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17 Video Games That Provide Endless Entertainment

Gavin has had a passion for writing almost as long as his passion for video games. Which came first, the controller or the pen?

Some games will take you a couple of hours to finish, others a couple of days. But some will offer the promise of endless hours of entertainment, giving their players reasons to keep coming back time and time again indefinitely and asking you to lose yourself in their worlds and ecosystems. These games are all continuously supported by their developers, and so excludes games that have yearly iterations asking you to buy in time and time again. Instead, this list looks to highlight some of those games that— regardless of genre and style—you, the player, could pick up today and never put down.


1. Overwatch

It didn’t take long for Blizzard’s vision of the first-person hero shooter to set the world on fire when it released in 2015. Itself an iteration of what Team Fortress 2 innovated in 2007, Overwatch combines a cast of colourful and interesting characters and personalities with lightning fast FPS reflexes and varied modes and environments. Players are tasked with capturing objective points (or moving the payload from one area to the next). How Overwatch reinvents the genre though is by giving players access to unique hero abilities and ultimate special moves, reminiscent of games in the MOBA genre before it.

The mix of character classes and abilities adds a level of competitive team strategy on top of the skill-based shooting, and is complemented by hilarious voice lines and cartoon visuals. Like any good e-sport, Overwatch’s meta is constantly shifting.

Each new game of Overwatch puts players on a level playing field with no progression to speak of, making it instantly replayable and endlessly addictive. Each game played leaves you with that feeling of “one more match”—whether it’s to redeem a crushing defeat or to continue the euphoria of a hard-fought victory. The hook to keep coming back (outside of the addictive gameplay) is in loot boxes, but where that phrase usually acts as a deterrent, Overwatch implements them well. Loot boxes contain cosmetics only (voice lines, sprays, emotes and rare skins) and are handed out readily—you’ll get one on almost every play session, and seasonal events keep the faithful fanbase coming back for a look at the newest of Blizzard’s excellent skins.

Alternatively try: Other hero shooters such as Team Fortress 2, Quake Champions or Valorant


2. League of Legends

The MOBA genre was spawned from a Warcraft III mod called Defense of the Ancients. This, in turn, led to a burst of AAA studios attempting to capture the same magic, including a full-blown sequel by Valve in Dota 2. But none attained the level of success of Riot Games’ League of Legends.

League of Legends is a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) that sees games of 5v5 played out on an isometric map. At time of writing, there are 148 playable champions to choose from, and somehow no two feel the same, from the unique aesthetics and personalities to the four champion abilities available to each. Players fight across three separate lanes joined by a “no man’s land” jungle, to tear down the opposing teams’ towers and ultimately destroy the Nexus that makes up their base.

There is a high skill ceiling to League of Legends, making it hard to learn but a joy to master, and the largest competitive e-sports scene in the world revolves around the complex strategy that goes into even a single game. No two games will ever feel the same, and each game of League gives you a feeling of wanting to try just once more—one more try with a different champion, one more try with a different role, one more try with a different item build or strategy, one more try to earn in-game currencies to unlock the staggering amount of champions and cosmetics available in the game store.

Alternatively try: Other MOBAs such as Dota 2, Heroes of the Storm or SMITE


3. Minecraft

When it comes to endless games, none quite encapsulate the idea of limitless content quite like Minecraft. Created by developer Mojang in 2011, Minecraft started a wave of sandbox survival games that allowed players to hunt, gather, craft and fight for their character’s survival. Crafting is the key mechanic in Minecraft’s block-based pixel world, with players exploring the procedurally generated infinite landscape for richer and rarer materials to bolster their virtual homes. Opposition to these goals looms in the ever-present “mobs”, as well as other players.

But where Minecraft becomes a truly endless experience is in its “Creative Mode”, allowing you to play free of the hunger mechanics of Survival Mode to instead craft to your heart’s content with any and all of the materials available. Player-hosted worlds become sprawling mini-games and colossal monuments, featuring completely new games within Minecraft, and even entire real-world cities being built by dedicated creators.

Now a property of Microsoft, Minecraft continues to be supported across a multitude of platforms and spin-off games, but the base game continues to grow strong boasting over 120 million monthly players. With its enormous breadth of content, be it Survival Mode or the hundreds of thousands of player-built areas to explore in Adventure Mode, or the blank canvas of Creative Mode, Minecraft is a game that you could comfortably play at the exclusion of all others.

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Alternatively try: Other sandbox creation games such as Terraria, Starbound or Subnautica


4. Destiny 2

The “game-as-a-service” model is designed with the very concept of an endless game in mind. The format is built to provide an experience that its players can regularly come back to, and Destiny 2 is perhaps the biggest and finest example of the genre.

Essentially a “looter shooter” by nature, the Destiny franchise took the addictive qualities of loot-based games like Diablo and Borderlands and mixed in elements from the MMORPG genre—timed events, daily challenges (for solo players and three-person “fireteams”) and even raid dungeons. Destiny 2 doesn’t slack on the basics though, providing some of the best gunplay, finest visuals, and most interesting environments in all of video gaming. The indulgent amount of weaponry means there is always a style of gun for you, from shotguns to sniper rifles and even the laser-beam like Trace Rifles.

