As the price of video games gets higher and higher, players look for more play time to make up for that. Triple-A game makers often try to make longer games to appeal to players, but game length can only be stretched so far. Replay value is the other way that designers artificially increase the length of games. Most truly great games have excellent replay value. Replay value is often created by allowing players to choose alternate paths through the game, make different decisions at the start of the game, or simply by including lots of hidden items within the game. But while replay value is important, it isn’t always critical. There are a handful of amazing games that actually have limited to no replay value. The following are the best video games with almost no replay value.
Final Fantasy IV – Often mentioned as one of the contenders for best Final Fantasy game ever made, this game has incredibly limited replay value. The story is incredibly linear and you have absolutely no control over character growth or plot. While the game has a few hidden items, most of them are very easy to find and likely to be found on the first play through the game. Unlike Final Fantasy VI, there is absolutely no way to choose different party members, hunt for superior items, or unlock additional story. A second play through is nearly identical to a first play through. For these many reasons, the last remake of the game actually does allow you to swap out party members near the end of the game and adds some additional content, but even then the game has minimal replay value, at best.
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time – It is rare that an action-adventure game has almost no replay value, but this game is one of those rare games. Despite the crazy acrobatics and minor puzzle solving you have to do to get through the levels, the game is actually incredibly linear. The battles in the game are rather straightforward and don’t allow much room for innovation either. This game is like Dragon’s Lair in terms of how rigidly you have to follow patterns to complete it. The only significant reason to replay it is to try to beat it without ever dying, which is a challenge only worth attempting once you have beaten it once. But unless that particular challenge appeals to you, there is little reason to replay the game.
Myst – Myst was the game that practically redefined the puzzle-solving adventure genre back in the days when Sierra dominated the adventure game market. It had a complex story and a series of mind boggling puzzles. You could easily spend days or even weeks trying to figure out the various codes and ciphers that filled the game before finally completing it. But once you did complete it, there wasn’t really anything left to do with the game. Any replay involved re-solving the exact same puzzles which simply hadn’t changed in any way. You could get a slightly different ending by making slightly different decisions near the end of the game, but you didn’t need to replay the game to see that, just save near the end and restart from that save to try alternate options.
Portal – Portal is pretty much like Myst in that the game is just a series of puzzles. The puzzles involve a strange portal gun and mind blowing physics, but otherwise differed little from standard video game puzzles. Compared to Myst, this game had more replay value because some of the puzzles could be solved with different strategies and simply playing around with the portal gun was just a lot of fun. But, by the end of the game, once you had solved the various conundrums, the game was pretty repetitive.