Video games these days are defined by their long run times and impressive content that spans at least 60 hours. These AAA titles have amazing storylines and cutting-edge gameplay mechanics to delight and excite fans. The biggest names in gaming today take a lot of pride in keeping players glued to their seats for hours on end.
However, a lengthy playtime does not prove that games are fun. Most long-hour titles are self-defeating as the video games grind down to a slow stop with the end nowhere in sight.
It takes a set amount of time just to play the story, or for the completionists out there, it takes a little longer to do everything the game has to offer. But there are some games that balance this and a good story well.
Five enjoyable open-world video games that take the longest to beat
1) Death Stranding (113 hours)
This list boasts some games with long playtimes and incredible stories. This entry is one of the most technically advanced-looking games Hideo Kojima has made.
Death Stranding is the first strand-type video game that emphasizes telling a beautiful story and fantastic gameplay that makes players feel like they are in the post-apocalyptic world.
The fantastical elements of this game are turned up to eleven, and the characters look life-like. Hideo Kojima has made his characters and the cutscenes they star in look that much more authentic with a star cast.
Death Stranding’s gameplay loop is simple but eerily complicated. Stealth and traversal are the main aspects of the game, as direct engagement is discouraged. The weather is also tied to how the gameplay works, as rain is a significant factor in slowing down progress.
Constructing bridges and making previously impossible areas traversable is just one of the things that make Death Stranding special. With online mode enabled, players can see structures built by others and use them to go through the world. This type of gameplay creates a sense of community and makes playing the title over long hours more fun.
The game boasts long playtime, but every minute is enjoyable. Death Stranding is a beautifully designed open-world title that has surpassed all expectations, and fans cannot wait to see what Hideo Kojima comes up with next.
2) Elden Ring (127 hours)
FromSoftware has always been known for its iconic Souls video games, but this is arguably its biggest release ever. Elden Ring is masterfully designed and incredibly well-thought-out.
Players have beaten this game in record time, but the true beauty of Elden Ring lies in its massive open world littered with things to explore and enemies to fight.
FromSoft has always been one step ahead of everyone when designing enemies and bosses, but Elden Ring takes the cake. Gamers will get lost in the Lands Between, encountering every FromSoft trope there is.
Hidetaka Miyazaki’s world takes an impressive 127 hours to complete in its entirety. However, this does not include the deaths and the walls players come up against trying to beat the bosses.
With expertly designed dungeons that feel like a mini-Dark Souls game themselves, users will spend hours trying out different playstyles and ways of approaching a difficult situation.
This might not be the longest video game on this list, but it is one that boasts replayability and freedom, which has not been seen before. Elden Ring has cemented itself into history, and fans alike will anticipate a DLC.
3) The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt (172 hours)
CD Projekt Red’s most successful title and series to date, The Witcher redefined the ARPG genre with iconic characters and a narrative plot that draws players in. When playing any Witcher game, fans are automatically drawn to the protagonist, Geralt of Rivia.
The series has become a pop-culture icon, spawning a television show and other fan fiction pieces.
Witcher 3 starts quite slowly, but players mostly appreciate this pace as the laid-back approach to the exploration works well with the game. The combat is challenging, and they must use all the tools and skills at their disposal to dispatch foes.
The title’s main story only takes about 50-60 hours, but it is best enjoyed during long stretches.
With Witcher, there is always an air of mystery, and the iconic story of the Wild Hunt brings all the Polish folklore creatures to life. The Witcher 3 has a long playtime, but users will enjoy every second of it.
4) Red Dead Redemption 2 (172 hours)
This list would be incomplete without a Rockstar Games video game. RDR2 is one of the biggest open-world experiences to date. The game is as long as it is beautiful to get lost in.
Red Dead Redemption 2 follows the classic Rockstar formula by bringing the vast Western story to life. Characters are incredibly well made, and they follow human stories which have a deep impact on gamers.
Video games like RDR2 come once in a while, especially for Rockstar, who take time with their releases. This game is still remarkable and can be played in 2022.
The story follows the protagonist Arthur Morgan, who has an epic, violent adventure in front of him, including tragedy, betrayal, and hope. These are just some themes of RDR2, and the switch to tell these amazing stories in the backdrop of the old West setting is a treat to enjoy.
Red Dead Redemption 2 boasts an incredibly long run time, but it is enjoyable from start to finish.
5) The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim (212 hours)
When it comes to long-thought-out RPGs, Skyrim is still a vast and wonderful video game to get into in 2022. With the release of countless remasters, Bethesda aims to keep players in their massively fleshed-out world until the next Elder Scrolls comes along.
Skyrim takes place in the titular lands, and it follows the story of the player-character, called the Dovahkiin. The story for Skyrim is vast and takes a ton of routes.
Users have access to numerous playstyles and quests. With NPCs and things to do scattered across the entirety of the map, the world of Skyrim never seems to truly end.
RPG mechanics enable players to tell their own stories at their own pace. If gamers want a more linear experience, Skyrim offers that as well. The main quests can be completed within 25 hours, but the authentic Skyrim experience lies in exploring everything the video game provides.
Note: This article reflects the author’s views.