 2 gives you so many ways to be a cowboy that it deserves a second glance.
Play it now: PS4, Xbox One, PC
21. Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a medieval RPG that, at times, feels more like a life sim. Yes, there’s a bigger story at play, but so much of the game is dedicated to connecting you to a lowly blacksmith’s son called Henry, who’s the protagonist. Most of the time, you’re not worried about civil war, but whether you can get to the butcher’s before it closes, or whether you need to visit the baths to wash the grime off your clothes so that nobles will like you more. The attention to detail extends to the countryside outside cities, which feels organic, like it would live on even if you weren’t there. That gives you plenty of reasons to explore, and some of the best stories are found in side quests or encounters that you’ll stumble across in the woods in the dead of night.
Play it now: PC, Xbox One, PS4
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