why do you never finish good games?


Supreme [H]ardness
Apr 13, 2004
Most gamers complain when a game is too short on the single player side of it, after all, who wants to pay $50 for 15 hours of game play. Few games provide truly epic single player campaigns of times past where one would put in 100+ hours and enjoy most all of them.

I was going through some of my stuff and noticed a disturbing trend. I too complain when games are too short, but I also notice that I haven't actually finished most games in the past few years. Among a host of other games that I own there are titles such as:

- GTA 4
- Fallout 3
- Batman: Arkham Asylum
- Dragon Age Origins
- multiple other lesser quality games

Now, it's no surprise that one won't finish a game that just sucks because of something or other, but the ones named above are good games, yet you couldn't pay me to finish them.

I just got bored, too much repetition and a storyline that was too predictable and just didn't make me want to play it all the way through. Of course I got good play-time out of all of those game, certainly more than 20 hours and more than 50 hours on some of them. So those games do deliver on the money spent vs. game time gained department, but sadly that was not enough to keep me going.

I am certain that I don't have ADD, I am a pretty mellow dude, yet none of those titles kept my attention. Perhaps this is a function or RL age and I am just getting too old for it. I still enjoy multiplayer games over and over, but single player story lines just don't hold my interest like they once did in the days of ..., well ..., I don't know, games I used to finish, Might & Magic, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, even older shooters, and certainly the NOLF games which were truly captivating.
I finish most of my games, though I have tried HL2 like 10 times. By the time I am boating in the sewers/waterways I get bored to tears.

With multiplayer being so good in most of these games, I usually end up doing that instead of the single player. BFBC2 is a prime example. I have yet to start a SP game but I play every single night (well almost every night).
I am the same way with all of those games. It took me forever to finally force myself to complete fall out 3 and dragon age. The others I have not finished.
Well, I still finish all my games, infact I do a lot of replaying of any of my games. ... but along your theory, I notice that when I get older I can't quite keep up that pace. I just finish them and a 2nd playthrough is boring. Also some of my anxiousness to complete a game has waned since I have aged some.

I figure it's age, and after playing too many games story patterns become too familiar, even if you still enjoy the game a lot.
In general I finish almost all games that I buy. There have been some exceptions, like I am really forcing myself to play Bioshock even though I would rather be playing Bad Company 2.
Guess I fall outside of your theory as I enjoy both single and multiplayer sides to a game. I play through every sp side to finish and even replay them when I friends are not available to get a multiplayer session going.

Oh yeah, age isn't always a factor either...I'm 51 :D
...just got bored, too much repetition and a storyline that was too predictable...

That part right there is my reason. Many games have great cores but many developers feel the need to pad their product with repetition. This cools my interest as I have no desire to grind through a seemingly endless repeat with slight variation.
The boat scenes are only like 20 mins into the game!

And it bored the snot out of me. I love FPS but HL2 and Bioshock got old very very quickly to me. :(

I thought I would love Bioshock but I got about 2.5 hours in and never picked it up again.
Simple answer. The consensus was that it was a good game until I played it and decided it was not.
I like to play games through in one sitting, if I don't get it done I feel like I've been pulled out of the experience. Still sitting literally on the last part of COD4 and MW2. I played both at work on holidays when no one was here and got to the last part and it was time to go home and haven't played the single player since.

EDIT: I pretty much spent an entire summer playing Zelda 64 OoT, because the game had this feeling that always pulled me back in, same thing with GTA3 and Vice City, newer games really don't have that feel.
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I haven't finished Dragon Age either.. but have been on a good steak lately of finishing my games (Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect 2, and now working on Fable 2). With Dragon Age, I kinda just lost interest. I'm barely interested in the story and Morrigan is generally amusing. Probably hammer that one out after I finish Fable 2.
Two factors for me. I'm an engineer. So some days I have maybe an hour of free time and some days I have 5 it's just random. So if I lose a couple days or a week on a game I forget where I'm at and loose interest. Additionally if I only have an hour to play and I'm pseudo-stuck on some GODFORSAKEN BORING ASS part as such is the current case while playing through Batman AA. I'm more likely to say "&*%$ you Joker! Go ahead and burn the asylum I could give a shit I'm playing TF2 instead"

Yes, I yell at my games. Judge not lest ye be judged.
I dont consider GTA4 a good game. I played it like a chore to justify me buying it at full retail along with a 360 console but gave up from boredom after unlocking the "New York City" island.
Mass effect 2 was enough to kill about 30 hours of my life without all the sidequests. BRILLIANT game. i havent seen such a good slew of characters and story development since FFX/7.
I never finished fallout 3 because the environment is so damn depressing.

