What Games Are Your Favorites But Have Only Played Once?

The “What Games Have You Played Many Times” thread inspired this one.

What games do you consider some of your favorite games, maybe even contenders for Greatest Games Of All Time but have actually only played ONCE?

I list Super Metroid all the time as one of my top 5 favorite games but the truth is I only played it once on the SNES way back in 1996. But it left that much of an impression on me. Everything about that game was perfection: the music, controls, graphics, gameplay. It was one of the most immersive games I have ever played and being a 2D scroller, that says a lot.

Resident Evil 4 was a game I could not wait to get home from work to play each day. Like Super Metroid, it did everything extremely well and was such a joy to play. When I finished it, I was completely satisfied and thought it was an amazing overall experience.

Skies Of Arcadia: Definitely one of my favorite RPGs though unlike the two titles above, this game was far from perfect. What made this game was the lovable characters: when it ended it was bittersweet - I was happy for my group of adventurers but very sad that the journey ended.

So these are three games I absolutely loved but never played again. With SOA I know why: constant random battles, typical in JRPGs but taken to an extreme (every 3 steps and swoosh cue battle music) but no idea why I’ve never replayed the others.

These are highly regarded games so it’s not like they will suddenly become even average upon replay but I think maybe I’m AFRAID that I’ll find flaws and find they weren’t so perfect after all. Maybe I don’t want to ruin my memories of awesome gaming times which have been few and far apart the last generation for me.

Baldur’s Gate 2. I’ve played the first game two or three times, but only played through the second once. It was just so humongous!

Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time. Utterly brilliant and fantastic, and perfect for one playthrough. I’m sure I’ll play it again eventually, but it’s been a great one-time gaming experience to keep “pure” for nostalgia. :)

Most of my favorites I replay multiple times.

Dragon Age 1 & 2. I loved both of these games, even with their faults and foibles, but don’t really have any desire to play through them again, even though I’m sure it would be a different experience playing as a different class or making different character choices.

Portal 1 & 2. Absolutely adore Portal, but I don’t think I can get really excited about playing them again since I’ve already solved all the puzzles once. If I really get a hankering for some GladDOS/Wheatley banter, there’s always YouTube.

Just to get ahead of this trend, I think my favorite game that I have never actually played is Deus Ex.

Thief 1 & 2. Thief 2 in particular; I had started the game a couple of times but didn’t get very far. About three years ago I finally played it all the way through, and loved it. I think the game still holds up well, and I do mean to play it again, but with my backlog looming large I don’t know when that will happen.

Planescape: Torment - I don’t know why I haven’t replayed it yet. I probably should.

Blade Runner - this is another game with multiple endings and for some reason I’ve only played through it one time.

I’m going to take this to mean games that are great the first time, but don’t have the same stuff on another playthrough. As opposed to “hey, I love this game, but I haven’t really had the chance to take it for another spin yet”.

Half Life and Half Life 2. I tried replaying them, but once you know what’s going to happen, something is lost and the long boring bits between exciting segments are just too much for me to bear. That first time through is magic though.

I’ll chime in with more if I think of any, but those are the first two that came to mind. This is actually a hard one because most games that I like rely on core-gameplay, and therefore can be replayed. It’s only heavily narrative-driven games where not knowing what comes next is a big part of the appeal that fall apart on subsequent playthroughs for me.

Good call J Thomas. I would like to add Thief to my list too. I always wanted to play through the first game again to experience the new levels of Thief Gold, but I could never get past the prison level. Thief is a brilliant game but god, does it require a lot of patience. If you don’t have patience, the gameplay becomes a little silly (run, run, run!), and there’s nothing more conducive to losing patience than doing a second playthrough of that game. I don’t know why, but I just can’t keep it together. That’s also why the first Thief took me a year and a half to finish, since I only played it when:

  1. it was dark,
  2. I was alone in the house or everyone else was asleep,
  3. I was feeling patient.

For those things to all come together at the right times, it took a long time to finally finish Thief (and it was totally worth it).

Played only once or played and finished only once?

Well, remember it has to be one of your favorite games, so you really have to love it. So factor that in and answer your own question.

Played only once whether you finished it or not.

Oh lord, then, way too many to mention. I buy games on a whim just to try 'em out and usually try 'em out only once.

But they also happen to be one of your favorite games? How many can that possibly be Brian?

But also, yeah, that’s the reason why I amended the question a little for myself, and only included games that I tried playing again a second time but they weren’t as satisfying on subsequent playthroughs.

Well…er…um…I really liked the one time I played Jamestown, but I doubt I’ll play it again…

Planescape: Torment - Love the game and talk about it all the time but haven’t managed to play through it more than once.

Grim Fandango - Same thing except that I’ve tried a few times to replay only to stop fairly early on because the charm wasn’t quite the same.

Beyond Good and Evil - Not really sure why I haven’t booted this up again.

The Longest Journey - I’ve tried replaying this several times but always get bogged down a few hours in.

Most of them, really. I don’t replay “finishable” games very much, even if I love them. Off the top of my head, the only ones I can recall finishing more than once are Portal 1 and 2, the Phoenix Wright games, pretty much all the Lucasarts adventures, PoP:Sands Of Time, the Company of Heroes campaigns and, um, Plants Versus Zombies. But I’ve replayed sandbox strategy games a ton of times, and I guess there’s quite a few games I’ve picked up for a second time but dropped after a while.

I think I did this wrong, let me try again.

Descent: Freespace - Loved it, but the sequel is a billion times better.
Wing Commander: Armada - Only needed to play it once and finish it, but fun times.
Megafortress - Loved it so, but didn’t feel the need to return to it after playing the campaign, which I barely remember.
Star Command - Loved this game, but again, didn’t feel the need to replay it.

All of the mainline Yakuza games. I’ve put about 90+ hours into every one because I adore them but I’m never going to do that again.

KOTOR
The Dragon Age Series
The Fallout Series

I do intend to replay these game but as long as something “new” is available I will probably go with the new game.

Also I am giving up PC time of my own to play X-box co-play games with my daughter. I do enjoy playing with her but I just am not a big console fan.

Oh yeah, Kotor would be on my list as well.