The Destiny 2 campaign alone takes dozens of hours to complete, as well as four major expansions that provide continuations of the story. But where Bungie’s magnus opum provides true endless entertainment are in the large open world areas and the repeatable missions (Strikes, and their more difficult counterparts, Nightfalls.) These standalone missions allow you and your team to continuously explore locations to earn rewards and complete daily and weekly challenges for more cosmetic engrams and weapon/armour loot. If the PVE content isn’t enough, Destiny 2 also has PVP areas called The Crucible, where you can battle other players for another way to obtain loot, advance leaderboards and earn the glory of victory in the 4v4 or 6v6 deathmatch contests.

Alternatively try: Other online looter games such as The Division 2, Diablo III or Warframe


5. Sid Meier’s Civilization

“One more turn” was a phrase popularised by the Civilization series, and for good reason. Sid Meier’s seminal 4X strategy game puts players in charge of an entire nation—from its birth as a group of settlers with a camel, through multiple ages to bring it to the modern day and beyond. Playing any Civilization entry, you watch your empire go to war with nearby nations with swords and shields and horse cavalry. You’ll see the development of tanks and air bombers, and the construction of the wonders of the world. You’ll thrive, through war and bloodshed, or through culture and politics and scientific advancement.

A number of campaign options put players in the roles of historical greats like Mahatma Gandhi or Attila the Hun, and later entries offer the option to jump online and play cooperatively or competitively. Regardless of game mode, the “Next Turn” button hovers ominously present, enticing just one more round to tweak cities and manoeuvre forces.

Each entry in the Civilization series adds something different, whether it’s the square tiles of early entries, the overhauled combat of Civilization V or the district systems of Civilization VI. The fanbase can argue at length about the merits of each entry, but regardless of your choice there’s no doubting that any game from this iconic franchise will quickly rack up play times in the hundreds (plural!) of hours.

Alternatively try: Other 4X strategy games such as Endless Legend, Age of Wonders or Stellaris


6. Hearthstone

Kickstarting a flagging genre in 2014, Blizzard Entertainment released Hearthstone to some surprise. It had been years since the collectible card game genre had been successful in video games, but Hearthstone changed all that. Based on the popular Warcraft property, Hearthstone is more accessible and visually stunning than any of its competitors.

Card decks are broken down into nine classes which offer diversity and range, totalling almost 2000 different cards with their own unique Abilities and Keywords. As in any card game, the gameplay comes from effectively building a cohesive deck, utilising the cards in the best order and combos and maximising your mana (resource used to play cards), all whilst outplaying your opponent through baits and switches.

Hearthstone has ranked play for its most competitive players, and plenty of opportunity for you to spend money on the game to build the most competitive decks. For those more casually interested, the game itself is free-to-play and—with enough time spent—a decent deck can be compiled from the many free unlocks earned through in-game progression or special timed events. In-game currency can be spent to play in different tournament styles, such as Arena, for more lucrative gains. Hearthstone’s format is undeniably easy to keep coming back to—whether it’s for the daily challenges and rewards, or just for another tweak of your favourite deck or an attempt to get on that new ladder.

Alternatively try: Other online CCGs such as Gwent, Pokémon TCGO, or Magic The Gathering: Arena


7. Rainbow Six Siege

Ubisoft’s military shooter Rainbow Six Siege has become one of gaming’s great turn-around stories. Launching in 2015 as the latest in the Tom Clancy line of games, Siege attempted to bring new life to the Rainbow Six brand by shifting its focus from traditional campaign modes to a strictly online multiplayer space. Players battle in 5v5 scenarios where attackers infiltrate an enclosed area as the defending team attempts to stall their efforts. The game puts emphasis on tactical play, with each “operator” given access to unique abilities similar to a team shooter like Overwatch. What sets Siege apart is the realism of the military setting, the destructive environments, and the speed at which your character dies after receiving fire.

A number of different game modes provide a variety of ways to play, and the game has yearly “seasons” as well as regular limited-time events such as the excellent PvE “Outbreak”, which injected (via. an influx of mutant alien parasites) some science fiction into the usually grounded setting.

At launch, a lack of content and a microtransaction structure caused the game to receive a lukewarm reception. However, in the preceding years Ubisoft have iterated on the game to such a degree that it now boasts 20 playable maps, 7 modes, 52 unique operators and over 60 million players. Even with hundreds of hours spent, it would be difficult for you to unlock everything Rainbow Six Siege has to offer, and its dynamic multiplayer gameplay and regular events keep it fresh years after release.

Alternatively try: Other online military shooters such as Counterstrike: GO, Battlefield or ARMA 3


8. World of Warcraft

Easily the oldest game on this list, Blizzard’s 2004 record-breaking MMORPG (massive multiplayer online roleplaying game) World of Warcraft continues to be the top experience in the genre. Since its release, eight full expansions and countless patches and updates have changed and improved the WoW experience for its loyal fanbase. The graphics have been overhauled to somehow look fantastic despite its age, and there are over thousands of hours of gameplay to be found in this enormous online game.

Choosing from 1 of 12 classes, your character can be customised with an immense variety of skills, gear, and cosmetics to create an avatar to roam the huge continents of Azeroth. World of Warcraft is a lot of different things to different people—it may be a place to socialise with friends, or a place to hunt for treasures and grind for new loot. It may even be a place to catch pets or go fishing. For many, the most enthralling experience though is grouping together with friends for PvP faction wars or end game raids, and the most recent expansion Battle for Azeroth allows you to skip straight to this high-level content.

Between all of its modes and areas, World of Warcraft is practically endless and is comfortably the largest MMORPG available today. It’s still going strong nearly two-decades after release and has one of the largest loyal fanbases of any game in the world for good reason.

Alternatively try: Other MMORPGs such as Guild Wars 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic or Runescape