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Best games to replay for maximum value and reward

Skyrim
(Image credit: Bethesda)

The best games to replay often offer up all manner of reasons to relive them. From the choices you make that can lead the story in different directions to the variety of playstyles and combat to experiment and play around with, there are plenty of games out there that are just calling to be re-played. So if you're looking for something to play, why not revisit your current library and see if there are any games on this list that might just make you revisit an adventure? 

In our pick of the best games to replay, you'll find a host of different experiences across all platforms that you'll want to dive right back into after you've beaten them once. This list focuses on big worlds that demand to be seen more than once, and RPGs with branching stories that you can change the outcome of. 

So without further ado, read on below to find our selection of the best games to replay. 

30. The Walking Dead 

best games to replay - the walking dead

(Image credit: Telltale Games)

Developer: Telltale Games
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

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.

best games to replay - link's awakening

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Developer: Nintendo
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch

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.

28. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

best games to replay - MGS 5

(Image credit: Konami)

Developer: Konami Digital Entertainment
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

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.

27. Dark Souls trilogy 

best games to replay - dark souls

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Developer: FromSoftware
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

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. 

26. Cities: Skylines

best games to replay - cities skylines

(Image credit: Colossal Order)

Developer: Colossal Order
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

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 mold hillsides to your liking, allow you to create vastly different towns every time you start a new game. You could build a city organized 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 onboarding is pretty decent, too.

25. Choice of Robots

best games to replay - choice of robots

(Image credit: Choice of Games)

Developer: Choice of Games
Platform(s):
PC, iOS, Android

“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 minutes 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.

 24. Dragon Age Inquisition 

best games to replay - dragon age inquisition

(Image credit: EA)

Developer: BioWare
Platform(s): PC, Xbox One, PS4

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.

23. Bloodborne

best games to replay - bloodborne

(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Developer: FromSoftware
Platform(s): 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 defenses, 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.

22. Red Dead Redemption 2 

best games to replay - red dead redemption 2

(Image credit: Rockstar North)

Developer: Rockstar
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC

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 travelers 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. 

 21. Kingdom Come: Deliverance 

best games to replay - kingdom come: deliverance

(Image credit: Warhorse)

Developer: Warhorse Studios
Platform(s):
PS4, Xbox One, PC

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. 

20. Civilization 6 

best games to replay - civilization 6

(Image credit: Firaxis Games)

Developer: Firaxis Games
Platform(s): PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4

Forget the old “one more turn” adage – Civilization 6 makes us want to start an entire campaign over and over and over again. The formula is as addictive as it's always been: transform a civilization from a rabble of settlers to a superpower that spans the map by grabbing resources, forging alliances, and building armies. But Civ 6 is the broadest entry in the series to date, and the breadth of its systems necessitates multiple playthroughs. With one of 20 leaders, each with unique traits and bonuses, you can pursue victory by diplomacy or espionage, trade or warfare, technology or cultural advancements. Randomized maps, extensive tech trees, and flexible city building means no two campaigns play out in the same way. 

19. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

(Image credit: 343 Industries)

Developer: 343 Industries
Platform(s): Xbox One, PC

Is putting a collection on this list cheating? We say no, and we make the rules here. Plus, who can say resist replaying some of the best FPS campaigns of all time? Even the original releases of the Halo franchise, right back to 2001’s Halo: Combat Evolved, are worth replaying for the spectacle of their weighty combat on alien planets, but this collection enhances graphics and audio, making it the definitive Halo experience. Start with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and don’t stop until you see the credits roll on Halo 4.

18. Resident Evil 2 Remake

(Image credit: Capcom)

Developer: Capcom
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One 

Resident Evil 2 Remake is a double-whammy of replayability. If you’ve only ever played the 1998 original, then you simply have to take it for a spin, because with new puzzles, new locations, and new mechanics, it’s a completely different game. On top of that, you get a choice to play as two characters, Claire or Leon. Raccoon City stays the same either way, but the stories they experience differ, as do the characters they’ll interact with. Plus, on a second playthrough, zombies munch harder and take more damage, while puzzles are remixed to create new challenges. It means you haven’t really completed Resident Evil 2 Remake until you’ve played it twice.

17. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

(Image credit: Activision)

Developer: FromSoftware
Platform(s): PC, Xbox One, PS4

Sekiro gets better with every minute you play it. You start off hapless, getting sliced up by the weakest enemies in seconds. With each perfect counter and finishing move, your confidence, and sense of timing, improves. But it takes time to become a master shinobi, and you’ll still be making stupid mistakes 20 hours in. New Game Plus mode is a chance to show off just how far your sword fighting has come – it increases the already ridiculous difficulty across the board, but lets you keep all your previous upgrades. Basically, it’s you at your best versus enemies that won’t back down, and it’s the ultimate test of your skills. If that prospect doesn’t bring you back, remember that Sekiro has multiple endings, each with unique boss battles and unlockables attached. 

16. The Stanley Parable

(Image credit: Galactic Cafe)

Developer: Galatic Cafe
Platform(s): PC

The Stanley Parable, one of the wittiest videogames of all time, was specifically designed to be replayed. Each run is short, unique, and leads to one of 19 endings. They’re uniformly unexpected. One transports you, for an instant, into Minecraft; another takes you to heaven, complete with a choir and 432 buttons to press (don’t ask). You’ll want to see each one, but what makes it so replayable is its legendary narrator, who responds in real-time to your actions. Every time you boot it up you start in the same office cubicle, but every decision – whether to walk through a blue or red door, for example – turns into an adventure thanks to the narrator’s commentary. Something as simple as hiding in a cupboard will yield a five-minute monologue about how determined you are to stay put. 

15. Persona 5 Royal 

(Image credit: Atlus)

Developer: Atlus
Platform(s): PS4

Persona 5 Royal, like Resident Evil 2 Remake (see number 18) is more than a simple remaster. The Royal Edition of the iconic 2016 JRPG somehow manages to improve on the surreal original, which many consider one of the greatest games of all time. This 2020 rework includes a new character, a new school semester, a whole new location that’s bigger than any that existed in the original, new minigames, shops, armor, weapons – if you can think of it, developer Atlus has added it. Persona 5 was already an enormously replayable game, with 100+ hours worth of Tokyo to explore and a story that took a few goes to wrap your head around. The Royal version is the series’ crowning glory.

14. Fallout 4 

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Whether Fallout 4 is the best game of the series is a matter of heated debate. But for us, it’s the most replayable Fallout game ever made, thanks to the scale of its map, the density of its quests, and the ever-mounting number of systems you have to play with. With missions, crafting, settlements, economies, factions, and companions, you’ll never run out of things to do, and that’s not to mention the hundreds of incidental details you’ll stumble across in its post-apocalyptic wasteland. If you’ve finished the story before, it’s worth jumping back in and wandering off in a random direction. Just go where the irradiated wind takes you.

13. Telling Lies

(Image credit: Annapurna Interactive)

Developer: Sam Barlow, Half Mermaid
Platform(s): PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

Telling Lies, from Her Story developer Sam Barlow, is a tale that you experience out of sequence. As former FBI agent Karen Douglas, you search through a database of video clips relating to an undercover operation. There are 170 clips in total, and you pull them up by searching for keywords. If you searched for the right word, you could pull the final, game-ending clip up on your first try. And while that’s highly unlikely, you will end up jumping forward and backwards between years. What we love about it is that the main plot beats are probably contained in a few dozen clips, with the rest adding flavor, and fleshing out the characters. Whichever clips you miss in your first playthrough, on your second, give new meaning to everything you know about the story, and perhaps make you interpret the game’s ending in a completely different way.

12. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Developer: Nintendo
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s story isn’t full of choices, and it builds towards a singular ending. But it’s the vastness and richness of the world that makes it worth replaying. You won’t see everything it has to offer the first time around, and it’s worth returning to explore those shrines you didn’t get around to completing (there are 120 total) or that distant island you never ended up visiting. You’ll spot new details in places you thought you knew by heart, find new tricks for combining weapons, and if you visit locations in a different order than your first playthrough, it will almost feel like an entirely different game.