Can't get into Dragon Age because the game is too ugly, good graphics but the dark fantasy art style turned me off.
lack of time for me. if i had more time to game i would have beaten way more games than what i currently have.
because of steam sales backing up my log of games. I try to finish a game then when another good game goes on sale, i play that instead. then it repeats. and on top of this, work and the gf takes a lot of my gaming time...
There are a few games I haven't finished like GTa4 but my problem is I will buy like 3 games at once or in short periods and I won't play any of them till I beat the current one I am playing.

I bought Mass Effect 2, then Red Dead Redemption, UFC, Demons Souls, and Batman.

Just finished ME2 a month ago, working on Demon's Souls which is the Worst Idea ever because its so damn hard lol. I will have these games sitting on my shelf for a few months before I even dive into them.
I will be rocking through a game...ooohhh shinny...Rocking through the next game....oohhh shinny...
And it bored the snot out of me. I love FPS but HL2 and Bioshock got old very very quickly to me. :(

I thought I would love Bioshock but I got about 2.5 hours in and never picked it up again.

Try backing up the save files and continue from there the next time you're up to it :p

I've had the bad habit of dropping games myself lately, but I think it's going for the better now. I actually finished Prince of Persia Sands of Time for the first time, and I've had the damn game since 2005. I'm also pretty psyched about playing through the whole saga in order.
There is a load more games then there used to be. Back in 2000 even, I used to buy a big AAA game and it would be MONTHS until there was another one. Unless it was christmas or something like that then there were a few. But now, theres one every few days. Then theres the steam sale. Oblivion, Borderlands and bioshock on the same day, especially when I havent finished FFXIII and bioshock 2 I got the month before kind of thing doesnt help.
Added to that a number of them are openworld type games. The kind that never seem to actually end. With fallout ive got hours and hours of playtime, but haven:t felt the need to go to the final place yet.
Try backing up the save files and continue from there the next time you're up to it :p

I've had the bad habit of dropping games myself lately, but I think it's going for the better now. I actually finished Prince of Persia Sands of Time for the first time, and I've had the damn game since 2005. I'm also pretty psyched about playing through the whole saga in order.

LOL I always think about that 2 months later when I want to play those games again. Recently got a new SSD and all the saved games are lost.
I've noticed the same tendency. Partly it is the sheer amount of new games, so each one seems a little less enticing. I think for me though, the reason is that so many of the games feel like a chore. I feel guilty about not finishing Dead Space, for example, so I force myself to finish it even though the game never really captivated me - and that kind of puts me off of a game like Batman, which I still haven't finished. But by the same token, I logged a shitload of hours in Battlefield 2, and I'm still replaying Civ 4, so maybe it's more just about certain games appealing to my tastes.
People are individuals. Some games click with one person, but bore another to tears. A lot of people like Mass Effect. It's painful for me to play, painful. That doesn't mean it's a bad game, I just don't like it's style. On the other side of the coin, a lot of people are saying Bioshock bores them. I finished both of them in 2 or 3 sittings. Different strokes for different folks.
Last game I actually finished was Call of Duty...lol Im slowly playing my way thru the folowing, hoping to actually finish them

When I was younger I had much more energy and shorter attention span... Then I often jumped on a new game while going on with an old and forgetting to finish it. Had nothing to do with lengths but some games are just drawn out just a little to much. That was before as of late there is a lot of 5h games out there.

Nowadays I either quite early if I see something is not that good or I finish it.
I'm usually able to finish games that aren't open world.

I've never beaten a GTA game and I have yet to complete Fallout 3. In Fallout, I had all the cool weapons pretty early on and the combat just wasn't that fun. Couple that with amateur animations, dodgy AI and an 'everything looks the same' feel, I just couldn't stick with it. It was a good game for the first ~10 hours or so but after that it started to feel like a chore. All the hiking in the wilderness was more annoying than immersive and I found the inventory system irritating since I play like a packrat and just pick up EVERYTHING thinking it might be useful some day.

