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Replayability in games: is it really necessary?

Replayability is a measurement of how much fun a game is to play over and over again – how much new content there will be on each playthrough, how much you can vary your playstyle, how many different endings or paths the different quests/stories have for you to explore each time. It is something it is generally considered good for a game to have, especially in certain genres. Many players want to be able to play their favourite games again and again, but with enough variation that it is never boring.

However, replayability is something that cannot be (and isn’t) pursued in every game. Many story focused games are not particularly replayable, as their goal is to focus on telling one very good or in-depth story – and to focus on replayability could take away from that. There is also the fact that to make a game very replayable takes a lot of time and effort to code and design all the different playstyles/endings/quests etc. This is time and effort that may be needed elsewhere or would possibly be better spent polishing the main game. Not everyone plays again and again after all, so is it really so crucial to ensure that every single playthrough is entirely unique?

This article would delve into the concept of replayability, exploring whether it is truly important for games to be infinitely replayable or more important to create a good experience the first time round.

  • Very nice! As a longtime player, may I particularly suggest Hogwarts Mystery for examination? The developers added a replay option within the last year or so, so that players could change their houses or relive certain moments if they wanted. The downside though, is that replay kicks you all the way back to first year, and you lose access to anything you've won or purchased. It's a conundrum for sure. – Stephanie M. 7 months ago
  • A very interesting topic! Although I don’t think every game has to be replayable, replayability is certainly a feature unique to the game as a storytelling media. If there is only one possible storyline, novels, anime, or film allows the producers to polish the story even better because those media have a better control on the pace of the stories than games. However, Baldur’s Gate and Elden Ring cannot be easily transformed into other media, because they have various possible ending. That is something only possible with games. – AlisaN 6 months ago
  • Cool point, I've found that replayability has a bit of a personal edge for me. Replaying games at different stages of life is way more of an experience than any new game plus content or add-on. – jsmilo 5 months ago
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