11. Nier: Automata 

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Developer: PlatinumGames
Platform(s): PC, Xbox One, PS4

Nier: Automata boasts 26 endings, one for each letter of the alphabet – and remarkably, that’s not even the main reason you should replay it. The biggest reason to jump back in is that seeing the credits roll is only the start of your journey. A second playthrough is really an entirely new campaign that runs alongside the original story but is told from another perspective, that of an android with a different hack-and-slash combat style to your first character. And once you’re done with your second playthrough, you guessed it, a whole other campaign opens up, continuing the events of the first two. Many of the 26 endings are silly jokes, but many offer meaningful differences and only trigger in specific circumstances. Add deep character customization via “plug-in chips” you slot into your player characters, and you’ve got an action RPG that’s worth a second (and a third, and a fourth) look. 

10. Crusader Kings 2

(Image credit: Paradox)

Developer: Paradox
Platform(s): PC

Crusader Kings 2 has all the backstabbing, strategic marriages, and warfare you’d expect from a series of Game of Thrones (and if you want, there’s a full GoT mod that moves CK2 to Westeros). Paradox’s grand strategy sim is complicated and occasionally fiddly, but it’s the deepest power sim on PC, and every campaign takes on its own, ever-changing personality. That’s largely because every character on the map, from a mighty ruler to a lowly vassal, has their own traits, ambitions, and rivalries. When they collide, it’s orchestrated chaos that’s unpredictable enough to be exciting, but that, with the right moves, you can still bend to your will, controlling any one of these characters in any era. Once you dive into Crusader Kings 2, you won’t resurface for years. Just make sure you watch a good tutorial first. 

9. Disco Elysium 

(Image credit: ZA/UM)

Developer: ZA/UM
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

Disco Elysium is an old-school RPG entirely without combat – everything hangs on the dialogue, characters, and story. Thankfully, its writing sings and sizzles. The protagonist, a washed-up alcoholic detective, has entire dramas and tragedies playing out inside his own head, with different parts of his conscious and subconscious chiming in to make their views heard. When that collides with other characters, each with their own strong personalities, it creates sparks. The way you create your character and deploy skill points changes the conversations you have, and the decisions you make alter the story. There’s more joy and humor in one of Disco Elysium’s branching dialogue sequences than in the entirety of some other games. We implore you to jump back in, role-play a different type of detective, and see where your inner demons carry you.

8. Hitman 2 

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Developer: IO Interactive
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

The Hitman series has always been about dropping you – bald assassin Agent 47 – into a large, living level, giving you a target to kill, and leaving the rest up to you. Maps are dioramas where NPCs have routines and conversations, and as you watch them whirl around, opportunities will present themselves for sniping from a rooftop, disguising as a chef and poisoning food, or cutting a support wire to drop a chandelier on your target’s head. Hitman 2, which also comes bundled with Hitman 1, is the best version of the formula yet. Beautiful levels, imaginative kills, tonnes of disguises: everything a would-be assassin dreams of. With dozens of ways to kill enemies, it’s worth playing through the same level several times, and the game even prompts you with more scripted “opportunities” that help guide you if you’re stuck.

7. Hollow Knight

(Image credit: Team Cherry)

Developer: Team Cherry
Platform(s): PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch

Hollow Knight is the best modern action-platformer around, and we never need an excuse to replay it. But if you insist, the upcoming release of Hollow Knight: Silksong, due out this summer, makes the timing perfect. It’s one of the games we’re most looking forward to this year, and jumping back into the original only makes us more excited: its labyrinthine world hides secrets you’ll only find the second time around, while its five endings (plus a secret bonus cutscene) all have specific requirements you need to fulfill during a run. Add in a varied list of abilities, spells and charms, of which there are 45 to equip in different combinations, and you’ve got a recipe for one of the most replayable Metroidvanias of all time.

6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Developer: CD Projekt Red
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

The Witcher 3 is up there with the greatest games of all time, and it’s worth experiencing more than once. It’s perhaps not quite as replayable as Bethesda’s RPGs because you’re not creating your own character or picking perks, and much of the joy of it comes from the story in both the main and side quests. But it’s absolutely worth replaying: concentrate on a location you didn’t visit much the first time around and you’ll find another 100 hours of role-playing bliss waiting for you. Plus, its two DLCs are superb, particularly Blood and Wine, which has some of the best quests in the entire game.