It didn't help that I played it right after my first play-through of STALKER:SoC which is one of my favorite games ever. It was much more immersive and the combat was much more satisfying. The role-playing was also less ++'ing of stats and just some odd stacking of anomalies that really aren't that much of a requirement. I prefer gear impacting the character to the ubiquitous arbitrary stats (strength, stamina, intelligence, etc). Then again, I've just never been a big RPG fan.
I'm pretty much in the same boat.

I thoroughly enjoy MP gaming because of the competitive aspect, and lately that has been filled by hours of MW2 ffa.

I took a vacation last week and vowed to catch up on my single player games, and though I did, it didn't quite work out how I'd hoped.

I've had Fallout 3 goty, RE5, Oblivion, and Ghostbusters just waiting to be played. Well, I started Fallout 3, AGAIN, and ended up losing interest. RE5, same thing. Ghostbusters I didn't even get past the beginning of the game where you're in the hotel. Oblivion I didn't even try to start again.

I guess I suffer from ADD to a certain extent. I enjoy repetitive type scenarios such as are offered in MP FPS's. I actually ended up spending a shit load of time playing SpecOps on MW2...most fun I've had playing single player in some time.
The same reason I haven't finished BSG (5 eps to go... since the show finished)...

I don't want them to end.
Typically it's because I get into another game or I just get frustrated and stop playing. Sometimes it's because I buy bad games at a low price just to have something to do. For example, picked up Exile from the Earth. Terrible game, but the voice acting is hilarious.
I play alot less games than I used to, but I also notice I pay more attention and play them until completion now. I try not to start a new game until I've completed the last, and usually have a good RTS/MMO that I can throw on anytime. Just finished Fallout 3 a few weeks ago. Bought Just Cause 2...when I'm done with that, I think I may check out Transformers.

And as far as the half life 2 and 2 episodes go, I find myself every year or so dusting them off and playing them through to completion again. Like rereading a good book or watching the Godfather trilogy everytime it's on A&E...
I'll just say this. If I don't finish a game, I won't call it good. A good game makes me want to play it, finish it, and upsets me that it wasn't longer. If a game wears it's welcome, then I don't care how fun it started, it made a fundamental mistake.
I have lots of great games that I haven't finished. I try to play one at a time. But every game, no matter how great it is, has a boring or frustrating spot it seems.
If I stop playing at that point instead of powering through it, then it gets hard for me to load the game up again and I get tempted to start something else.
to the op...its because games are created in a 'formulaic' model and once the novelty wheres off, subconciously we know we are doing the same thing over and over again and we get bored. Part of the 'magic' of programming and game design, is 'masking' that experience and/or timing the length of the game so that the game 'ends' right at the point we say 'hey, i'm getting bored of this mess'...

btw, the only games i finished were wasteland, wizardry, system shock one, sundog...notice these are old titles. perhaps the 'older' generation of developers nailed it.
If I get bored of a game, I just turn on the cheats and run through it. I did that for Fallout 3. Got boring and depressing (as mentioned earlier), but I squeezed some fun with some good ol' cheats.
Some games I play a lot and complete everything but others don't hold my interest. Fallout 3 I completed nearly everything except for the DLC, other games I've completed parts but really I just play what I feel like playing sense it would take me months to finish all the games I have so no rush to play any of them through as they are just entertainment if I have nothing else to do.
- GTA 4
- Fallout 3
- Batman: Arkham Asylum
- Dragon Age Origins
- multiple other lesser quality games

If it's fun the whole way through, I finish it...

GTA IV sucked, IMO. Sucked horribly.
Fallout 3....never got into it. Need to play it.
Batman: LOVED it, finished it in a week or less.
DA:O - finished in 2-3 weeks

If it's good the whole way through, I finish...stuff like Oblivion bores me to tears after a while.
I have to finish all my games, good or bad (its an ocd thing), but I am slowly drudging through Red Dead Redemption, I do a mission (main or side) every night, I'm probably the only guy here who does not enjoy RDR, I have considered just stopping all together, but i cant, its still a game damn it.
Sometimes I get scared

F.E.A.R. for example. I fucking flipped out when I finally got to the last 20 minutes of the game. Didn't touch it again for 3 months.