There’s nothing quite like resting safe in the knowledge that the game you’ve bought is going to be worth its price of admission, at least when it comes to how much content it’s going to have on offer. Of course, the quality of that content is ultimately the most important thing, but there’s something comforting about knowing that the game you’ve dove into has literally multiple dozens of hours of gameplay on offer. There have been plenty of those in 2022, and here, that’s exactly what we’ll be talking about.
Even FromSoftware wasn’t making open world games, the likes of Dark Souls and Bloodborne had close to a hundred hours of content on offer, so you can only imagine just how massive Elden Ring is. Yes, it’s geographically massive, with a map that just seems to keep going on and on, but it uses that real estate spectacularly, filling it full of incredible dungeons and bosses, and constantly encouraging players to explore.
HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST
If you’re just sticking to the main story, you can wrap up Horizon Forbidden West in under 30 hours, but there’s so, so much more to do once the credits have rolled. It’s set in a massive and gorgeous open world that’s brimming with side activities, including excellent side quests, melee pits, hunting challenges, exploring old world ruins, and much more.
DYING LIGHT 2 STAY HUMAN
Techland made it abundantly clear even before Dying Light 2 Stay Human launched that it would be brimming with tons of content, and sure enough, the open world zombie thriller lives up to that billing. The main story itself is between 25-30 hours long, but of course, the vast majority of the game lies off the beaten path. Dying Light 2’s post-apocalyptic world is filled with a wide variety of optional activities that, put together, can keep you coming back to the game for many, many hours.
XENOBLADE CHRONICLES 3
It’s absolutely no surprise that the new Xenoblade game is overflowing with things to do. Given how huge the main campaign alone is, you might not have too much energy left to do much else in the game, but if you do, boy are you going to have a bevy of options. By the time you’re done, you can easily have clocked in well over 150 hours.
LEGO STAR WARS: THE SKYWALKER SAGA
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the kind of game that lets you have fun exactly the way you want to have fun. You want to spend just 2-3 hours on any one of the nine episodes included in the game? Sure, you can do that. You want to blow through its riotously enjoyable mainline content in about 20 hours or so? You can do that too. You want to spend dozens of dozens of hours obsessively tracking down every single collectible, exploring every nook and cranny, and doing every side quest you can find? Yes, you can do that as well- and you should, because it’s a lot of fun.
If you’ve played the original Overwatch, it’ll be no surprise to you at all that its sequel is, once again, a dangerously addictive game that can keep you hooked for prolonged stretches. The core Overwatch gameplay loop hasn’t lost any of its luster, and has, in fact, been strengthened in several ways thanks to various changes and improvements. The grindy nature of the game’s battle pass progression is not to most people’s liking, sure, but even as it exists right now, Overwatch 2 is a game that you can get dozens and dozens of hours’ worth of enjoyment out of.
GRAN TURISMO 7
Putting Gran Turismo 7 in this list almost feels like cheating, because Gran Turismo titles more often than not tend to be the kind of games that you can play pretty much endlessly. But hey, it is what it is, and GT7 is chock-full of content. There’s a sizeable career mode, a bevy of cars to unlock, customize, upgrade, and drive, a whole suite of online offerings to dive into, and much more.
ROGUE LEGACY 2
It’s almost shocking how much more massive Rogue Legacy 2 is than its predecessor, but given how long we were waiting for this game, it feels right. There’s a bevy of side content to dive into, and an immaculate mix of roguelike mechanics and incredible design makes every second of it an absolute blast. Meanwhile, the combat and platforming always feel tight and fun, there’s a variety of challenges bosses to take down, and the game’s layered and nuanced progression and customization mechanics make it feel more rewarding the more time you put into it.
FOOTBALL MANAGER 2023
Football Manager is yet another series that has always been one that sucks its players in for hundreds of hours every single year. This year’s iteration does the exact same, and for the same reasons that Football Manager games always have. Poring over data, micromanaging every aspect of your football club, perfecting your squad, scouting new talent, interacting with the press- all of that behind-the-scenes stuff may not have the flair of the on-pitch action of something like FIFA, but as many longtime fans will tell you, it is way more addictive.
POKEMON LEGENDS: ARCEUS
Pokemon Legends: Arceus was the biggest ever shift in formula for a mainline Pokemon game, but though it changed a great many things, one that didn’t change was how easily you could pour endless hours into the game. With multiple open world maps to explore and literally hundreds of Pokemon to catch and study, there’s a bevy of content for players to dive into, while a healthy dose of side quests and other optional activities add even more meat to the game.
MONSTER HUNTER RISE: SUNBREAK
2021’s Monster Hunter Rise was a huge game in and of itself, but people wanted more, and boy did they get it. Much like Iceborne before it, the new Monster Hunter expansion, Sunbreak, came along and offered a ton of new content that, under different circumstances, would have been enough to constitute an entire separate game. If you’re the kind of Monster Hunter player that likes to obsessively fight against monster, grind out loot, and upgrade and max out your armour sets, you’ll find Sunbreak perfectly to your liking.
PERSONA 5 ROYAL (SWITCH/XBOX/PC)
Yes, Persona 5 Royal is a two-year old game, but if you’ve been waiting to play it on the Switch, on the Xbox, or on PC, this year finally gave you the chance to do that- which means you’ve probably clocked in a solid 120 hours into this ridiculously gigantic game. What makes Persona 5 Royal’s runtime more than just tolerable is the fact that the vast majority of the game is a stone cold masterpiece, from combat to life sim mechanics and more.
THE WITCHER 3 NEXT-GEN
The Witcher 3 is even older than Persona 5, but CD Projekt RED’s acclaimed open world RPG got its long-awaited PS5 and Xbox Series X/S upgrade at the tail end of 2022, and sure enough, it’s yet another excellent excuse for players to revisit this modern classic. Improved visuals, bits and pieces of new content, and a number of technical upgrades make this yet another win for one of the best games of the previous console generation.