5. 80 Days

(Image credit: Inkle)

Developer: inkle
Platform(s): PC, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch

A glorious adventure that, in many ways, surpasses the wonder of the Jules Verne novel that inspired it. No journey Around the World will be the same in 80 Days, as Phileas Fogg and his valet Passepartout try to circumnavigate the road in record time. With 180 locations to visit, each with bespoke stories and surprising characters – a toymaker in Herat, a chef aboard an airship above the Bay of Bengal, and even a cameo for Verne himself. Some journeys between city nodes take days at a time, meaning you couldn’t possibly see everything in your first journey. And that’s the whole point: 80 Days isn’t really designed for you to travel the globe in your allotted time; instead, it invites you to point your compass in a random direction and enjoy the wonders of a steampunk world.

4. Divinity Original Sin 2

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Developer: Larian Studios
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Larian’s dense, text-heavy RPG gives you plenty of reasons to revisit. First, its world is chock full of lore, quests, and dialogue, and you couldn’t possibly see it all in one sitting. Second, its breadth of classes and origin stories will give each of your heroes different skills, strengths and motivations, which will make the same quests play differently the second time around. And lastly, its flexible turn-based combat, which revolves around combining character skills and using the terrain to your advantage, creates endless possible ways to down your enemies, whether by sword, spell or grenade. Experiment as much as possible.

3. Mass Effect Legendary Edition

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

(Image credit: EA)

Developer: BioWare
Platform(s): PC, Xbox One, PS4 

Mass Effect is still our go-to RPG trilogy and it's even easier to experience the excellent series thanks to the release of the Mass Effect Legendary Edition. The replayability comes in many forms: first, in the character you create, whether it’s a biotic specialist who can throw enemies with their mind or a sniper who can sabotage enemy electronics. Second, in the side quests and optional dialogues that change the relationships between Commander Shepard and their crew. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it’s in the choices you make. Your decisions have a massive impact on the world. Roleplay a sociopath and you’ll end up with a completely different universe to the nice, friendly Shepard you controlled the first time around.

2. Dishonored 2

(Image credit: Arkane Studios)

Developer: Arkane Studios
Platform(s): PC, PS4, Xbox One

Arkane Studios made a big deal out of the original Dishonored’s diverging paths: if you killed everyone, you’d get a “high chaos” run, with more rats roaming the streets and different story beats, whereas keeping things stealthy resulted in a “low chaos” narrative. But, to us, it never really felt all that replayable. Dishonored 2 trumped it in that regard: its bigger levels provided more routes to your targets, and more ways to plan for their timely demise. You could play the same mission five times and come up with five different strategies for slipping past guards and getting your target alone. Plus, the choice to play as either Emily or Corvo, the Dishonored protagonist, is a weighty one, and their differing powers lend you new tactical options. As Corvo, you can bend time and possess enemies, whereas Emily can link the fates of foes together, and clone herself to create a distraction. Whichever one you picked the first time, choose the other on your second run.

1. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Developer: Bethesda Game Studios
Platform(s): Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, PC

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is the ultimate replayable game. Its gigantic world is densely packed with towns and quests, along with an endless number of playstyles to master. You might play a stealthy archer with a love of alchemy and poison arrows, a bare-knuckle brawler who charms in conversation, a battle mage who’s also a vampire – and these fluid archetypes will evolve naturally as you explore. 

The story lets you make choices and pick sides, but honestly, you could spend 100 hours in a playthrough without touching the main quest. There’s just that much to do: new taverns to drink at, new pockets to pick, new armor sets to complete. And just when you thought you’d finished with it, a new overhaul mod comes out. Skyrim’s mod scene, especially on the PC, is perhaps the most vibrant around. You’ll find mods that are essentially standalone games in brand new locations, while others add entire towns and new quest lines. Skyrim is simply the treasure chest that keeps on giving.


Looking for more recommendations? Check out our pick of the best RPG games

Sam's gaming PC is literally held together with masking tape, and he bought his PS4 from a friend of a friend of a (dodgy) friend for a tenner. He wishes that games still had paper manuals, mainly so he could get the satisfaction of ignoring them. He grew up in Essex, and now lives in London.
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